Casual Raiding Loot Rules

Determining loot rules that keep everyone happy seems to be one of the biggest guild / raid challenges.  While keeping all raiders happy may be a stretch, we should at least hope everyone feels comfortable with the loot rules and no one  feels as though he/she has being cheated in some way.

Underlying Goals and Rules

The first step is to determine the underlying goals of raid loot, and then figure out how to best put those goals into rules that allow the group to accomplish those goals.  I think it’s also important to communicate the goals to the raiders.  There are often loop-holes in the rules that can be abused.  Reminding players of the underlying goals will help encourage them to not take advantage of the loop-holes.

Here are my personal goals regarding raid loot:

  • Easy to understand
  • Spread the loot around
  • Be considerate of others
  • DKP-like systems will not be used
  • Everyone has a chance at loot if they have participated in the raid

The next step is to formulate rules that can be shared with the raid to explain how the loot distribution will work.   The following summarizes a several loot rule options I’ve seen in the past.

Main Spec / Off Spec / Greed – Basic

Three sets of rolls are performed, in order, until someone rolls in the category: Main Spec, Off Spec, Greed (Open roll).  Highest roll wins.

This was probably the simplest set of rules to understand; however, if someone is having a lucky night, the loot might not be spread around between players.  This system worked great for a long time when all of the raiders were in the habit of passing items if they had already won something or if they knew it was a better item for someone else.

We realized these rules needed to be refined after a newer raider had a lucky night in Karazhan and won somewhere around 6 items without thinking to spread the loot around a little.  Unfortunately, nothing in the “rules” stated they couldn’t win every roll.

Need Before Greed – Gaming the System Edition

Three sets of rolls are performed, in order, until someone rolls in the category: Need (Main Spec only), Greed (Main Spec or Off Spec), Open roll.  Highest roll wins.  This is generally implemented when trying to enforce spreading the loot around by only allowing one Need roll in a night.

This methodology is a little different than Main Spec / Off Spec in that players might choose to roll Greed on an Main Spec item if they don’t want it as badly.  

I am generally not a big fan of this system.  The issue here comes into play when you have a single player that can wear a type of gear (ex: plate healing gear); however, they are also interested in a weapon, ring, or tier token that other players are also interested.  If a players doesn’t individually value the goal of spreading the loot around, then they will likely realize they can roll Greed on any plate gear that they want and then save their Need roll for the night for the weapon that drops.  This might allow them to win 2 or more items in a night, leaving others with nothing.   I consider this “gaming the system”.

Fun Fact: we actually had one raider quit raiding (a Pally healer, see example above) after we took away the easy ability to game the system with these rules.  Her individual loot goals did not match those listed above.

Main Spec / Off Spec / Greed – Spreading the Love Edition

After a few bad nights of raiders feeling like certain individuals were taking advantage of the rules, we attempted to come up with rules that would hopefully enforce all of our goals, especially the goal to spread the loot around.

Rolls follow this order (continuing until someone wins a roll):

  1. Main Spec – highest roll for a person who has not yet won a main spec roll for the evening wins. If no one rolls that has not won an item, then the loot goes to the highest roll for the player who has won the fewest main spec rolls. Players can win more than one item with this methodology.
  2. Off Spec – highest roll wins (also using the methodology of highest roll with fewest off-spec wins). This does not count toward wins used in determining a main spec winner.
  3. Greed (Item or Crystal) – held to the end of the raid. Players who have not won anything can roll on greed items.
  4. Professions – highest roll wins. Rolls are initially for players who can use the item immediately followed by a roll for using it later. Skinning / mining etc for non-bosses should be shared. Bosses will be rolled on separately.
  5. BOE Epics – BOE Epics will be rolled on for Main spec and offspec as noted above. If we are running with non-guild members, we will follow these rolls with an open Greed roll on the item, otherwise, unclaimed items will be put in the vault to be put to use by other raiders. Raiders winning a main or offspec roll on a BOE item must equip the item to make it soulbound.

