6 Influential Factors in Loot Council Decisions

This is a behind the scenes look on the Conquest forums detailing loot factors that are taken into account during loot council disputes. Some readers expressed interest in learning more about the specifics and here they are.

Loot is the single biggest headache involved with raiding. If you are a person that values yourself over the guild, then you want to reassess why you are in this guild, or why you want to join this guild. Ask yourself “do I want gear to raid or do I want to raid for gear?” Hopefully, you are a person who will choose the first option. If all you want is to raid for gear, then Conquest is probably not for you.

Nothing can avoid disagreements over gear. The Loot Council itself has an odd number of members specifically to avoid a deadlock on a piece of gear. Please keep in mind; we will do it as fairly as possible. If you felt you were treated unfairly and made a mistake, place yourself in an officer’s position and look at it from that angle.

If you still feel we error, please get in touch with Mallet and discuss it with him. Unfortunately, we cannot reverse decisions unless the item was erroneously awarded (as in mislooted, which can only be fixed via tickets). But your thoughts will be taken into account for the future.

How to express interest

Say Interested – If the item is a significant upgrade for you in your current spec and role. Best in slot also applies.
Say Pass – If the item is a minor upgrade or you’d like it for an off spec.
Say nothing – If you have zero interest at all in the item.

A countdown will be applied. At the end of it, there will be a dash (-). Interest expressed well after the dash will not be factored into account (unless there was no one interested at all during the countdown).

Note: If you equip a green to ninja gear and attempt to influence the council, you will be gkicked.

The gear reward process

5 members consists of the Loot Council. They each have their own individual personality and are 5 different players. Each council member has 1 vote used to decide who receives an item if there are multiple players interested in an item.

6 Influential factors

Current rank and position: Initiates and Subs will not get loot assigned to them if there are members in the raid with Raider status that has interest. This is to prevent people from joining, getting a few pieces of loot, and then leaving. It is basically a form of DKP. It forces people to have a vested interest in the guild to receive gear. This may be overlooked based on performance, attendance, or the amount of loot already received during that raid. To attain Raider status a person must be a member for a few weeks and attended (or been on vent and available) a minimum of three raids per week.

Attendance: Raid attendance is extremely important. If players aren’t here to raid, they’re not going to be able to contribute. Remember that loot drops will be awarded in order to be as effective as possible. This means there is a higher chance that a player who attends 3-5 times a week will get an item over a player who only shows up once a week.

Effectiveness: Is it effective for the guild as a whole? Will you be able to utilize it and ensure that it does not become useless? We want to ensure that items aren’t going to be wasted by being awarded to alts or off specs unless there is no main interest. Paladins looking to obtain DPS Plate gear aren’t going to get it if they’re in raids to heal. It does not maximize the effectiveness of the item if it is not being used.

Current items: A player still wearing Heroic or Normal Naxx level gear is going to have a higher chance of being awarded an item. Keep in mind that this will not always be the case. In certain situations, while the item in question may be a larger upgrade for a newer player, it could be awarded to a veteran player who has been in there for weeks or months on end trying to get the item.

Equal distribution: Loot will be distributed as equally as possible to the appropriate classes that need them (at least, we’ll attempt to). It is unlikely for players to receive more than one item from a boss. But it is entirely possible for players to receive multiple items in one run. We cannot control what items a boss drops. The last thing we want to do is shard a piece.

Set bonuses: With certain classes, some T7.5 bonuses are just plain awesome to have. If you have an odd number of set pieces (like 1 or 3 set pieces), we want nothing more than to help activate them.

Self improvement and teamwork

The main tanks in the guild are able to talk amongst themselves and figure out who needs upgrades over the other first. They do this purely through communication and cooperation by figuring out their weaknesses and identifying the items that benefit them the most. When tank items drop, they are able to compromise.

I encourage other players to do the same with the other classes or other players wearing similar armor types. As an example, I try to work with the other Priest and clothies to see who can benefit more.

90% of loot drops is handled informally among our members. They all take turns passing and are aware who can benefit items the most. It’s the 10% where loot council has to step in and make a decision. The trend here is that it ends up mostly being trinkets, rings, or weapons.

* Note: Anyone is free to take this post and modify or use accordingly for their own guild. Yes, you have permission. Don’t have to email and ask.

67 thoughts on “6 Influential Factors in Loot Council Decisions”

  1. hmmm, the good ol’ “god loot” system. good luck with this. in my opinion there are a whole lot of cons to this loot system and very few pros. one of my friends just /gquit his old guild because of the way they did loot. he was with them for about 2 months and only received 2 pieces of gear. this was because he had spent a whole lot of time, effort, and gold gearing himself and the upgrades from heroic naxx were “minor”. still, he showed up and generally outdpsed everyone but ended up with hardly anything to show for it.

    hopefully your guild can make the system work a little better than that. still, i don’t know why you wouldn’t just stick with a simple epgp or dkp system; it seems to be the most “fair” way to do loot out there. best of luck though!

  2. Here’s my comment on loot council – I may be in the minority.

    Sure, I like nice shiny new purples – makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. But, by joining the guild that I am in, I am placing an inherent trust in the Guild Leader and officers. As such, I show up, I do my best, and if loot drops, that trust is that the council is making the best decision for the guild. If I don’t get a piece, I cry a little inside, and move on to the next boss. It’s not like we’re just running this place once, never to return.

    It all evens out. And, while “random” rolls should even out in THEORY, we all know that people run hot and cold on rolls. Having the leaders determine “best use” ensures that things are even. Better to have two really well geared people than one uber geared and one sucky geared.

    If you’re not in it for the good of the guild and you don’t trust your leaders to make fair and just decisions, why are you in the guild in the first place?

    Not sure why I felt compelled to write this, other than I like loot council and think it is by far the superior method for distribution.

  3. @apokteino – your friend’s situation is exactly the reason loot council is a good solution. If he spent time and money gearing himself up, then good for him. But if the Naxx upgrades were minor for him, and substantial for others, then for the good of the guild, those folks should be getting the gear. If he was out-dpsing the others, again IMHO, that’s why THEY should get the gear, and not him. (unless of course, they just suck, but I doubt that was the case).

