This is a what if article... what if I designed raids.
1) Single Raid System
No LFR or heroic. Just one raid. Not even called normal. No need to call it anything but its name being it is the only one of its type.
2) Two Lock Outs
The return of the 10 and 25 man versions but with one advance that was added recently. The ability to switch groups but within the group size limits. You can bounce from 10 to 10 or 25 to 25.
3) 12 Bosses, Minimum.
No more mini raids. No 4 boss raids, no 6 boss raids and no 8 boss raids. 12 or more. Raids are not dungeons and should no be completed in less than 2 hours until you are in a world first type guild that has had it on farm for months. And even then, it should be rare anyone can do it that fast.
4) Meaningful Trash
No massive amounts of trash like before you release shannox. No two simple mobs like before ODS. No useless trash that is not lootable or skinable like the dragons before ultraxion. Three to eight trash packs between bosses. Three to eight mobs in each pack. Also, there would be no tricky stuff like the two packs of four guys before atramedes. Trash is trash and should act like it. Trash should be easy enough that if you wipe on it you should consider calling the raid. I've had runs at BWD with no wipes, except on those freaking dwarves.
5) Trash Drops
No more trash dropping BoEs. Trash would now drop instance specific tokens. When five are collected they can be traded in for an item. The item is BoP but the tokens can be sold.
6) Boss Drops
Speaking of tokens, the bosses drop them as well. One per person in the raid, each boss. While they still have their standard loot table the tokens can be used to offset bad luck. 50 tokens buys one item that could be dropped in the raid. So best case is you still need to kill 50 of those raid bosses to get that one item you have no luck with. It would most definitely not be a quick way to gear up but it would be nice to get that one thing that never drops for you in 4 weeks of working for it instead of 24 weeks of having horrible luck. These tokens can not be sold or traded.
7) Elective Modes
Call it the Ulduar design. All boss fights will be easy, first to last. Doing things during the fight will increase difficulty. The LFR would make all activated elective modes incapable of being activated in order to keep griefing to a minimum. This would mean there would still be a random version and it also means there would be a non random version that is just as easy that people could pug which would revitalize the pug community.
8) 5, or More, Levels of Challenge
The elective modes would create many different layers of challenge. A fight with 8 watchers where all or none can be activated for many different experiences and achievements for each and every combination would create massively different scales of difficulty and plenty of content for people that want to try and do them all.
9) Many Achievements
As mentioned in part 8, there would be many achievements for various elective uses but there would also be many other achievements. A return to the no death runs. A return of limited members runs. A return of timed runs that require each fight to be done in specific ways. Achievements for all types of different things. People love achievements, even non achievement hunters like seeing it pop up. So make sure to have lots for people to try to get.
10) No Nerfs Ever
With this many levels of difficulty built into the raid naturally and the starting level being of a looking for raid level of difficulty there would never be a need to nerf anything. Ever. If you can not do a fight with 8 electives activated, do it with 7 until you get better or get into a better group. Simple as that. No need to nerf it, just do what you are capable of doing. Simple as that.
Those are some of the ideas I would try to do, if I designed raids.
It would effectively be easier to design as it is only one raid, so no tuning it for three different ways. It is tuned once for one thing with all its added components and it is ready to go. And having it set up with being able to run both would give people more options, run 25s in easy mode with pugs and friends and 10s with harder modes with the guild or vice versa.
This, being one raid, would also mean no more would we have three levels of gear for one single raid. All gear would be one level of gear. This would help combat the sickening stat increase we have with every single raid that comes out now.
It would also make the looking for raid versions effectively even easier and if you have seen some of the people in those, it sure needs to be even easier. Every fight would start tank and spank and the elective modes would add mechanics and difficulty as the person wants them added.
It would revitalize the pug community by basically making a looking for raid level of difficulty puggable and capable of being done on 10 man as well. It would also have harder hard modes than even heroic offers now for those that want a challenge as well, so it would swing both ways all in one nice package, both easier and harder.
It would also relieve the repeating the same thing over and over issue. Do it in LFR, then normal, then heroic. Boring. And the community has spoken and they say it is boring doing the same content three times. With this one package mode, it is the same content one time, but we can change how we do it to spice it up. It is our choice to mix up the fight with elective modes, not them trying to sell us three versions of the same fight and telling us we have three different raids when we don't. Even if it is the same thing in the end, the illusion of choice on our part makes it more desirable.
So that is it, if I designed raids, these are some of the things I would do. How about you?