2 PuG Raid Loot Systems: Performance Based vs Tichon System

I’ve had my heart broken again. You see, I was chasing after this cloak on my Elemental Shaman (yes I DPS too). It only drops from Sartharion with his 2 lackeys up. We were supposed to be together. After the buffs were set out and the strategy explained, we entered the fray. Sarth was pulled and positioned in the corner. Moments later, Tenebron landed. One of the tanks picked him up and corralled him in the back. It was like a synchronized swimming performance. Everyone moved in unison. Every fire wall was dodged. Every void zone, avoided.

Except for one player.

He fell to a void zone early on and swore he wasn’t standing in it. Obviously the results spoke for themselves.

It was a Paladin.

I thought nothing of it. Slowly but surely, the synchronized swimming team started to lose focus. One by one, players drowned in the sea of mobs, walls or voids. The remaining few pressed on. The first drake died. Vesperon landed. He, too, fell at the cost of a healer and 2 hunters.

When the smoke cleared and the dust settled, there were 10 players remaining. The island was littered with corpses. Slowly but surely they were brought back into the land of the living.

The loot was linked. Sure enough, my beloved cloak had dropped.

As it was being rolled off, I rolled an 86. I held my breath. Would it hold?

A 73,
A 81,
A 26,
A 35

Until I saw a 95.

My heart stopped and I stared. The same Paladin who was our first casualty won the cloak.

I was crushed. I bowed my head, accepted my fate and hearthed.

Performance System

If I were to devise my own loot rules for an encounter with multiple difficulty levels, I’d impose a set of conditions.

Just because a player has the achievement doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a good player. While they are a useful tool in filtering out really standout players (who wouldn’t want to invite an Immortal?), achievements only say so much.

So let’s go back to our OS 2 drake example here.

When you link to me your 2 drake achievement, what does that tell me? It tells me that you’ve successfully done the fight. You’re aware of the fire walls. You know about the void zones. You know about the elementals and the mini-drakes. In theory, you should be to avoid those hazards.

What about a tiered reward system?

Let’s say we start out with a free roll system with main specs. If Pennant cloak drops, the casters can go after it. If Obsidian Greathelm drops, all the plate wearing DPS ground pounders can square off for it.

Here’s where we make it interesting and this is where its put up or shut up time.

If you die to a void zone, a firewall, or something else that’s easily avoidable, you forfeit the right to roll the bonus item. You can still take a crack at the tier tokens or whatever the base level items are.

In theory, this should be an incentive for experienced players to become even more extra careful. It emphasizes a lot more on player survivability then DPS since there are no DPS conditions attached.

It would be more challenging to model it into a Naxx pug. But you know, I do get tired of seeing “undeserving” players getting items they should have no business wearing. Is that elitist of me?

Yeah, it is. I’ve got no problems with players getting the best items in the game if they’ve proven that they deserve it. Dying in a fight, and AFKing only to come back and win a roll after every other player alive finished off the encounter does not prove to me that they deserve it. I find that insulting.

But that’s just my take on it. Obviously the downside to this system is that you might not get any players at all in your pickup raid when they find out the conditions attached to it.

Tichon System

This is a slight departure from above. It’s designed to be much quicker in the handling of loot and addresses the main spec/off spec delays. It’s got nothing to do with the performance aspect. In most raids I’ve been a part of, the loot master typically handles an item in a way similar to this:

MAIN SPEC ROLLS

5
4
3
2
1

OFF SPEC ROLLS

5
4
3
2
1

BEG ROLL (anyone)

5
4
*insert 25 different rolls here*
2
1

That usually lasts around 20 to 30 seconds.

So what’s the Tichon system?

I was introduced to this a while ago when I was messing around on the Tichondrius server. Basically the loot rules are even easier then above. It goes something like this:

LOOT RULES

Main spec rolls 1-1000
Off spec rolls 1-100

That’s it.

No questions. What’s done is done. Everything is settled quickly and efficiently. Loot drama only flares up if players allow it. Everyone gets a shot at loot. Off spec players have a 10% chance of winning (I think). The players who need it more (the main spec players) have a higher chance of getting it but for players who the items are off spec still have a shot at also getting it.

But here’s the thing about pug loot drama

I’m of the opinion that the raid leader explains what the loot rules are before players zone in. The moment a player zones in and gets saved to a raid (after a boss kill), then players forfeit their right to complain about the system. By joining the raid and getting saved, there’s an implied agreement somewhere that they will respect the rules and accept whatever the loot gods say without question. But once the loot rules have been explained, its up to the player to decide whether they should stay or to leave.