  4. I agree whole heartedly about the Self Improvement and Teamwork section. To be honest in our runs, everyone who shares tokens and loot talk amongst themselves even with our DKP system in place and it has been working wonderfully so far. Communication makes loot distribution so much easier!

    Lodurs last blog post..New Guest Post!

  5. This system will eventually fail and bring your guild down with it. You can’t count on a single person’s (or group’s) ethics to hold together such an important system. The reality is that if your council has the power to take unfair advantage, eventually it will. That’s why democracies have checks and balances.

    The only place a loot council should have is applying common sense for the best interests of the guild to the decision on who should roll on drops. Basically ensuring that nobody rolls on off spec stuff while main specs could use it, or nobody with better gear rolls on a downgrade by accident.

  6. @ Euripedes:

    I have a comment on this subject, but it’s too long to entertain here.

    I’d like to say that I wholeheartedly disagree with you.

    More to come in a post. :0)

  7. “@apokteino – your friend’s situation is exactly the reason loot council is a good solution. If he spent time and money gearing himself up, then good for him. But if the Naxx upgrades were minor for him, and substantial for others, then for the good of the guild, those folks should be getting the gear. If he was out-dpsing the others, again IMHO, that’s why THEY should get the gear, and not him. (unless of course, they just suck, but I doubt that was the case).”

    So this guy spends his time and money becoming the most effective he can be, and rather than be rewarded for it, he is in effect punished.

    So what your saying is, he should have sat on his butt and done the min (with regards to gear) required to get in the raid because he would have a better chance of getting the best gear available, because it would be a major upgrade over heroic blues, instead of the gear he obtained via raising his rep, crafting epics, etc.

    I’m sorry, but the guy who does everything he can to improve (I.E. help the guild to progress) should be rewarded over the guy who sits around and waits for drops.

    Having played MMOs for a long time. I find that those “lesser geared but more deserving” people tend not to understand when the shoe is on the other foot, or stick around for the long haul.

  8. @ Euripides

    “The only place a loot council should have is applying common sense for the best interests of the guild to the decision on who should roll on drops.” well… by the description of the loot council that’s been posted at least twice maybe three times now on the site (too lazy to go digging that far back =P) Matt and other people do chime in and explain the system…. That’s pretty much what they do.

    They are a progression guild and obviously it’s working because they are through Sarth 3D. You can’t do that if you’re losing guildies or not being fair with the loot / making sure it’s distributed evenly.


    I can’t wait to read it!

  9. It’s not how I would do things but I think the most important part of any DKP/loot system is to be really clear up front with people about how it works, and I like this post a lot for explaining what should happen.

    Do you ever find it takes a long time to sort out a drop with a loot council? With DKP it’s generally pretty straightforwards. (With random rolls, which is what I do in 10 mans, even faster.)

  10. Head over to WoW-heroes.com. Do a realm search just on Ner’Zhul (4th tab). My players are well represented in the top 50 (at least 10). The gear spread from lowest to best geared is very minimal.

    You may not agree with it. Not everyone is going to agree with it.

    But it has been effective for me and my organization.

  11. I am a frequent reader of your blog, as well as a number of others, and as a Tree, I am particularly interested in all that is healing, so I especially enjoy WoM. I am a member of a “casual” raiding guild (though I have seen debate over the casual vs. hardcore, I have yet to be convinced that it will ever be settled) that cleared 3/4 of Naxx 10 last night, stopping only due to time constraints, and we operate under a “Need > Greed, Main > Off, try to keep it one per night, and don’t be an asshat” system.

    Pertinent to the conversation, our current guild is relatively relaxed when it comes to loot , but having raided up through MC in vanilla, and TK/SSC in BC, I have witnessed and been part of a variety of systems, including DKP, Loot Council and free roll. I often run Naxx 25 with a “sister” guild during the week as Dragons Horde is not full enough for 25 yet, and they run a LC system.

    What strikes me most is the dichotomy of hobby vs. work expressed by the players, and how it translates to the reward system that is “loot”, and most especially how it weighs so heavily on the game that even this site has created easily half a dozen posts related to it.

    I’ll admit to getting somewhat of a thrill mousing over the drops for each kill to see if there is something of worth to me. Most of the time, I have already opened AtlasLoot and seen what may be to come, and know whether there is something I might want to roll on or not. More than that, I get a thrill from keeping my targets alive, seeing the bosses health diminish and seeing the kill happen. As a mid-30’s age player lucky enough to have a wife who plays as well, perhaps we are not in the minority in our age bracket (making a bold assumption there), but if we are then I would certainly be surprised and a bit disappointed. I mentioned hobby vs. work and honestly feel that those of us who truly feel it is a hobby (I don’t say “game” because the connotation is so limiting) regardless of the countless hours we spend playing, planning, min/maxing, researching and socializing, would see that the maturity level of players and leaders is what defines any system as good or bad. DKP, when handled properly and when folks don’t abuse the system can be a great way to distribute loot. If you participate, earn your keep, save your “money” and want the item, you can get it. Loot Council as well – if your leaders and LC members are mature, wise and have a clearly expressed the direction of the guild, then it should be expected that choices will be made that everyone could be satisfied with. The system Dragons Horde uses seems fair, mostly because the experiences we have had with it, and the people we deal with are fair.

    I have heard in a number of recent complaints that with the LC system, people feel slighted because they all “worked hard” to down the boss, and they feel that the LC gave it to their friends. Do I consider it “work” to heal my ass off? Maybe. but I wouldn’t constitute it as work, at least not with the connotation that is implied. More than that however, it seems there is a lack of trust and maturity in either the decisions by the LC, or by the player that didn’t get what they wanted.

    Certainly, as a “part-time raider” in the sister guild, I have trust that the leaders of that guild know and respect me for my ability and for who I am, know that if they have items that drop that are great for me, and will help them achieve their goals, I will get them. Also, I know that if the drop means that they will build up their core, then they will pass over me in favor of that because that is what’s best for them, and I am ok with that. But it’s about trust and maturity, not the kind of loot system they run.

    So this comment ran a little long of what I initially intended, but my point is that everyone will think one system better than the other mostly because of experiences had with a particular system, and essentially it boils down to maturity and trust. I think Matt has done a great job identifying why LC works for them, and not saying that it is the be-all, end-all system that everyone should adopt, but simply that it works for them, and their guild is mature and trusts their decisions.

