My interactions with the Raid Finder have been limited, for the most part. I'm in a raiding guild, and we were told when the Raid Finder came out that we would do guild runs to start out with. This was to make sure that all drops benefited everyone in the guild, and honestly, it was a smart idea. Players got their set bonuses with relative speed, and we completed the encounters with no difficulty at all just due to the fact that they were relatively easy in comparison to the normal-mode raiding we were doing.
However, after we began melting more gear than we were keeping and started working on heroics in earnest, our raid leader let us know that if we really needed anything else from the Raid Finder, we'd have to go run it on our own. So it was with a fair amount of confidence that I queued up for Dragon Soul, looking for a trinket that was so far eluding my rogue in normal mode content. No big deal, right? Easy enough, and by now plenty of people ought to be familiar with the content. Well ... not so much.
Big Bear Butt wrote an eloquent post explaining the phenomenon that I observed after stepping into my first non-guild Raid Finder group. You see, one generally expects that if a person doesn't need a piece of loot, they will pass on said loot and let someone that needs it have it for an upgrade. It's the nice and polite thing to do, right? Well, instead, a lot of Raid Finder players are simply rolling need on every piece of gear they can get their hands on, regardless of whether or not it's an upgrade. They are rolling need on gear they already have equipped. Why?
Because in their infinite wisdom, these players have decided to try and land these loot pieces as bartering chips in a game of You Got the Loot I Want, I Have the Loot You Need -- Let's Trade. So instead of a normal raid, where the fights are the most difficult part of the encounter, looting is now a complex series of "I want that trinket. Do you want this tier? I'll trade this tier for that trinket." But the trinket winner doesn't need the tier, however, the person who won a weapon that the trinket winner needs does need tier, so the trinket winner trades for tier and then trades that tier to the weapon winner so the weapon winner has tier, the trinket winner has weapon, and tier winner has trinket.
And if you managed to make it through that last sentence without having your eyes slowly cross in confusion, bless you. But Big Bear Butt does bring up the conundrum and wonders if this is going to be the face of the Raid Finder from now on. He also wonders what can be done about it -- and I don't think I have an answer for that question. Sure, Blizzard could place more limitations on loot, but that still wouldn't stop people from rolling on what they've already got.
One solution suggested is for the loot system to simply ignore players who have obviously already won loot that drops. So if you picked up the unique-equipped Wrath of Unchaining and happen to be wearing it, the option to roll on it will not pop up for you. But then people might just hide their gear in their bags and equip suboptimal gear. So what then? Do you have the loot system check the player's inventory, including anything they may have in their bank? Do you have the loot system create a database, a list of everything a player has won, and exclude them from rolling on an item that is already on that list?
There's a far easier solution, and sadly, I don't think it's going to ever catch on. It's called Don't Roll Need on Items You Don't Need. It's the solution where people treat people as human beings, rather than objects standing between them and profit. It's the solution of personal accountability, in which a player asks themselves if it's right to do this -- and the answer is automatically no, not "Well, everyone else is doing it, so I'm going to do it too." Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!