Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

What type of loot system works the best?


Loot drama is most often the biggest and juiciest type of drama. Lots of different guilds handle loot distribution differently, though most either do need/greed rolls or use master looter paired with some sort of external system. Sigtyr on the official forums brings up the loot council method, where a few individuals in the know get to decide who gets what piece. Sigtyr certainly feels that, despite objections from the peanut gallery, this system works the best for his group.

This discussion raises a good question: Is there such a thing as the "best loot distribution model"? When Star Wars: The Old Republic launched, Bioware seemed to have gotten a whiff of loot drama in games like WoW and even EverQuest (where anyone could loot anything, anywhere), devising a new system that is in use in its normal-mode operations (the SWTOR equivalent of a raid). There, most loot is auto-assigned based on class and spec. Personally, I've found that model to be frustrating because, among other things, it doesn't select against someone's receiving the same piece over and over again. Overall, I think that system fails because it takes the option away from the players and makes gearing up through operations as frustrating as needing on a piece of gear in the Raid Finder.

In my opinion, all loot distribution models are flawed because, at their core, they rely on human beings making decisions. Even systems like loot councils, where those in charge are supposed to be making their decisions based on what is best for the group, are susceptible to corruption, whether it's favoritism, fear of retaliation for not giving someone a piece they really want, or some other concern. Roll-based systems, too, are imperfect; while the decision of who gets what appears to be up to the random number generator, the decision to hit need or greed is ultimately in the hands of the player. A player could need on a piece of loot that they don't actually need, then trade it off to whomever they choose.

Ultimately, in the humble opinion of this player, the key to success seems to be finding a loot system that lines up with your group's goals and personalities. Want to give your group a fighting edge for difficult progression? Then maybe loot council is a good idea, where gear can be assigned to whomever can turn it into the biggest advantage for the raid as a whole. Is your group more concerned about having a good time and distributing loot evenly and fairly? Perhaps a point-based system such as DKP or EPGP is in order, where things like priority and point rankings are extremely clear and out of the hands of the loot master.

So what do you think, commenters? Do you think it's possible for a loot system to be devised that could work well for everyone involved, or are all of the systems fundamentally flawed in some way? Can there be a middle ground where, as I mentioned, certain systems work perfectly for certain groups?

From around the web

ear iconeye icontext filevr