Obviously if the loot master loots an item to a different player then the winner, then all bets are off.

Anyway, this is just something to mull over the next time you lead a pickup raid. It’s simple, clean and easy to administer.

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. We’ve been pondering over these issues a lot, as our guild isn’t large enough to mount a 25 man on our own, but we do a coop with another guild who has similar issues as we do regarding numbers.
    Often it happens that between the two gulds we still have to PUG a couple of people. We use one-need-per-night rule (you can win one need roll a night, then you can only greed), and there’s upsides and downsides, as well as gray areas… downside is the one need, obviously, upside is that (at least i think so) it keeps things fair to all who are in the raid… and the gray area is the spec thing – what is main spec and what isn’t?
    With the dual spec, you have a lot of hybrids who easily hop roles when asked to, so you can find yourself in a situation that, for example, a dk goes dps for a fight while being in a tanking role for the rest of the raid and then needs a dps item and wins the roll over another dk (or dps warrior) who was dps all the time. This is just a fictional example, but it can be aplied to several other hybrid classes out there.
    We try to emphasise, before the raid starts, that one can need only for the spec one is in when the raid starts, but then how can i ask a player to do something which can easily make the difference between making a kill or not, and then forbid that player to loot?
    I wonder if others have run into similar issues and how they have resolved them…

  2. I love your Performance System idea ! Almost same thing happened to me yesterday and I became insane. It’s pain in the ass to see players who played really bad during encounter getting the loot you wanted. I will definitely try to suggest this to raid leader on my next PuG…
    .-= Alehann´s last blog ..Comment choisir ses talents pour la spé sacré =-.

  3. Performance reward is kinda tough because what is a player just isn’t any good? Maybe he tries and tries and tries but no matter what, still sucks, or just happens to make stupid mistakes. Sure, we could work on a black and white meritocracy like robots but isn’t the point of gaming to have fun and shouldn’t anyone be justified in getting a reward during it?

    The Tichon System sounds good to me because, yes, it is far too easy for someone to claim “oh it’s for my secondary spec” blah etc and roll anyway. Obviously that can cause problems too but it might help a little.
    .-= We Fly Spitfires´s last blog ..Gods In MMORPGs =-.

    • @We Fly Spitfires: In the two drake example I listed above, an assumption is made that players have already experienced the encounter before. Or even if they haven’t, they know what they’re getting into (1 drake works too). 2 drake isn’t as easy as no drake. It’s much more challenging as there’s much more stuff going on. If a player isn’t any good, they have no business going into a 2 drake encounter until they get better and feel more confident in their abilities.

      The point of the performance system is to send a message to those that just want to get carried or freeload themselves onto higher end gear. I’m not saying they won’t get any rewards out of it. They can still go for the bag, tier tokens, or the cache. But the really GOOD stuff (Pennant cloak, Obsidian Greathelm, the 226 loot) is set aside for the players who demonstrate that they are competent.

  4. I think the performance system would turn every run into an Undying run 🙂 I just remember that when we did that, people kind of enjoyed it but things got very very stressy towards the end.

  5. Squishadin says:

    The Ysera server has an interesting ruleset – which is used so frequently that most PuGs don’t need to have it explained to them.

    It started with “Roquer” rules – if you are a DPS class, you must out DPS the tank in order to roll on loot. In particularly well geared runs, or runs where there are little/no alts, the rule is sometimes stated that you must excede tank DPS by a certain percentage or number.

    One of the Horde guilds on server expanded that ruleset to include that if you die to a basic fight mechanic – void zone, fire wall, Heigan dance, etc. you may forfiet the ability to roll on loot.

    The ruling on both matters is subjective to the raid leader’s opinion – if for example the tank whips Sarth around too fast and a melee gets tail whipped into a void zone, he may not be penalized as harshly. So long as the rules are pre-stated, GMs will rule in the favor of the loot master if the loot issue is contested via ticket.

    As stated, these rules are so commonly used right now that even the incredibly informal, more “casual” PuGs follow them.

    Neither of these rules are really seen as “elitism” – it’s seen as pulling your own weight. Sometimes the rules are less restrictive in the event of a fresh 80 alt who belongs to a known-competent raid member.

    I don’t believe in supporting bad playing – if there are no minimum standards set, there is no push for people to play better. I believe that rules such as the “Roquer” system improve the raiding community for the entire server.

