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Officers' Quarters: Rolling like jerks


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

Ah, the good, old-fashioned /random command -- where would WoW be without it? It fixes so many problems. It's utterly impartial. It can't be bribed, cajoled, or reasoned with. The /random command is the friend of every PUG raid leader.

In a guild setting, however, using /random for loot distribution only works when you're sensible about using it. When you're not, you open up your guild to some terrible situations. I present Exhibit A:

Hi Scott,

I'm a semi officer in my guild (I get to be in officer chat, but I can't invite people or make policy changes, though I'm asked for my opinion quite a bit). Lately, our guild is just managing to kill the first four bosses of Icecrown in both 10 man, and the 25 man that we have to pug. (We're not a huge guild.) But lately, we've been having some problems with loot distribution. I know I know, that's always the case isn't it?

Well over the past few weeks, we've been noticing some problems with the /rolls we've been doing. In one 25 man ICC, 3 pieces of tank loot dropped, were rolled on, and went to 1 single tank(not even the MT). Problem is, Tanking isn't the role he likes to do. He enjoys healing or DPSing... but because he's gotten the loot, our Guild leader and MT wants him to be the offtank...

If that was the end of it, it'd be easy enough to fix. Get a loot council and be done with it. But, since we PUG our 25 mans, those rules don't apply, and they got worse when one of our healers rolled on a healing weapon, then immediately posted in guild, "Anyone in the raid want this thing for 6K? I need my epic flyer."

As you can imagine, these situations are causing some major issues. We've had one tank up and quit since he's not allowed to tank (since there's no open spot for him as the GL wants tanking gear), our healers who are going to be staying with us aren't as geared as we need them to be, and several guildies are demanding anyone trying to sell loot be immediately banned from the guild.

So now that you have the back story, here's the actual question: Is solving these problems just as simple as changing loot rules? Because it seems like a change is needed... and even the GL admits it's an issue, but they are so worried about straying from the rolling system that they don't want to change anything. Is there a loot system you suggest that would fit a guild like ours? Plus, as I'm not an official officer, is this something I should even concern myself with?

I appreciate the assistance, and hope you're having a great week!

--Semi-not-so-kinda-officer

Hi, SNSKO. Things have certainly gotten out of hand when players are openly advertising in guild chat to sell loot they just won in a guild run. Your officers need to stomp on that. That should NEVER be allowed to happen.

I really can't think of anything more selfish than taking a piece of loot away from a fellow guild member and then offering to sell it back to that person for cash. Your officers should make it very clear that rolling for items to sell is never acceptable under any circumstances. Then if they catch anyone doing it after that point, gkick away.

As far as the guy who doesn't want to tank rolling on tank gear -- well, if you're going to roll on the gear, the officers are going to want you to use it. If that player didn't want to use it, he shouldn't be rolling on it. End of story!

For a rolling system to work, it requires two things: courtesy and common sense. It sounds like your members are lacking in both. This type of situation tends to degrade over time. Your players see one person rolling on and winning a whole bunch of items, and they see that the officers let it happen. So next time, they decide to roll on everything, too. Why hold back when other people don't?

This is a problem that only officers can fix. One of your officers needs to step up and provide some ground rules to put a stop to this free for all. Do you have rules about main specs versus offspecs, and main toons versus alts? If not, you should.

Do you have loot caps? In a run with PUG players, loot caps are essential. And it sounds like the way your players selfishly roll on everything that drops, you could use them in your all-guild runs, too. It's a little bit of extra work for the officers and/or raid leaders, but it's well worth the effort. PUG players won't protest a loot cap. It's quite common. Just be sure to let people know about it at the beginning.

In a /random rolling system, there's no limit to what you can roll on without these additional rules. And additional rules are quite necessary to prevent the kind of drama you're dealing with.

If you can't always count on a run to be all-guild, you don't have too many options for other systems. If you implement a more formal, organized system like DKP or EPGP, you'd have to go back to rolling every time there's a PUG in your raid. I've seen people try to incorporate PUG players into their formal systems for one run, and, in my experience, it doesn't work out very well. The PUG players don't want to be part of your system. They just want a fair crack at the items they need, and /random gives them the fairest opportunity.

The easiest solution is to ask your players to stop rolling like jerks. But if they can't or won't, you need more rules. You as a not-so-kinda officer can only recommend, but I'd certainly say you should bring these issues to the full officers for consideration before you lose any more players.

/salute

Send Scott your guild-related questions, conundrums, ideas, and suggestions at scott@wow.com. You may find your question the subject of next week's Officers' Quarters!

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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