There are few things in WoW as desired, discussed, and controversial as loot and how it’s distributed. Loot discussions have come up in every guild forum, realm forum, and officer chat. If you haven’t seen one yet; trust me, you will.
So here are five things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about loot:
1. It’s About Guild Progression if you are in a raiding guild. PuGs exist to help individuals improve themselves; guilds exist to help a group of like-minded players achieve a common goal. This is a distinct difference. If you are in a raiding guild, your goal is to see all of the bosses as quickly and efficiently as you can. Gear is a means to an end. Granted, I think we all want to see our characters do their best in the best gear we can obtain, but in the end, gear upgrades exist to help our guild move further into instances.
This is something that has been woefully forgotten across the board. I’ve seen it in my guild, and I’ve talked to many people who echo my sentiments. It seems like a lot of people are all about gearing themselves and improving their personal performance. They’re cutthroat, greedy, and thoughtless. Yes, there are plenty of people I really like who have turned into loot whores. I still like them, but these traits apply to them, too.
For instance, let’s say a nice trinket drops. It’s an upgrade for you, yes; but do you ever inspect the other people rolling on the item? Do you check to see if the other druid (who’s there almost as often or more than you are) is still carrying around something from Ulduar?
I want to have awesome gear, but I also want to kill bosses. If passing on that trinket and giving it to consistent raider who needs it more than I do helps us achieve that goal, then so be it.
TL;DR: Don’t be a loot whore; consider your guildies and how gearing them up will help you progress.
2. What are the loot rules? It’s an important question, both in guilds and in PuGs. If you care about loot at all in the raid you are about to get saved to, you need to know what to expect. Progression raid loot is loot council-based for us. Those who need an item put their name up for consideration. The loot council (comprised of both officers and raiders) then choose the person they think will benefit the most from the item (in theory). Main spec takes preference over off spec, and Raiders take priority over Initiates. If you don’t know the loot rules for your guild, you should ask.
Usually PuGs are set to a Loot Master, who links the item and then prompts for main spec rolls. If no one rolls for main spec, that person opens it for off spec and then gives it to the highest roller (whether or not people actually need the item or not is an issue for a separate post!). Sometimes you’ll get into a group that has special loot rules, such as: “This is mostly a guild raid, and we will be keeping patterns for our guild bank.” At that point, people who are dissatisfied with the rule can opt out. Special loot rules should be expressed up front. If you’ve got a question about anything, make sure you ask, so you don’t get halfway through the run and find out someone else is going to be preferred for the items you want.
TL;DR: Know what to expect from loot before it becomes a problem.
3. A Little Consideration goes a long way. No one likes being in a group where one person rolls on everything. Yes, it’s an upgrade, and that’s awesome (it really is, upgrades make me drool), but if you’re sitting on two new pieces of loot, let someone else have a turn. Something you might see as a minor setback might really help someone else out, and people remember these things. There are people I get into PuGs with today that when I see their name, I think, “Cool, that person was so awesome last time.” Accumulate gear, but be reasonable; there are 9 or 24 other people in your group who are there for the same reason you are, and you can’t solo Icecrown.
TL;DR: Play nice and take turns.
4. Know Your Role! Before rolling on loot, you should know what stats are best for your class and spec. A warlock rolling against a healer on an item with mp5? Bad. A healer rolling against a mage for an item with hit? Also bad. There are hundreds of resources on the internet to find out what stats (and in some cases, which items) you should focus on. Do your research, know your class, and roll on the right things.
TL;DR: It’s 5 sentences, don’t be so lazy.
5. It’s Just Loot. I know, I can see that look on your face right through the computer screen. “If it’s just loot, then why did you waste a whole blog post on it?” Here’s the thing: loot is important to players. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to question loot rules, to get frustrated or disappointed with the way loot distribution is handled, and even to sometimes get angry about getting treated unfairly when it comes to loot. There have been times I have been seething over the way something loot-related went down.
However, is one item worth losing your guild over? How about a friendship, in-game or real life? Is it worth earning a bad reputation on your server? I don’t think so. If your guild is repeatedly shafting you, then yes, maybe you should bring it up (tactfully), but if it’s a rare occurrence, or a one time thing, respond carefully and try to keep it in perspective.
TL;DR: There are things much more valuable than epic loot.
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