Reserved Loot in PuG Raids

After our 10-man raid Tuesday night, I had some extra time before I needed to head off and gain some real-life rested xp.  Since my server is a low-population server–let me correct that, SUPER-low-population–,  PuG raids are hard to come by.  I generally don’t enjoy these raids on my server, because most of the people in those groups don’t know how to work as a team. They also tend to be ignorant to fight mechanics or are too lazy to learn them.  Every now and then, though, I have an “inkling” for a 25-man.

I had Trade Chat open in a separate window, looking for something to do. A Prot Pally from another guild was looking for a healer and a ranged DPS for ICC25. Since I don’t get a chance to heal on my Shaman a lot, I opted in. I knew I’d have a limited amount of time, but PuGs on Nazjatar don’t last long.  I rarely see an ICC PuG get a good shot at Plague Quarter (let alone Putricide) before people start getting “raid A.D.D”.

Ooh! An ICC 25! I run through a check of the gear lists, and I know that my Shaman is still using Protector of Frigid Souls, so the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel from Marrowgar would do nicely! What’s a hard-working Resto Shaman gotta do to get a decent shield in this place?! ToC runs are non-existent, obviously, and I don’t have the 1800 rating (yet) for the Wrathful Gladiator’s Barrier.  There isn’t a 10man shield in ICC until Sindragosa, and I always seem to be working on the nights that we kill her.  So this PuG is a perfect opportunity, right? Wrong.

The Bomb Drops

I step into this fresh ICC 25-man raid. I’ve got my Well Fed buff and my flask going; I’m ready to rock. Right before the first pull, and after all the buffs have been put out, the Raid Leader says in chat that the Bulwark of Smouldering Steel is “reserved”. I check his spec, and he’s a full-blown Prot Pally. I ask him if he’s trying to get it for off-spec. He says no, it’s for their Resto Shaman that just hit 80 not too long ago. I send him a whisper: “That’s really the only reason I’m here is to roll on that Shield. I’d like to roll on it, if you don’t mind.” I’m essentially (and politely) told no, and if I didn’t want to continue, then he’d understand. Well, in a flash of frustration, I bowed out and left the raid. Other spouts of disapproval of something being “reserved” echoed through Raid Chat as I clicked my “Leave Party” option.

My Reaction

Although there is one exception, I’m totally against this kind of loot distribution or raid leading, especially in a PuG. I find that it’s disrespectful to the other people that are brought in to help. You’re essentially saying to me, “I want your help in downing these bosses, but you’re not going to get a fair crack at what drops.” I’ve found a trend also in these types of situations. Either they’re entirely in the mindset of thinking that they can’t possible perform well enough without said gear, or they’re just plain inconsiderate, selfish, and rude. In most of these circumstances, I’ve even had a lower GearScore (means little to me, but means THE WORLD to PuGs), and have been able to incredibly out-heal (with little overhealing) the raider in question. I’m not saying that since I have higher numbers that I should get the Shield, but saying that I’m putting good work in but not allowed to roll on the Shield is a straight smack in the face.

The only exception I’ve been able to see (and from reactions I’ve gotten on Twitter), is a Legendary (and I agree). Things like the Fragments of Val’anyr or Shadowfrost Shard‘s (or any of the Shadowmourne pieces) are entirely fair, just so long as it’s laid out beforehand. Those are long treks to get that one item finished. Other loot, though, should be fair game using whatever loot system you dole out. Straight up reserving them is just selfish, in my mind.

Except for the loot system we use in my ICC 10-man, Team Sport always uses an open roll system. If you’re putting the work into the raid, you deserve a chance to get main-spec loot.  Some people would think that means that we get people rolling on stuff they don’t necessarily need, but it works out great. Since people know that’s how we run our raids, we have a wealth of people that love to run with us. Hence, we can be picky about bringing honest and friendly raiders.

After an experience like this, I’ll never take part in a “reserved loot” raid. Whether it’s my gear or not, it’s just principle.

What do you think? Would you continue to run with a “reserved loot” raid? Or would you bow out?

38 thoughts on “Reserved Loot in PuG Raids”

  1. Reserved loot is fine. The people leading the raid are the ones taking the initiative to put the thing together and ensure that it runs relatively smoothly – they are welcome to use any loot policy that they like, just as you are welcome to stay or leave if this offends your sensibilities.

    My DK tanked a ToC25 where Satrina’s was on reserve by the raid leader for his PVP kit. There was only one other piece of loot I wanted (off of Anub’arak, which of course did not drop), and Satrina’s did, in fact, drop – and I congratulated the raid leader and went about my business.

