Friday, December 12, 2008

I will never claim that communication is my forté

To be clear: I am not against pugs getting loot in raids. our loot system is designed such that over time, everyone (including pugs) gets equal distribution of loot. It is also design such that, in the short term, the gear goes to people we can count on being there for our next progression kill.

In this way, I believe we reward everyone who puts in work while at the same time not sacrificing ourselves for progression in the name of 'fairness.'

How our loot system works:

It is a traditional Suicide Kings. When the initial list is generated, tanks are randomized into the top spots. Healers are randomized into the next spots. Everyone is randomized to the bottom of the list. This is because tanks are the most important thing to progression, with healers being second. DPS being at the bottom is rarely an issue, but in the case of Tier tokens, this seems to work out best.

This list is used as a template for three lists. One for Tier Loot, one for Main Spec Loot, and one for Off Spec Loot. I suspect we'll make the Tier Loot a Tier 7 Loot list, and then a new Tier 8 Loot list when that content becomes available.

At the beginning of the raid, pugs are added to the bottom of the list in the order they joined the raid. At the end of the raid, pugs are suicided and then removed, to preserve order for the people who did not come.

When a new player is added to the guild as a raider, they are also added to the bottom of the list.

When loot drops, every player in the raid whispers "main" or "off" to the master looter. The person at the top of the list wins the item, at the discretion of the loot master, for example when someone is bidding inappropriately, or in corner cases like Hunters vs. Rogues on a weapon. So far the only discretion I've really had to use is for people trying to bid on blatant downgrades, or for people not bidding on upgrades. Sometimes people will bid "off" on an item and then go on to use it like normal. In that case, they are suicided on the main list instead of the off list. Tier loot that is won for an off spec is suicided on the off spec list.

Items such as epic bags, quest drops like Magtheridon's Head, mounts and the like that don't have impact on combat directly are put to a random roll, highest roll wins. Everyone is invited to roll on such items, pugs and guildies alike.

Loot is only sharded when there are no bids from anyone in the raid. In the case of the boots yesterday, they went to our resident resto Druid.

This system is not perfect, but it makes the guild happy, and we all agree that for what we do, it is much better than a pug walking away with important loot due to a random roll.

At the beginning of the raid, I put up a small blurb which I have macro'd on my bar. It explains very briefly that we use a Suicide Kings list and that pugs are added to the bottom of the list. It also is very clear that pugs are not excluded from receiving loot. It then gives bidding instructions. People with questions generally whisper me for clarifications on the rules if they have questions. I make sure everyone who isn't clear on the rules is clear on them. Obviously it doesn't always work.

Finally, I received the following comment on the last post:

[...]if I don't come, their guild doesn't raid. If anything, I'm more valuable than the other people.

This surprised me because it came from someone I deeply respect for his clear thinking, Rohan from Blessing of Kings. This statement is pretty conceited, and very incorrect. Pugs aren't there so we can go raid. I have before and will again run a 7 man raid where necessary. In fact, in Savant's early days, there was a lot of 6, 7, or 8 man raids, and they were very successful. To say "oh we can't get another body so we'll just have to quit for the night" is very disrespectful to the people in my guild who are talented enough to adapt to various dire looking situations. We're all good players, and if we want to raid, then dammit, we're gonna raid, even with a slim chance of success.

Pugs are not more important than guildies. If they were, everyone would be running pug groups, and guilds would be reduced to chatrooms. Pugs contribute to one kill, but do they contribute to a majority of our kills? Did they help us get where we are now? If so why aren't they in the guild? If you can't make a commitment to our guild, you aren't as important. I'm not saying you aren't important at all. Just that pugs are in no way more important than the people who are willing to be there when it's not fun, when going through wipe after wipe seems to be the game of the evening, because we want to make tomorrow's raid a little easier on ourselves via learned strategy and better gear. Or next month's raid.

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