  6. Hey, in a system where the Main spec rolls 1-1000 and the Off spec rolls 1-100, the chances of the off-spect to win are not 10%, but rather much closer to 5%.

    After 20,000 simulations (Main rolls 1-1000, Off rolls 1-100):

    Main wins: 18973.0
    Off wins: 1027.0
    Chance of main win: 94.865%
    Chance of off win: 5.135%

    If you are trying to get the off-spec to get approximately a 10% chance to win, then you should adjust the odds so that the Main spec rolls 1-500 and the Off spec rolls 1-100.

    After 20,000 simulations (Main rolls 1-500, Off rolls 1-100):

    Main wins: 18003.0
    Off wins: 1997.0
    Chance of main win: 90.015%
    Chance of off win: 9.985%

    • @Orninn: Thanks for the explanation and clarification. So the odds are actually lower than 10%.

      Math makes my head spin :\.

  7. I actually ran a little program to tally all 100,000 possible rolls that can happen in a two person roll-off in the Tichon system with main rolling 1-1000 and offspec rolling 1-100

    Main wins: 94,950 times or 94.95%
    Offspec wins: 4,950 times or 4.95%
    A tie occurs: 100 times or 0.10%

    If you allowed the offspec to roll 1-200, the 200,000 possible rolls output:

    Main wins: 179900 times or 89.95%
    Offspec wins: 19,900 times or 9.95%
    A tie occurs: 200 times or 0.10%

  8. Delkur, you’re doing it wrong.

    1-200 results in a Offspec win chance of 25%. Think about it this way: Main has a 50% chance to roll 1-100, (the other 50% they roll 101-200, which automatically wins). At this point, they are rolling the same as what the Off spec is rolling. This means that 50% of the time, they have an even chance (50%) to win.

    50% * 50% = 25%

  9. We handle the what-is-main-spec question by having people declare one. For example, I play two classes that can fill multiple roles – druid and warrior. I declared my druid’s main spec to be Resto and my warrior’s main spec to be Prot – now, regardless of what role I fill in raids (though it is generally my mainspec role) I get mainspec priority on mainspec gear and my bid isn’t even counted on offspec items unless everyone else who could use it for mainspec passes.

    It works pretty well. My fury and feral sets are about a tier and a half behind my prot and resto sets, but I don’t particularly mind. 🙂

  10. With a performance sytem I’m not sure that a blanket you no get loot! Method is a good way to do this. I do agree that performance should be taken into account….

    What I’ve seen done before or what could be done is have a penalty to the roll. For instance if someone dies to a completely avoidable mechanic I.E. void zone or flame wall then that person recieves a -25 penalty to their roll meaning that the highest they can roll is a 75.

    While I agree it isn’t fair to give someone loot who clearly doesn’t belong there, people do sometimes make mistakes.

    @ We fly spitfires

    While this is just a game when someone really isn’t a good player and is being carried through content he shouldn’t expect to win rolls on gear that other people need. If it is a completely casual raid then fine but if it is a pug that is trying to down semi difficult content then everyone should be expected to pull their weight.

    The argument that because people try really hard they should be rewarded is flawed. I’m sorry I don’t care how many times a person tries to get through med school, if they don’t have the talent to be a doctor do you really want them opperating on you?

  11. @Whatsmymain Hehe, your doctor comment made me chuckle 🙂 It’s a pretty apt example. Yeah… I suppose I agree. Of course, a game’s a game right? Not exactly the same thing as surgery. I suppose it just depends on everyone’s motivations. I did some raids in EQ2 with a few players were pretty crap (not terrible but not great either) and they were invited just because they were bloody good fun 🙂
    .-= We Fly Spitfires – MMORPG Blog´s last blog ..Improving Group Combat In MMORPGs =-.

  12. Thats bad luck 🙁
    Achivements apparently can be hacked so even linking the achievement can mean its not real – I check pugchecker if in doubt,

    while introducing a die to something stupid – or underperform rule = no loot may seem harsh I think there should be some sort of roll penalty – however a heal could be the difference between a death and living on, and when everyone is still using more then one combat log – it would cause alot of arguments – you died to a fire.. I did not – proove it..

  13. I don’t think it matters if the person has done the fight before or not if they screw up the current attempt. I got 3D back before Ulduar on my Death Knight, but that doesn’t mean that the next time I go in that I couldn’t be the reason for wiping the group. I wish the achievement linking was taken at face value.

