Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Loot Conscious or Loot Whoring

“Loot Whore” is a pretty derogatory term in the World of Warcraft. You don’t want them in your guild, you don’t want them in your PUG, and you don’t want to see them whining in trade chat that someone gave such and such an item to a different class who did 200 or so less DPS than them. However, this generalization of the slanderous title can be dangerous and be rather far from the truth. Its stigma can be such as to keep many quiet as they’re out-rolled and out-bid time and time again, as they watch items go to people who are generally more geared, get less benefit or are simply gearing wrong.

Knowing when to speak up is entirely based upon your environment. In many cases, simply asking the other person if they will pass to you is acceptable. Adding an explanation, i.e. it’s a larger upgrade for you, it’s BiS for you, they just picked up some legs and you could really use the four piece bonus, can be helpful. In this case, it’s up to the other person. Will they be gracious? They may decide they need it more. They may have run the instance every week since they were 80 waiting for it to drop and being out-rolled every time. In this case, you’re SOL, but you don’t look like a Loot Whore unless you pitch a fit over them not passing. In fact, if the other person has already won a ton of items, it’s possible that they could be the ones to come out looking like a Loot Whore if they say no, so be careful of putting people into such a position.

Be aware of loot rules before going into an instance. Can you live with them? One piece of loot per boss sounds nice, but that still leaves room for someone to continually win a piece of loot off of every boss. One piece of main spec loot per instance (unless everyone is out of main spec rolls) sounds nice, but can become convoluted quickly, especially in longer instances where you lose track of who has won what. Free roll on everything means you go with the dice and the dice don’t lie. If you get out-rolled on three pieces in a row, you get out-rolled on three pieces in a row.

What about DKP or other point-based systems? Well, in those instances, the more you lose, the more you gain. Meaning, maybe you keep losing bids on items, but so long as you continually show up for raids, you will keep gaining DKP while others lose it, and items that were hotly contested prior may drop in price. Eventually, you will be top dog and can pick your items with impunity. Please note, bidding other people up just to make them spend their points is really just another form of Loot Whoring, and is in very bad taste.

Or how about the infamous loot council? If run correctly and impartially (it is possible!), the loot council system can insure that upgrades are given to the proper class, to those who perform the best for their gear level, or who need the upgrade the most. Stating your case in a clear, polite, non-aggressive or threatening or whining manner can help the loot council decide in your favor. However, pitching fits when they don’t, imagining favorites, or forgetting that all people, including yourself, are fallible and mistakes happen can put you low on the loot council’s priority.

Raiding and playing should not be all about the loot. But, face it, without the prospect of upgrading gear, what’s the point in seeing the raid content more than a few times. While you may relish the fights, everyone wants to see their character improve and look more badass each day. As well, losing out on an item again and again or seeing it drop but once and losing it to the tank who cannot even use half the stats on it can be a bitter pill to swallow. It’s always up to you on how you act when this happens, and how close you can stand to gaining the Loot Whore brand. An unfortunate part of the game’s culture, to be sure.


Kayeri said...

Yep, that is all so very true, Bell! On Kayeri, I saw nothing in Ulduar-10 for weeks that did me any good, or I knew it would be better utilized by another player, so I'd pass on it. Of course, then in the same week, I pick up the spirit trinket and the T8 glove token... and I feel a touch guilty for getting 2 items back-to-back, in spite of all those loot-less weeks! :)

Things are a little more complex on the rogue. Ran a 25-Naxx pug a few weeks ago (18 or so guildies, the rest pugged), and when the tier shoulder token dropped, I rolled because it was an upgrade and would get me the 4-piece bonus on the rogue set. Awesome, right?

It turns out, not so awesome... after the raid, a druid (who also happens to be a recently returned and much-loved member) complains that I, on my alt, won a piece over his main and the guild leaders say, "yeah, we were discussing that." My reaction at the time was one of shame. I felt so badly, I gave up the shoulders and had the token transferred to him.

in retrospect, I'm a little disgusted over the whole thing. What I did was 100% within the stated rules, yet I was made to feel horribly about it. No one ever said a single word about favoring mains over alts within a pugged raid with pug rules, because obviously, you cant apply those rules to people you dont know.

There's never any perfect loot system. You try to be considerate of others, but you can still get kicked in the teeth.

Sunkist said...

Looting is always touchy. I'm an officer in a 25man raiding guild who uses loot council and I absolutely dread the nights when the raid leader passes the masterlooter to me. Having to choose between a list of generally 3-4 people who want an item per piece of loot becomes a very stressful decision, especially when the loot is especially rare or beneficial to the players wanting the item. Luckily, our guild has used loot council since the beginning of Wrath so at least everybody going into the raid knows how the loot is distributed. We've also made it a point to explicitly state on new applicant's forum application that these are our loot rules and that they should know what they are getting into. For the most part I'd say it is one of the fairer systems of loot but it just makes me a little squeemish knowing that the loot is being passed around based on my or another officer's general feelings or attitude on any one night.

As for loot whoring, I played a hunter in vanilla when everything was "hunter loot" and play a druid now where any piece of leather or cloth could potentially benefit one of my multitude of specs so being conscious of what loot I roll on and go after is always on my mind. When going into pugs I think that clearly stating your main spec to the loot distributor and sticking to that is a good strategy.

I've been in pugs where it was open roll and some pally walks out with half the instance in his backpack and has enough loot for all three specs. While this generally happens to some new alt or recently dinged 80 and I'm not generally annoyed that they are receiving so many items, I do get a tad annoyed when we waltz into Sapph and KT and he also picks up a nice cloak/trinket/helm/weapon because his roll hax decide to kick in and beat out the other members of the raid who so willingly carried this guy through an instance so that they could have a chance at the end loot.

In sum, while loot isn't the only reason to play the game, it is a major part of character development after hitting max level. Plus, it sure is nice to look badass while walking around town!

BlueTiger said...

I'd say that loot distribution is like sex in a relationship - when it works, it's not an issue, but when it doesn't work it overshadows everything!

Chad said...

Great post. I do not have a lot of time to raid but from an outside perspective I would have to think that the council or DKP would be the best way to do it in a guild and let the dice decide on PUGS.

I remember sitting in a group in original eq looking for a drop for days because my rolls were so bad but I understood the system and had noone to blame.

Spexa said...

My guild is personally against DKP, So we try to stick with the "1 need item per wing", Rolling Mainspec first, then Offspec second, for whatever char you went in there with. Seems to have worked out well so far and there is no paperwork (yay!), and can incorporate Pug's when we feel like hitting up the 25's.

Spex <3

jorani said...

I assisted a guild on the weekend with their naxx 25 run. Their loot system really opened my eyes.

Each time you recieved a piece of loot your counter went up by 1.
Person with the lowest counter got loot, else the highest roll between those who had the same counter.

It was really easy and fast. No main or alt or offspec. If you wanted it then you rolled. It also meant that newbies got heaps of loot and those who only needed a couple of pieces got preference. Hybrids who were greedy lost out to pure dps/heals. I was very impressed.

My $0.02