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The Raid Finder (sometimes called "Looking for Raid") is a new UI element introduced with Patch 4.3 similar to the Dungeon Finder, but for gathering players for 10 and 25-man raids. It was integrated into the Dungeon Finder window with Patch 5.0.4. It will hopefully allow better formation of PuG raid groups.
It is also a new range of item level tiers for some raid drops while in Raid Finder mode.
- No raid lock-out for Raid Finder raids anticipated.
- Item drops may not be as good as regular Normal or Heroic mode drops.
- This effectively means raid instances entered with Raid Finder groups are a tier below Normal and Heroic mode raids. So, sometimes these raids are called "LFR raids".
For boss difficulty and loot quality, Raid Finder also represents an Instance difficulty below 25-player Normal mode and 10-player Normal mode, so item levels of drops and rewards will reflect this difference.
Loot rules update
From official Raids and Dungeons forum (EU) as of 7-Oct-2011:
In response to concerns regarding how loot will be distributed in the Raid Finder system, we are making some changes to how loot rolls will work when using the Need Before Greed system in the Raid Finder. When using Raid Finder for the Dragon Soul raid instance, players whose currently assigned class role (Tank, Healer or Damage) matches the class role that a piece of armor or a weapon is flagged for will receive +100 to their Need roll. For purposes of this check, your currently assigned role is defined as the class role you have assigned when a boss is defeated. Sound confusing? I hope not, but here’s how it’ll work:
- A boss dies and drops EPIC TANKING ITEM.
- A mage in the group yawns and clicks the ‘Greed’ button, getting a 98.
- A Fury warrior in the group wants to take up tanking, so he rolls ‘Need’ and gets a solid 64.
- Both tanks want the item. Tank 1 rolls a 12, and Tank 2 rolls a 7.
So what happens?
Because the mage rolled greed, she’s right out from the start. The Fury warrior’s Need roll was higher than the tanks’, but he was in the Damage Dealer role when the boss died, and the item is flagged for tanking, so his 64 is still just a 64 out of a possible 100. In contrast, Tank 1 and Tank 2 each get a 100 point bonus to their rolls because they were in the Tanking role when the boss died and they’re rolling on an item that has been flagged for the tanking role. That means that Tank 1 rolled a 112 out of 200, and tank 2 rolled a 107 out of 200. Tank 1 wins the item! If a roll got a bonus, that bonus will be clearly displayed in the chat log.
Please keep in mind that, at least for now, this system will only look at class role, and not player spec. This bonus isn’t only for tanking items either — it applies to Tanking, Damage Dealing and Healing items, and some items are flagged for more than one class role too. Starting out, only Dragon Soul raid items will be flagged for class roles in this way (though all of the items in the raid will be flagged for one or more roles). As you might expect, all the normal Need Before Greed rules are still in place, so that means that these roll bonuses won’t overrule normal class and usability restrictions. Item tooltips in the raid won’t reflect which class roles will get rolling bonuses, but it should be fairly obvious based on stat allocations and item type.
We are considering expanding this system to apply to the new 4.3 dungeons as well, though it is unlikely that we’ll see the system apply to older dungeons or raids for now. Also, please keep in mind that this system is newly minted, and it may see further changes before it’s released with the Raid Finder in patch 4.3.
From the official Q&A blog articles:
Q. Who is Raid Finder for?
- A. Raid Finder is primarily intended for players who don’t already raid consistently. These are players who may not have had the opportunity to take part in raid content due to scheduling conflicts, playtime constraints, limited access to other raid-capable players, or a lack of experience with higher-end content. These players may want to experience World of Warcraft’s raid content and storyline without being able to commit to the additional time investment of a raiding guild. The Raid Finder is also a great way to quickly and easily gear up alternate characters without having to worry about raid lockouts.
Q. What size raid group will the Raid Finder support and why?
- A. Raid Finder will match players up to form a 25-player raid. This allows for a more forgiving experience should errors be made by individual players. Raid Finder groups should be a fun way to experience raid content without feeling too punishing to inexperienced raiders.
Q.What is the Raid Finder difficulty level?
- A. Players who take part in Raid Finder groups can expect a similar difficulty level to the Baradin Hold Cataclysm raid.
Q. Are there any character or item level requirements to use the Raid Finder?
- A. Yes. You will need to be level 85 with a minimum item level of 372.
Q.What type of loot and items can I expect to get?
- A. The items that can be earned are a lower item level than those found in Normal mode Raid Dungeons. Weapons will only be available from Deathwing himself.
