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Posts with tag rolling

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

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: Reforging loot systems

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.

In the spirit of last week's column about various loot issues, I decided to feature the following email today. It comes from a guild leader who is worried about the stat changes in Wrath and Cataclysm and how they might affect his guild's loot system. Is it time to ditch the dice?

I'm GM of a guild that has had a member pose a question about the way we do loot in raids. We are not a "hardcore" raiding guild though we do have around 2-4 scheduled raids per week both 10 man and 25 man. Our loot system was set up to try to be fair to and distribute gear throughout our members to help the entire guild grow and progress. We roll on gear and each member is allowed one main spec win, one off spec, and one tier piece per run. If you have won you are still allowed to roll on a piece that fits your character, but it someone rolls on it that hasn't won you will automatically lose to the person that hasn't won in that specific category. If all people have won something already it's just a high roll wins scenario.

We also have guidelines concerning which type of gear is most suited to a particular niche of character; i.e. tanks, healers, dps, etc. The system has worked for pretty well so far, but this one member brought up a valid point concerning leather and cloth healer gear in the future.

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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)

Officers' Quarters: The fall surge

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

Back in June, I wrote about surviving the summer, when raider interest wanes and many players go AFK for weeks on end. Now that fall is back in full swing, all those players are back. Many guilds find themselves with a renewed roster of raiders clamoring for suddenly limited slots. This week, one reader asks how to handle all the extra bodies.


I lead a casual raiding guild. We have 1 25-man a week and about 3 10-mans a week including ToC 10 and Ulduar 10. I don't force anyone to raid. I tell them that they can sign up for whatever they want but if they sign up and don't show up, then they are penalized.

My problem is that since I allow anyone to sign up and I don't have set groups, what do I do when I have more people signed up than I need?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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.

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

Officers' Quarters: Dual spec, double loot?

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

Ever since Ghostcrawler's Q&A session last week, it seems like everyone wants to talk about dual specs, so I might as well give in. A few readers have written me to ask how I will handle loot distribution in this crazy double-speccing future. Does having two easily switchable specs entitle a player to double the loot? One reader details his struggle to formulate a fair and effective system:

Dear Scott,

As I'm sure you're aware by now, Blizzard recently stated that dual specs are definitely in the foreseeable future. This brings a huge dilemma on raid loot distribution. How do I distribute loot when everyone can use it now?

The issue was brought up on our guild's forum recently, and I had not even thought about the possible ramifications til now. Is there any good solution? Let me give a little run down of my thoughts so far.

[. . .]One officer suggested that we up the amount of DKP people can earn on a boss and let everyone bid on the item if they could use it in their dual specs. My thoughts were that this would highly inflate the DKP of the "pure" classes seeing as they only need one set of gear so would be bidding on only half as many times as "hybrid" classes. And that would not be fair to those who play hybrid classes but for the sole purpose of DPS. Also, it would open up the floodgates on tier tokens. If everyone had the right to roll on whatever they could use, they'd be bidding on more than one tier token, possibly alienating the newcomers who could afford said token but just didn't have enough DKP to outroll the weekly raider who already has that tier item for another spec essentially making loot distribution less even across the board.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Rolling restarts

Between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. PDT today (Sunday July 27th) all U.S. realms will be undergoing a rolling restart. Each realm should be down for about 15 minutes, though these things have a tendency to last longer than scheduled.

The login announcement tells us that the servers are getting a hotfix applied to them, however there is no indication what the hotfix is for.

If anything does happen to extend this restart, you'll see it here on WoW Insider.

Filed under: Realm News, Realm Status, News items

Forum post of the day: I need that for my PvP set

I'm sure at some point in time we've all seen epic looting nightmares. More than once I've been hoping for a drop in an instance only to have another party member beat me on a need roll. Usually, though it's something they actually do need, at least as much as I do. Sometimes ninja looting is even an accident, but other times it is not.

Avirisa of Mannoroth is a might miffed that she was outrolled for a Commendation of Kael'Thas ... to a Hunter... for PvP. As a tank, she said he was running the instance to acquire that drop. Most responded that this behavior is part of what gives Hunters a bad name in the game (Huntard). Some blamed the original poster for inviting not only a Hunter, but a Night Elf Hunter to the group.

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Filed under: Hunter, Warrior, Items, Instances, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Breakfast Topic: Rerolling our roots

The question arose in the WoW official forums "Why do they call it 'rolling?'" This is of course in reference to creating new characters. The original poster pointed out that there really is no rolling involved just selection. I'm sure its obvious to most of us that the terms comes from pen and paper role playing games where we roll dice to determine character statistics and sometimes other attributes. But it got me thinking of terms that we use for WoW that came from other games:

  • The battleground Zerg comes from Starcraft's Zerg race which was kind of a fast, battle driven faction.
  • DKP is short for Dragon Kill Points, a term that dates back to EverQuest when the main bosses were dragons.
  • Nerf means to make things less powerful, and refers to the Nerf brand of spongy toys.
  • For some reason we refer to instances as dungeons, despite the fact that Stockades is the only actual dungeon that comes to mind. Though I have to admit, even in D&D dungeon crawls were typically done in caves or castles.

