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Posts with tag loot-drama

Drama Mamas: Loot rules rule

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

We are still compiling our results edition, so if your letter was answered and you'd like to tell us what happened, please send an email to In the meantime, let's talk about loot rules.
Dear Drama Mamas,

A few months ago I joined a guild so I could finally have some people to talk to (I tend to go alone for a long time until I see a guild that interests me) and to have the chance to raid. As I play a healer I was immediately accepted in the raid team and, although we're not even done with normal progress in the Mogu'shan Vaults, we've done relatively well. Some of the people in the guild are pretty nice and I like to be around and play with them, but there is one problem little that's been bothering me for a few weeks now: loot drama.

Our loot rules are simple: if you can use it for main spec, roll for it. Everyone seems to love that system, except for me. I prefer systems like EPGP or something similar because, in my opinion, when you're raiding with your guild you should be rewarded for commitment and not just luck (that opinion might or might not have something to do with my terrible luck... >.>).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: Culture shock

A shaman shocks a training dummy
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 from No Starch Press.

This week's email presents an interesting situation about recruiting, loot, raiding, and drama. I'll let it speak for itself.

Help Me Guild Master Guru - You're My Only Hope!!!

I've written in the past and you've been helpful. I have a doosie for you. My guild has been around for almost 3 years and I've been a guild leader and officer for about 4 years. We're your average run of the mill raiding guild with a little more than half of the heroic bosses down in DS. We're more than just a guild, we're a family.

Our focus is on raiding and killing bosses. Our policies and mission reflect that focus.

We recently had a discussion among our leadership about possibly absorbing the core members of another guild that's falling apart. They raid with a little more intensity than we do, but we have members that want to raid at that intensity. So there was discussion about having one group raid at that intensity and our other 2-3 groups just mosey along like we've always done. The problem was, the officer from the other guild that I was discussing this with had his own ideas for this raid team that didn't quite jive with us (especially regarding the loot policy). One of our officers was extremely vocal and emotional against this happening. The discussion derailed and that's no longer an option.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: When you're asked to pass on loot

A sign near a lake that reads,
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 from No Starch Press.

At one time or another, all of us who play WoW long enough have been "asked to pass" on loot. Usually it all works out OK. Either you pass or you don't, and everyone goes about their business. However, the situation is bursting with the potential for drama -- as we see in the following email.
Hello Scott,

Great blog, I'm relatively new to WoW (joined my first and current raiding guild in the beginning of Cataclysm) and have due to some unfortunate situations become guild leader. I had to learn and adapt quickly and your blog has helped me a lot. Recently, I had to deal with a situation that seemed very dramatic from my PoV and needed my attention as GM.

The guild was doing a more casual Dragon Soul run. We normally have raids for raiding members only and we use EP/GP there. This run was set up and led by an experienced raid and guild leader that is part of our raiding team. I did not personally attend -- normally I would lead raids.

They used the Roll system to distribute loot. However, there were a few members of the progression raiding team that attended this run. Some of them still interested in some rarer normal drops. While it was not required, it seemed to be common behaviour to pass for these main raiders when they needed an item.

At some point, an item that one of the main raiders actually needed dropped, and was rolled on.

This is where it starts.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

The Azeroth Ethicist: Cheating (or not cheating) the roll system

I was healing a Well of Eternity PUG a few days ago when I got a whisper from the group's warrior tank.

Warrior: Could you help me out with something?

Me: Sure, what do you need?

Warrior: If Varo'then's Brooch drops at the end, would you roll on it for me?

Me: Um ...

I'd been off in my own little world watching health bars and thinking about next week's Shifting Perspectives column and hadn't paid any attention to the group's composition. It turns out the DPSers were a mage, a hunter, and -- oh, there we go -- a frost death knight. So in the event that the strength trinket dropped, the warrior tank wanted me to roll on it and, if I won, give it to him over the DK. He probably asked the mage and the priest to do the same thing, but the group was quiet in party chat, so I have no way of knowing.

We had a small and, to his credit, civil conversation over it, and there are a few issues here on which I'd like to get readers' opinions.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

4 lessons from 5 years of Officers' Quarters

Postcard showing the officers' quarters at Fort Des Moines
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 from No Starch Press.

Amazingly enough, exactly five years ago today -- at 11:15 a.m. on May 7, 2007 -- the very first Officers' Quarters went live on WoW Insider. It was so long ago that I actually used Thottbot links. Since then, yours truly has composed more than 250 OQs. At about 1,000 words per column, I've written enough words on the topic of guild leadership to fill up a large fantasy novel. (Of course, I've also written an actual book on the topic.)

For this column, I briefly thought about pulling out the best and worst of OQ to share my personal favorites (and my shame) from the past five years. I decided against it. Maybe some day I'll do that -- maybe right before I hang up my WoW Insider columnist sash -- but that day is not today.