    There will be other pugs, and they may or may not have the items I want on reserve, and I will choose whether I want to go accordingly.

    But no, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

  2. It’s a cheap move. Our guild reserves loot — the blues and greens. We DE them, and that’s the tax for putting the run together. Other than that, puggers we bring along can roll on anything that they can use, and we’ll hold rolls for people rolling off-spec or out of AC (pallys rolling on mail) if someone on-class and on-AC rolls also.

  3. i also despise this practice. It really defies logic to me. Because most people of that class that need the item will most likely not join and therefore the pug runs the risk of not getting the raid off the ground and therefore reduce their chances of getting the item.

    This is especially the case with the more desirable items like the trinkets in ToC which for many roles are still very highly desireable and is usually the ONLy reason someone would run ToC now.

    As for the legendaries? I would argue that even then if more than 1 person is part way through collection (and can show proof) they should not be reserved by any of them but rather limited to those that need them most.

  4. Personally I’m with you on this one. If a group is made of PuG players, lets say 80% PuG, there is no right for anyone to get to reserve an item. But if it is mostly the guild, the same 80% applies here, then I think them reserving a single piece of loot for a guild member isn’t totally beyond reason.

    It’s not right, in my opinion, to bring people in for a raid and then at the last minute say that they will not have a chance at some loot. There has been a lot of raids on Ner’zul that I’m simply not even bothered to try and go to because the only gear I wanted was reserved. There just isn’t much of a point in going to do the raid if I’m going to be unable to even make the attempt at the gear I need.

  5. I’m not fond of it myself, but I think if everyone — absolutely everyone — is OK with it, then it’s fine. However, in my mind everyone should know that something is reserved before they go through the trouble of buffing, flasking, getting to the raid, etc. The Raid Leader should have made it clear while he was forming the raid that this item was reserved.

  6. I see nothing wrong with this…in principle. As long as they announce the loot rules / reserved loot beforehand (before even zoning in would be best, honestly), I think it’s fair. If you don’t like it, you’re free to leave, no hard feelings or anything.

    However, I don’t think guilds should do it unless they clearly make up the majority of the raid. In a 10-man, I wouldn’t be pleased if the hosting guild announced reserved loot and only had 5-6 people in the raid. 9 people, or maybe 8, would be the “threshold” to which I would consider this polite.

    Don’t get me wrong, a guild with only 5 people in the raid could still do it, and I still wouldn’t have an issue with it as long as I still got to choose whether or not to take part. I just wouldn’t privately consider it polite.

  7. The reserve list should be advertised, in trade (or in reply whispers), before people are invited. It’s basic courtesy. It’s a complete waste of time for everyone involved to announce it so late in the process. I can understand why you left the raid. Your only reason to help kill the boss is to have a chance to roll on that shield.

  8. I have no problems with reserves…providing its mentioned before trash pulls being..and preferably in your lfm advertisement. When you get to a boss(or worse after the boss) is the wrong time.

  9. Reserved loot is the Bane of PUGs.

    I never join a raid if anything but legendary pieces are on reserve.

    I do not join a PUG to “carry” the raid leader and his cronies to better gear.

  10. I’m fine with it if you know about it before you join the group. People can run with any kind of stupid loot policy they want as long as they let you know about it in advance, as far as I’m concerned. If you don’t like it, you can organize your own run.

  11. Honestly, if it is a guild run that pugs are fleshing out, I am ok with it… AS LONG as it is told up front. Before the raid really begins. At the last moment, JUST before the first pull, is not that time.

    Also, does that mean they don’t roll on ANYTHING else? If that is the rule, sure I am completely ok with it. They are taking a gamble on the drop. But, this needs to be done with a guild run, with a handful of slots pugged.

  12. The simple fact is if you are going to PUG, you need to be ready to walk if it doesn’t feel right. You got to the first boss to figure out if its the right PUG for you. If its not, no need to be upset, just head out and thank them for the invite.

    If I tell you I don’t like fried chicken… what would your response be?

  13. I don’t like the practice, but I understand it. If I know going in, what is reserved, I’m fine. I mean, yeah, it stinks, but on the other hand, I have the opportunity for other loot as well as badges [and if I’m lucky the reserve piece is nothing I need or want].

    The typical advert for a reserve raid I see is “LFM ICC25 DBW on reserve”. So I don’t get surprised in the raid. Pulling out that loot is reserved at the first boss [or later] is jerk-ish imho. Going into pug raids where a guild makes up a large portion, I’m going to assume that orbs and legendaries are reserved for the guild though.