Q. How does loot distribution work?
- A. All Raid Finder groups determine loot distribution using the “Need Before Greed” system. Unlike Dungeon Finder, players who are identified as rolling need on an item that fits their primary role will be given loot priority over those who play a different role. You can read more about item distribution and loot roll rules here (US, EU). While Raid Finder raids aren’t locked, players are only eligible to win loot from a boss once per week.
Q. How do I use Raid Finder?
- A. You can access Raid Finder through the ‘Raid’ button in the menu at the bottom of the default user interface.
Q. How does Raid Finder populate the raid? Can I invite my friends?
- A. Raid Finder will populate the raid with other players who enter the Raid Finder system. Each Raid Finder raid will include two tanks, six healers, and seventeen damage dealers. As the raid is assembled, the Raid Finder will attempt to balance the group according to armor type, which should help ensure a healthy mix of melee and ranged DPS. There are no additional invite capabilities for the raid leader or other members of the raid, however, groups of players are able to queue together, either as a party or a raid, should they wish to raid together.
Q: Does Raid Finder support Real ID friends?
- A: With patch 4.3, you can invite Real ID friends to a party and then queue together for the Dragon Soul raid using Raid Finder. You can't, however form a raid with cross-realm Real ID friends before joining the Raid Finder queue. While not currently supported, this is something that we’re interested in implementing in a future update.
Q. What raids are available?
- A.The Dragon Soul raid dungeon will be available in the Raid Finder and has been split into two wings. Players will be able to access the first wing at the release of patch 4.3. Deathwing will become available approximately one week later.
Q. Why aren’t older raids available on Raid Finder?
- A. Raid Finder is being used to help players access the most current content and tier gear available within the game. Additional options for the system may be considered in the future.
Q. Can I earn any particular currency with Raid Finder?
- A. Players can earn up to 500 Valor points per week (250 per wing) while utilizing Raid Finder.
Q. How often can I enter the Raid Finder system?
- A. Each boss within the Dragon Soul raid can be killed once per week for a chance at loot. Since there are no raid locks, skipping a boss will not impede your ability to attempt that boss in a future raid.
From the official preview article:
Q. Raids aren’t dungeons. Who will keep things organized?
- A. A Raid Finder raid will require someone to queue as leader. The Raid Finder leader will have a very limited set of powers and cannot change loot type, nor do they have the ability to arbitrarily kick people from the raid. They do have the ability to mark targets and use /raid warning, and can promote other players to be leads as well. To be most successful, each Raid Finder group should have at least one leader who will explain the fights, assign raid markers, and make the tough calls, like who the main tank and off-tanks are.
Q. How will loot be distributed?
- A. Automatic rolls and the Need Before Greed loot rules will apply in Raid Finder raids, just as they do in Dungeon Finder instances. Also, while Dungeon Finder raids aren’t locked, you are only eligible for loot from a boss once per week. This means that if you were present for the defeat of a boss, whether you receive loot or not, then you will automatically pass on loot that drops during later attempts on that boss during the same week.
Q. How will Raid Finder loot differ?
- A. Loot acquired through the Raid Finder, including tier set pieces, will be of a lower item level than items acquired from normal or heroic mode versions of the Dragon Soul raid, and its appearance may differ. Also, there are certain items, as well as components for legendary weapons, which will not drop in Raid Finder raids. While individual bosses will not yield Valor Points as they would in other versions of the raid, you can still earn 250 Valor Points for beating the final boss in each wing of the instance.
- Tier armor that drops in Raid Finder raids still provides set bonuses, and those bonuses are compatible with the higher item level versions of the armor available in the normal and heroic mode versions of the raid. None of these tier sets will be available for purchase from a vendor via Valor Points.
Q. Will there be an item level requirement to use the Raid Finder?
- A. Yes, accessing raids via the Raid Finder will require that participating characters be level 85 and have attained a certain item level, to help ensure that they are prepared for the content they’ll be facing.
Q. Will the Raid Finder be cross-realm?
- A. Yes, the Raid Finder will draw players from all realms. As with the Dungeon Finder, it will place some priority on grouping players from the same realm, though not at the cost of increased queue times.
Q. What kind of raid composition will the Raid Finder create?
- A. Each Raid Finder raid will include two tanks, six healers, and seventeen damage dealers. As the raid is assembled, the Raid Finder will attempt to balance the group according to armor type, which should help ensure a healthy mix of melee and ranged dps.
Q. Why 25-player only?
- A. A 25-player group is actually easier and faster to fill than a smaller group would be, and allows for greater flexibility in raid creation, all of which will help contribute to lower queue times. Also, 25-player raids are less subject to issues with composition or player connectivity.
