Friday, October 16, 2009

Loot Rules Make PUGs Complicated

Every weekend, at 12PM server (3PM Eastern), I run a 25 Tournament of the Crusader for guild alts, applicants, raiders who were sat/unable to make the main raid, and, inevitably, PUGs. These runs have been very successful, and even on the worst week we never failed to down Anub'arak. Now I have people whisper me throughout the week, people I barely know, to ask "When is the raid? Is it always at the same time? Can I have a calendar invite?" and I check up on their gear and achievements (I don't require full achievements but I like to see at least some ten man experience) and then I say "sure" and add them to the list.

To make my life "easier" I came up with some simple loot rules, and had them approved by my guild leader (as it is technically a guild run). The rules are as follows:
  1. Your main spec is what you are here as. If it is for your offspec, you do not roll unless no one needs it mainspec.
  2. Roll for patterns only if you have the skill to make it. Does not count against you.
  3. When you have won a piece of gear, people who have not won anything will be given preference over you. I am keeping track.
  4. If everyone rolling for an item has won something, it will be given out normally (highest roll wins).
  5. Crusader orbs are reserved, All other loot is fair game.
  6. If you win an item uncontested it does not count against you but don't be greedy.
  7. Do not talk in raid while loot is going out.
Simple, straightforward, macro'd and spammed at the beginning of every raid before the first pull. Crusader orbs are reserved because, since this is technically a guild run, they're transferred to the guild bank where they are then distributed to raiders who need them for crafting raid gear. Also, this ensures they get used, whereas the first time I tried it with Runed Orbs, they were later found on the auction house when I had stated to please only roll if you need them for crafting.

Lesson Learned.

You would think with such a set of rules, loot would be a relatively simple thing to distribute. Yet every. single. week. something comes up to give me a pixellated headache. Regular members of the raid try to tweak my rules by adding things like "if you fail, you get no loot." Which would be fine if a) I was a competent judge of all class failures and successes and b) you didn't wait til the !@#$ encounter started to modify my loot rules. And yet there's pressure for me to add that clause in, as everyone hates for loot to go to people who pulled aggro on the worms and got the raid spewed or ran out with Incinerate so people couldn't heal them or blew everyone up on Twins.

I'm pretty sure that's going to bring about plenty of arbitrary and opinion-oriented loot arguments, so I'm still fenced about that.

And then there's things like item trading. Last week, someone who had used their main spec roll then decided to trade the piece to another raider, without telling me at the time that they had decided to pass. This other raider narrowly missed beating someone else out for a main spec roll, and I only know about it because the original person later rolled and won on a trophy, and when I went to pass them the whole thing came to light. So now I need to make a clause about trading items and using your main spec roll because this is just annoying, honestly.

It seems the more rules you have, the more rules you need. And every week I get someone(s) unhappy over pixels. It's the most ridiculous thing ever. I've given my loot away to other people without returning my own main spec roll. I've watched items that would have been amazing upgrades for Bellbell vanish into the inventory of a healer who did half her healing and gone "Oh well." So perhaps it's just my damage, but getting so many complaints week after week over loot confuses me.

Or maybe my damage is that, despite this, I continue to set these raids up every week...


Anonymous said...

I also run many PUG 25s but hate the "if you fail you can't roll" type loot rule. If a player, fail or not, got into the raid and used up their ID for the week they are entitled to loot imo. It's just not fair to use them for the kill then decide after they are fail and don't deserve loot. If they knew up front they wouldn't be able to get loot, in almost all cases, they would not have came.

I can't say I'm ever happy giving a healer that did 1/4th the healig I did loot over me but it happens.

The solution I take is if somebody points out a "fail" player because they won loot over them I make a note of it. Later I look over things best I can and if the player in question was "fail" they wont be getting back into the raid.

Otherwise everybody present for the kill is open to roll in my raids.

Seks said...

The basic issue is that any time you run a pug, unlike a guild run people are only there for one reason: to get the purplez. This means that yeah, they're going to care a lot about how the loot is distributed.

I personally do like the "if you fail you don't get loot over someone who's carrying you" rule, but as you said, you have to state it clearly before the raid. You do have to have a clear understanding of what an acceptable performance is, just saying "if you die you get nothing" isn't fair because sometimes it's not your fault.

That said, stick to your guns, Bell. Don't bow to pressure about how you run your PUGs. You certainly can't change your mind about loot rules midraid, and people(especially guildies, I'm looking at you) should know better than to expect you to do so. If people don't like it, they don't have to come. :P

Neil said...

Anon's suggestion of making a note of which players are bad, and not bringing them back in the future, is a good one. Keep a small notebook near your computer (or a txt file if you prefer) with lists of players and classes and things to remember about them. I recall a hunter who in some post-3.0.2 Hyjal pugs insisted on dragging fire trails through the entire raid. To this day I refuse to pug with him.

