July 9, 2009

It's the principle

Posted in Rant, WoW tagged at 3:54 pm by Middea

The only correct actions are those that demand no explanation and no apology. ~Red Auerbach

Pugs. Love them or hate them, mostly everyone in the WoW community has been in one at some point or another.

The server on which we play has many regular Naxxramas 25 pug runs, and I have run one of those for a few months now. Over the last couple of weeks we have lowered our playing time quite substantially, partly due to travel, partly due to Aion betas, and partly due to lack of interest.

Loot distribution seems to be the worst part of it, but in my runs we tried to keep it simple. One purple item per person for roll one, and if no one rolls it goes to a roll two which is open for anyone to receive the item for whatever talent spec they wish. All BoE’s are held until the end to be rolled on in case someone did not receive loot, and if all did, free for all rolls win them. If you have received a purple/epic, you no longer can roll in roll one. Plain and simple. Got something shiny? Great! Now wait for roll two if you want anything.

This concept, while simple, still eludes some of the regulars and trade channel pug pickups. The rules are clearly stated both in Ventrilo and in raid chat. People who have won something still roll in roll one. “But it’s for my main spec” is the most common argument as to why rolling after winning something is still okay for them. Rules are predetermined and there for everyone to know and judge prior to killing anything, even trash. They are free to leave without any hard feelings before they get saved and then find out they do not like the rules. I do a ready check as well typically, “Hit ‘Yes’ if you understand and agree with the rules.” Everyone hits yes, we proceed to own Naxxramas in ~3-3.5 hours, and everyone leaves with something purple and shiny.

Having stopped running these pugs, Fedoldinn and I decided to tag along with some alts and mains of our soon to be and now new guild along with some pugs from trade channel. No loot rules were shared, so we figured it was the roll if you want it and hope you roll high method. This seemed to hold true until we reached the third wing. Grim Toll dropped. Most of the melee rolled. Suddenly, raid leader comes on over Ventrilo “Main toons and main spec priority, grats *guild mate*”. What? Seriously? I am not melee nor do I care about the loot really, I was just bored and wanted something to do, but honestly? That pissed me off, but I let it go, we were almost done. None of the others seemed to mind and the loot pertained to them, so who was I to raise a stink about it?

Well we get to Kel’Thuzad and this special priority loot system designation hasn’t kicked in for any other number of possible Best in Slot items or as close as most could get without Ulduar Hard Modes, including Sapphiron’s necklace. We kill Kel’Thuzad and Signet of Manifested Pain and Cape of the Unworthy Wizard drop, both really great caster/healer items. Rolls go out for the ring, and over voice chat a mage gets really excited because he is winning; suddenly, he loses to an alt for their main spec. Low and behold, it is now “Main toons and main spec priority, grats *mage*” with a precursory “*Alt* you will be passing this to our main raider, right?” in a tone that did not really offer much of a chance for said alt to say no without coming across as an ass. Sigh. Next up are rolls for the cloak. Myself and a few others roll; I lose to another main that was a trade channel pick up and then an alt from the guild ends up the final winner. No *special* rules apply, grats *guilded alt.*

Now, we all know life is not fair so how can we expect a pick up group to be any different? But everyone enters into it with the expectation that the loot rules will not change and flex depending on the whims of the raid leader based entirely on how the roll is going. There is no call prior to the roll going out that this item is considered best in slot, so please, only mains and main specs roll, but rather the rules changed when the person they wanted to win did not win.

Back during Sunwell trash farming days for the chance at BoE’s and Sunmotes, some loot was predetermined, raid leader will always get a sunmote, rest will be rolled on along with gems and gear, patterns are free for all or just to that profession that can make them. That is fine in my book, you can run with whatever rules you see fit so long as the group understands and acknowledges them. You have explained them and everyone agrees that they are fair by staying in the group.

It’s the rules that change during the run to suit the needs of those in charge that drives me bonkers. How is it fair for a raid leader to walk into an instance knowing ahead of time that item x will be going to player z without telling the rest of the group? What if others are only going along for a chance at that same item? Why give them the illusion of hey, you can roll, but, we’re going to change the rules to let player z win.

A principle is a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption. It can be a rule or code of conduct. It can be a law or fact of nature underlying the working of an artificial device. ~Wikipedia

Everyone goes to the pug and puts in their effort. We all were there and did what we could in our abilities to down the boss, trash, what have you. The assumption is that the rules will not change on an item to item basis. This principle allows for the fair distribution of loot. Changing that code of conduct is a matter of changing the principle of the run and the fairness felt by the pug. I was not affected by the distribution of the melee trinket, but I viewed it as a kick in the balls for all the melee who, based on the rest of the run, should have had a fair shot at the item. If they won it was for them and for them alone to decide to pass it if they so desired. It was not the raid leader’s call to do that.

When I asked about the change in policy after the raid was over, I was told the decision was made because the items were the best in slot. As best in slot they ought to go to main raiders. The alts that won the rolls had the chance to say “No” that it was not alright with them. If they wanted to keep the item that was all they had to say. Righhhhht.

Needless to say, I will not be running with that group again, and I do not wish them future successful runs for pulling that shit.

Players will now be able to trade soulbound items with other raid or group members that were eligible for the loot. This system will work like the Item Buy Back system and allow 2 hours for players to trade an item after it has been looted.

With the upcoming change to loot systems, this issue seems only to have the chance to become more widespread and insidious. Players who do not want and possibly could  not even use an item will be able to roll and hook their friends up as long as they are in the raid with them. In a 25 man pug, how are the raid leaders to begin to evenly divide loot in a fair manner without reverting to a simple one purple per person type of system? Even that could be corrupted in the hands of those gearing up their buddies, alts, what have you.


1 Comment »

  1. Tessy said,

    Sadly, there seems to be an abundance of asshats in pugs, to the extent that sometimes loot is DE’d instead of given to someone who needed it just because “you have had too much already”.

    And (some) people will inevitably start doing like you say when the possibility to trade items comes along, rolling on items so they can give them to friends/guildies. I assume loot screw-ups happen a lot by honest mistake (I know I’ve been guilty of a few myself), but was the job of redistributing loot after a ticket such hard work for Blizz that they’d rather open up this chance for wholesale cheating and arguing than sort out the mistakes?

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