    Ambullance – Mannoroth-US

  12. @ ashuna: you said “I’m sorry, but the guy who does everything he can to improve (I.E. help the guild to progress) should be rewarded over the guy who sits around and waits for drops.” i don’t know if you read my post or not but that is my exact point.

    when wotlk came out my friend ran about 5 heroics a day for almost 3 weeks to get the very best gear he could. he got the badge loot as well as the very best possible heroic drops. he had the best crafted gear made for him. then he chanted it and gemmed it with the best there was. he gets in a raiding guild and they take him in to naxx and in 2 months he manages to get a grand total of 2 pieces of gear because the upgrades were only minor for him but major for some of the other people. these people apparently didn’t bother to take the time to help their guild progress by gearing themselves and yet they were rewarded for this lackadaisical attitude that was hurting their guild.

    ironically, the biggest reason most guild’s use a god-loot system is so that they can improve the overall performance of the guild while by getting gear to people who need it most. if they aren’t careful about this, though, they indirectly promote the idea exact opposite: don’t gear yourself (which in turn benefits your guild) or you won’t get gear. obviously there are some work-arounds to this but it can sometimes be a pretty fine line.

  13. We use a dkp for main specc items and a LC for offspecc items. We have no real issues with this system.

    The only problem I see from Loot Council is it is subjective based on the council decision. This could be PERCEIVED as a system that plays favorites depending on the maturity of the audience and the decisions of the council.

    For instance, you have a raider that has recently come back from a hiatus. They haven’t raided alot in the last 6 months but they recently raid every raid day for the last 1 month. Is this considered a regular raider or a raider with attendance issues? Depends on how you look at it.

    Also, what we have found is that classes that choose to communicate and work cooperatively for loot will do so no matter what system is in place (dkp, epgp, etc. etc.). Thank god for that, lol.

    One thing that concerned me from your post was he statement about offspecc items. “Paladins looking to obtain DPS Plate gear aren’t going to get it if they’re in raids to heal. It does not maximize the effectiveness of the item if it is not being used.”

    Look, let face it…there is going to be A LOT of offspec gear distributed rather than sharding the loot. Let them have it, I say. That same holy pally may want to dps his butt off while solo questing or in pvp and you should not prevent that from happening.

    To referecne another recent post, offspec items can be “good for the guild” because they can allow a dps player to heal or a healer to dps which helps the raid continue.

  14. I think he means that in some guilds(the one we were in before that used dkp) people would grab offspec gear over people who actually needed it for there main spec

    We have an abundance of Abyss crystals and people who want offspec gear have no problem getting it

  15. @ Matt: out of curiosity, how long have you had this system in place? is this just new for wotlk content or did you use it effectively in bc as well?

    @ doc: i have never heard of a guild that gives on off-spec item to player 1 before giving it to player 2 who needs it for their main-spec regardless who much dkp either player has. main-spec always wins even if the person has -dkp.

  16. @Wilgo: Yes, there is going to be a lot of offspec gear being dropped. We’re a progression guild. I give the 2H maces to the melee players or the hunters who need it before giving it to the Holy Paladin. They may not get it right away, but if they keep showing up they’ll get it eventually. I’m not going to award Fury of the Five Flights to a Holy Paladin if there are physical DPS players that still need it.

    In previous guilds, I had players use DKP on items that they would never use in raids. I didn’t want to see that practice continue here.

  17. @ashuna –

    The attitude of your comment is exactly what causes loot drama (unless I’m misinterpreting what you’re saying). How exactly is he being “punished”? To even suggest that is silly. Why does he play the game? Is it to defeat content and progress, or is it to get fancy gear and look pretty and be (or at least think he is) superior to others? I would suggest that it should be the former but is much more probably the latter.

    I’m not at all suggesting that people should slack off so they can get gear awarded to them – you put those words in my mouth. But there will always be a range of gear levels in a guild, and I am suggesting that it is in the guild’s best interest to award the gear to those that are in need of it rather than those that just want it. (Need/Greed – sound familiar?)

    If this guy, as you put it, is doing everything to “help the guild to progress,” I would argue that passing minimal upgrades to those who benefit more from it would be part of that sacrifice.

  18. “If this guy, as you put it, is doing everything to “help the guild to progress,” I would argue that passing minimal upgrades to those who benefit more from it would be part of that sacrifice.”

    my points is that EVERYONE has access to the gear he was wearing and if they put in the time, they would have that gear as well. the way the loot system worked in his guild, it gave preference to those who didn’t gear themselves in order to “benefit the guild as a whole.” however, the people who are still running around in bad gear obviously show no desire to be a “benefit to their guild” so why reward them???

    like i said before, not every council looting system has to fall into this pitfall (but a great many inevitably do).

  19. I cannot speak for what to this guy Apok but I can say that sometimes we did fall into that pit trap early on off giving gear to someone with greens or blues as opposed to giving it to someone with naxx10 epic. At this point though we really do not have that issue anymore and with new recruits they usually have pretty decent gear as well.

    Yes I have been in several guilds were DKP ruled whether it was for the good of the guild or not.

    My last guild we killed Killjaden and that week we did kill him was the week our Main Tank finally got his 4 Piece! That too me was very wrong since the 4 piece was a huge upgrade for warrior tanks.

  20. @apokteino: The players who do that aren’t in the guild or are held to a short leash. Remember that 90% of the time, the items are decided on their own among the players.

    Loot from Malygos and KT (Level 226) are likely to be awarded to the players who DO show up and put in the time and effort. Not every decision is going to be based upon the 6 listed above. It’s some of the things we take into account. Again, I stress that there are no absolute guidelines. This gives me the flexibility to award based on what’s needed and what’s deserved.

  21. @ apokteino – If the upgrade was trivial, then the guild would have been better off giving the loot to someone else for whom the upgrade was bigger. Your friend would have probably been first in line for a noticeable upgrade for him had he stuck around long enough. However, if you’re willing to leave a guild because you don’t get enough loot over other people, even though the upgrade would have been minor, any guild that uses loot council won’t likely work for them. You need to get more satisfaction from downing bosses, earning raid-related achievements, and progress than in receiving loot to flourish in any guild using loot council.

