Guildleader chores - Discussing loot distribution

Sars wanted to talk to the officers after raid, and so he jumped into the Vent channel where we were discussing what was going to happen when BRF hits.

He wanted to talk about Personal loot, which is how we distribute loot on Sunday casual raiders run. It didn't seem to be a very good way of gearing people up.

We then launched into a discussion about how and why we do it that way.  You would think that it would be easy just to do it need and greed rolls, right?  Here are the salient points from that discussion.
  • What if somebody has lucky rolls and wins 5 items and other people win none? That doesn't seem particularly fair.  So if you tell them that each person can get two items, how does that work, do people not roll on items because they're waiting for the chance to roll on another item?
    • We had some ideas for this - if we set the number of won items to two, so that if a person wins multiple items because they were lucky, they can give up one of the other items and keep the two best ones they won. We can ask for the loot to go the next winner on that item they were giving up.  However, it is very time consuming to do that, and slows down a raid.  When the raid is only 2 hours long, you want to maximise the time you spend raiding and less time worrying about loot.
  • We had specified earlier that loot priority goes to the casual raiders who attend that raid. I thought this sounded fair, but what if an item drops that a main raider could really use?  Is it fair that they shouldn't be able to take it if it's an upgrade for them or something they've been waiting for but didn't drop in heroic raid? Especially if they are "helping" the casual raid?
  • You would think that mains > alts would be how the need rolls should work. What about if the raid had no tank or healer, and a main had to swap to that toon to make the raid run.  Does that mean if an item drops, they shouldn't roll on it? How will the be able to tank effectively for the Sunday raid if they don't get to take loot?
    • And how would we set priority? Casual Mains > required alts > offspec/alts?
  • If people came along to help, but aren't allowed to get loot ahead of others, why would they continue to turn up to help? It could mean that people would stop turning up to "help" (because in reality, people only "help" if they get something themselves)
  • If members from the casual raid are allowed to come to the heroic raid on our days and use their EPGP to get loot ahead of main raiders, should that be allowed? Perhaps the same rules should apply to members from Sunday raid subbing into the main raid.  What if those Sunday players were required to help fill a raid for a role - does this also mean they can't loot?  It's similar to one of the points above, but in the reverse aspect.
Sars asked why we don't put it to the raid and have a vote. I said that I didn't want to put it to a vote because people will tend to vote for what suits themselves best, not what minimises the drama in the group and what is best and FAIR for everyone.  That's why I don't let the group decide. However, if something is blazingly obviously wrong and everyone speaks up about it, then of course we will look at it and try to form a workable solution.

I still think that personal loot is the best way to avoid all these problems.  However, after the discussion we also did agree that although personal loot may be better in the first few weeks of a raid, because more loot will go out to start, perhaps we can relook at it after 3 weeks and start gearing people up. I hate loot drama.  It gives me the big poos!  So far it's been ok, with only that hiccup previously when I didn't have it on personal loot (but at that time it also wasn't explained very clearly to everyone how loot was going to be done so there was great confusion).  But I think now with a workable plan, we may be able to work out Sunday's raid better, so that everyone will go in with a clear understanding of how we are going to work out loot priorities for that casual raid when heroic raiders are mixed in.


  1. Ahhh Loot Distribution...the biggest drama of them all. I agree with you not putting it to a vote, you could spend 8 years arguing about what is a better system. The issue is there isn't one (a better, perfect or even good system), and whilst personal loot gets rid of a fair amount of drama it can suck immensely for people who are not the type to pray to RNJeebus. I once did 2 weeks of LFR with no loot at all in all wings and lets not start on the stones dropping only gold for people...

    The only thing that gets my goat about all systems is that it doesn't help the people who need an item as a major upgrade vs someone getting a minor upgrade - unless you go loot council and seriously who wants to sit through that blather for every item..could you imagine doing that for heroic with 6 pieces on each boss? YUCK.

    If people could be trusted to roll need/greed on the casual run you could just stick to casual mains>mains >alts>offspec...leave it at that nice and simple.


    1. Loot is only a drama because people make it one. Why _can't_ you trust people to roll appropriately? I can. Do you really think someone in a guild run would take 5 items without sharing, or roll on items that they don't need? Such a person would soon find themselves no longer invited. Given the opportunity people behave reasonably - we see loot cooperation all the time. Instead, we assume the worst in people and create complicated rules, instilling the idea that loot is all that matters, in turn bringing out the worst in people - greed, arguments about the rules, and tantrums when logical, reasonable exceptions to the rules are made.

