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“What’s in it for me?”

Wednesday night West Kingdom experienced loot drama. It wasn’t even about loot per se.. it was about shards .. and the lack of loot. We went to Kara. We were: Gongniu (Warrior Tank), Pheefee (Warrior off-tank), Validor (Holy Pally), Weaver (Holy Priest), Tatia (Holy Pally)(for everything except Opera), Shoktul (Boomkin), Krullwyn (BM Hunter), Stilletta (Rogue), Sibiy (BM Hunter), and Fynriss (BM Hunter) (for Attuman and Opera), and Amellea (for everything except Attuman). The kills went very smoothly and I don’t think we had any wipes. There was a little bit of confusion with people rotating in and out of the raid for different bosses but I think it worked out in the end (Fynriss got the gun from BBW that he’d been wanting).

WK loot rules:
– if a BOP drop is an upgrade for you in your current raid role, you need to roll against anyone for whom is it also and in-role upgrade and the winner gets to pick it up for free.
– if a BOP drop is an upgrade for you outside your current raid role, you need to roll against anyone else for whom it is also and out-of-role upgrade and the winner gets to pick it up and owes the raid shardprice for the item (ie, 1 void crystal for Kara purples).
– At the end of the raid shards will be distributed to those unluckies who haven’t gotten any loot.

The loot drama occurred as we starting to distribute Void crystals. We had a difference of understanding of “haven’t gotten any loot”.

Interpretation 1: If I picked up something for my off-set.. and I had to pay a shard for it.. then shouldn’t I be eligible for a shard at the end of the run? I -paid- for my item. It’s not loot.. it’s something I bought. Therefore I should be allowed to roll on the shards at the end of the run.

Interpretation 2: If I pick up something for my off-set.. I should have to pay a shard for it. I have received loot. At the end of the run, anyone else without loot should be allowed to roll on shard. That way everyone comes away with something.

I can see both sides.. and the guild has decided to go with interpretation 2.. but I think this is unfairly penalizing those who collect loot for off-sets.

If 4 pieces of loot drop and no one wants them this yields 4 shards. If no other loot dropped then at the end of the run we’d distribute 4 shards to 10 people.

If 4 pieces of loot dropped.. and I picked one piece up for my offset and I paid a shard for it.. then at the end of the run there’s 4 shards to distribute (3 “real” shards and 1 owed shard).
– If I’m not allowed to roll on the shards at the end of the run then we’d now have 4 shards to distribute to 9 people. Meaning those people who do-not collect an off-set would have a greater chance to get shards. AND those who -do- collect an off-set will end up paying more shards to the rest of the raid.
– If I am allowed to roll on shards at the end of the run.. then we’d have 4 shards to distribute to 10 people. If I win a shard then my shard is in the form of loot.

If I’m forced to pay a shard for an item.. then I should be allowed to roll on the shards at the end.

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12 comments to “What’s in it for me?”

  • I don’t want to sound like a prick, but that loot system is TERRIBLE. Forcing your members to pay for loot that they helped win (and already paid for in consumables and repair bills) is utterly absurd.

    Furthermore, you’re completely screwing your hybrid classes. For example, I’m a feral druid – under your system I could get tanking pieces for “free”, but would have to pay for any DPS/resto pieces that no one else wanted. But there are many many encounters where it is favorable FOR THE WHOLE RAID that I DPS in kitty form and let the prot warrior tank. (Maiden of Virtue, for example). Under your guild’s loot system, I would have to pay in shards to do the job that you will ask me to do to the best of my abilities. How is that incentive to improve my DPS set? So long as I’m not taking dps leather before primary DPS leather classes, why the heck should there be a cost to me to improve myself for the good tof the entire raid.

    I would petition to revise that absurd loot system, and do so quickly. It’s in the best interests of your guild.

  • Nibuca

    You don’t sound like a prick.. and I agree. Our loot rules need revisiting but I’m not sure what to suggest that would be acceptable and fair to everyone (keeping in mind that the GM is adamantly against any kind of DKP).