Rather, I thought I'd do something more personal. OQ has always been about learning how to do a better job as an officer and a guild leader, both for your members and yourself. During the past five years, I've done my best to give advice on exactly that.

However, I've never claimed to have it all figured out. I've also learned a lot, too. On this anniversary, I'd like to share four things that I've learned over the past five years. (Five would have been better, but I'm long-winded.)

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Does a video game have to force us to make good choices?

Take a moment and picture this: There's a politician out there, a pretty sleazy politician, who is basically in a position of power to use that power to do whatever suits him or her best -- no regard for anyone that voted him into office, no real sense of caring for those he is supposedly serving. One day, someone comes up to that politician and says, "Hey man, I'll give you $3 million if you start taking an interest in your constituents and doing what is best for them, OK?" The politician agrees, takes the money, and promptly starts doing the right thing.

Is that politician in the wrong? Or is that politician simply learning that if he behaves badly, he'll get a bribe to start behaving correctly? What's to stop him from behaving badly again, if he thinks he's going to get another $3 million out of the deal? More importantly, if all the other politicians out there see this guy get a bribe to behave like a decent politician and all of those politicians decide to start behaving badly in an effort to get that bribe for themselves, are they in the wrong?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Breakfast Topic: Have you ever caused loot drama?

Every so often, we tackle the subject of loot drama in the Drama Mamas column. Usually, it's a story about how someone else caused the kerfluffle and how to deal with that kind of situation. But recently, someone wrote in after causing quite a bit of loot drama himself. He didn't realize it, and the raid leaders definitely handled the situation poorly by not stating the loot rules at the beginning of the run and informing the player that he could only get one loot drop and allowing him to roll on another. So really, it was drama all around.

Drama often happens when someone wins a roll and hands it over to a significant other, against stated loot rules. Have you ever done that? Is it just a token of affection? Or was there a threat of personal repercussions if the transfer wasn't made?

Have you ever let a PUG or someone of lower rank in the guild roll on an item and then made up a rule on the fly if you don't like the outcome? Have you made a loot decision based solely on how much or little you liked the player? Have you rolled need on something you didn't need specifically to grief your group? Have you ever ninjaed an item and then quit the group?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The etiquette of rolling on gear in groups

Dungeons drop gear. For many players, that's the whole point of going into an instance, whether it's a 5-man dungeon or a huge raid instance. We're locked in the ever-expanding search for better gear, and you have to kill bosses to get your sweet, sweet loot.

Most guilds use one or more various systems to make sure loot distribution is fair. Some employ a basic rule of civility; once you get gear in an a raid, it's polite to defer further drops to other guildmates. Others use complicated but effective point systems, assigning dropped gear a point value that members can bid against. No matter what the general system for rolling on gear, the foundation of the system is based on all group members' being part of a common team.

Pickup groups and Raid Finder groups possess no such commonality. The teams comprise random folks thrown together by Blizzard's behind-the-scenes group-building algorithms. Basic roles are filled, a few rules followed -- but basically anyone can get thrown together into a group.

Random groups rarely agree on loot etiquette before getting started. We all say we should agree on loot rules beforehand, but that rarely actually happens. Instead, most folks charge ahead into the dungeon operating under only a few basic assumptions about how loot will be divided. With that in mind, let's review the basic etiquette of rolling on gear in groups.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Officers' Quarters: Raid leading is stressful

boss strategy diagram
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 now from No Starch Press.

The title of this post goes without saying, but let's say it anyway. It's something that the other nine or 24 players in your raid need to be reminded of from time to time. If anyone reading this has never had the dubious honor of leading a raid before, I strongly urge you to peruse the following email. I'll warn you, though, it's a long one! As for you dedicated raid leaders out there, this column is for you.
Dear Scott,

This is a raid leadership question rather than a guild leadership question -- I hope that's all right! I'm not much of a leader by nature, and I could really use some advice on how to deal with the position in which I've gotten myself.

I'm not a guild leader (thank god), but I run a one-night-a-week raid group for friends who don't have the opportunity to raid more often, and for alts of members of the main raid group.

Progression-wise, we're doing fine; H 3/7, with each new fight being picked up pretty quickly. I have no complaints at all about progression, which I thought would be the main source of stress.

Instead, I've been stressing out over the drama between players -- mostly loot drama, as three members of the raid are on the same token and use similar gear -- and decision-making. I hate drama, and I hate having to make decisions that affect 9 other people and could very well be WRONG decisions (going after Beth'tilac instead of Shannox our first week in FL, for instance), and having to worry about both of these things just makes the raid a source of pressure and something I wish I could avoid.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Mailbox roundup

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.