“Main Spec” definition: Your main spec should match the spec / role you signed up for. This may not always match the role you are playing for a fight. Your spec can not change during a night. If you have questions on which spec you can roll for, please clarify it with raid leadership before we get to the first loot items. If you have been asked to play a different spec for the majority of the raid, you will be given a choice of which spec you want to consider “main” for the night. This designation must be made prior to any loot dropping. If it is not specified, then your known “main spec” will be the spec you should use for rolling purposes for the night.

Winning an item that is clearly for your main spec will count toward your Main Spec win count, even if you waited to roll Off Spec.

This seemed to work well; however, there are still some areas of concern.  The biggest area of concern is when players really want an item off the last boss of the night, so they hesitate to roll on items earlier in the night.  We’ve seen items go to Greed rolls at the end of the night even though someone in the raid really wanted them.   The player in question just really didn’t want to miss out on the later item.

This leads us to our latest idea.

Main Spec / Off Spec / Greed – Pooled Loot Edition

Duck (my hubby) and I came up with an idea for a Pooled Loot system that might work to further the desire to find loot rules that support the goals of the raid group and address the concern with the “Spreading the Love” version of the loot rules.  These rules haven’t been implemented yet, but we want to share our thoughts to see what others think.

The assumption to make is that we have a 3 hour raid night, that currently includes 6 or 7 bosses in Firelands.  The majority of the boss kills occur in a 2 hour window which starts after the trash is cleared at the start and ends generally with only the last boss (Ragnaros) remaining.

The idea is that the master looter will initially pick up all loot or pass it to an officer to hold during the 2 hour window (gear can be traded within 2 hours).  This will have a positive side effect of speeding up the raid since we won’t be taking time to roll on the items at this time.

All loot from the kills will be “pooled” together with the following items kept separate:

  • Tier tokens (if Majordomo and/or Ragnaros is killed in the 2 hour window)
  • Ragnaros Gear (iLvl = 384)

Items in this group will be rolled on in a separate “special pool”.

The raid will take a break for loot rolls (for the items in the initial pool of loot) 1 hour and 45 minutes after the first boss kill.

The following rolls will be performed:

  1. Main Spec – Everyone will roll if any of the items in the pool can be used in their main spec.  The person with the highest roll will get their pick of the items that match their main spec.  The process will continue with the person with the next highest roll picking a main spec item, and so forth.
  2. Subsequent Main Spec Roll(s) – If items remain after the first main spec rolls that can still be used as main spec, then a second set of rolls will be performed by anyone who can still use the remaining items as main spec.  Distribution starts at the highest roll.  This process will continue until no items that remain can be used by anyone for their main spec.
  3. Off Spec – Everyone will roll if any of the items remaining in the pool can be used in their off spec. The person with the highest roll will get their pick of the items that match their off spec.  The process will continue with the person with the next highest roll picking an off spec item, and so forth.  This process might also require subsequent rolls.
  4. Greed Roll – If items remain after the main and off spec rolls, then everyone who has not yet won something will roll on the remaining items.  The person with the highest roll will get their pick of the items.  These might include BOEs, Shards or soulbound items that can be vendored.

After the initial pool of loot has been distributed, then the raid will continue until 15 minutes before the end of the raid time.  At this time, the same process outlined above will be used for items in the “special pool”.  Everyone is eligible to roll for these items, even if they have won an item above.

Here are the key points we are hoping this method addresses:

  • There is still room for consideration of others, while making sure the loot is spread around
  • Still allows for multiple main spec wins if your class is lucky that night
  • Reduces the worry of saving a roll for one of the special items
  • Knowledge of all loot items when choosing the drop you value the most
  • Everyone is eligible to roll, and everyone still gets a chance at the tier tokens

This is still in the brainstorming phase, and we are still refining our thoughts on this methodology.  It will be interesting to see what the loot dynamic will be like in the next raiding tier as well.

Please provide suggestions or past experiences that might help in the refinement process.

Happy Raiding!

~Daff

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