    As far as guilds with loot councils failing due to corruption going, the best way to help ensure fairness is to do the kind of things that Matt’s been doing, publishing the reasoning behind most decisions, and if there’s a question about a specific decision, then explaining why that specific decision was made. It doesn’t all have to happen on this blog of course, but as long as the guild can hear the reasoning and offer comments, then the loot council system will provide the most effective improvement in guild performance more often than not.

  22. The only thing with loot council is you are “forcing” all your raiders to listen to a small group of people in terms of gear. I think it’s all honorable and cute to say “I really don’t care about gear” but on some level, people do. You like to be able to wear a peice of gear that denotes what you have killed, such as, KT’s mace (both 10 and 25), Malygos’ items, Sartharion’s items. When you don’t get something you hoped for for weeks, you DO feel bummed on some level. You invest time in your hobby, and you want something to show for it.

    But, you may ask, “Bretta, this means people who suck can get gear too.” You simply don’t bring them. You don’t have to take them.

    With a closed bid system, 99% of the time, people will bid what they feel the item is worth. If someone really want it, they’ll bid more. If you feel you might have someone out to get you and bid you up, then simply bid what you feel you want to pay. If you bid more than you want to pay and think that you’re just going to get it for cheap, then you deserve to get smashed. Bid what you, yourself, personally want to pay. I believe the benefit to this system is the person who wants the item the most will get it. The person who wanted it the second highest will likely get it next time. Nobody knows who bid on what, or for what amount, except the winner (the get it for second highest bid + 1).

    After a LC, a zero-sum DKP, nDKP, bleh, I really like this DKP system we use. The ontime DKP ensures that raids start ON TIME, and the hourly encourages people to stay online, or sit for others knowing they are still helping the guild by standing by. With a LC, do people really have an equal shot at the item? I don’t think they do–the item is being awarded by people, not by the numbers. As long as your system adequately reflects the time invested by the player (and if it is a quality player…why worry). Offspec maximum bids are a way to keep offspec gear desires in check.

    Mmm I know I rambled, but Loot Councils just tickle me in the wrong spot! 😀

  23. “my points is that EVERYONE has access to the gear he was wearing and if they put in the time, they would have that gear as well.”

    Here’s the issue: some people have more limited playtime than others. This translates into more calendar time to achieve the same results as your friend. Now, if along the process of gearing themselves up they’re in a raid and something drops that improves some of the gear they’re working on substantially, but improves the same slot in your friend’s gear trivially, that person with the worse gear deserves the upgrade, as they’re putting in the work when they can, and the loot award speeds up the process.

  24. Remember who the first piece of 226 caster gear went to… *cough*
    j/k he deserved it.

    just being honest and blunt
    I think our LC system has improved from what started in November greatly. More factors seem to be taken into account from the raider perspective that weren’t originally there. Especially attendance. The one complaint I do have still is knowing what item is best in slot for each class. I believe LC should have a list or know this on their own. So as not to reward one classes best in slot to another class that isn’t theirs. I do have to say it is disheartening to see someone with greens and blues get priority on most drops over someone who has worked for rep gear or dungeon gear. This has been minimal though so I can’t complain too much… As for passing Twilight Drakes to GM’s….

    well Matt really deserved it. gj so far Matt keep it up.

  25. All this for Naxx drops? Naxx? This is WotLK’s equivalent of Kara. The fights are trivial and the gear really isn’t worth all of this effort. That being said using loot councils to assign loot is just asking for drama. It will lead people to leave your guild in fits of rage, and eventually the council will just end up being a bunch of people conspiring to back stab and intrigue their way into more gear for themselves. You can have them on rotation and take all kinds of other measures but it will only delay the inevitable which is that one bad apple is going to slip in and start trying to work with others to screw others over.

    My prediction: Your guild implodes mid T8, early T9 tops. All these stupid rules are great while you’re clearing easy T7 content and gear is easy to come by, but once you actually hit a wall I hope you provide us with a recording of the screaming match the ensues in vent.

    Also, are you familiar with asperger syndrome Matt? I have been reading your blog off and on for a while now, and I suspect you too may be afflicted with this debilitating social disorder. Seek help, please.

    • @Sisisenor: Sorry you feel that way. That is an extremely brash and uneducated assumption on your part about my players. Bad apples are spotted fairly early and released. Be respectful please. Read my commenting policy. Some of are treading a fine line. It’s possible to be civil without resulting to disparaging remarks.

  26. I find it odd that people who feel they are entitled to loot argue in favor of a DKP system were rewards are based on who can bid higher instead of those who earn it more

    You would think the opposite would be true. I am a great player who works hard and is entitled to loot would seem to fit in with Loot council more than a DKP system.

  27. @Sisisenor: I can’t believe your comment. Really. Asperger’s is a serious disorder, not an insult to use against a blogger whose post you didn’t like.

    That’s like yelling: “you have cancer!” at a baseball player who misses a catch.

    There’s a reason I don’t call people “retarded” either–I suppose your comment is the equivalent, just a bit more innovatively prejudiced, if prejudice can even be called innovative.

    Like many players here, I’ve been around the DKP and random roll blocks, and both caused more pain and frustration that our Loot Council does. With any system other than random roll or LC, there’s a way to “game” the system. It’s far worse, to me, for people to be suspicious of and angry at the people whose names are at the top of the DKP list than for players to question an LC decision.

    As for favoritism, I’m on the watch for it. Our LC has rotating members. I know this well, as I volunteered to be the first to rotate out after serving in the council for two months. The officers appointed thoughtful players to the council who had no ties to us, or to each other. LC members don’t vote on their own loot, and I never voted on my fiancé’s loot. What we’ve got is less drama than Ep/Gp ever caused my old guild. There’s no gaming the system–the LC looks at a lot of factors, but it never awards any one player all the “good” upgrades. Ep/Gp, DKP, bidding, whatnot–they all award the smartest players. Those with a good grasp of the system’s math can get every “best” item, while players who take small upgrades lose out and end up with a full set of “medium” stuff.