    2. Ideally that is great and don't get me wrong, our guild is very cooperative. But loot really brings out the worst in people and rules that are fair and clear to all make everyone feel happier that they are being treated the same.

  2. You can probably guess what is coming, but here it is anyway....

    Any loot distribution system needs to be guided by the intent of the raid. What is the purpose of the raid? In this case afaik the purpose is to have some fun in a raid with the more casual members of the guild, allowing them to see some raiding content in a low pressure environment. If that is the case, then your loot policy has to reflect that. Which means:

    - I don't see a problem with the Personal Loot system being used, it seems fair enough to me. However, if you don't use it, then...

    - You want most of the casual raiders to go away with something if possible. I'd think that a policy of you can only win one item until everyone has one is pretty fair. So, if a cloth piece drops, and a cloth wearer has already won something, they can't roll. If everyone who *can* use it has won something already, then everyone is eligible and can roll.

    - If there is an issue of loot priority, then a massive YES HELL YES the casual raiders get priority over the main raiders. The whole point of the raid is to get the casual members in to see some stuff. Main raiders are there to help, not for loot. If they get loot, great. But they are at the bottom of the priority list for this raid. To do otherwise is to send a huge fuck you message to the casual people that the run was designed for.

    - If main raiders are going to flounce and not come to these raids because of greed, then screw them. Tell them to grow the fuck up. Nobody is forcing you to help out at these things, but if you do, it's because you want to contribute, not because you want something from it. That's like someone volunteering to coach a kid's sports team and then quitting a few weeks later because the parents won't pay them for their time.

    - When my guild raided, we generally had an alt or two in the raid as a matter of necessity to fill a role. We just treated any alts that had been "drafted" as mains for that raid for loot purposes. Alts that you want to bring because you can, e.g. your mage alt instead of your spriest main - are always counted as alts.

    As Dragonray pointed out above, there is a good case for loot council to maximise the upgrades that people are getting, but that is probably overkill for a casual run.


    1. I don't agree with your logic. 'Mains' wanting access to items they need are greedy and fuck them if they don't want to come to a 4th raid night because they aren't equal participants, right?

      What you don't consider is that mains likely already have most of the loot that could drop, if not better. If they are trying to fill a hole, let them roll and have RNG sort it out, otherwise they will use their lockout on a raid where they can do so ie out of guild.

      Mains won't be replacing mythic/heroic highmaul gear with normal BRF gear.

    2. As I said, it all depends on what your aim for the run is. If the purpose is to get your casual guild members into raids and give them a taste of the raiding experience, then they are the focus, and any main raiders are purely there out of the goodness of their hearts. They don't deserve to have equal priority because the point of the raid is to prioritise the casual raiders. They already get loot from the main raiding nights - the casual raiders only get this one chance.

      From the way that Navi describes the Sunday raid, it looks like the purpose is to be social, to get casual raiders in and have some fun with guildies with little pressure. I could be wrong with that assessment. If the point is to give main raiders another chance at filling in their loot holes, then of course it is fine for them to have an equal chance at loot - or even getting priority, if that's how you want to run it. But given my understanding of the purpose of these social raids, I have no qualms calling out main raiders who object to the loot rules as being greedy.

      Like I said, nobody is forcing main raiders to attend the casual raids. If you don't want to go, that's fine. I can definitely understand wanting to avoid burnout, or spend that time chasing loot in other raids. I'd be very concerned if Navi or other officers tried to browbeat raiders into helping out, or punished them for not going. I know I certainly wouldn't attend every week if I was a main raider, unless I really enjoyed the company. Raids like this are, as far as I can tell, primarily community-building exercises. If your reason for helping out (as a main raider) is loot, then you are missing the point of the exercise.

      Also, let's be clear. Main raiders do not "need" anything from a normal run. They already have enough gear to be doing heroic/mythic content, and any upgrade they got would be minimal at best. Certainly not enough to make any visible difference in the main raids. There is no place for "oh the poor main raider is missing out" complaint here.

      Sorry for the hostility in these comments, Navi. Blatant selfishness is one of my pet peeves. I should probably bow out now, before things get out of control.

    3. It's ok Dah. It's a free country and everyone is allowed to have their opinion. I don't have to agree with it but I will always listen. Anon has their fair points too but this post is explaining how I choose to do things - comments are welcome but they don't necessarily change my mind.

