Who gets to roll?

I had a brand new experience this week – one that I’m sure a lot of you know well.

I brought my recently-dinged 70 priest into Karazhan. I respecced to holy, even though I had never healed anything, ever. I was the only cloth-wearer in the whole raid, so I figured I had a chance to score a whole bunch of good gear.

Surprise! The resto shaman was rolling against me on cloth drops. Three cloth items dropped. He got two, I got one.

In my guild, this has never been an issue, so we have never spelled out any specific policy on this in advance of runs. That’s why I was taken by surprise. Its kind of obvious that it could happen and probably happens a lot. But our guild members have always been gracious about loot and its just never come up.

So this is not new. Is it even a problem? I think that depends on who you ask. I’m sure some people don’t see any problem with it at all.

I do have a problem with it, and now I think it will be worse in Wrath, due to the change to spellpower.

In a given raid instance, the number of cloth, leather, mail, and plate drops is about equal. I checked two raid instances and the combined loot tables of all of the bosses created a very uniform distribution over the four armor types. I am assuming that since it was that way for those instances, then Blizzard likely balances it for the others instances as well.

A holy paladin can wear all four types of armor. Now that all of the caster armor is “spellpower” rather than healing or spell damage, it seems that holy paladins can find useful items in all four armor types. A resto shaman can wear three types, a resto or boomkin druid two types, and a priest, warlock, or mage just one.

If there is no restriction on who can roll, then doesn’t that mean that holy paladins could have more drops to roll on, as compared to priests? There are some itemization issues – crit vs. hit vs. stamina vs. intellect vs. spirit – but overall it seems like holy paladins have the biggest selection.

This is an oversimplifcation. All cloth drops are caster items, while most plate drops are not. So the distribution is not as uniform as I have portrayed it. But you get the general idea.

So, are the priests, locks, and mages being elbowed out by other classes rolling on the cloth gear? They already have to roll against each other for all cloth items, so is it too much to make them also roll against resto shamans and boomkin? I’d be annoyed if I were a priest and I had to roll against half the raid on every cloth item, but the holy pally was unopposed on the occasional spellpower plate drop.

Obviously, a DKP or other loot distribution system will moderate this in raids. But in 5-man instances or in PuGs where most groups just use /roll is there in imbalance in loot distribution?

A solution is that a shaman rolling on cloth should be treated similar to an off-spec roll. If none of the cloth wearers want it, then the shaman can roll for it. The same for a holy paladin on mail or a druid on cloth. I am loathe to make such a rule in my guild, because we never never had a problem with it and it is often a bad policy to make rules for problems that don’t exist.

How many other guilds have rules like that?


8 Responses to “Who gets to roll?”

  1. 1 Busket
    November 12, 2008 at 11:47 am

    That’s kind of an unspoken rule on every informal raid I’ve ever been on. I would consider the actions of your resto shaman to be rude, albeit…not completely out of line (unsurprising? I’m having trouble finding the right phrase). By the time the 2nd or 3rd item dropped, it would be appropriate to at least allow the resto shaman to roll, but still I also consider it highly inappropriate for a mail wearing class to walk away from a raid with more healing cloth than a healing priest.

    In my formal guild runs, drops are definitely prioritized to those classes to whom the gear is “native” (i.e. cloth wearers have higher priority on cloth drops, etc.). Whether or not it is off spec gear also comes into play, of course. The problem can also be exacerbated by main/alt issues, but I’ll ignore that complication for this example. In the structures in which I’ve worked, the priority list in order of decreasing priority looks like: 1) Native gear for your spec 2) Non-native gear for your spec 3) native gear for your off spec 4) non-native gear for your off spec. Using the classes and item in your example, if healing cloth drops, the priority list would be 1) heal priest 2) heal shaman 3) dps priest 4) dps shaman. This is how I think it should work even in PUGs, but obviously it won’t necessarily.

  2. 2 Hrog
    November 12, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    With our guild there’s no rule against rolling on non-“native”-gear. That being said, we do encourage common sense and courtesy!! The result of this is not a gaming penalty, but a social one… People might not want to group with that person anymore in the future, leaving him behind in a social aspect of a guild. Allthough it’s something I wouldn’t want to happen, I can completely sympathize.

    Like Busket allready mentioned, it’s highly inappropriate for a shaman to roll on cloth against a priest, unless the priest grants his blessing (no, wait..).

