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Posts with tag master-looter

Breakfast Topic: The ninja problem

The new LFG system is certainly great, but there's one problem with random PuGs that I'm sure it won't fix, and that is of course the problem of ninjas. As long as random people are getting into groups (and with the new rewards system in place, there'll be plenty of that), some of them will always find the loot more tempting than keeping their reputation clean. So what's the solution?

Obviously, over on Guildwatch, we've been covering people shouting out names and guilds on the forums for a while, but as we've also reported a few times over there, that barely helps -- even if people do remember a ninja on their server, one name change later and they're gone. A few guildleaders over on Jubei'thos have tried putting a site together to track known ninjas on the server, but even that has issues; it's tough to avoid false positives, even if you do require screenshots.

But surely there must be a solution, so let's put our heads together: a debuff? Something like the group vote-kicking system that's coming in patch 3.3? If Blizzard wanted to really go for fair, they could just take the Need-before-Greed system and turn it into straight Need: if an item matches your class and spec, you get a roll (with items everyone can use giving everyone a roll), and the best roll always wins. You can turn it off (for a Master Looter-style raid), but for PuGs, why even bother with a Need/Greed difference? What do you think?

Filed under: Items, Breakfast Topics, Instances, Raiding, Bosses, Making money

Patch 3.2: Misloot tickets to be a thing of the past

Amidst the datamined changes to the game coming in Patch 3.2, a small detail caught my eye -- an item trait similar to the one that lets you trade back an item to a vendor if you bought it with an alternate currency (like Badges). This one, though, stated the following:

BIND_TRADE_TIME_REMAINING = "You may trade this item with players that were also eligible to loot this item for the next %s.";

Does this mean what I think it means? Yes. It does. If your raid leader or master looter accidentally gives an item to the wrong person, that person can trade it to someone else within a short window of time. This should effectively eliminate the category of "oh crap" misloot petitions, which remain a huge headache, both in terms of amount of petitions and workload involved, for Blizzard Support -- and this is coming from someone who worked on them a lot back in the day.

Now, of course, there could still be issues, so I imagine that Blizzard will keep the lines of communication open, much like they did with alternate currency refunds, though to a smaller degree. Giving players the ability to fix their (or someone else's) mistakes is always risky, but this has the best of intentions behind it -- less hassle for players, less hassle for GMs -- so I fully support it and hope that we continue to see changes like this.

Blizzard hasn't officially announced the change, though I get the feeling that they will shortly. Still, don't be too surprised if the feature gets delayed for tweaks. Better that it works later than breaks sooner.


Patch 3.2 will bring about a new 5, 10, and 25 man instance to WoW, and usher in a new 40-man battleground called the Isle of Conquest. WoW.com will have you covered every step of the way, from extensive PTR coverage through the official live release. Check out WoW.com's Guide to Patch 3.2 for all the latest!

Filed under: Patches

The pros and cons of autolooting

Gnomeaggedon has a really insightful post about one of my favorite "hidden" features in patch 3.1. The first time I ran Naxx after the patch, I was a little worried on the first boss that I couldn't loot my badges or Stone Keeper's Shards. But of course, I'd missed it in the patch notes: all of that currency stuff now works like currency should. Whenever one person in the group or raid loots it, everyone gets their own as well. No more forgetting to loot your Badge, as it all goes automatically into the currency screen. Very nice change.

But as Gnomeaggedon says, there are still a few kinks in the program (aren't there always?). Quest items still don't get auto-looted, and since Badges do, that's even less encouragement to go check the loot to see if there's anything you need. He'd also like it if items got autolinked while Master Looter is on -- right now, it's the responsibility of the Master Looter to link and give out items that get looted, and that doesn't always get done clearly. That second one is kind of a good point -- my raid looter does pretty well with showing off items, so I don't really have much of an issue with that, but it would be helpful to see for sure what's in there.

But back to autolooting: the flip side of this is that if Blizzard uses autolooting too much, the game becomes that much more simple -- they already show you where the monster is and how to kill it, and now you want them to give you the loot automatically too? While it would be easier to have quest items sent to your backpack automatically, let's not forget that mobs with loot on them are shiney. It might make sense in raids to do autolooting (since everyone is grabbing for the same quest item), but autolooting while soloing might be a little too streamlined.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Bosses

WoW Insider exclusive: PopCap releases Peggle for WoW


Yes, when PopCap released their Bejeweled addon a while back, the first question on everyone's minds was: when are we getting Peggle? And here you go: as of this morning, you can download the brand new Peggle for WoW addon from PopCap's site.