  14. What loot system do you use in your ten man, out of curiosity?

    Also, for 25 man ICC, guilds who sponsor pug runs should just use GDKP. That way they can buy the loot they need, the pugs get gold (unless they bid higher than the guildies of course) and everyone’s happy with a pretty fair and equitable loot system.

  15. I see no problem with reserved loot as long as the reserved pieces are announced before the run starts and there aren’t an excess of reserved pieces. I think the people doing the work of putting a PuG together are entitled to a bit of special treatment.

    I wouldn’t neccessarily stay in a PuG that had reserved loot that I was looking for, but I don’t have a problem with the practice.

  16. I personally don’t LIKE the idea of reserved loot, nor would I ever attend a raid that puts loot on ‘reserve’. Everyone contributes in the raid and should be allowed to get some goodies for their efforts. To me, reserving loot is like saying, “Your reward for helping *me* getting some loot is seeing my joy.” Not for me.

    With that said, as long as it’s stated -at the beginning-, it’s fair. With knowing that, people are welcome to leave or stay. Should they stay, they imply that they are okay with said piece of gear being reserved.

    I think it would be hard to assemble a group to agree to that, but that’s the risk the RL is willing to take.

    But like I said, not for me. I feel it’s far too selfish. So once I heard that anything was reserved, I would GTFO ASAP.

  17. I have to agree that it is cool if they announce it first like in their advertising to get the group (i.e. LFM 25-man ICC blah blah is reserved). But right there it sounds like the raid leaders thought that if they waited till everyone was buffed and ready to go they wouldn’t have many people leave when they announced this reserve.

    Quite frankly if a raid is mostly PUGs (like 70% or more) there is no right to do this. It is obvious without the help of these random people a guild wouldn’t have access to the content or loot so they have no right to even reserve legendary pieces in that case. If a guild PUGs a few people for a 25 cause too many people didn’t show up, I understand legendaries being reserved but anything else I think should be given the free roll for anyone who needs it.

    WTF happened to the online community in the last few years? So many gamers I run into are so self absorbed and selfish. It makes me sick to call myself a gamer when I look at communities like in WoW and Call of Duty and such. People are just douchebags to be douchebags and for no other reason.

    I mean sure, there are some good people out there (I am reading one of them’s blogs right now lol), and obviously some of the people commenting here at least are willing to discuss their opinions about stuff in an adult manner. I am more talking about the people who would respond to this with; “QQ moar n00b.” You know these people, they are all over the WoW forums.

    Anyways I agree with the article pretty much 100%.

  18. Like many other people, I understand the reasoning behind reserved loot. The only way this is acceptable, though imo, is if it is advertised before people join the group or even leave for the instance. I mean, sometimes you are just like “I am so tired of being outrolled on x item for the 627th time, that I am going to do the only thing I CAN do about it without having a guild at my own personal disposal.” The thing is, even identical classes and specs might not want that same item, and if it’s going to be that person’s only item and everyone is ok with it, I don’t see much problem.

    What happened there though, seemingly trying to brush the fact that things are reserved under the rug and announcing last minute.. not cool.

  19. That bulwark of smouldering steel has been an everest of mine. :\ I have yet to win one for my resto shammy or my holy pally. So sorry about that one.

    I definitely like to know if there’s anything reserved before I join a group. On my server, the tier tokens are generally reserved if the run is mostly guild. If the run is not mostly guild, usually there are no reserves. But just to make sure, if nothing is specified in their lfm note, I always ask about it before accepting an invite. I like to be clear about what I am getting into.

  20. Honestly, I don’t mind reserves as long as it’s stated up front. It’s the RL’s raid you have the option of whether or not to join that raid. You wanted that shield but other people who didn’t really probably didn’t care about it. I see ToC25’s with Solace reserved. I would still like a Solace for my healing characters so I don’t join those groups. That’s my choice just as it’s their choice to limit their PuG pool by putting that reserve out there.

    It should be stated in their LFM ad though. Not right before a boss pull – that’s not really right.

  21. I’ve participated in reserved item PuG runs and have led PuG runs with reserved items.

    So long as I know how loot is working for a PuG before we start pulling trash (or before the first boss at the latest) it’s fine with me. One or two items being held (in addition to legendaries) is fine, more than that and I start to feel used and won’t go on the run unless I’m just doing it because I’m bored.

    When I would lead raids with an item reserved I posted the loot rules in raid chat/warning several times as the raid was forming and then one last time after a ready check before we started pulling trash that way I knew that people were there and couldn’t complain that they didn’t know the rules later.