  28. @ matt: if it’s been working for you so far, stick with it i guess. if you have mature players who don’t worry too much about gear it could work, i guess.

    the big thing to understand, though, is that even though the loot system has some appearance of objectivity for who gets the loot (such as raid attendance, performance, current gear, ect) ultimately it comes down to the loot councile subjectively determining how to apply the above criteria.

    some where down the road something is going to drop and by one raider’s subjective application of the criteria he should clearly get the loot. however, when it’s looted to someone else who he thinks shouldn’t receive it over him you might have problems. you can hope that he’s a mature enough individual to suck it up and cross his fingers for the piece to drop next week and you can try to explain why you looted the piece to the other person rather than him. however, it’s easy to unintentinally slight someone (at least in their minds) and if this happens several times it will be hard for them not to wonder if the loot system is “fair.” i don’t know of any way that you can get rid of this specific negative aspect of the council loot system. you can work with it but you can’t eliminate it.

    our epgp system never has this problem. you show up to raids you get ep to spend; you get a piece you gain gp. the ep:gp ration determines who has priority. main-spec always get priority over any offspec regardless of epgp.

    epgp is good because:

    1) it encourages us to find out what the best in-slot items are and pass the gear that would only be minor upgrades to other raiders (so we can save for the best pieces).
    2) it promotes raid attendance and measures it in a completely objective way.
    3) it gives the control back to the raider, rather than leaving gear distribution in the hands of the loot council. if i have my heart set on a specific drop, i can use my epgp correctly in order to get it.
    4) it is the most “fair” way of doing loot possible.

    there are some perceived downsides to this system, that can easily be fixed:

    1) you still run into the issue of the lazy player just showing up to raid and letting the guild gear him rather than putting in the time to gear himself. my guild’s solution: unless you have the best badge gear/crafted items/gems/glyphs/chants available you don’t get any loot. period.
    2) gear goes to people who don’t need it; the guild as a whole doesn’t benefit. first of all, people who show up to the raids are the ones that are “benefiting” the guild; they are the one who get the gear. also, when we do recruit new members, there is a certain level of ep they are required to get before they can receive loot over a seasoned member.
    3) “i can’t make all the raids b/c of rl issues and that is hurting my chances to get gear i want.” ummm, join a casual guild till things blow over? deal with it? i don’t know what to tell you.

    if you have any questions or see any flaws about this system let me know. i’d love to look at the way we do loot from a different angle.

    • @apokteino: I’ve debated the loot system for well over a month. I’m well versed and familiar with EP GP, SK, DKP, zero sum, and otherwise. I am intimately aware of the postives and negatives. If the system wasn’t working, I would be guildless right now and I would have openly documented my failures on my blog.

      I am quite happy with the system in place as are my players.

  29. @Apokteino:

    The biggest loot drama I’ve ever seen was in a guild with Ep/Gp. Maybe the problem was that the guild was full of smart people.

    Everyone was suspicious of the people at the top of the list, who would end up there because their badge gear kept them from having many possible upgrades in T6. We had problems with hoarding, and we had problems getting people to take small upgrades. I couldn’t stand it after a while–I played one toon, one spec, and had badge and ZA gear, and I couldn’t get off the top of the list. People who played multiple specs or toons just ended up lower. Everyone expected those at the top to pass good upgrades, and got mad when they didn’t. When people at the top did pass, people got mad at them because they remained at the top of the list. I’m not sure if my former guild ever got around this problem–maybe they did, I don’t know. But it certainly contributed to a bad dynamic among the officers. I didn’t leave because of EpGp, but I wasn’t sorry to leave it behind.

    In Conquest, many people pass. They do it not to stay ahead or to stay at the top of the list, but to share around the rewards of raiding. There’s no “reward” for passing, except helping your fellow man (or woman). As such, raiders aren’t suspicious of each other. This, I think, is key. It’s all right to think the LC made one wrong decision. There’s always more loot, and if the LC inadvertently slighted someone, guess what? They can reward them the next time. Conquest farms enough so that nothing is ever scarce. Eventually, we all get fabulous prizes.

    I think that if scarcity were really an issue, that if we were really only going to kill the tier piece-granting bosses two or three times, then we might have problems and have to institute some kind of points system. I never want to be in that situation in Wrath. That was exactly where my former guild was in BC–we were so far behind that we couldn’t afford more than 3-4 kills on Vashj and Kael because we had to move on. I think we killed Illidan 3 times before Wrath hit. But if everybody gets their hat and chest eventually? Not as big a deal who gets them first. Conquest has started early and started strong. I expect us to play well enough to farm tiers enough for everyone to be in 5/5 if they want to be. The rings/trinkets/whatnot are harder, because we’re dependent on RNG, but with that much farming, everyone who plays with us in even 2/3 of our raids is going to get a damn good set of gear.

  30. i hope i didn’t come across as flaming the post or anything like that. i was simply trying to point out that i have had some pretty bad experiences with the god-loot system and think there are a few fundamental flaws that are hard to overcome (most notably the subjectivity of the entire system).

    however, the way your guild is implementing the system (replacing council members every month, clear posts on how the system works, transparency and honesty with guild members, etc) coupled with the apparent fact that you have much more mature players than the average guild clearly seems to be working for you guys really good. this is the first time i’ve heard of a guild using this lc system so effectively. i honestly hope the dynamic of your loot system continues to work when more challenging encounters and more shiny epics come out. hopefully you don’t have any issues but make sure you’re ready to address them if they do come up.

    like i said, though, i’ve had some issues with lc before in the past (much like you have had problems with dkp or epgp). maybe we both just got to see the negatives of the system and not so much the positive aspects. anyhow… best of luck to your guild and i truly hope your loot system works out great for you! = D

  31. I hope you have a mod or addon that does all this in-game, or have very experienced players that can do this quickly.

    If you spend this much time counciling after every boss, you will never be able to obtain any of the timed achievements.

    Not to mention you encourage raiders to just show up, kill, and loot. No one will care to check if items are better fitted for themselves or other raiders of the same class.

    “Nah, the loot-council will take care of it”. Right, as if council members are perfect and never make mistakes.

    Offtopic: Very well done in writing (style, topic) a post that entices comments and feedbacks.

  32. So what happens when a person shows no interest in an item that’s a clear upgrade for him because he’ll only show interest in the “best” item for him. Will you shard the upgrade? Do you know about the various classes to know that it’s an upgrade and force it on the player?

    As I’ve said before in another thread, the main deficiency in Loot Council is not the actual fairness, but the perceived fairness of it. People care about loot a lot. Eventually you’ll make a decision that people disagree with. Those start accumulating over time and people will begin to question everything.

