Monday, April 25, 2011

Dungeon loot rules and ethics

If you've been running dungeons using the random dungeon tool then the question of how loot should be distributed must have crossed your mind. When running with friends of guild members, this usually isn't a problem because the rules are set beforehand. Running with complete strangers is a different beast altogether. As we all know, internet anonimity tends to bring the worst out of certain people. In WoW, these people are usually called "ninjas" or "griefers".

Here's an anecdote to start this discussion off. A while ago I was tanking a random Dire Maul run with my druid. At one point, an epic BOE caster shield drops from a boss. One of the dps, another druid (druids can't use shields FYI :), says, "Can I need this for my shaman?". I say "No, it's a BOE epic, we all Greed for it". While the others rolled greed, I could sense that the other druid was struggling with himself. I might be mistaken but I got the vibe that he was thinking about Needing the shield. Eventually he rolled greed. Another dps (a mage I think), won the shield. Gratz to him. The druid made a nasty remark. I defused the situation by making a light-hearted comment. We moved on.

What follows is a break-up of the dungeon loot rules that I follow in random instances. These are by no means the be-all, end-all of loot rules but they seem pretty solid to me. Feel free to add your own rules or correct mine if you feel they are bad.

Green items (BoE)
I always GREED green items or choose the DISENCHANT option (if available). I don't bother needing greens because I'm usually better equipped than that. The only exception is at low levels when I'm sporting crappy gear. Then, I will NEED if the item is an upgrade. I won't need greens for off-spec, regardless.
I won't raise a fuss if someone needs greens, unless they need every green that drops, which has happened on several occasions.

Blue items (BoP)
NEED if it's main spec and an upgrade.
GREED otherwise or DISENCHANT.
NEED for off-spec only if no one else needs it for their main spec and not before asking the rest of the group if it is ok to do so.

Blue items (BoE)
NEED if it's main spec and an upgrade.
GREED otherwise. I don't usually pick disenchant because 1) I can make more gold selling it on the AH and 2) if the need arises I can always DE it myself.
NEEDing for off-spec is a tricky situation here. I won't do it but I won't mind too much if others do.

Epic items (BoP)
NEED if it's main spec and an upgrade.
GREED otherwise. DISENCHANT only at high levels (i.e. heroics or such) where the crystals are actually worth more than the vendor price of the item.
NEEDing for off-spec only if no one else needs it for their main spec and not before asking the rest of the group if it is ok to do so.

Epic items (BoE)
NEED if it's main spec and an upgrade.
GREED otherwise.
NEEDing for off-spec is kind of a no-no for me and NEEDing for alts is a big NO. The reason why I frown on needing for off-spec is because BoE epics can be sold for some nice cash and anyone can benefit from that, regardless of class or spec.

As you can see, the main point of contention is the epic (purple) BoE item. If an epic BoE drops and there's no one who can use it for their main spec, there will always be someone who will try to claim it for their off-spec or another character. It is possible that they are 100% honest, that they really DO need it for their off-spec but how would the rest of us know and why should we care? The rest of us could use the cash from selling that epic just as well. Furthermore, why aren't they running with that off-spec if they like it so much? When something like this does happen, usually the group asks the person to equip the item and that will ensure that they didn't need it just for selling.

A good BoE epic example is the Battered Hilt, back in Wrath when it was easily worth a few thousand gold. Let me tell you something. Anyone is entitled to roll need on the hilt in a random group, regardless if they have completed the quest chain or not. For several thousand gold, all niceties are put aside and I certainly won't mind if someone else wins the roll, as long as we all have equal chances of winning.

A way to make sure no one ninjas a valuable BoE purple is to have everyone roll need on it. Usually this doesn't work, unless agreed upon from the beginning, because some people are quick to roll greed so the rules of ethics dictate that I too will roll greed. Thankfully, it seems that Blizzard is feeling our pain because they will implement a feature in one of the next patches in which whenever someone needs a BoE epic, it will bind to them. Greeding will leave it unbound.

And then there are the super polite people who will ask if they can need an item for their main spec, even when it's BoP. I appreciate that but there's no need (pun not intended) to ask for something that is an upgrade and you can really use.

The bottom line is that there are different kinds of people in WoW, as in real life. There are a few jerks who are either inconsiderate or like to inflict pain on others and then there's the rest of us. Myself, I believe that the cover of anonymity is no excuse for acting like a prick and for that reason I will try to conduct myself in game same as in real life: with honor, dignity and consideration for others.


Bloodshrike said...

I approve of this message. :)

Even with upgrades for my main spec, I still announce that I need it. "Ooooh, I could use that!" -NEED-

I also inspect people that need on stuff in dungeons, and call them on it. When our healer in Ramparts needed on a caster weapon, and I saw they already had the heirloom mace with spellpower. I mentioned it in party chat, and they were almost surprised that I would dare to question their needing on the item.

If you're just going to vendor it, I deserve the same chance for the gold too.

Darth Solo said...

I've noticed that some people (but rarely) need BoP items even if it's not an upgrade. Why, since they can't transfer them to another character? My suspicion is that they vendor them because these days Cata dungeon blues are worth a nice amount, or it could be a simple miscalculation.

Myself I've been guilty a couple of times of needing something that I thought was an upgrade (no time to check during the run because everyone's like "gogogo") only to discover later that it wasn't.

kirwoodd said...

I agree with your points and how you roll. (pun intended)

I do the same, EXCEPT, I wont "need" for offspec, ever. I am not saying that you are wrong for doing it, just that I don't. :D

Darth Solo said...

Well, I think I must have rolled two or three times in all my WoW history for off-spec items but that's only if no one else wants the item and after I ask the group if it is ok for me to need it for off-spec.

I really appreciate when others do the same and I will always give them permission to need.