Like many guilds, we use a loot distribution system. Regardless of the details, like most systems it awards points for time spent raiding, then uses those points to determine priority when loot drops. Getting loot then reduces your priority. Ideally, players will “spend” approximately as much as they “earn”.
This worked great back in BC raiding. Raiding then was moderately difficult and most raids were guild runs. In the first year or so of BC, very few people did PuG raids, and those who did were usually not successful. You ran with your guild to get gear.
In the new WotLK raiding paradigm, PuGs are a very viable and popular way of raiding. No one shuns a PuG Naxx 25 run – in fact, people seek them out.
This has an indirect effect on a loot system, especially for guilds that only do 10 man Naxx. Your players may get themselves geared up through PuG raids, then when they run with your guild they accumulate effort “points” (dependent on the specific system) but never spend any points for gear. They will rise to the top of your loot priority, and cherry pick the best gear from your guild runs.
I saw this happen in my guild. One of our players has done a LOT of PuGs and has excellent gear. We all applauded his efforts to get geared up. He has also been on a number of our guild runs, but has taken very very little loot from those runs. As a result he was very high up on the loot priority. So high, in fact, that when our guild did OS 25 he was able to snag the Fury of Five Flights AND the T7.5 gloves, and still didn’t drop a single place in loot priority.
In the same raid, we had two very well geared players that got almost all of their gear from PuGs. Because they PuG so much, they have hardly run with us at all, and have hardly any points in our loot system. They had no shot at loot from our raid, and that was also unfortunate.
Is this a flaw in the loot system? Not really… its an artifact of the loot system assumptions that are carried over from before Wrath. The systems are built under the assumption that players who raid will actually want the loot from those raids. That’s not true anymore. As long as players can PuG the 25 man raids and then do guild runs in 10-man raids, they will earn more than they spend in the guild’s loot system.
In our guild, we are talking about resetting the loot system now that we are moving into 25 man raids, much like we stopped doing DKP for Kara once we moved onto Gruul and Magtheridon. If we are in 25-man guild raids, then players won’t do as many PuGs to get geared. The downside to this is that it erases all of the effort that people got from doing the 10-man raids. I’m not sure if this is the best solution, and it will certainly anger some in the guild.
(Incidentally, we are using EPGP, and the add-on doesn’t currently allow us to keep separate lists for 10 and 25 man raids.)
My advice to guilds that are just putting a loot system in place – if you aspire to eventually do 25 man raids, make sure your system is zeroed when you start that. Either keep separate lists for 10- vs 25-man raids, or make sure everyone knows in advance that you are resetting the system once you start 25 man raids. Be clear and explain why.