    When I lead a raid that’s non-DKP, there’ll be 3 lines in /rw before first pull:

    – Use common sense and curtousy.
    – Alts have the same rights as mains, we asked them to come and noone objected when asked.
    – Have fun and make stuff dead!!

    Bottom-line: this situation may be a 1-off, considering it being only a couple days before the expansion and people want to get some better gear for leveling. Cut that person some slack, but do keep tabs on his/her behaviour during that same leveling?

    Enjoy WotLK!!

  3. November 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    In any type of a pug raid, I’d be shocked if you’d get consensus on this, but in the 10-man raids that I run, we almost always use a Loot Council to distribute items. This comes down to prioritizing everyone’s ‘need’ for the item. The gear type/class combo is something we consider, along with main/off-spec, main/alt toon, time since last drop, and the amount of an upgrade.

    All other things being equal, we would give the cloth to the priest.. however, very rarely are all other things equal. Generally, I think the type of gear (cloth,leather…) would fall right behind main/off-spec in terms of importance, just about equal to main/alt (for a guild run, we do pay a lot of attention to gearing ‘mains’) – unless it is much less of an upgrade for the Priest.. or the mail-wearer hasn’t seen up upgrade in a long time..

    It is rather complicated when I try to lay it out like that, since there are *so* many variable (and I’d not try it outside of 10-mans), but I’ve rarely had trouble getting the group to come to consensus on where the loot should go.

    Thinking back, I don’t think we’ve ever had this particular problem come up either.. we practically have to force cloth gear on Healadins (and even then only manage it when it is a huge upgrade.)

  4. November 12, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I think Rick would get to roll. Neva gonna give you up, neva gonna let you down.

    But on a serious note, clothies get to roll on cloth first, leather wearers get to roll on leather first, and so-on and so-forth. At this point with the looming expansion, it doesnt really matter, but in a progression situation, people should only be able to take the lower armor items if it is passed on by the ones whose highest armor level it is. You know what im trying to say.

  5. November 12, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Usually raids prioritize mainset before offset, with those classes capable of wearing a specific type of gear getting first dibs. This is done for the reason that you pointed out: some classes are capable of wearing different levels of gear (cloth, leather, mail, plate) and so have a greater pool of items from which to choose. As a result, giving cloth to the classes that can only wear it means that you guarantee that they get loot while the other classes can take gear that cloths can’t compete on.

    When Spell Power was first announced, I was actually a bit irked by the change. For years I’d had to compete with Restoration druids, some Restoration shamans, and even the occasional Holy paladin on cloth healing gear. With Spell Power, I now had to compete against that pool of people and mages, warlocks, Balance druids, and Elemental shamans. I haven’t run into too many problems so far, but I’m definitely a little scared about joining groups in Wrath and coming out empty-handed while the other people snag loot that probably was prioritized for another class!

  6. November 12, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    In the end its about the player not the toon, and having constraints that are understood are the only way to influence these type of selfish players.

    There are two systems I like:
    1) Main / Offset / DE – (Cynra’s above) where the folks using for their primary role get the first roll. then offsets, then anyone else before it gets DE’ed. The Holy Priest would get first roll there, with no competition from a non-healing Shaman.

    This really works well in Pugs or casual runs. And you kick players who don’t like it at the start.

    2) Officer Assigned – where the officer or person running the instance decides who gets what. No questions asked. Would not work in Pugs, but in guild runs, its the way to go. If you don’t like the choices made by your guild officers over time, then leave the guild. This is my preferred option.

    DKP and Suicide Kings type stuff can be abused very easily, and are not idea for the edge cases.

  7. December 29, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Without common courtesy, there is chaos.

    If a shaman is so rude and selfish that they will roll on cloth, then I see no reason why a priest would not roll on mail. After all, they could use the gold right?

    Solution: Ask the shaman ahead of time if they plan to roll on cloth… If yes, the priest should let the shaman know they will be rolling on mail because the priest needs gold to buy cloth from AH since they can’t get drops… Maybe then, the shaman will get the point…

  8. 8 Jacko
    March 10, 2009 at 7:10 am

    Yea dude I feel ur pain I was ruining a 5 man, I am the only pally tank and a fricken preist was rolling for all of my drops, plate, two handed maces.he didn’t last long in the group but he still got most of my rolls. And all he said to me afterwards “it was just for the lols.” good thing is he’s never going tatting with my guild again

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