WoW Insider got a chance to play with the addon from its early beta on, and it's extremely impressive -- not only will you find the usual addictive peg-hitting gameplay that we've come to know from Peggle, but PopCap and creator Michael Fromwiller (whom we interviewed about Bejeweled, and who we're told is actually being hired on full-time at PopCap as soon as he finishes school this spring) have really added a new level to the game by tying it right into World of Warcraft. The game rewards you with "Talent points" that can change the gameplay itself, and you can challenge other players within World of Warcraft to duels and score battles. There's even a "Peggle loot" setting, which, when used as Master Looter, will let your guildies and friends with the addon actually take Peggle shots against each other to determine who gets loot drops.

It's really wild. Read on for our early impressions of the addon, check out the gallery below for exactly what it looks like, and then go head on over to PopCap's site to download it for free yourself.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Screenshots

Observations from running a Naxx-25 PuG


I'm very "up" on PuGs. I started my career as a PuG tank and met a lot of great players that way, many of whom I still raid with today. I've always been a stout supporter of throwing caution to the wind and joining LFG for an afternoon to see where it'll take you; it's been my experience that random players on your realm can and often will surprise you.

Once you master the art of the 5-person PuG, the ultimate risk is a raid PuG. One-shot the instance, or spend the night wiping? You won't know until you try.

I used to run Hyjal PuG's in late Burning Crusade and got to be the person in charge of arranging healers on Anetheron, explaining where to die on Azgalor, and uttering a hollow laugh at suggestions on whether or not Archimonde was in the cards (answer: hell no). I wasn't around for my guild's Naxx run one of these past weeks, and a few guildies were interested in gearing up their alts, so we thought -- PuG a 25-man Naxx? Why not?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, Classes

Guildwatch: Topping meters on every character, every night


It is a kind of poetry, really: the lament of the shunned looter. Bullgrim was clearly unhappy that after all of his hard work, his strat sharing, his walking of the guild through old raids, his bringing of 110% every night, and his passing up of "numerous offers from better guilds," the RNG decided to keep him from getting the piece of loot he really wanted. A shame. But great art comes from great suffering, and this is definitely great -- well, it's kind of art. Kind of.

Lots more art (depending, once again, on your definition of "art") in this week's GW -- we've got guild drama, downs, and recruiting notices from all across the realms. We're almost cleared through the backlog of guild notices (sorry if we had a delay on yours there -- we got a ton of them all at once), so we'll give out the email once again: to see your guild here, drop us a note (and please keep it short, sweet, and clear) at wowguildwatch@gmail.com. Click on to read on!

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding, Guildwatch, Bosses

DKP pitfalls and how to jump them

Kree's got a nice set of posts about some of the more advanced problems with a DKP system in his guild (he calls them pitfalls, which works very well as a metaphor). I've never been part of a really serious DKP system, but just like with any other economy, DKP can lead itself to imbalances if you aren't careful with how people are getting and spending points.

Inflation is definitely a problem I've seen in other guilds -- usually, with DKP, you have a few very consistent raiders, and everyone else can fall behind. And eventually you get a few folks with tons of DKP, so much so that they can outspend everyone else and basically dictate how gear drops. Kree's solutions are good, though -- he offers up "point rot" (points devalue over time, so you can't save up tons of them at once), and a point cap (though even that can cause problems, as people are forced to spend DKP on gear they don't need rather than losing them). The other issues, collusion and upbidding, don't happen quite so often (both of those require players to be rather malicious, and in guilds where everyone knows which gear they should and shouldn't use, you don't usually have an issue), but he's got some good solutions there as well.

DKP was designed
to make sure passing out drops is fair, and Blizzard has put all sorts of rules and restrictions in the game to try and get raiders the gear they need without a lot of fighting. As long as your guild remembers that there's always more gear to go around and that no one piece is worth stealing or causing trouble over, a good, balanced DKP system can help you avoid these alligator-filled pitfalls pretty easily.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Raiding

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