    Bottom line, you aren’t going to find an entire guild that’s altruistic. I’m sure there are plenty of selfish people in your guild, they just haven’t found a big enough reason to rock the boat yet. Most people are fine and happy until they feel unjustly passed over or indirectly insulted (which is what happens when a person looses a loot council decision that they thought was a done deal). This might not come to fruition until an item like a Warglaive is available but it’ll definitely come.

    The future success of an LC will depend on a core that implicitly trusts the system. Just be prepared to lose a lot of vital raiders along the way.

  33. @Mekias: That situation almost never happens. Players know whether an item is a clear upgrade. They are aware that the progression is based on upgrades. What reason is there to show no interest on an item thats even an upgrade? They’re not saving up DKP or any points. They won’t earn any favors on the loot council.

    Why would any player turn down a minor upgrade? Be realistic here. Even though I want the best bracers in the game, I can still live with having the second best because of the fact that it’s still better than what I have. An upgrade IS an upgrade. If they’re worried about being perceived as a loot whore or anything, then I’ll have a talk with them about it. There are no lootwhores in the guild because of how the team has been built.

    It doesn’t even matter what kind of loot system I use. If people don’t perceive the system to be fair, they’ll leave. That’s why when I pick up players I make it absolutely crystal clear to them that we are a loot council system. If they have a problem with that, they can leave. If they don’t have a problem with it, they can stay. There are always going to be goddamn cynics out there that question everything and second guess every decision. I’m ALWAYS going to make a decision that people disagree with.

    Hell, I write posts on a daily basis that people disagree with. I don’t understand why people don’t just stop reading.

    They know I keep the lines of communication open. If a player feels unjustly passed over or indirectly insulted, THEY COME TO ME first. I talk and more importantly, I listen. I’ve had to do that several times in the past few months and I’m happy to say I haven’t lost anyone because of loot related reasons yet. And I hope I never do.

    There’s a case in BC, Canada where three Police Officers were arrested for inappropriate conduct and beating up a truck driver for no reason. Does that mean we should fire all the cops and overhaul the entire criminal justice system because of the stupidity of three people? There’s border officers in Bosnia who have to be bribed before they let people through. Is that representative of all of law enforcement personnel in the world?

    Is loot council bad because of the experiences of one or two people felt that they were wronged or because their GMs are greedy?

    Discretion is the key here. We’ve cleared out ALL the 25 man content that this game has to offer.

    I have not lost a single member for loot related reasons. Don’t you think if loot issues might have been a problem I would’ve LOST a player by now all the way from Naxx, to Malygos, to OS 3D?

    If anything, this stuff right now is a rehearsal for my entire guild because they know the hard stuff is going to be released soon. If they felt this guild was’t right for them or if the system was flawed or some other BS, they would’ve told me and split a long time ago.

    What the heck do I have to do to persuade people that I’m not out to get them? That I am not in herently bad? Is that even possible? I could beat out Ulduar and the unnamed raid. I could then advance to Icecrown, kick Arthas’ ass and still have my philosophies and systems questioned with all sorts of probabilities and what ifs and what about this scenarios.

    I can’t win. I just can’t win when it comes to loot related posts.

  34. It’s not about “winning,” Matticus. You explained what works for you, why it works for you. Someone disagrees. So, they don’t agree with you. That’s not losing. Having someone agree with you isn’t “winning” either.

    If you want to “win” an argument, disable comments and hide your e-mail. Then no one can disagree, and you’ll always be right.

    Bellwethers last blog post..*Spoiler Alert*

  35. The trouble is, Matt, that people are looking at your loot system with a perspective that doesn’t apply.

    Loot councils work great in hardcore progression guilds where standards are high, and everyone’s contributing the same amount. They don’t work so well in more casual guilds, but plenty of casual guilds try to implement them, it goes badly, and then they’re convinced that all loot councils are bad.

    People forget that not all guilds are alike.

    Sihas last blog post..One (More) Good Reason To Play The Lunar Festival, Again

  36. I don’t know anymore. I guess I’m not so much angry at the comments. I’m used to it. I’m just upset at my inability to handle them. Bloggers are supposed to be crit immune. I’m allowed to lose my temper, but not in public.

    For that, I apologize.

  37. It’s your blog. Lose your temper how you want, respond how you want. You don’t have to always go “Oh, I see what you’re saying…/polite”

    Goodness, if no one could respond to criticism how they wanted, Bear would never be allowed to speak on his own blog again!

    Bellwethers last blog post..*Spoiler Alert*

  38. I have to say that I personally am against LC in general, but I’ve been pretty happy overall with this one because I think it does fairly spread out loot overall and there is enough loot to spread around. I have mentioned this before, but I think the big problem with the current LC system will come when there is less loot to spread around. If Ulduar becomes a roadblock for guilds, then loot will become a major issue. I still think the major fallacies of a LC come with “human error.” There are several instances of our guild where loot, I believe was not fairly doled out, but I am one person and also the fact that since everything seems to be a loot pinata right now, it really doesn’t matter because everyone still has a high chance of getting the item they want next week.

    The other consideration that I think needs to be made is that I think the most effective LC’s determine who is going to get what loot even before it drops. Assuming that everyone is trying to perform to their potential in raid as you would in any hardcore raiding guild. The only thing that I think factors against this is if during raid that person performs poorly, then LC might change their mind. This though saves a lot of times especially when looting and properly gears people. Most guilds don’t have this kind of organization but if you do I commend you.

  39. @matticus – shoot first, ask questions later. or maybe that only applies here in the States 🙂 express your emotions!

    @apokteino – Conquest LC is not intended to be “objective” or “fair”. Matt’s original description flat out says this. Decisions are made using the posted guidelines as a framework, but in the end, LC makes the subjective decision on what they think is best for the guild. Success depends upon (1) LC members not abusing the power, and (2) raid members valuing team success more than personal reward.

    @…well, @nobody…just my 2cents…

    So much of loot distribution and which system will be ideal depends upon the type of people in the raid/guild. Conquest is founded on the concept of attracting people who are more willing to give an item to a teammate than to soulbind it to themself.