Here at Officers' Quarters I receive a number of e-mails every week that don't get featured in the column. Sometimes they are too personal and the sender requests that they do not appear on the site. Others are topics I've already addressed. Some are questions that don't require a long and detailed response and thus don't have quite enough depth to merit an entire column. This week I am featuring a few of these latter e-mails with the common theme of loot. If you think the topic requires more discussion than I've given it, tell us about it below!

Culling the Strong


I am a part of a raiding guild which has been having a lot of growing pains. I have been with this guild for several years and many of the new players that we get are very poor players in general. I can often out dps someone in my same class running with my spec who has better gear. My guild has a loot policy which gears the lower dps players first in an effort to help progression, even if they have better overall gear than me.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: A friendly loot system

The irony of loot systems is that, the "friendlier" they are -- the more social in practice -- the more they seem to cause drama. We're not lacking for examples. This week shows us once again why "friendly" loot systems are sometimes anything but!

Hi, I'm a officer in a casual raiding guild, when I say casual is that while we do raid 3/4 days a week, teams are not locked, we offer rotations and try to give our members a nice balance of raiding with just fooling around for achievements or whatever we feel the mood for.

Our loot rules -- to reflect our casual approach -- we use a main spec 1st roll followed by a off-spec roll, with the limitations on one 'need/main spec' roll win per run. That way all have same opportunities to get loot, and one person doesn't accumulate the lot in one single run. We dabbled with point systems before, but didn't workout as teams changed week to week, making those who raid more accumulate so many points that others with less raiding time had no chances over loot so made them raid even less. [. . .]

The 'A team' party got on the usual one-shot boss business until a loot issue appeared. A lovely piece of kit dropped, and everyone in the raid knew who had been talking about it for weeks. he knew the loot tables by heart and every time we faced the boss wished for the drop. Everyone was cheering and congratulating the guy over vent and chat. He had been really unlucky with drops on the last months, and this was his price -- the one item he really was after. Then the problem occurred.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: PUGs are people too

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.

As Wrath of the Lich King winds down, interest in the current raiding scene will wane. Members will play less, attend less, or even quit the game until the next expansion draws them back in. More and more guilds will have no choice but to invite PUG players to fill their remaining slots. When PUGs join your raid, loot can become an even more sensitive issue. This week, one player is fed up watching PUGs win loot over fellow guildies.


I'm writing to you Scott to request assistance or advice with an issue i seem to be having. I'm the offtank for my 10 man ICC guild, we only have 1 wing down, but we are extremely casual. Usually during our runs we will take 1-3 pugs with us as not everyone who signs up for a raid makes it. Here is where my issue comes in. The pug's get to roll on the gear that we guildies have been bashing our heads into a wall to get for the last month, and they WIN!! The GL/RL just hands it right on over like it's a piece of candy. I'm tired of it Scott and I don't know when to put my foot down as an officer and say "enough is enough" and "It's time for a change".

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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."

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Ultimatum

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I see this happen all too often when Blizzard releases a new tier of raiding: People get terribly impatient with loot. They want the new loot, and they want it now. They somehow forget that, eventually, if they keep attending raids, they'll get everything they want and then some. This week showcases a prime example of this, but also a set of loot rules that perhaps aren't working very well.

Dear Scott,

I'm in a relatively small horde guild consisting of about 15 core members. One of my best real life friends is in the guild, and they've all been together since WoW classic. I came on the scene in march, and have been very active ever since. I help put together raids, all that jazz. We've been progressing quite well through ICC 10 (what blizzard will allow us to currently at least).

The other night, we downed Marrowgar, and
Citadel Enforcer's Claymore drops. I was currently using Tyrannical Beheader from POS, and rolled a 61. A fellow pally rolled a 79. He was using Orca Hunter's Harpoon from HOR. I was the Master Looter. After much begging and pleading, I looted the sword to the pally.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

WoW Rookie: Sharding etiquette

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

UPDATE: Most groups use the automatic Disenchant option available in the loot roll box as of Patch 3.3.

This week, we're going to help you understand a practice that varies wildly from group to group, server to server and even expansion to expansion. "In the past few months, I've run into a situation with people who are (or who I think are) new players who happen to be 80," reader Sarabande writes to WoW Rookie. "To them, the idea of DEing BoP items for shards is completely alien (and to at least one, he just rolled greed on everything 'just to see if he could get it')."

Should your group roll for unwanted or unneeded drops when an enchanter is on hand to disenchant them? What's accepted in one situation might be scorned in another. Because there's no single way to handle the situation, it's important for new players to be aware of the options. It's also important to understand the reasons why players feel so strongly one way or another about this issue. Because there's no single "correct" method, the savvy player respects the group consensus.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Items, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Features, WoW Rookie, Making money

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