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Drama Mamas: Dungeon Finder loot advice

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Yes, we're going to go on about the Dungeon Finder again this week. This time it isn't about Gearscore or DPS, but about the loot issues that have cropped up. The thing about cross-realm PuGs is that you may never see your fellow dungeon runners again. Or when you do, you may forget that you have -- unless you meticulously document all ne'er-do-wells by hand. Blizzard attempted to mitigate some of the issues they knew would arise by changing the Need Before Greed loot rules and requiring it for random dungeon rewards. But you're still going to get players working the system in order to line their pockets as well as upgrade their gear. And they aren't worried about their reputations Battlegroup-wide. At the same time, many people are expecting their fellow PuGgers to abide by loot rules designed to better a guild as a whole rather than a random crew of strangers.

This week we are tackling two letters as well as concerns from other sources in an effort to provide a solution for the Dungeon Finder loot drama:

Hi Drama Mamas: Recently, I was fortunate to get the battered hilt quest and upon completion, got my level 251 sword. A few days later, I was in a PuG group running the Pit of Saron and the group wanted to farm all the trash in hopes of getting the Battered Hilt quest. The group then informed me that I should not roll for the quest if it dropped because I already had the sword. I disagreed but said that I wouldn't roll if it dropped. It didn't drop that time.

My question is that, if I am helping farm the trash, why shouldn't I have the chance to get the quest again? On my server, I have seen the quest advertised for 17,000 in the AH. I know I have the sword, but if I am contributing equally to the group's success, shouldn't I be allowed to roll for it too? Am I being selfish? Please let me know. Signed, Fleata

Dear Drama Mamas: With all the talk about bad PuGs and the Dungeon Finder it reminded me of an incident I had in a recent random heroic. I raid as a moonkin druid, but also have a good tanking set and a bear offspec. So when I run randoms, I will queue as both DPS and tank. With the shortage of tanks, that is the role I am always asked to play in the random. Since the release of 3.3, I've been running Pit of Saron almost every day for a chance at Nevermelting Ice Crystal, the caster trinket off the last boss, for my moonkin gear. The other night, it drops for me for the first time and I roll Need, the mage in the group also Needs it. When I win the roll, he starts to freak out -- calling me a ninja and telling me I have no right to roll on DPS stuff as a tank when a DPS needs it and continues to insult me. I was unsure of how to respond to him and since the run was over and the other members had started to leave the group, I left as well with out saying anything at all to the mage.

Loot seems to be a major cause for drama but randoms don't seem to have any set rules. I know before the Dungeon Finder, typically rules for PuG raids were main spec before off spec and whatever spec you were playing in the raid counted as your main spec. What is the etiquette for random PuG loot? When the interface picks your role, should that determine the loot you have a right to? When tanking, should I only need roll on DPS items when no one else in the group wants them? If there are caster items I want, should I only go to runs as moonkin? What should I have done in this situation with the mage? Thanks for the insight, Scared to go Bear.


Drama Mama Robin: Fleata and Scared to go Bear are just two of the letters that have come across the Drama Mamas' virtual desk regarding Dungeon Finder loot drama. I've also heard quite a bit of kvetching in guild regarding people rolling Need on gear they won't actually use. And don't even get The Spousal Unit started on Frozen Orbs. With the established practice being to Greed on them, ninjas are able to Need and run.

Personally, I think that random dungeons are the perfect place to outfit your offspecs -- and that particularly applies to the tanks and healers who are making your LFG waits shorter. I also think that it is asking a bit much to require someone to pass on an item that is worth 15+K gold, regardless of previous lucky rolls. But while I think that people who Need on gear that they are just planning to shard or sell are being inconsiderate, 5-mans are so speedy these days that you are likely to have another chance at the same gear in the very near future.

One of my favorite bloggers, Joe the Peacock, recently said something profound (in a post with NSFW language): trust is something we have total control over. If we choose to trust a stranger, we are deciding to give up some of that control. I say that the solution to PuG looting issues is to not allow the ninjas and greedy-needers to control the situation. So here is my suggestion in three simple steps:

  1. Communicate: State your loot intentions at the very beginning of the dungeon. I know many PuGgers are hacking at mobs before all of their teammates have zoned in, but try to make yourself heard over the sounds of battle.
  2. Need everything you can: I know this sounds super greedy; but if it's agreed on at the outset that everyone will be doing it, you won't be doing anything shady. You won't have to worry about the tank being able to take your cloth gear anyway. And this way the ninjas don't win with the Frozen Orb rolls at the end. Also, it will speed up the run considerably since there will be no thinking involved whenever the loot decision box appears.
  3. Relax and move on to the next dungeon: Don't dwell on the gear that Ubergearedpally won or the purple BoE that is going straight to the AH. Just go with the flow and hope your luck is better in the next run.
If you really want a drop that you have been unable to get in multiple runs, then just do what you used to do before Patch 3.3: get a group of friends together to run the instance until you get it. And, of course, the above suggestion only applies to random PuGs. Single-realm, pre-formed groups should still stick to the established loot procedures, agreed upon at the outset.

I wish you all fortuitous random number generation.

Drama Mama Lisa: Wham, bam, thank you, ma'am – yes, Dungeon Finder runs are that fast, and yes, other players look at you as just another hole in their loot pinatas. The Drama Mamas continue with all due diligence to encourage respectful, friendly interaction among groupmates, but of course, there's no guarantee that some heathens will attain even basic standards of civility. Robin has the right idea: while you may be quite used to rolling Greed or even master looting and /rolling for certain items that everyone can benefit from, when in the Dungeon Finder, do as the Dungeon Finders do.

We think it best, therefore, to gird yourself at takeoff and brace for some rough landings:

Good afternoon and welcome to Air Dungeon Finder. Please return your seat backs to the full upright position, latch all table trays and ensure that your seat belts are fastened. We encourage you to place loot orders prior to takeoff; orders not placed until service is in progress may not be processed. Press the "Need" button for immediate, courteous assistance. In today's PUG market, we recognize that you have a choice; we appreciate your choosing ADF and hope that our automated systems make your PUG experience a more pleasant one. Again, we wish you a fruitful and entertaining flight, and thank you for flying Air Dungeon Finder.


Remember, your mama wouldn't want to see your name on any drama. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Instances, Features, Drama Mamas

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