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Ask WoW Insider: Nodes and ninjas

Mike Schramm

This week's question for you, our readers, comes from an anonymous asker. He wants to know what the best option is for a widespread problem in this time of high realm populations and camped quests aplenty:

There's been a lot of talk on your blog about people ninjaing spawns but I'm not entirely sure that it's as cut and dried as that. Consider this: I was in the Borean Tundra and had to kill the mob on the island that's up the top of the steps. when I arrived there were around 10 other 'toons all waiting around. I had no idea who was there first, who might be grouped, or anything else about them. The first thing I did was /s 'group?', at which point someone invited me, and I grouped with them. Second time it spawned one of us tagged it, I looted, disbanded the group and left. Did I ninja it? If so, how was I supposed to have acted? With new people coming all the time, no knowledge of who had been there longest and no visible queueing system I'm not sure how else to behave. Thoughts?

A little more analysis after the break, and don't forget to post your own answer in the comments below. If you've got a question for our readers, send it to, and we'll ask it for you.

Previously on Ask WoW Insider...

This is one of the oldest problems in MMOs -- it's called "camping" when there are too many players and too few quest targets to go around, and back in the day, Everquest and other early MMOs turned camping into an art form -- people used to wait for hours to get a mob, and even then, once you "tagged" it, others could still steal it away. Blizzard has made progress on the issue with the "tagging" system, and the fact that they've built a mechanic that spawns mobs faster the more players there are in the area, but obviously it's still an issue in some cases.

The single best thing I've seen on the realms lately is the loot that drops for everyone to pick up -- sometimes, when you kill a quest mob, a clickable piece of loot drops that even people who didn't kill the mob can pick up. But obviously that can't always be how it's done, and thus, we get situations like the one above. What do you do then?

What's the fairest/easiest way to go about divvying up loot when there are people waiting for it? Personally, I'm kind of a fan of the "every many for himself" idea -- even though it leads to people AoEing a certain area to try and tag a mob and brings frustration to almost everyone, it at least presents a solid rule: first to hit the mob gets to keep it. If possible, I think Blizzard should always make the quest item lootable by as many people as possible, so we can all get on with our business instead of fighting with each other. But if they do want to make us work for an item, I'd rather it'd be first tag, first served -- at least then there's no confusion.

What do you think?

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