Friday, January 16, 2009

When /roll isn't good enough.

We started talking yesterday about Loot systems and what they were. We know about the /roll system, but what happens when /roll just isn't good enough?

Not good enough?! Well in some people's eyes it truly isn't. I have this friend and I've watched his bad luck. One weekend I was at his house and every single roll that he had never was higher than a 36. He had been complaining on the day I got there about it and by the time I left Monday morning it hadn't changed.

Sure random rolls are random but at a certain point in bad streaks you really start to feel like the system is rigged against you. Call it the Blizzard House Odds if you will.

This is where the more complicated systems come into play.

Council Loot

One of the most popular systems used for loot distribution is the Council Loot system. In this system all randomness is taken out of the loot and human decision is introduced. This is the most pure human interaction for any loot system. In Loot Council when an item drops an appointed council(normally consisting of the same people each time but sometimes with a rotating set of council members) decides which raid member is in most need of the item. Normally there are different rules to govern the council such as time raided or time within the raid team.

This is a very good method for smaller groups such as 10 mans and even 5 mans(if you don't use the in-game roll method) but because it is a pure human interaction system it can be corrupted fairly easily. The council can start gaining friends within the guild and start voting for those members to get gear more often.

Deciding who has the greatest need can be a difficult task due to the different playstyles and overlapping class needs. This can cause heated debates about which player receives the most benefit from an item, thus making the loot handouts take much longer than more simple roll systems. Bickering and guild drama normally accompianies the guilds that run 25 man content this way.

The most common way to solving the human interraction issue is to move to a point's based system(or commonly refered to as DKP systems). DKP itself means Dragon Kill Points which came from the first loot systems in Everquest when the only raid bosses were two dragons.

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