Loot Management Week: The Council of Looting

I woke up this morning feeling like Dean McAmmond. I won’t discuss too much on 2.3 Priest changes. My colleagues have done a great job thusfar (Ego, Kirk, and the rest). Once I wrap up the week, I will take a look at some certain Shaman improvements.

Apparently there are high level Guilds out there which do NOT utilize a DKP system in any way. It’s… uh, really weird! I can’t say that I’ve ever been in such an organization that distributes loot based on what the Loot Council thinks. Yeah, there is no complex web script to maintain. There is no pencil and paper number crunching involved (or UI download required). If the Guild thinks you deserve it, it gets auto looted to you.

What the hell? What kind of Guild would do such a thing?

A Guild whose main goal is to progress. A Guild which values utilitarian values. A Guild that doesn’t care about loot as long as they progress. Personally, I am one of these types of players. I don’t really care about who gets what loot as long as it benefits and helps the overall raid. I figure if the Loot Council running things was mature and NOT selfish, it has a high possibility of working. The deciding methodology could range from players who want an item messaging the Lootmaster, or having officers inspect all eligible players to determine who gets the dropped piece.

I don’t think I need to spell out the possible pitfalls or negatives that this kind of loot system will offer. Think about it for a moment. The loot you get is dependent on a group of players. There’s always a possibility of bias. There could be accusations of favoritism. This kind of system offers the potential for Guild drama that would clog the front page of WoW Insider for a long time. I’ve never been in a Loot Council Guild, but I would imagine the environment would reek of paranoia.

But surely there must be benefits or else many top end Guilds would not consider the system. Aside from the lack of work involved, this system would fit strongly with organizations that have been together for a long time. I don’t refer to one year as a long time. I’m referring to three or more years, long time. These are rare Guilds that have grown together for such a long time that they consider each other an extended family. As such, they would have no need to rely on point systems to economize loot. They possess that instinctual knowledge of loot priority. They know who would benefit the most from item drops. They also know that the person they give it to would utilize it to the fullest. The Guild becomes that much stronger, which leads to being able to take down more difficult bosses.

In theory, I do agree with the principle. It’s a great Utopian ideal. But Communism also failed. Even after taking a Philosophy course and being exposed to the many ideals of Locke and Beccaria and all those other old guys, I still firmly believe that man is inherently selfish. Obviously not all of them, otherwise this system would not be in use today. If your Guild wants to pull this off, the most important thing to nurture amongst all your members is trust and a sense of community. Otherwise, nothing will stop a player from bolting once they get an item that they want (then again, not many systems can counter it anyway). Can it work? Yes, because my friend has been a part of two successful Guilds that have done it.

The next two days, I will wrap up Loot Management week with what I believe is the best possible system.

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.