    The evidence (raid progression, Matts link to gear rankings, and just a general lack of loot drama in ~2 months of raiding) shows that the recruiting and looting policy and implementation have been consistent with that principle. No system is perfect, Conq-LC incuded, but given all the options, the results are very positive.

    However, I will not cite that as proof that “Loot Council Works, You Should Try It”, but rather I see it as proof that the way LC is handled in Conquest works well for the players in Conquest.

    I’ll give an example from my personal looting situation:

    We generally raid with two hunters. The other hunter shows through consistent behavior and performance that he will make outstanding use of any gear he is given, and he takes good care (enchants,gems,etc) of what he has, whether its a greenie or a best-in-slot epic. He does an outstanding job in his raid role, goes out of his way to help other players, and never gets sour if he’s passed over for gear.

    That is the type of player Conquest recruits and rewards.

    I’m perfectly happy passing on gear in favor to him, as I am confident he will use that equipment to improve his performance, and therefore make the raid more successful. Does that mean I might have to wait a few extra weeks before getting Trophy items like Envoy of Mortality? Sure does! Does that caues any problems for me or our raid? Hells no!

    As a result, the Hunters are actually able to sort out nearly all the Hunter loot decisions in private, and rarely (if ever) escalate it to the LC. I suspect similar cooperative situations exist among the other classes/specialties.

    Amavas last blog post..Fish Feast, FTW

  40. Hi kids.

    There are different loot systems because there are different guilds. If only one were viable, the others wouldn’t exist. Everyone has an example of where one obscure type (suicide kings! but with FROSTING!!) worked against all expectations, and where the more common (DKP or LC) failed because the guild wouldn’t support it.

    Ain’t no thang but a chickin wiiing.

    Thanks for your support, for your opinions, and for always keeping the readership aware that there are other options. Do what works for you, until it doesn’t.


  41. the reason people are going to question your loot system is because of their past experiences with it. for the majority out of us out here, lc hasn’t worked the best and we’ve probably gotten burned at one time or other. obvsiouly we’re not in your guild; if we were maybe we’d find it more to our liking. your guild appears to run the lc system more smoothly than most and everyone seems to be fine with it. if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

    personally i like dkp better because it puts me in control over my gear. i don’t have to wonder what while happen to the chestplate of many graces (/drools) if it drops tonight. that’s just me though and that’s part of the reason i’m in the guild i’m in. our loot system works great for my guild just like yours is working for your guild.

    different strokes i guess… i’ll be following your blog to see what happens. like i said, i hope everything works out just fine.

  42. I am a big fan of Loot Council over straight DKP systems with a good council. If your Guild Master, Raid Leader and/or Role/Class Leaders are good they’ll make decisions based on what’s best for the raid.

    What we use in my guild is a Loot Council with ties determined by EPGP. It has worked very well for us. Everyone contributes, everyone knows that, if they don’t get the loot today, they’ll get it next week (we’ve got Naxx and Malygos on farm right now and Sarth 3D will be back on farm when we adjust to the post 3.0.8 changes).

    Loot Council is not as crunchy as DKP/EPGP systems and it’s easier to abuse. But, if you don’t trust the leadership, find another guild. Any system is only as good as the leadership and, while Loot Council can be abused more easily but there’s more room to “make the right call” than there are with straight numerical systems.

    If it’s a guild with leadership that I like and respect, give me Loot Council every time. If it’s a guild with leadership that I don’t like or don’t respect, why am I doing in that guild in the first place?

  43. I have to say that my guild (very much a casual guild that enjoys raiding) has a loot council. This loot council works very well for us. Most (not all) players are aware of what is/isn’t an upgrade for them and we all share. The loot gets passed out fairly evenly amoung everybody which to my mind makes for a stronger guild and more chances for us to eventually progress.

  44. I’d like to see a survey of guilds where a given loot system worked well, and some of the demographics of the membership, along with the attitudes of the membership towards raiding, progression, WoW, etc. I think that would be the best way of settling some of the differences in opinion regarding loot systems.

  45. @Matticus Just remember, since Loot Council *is* working for you, that means you’re a fair and just Council in a group that is successful and satisfied. You can sit back and laugh boisterously about the fact that other GM’s are being greedy and thus breaking their system, while yours will chug all the way to Arthas.

    And no way you’re skipping that renewal in August 🙂

  46. Conquest is my first experience with loot council – and I’ve been duly impressed with every decision. There’s no bias/favoritism, and everyone has been geared up appropriately quickly. Is it like that in EVERY guild that uses LC? no, of course not.

    For us, and our group – it works, and it works well. Thank Elune that the world is big enough for us to each have our own loot rules and opinions.

  47. My guild swapped to a loot council system when we started raiding ‘officially’ just after Christmas. The GM didn’t want people turning down minor upgrades because of the DKP cost involved, and so on. And honestly, I’m really pleased with how it’s been going.

    The tanks have a list of who gets what loot, and while that’s harder for the healers to do, since we have to share with all the casters, everyone has generally been very fair about it. It’s really showing who in the guild is in it for themselves, and who’s trying to improve the performance of the guild as a whole. And everyone gets loot, not just the people who were undergeared. The leaders make sure of that, and I trust them to do what’s best for the guild.

  48. “@apokteino – Conquest LC is not intended to be “objective” or “fair”… LC makes the subjective decision on what they think is best for the guild.”

    i think you’ve pretty much summed up why people have a problem with LC… they expect (and deserve?) to be rewarded fairly and objectively for their contribution to the guild.

  49. @ Matt – Don’t let negative people or total nutjobs like Sisisenor make you second guess yourself for one minute. You have to take each comment for what it’s worth and move on.

    If Loot Council works for your guild (and it does for many guilds) then stick with it. Nothing wrong with that.

    I am also in a progression guild and We use dkp and LC.

    First, DKP is used for anyone who wants a drop for their MAIN spec: they must speak up.
    Second, whoever has the most dkp gets it.
    Third, if noone wants for MAIN spec it goes to LC.
    Fourth, all who want for off spec must speak up and name what spec they want to use it for.
    Fifth, LC decides.

    Works well for us.

  50. Hey guys, they just said that loot council only has to step in 10% of the time, if 90% of the gear is basically pre-decided on before the run even begins, then this system will work forever.