You could also try using Beasts as a gauge for determining who pulls their weight and who doesn't. Make it known up front that if someone's doing 1500 DPS or 1/4 of your healing, you'll kick 'em and find someone else. It sounds like you're not lacking for prospective raiders here.

Another way to simplify the loot would be to remove the "one mainspec win" rule. You run the risk of a slacker getting a ton of gear this way (I remember seeing this happen in Naxx25 six months ago) but it makes your life, as the raid leader/master looter, much simpler.

Which brings me to my third suggestion: let a trusted friend manage loot. It sounds like you're already organizing invites and leading the raid. That's a lot of work. If you let someone else handle master looting, you can start focusing on the next boss (or just take five) while he takes care of it. One of my previous guilds ran only 10-person raids but also organized 25-person pugs, and after one terrible Naxx-25 where I did all the work, we actually had separate people handle invites, looting, and raid leading. It made things SO much easier.

Good luck!

Kalon said...

I'm really becoming a fan of the GDKP concept. It's simple, fair, gives everyone impetus to stick around and gives people good reasons to run the thing - especially if they're massively overgeared.

The disadvantage is that it likely would take a bit longer, but I think that could be worked around some if people know.

Diorinix said...

While my guild was running Ulduar 25 pugs for the EXACT same reasons as you stated, we came up with this fairly simple loot system:

/roll 100 on Main Spec items. Max 2 wins per night.

/roll 1-99 off-spec/side grade items. Infinite wins per night, but loses automatically to a need roll.

Orbs/shards went to us (the guild who's running it). Usually went smooth, and when the tracker noticed that someone was gaming the system (only rolling 1-99 on everything, even though it was a clear upgrade), we'd have a guildie who didn't exactly need it do a need roll and teach that guy a lesson. Over the 4 or 5 weeks we ran this, we must have recruited half a dozen or so quality folks.

Kayeri said...

Bell, your loot rules are simple and straightforward, and we use a very similar system. Anyone rolling main spec rolls 1-100, offspec rolls 1-500. We have no fail clause, because like it or not, they are here and trying. The trading thing is just something we all have to live with. You can tell them to pass word if they trade an item, but the fact is, they may or may not and the loot master will never know.

Hang in there, and keep it up! We don't do a ToC, although maybe we should... but we do run an Ony25 semipug on Sundays.

Armond said...

I've done the fail rule thing the only time I've had the patience to lead a full 25-man pug. It ended up with my computer crapping out and me being hit by two flame walls. Needless to say, I got no loot.

Though I would like to say, I think your first rule could be modified a bit to "you declare your main spec before coming in, but don't be a dick about it". That way, the enhancement shaman who is doing your raid a favor by healing today and the mage in nearly best in slot for fire that wants an arcane set don't get screwed over. It is a problem if you have six or seven hybrids all rolling on tank gear, though, so you'd have to talk out those kind of situations.

Verile said...

I used to run into issues similar to this when I ran raids in a previous guild.

We had problems filling up 25 mans and had to invite PuGs to do them. The fact that we used a DKP system further complicated things.

What I eventually found out is the simpler the rules, the better. So, anytime there were PuGs invited our DKP system wasn't used and we used a /random system.

This sucked but at least we still got to raid. Sometimes there would be items that we would reserve for the raid, but we always made these and our loot rules clear before we started.

Personally, I think your current system is acceptable. I would avoid adding in a performance clause into your rules. While it sounds like a good theory, you would only complicate things for yourself.

hardlyhearshimself said...

I need to reroll alliance. Horde pugs blow.

Cybac said...

Seems straight foward enough, dont despair, tell them pugs that if they dont like them there rules that they can try and find another 25 man ToC thats run every week with space for pugs and not full of guildies AND clears Anub without fail.

There are only a few per server and not a great deal of them are regular so your in a position to stand your ground.

Good luck hope you dont get too many headaches. :)

Anonymous said...

What loot rules do you have for feral tanks? My guild cant quite put together a full 25man run yet so we have to PUG a some. I see our feral tanks getting out rolled by feral dps and rogues every week. Some of the guild offices have been talking but not sure what to do. I feel tanks have priority and should get the loot if they need it then dps but as you could imagine that would cause a problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Conrad said...

in my extensive experience raid leading/pugging ive discovered an important fact. if you started the pug, found all the members, organized it etc, you get to make the rules. no matter how crazy they are you get to make them. if people dont like it then they dont have to go on the run. bitching after the fact always happens, but that is just people being retards, and i tend to ignore them.

i also am a big fan of a fail clause. someone commented to your post saying "We have no fail clause, because like it or not, they are here and trying," which IMO is not always true. ive ran pletny of pugs where people in the best gear possible dis abysmal damage, died all the time, and afk'd every trash pull. that is not trying. just being in the run is not trying, its being carried for loot. something which i rarely tolerate.

i am also not a fan of one main spec loot per person. more often i simply say roll on whatever you want, but if you are a loot whore i reserve the right to tell you to go fuck yourself.

again its your raid, your rules. if people dont like it they can find another raid.