Alts, Offspecs and Loot Rules

Hi all.

We’re overdue for another piece of prose from yours truly and this one is going to be more of an administrative ones that focuses on the subject of raiding alts and loot rules.

Inspiring, I know…

First off alts.  As you know, before the launch of BfA I wrote a piece regarding a move towards promoting the creation of raid viable alts for our mythic raiding team and I’m happy to report this has been a reasonably well adopted.

There will always be those of us that can’t or won’t go down the alt route and again those for whom such a step is never really going to result in the alts actually being used in raid.  The approach in a IRL friendly guild like ours is never going to find universal adoption as some of us really are one-trick ponies or have busy lives that we can’t find more gaming time in.

In addition there is the disincentive that having raid useful alts is potentially dangerous to your main’s regularity.  You only need to look at how often Voss or Athiyk spent time on their alts this and last expansion to know that it can indeed end up that a player who has an alt can find himself on his alt more often than his main purely because there is someone else of their class that doesn’t have an alt who therefore fills that spot instead allowing us the luxury of asking them to swap.

This is why we try to push players towards having raid useful alts (and OSs) and using them in farm raids so we can stop it being always the usual suspects swapping whilst others sit safely on their mains.

This rotating and sharing of the alt gearing works out very well in more progress oriented guilds but in a guild like ours that raids too few days to run split runs of heroic , it’s a trade-off that means that sometimes you are going to be unlucky and perhaps never get that item of loot you wanted from a particular boss.  It’s unfortunate but that’s the nature of RNG and a logical extension of the desire to promote fairness and the interests of the raid team over the interests of the individual.

It’s unfortunate, but overall still better than the alternative we adopted over the years prior to this change of focus, of having a larger roster and rotating players rather than roles or classes for raid bosses or raid days.  For most of us it’s probably better to be raiding a full run on one of our characters than the alternative of being sat because we don’t need more of your main role/class on that fight or we need to make room to rotate players 24-30 in to keep them engaged and geared so we have those extra classes when needed.

So, I hope it’s clear to people why when you have an alt we’re going to be asking you to use it and this may sometimes mean you don’t get to play your main on a boss you really want to play him on because circumstances that day dictate we need you on your alt.  This is only made workable if everyone accepts this and doesn’t expect special treatment but instead trusts the raid council to share the load and possibly get them in on their main next time, if this is feasible.

Sometimes it isn’t.

This brings me to loot as this is often the main reason (the other being personal preference) that people want to be on their main for a fight.

This expansion Blizzard have as you all know, removed master looter to make all loot ‘personal’.  This decision has obviously had huge ramifications for raid teams and their quest to gear the team over the individual but whilst the previous system was no doubt better, we’ve been left with no illusions that Blizzard will revert this change, not least because guilds have basically found a way around this limitation through loot rules and trading and so it wasn’t really game breaking.

With this change I had to basically suspend the previous raiding loot rules and as I didn’t really know if there was any point writing new ones they’ve remained unchanged ever since.   It was however whilst watching Preach’s long-winded piece on being benched last week that it became clearer how raid guilds were handling the issue of ‘personal’ loot and how we might actually be able to update these rules.

Now, if you’ve not seen the video, basically the way this is handled by his and other raid guilds is through raid teams considering all loot that drops as team rather than personal loot.  Obviously, if it can’t be traded then it’s lost to the team, but if it can then it’s considered team loot and not personal.

It’s an important distinction in mindset as it requires players to accept that personal in a team concept doesn’t exist, it’s collective, not individual whilst Blizzard’s choice of wording invites “me, me, me!”

Now, we kind of do this already, we have many players that are quite happy to pass on items that whilst they are still upgrades for them in ways other than ilevel, could well be better utilised by someone else in the team for which they are a bigger upgrade for.

We have however adopted an unwritten policy up to now to allow the player an item drops to first refusal and whilst this isn’t generally abused, it has resulted in a few occasions where the item did not go to someone who could have had a larger benefit from it and therefore this benefit to the team was lost when one guy got a smaller but personally desirable upgrade.

So, having discussed this in the council we have decided to end this practice from here on out and to amend the raid rules to cover this change to a new ‘collective’ interpretation of the personal loot system.  All tradable loot will pass through the council as before and if it’s the best upgrade for you then nothing will change, but if it isn’t then we’re probably going to be awarding it elsewhere.  Please ensure you adapt to this change and don’t equip any tradable loot until it’s awarded to you.

A stronger team beats a single, stronger player every-time, so I’m sure you’ll understand why we’ve decided to adopt the same system as other progress guilds are using.

Thanks for reading.

Founder and Warlord of Weekend Warriors.
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