- The Raid Finder version of the Dragon Soul raid will be designed with pick-up raiding in mind. Normal and heroic difficulties will require the greater organization and teamwork found in guild raid groups.
Q. Will I get Call to Arms benefits when using the Raid Finder?
- A. We don’t currently plan to apply Call to Arms benefits to the Raid Finder, though that may change in the future.
Q. Will I be locked to a raid I join through the Raid Finder?
- A. Since the Raid Finder only offers access exclusively to a specially tuned version of the Dragon Soul raid instance, instance locks will not be enforced for that version. Instance locks will still be enforced for the normal and heroic versions of the raid.
Q. Can I queue with my friends in a party or raid?
- A. Yes, you can queue for the Raid Finder individually, in a party, or in a raid. The Raid Finder can be a great tool to help fill those last few slots in a raid.
Q. I’m a dedicated raider with an organized group, what good is the Raid Finder to me?
- A. Since instance locks aren’t in play, Raid Finder raids could provide a way for dedicated raiders to gear up alternate characters, fill gaps in their itemization, finish off elusive set bonuses, or just have some fun while preparing to face the normal or heroic version of the raid on the next reset.
Q. Why aren’t other raids available?
- A. The Raid Finder is intended to help players experience the current tier of content. Also, many older raids don’t require a full complement of raiders, making the Raid Finder unnecessary. This is also the first rollout of the feature and we decided to start things simple, rather than potentially delay the feature’s introduction.
If the Raid Finder proves popular, more raid instances may be added to it in the future.
Q. Will Vote Kick still work in the Raid Finder?
- A. Yes, though many of the same requirements and restrictions will be in place. For example, kicking too many times can result in a Vote Kick cooldown. Also, the thresholds are different, and several players will need to agree on kicking a candidate before the vote begins. Successful kick votes will require a significant number of Yes votes to pass.
Q. What happens if I leave a Raid Finder raid before it’s over?
- A. Players who leave the Raid prematurely will receive a Deserter Debuff, though it will likely be of longer duration than the one applied to users of the Dungeon Finder. This debuff will only apply to the Raid Finder system.
Item level tier for raids
"Raid Finder" is also a tier of item level items that drop in various raids when in LFR/Raid Finder mode starting with the Dragon Soul raid:
- Siege of Orgrimmar raid items at item level 528.
- Throne of Thunder raid items at item level 528.
- Heart of Fear raid items at item level 483.
- Mogu'Shan Vaults raid items at item level 476.
- Dragon Soul 25-man raid items at item level 390.
- Dragon Soul 10-man raid items at item level 384.
All these items will also have 2 Upgrade levels to +4 and +8 item levels higher.
Example item levels
- Throne of Thunder Raid Finder quality at item level 502.
- Throne of Thunder Normal mode quality at item level 522.
- Throne of Thunder Normal mode Thunderforged quality at item level 528.
- Siege of Orgrimmar Raid Finder quality at item level 528.
- Throne of Thunder Heroic mode quality of the item at level 535.
- Siege of Orgrimmar Flexible Raid quality of the item at level 540.
- Throne of Thunder Heroic mode Thunderforged quality (aka "Heroic Thunderforged") of the item at level 541.
- Siege of Orgrimmar Normal mode quality at item level 553.
- Siege of Orgrimmar Normal mode Warforged quality of the item at level 559.
- Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic mode quality of the item at level 566.
- Siege of Orgrimmar Heroic mode Warforged quality (aka "Heroic Warforged") of the item at level 572.
- Patch 5.0.4 (28 August 2012): Made part of the Dungeon Finder window.
- Patch 4.3.0 (29-Nov-2011): Added.
- ^ Adam Holisky 2011-08-17. Raid finder coming in patch 4.3. WoW Insider.
- ^ a b Robert Purchese 2011-09-19. Killing Deathwing in WOW Patch 4.3 - Interview MMO PC. Eurogamer.net.
- ^ Meozeldian 2011-10-07. Raid Finder Loot Rules Update. Official Raids and Dungeons forum (EU).
- ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2011-11-30. Raid Finder Q&A. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
Nethaera 2011-11-30. Raid Finder Q&A. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
- ^ Daxxarri 2011-09-30. Raid Finder Coming in Patch 4.3. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
Blizzard Entertainment 2011-09-30. Raid Finder Coming in Patch 4.3. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).
- ^ Orlyia 2011-12-13. #1 - Items - New Class Restrictions 12/13/2011. Official Customer Support forum (US).
Natryndon 2011-12-14. #1 - [NEW!] LFR Items - New Class Restrictions 14/12/2011. Official Customer Support forum (EU).