    If someone is going to the effort of putting together a PuG, they’re entitled to run with whatever loot rules they want because they’re the ones having to herd a bunch of random cats. It’s up to the player to decide if they’re willing to accept the rules.

    I think it’s a bit silly that people think they should know before buffing or flying out. It costs maybe 2g to fly out to ToC and 30 seconds or so on a flying mount to ICC. Reagents aren’t more than a gold even for pallies. Honestly, if you’re that hard up for cash that you’re complaining about travel costs/time and reagent costs you shouldn’t be doing a PuG anyway because you can’t afford the repair costs.

    I’d much rather have someone be up front in the beginning that item(s) are being reserved instead of watching them get ninjad once they drop.

  22. I don’t join them out of principle as well. A good raid lead is nice, but reserving loot is usually just someone desperate for gear, not a good raid leader.

  23. I only ever reserve loot in PUGs if i have a majority of my guildies on, and we just need to fill in a few spots. If I’m gonna have PUGs carry my raid, it’s all for grabs. And I make sure to announce ALL loot rules several times before the first boss, so there are no surprises!

  24. Imalinata its the time, You join the raid, sit for 30 minutes while they fill it. Everybody buffs up THEN oh we have stuff reserved. I could have joined another raid, done something else.

    While I dont have anything against Item reserved raids I am not going to join one in unless its worth my time. If they are over the top in reserving stuff I will happily tell them so as well, ie all tier tokens reserved…

  25. Hmmm…very interesting. I’m not really opposed to loot reservations per say. However, I do expect any loot reservations to be announced beforehand. Also, just to cover my tail, I always ask in raid before actually entering the dungeon if any loot is on reserve. That allows me to decide if I stay or if I hold out for a different pug. Fortunately, on my server, pugs are not all that uncommon.

  26. I don’t mind reserved loot either if it’s announced when they’re recruiting then I can decide from there to go or not.
    Having it announced right before the first pull is an awkward time to do it, then come to find out every reason you’re there (marks, trinket, weapon) is on reserve whats the point of staying and why didn’t they say that up front?

    Also my two cents on the raid leader “deserving” a little something extra because he put the raid together. Guess what, it’s a completely voluntary position and having the raid recruit they’re friends and guild members to come isn’t altogether a heavy burden on one persons shoulders. What that amounts to is being used by someone for their personal gain, and just no.

    Whether or not there are only a few pugs or a majority of pugs, you wouldn’t be able to do the raid without them there so treat them with courtesy.

  27. I agree with most of the folks who have already posted. If it is made clear that something is reserved FROM THE VERY START, then the folks organizing the raid have taken responsibility and anyone who decides to join after that is fully aware of what’s reserved, and are okay with it.

    Dropping the bomb right before a pull, is not acceptable.

    The fact that PuG loot rules generally fall under free rolls comes into conflict with guilds using a different system, as well as friends operating on loot council/”who needs/deserves it the most.” For that reason I would never join a half-guild raid looking for PuG fillers, unless they make it clear that it will be free rolls.

  28. I’m fine with people reserving loot in a 25 man pug, even if they only bring a few of their friends along to make up 5-6 people in the group.

    A 25-man takes a long time to put together and especially with the general pug population (tunnelers, afkers, etc.) are stressful to run. A 10-man pug on the other hand, it is ridiculous to reserve loot. They take a matter of minutes to put together and people know that in a 10-man, it’s harder to carry people and everyone has to pull their weight.

  29. The other trouble I see is that once you get to the boss that drops the required loot will the raid leader continue past that point.

    Reserving the loot for a character that isn’t even on the raid is very poor form.

    I also have to say that putting a raid together shouldn’t be rewarded with anything special. You get to raid in an instance you want to raid in, isn’t that reward enough?

  30. Why is the loot more important to one player than another? Is either player’s time more valuable?

    Pug runs should use an open roll, period. Reserving loot just opens a pandora’s box of problems, particularly around how the run is perceived even if it is done well.

    I generally don’t go on a run that has reserved loot, as from experience those runs tend to break early and have other issues. It is a warning sign now for me.

  31. I do not care what rules a PuG wants to run with, but they better tell me before I sit around waiting for 20 minutes while they pull the raid together. My time is valuable so any rules out of the norm, such as a reserved item, need to be stated before I join.

    To me it is just plain rude to not state this sort of thing up front. I personally would not set up a group with anything reserved.

