Your Wish List vs. The Need Before Greed System

Your Wish List vs. The Need Before Greed System

LEWT2

The other week, as a gift to you from us, we each offered to write and discuss a topic of your choice. Here’s what we came up with!

What do you want for Winter Veil? You want to wrap your boomkin snugly in an Ancient Polar Bear Hide or keep your holydin’s toes toasty in a pair of Mudslide Boots? Well you can’t have it.

Bah, humbug.

Patch 3.3 has hit just in time for the winter holidays – a time when a lot of us players manage to squeeze in extra time being a hero and getting shiny treasures. 3.3 brought a sled-load of new toys to play with in game, including the new dungeon finder system and its potential for random group member loot drama. As a result while using the dungeon finder we are all limited to needing only on items of our class’ armour type. You’re a paladin? You roll on plate. Plate, y’hear, no cloth for your healing set. Certainly no leather for you DPS warrior types! It’s not exactly ideal for anyone gearing up.

It’s the Winter Veil equivalent of a pair of socks: practical, but not exactly what you wanted.

What, I hear you cry? The 3.3 patch notes describe it best;

“Need Before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class in three ways: the class must be able to equip the item, pure melee will be unable to roll on spell power items, and classes are limited to their dominant armor type (ex. paladins for plate). All items will still be available via Greed rolls as well as the new Disenchant option should no member be able to use the item.”

I can see the practical sense in this. It removes some arguments about loot before they’ve even begun. The rogue won’t get miffed at the shaman needing on and winning leather melee gear because the shaman just can’t. Likewise, the death knight who is prone to shiny object moments and rolls on spell power items accidentally – just can’t, and won’t have to explain himself to pitchfork wielding casters. Reducing the potential for arguments is a sensible, if slightly cynical, move in a system which promotes meeting random strangers who have no reason to relate to or sympathise with you.

Yet what does that do to your characters? It might be taboo but we all know that paladins do incorporate all types of armour into a healing set, have done since the beginning of the World … of Warcraft. A paladin friend of mine has recently started gearing up for his holy off spec. He would prefer plate items of course, but any type of item with spell power on it is better than healing with defence rating gear. We had the Azure Cloth Bindings drop for us just earlier today – and he couldn’t roll on them. Sure, he’d only have used them as a stop gap until something better and more, well, platey came along. But until then they would have seriously boosted his off spec prospects and none of the actual clothies in the group showed the slightest interest in wanting them anyway.

The only option for my friend, or anyone looking to boost their off spec with drops forbidden by the loot system, is to greed the item and hope that RNG is kind to them and doesn’t shard it for someone else. Or of course to keep running Heroics, waving sadly at these drops, and waiting until they’ve enough badges to get the badge equivalents.

Take another situation. You’re a tree who is so bored you’ve taken root in the middle of Dalaran and didn’t bat a branch when children – sorry, gnomes – covered you in tinsel and shiny lights two weeks ago. You want to do something different. Something fun. You’ve had the cookie-cutter spec for a while, got the gear, done everything you want to do. So you start playing around building your own spec – something hybrid that allows you to heal and CC or DPS without changing spec. Yes, healing and DPS – you know it happens, especially when people are bored. And Heroics aren’t exhilarating, let’s face it.

Say you want your druid to be able to do all that in one spec – well then, you’ll need to play around a bit with your stat distribution and probably get some new armour. Would you like some hit with that? How about a new party hat – the cloth Sightless Crown of Ulmaas would do the job. Oh wait – you’re a druid – you can’t roll on cloth, even if the rest of the party consists of three death knights and a warrior.

There are still a couple of loopholes, too. To my knowledge death knights and druids are able to roll on loot with block rating on it. A pointless stat to them, but perhaps your death knight tank decides that he is so desperate for something to upgrade from his blue helm that when Second Helm of the Executioner drops it is a must have even though the itemization is aimed more at the group’s paladin who is only tank as off spec.

Well, gratz to the death knight for the upgrade – but it’s only a minor victory for him, and leaves both him and the paladin a bit cold. Should Blizzard further tinker with the need before greed system? Perhaps add class specific tooltips – “classes: paladin, warrior” – to the aforementioned Executioner’s helm. Similarly for every item, and a filter that only allows the specified classes to roll on items with stats meant for them.

