The new "Flexible Raid System" allows raid groups of any size between 10 and 25 players, scaling with difficulty as group size increases.
Like playing World of Warcraft, but don't want to commit to the part-time job that is a full-time raiding guild? Want to raid with your friends but don't want to have to use strangers to fill the gaps when people can't make it? Good news! Provided you have between 10 and 25 friends, the new Flexible Raid system coming in patch 5.4 should be just right for you!
The difficulty level of the Flexible Raid system sits somewhere in-between regular raids and the matchmaking "Raid Finder" system. The new raid difficulty is for any group that has between 10 and 25 members, meaning if you have a regular raiding group of 15 players and two guys can't make it that night, you can still soldier on, as the system will scale the difficulty depending on how many players are in the group.
"To fill this void, we're in the process of developing a new Flexible Raid system, which includes a new difficulty that sits between Raid Finder and Normal difficulty, while still allowing friends, family, or pick-up groups to play together. This difficulty will be available for premade groups of 10-25 players, including any number in between. That means whether you have 11, 14, or 23 friends available for a Raid, they'll all be able to participate."
There is no Item Level restriction on this type of raid, but of course, there's no matchmaking involved so you will have to invite people you know. As for loot, Flexible mode will award loot with an Item Level that falls between Raid Finder and Normal quality, and will use the Raid Finder's "per person" loot system, specialization choices, and bonus rolls, so you won't need to worry about Frank from accounting tagging along on his rogue and stealing that piece of leather armor you've been wanting.
Flexible raids will unlock in wings, similar to Raid Finder, but faster. It's also on a completely separate lockout from Raid Finder and normal raids, so if you are particularly gung-ho about World of Warcraft you can raid three separate instances each week.
The new system should be available for testing on the PTR soon, and will ship with patch 5.4, which is estimated for release sometime in the coming months.