    People luck through fights all the time, and then when they’re put in a group that can’t carry them, their lack of talent for missing firewalls, void zones or whatever is amplified where the achievement really means nothing. Sure, they’ve done it before, but if they can’t replicate it in the future, it means about as much as all those cold fusion claims in the early nineties.
    .-= Beej´s last blog ..Why Does Every New MMO Have to be a WoW Killer? =-.

  14. Many raid achievements aren’t indicative of actually achieving anything. Heck, I have the Heroic: Gonna Go When The Volcano Blows achievement simply because I managed to die so early in the fight I never got the chance to get hit by lava strike. But, fortunately, the rest of the group pulled through with one less healer than they planned.

    I love the idea of some sort of performance-based right to loot, especially for situations like that where a player contributed almost nothing to a fight. Generally in those cases I won’t submit a roll if I don’t feel like I’ve earned the right to loot, but not everybody is quite so considerate.

  15. A guildie ran a Naxx-25 PuG where the MLer neither did award loot to the DPSer with the lowest damage nor to the healer with the lowest healing done on each encounter. While this might be a performance based system it’s so very very flawed…

  16. @Orninn. I think Delhur was implying that the main-spec rolls 1-1000 and the off-spec rolls 1-200. Then his maths are correct 🙂

  17. “A guildie ran a Naxx-25 PuG where the MLer neither did award loot to the DPSer with the lowest damage nor to the healer with the lowest healing done on each encounter.”

    You can not judge a healer at the amount of healing done at an encounter. Why?
    – For example Tank Heals will be more likely to be under group/mass healer.
    – Disciplin-Priest “avoid” Damage and don’t heal the damage dealed to the Player.
    – Backup-Healing / planed overheal / many more factors…

    The 1000/100 or better 500/100 roll looks pretty interessting. I might try this as raidleader 😀
    .-= Cala´s last blog ..Das Sonnenwendfest beginnt =-.

  18. Tubalcain says:

    My former guild used DKP in uld25. And when we were short 2 people we pugged 2 spots. . . . but still used DKP. That has fail written all over it. Has nothing to do with your article aside from being about loot. Sorry. 😀

    The Tichon system is cool but would need someone with clout to start it up on a diffferent server. Nowatimeen?

  19. Canesappa says:

    @Carla, I believe that was the point. Using recount healing meters to judge a healer and denying the lowest one loot is very flawed. As with denying the lowest dps loot.

    For an unusual case, lets say a person is doing 3.2k dps and is the lowest dps above the tanks. His dps is still good and meaningful, and if he isn’t dying to avoidable mechanics, then he’s pulling his weight. This person should not be denied loot for being lowest on meters.

    Also, I’ll submit my own story as far as performace based looting goes.

    On my hunter doing VoA25. Emalon drops Conquerer Scourgestalker gloves. The other hunter told me his interest was PvP loot, low and behold he rolls, I figure oh well, so I roll and I lose. He gets the gloves, but then I check my recount, he was doing 1.7k dps, in Emalon 25. Checking further details, I found he did next to no damage on adds, and died to a Lightning Nova mid-way(how does a hunter even do that). Needless to say, I was very miffed at this.

    However, we down Archavon and the Valorous Cryptstalker Chestguard dropped, I’ve been after this chest for months at this point, I’m needing the hit so I can alter my spec. I figured and hoped, he’d pass on them because he already got something and there are only two hunters in the whole group. Nope, he rolls, I lose again. Once again I check my recount. He did a total of 1.8k dps before he died, to a stormcloud. At this point, I could have caused more pain than a berserker enraged patchwerk. I check his spec, it was bad. Some mix between marks/surv that wouldn’t do any decent damage in PvE, and do absolutely nothing in PvP either.

    His gear was horrible, how he got in unnoticed like that was beyond me. My point isn’t that under-geared people shouldn’t be able to PuG raids and get gear. But c’mon, most pugs show some effort in trying to understand their class and spend some time in heroics, not even that his dps was completely bad, but that he died to some of the most ridiculous stuff. Lightning Nova, as ranged, thats just terrible. Heigan is one thing, but that is just inexcusable. The point of this long and time consuming read of a reply is that, I really believe that at least a minimum of a reasonable performace based system should be put into play. to prevent players who’ve shown no effort in their character from getting gear that should go to more deserving players.

    I also understand that due to this situation affecting me, there will be suspicion of bias on my part. I can however say in my defense that I didn’t die and at least pulled my weight dps wise.

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