Personal loot vs competitive loot

I’ve been running a few Raid Finder 25 man raids in World of Warcraft recently since a major quest chain requires me to collect ten random-drop tokens from the first two raids. There was a lot of debate over looting rules in Raid Finder when it launched, the current system uses a personal random loot (most often just money) with an optional bonus loot roll if you spend a special currency that is the indirect reward from certain daily quests.

Bonus personal loot option above hotbars (centre)

Bonus personal loot option above hotbars (centre)

This personal approach to loot is relatively new to WoW, the traditional need/greed/pass system is retained in dungeons and raids outside of the PUG-tastic automated grouping tool. Of course personal rewards are not new to the genre, I first experienced them in DDO back in 2009. In DDO the best rewards come from treasure chests, usually these spawn after killing a unique or ‘boss’ monster. Each player clicks on the chest and gets a randomised selection of treasure, you can opt to assign any unwanted pieces to someone else in the party. It always struck me as a beautifully simple system compared to the messy system used in other MMOs. I’ve seen arguments over loot in many games because someone ‘needed’ on an item that others thought they didn’t require or deserve.

This topic is back in my thoughts since I was reading this thread on the loot system for Perfect World’s new Neverwinter MMO. It’s a typical need/greed/pass system, which in a new game seems a bit simplistic. Neverwinter will have an equivalent to WoW’s Dungeon Finder, so lots of random PUG grouping. Personally if I play Neverwinter and use the random grouping at all (which is a *big* if after my experiences in WoW), having to deal with loot arguments and ‘ninjas’ who need everything is not my idea of acceptable game design in 2013. Developers can’t stop people from being selfish in MMOs clearly, but they can at least remove some of the inevitable tension points through careful design. The proposed “need if your class can use” system that many in the thread are supporting is one simplistic way of reducing ‘ninja’ behaviour. But perhaps Neverwinter should instead look at ‘the other’ D&D game and adopt a personal loot strategy instead?

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One Response to Personal loot vs competitive loot

  1. Meznir says:

    I wouldn’t describe the DDO model as completely personal loot – as others still see what you won and start begging you to give you the loot as they need it more – which is what happened in Dragon Soul LFRs, before they introduced the new system.

    Having experienced the horror that was that system, I now LOVE the current system (mostly). In DS, guilds queued together and everyone who could need on an item did, so that they could give it to their guild mates. Everyone else needed everything so they could vendor it. It also showed everyone who won what, which led, as mentioned above to people begging you for items they needed more. Twice I caved in and gave to others – and later looked up those people on the armory to find they had better already.

    I love the anonymous self loot. It takes all the stress out. The only thing left to fix with it is to improve the “fail bags” and increase the droprates / unlucky streaks (9 bosses, 5 bonus coins spent ie 14 chances of loot – and I get only gold every time) – but some of that is hopefully being fixed in patch 5.3.

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