If this came into play then it would likely automatically further restrict itemization choices for players. Every rogue of the same playing level would look the same. Every healing priest would be in the same dress, every restoration shaman would have identical mail shoulders for restoration shamans. That Winter Veil tree druid in Dalaran would have even less freedom to play around with his spec and try new things. But at the same time – everyone would get loot cookie cuttered to cater the ‘correct’ stats to their spec.

Say that our off spec tank paladin from earlier wants the correct stats – for his protection off spec – and rolls need on the Executioner’s helm against the death knight tank. Whatever his reason, I’d bet the death knight isn’t impressed with him rolling for his off spec. Would you be, if someone else rolled against your main spec items? We’ve all seen it. Perhaps the need before greed system should take specs into account. A priest is healing in a random dungeon? Right, says the loot system. He can’t roll on items with hit on them like Bracer of Worn Molars, under any circumstances. On the up side he won’t be able to ninja, on the down side he won’t be able to prove he’s trustworthy or improve his shadow kit if everyone else passes on the toothy armguards there.

These are ridiculous ideas, I hear you cry. They’ll never happen! Maybe you’re right, or maybe they’ll happen at some point. I’m just saying that the need before greed system is already restrictive – unnecessarily so, perhaps. I for one am perfectly happy with a holydin rolling on cloth items so long as no clothies need the item, and so preventing holydins from doing it seems a potential waste of an item. It may be a slippery slope we find ourselves on in the name of wrapping classes up in their own specialised cotton wool.

What do you think? Is the need before greed system protecting us just the right amount in random dungeons at the moment – should it be more or less protective? Are you getting infuriated trying to gear up your new fury warrior? Is all this an argument to make a premade group so there aren’t limitations on loot?

The Off Armour Problem

The Off Armour Problem

guest-post This is a guest post from friend and bodyguard Cassio

I’m Cassio, I’ve been playing a rogue on Ner’zhul for the better part of three years so my area of expertise is something different then the writers here.

I’m a damage guy. I run numbers to figure out how to squeeze another one or two points of damage per second out of my rotation or how much I should weigh hit stat verses attack power or agility. So please understand that I will not be talking about the best way to heal a boss encounter. Most of the time I have no idea what a healer is doing in them since they are behind me somewhere. Instead, I’ll be trying to stay remotely within the sphere of this blog by talking about loot distribution.

The problem

With the changes that have been made since the release of Wrath, almost every spec to become viable for raiding. This means that some classes may be dipping down into gear that’s exclusive for other classes to use due to armor class restrictions. Boomkins, tree druids and holy paladins may start to want to take gear that all cloth wearers can use. The same goes for titans grip (TG) warriors and to some extent enhancement shamans and hunters with rogue/feral druid gear.

It is my opinion that this should be avoided whenever possible.

Taking gear from a class when it is all they can use and giving it to a class that is moving down armor types to pick up an upgrade might seem fine in the short term. However, it will hurt raids in the long term due to the limited upgrade pool available to classes who have no other option other than leather or cloth.

In my guild, I am currently the raid leader for ten man raids and it falls onto me to sort out loot distribution and how to do so without causing problems that could destabilize the raid group and force us back due to people leaving and having to replace with new people. The system I have worked out is part science and part art but the basics of it is to keep gear separated to classes that are restricted to their armor type before opening it to others. There are some exceptions, such as if the gear is only a miniscule upgrade for a rogue and a large one for someone else.

Weapons

Weapons are handled by letting those that get the biggest upgrade from them roll, any two-hander classes have to roll against each other just as any one-hander users and casters have to roll against each other. So that means that ret paladins, TG (Titan’s Grip) warriors and death knights all have to roll against each other. This method relies heavily on the loot master knowing the different needs of the classes and where his raid members are in gear progression.

Suggested process

While I find that I can do this (with some help from officers and others outside my guild that know the other classes better) I would not suggest that anyone try such a method in a twenty-five man environment. Instead make your officers/class leaders do gear upgrade charts for your members and give the upgrades from the different raid instances a set value, making sure to include heroics gear where it applies, and then use that as a way to check which gear is a better upgrade for who. The higher the number the larger the upgrade, also there should be a method worked out to reward those that go out and craft or farm the gear for outside raids that will help you progress through the instances you wish to run.