    4. Dah is spot on: look at the intent of the raid event, state the rules clearly, and don't allow for greedy assholes. I think taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture is good: when I get tunnel vision about loot I end up sad and resentful. We humans tend to focus on what we lost, not what we gained. If I know you Navi, I think that's your ultimate goal: to make sure everyone feels supported and happy. That is the toughest job of all.

    5. Most people aren't greedy. But it just takes one to be a dick.

  3. Hmm, I had a long rambling comment that disappeared when I tried to finish it. To sum up: I hate wasting time and regulating people, so personal loot for me! And I'm in charge, so...
    To be fair, the one time our other group did master looter, over 3 bosses we had maybe 2 pieces of loot that weren't plate boots dropping. That reminded people of potential loot issues, and no more complaints about personal have been made to me.

    1. I hate it when my blog eats comments. Ipads are norious for that when I am replying.

      Plate boots are the bane of my loot existence. I just look at them and see 300g shardd.

  4. On loot in general....

    We've gone back and forth over it quite a lot. Someone above said that every loot system has a drawback, and that loot needs to serve a purpose in the guild. This is entirely accurate.

    Personally, I see loot as a means to an end. There is literally no prestige in loot since epics became so plentiful across all the tiers of content/raiding. If you need loot to get the job done, then thats fine - but after that let someone else have a go.

    Luckily our guild doesn't have much in the way of Loot drama - often we have more trouble giving the loot away to a specific person than having people fight over it. Its a nice problem to have.

    Largely this is the reason we Loot Council (3 officers + GM as a veto) guided by a public EPGP w/ flat values.

    I remember a post before you had someone complaining that EPGP has people buying loot - this is a flat out false. Effort Points (attending raids, killing bosses, stocking the gbank, helping out w/ social runs, whatever) are a tally. Gear Points (Gear.... duh) are a tally. Effort divided by Gear = Loot Priority.

    The beauty of a ratio system is that after the initial few weeks of a tier - people's loot priority stop getting murdered every time they get gear. If distributing loot across your raid evenly is the goal here, EPGP with sensible GP values for different slots/tier, is literally the best way to go about it.

    If you're concerned with recent effort vs past effort (e.g super 100%er disappears for 4 months, comes back and then takes all the loot due to a historic super high EP/GP which doesn't get hammered as hard as people who have been following the tier) - adding a decay of Effort and Gear is a good way to increase the value of recent effort over past.Sure the returnee will probably get a piece - but they wont get consecutive pieces over others.

    Alternatively, you can just restart the pool each tier/difficulty. This will achieve largely the same thing.

    But back to other systems. /Roll has far too much RNG and streaking possible. We envisioned /roll for Normal and Heroic difficulties - however with two weeks this was causing disharmony within the guild. Some people after 13-14 boss kills still not receiving any loot at all. Its not a big deal with an EPGP site and Mizui's Raid Tracker to run multiple itempools - so we did.

    DKP (kill boss for points, spent points on loot) seriously encourages hording - which is detreminental to the group as a whole if someone (or a few) participate in it.

    Suicide Kings (kill boss for points, spend ALL points on ANY loot) does to an extent as well.

    Pure Loot Council is open to corruption - but like most governments, if you can guarantee fairness is often the best way to work it.

    In terms of casual raids and/or fun raids though? that aren't the main focus of your guild? The good old /roll with an auto-pass if you've had loot that night (till there is no more competition for that piece again) works well - and is a nice compromise between even distribution and minimal fuss for a non-static team.


    1. Additionally I have little to no love for Personal loot outside of the first one or two clears of an instance.The window of opportunity for personal loot to be an overall gain for the guild is very small. The second you start seeing loot pop up for people, but they can't use it (duplicate in the slot, sub-par stats, etc) you're missing out, because you can't redistribute it to players who DO need it.

      Dungeons were hugely different because of the massive loot table on each boss - Personal ensured that if something DID drop, chances are it would be aligned to your spec, rather than upto 100+ items on a boss, for 3-4 armor class combos.

    2. Hey Seeteeeeee!
      When I went on that run with you I liked the one loot rule. When I tried it the following weekend nobody would roll because they wanted to be able to roll on the weapon or trinket and didn't want to get stuck with the loot that was their allocated one loot. That took up so much time in a 2 hour raid that I said I wouldn't do it again but now that we have better rules to make it fairer we might when the time comes.


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