  32. Wow.. so much complaining over a random reserve. Let me put it from the raid leader perspective.

    I love running raids, I despise working with pugs. I take plenty of time teaching mechanics, stepping aside with them and helping them become better players. I run a weekly Saturday morning pug. My pugs also do hardmodes and get to the Lich King and we’re working on downing him.

    Yes, the raid leader should say ahead of time, imo, in the /2 spam, there is a random reserve. I reserve a piece of loot every week. It is random. People join my pugs because they know I take the time to put together the raid, check achievements and gear, references, and put together a valid raid comp.

    I put together a consistent raiding atmosphere for numerous people in guilds that cant. When we lose people, I have people from my guild on stand by to step in. All told, this is a 4-6 hour endeavor for a 3-5 hour raid. Do I expect something in return? Sure do. I’ve been asked “will this possibly be taken?” and I’m always forthcoming.

    People think raid leading is simple and there’s nothing to it. Those raids disband after 4 bosses or fall apart after one wipe. Choosing the right people for the job, and having backup plans takes plenty of time. It’s more than spam / invite / pull.

  33. You can also see being the RL as a community service Garthok. It is no entitlement for a reward if you choose to put time into putting a well balanced raid together. That is your choice, there is no rule that states you ought to be rewarded for it.

    However, you can bring it up as a reason for the reserving of loot if you want to. It is up to the people that join your run to agree with it. You could run a raid any way you want really when it comes to pugs. I’ve seen GDKP runs where the RL states upfront he’ll be taking x% of the endpot as a RL fee. If people are fine with it, great.

    Same goes for the reserving of items. Communicated beforehand gives people the chance to say if they’d still join the run or not. You’ll find indeed that you’ll lose out on some interest, but in general these runs still go up either way. Sometimes with subpar geared/skilled players because they just want frosties, other loot. Sometimes with people that don’t need the item, or don’t care either way.

    Nothing wrong with it indeed, I just don’t join such a run if I need the item myself.

  34. I don’t see the big issue. If it is advertised for what it is, then just don’t go. If it is not then there was no ‘reserve’, just a Ninja. *shrug* In this case the RL mentioned it before anyone was saved, maybe not in the most forth coming way, but no harm done.

    I certainly know people in the past who led PuGs of TK far after any of the gear was useful to them and reserved the mount. Seems perfectly fair.

  35. I disagree with how Thespius approached the entire aspect of PuG’ing…

    Before joining a PuG raid, it’s YOUR responsibility to learn the loot rules. While most raid leaders *should* make the loot rules clear, it’s silly to accept an invite before asking “how are you handling loot?”

    So many people join PuG raids assuming that everything is main spec rolls > off spec rolls, but that’s not always the case. Reserving items is a somewhat controversial ideal justified by the raid leader’s initiative – he’s going through the hassle putting the raid together, and thus he gets to make the rules.

  36. Sorry if this is the wrong place to post but I wonder if you can answer this question for me from your experiences in the beta.

    If caster dps have spirit to hit talents does this mean that they will be legitimately rolling on healer drops? The reverse will not be true as healers will need spirit for mana.

    If this is the case then I will have to look for melee only groups to heal whilst I am gearing up.

  37. The great thing about WoW pug raids is everybody has the ability to invite others, form a group/raid, and do what ever they want.

    Now, seeing that you are the same class that would have used the reserved loot in question, it was slightly rude to not tell you that when you joined, rather than telling you that AFTER you had flasked and buffed up. It’s rude to you, and to the raid, as now there is another delay after you leave and he has to replace you.

    So yeah, he didn’t handle it the best possible way, at least he told you before you got saved. Reserving loot drops before the raid starts, and telling people up front and honestly isn’t bad at all. You are, after all, getting badges and shots at tier tokens. If you don’t need those, well by all means bow out. If you don’t like that set of rules, you are more than welcome to form your own raid and lead it and have what ever loot system you feel is fair. If your server population isn’t conducive to multiple pug raids, you are also capable to change to a server that is.

  38. I’ve been on runs where the raid leader swears up and down that he posted the reserve a dozen times and I know and have a dozen witnesses that proves otherwise. Thats bad.
    Putting aside the bad apples, I disapprove of pugs reserving. I’ve had a number of raids fail to come together because of reserves and I don’t want to sit and wait for a raid to not get enough people because the bis for all caster dps is on reserve and we can’t fill slots.
    Reserves tend to be indicative of a poor attitude and makes me expect the raid leader to go ahead and quit when he gets his all important item or if it doesn’t drop after all regardless of how far he said he was going in trade.


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