Sunday, March 7, 2010

Loot distribution in WoW

This won't be yet another post about how players should distribute loot as equal as possible among themselves. That is an endless debate. It's a debate I enjoy having though, so I might well write some thoughts about it in the future, and I have written some about it before.

This post however will be about how Blizzard distributes loot among players. It seems Blizzard are more eager than ever that everyone, no matter how much playtime they've got on their hands or how skilled a player they are, are capable of getting a more than decent gear. I remember back in the old days in Vanilla when you had to do epics quests of eternal effort to get some proper gear or really put some time into raiding. Think about items like Anathema/Benediction or Lok'Delar/Rok'Delar. For both these quests you either needed the guild or the money to get some items, and alot of preparing and trial and erroring before getting your reward. No doing some heroics 10 times for a tier piece. But that was before, and things have changed greatly now. Except in one aspect.

The loot table of bosses is still completely random. This has always been an annoyance to players. Just imagine spending 50 hours in a raid (in total, not at once <.<) and never see the item you need drop? That is the beauty of "chance". Blizzard used a chance-drop-system for quest items before too, which instantly led to some quests taking up to an hour to complete, just because the damn item would never drop. Chance means that something could in theory never occur. It means you can kill a boss a trillion times without seeing something drop from it, if it has less than 100% chance. I bet the people who grind bosses for certain mounts know what I am talking about.

And somewhere deep inside of me I think Blizzard has kept the random chance drop loot table distribution because they want to make it more of a suspense whenever you down a boss. Or maybe they just don't want people to gear up too fast. No wait that can't be it, they're practically handing over loot for free to people nowadays.

But isn't it more of a huge anti-climax after finally downing that damn boss to see that it doesn't drop anything anyone needs? Everything has to be disenchanted, or go to offspecs at best. Wouldn't it be way more fun after a long struggle to kill a boss to see that someone in your raid also does a great upgrade? "Wow, grats man, that staff is awesome!" instead of "Oh great mail. Wait we have no hunter or shaman in the raid. ..."

Or having a great time in some heroic with some pug (it can happen) but only cloth drops and you have no clothies. Actually this system is especially annoying in heroics because I can imagine that Blizzard think that a raid can do what they want with the loot given to them i.e. give leather to a mail user if they like and so on. And there is nothing wrong with that. But there is no ML in a heroic and a mail user can't even roll need on leather, no matter how big an upgrade it is. This means that if it drops leather with no leather user to wear it, it is wasted. The mail user can roll greed and pray he wins. Or pray whoever else wins will trade it to him. Or pray that it won't be disenchanted. Has happened to me many times.

In any case it seems to be two ways of thinking (one of being able to freely chose among loot, and one of not being able to) that are greatly clashing with eachother.

I am not asking Blizzard to keep track of what gear or spec people have so that the bosses always will drop something that is a main-spec upgrade for at least someone in the raid. That would be going too far. But I am asking them to at least keep track of what classes there are in the raid. I would also politely ask them to make it so that there can't drop two items for the same class (double t10 on Toravon for the same class ftl...). I understand that back when the raids where 40 man large that having several items drop for the same class wouldn't have to be a bad thing. But in a 10man raid you rarely have more than two people of the same class (we've had 4 druids in our raids occasionally though... Damn druids are everywhere). I know that if one people is lucky enough to get 90% of all the loot he needs in a raid run it is uncomfortable both for himself and everyone else. Mostly himself though, dunno how many times I've heard people say "damn I feel like I am taking all the loot from people here".
I have benefited from the system as it is now but I still would prefer them to change it. At least look it over and give it some thought. Is random chance still really such a good idea?

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