Monday night was Conquest’s first mostly-guild Naxx 25, and we premiered our Loot Council system for guildies and pugs alike. I think that we successfully distributed loot in a fair way, but I have to say that it added to the tension factor of raiding for me.
First, the rules for players. At the outset of the run, I explained the following.
When useful loot drops, players type one of the following things in raid chat. Interested means that the player wants to be considered for the item right now. Pass means that it’s a good item for the player, but he or she wants others to have it first. If no one is interested, the item will go to a person who passed. If no one has a use for the item, it will be disenchanted. Any questions about the process should be dealt with in whispers.
The members, thus, play a bigger role in our Loot Council than they might in other guilds–they have a hand at deciding when to take something and when to share. However, the big deliberations happen in Loot Council chat. For those of you who might be interested, here’s what happens behind closed doors.
Loot Council Deliberations
1. First, we inspect the interested players and evaluate the relative value of the upgrade. We type our opinions in chat.
2. Second, we list out the number of items the player has already received that night.
3. We determine the use value for the raid–as in, do we need this item on our tank/healer so we don’t all die?
4. We consider performance on bosses.
I felt good about all but one case last night. When you’re debating between equals, sometimes it doesn’t matter who it goes to–the other person will get the next thing, after all. However, our LC is not all in agreement about what to do about pickup raiders and trials. My opinion is that we should try to give puggers and trials a prize if we can. There are special cases, as in when we need to gear our tanks in order to live through the content, but in general, I like to consider pickup raiders under the same criteria as everyone else. In the case of trials, I would give them more consideration than our own raiders–if they’re working hard for a spot, they should get a prize, even if it ends up being a consolation prize when we ultimately do not invite them to our guild.
The only other case that took us some time was tank loot. I have a strong desire to see the tanks work out their drops among themselves. The warrior tanks of Collateral Damage, my former guild, did that in T6 and it was a great benefit to the guild as a whole. I’d like to see our tanking corps be somewhat independent–and to build stronger relationships with each other through sharing the loot. That sounds very kindergarden doesn’t it? But so much of a guild’s success depends on trust among members.
I think that trust is the key concept to talk about when we’re doing Loot Council. I used to administer an Ep/Gp system, and believe me, the responsibility is much greater when serving on a Loot Council. With Ep/Gp, the top person on the list got the item and that was it–there was little for the system administrator to do other than read the list. For me personally, being part of the Loot Council is a trial in every sense of the word. I want to be a fair and trustworthy person. Sure, I want my share of the loot–but only what should go to me, and not a bit more. As such, I’m instituting a personal policy of frequent passing. For example, last night I would have been awarded an awesome mace had I not passed–I did so, not because the upgrade wasn’t great for me, but because the other player had received less items that night.
However, the bigger challenge is keeping my mouth when I’m supposed to. If I have a personal failing, it’s giving my own opinion rather insistently, whether people ask for it or not. I also tend to go on crusade when I believe that I am right, or even worse, when I believe that an injustice is being committed. However, I’ve got to learn to keep to the rules. I wrote the Loot Council policy myself, so I know why I’m not supposed to weigh in on my own or Briolante’s loot. However, it gets tricky when I just want to give useful information–which I might have, as I actively research healing gear for the blog. I’m not voting on my own loot or tank loot, of course, but I have to draw that fine line between informing and meddling. I think the key here is going to be trust. Do I trust the other members of the Loot Council to give all the tanks and healers a fair shake? I guess I’m going to have to.
However, trust is earned. All of us–me, and the other members of the Loot Council–are going to have to work incredibly hard to maintain balance. We all have friendships and allegiances, as well as personal desires. We just have to learn to keep them out of LC chat.