    There are of course pros and cons to this, if you have 5 clothies, all deciding that certain gear is best for certain classes, then the peer pressure comes into effect, 1 or 2 might not agree but they feel they have to go along with the rest. This usually leads to /gquit’s and arguments later.

    But in any good guild, the officers/leader should be able to iron these out, and let all members know their opinion is wanted and will be given weight in decision making.

    @ apokteino, I have to agree with your friend, if the thinking is similar, I hate when I spend hours and hours farming heroics/mats to make gear and buy gear to improve my character to the point of doing TOP performance in raids, only to have people that just ding 80, and stand around waiting to get their hands held through raids and of course the items are a bigger upgrade for someone that hasn’t done a heroic or crafted any gear at 80, so you lose out, all your work is to basically gear out a slackass.

  51. I find it amusing that some people get so worked up about loot systems that they cease to be civil. Has always /boggled me. I have been in systems that used DKP – worked most of the time, been in loot council systems – worked most of the time and now we just random /roll for all instances – has worked almost all the time. So if a system works for someone more power to them. I think people like Sisinoer should get a better perspective and let other be.

  52. @Matticus

    I think it’s fairly clear why someone would pass over a minor upgrade. You’ve mentioned that the size of the upgrade is one factor in determining who gets what. If a person has the 3rd best weapon and the 2nd best weapon drops, he’ll be tempted to pass over it, thinking that if the #1 weapon drops, he won’t get it. This is even more pronounced when that #1 weapon is clearly the best. The urge to have the best and be the best is prevalent in every high-end progression guild. It’s not a major leap to think that these types of raiders might try to massage the system to get the best gear.

    Also, people won’t always come to you first when they have a loot disagreement. You and the LC hold the key to all future loot that person might get. That’s a lot of power and the person might not feel comfortable complaining. You might get angry with them and unconsciously hold it against them in future decisions. I’m not saying you would, I’m just saying why people might not feel that they can talk to you about such things. First thing they’ll usually do is complain about the decision to their close friends. If it made them really angry, it could lead to a whole clique of friends secretly fuming against the LC’s decision. The bad thing here is that it doesn’t matter if the decision was the right one. You’re still going to get blamed and may not know anything about it until the drama is at your doorstep.

    Currently top-end raiding is fairly drama free for all guilds. The only problem I see is keeping your members motivated until Ulduar comes out. Loot is easy to get and falling from the sky for just about everyone. I’m not saying your LC will fail, I’m just saying that LC is an inherently flawed system and it’s better to know what caused other LC’s to fail so you can hopefully recognize and avoid those pitfalls when they happen to you.

  53. 1. Don’t get upset over comments. As Bella had pointed out, it’s not about winning. I respect your sincerity and effort to produce good posts, and there is nothing wrong with sharing what ideas/systems you know are good.

    2. Comments are important to read as well. When people disagree with you, they present a view that you’ve not experienced (for example, some mentioned that LC may not work effectively in casual guilds). Obviously, you want to skip over insulting comments (really, people? why stoop to childish name-calling?).

    3. Perhaps it’s worthwhile looking into guild types and loot systems that work with them. You’ve written posts on guild etiquettes, and I think loot is just part of it. If everyone in the guild knows what the guild is about and understands their roles, then honestly any system will work. Yes, nobody is truly selfless, but any mature person will know that being greedy only destroys the guild in the long term.

    4. Skipping minor upgrade is an issue right now since content is easy. Why get a 0.5% upgrade on farm content when you can raid next week and go towards the 2% upgrade? Especially for casual guilds, they’re not about min/maxing, and therefore have no incentives on requesting minor upgrades.

    Come Ulduar time, a different system will be needed because the content will be harder, and any upgrade over T7 should be applied (sharding would be very unwise), if the guild desires progression at all.

    Anyways, thanks again for your posts. They’re always enjoyable (even if some are disagreeable).

  54. @Trinia I do not disagree with you that players should be awarded with their best-in-slot items since it would be very beneficial to the guild, but that is just one aspect to look at. Also, you seem to be putting more weight on this one aspect so I can understand why you would disagree with loot distribution. At the same time, we have players of all roles in LC that would have this piece of information for the respective roles and bring that knowledge up to the LC if the time comes. We cannot just weight on best-in-slot solely as you are advocating. As for myself, many best-in-slot items for me are cloth so I have a lot of competition, but I do not deserve it more than anyone else. Lastly one tends to criticize someone’s ideals once one has been jilted, but in the end, every guild is different and they continue to exist because whatever policies they used, it works for them.

  55. @ Ice
    I personally don’t necessarily believe everyone should be awarded their best in slot items over someone that it isn’t for. My whole issue with that is if loot council is supposed to decide what is best for one class vs. another they should know what is best for him. One of the major arguments I’ve heard for implementing LC is that LC may know what item is better for a player than they know themselves.
    I guess I should go find the previous post on this website that states that.
    I don’ t truly believe that LC can gauge that if they don’t have a standard set even if the standard is contestable.

  56. Quoted from Syd’s Guide to Building Guilds. About LC:

    “This type of system is designed to optimize gear drops by placing them in the hands of those who will have most use for them. This may sound like the best players receive every item, but in practice, this is not true. A well-functioning Loot Council uses gear drops both to reward players for excellent performance and to help raise players to the group standard. Sometimes–perhaps often–the Council will reward the weakest player in a class and spec. All decisions are made for the good of the group, and no good items are sharded. Each member of the Loot Council must be extremely well-informed about the loot tables themselves and about the needs, wants, and skills of the player base. If a player on the Loot Council is interested in a gear drop, he or she generally bows out of the discussion on the item in question.”

  57. @Trinia I am going to disagree with you and here is why

    We are trying to build a guild were the members already understand what is best in slot for them and others they compete with

    I can tell you right now that I compete with 3 others for Plate. 2 of them and myself have a really good understanding of what is the best for each of us and the 3rd person is coming along nicely as well.

    I do not want to have to think for people when it comes to gear. I want them to take the responsiblity of researching their class and taking that decision out of the loot council’s class.

    Its also up to you as a member to talk to those people making bad decisions and refer them to the proper resources

    I am not really too concerned with “Best in slot” items at this point. I will wait till ulduar too voice that opinion when the time comes(though I do voice that already in officer chat for loot). I am more interested in seeing how people react to others trying to get gear.


Leave a Comment