    The problem we’re running into is pure vs hybrid classes. A pure class, say a mage, will be taking one kind of loot, caster cloth DPS in this case. A hybrid class will be taking two or three kinds of loot (more if they’re not real picky about sticking to their armor type. Tatia could take tanking or healer gear.. on healer gear she -could- roll on plate, mail, leather or cloth. (Personally I’ve chosen to always wear plate so in -my- case armor type is a non-issue).

    Is it -fair- to the non-hybrids to let a hybrid take 2-3 times as much loot out of Kara simply because she -could- change roles?

    At the end of the night, when a hybrid has picked up 2-3 pieces of off-spec gear.. is it fair that the “pure” classes have no shards to choose from because all the “extra” loot was usable by an off-spec? Should the hybrid get those items for free?

    Everyone ends up with repair bills.. but the hybrids are also coming out with 2-3 times as much loot.

    I don’t know the answer.. and honestly the above comment is mostly my playing devil’s advocate. I can see both sides.. and honestly I don’t see a way out of it.

  • It’s not even good for the not-exactly-hybrid classes. I’ve done Kara runs where I was the only on-spec healer, but I had a couple of shadow priests. For trash, I solo healed, but on boss fights one of my shadow priests switched to his healing set, picked up as scraps when on-spec healers didn’t need it. Without that ability, I’d have had to call off the raid for lack of healers.

    I’ve also done Kara runs with only one tank. When we needed two, I strapped on the tank gear I picked up as scraps and played holy/prot tank, with one of the off-spec healers taking my spot as a healer. Again, it allowed us to do a run that we would otherwise have had to cancel.

    I think most of my druids, shamen, priests, and paladins have multiple sets because I push them to take gear if there’s any chance it will be useful. Shards and crystals are nothing. You can pick them up on the AH for the price of a couple of dailies.

    I’m somewhat less enthusiastic about special-use items that don’t directly benefit the raid — mage/warlock items that will be used for PVP, for instance — but even those are going to benefit my raids later when they’ve used those pieces to get arena gear. I know that all the other healers have greatly benefited from my arena time because I pass on nearly everything for them.

  • I’m not sure how fair a system is really possible with the randomness of loot. I’ve spent probably 400+ hours in Kara between my mage and my paladin, and I have only a few items to show for it, and I’m spending at least 60g per week on repairs and consubables — at *least*. That lack of loot is despite the fact that as a paladin and a mage, I theoretically have access to a large percentage of what drops in there. It doesn’t help that I pass in favor of people who’ll get more of an upgrade, but I’ve also had ridiculously bad luck there. Some of my most valuable raiders have had the same sort of crap luck while others waltz in on their first run and come out with 4 epic upgrades. (My paladin has disenchanted no fewer than 6 times the frost mage gloves that never drop for my frost mage. *whine* *bitch* *grumble*)

    Badges are a great step forward for those of us with bad loot luck. It provides rewards based on how much time you spend in there, assuming at least moderate success, rather than pure luck on top of moderate success.

    I dont see a way to avoid shafting people at times. Even with DKP, you’re mostly rewarding the people who show up, regardless of contribution. If we were still doing DKP, one of the top people would be a warlock who does at best half the damage he should. He’s always there, and always pleasant, but his tangible contribution is disproportionate to the DKP he had.

  • Blackheart

    We use a system close to yours only no one pays for loot.
    1) roll if an upgrade in your raid roll.
    2) roll for an off set
    3) force people to roll on something because everyone is passing because it is only a minor upgrade
    4) force someone to take it as a default (because we hate sharding things)
    5) finally shard it
    We have a one epic per run guideline. Unless someone got an epic by default, or people are just being real nice. This system works well for us because we have mostly been playing together for a couple years and are all adults. Have we been burned with this, of course. People have gotten their loots and /gquit. But for us, it saves us a lot of headaches and keeps the fun going. And if a raid becomes more work then fun, why go.

  • @Nibuca:

    I think the attitude needs to be “this gear is for the good of the raid”, not “this gear is for that player, it’s no fair he gets more loot”. As Al so eloquently illustrates, gearing up hybrid’s offspecs when the gear would otherwise be destroyed benefits the entire raid, and helps the entire raid succeed and progress – what more could you ask for?

