Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.
I see this happen all too often when Blizzard releases a new tier of raiding: People get terribly impatient with loot. They want the new loot, and they want it now. They somehow forget that, eventually, if they keep attending raids, they'll get everything they want and then some. This week showcases a prime example of this, but also a set of loot rules that perhaps aren't working very well.
I'm in a relatively small horde guild consisting of about 15 core members. One of my best real life friends is in the guild, and they've all been together since WoW classic. I came on the scene in march, and have been very active ever since. I help put together raids, all that jazz. We've been progressing quite well through ICC 10 (what blizzard will allow us to currently at least).
The other night, we downed Marrowgar, and Citadel Enforcer's Claymore drops. I was currently using Tyrannical Beheader from POS, and rolled a 61. A fellow pally rolled a 79. He was using Orca Hunter's Harpoon from HOR. I was the Master Looter. After much begging and pleading, I looted the sword to the pally.
The problem: Our looting rules have always been based in Loot Council. IE, our "Raid Leader" (coincidentally my RL friend), has always been the one to decide who really gets an item or not. This has always been the way it was, ever since I could last remember. The paladin is a great dude, and a good raider, but no where near as active or as much of a contributor to the guild as I have been as of late (since I came on the scene). Not only this, but the weapon was an equal upgrade for the both of us, I do about 500 dps more regardless, and to top it all off, he has been tank spec mainspec as of until that night. (A spec he chose reluctantly, so I was told, but his mainspec all the same). I'd done my time, lost my fair share of weapons, all with a smile on my face, but after losing a huge upgrade to a pally who I already did more dps than, and whose mainspec was most recently tank, I had had enough.
I finished the raid without saying a word, then brought it up afterwards in officer chat, basically saying that I was done raiding with them if I was going to be so blatantly overlooked. (Our "raid leader" and our GM, the ones usually backing the loot council, were silent at the time the sword dropped). The paladin then invited me to a group, and explained that the hassle wasn't worth the sword, and to just take it. Evidently he'd been screwed out of loot countless times in the past (or so he feels), and that him being tank mainspec was purely for raid utility, and that he'd always wanted to dps. I was humbled by the act, and accepted the sword.
Now however, I feel terrible. Like I guilted him out of a weapon, even though it in all aspects should have gone to me. Was I in the right or in the wrong here? Like I said, we currently do a hybrid of roll/council based loot, but that was really only for TOC once we had it on farm, and loot became rather irrelevant. Now that it means raid success once again, we ought to, and likely will go back to loot council because of this.
The question: Was I in the right or in the wrong for being upset? And should I feel guilty that the pally ultimately caved and handed the sword over to me? And how should we react to this in the future? Should we be more clear about the loot council policy, or just kind of "go with the flow" roll/council that we've been using lately.
Anonymous, the important question isn't whether you were right or wrong for being upset. You were upset and you can't really control that. The more important issue is what you did as a result of that emotion.
Basically, you issued an ultimatum. You said you wouldn't raid with the guild anymore unless you were awarded the loot you feel like you deserved. In doing so, you put everyone in an awkward and unfair situation.
What can your officers do at that point? They can't ask the paladin to give up the weapon. Well, maybe they did anyway, but I'm sure they didn't feel very good about it if they did. As for the paladin, whether he was asked to or not, he gave you the sword, and he probably won't forget that for a while. That's going to rankle.
The bottom line is that the weapon was awarded to him fairly based on your current loot rules, from what I understand. You did, in fact, guilt him out of it.
By giving you the sword, he acted in the best interest of the guild. He tried to resolve the drama and keep you in the guild. With a guild as small as yours, every raider lost is a big deal. Yes, he could have passed the sword to you, but if he intended to use it for raiding -- and if your officers allowed him to change his main spec to dps -- then he had a right to it. Your officers clearly didn't feel like his attendance issues were a determining factor.
On the other hand, you acted only in the best interest of yourself. And you should feel bad about it. Did you think this was the last weapon that would ever drop from ICC? It sounds like you were very happy with the guild before this incident. Was it worth all this drama, these hard feelings for one piece of loot?
I'm grateful to you for writing in with this issue and highlighting the problem, because it's a good thing for people to see what can happen. So I'm sorry for teeing off on you here, but it's exactly this selfish behavior that drives officers nuts.
You need to make this right. You can't return the sword now. I'm not sure even a GM would be able to award the sword to the paladin at this point, though it's something you could look into if you want to. Beyond that, you owe the paladin and your officers an apology. In the future, if you have an issue with the way loot is awarded, a rational discussion is preferable to threats.
Now, the other issue here is your loot system. I don't understand your "loot council with rolling" hybrid rules here. Do people roll and then, if the officers don't like the outcome, they step in and change it? If so, that's pretty weak. I do think you'd be better off using one system or the other.
I'm not a huge fan of loot council. since it results in the "begging and pleading" you describe. If your loot council makes decisions on who begs the hardest, that's pretty demeaning to your raiders. It also leads to these feelings that both of you have right now that you've been repeatedly "screwed out of loot." But then, so does rolling. At least in those cases, however, players blame their luck more often than the officers.
Regardless of what your officers decide to do, they should certainly make sure everyone understands how your loot system works. If they go with loot council, they need to spell out their reasons for awarding loot to one player over another. Otherwise, no one is going to be happy.
For all those ICC raiders out there, I urge you to be patient with loot. Before you issue an ultimatum or gquit over loot, ask yourself if that one item is really worth it.
Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at email@example.com. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!