Mists of Pandaria Raid Finder: everything you need to know about Looking for Raid’s difficulty, loot rules, tier gear, lockout, opening dates, ilevel and more.

Looking for Raid has been through a fair few iterations over WoW’s history: from Vanilla’s “guilds only” approach, through the global Looking for Group channel (aka Looking For Spam), through several different iterations of a manual raid listing system in TBC and WoTLK (one of which no-one ever used), and now finally to an automated matchmaking system like the Looking for Dungeon tool. Mists of Pandaria is the first full expansion to bring this new Raid Finder to global use, so there are a lot of questions out there about how it will work – how will loot rules work? How will the kick system work? Will it drop tier gear pieces, what iLevel will the drops be, will it share lockouts with regular raids, how hard will the raids be?

Well, here in one mammoth post are all your answers. They’re currently taken from the Public Test Realm LFR (Looking for Raid) experience, but we’ll update as soon as LFR raids for MoP go live with more information.

Latest update: 16th October 2012

Looking for Raid / Raid Finder difficulty

The Looking for Raid tool will not run at normal raid difficulties. Instead, it will send players to a custom difficulty level below Normal. It will only run 25-man raids.

LFR difficulty currently differs from Normal difficulty in two ways:

  • Most boss and add health and damage is reduced by about 25%.
  • Some abilities are removed from some bosses – usually those requiring a lot of coordination or faster reflexes from players.

Notably, whilst the LFR difficulty often means that less people need to successfully understand the mechanics for a fight, it doesn’t remove the need for the “dance” entirely – players still need to move, target-swap, attack adds, at least roughly understand phases and so on.

Looking for Raid minimum iLevel

The minimum iLevel required to enter LFR in MoP is iLevel 460 for Mogu’Shan Vaults, and iLevel 470 for the later two raids, Terrace of Endless Spring and Heart of Fear. That’s going to be fairly tricky for most people, requiring almost a full set of Heroic dungeon gear. Note that you’ll no longer be able to “cheat” the iLevel requirement with PvP gear – crafted PvP gear in Mists of Pandaria is iLevel 450, as is non-raid crafted PvE gear.

How the Raid Finder loot rules work

Raid Finder loot rules have been completely changed from their earlier interpretation.

These days, all Raid Finder loot is individual. The game will decide if you get a piece of loot for each boss, randomly and independently of anyone else, and will then assign you something appropriate to your class and spec if so.

That means that guild groups can no longer roll Need for each other, people can no longer Need just to keep items away from other people, and generally makes the entire LFR experience a lot less horrible!

Looking for Raid / Raid Finder loot, iLevels and tier pieces

All Looking for Raid loot will be iLevel 476 in Mogu’Shan Vaults and iLevel 483 in Terrace of Endless Spring and Heart of Fear. That’s considerably better than most Heroic dungeon loot, which is iLevel 463, but nowhere near as good as the iLevel 489 / 496 loot that Normal raiding gives.

LFR will drop tier tokens, which will reward tier pieces named the same as the Normal or Heroic tier pieces, but with lower iLevels and stats. However, importantly, LFR gear will still offer the same set bonuses, and you can mix LFR, Normal and Heroic tier gear to achieve the two and four-piece set bonuses.

Given the Tier 14 set bonuses are by and large very powerful, this will mean that even hardcore raiders will likely want to do LFR every week until they have their set bonuses.

What raids can we join with the new Raid Finder?

Dragon Soul is still available on LFR, we believe.

The release dates of the other raids will be staggered on LFR, approximately 5 days behind the release dates of the Normal raids. Mogu’Shan Vaults will open on the 7th October 2012, and the Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring will open on November 6th 2012.

Raid Finder / LFR lockouts, raid leaders, and other info

  • Looking for Raid does not have a lockout – however, if you’ve killed a boss on LFR during a raiding week, you’ll automatically pass on loot from that boss on future Raid Finder attempts ONLY.
  • LFR will have a single person designated as “Raid Leader” – however, their only powers will be, according to Blizzard, “the ability to mark targets and use /raid warning”. The Raid Leader will be chosen at random from everyone who volunteered to raid lead.
  • Raid Finder and the Legendary Questline: we know that at least the first stage of the [Legendary Questline in MoP](http://t.co/0i4CgWoH) WILL most likely be doable on LFR.

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