    Furthermore, it’s not like I dance a happy dance when I gear an offspec epic – really, it doesn’t compare to the thrill of upgrading my tanking set.

    As for systems – when I ran with Al’s guild it was random rolls between interested parties… that went smooth, and caused minimal drame. The system Blackheart describes sounds even better. My current guild uses a loot council to decide who gear goes to, always keeping the good of the guild in mind. I prefer it to random rolls, because it weeds out the jackasses who will roll of sidegrades and not consider how massive an upgrade it is for another core raid member.

    Anything is better than forcing guidies to pay for gear that they need to help make your raid successful.

  • My guild goes to great lengths to avoid sharding loot. To be honest, void crystals are terribly easy to come by. On my last heroic run, when we rolled for shards, the lowest roll got the void crystal. On Skywall, voids are cheaper than large prismatic crystals.

    Though we use DKP, it’s basically understood that you get priority on whatever your “main” spec is. If you’re a tank, you get first crack at tank gear. But after all the main tanks have the item, anyone in the guild can pick it up. This way all our hybrids maintain additional sets, and we don’t “waste” loot.

    We’d much rather see a Holy paladin get an awesome tanking ring than shard that ring.

  • Daegothh

    Well, here’s my problem…

    It seems that one or two people in the raid are always getting off-spec stuff for themselves. It kinda seems beyond just boosting the raid and more like loot-whoring… which I detest!!

    If we let this activity profit by allowing a roll at the end for a shard, then one person stands a decent chance of walking away with twice the amount of loot that others get.

    Honestly, I want to see people gear up instead of turning our loot into shards. But I want it to be fair to everyone. We are all paying the time, gold, anguish, etc etc to be there for a chance to improve our toons.

    Lastly, and I will say it!! I have seen a strong vein of people in our merri band of misfits that will refuse to go into a place because they don’t need any more loot/faction there. Honestly, in my book that kind of betrayal is just a step above emptying the guild bank and /gquit.


  • @Daegothh:

    This will probably drive you nuts then, but last night my guild ran Kara for a full clear. One shaman pulled out 3 pieces of main spec gear and 5 pieces of healing gear. Guess what though: no one complained because they didn’t need the gear, and she might be called on to heal in a pinch so it is in our best interests as a guild to gear her up. 7/10 people got gear that run…. and there was not one word of complaint from the 3 who didn’t, nor the misguided belief that people who did get loot somehow owed them. (As for all the shards & greens…. they went to the guild bank to be used for the good of the entire guild.)

    I’ve address the West Kingdom loot system in a full blog post here:

  • I should mention that the run featured a fury warrior offtanking when required, and an elemental shaman (not the one w/ loot) offhealing as needed. (We had one main tank, and two main healers)

  • sepeck

    We don’t go for the DKP systems either.

    We have a deal. One roll per person (it should be something you can use). You see something you want, roll for it. If you win, that’s it for the evening.

    Now, if something is going to go to shard? Then the loot master and raid leader can and will pass it out to people for the benefit of the raid. This has resulted in a blue geared priest becoming substantially geared up in one run. I have had several runs with only badges and geared up guild members to show for it which is just fine.

    I am main and oft tank depending on the grouping so my repair and consumable bill is on the higher end for those reading.

  • Valis

    Our guild uses almost exactly the system Blackheart describes. On spec rolls need, then off-spec, and then shard. Unopposed rolls ‘meh I guess I’ll take it’ rolls do not count against your 1 epic per run, though if its an obvious big up and its unopposed it still does. And if nobody needs it or can use it the shards go in the guild bank for guild enchants.

    Worst case scenario, we had one healer come in, get like 7 Kara purples between two runs and gquit and joined a more progressed guild. But the reason she got the drops was that nobody else needed them, and if someone is going to be like that I’d RATHER she leave the guild.

    One of our tanks went the other way — he got a lucky couple of runs and got purpled out and was all ‘I’m never leaving this guild.’ So in both cases things worked out best for the guild. In one case we got rid of a person who is not interested in the good of the guild and in the other we got the gratitude and loyalty of someone who is now helping progress our guild into new content. Win/win.