It's surprising how terms seem to stick with us even when they're obsolete. Speaking of rolling, when was the last time you actually rolled down a window in a car?

It's good to go back and remember out gaming roots. I'm sure there are many more crossover terms, and terms from the World of Warcraft lexicon like Leroy Jenkins, will out live Azeroth. For the life of me I can't find the etiology of the term "twink." What else am I missing?

Filed under: Fan stuff, Breakfast Topics, Lore, Forums

Getting Death Knights epic in only 25 levels

Boomslang has an interesting point of view on the fact that in the next expansion, Death Knights will start at level 55. We've heard his concerns that there'll be too many Death Knights floating around, but he says that starting them out at level 55 is, in his words, "cheap." Every other class, he says, had to roll up from one, so why should Death Knights be any different?

The given answer is something that we heard at BlizzCon last year: Blizzard wants this Hero class to be epic in a way that no other class has before, so they don't want anyone who can literally command death running around as a level one noob. But does that justify cutting off more than half of the Death Knight's lifespan? Can a class that you started past the halfway point really be as epic as that Hunter or Warlock that you leveled to 80 all the way up from level 1?

Again, we don't yet know exactly how a Death Knight is created -- maybe there's something in the quest to get one that will explain what's going on here. And other people say that just letting the Death Knight start at 55 isn't enough -- if you get a character to level 80, you should be able to get a head start with any class, without having to go back and do all the lowbie quests again. We'll see in the expansion if Blizzard can make a class that you level only 25 levels feel as epic as they say it will.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Leveling, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

The accidental ninja

Spensi on WoW LJ says she may have accidentally ninja'ed -- it was clear before the raid that if Moroes' Pocket Watch dropped, she would get it. But when it actually dropped, she apparently looted it herself as main looter without saying anything, and her guildies didn't quite remember the deal before the instance started. Was it a ninja? I don't know -- there are good points on both sides.

In fact, it seems the only way to really avoid loot drama is to, unfortunately, be as selfless as possible. Last night, I did a run of Ramparts on my up-and-coming hunter, and on the first boss, the Hunter mail pants dropped. The other Hunter in the party needed them as well, so we rolled on them, and I won. Later in the instance, another green piece came up that we both needed, but to be fair, I let him have it. And finally, on the second boss, the mail hands dropped, and I did need them, but once again, to avoid drama, I just let the other Hunter have them. I could probably have made a case for at least rolling on them, but it wouldn't have been fair for me to walk away from the instance with two blues when he only had a green, so to keep the peace I let it go.

It worked out, too, because I picked up some great blue hands anyway when I turned the quest in. And that's the thing to remember when it comes to loot -- there will always be more of it. Even if your item doesn't drop, or you don't win this roll, or your guildie gets angry because you nabbed an item, even though they knew you needed it, there'll always be more drops and more rolls and more loot to get.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends

Breakfast Topic: How do you distribute 5-man loot?

I've noticed something a bit unexpected and confusing over the last few months: apparently, the way my server generally deals with loot in 5-mans is strange. Rather than rely on the in-game roller, we pass on all loot, and let people call need on a piece. Then we all roll need or greed on the stuff. If there's an enchanter in group, they can disenchant the loot for the winner on a greed roll and hand over a shard. Lately, though, since Blizzard started allowing server transfers, it seems a lot of the new 70s have come in and told us that this method is a bit weird. Why don't we just use the in-game rolling system? Why should enchanters be expected to automatically be willing to shard gear for non-enchanters without compensation? These are questions that are really alien to most of our server community, but there they are.

So, I thought I'd ask you, dear readers. How do you deal with 5-man loot on your servers or groups? Do you just use the built in roll system? Do you use Master loot? Do you pass and discuss? Is it generally expected that an Enchanter will gladly shard loot for everyone in the group, or is it expected that an Enchanter only need shard his own loot?

Filed under: Enchanting, Items, Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances

A world full of Death Knights

This little informal survey by Ralloszek over on the WotLK forums raises a pretty good question: is anyone not planning on making a Death Knight when the next expansion hits? We're going to end up with a world full of pale people in black armor wielding gigantic frostblades-- maybe Blizzard should call it "World full of Lich Kings."

It's pretty easy to see that not everyone will switch their main (I don't ever foresee leaving my main, although I do plan to level a Death Knight as an alt), but even if people just roll them to check it out, it reminds me a lot of the Star Wars Galaxies "new game enhancements" where they made Jedi a playable class. If you can roll a Jedi as a class, why would you roll anything else?

Of course, we could give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt here-- they haven't revealed much at all about the game's first Hero Class, so maybe it'll be so hard to get one that they really will be very rare, or they'll only be allowed in certain areas (so you won't see a pack of Death Knights swarming around the mailbox in Stormwind). We already know that they'll start at a higher level, so the good news is that you won't see Elwynn Forest flooded with a bunch of level 1 Death Knights. But as for other ways to keep what is supposed to be a special class special, we'll have to see what Blizzard comes up with.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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