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Officers' Quarters: A friendly loot system

Scott Andrews

The irony of loot systems is that, the "friendlier" they are -- the more social in practice -- the more they seem to cause drama. We're not lacking for examples. This week shows us once again why "friendly" loot systems are sometimes anything but!

Hi, I'm a officer in a casual raiding guild, when I say casual is that while we do raid 3/4 days a week, teams are not locked, we offer rotations and try to give our members a nice balance of raiding with just fooling around for achievements or whatever we feel the mood for.

Our loot rules -- to reflect our casual approach -- we use a main spec 1st roll followed by a off-spec roll, with the limitations on one 'need/main spec' roll win per run. That way all have same opportunities to get loot, and one person doesn't accumulate the lot in one single run. We dabbled with point systems before, but didn't workout as teams changed week to week, making those who raid more accumulate so many points that others with less raiding time had no chances over loot so made them raid even less. [. . .]

The 'A team' party got on the usual one-shot boss business until a loot issue appeared. A lovely piece of kit dropped, and everyone in the raid knew who had been talking about it for weeks. he knew the loot tables by heart and every time we faced the boss wished for the drop. Everyone was cheering and congratulating the guy over vent and chat. He had been really unlucky with drops on the last months, and this was his price -- the one item he really was after. Then the problem occurred.

Another person rolled against him, and he won. Now, he did follow the rules, but everyone though he should have acted with more consideration and pass it to the guy who really, really was drooling over it. After all, even we do have rules, we are all friends and we use the right to pass on loot.

The downfall has been huge -- the person who lost felt really hard done by what he thought where a group of friends left the guild, others (even non-raiders) /gquit in protest and support, while others plainly criticized the winner for his lack of consideration and said they will never raid again until he did the 'noble' thing off gquiting himself since he did keep the loot after all the pleas.

I wasn't in that team that day, neither was the GM, so we saw it all happening after. What should I have done?

No rules where broken, so I can not kick a guy for winning a roll, even though morally, in that particular instance because the item, the person and the bad luck he had wasn't considered. I couldn't accept the pleas from others to kick him, didn't seem right, I felt uncomfortable with the public bullying for him to leave and disappointing that people where gquitting right, left and center over one problem.

I did manage to convince most people to come back, except the one who lost the loot, while the one who won stayed and feels (surprise, surprise) that the atmosphere has changed -- towards him in particular quite publicly.

What could I have done differently? And what can be done to avoid this in the future?



Just because someone has been drooling over an item for weeks does not entitle them to receive that item over anyone else. Personally, I find this entire situation distasteful. I apologize in advance if this column reads like a rant ...

Bottom line: Loot rules must be obeyed regardless of people's feelings. Yes, the player who won the item could have passed. But that person didn't have to.

The player who gquit over one piece of loot is wrong. The people who supported him are wrong. You can't say this, of course, in the interest of harmony. But that person who felt entitled is being selfish and tearing the guild apart over one piece of loot. Think about that. You should, if anything, be angry about it.

What is more important to the player who started all this trouble by gquitting? He's been talking a lot about friendship, apparently, but when his own happiness was at stake, it seems that loot was more important to this player than guild harmony. Guild harmony is what allows everyone else to have fun and keep playing together. But apparently he'd rather leave and nearly destroy the guild, due to "lack of consideration." I would argue that he's the one who has no consideration.

The mature thing to do would be to congratulate the other player on winning the loot and wait for another opportunity. That way, the guild could have moved past this incident. Instead, he basically incited a riot. People who weren't even there and don't even raid gquit over it. That's absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion.

Think about how the person who's been bullied over this one piece of loot feels. He may have been drooling just as much over it as the other person, but perhaps he was less vocal about it. Now because he failed to repeatedly state his item-lust or perhaps did not "know the loot tables by heart" like this other guy did -- and if that isn't an indication that someone cares about loot a little too much, I don't know what is -- because of that, he was pressured to pass on an item he won fair and square. Now, because he didn't give in to that pressure to do the "noble" thing, he no longer feels comfortable in his own guild.

It's all well and good to embrace a system where people are free to show generosity toward their fellow guild members by passing on items. It's another situation entirely when players are compelled to do so at the risk of forced exile. That's no longer a fair system, or a system of any kind -- it's a reign of terror.

Anonymous, you were right not to kick this person. If anything, you should support him. Tell your guild that you will uphold the loot rules as they are, not as people want them to be. State that he had as much right to the item as anyone else under your existing rules, and ask that people let it go so the guild can move on and people can get back to having fun. Likewise, emphasize that under the current system people can't call dibs on a piece of loot merely by expressing interest in it. Say that you support people passing on loot in the interest of friendship but that passing is not a requirement. Finally, express dismay that people felt the need to have someone gkicked over a single item and that you won't tolerate such behavior. It's up to you and the other officers to decide when someone deserves to be kicked out. In short, you have to stomp on this entire incident or else you'll risk it happening again and again.

As a concession to those who are still sore about this whole thing, you can offer to change the system if enough people would like a change. There's no reason you can't build in a way for people to improve their rolls on a single, predetermined item. For example, say someone really needs an upgrade to their boots, and they're particularly interested in Taldaram's Soft Slippers. Allow them to declare that in a public place, such as a forum thread. Allow every other raider to do the same. When that item drops, and before anyone rolls, they can choose to add 20 points to their roll (as can anyone else who chose the same item). If they win the item, they can't choose another item to declare for three weeks. If they don't win, they can continue to use the bonus until they win it. You can do whatever you'd like, but that's one way to go about helping people get the items they really want -- without resorting to guild-wide guilt trips!

As for what you could have done differently, if it happens again, the best response is to support your loot system at the time of the incident. Calm people down, and remind your loot-hungry raider that he or she will get another chance. You could even privately express your regret that to this person that he or she did not win, but also explain that the system doesn't give you any other option but to award the loot according to the dice.

If that player chooses to go off the deep end anyway, there's nothing else you can do. Some people, to be perfectly frank, just care too damn much about loot. Your guild is usually better off without such people.


Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas and suggestions at You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!

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