Monday, December 28, 2009

Loot etiquette

Along with the apparent controversial nature of the new LFG system comes along loot etiquette controversies as well. You can't go a day on the forum without seeing a host of threads pertaining to people upset that someone rolled need on a piece of gear they think should be reserved for their class alone, or like me, have general misgivings about the restrictions of the new rolling system. As explained by Blizzard:

There has been some confusion regarding looting items when using the new Dungeon Finder system so we would like to take a moment and provide an explanation for some of these new features.

Anytime players are matched up with other players using the Dungeon Finder system, the looting option is automatically set to “Need Before Greed” which is designed to be a fair system that rewards items to the classes they are designed for. While there can be some finer details on how this works, here is an overview on this system:

  • The “need” option is only available for both armor and weapons that are designed for your class. Caster classes and hybrid caster classes can roll “need” on items with intellect and/or spell power while melee classes cannot. Melee classes and hybrid melee classes can roll “need” on the items without intellect and/or spell power. There is an additional restriction that only allows characters to roll for armor items if it’s the armor type that is designed for their class. So since cloth armor is designed for mages, priests, and warlocks only they can roll “need” on these armor types. Then leather armor is for druids and rogues, mail armor for hunters and shaman, and plate for death knights, paladins, and warriors. Keep in mind that these restrictions only apply to items above a certain item level since the breakdown of stats is very different in the early leveling area of the game.
  • We also introduced a “disenchant” option that is open to all classes on all items whenever a player with the sufficient level of skill in enchanting is in the group to disenchant the item that just dropped. If the winner of the item has selected this option the item will automatically be disenchanted and the resulting material(s) placed in the character’s bags instead of the item. Just like it was before the patch, disenchanting any item is not reversible and the item is permanently removed so you should only select this option if you have no plans to use the item or trade it to another player.

  • The “greed” option is open to all classes and all item types but the players who roll greed will also roll against those who select disenchant. The reason for this is that if an item is not a high priority and/or eligible to be rolled “need” on, then other players running the dungeon have an equal chance to get a reward for defeating the encounter.
As far as how the whole Dungeon Finder system works, it matches up characters with others in their entire Battlegroup instead of just their individual realm. Once a dungeon is completed players go back to their respective realms where they cannot communicate or trade with players on other realms, so any items you gained in the dungeon can no longer be traded to another character in the group. If you are considering giving an item to another player, you must do so before either character leaves the dungeon.

We appreciate all of the feedback from the community so far and we will continue to monitor and resolve any questions or issues as they come up.
No more rolling need on Leather or cloth spell power items if you are a Holy Pally. And no more rolling on Cloth spell power items if you are a Resto or Balance Druid for example. The real problem with this is that greed rolls and Disenchant rolls are giving the same priority, so if you want something and can't roll need on it you'll have to roll greed. If anyone else rolls DE and wins, you don't have the option to ask for the item afterward because it's auto-DE'd and the winner gets the mats and not the item itself. This of course only occurs if you have an enchanter in your group, but I can say from my own personal observations running four characters through dungeons daily, that most groups have enchanters in them.

To get around these artificial limits a great many are simply rolling need on anything they can, instead of observing what were considered to be the "universal loot etiquette" that has held sway up until this point. Not surprisingly the "new" practice is causing somewhat of an uproar. Not uncharacteristically Blizzard has responded, I think recognizing the conundrum they've created:
I know in the past the general rule was to roll need for main spec, greed for offspec, and then pass for the disenchant. With the new system it works a little differently in my play experience. Now my groups tend to roll need on anything that is a main spec or offspec upgrade, then greed/disenchant if you have no use for the item. If anybody really wants the item they speak up on it and we work it out from there.
Which of course calls into question the entire need of a greed roll to begin with. Except that is causes loot drama on the runs where it occurs. This is a case where I can see both sides of the debate. I'd be equally perturbed to lose a piece I actually needed rolling greed to someone that DE'd it as I would rolling need only to lose to someone rolling need for the piece as off spec. So what are we to do collectively about this? Unless Blizzard either rolls back the loot preference rules, allowing us to go back to the older need/greed etiquette and giving DE a lower priority than greed rolls, or I think we'll have to simply accept that off spec rolls are going to be need rolls from here on.