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World of Warcraft Legion - Understanding the Master Looter Change

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By raptorakDate: Jul 25 2016 Views:

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World of Warcraft’s Legion expansion has brought about what has become a very volatile subject: loot systems.It’s something that affects the vast majority of players, leading to a question as to if Blizzard is taking the right approach.

World of Warcraft Legion

The Issue: Ninja Looters

An issue faced within any game that has loot is that of ninja looters – players who will steal items for themselves. This can be done on an individual level (such as dropping a group and taking items) or on a group level (agreeing to the leader taking the loot and then dividing it up according to a specific agreement). In both cases, everyone who helped get the drops is left out, and in most games, those who do this aren’t really punished (there are such large populations that it’d be impossible for everyone to know who the ninja looters are, so they can continue to do it over and over). And that’s where the new loot change in WoW stems from.

Introducing Guild Master Looter

Guild Master Looter takes over for Master Looter in the choice list. It works in the same way, with the difference being that it can only be used in a guild group (which is classified as a group that contains at least 80% of the players from the same guild).In any other party or raid, one of the other options must be chosen. This changes a lot, because it means that unless you’re in an almost pure guild group, you can’t delegate a specific member to take all of the loot and give it away as needed. Instead, it has to be a roll-based system, where you really don’t know where the items are going to end up until afterwards.

World of Warcraft Legion

Community Criticism

A fair amount of guild raiders are against this change, and for good reason. For many guilds, it’s simply not possible to tackle a raid while still maintaining the 80% requirement to be classified as a “guild” group. For some, they resort to the chat system to find others. For others, they have friends or work with other guilds in a sort of alliance. And yet even more use the raid finding tool. All of these players are deeply impacted by the change. For example, a guild could have 75% of the members in the group, yet still be forced to bend to the will of the other 25%. Or, in the case of alliances, it could simply be an issue of making it more difficult to get everyone geared properly. After all, many guilds use some form or another of DKP, whether it’s rewarding the more active raiders, picking out a specific order in which to gear players up, etc.

One great suggestion that’s been made is to simply make it to where this works only when using the raid finder. It can be assumed that custom-made raids are much less apt to get hit by ninja looters than completely random ones – especially since the main group would be the one with the looting privileges regardless, and it’s a lot easier to blacklist a guild than it is an individual player. And the chances of a guild taking advantage of the system and stealing drops is fairly rare as it is. This setup would also allow for formation of groups like in the past, where a specific item is reserved and everything else is rolled on. All of these are legitimate uses for the Master Looter option even when not in a full guild raid.

World of Warcraft Legion

Tradable Drops

To help fix the problem of personal looting, drops that are not a “Strict Item” upgrade for whoever wins can be traded to another player that participated in the kill. This opens up a similar door to the one that is attempting to be prevented – everyone that is capable of rolling on an item can do so, then pass it on to their friend. This doesn’t work on an individual basis, but a guild, for example, has a higher chance of snagging a drop they want than the other individuals they might be raiding with. That said, this isn’t a fix so much as a Band-Aid. And it’s still inefficient, because you still don’t know who is going to win the roll. In essence, all it’s doing is overcomplicating a system that wasn’t broken to begin with, leading back around to the same possibilities it’s attempting to prevent.

Moving Forward

It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen at this point. Blizzard is still evaluating ways to improve the system, so this can be altered at any time. There’s one good part about this change for individuals, though: they have a fair chance at any drops that come up, even when running in a PUG or with another guild. And only time will tell how this is going to play out in the medium- to long-run, but for now, it looks like the best option for those who want more control over their drops is to work on getting more guild-only runs going, or at least meeting the 80% rule.

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