Sunday, 16 August 2015

Personal loot

My guild is currently considering a change to personal loot from master loot. This is commencing with a trial in normal runs, and whilst the change would not occur mid tier in heroic, the idea has received a favourable reception from those that spoke up about it.

The up front reasoning that it is better is that a) it drops more loot, and b) it makes looting quicker and removes any loot drama. I totally buy into the second point, and it is a strong positive. However I was skeptical about the first being beneficial, and didn't want to take it at face value.

A fairly lengthy discussion took place that then made me look like I'm more for master loot than I actually am. Rather I wanted to understand why personal was better rather than just rely on anecdotal evidence.

I could not discern how the quantity of the loot was of primary concern, and not that to get more loot, we have to give up any say in how it is distributed, and give in completely to the roll of the dice. More loot is not important, only more useful loot (upgrades). And personal loot increases the chance of receiving loot that is not useful.

I also questioned why Blizzard would want one loot system to be superior to the others, but arrived at the conclusion that it would simplify and reduce the number of loot related support tickets they receive. So it wasn't out of the realm of possibility.

I was directed to this watercooler discussion where changes to personal loot in 6.2 were highlighted. This basically smoothed out the rewards from boss to boss to give more consistent results, so experiences prior to Hellfire Citadel should not be considered. Some of the other points discussed included:

  • Minor upgrades more likely to be used - people don't "waste" GP on small stat increases, to save it for the big ones.
  • Raid doesn't get loot no-one can use - for example, rogue gear and our lack of rogues.
  • Can't assign gear to most needed or deserving, or for tier, those completing set bonuses.
  • Can't send BoE gear and disenchanted gear to the guild bank - less gold available for guild repairs.
  • No incentive to turn up on time or stay for the whole raid.

Given there are valid reasons for both systems, the crux of it seems to be that the increase in total loot received needs to be greater than the increase in duplicate/downgrade loot received, otherwise it is a net loss.

As this ratio decreases with every rewarding boss kill, it would make the most sense to use personal loot for the first 2 or 3 kills of a boss, and switch to master looter for farm kills to assign loot efficiently and still feed the guild bank.

If EPGP were abandoned under this system, any competition for master looted drops would have to come down to loot council, or a roll. However, it could still work with EPGP - we just may need to compensate in some way for the upfront increase as a result of not accumulating GP for the first few weeks.

Of course, the luckier ones who get more of their loot via personal loot will have higher EPGP and therefore preference to master looted gear, but luck is already a significant factor with bonus rolls, and it tends to even out over time.

I can't say I'd be in favour of a complete switch to personal loot, but utilising it to maximise opportunities on progression kills, and minimise loot distribution delays, makes sense.


  1. I feel like personal loot works really well when pugs are involved but for an organised raid group, one person may get the same piece of loot repeatedly while another person needs that piece and never sees it, where with ML a piece of loot that drops repeatedly can be taken by someone else who needs it, or given as offspec. I don't really see how personal loot benefits the raid group as a whole, and I think the only way it could work with EPGP would be if people were charged for their lucky personal loot.

    You know what would be awesome? If you could black list a piece of loot you didn't want to receive from a boss, like blacklisting battlegrounds! :D

    1. That or specifying what item your coin roll is for.

      Yes personal loot would certainly simplify situations where pugs/friends/trials are brought in.