While all this sound complicated it really comes down to the simple idea that each classes chances for upgrades is different. If someone needs an item that is all they can use, then this may be one of a limited amount of chances to get it. Someone that can use other armor has a larger pool of gear to pull from and so has better chances at upgrades.

Why Raiding With PvP Gear Is a Bad Idea

Matticus,
First off, I want to commend you on the very nice extensive blog you run, a lot of great resources and discussion. I have an issue and am seeking some general advice and maybe to stir up some discussion. I am currently in Iraq right now BUT i get about 3-4 hours of playtime with acceptable latency. I have a 70 Druid that I just recently (1.5 weeks) re-specced to healing due to feral frustration and a noticable lack of heals on my server. Right off the bat I hooked up with some friends (2 mages+1 hunter) and have been doing BG’s to get honor and marks in order to attain some of the PvP epics.

I’ve been doing some research via blogs to find out some easily attainable gear to help my healing and survivabilty in PVP and eventually to start up some daily instancing. I thoroughly enjoy healing and I’m going to stick with it but I can’t make the decision to PVP or PVE as my main concentration.

Right now, i am trying to do a little of both and i dont see it going anywhere fast. What im looking for is to be able to PVP/Arena grind and get myself in good shape to be a full time raid healer once i get back to the U.S. where i will have ample time to dedicate to raiding. My overall question is: Am I wrong to assume that PVP gear (since it’s mostly a solo endeavor aside from arenas), is probably the best route to achieving pre-Kara quality gear? And are there any other resources out there that might be able to lend some guidance to an undecided healer? I know my question is most likely un-answerable and is mostly self chosen, but I’m just looking for suggestions, thoughts, or guidance.

Thank you,
Jordon

P.S. Whats up with all of the ?‘s instead of ‘s

Wow, I had no idea my blog was being read overseas. I salute you, sir, even though I’m from Canada. Thank you for the kind word =)!

Now, let’s get to business.

I know there are a lot of players who recommend supplementing raiding gear with some PvP Gear to help increase their survivability. Either that, or they’re unable get access to any kind of raiding gear because the population on a server is ridiculously low.

I definitely think DPS classes benefit with a mix of several PvP pieces. As a Priest, I have even added the [item]Veteran Mooncloth Bracers[/item] to my Priest raiding gear list as suggested by you readers (You know who you are).

As a healer, would I recommend going all out for arena gear just to be able to start raiding in Karazhan?

No, I would not.

Remember that PvE gear is tailored differently than PvP gear. Even though the healing or spelldamage increase may seem similar, the difference lies entirely in stat distribution.

PvP gear has a ton of stamina allowing you to withstand and deal serious firepower within a limited amount of time.

PvE gear has added longevity and endurance so you can deal firepower over a longer amount.

It’s like comparing an A-10 to a Spectre gunship. The A-10 comes in, drops its payload, and speeds off. The Spectre just flies circles above an area protecting it’s assignments.

It’s all about endurance.

If you want to raid, stat collecting raiding gear. PvP gear isn’t going to help you much at all because it lacks important stats like mana regeneration. Five minutes into a boss fight and you’ll be OOM (after innervates and potions).

What I can recommend is this: Start arenaing and get a few points under your belt. Keep doing this for several weeks. Meanwhile, if you don’t have a good set of bracers, hook yourself up with a Vindicator’s Kodohide Bracers.When you feel ready for Kara, start running the lower level of it a few times to help gradually build up your pieces. If you’re having trouble getting Maiden’s Shard of the Virtuous, put the Arena Points to good use and grab the [item]Merciless Gladiiator’s Salvation[/item] (S2 heaing mace). That should take you anywhere between 4 – 8 weeks.

How will you know if you’re good enough? Refer to my Minimum Kara Requirements for classes. Alternately, I’m sure Phaelia, Karthis, and Big Bear Butt can help you get in the right direction as they’re both Druids and far more familiar with what you’ll need. Well, the latter two are feral. But I like to randomly link to bloggers anyway.

P.S. The ?’s occur due to a CSS oversight on my part. Will be fixed when my new layout goes live. Hopefully it will be up before Christmas. Basically, what happens is WordPress interprets my apostrophes and quotes in a weird fashion.

And godspeed, Jordon.