Your Wish List vs. The Need Before Greed System


The other week, as a gift to you from us, we each offered to write and discuss a topic of your choice. Here’s what we came up with!

What do you want for Winter Veil? You want to wrap your boomkin snugly in an Ancient Polar Bear Hide or keep your holydin’s toes toasty in a pair of Mudslide Boots? Well you can’t have it.

Bah, humbug.

Patch 3.3 has hit just in time for the winter holidays – a time when a lot of us players manage to squeeze in extra time being a hero and getting shiny treasures. 3.3 brought a sled-load of new toys to play with in game, including the new dungeon finder system and its potential for random group member loot drama. As a result while using the dungeon finder we are all limited to needing only on items of our class’ armour type. You’re a paladin? You roll on plate. Plate, y’hear, no cloth for your healing set. Certainly no leather for you DPS warrior types! It’s not exactly ideal for anyone gearing up.

It’s the Winter Veil equivalent of a pair of socks: practical, but not exactly what you wanted.

What, I hear you cry? The 3.3 patch notes describe it best;

“Need Before Greed will now recognize gear appropriate for a class in three ways: the class must be able to equip the item, pure melee will be unable to roll on spell power items, and classes are limited to their dominant armor type (ex. paladins for plate). All items will still be available via Greed rolls as well as the new Disenchant option should no member be able to use the item.”

I can see the practical sense in this. It removes some arguments about loot before they’ve even begun. The rogue won’t get miffed at the shaman needing on and winning leather melee gear because the shaman just can’t. Likewise, the death knight who is prone to shiny object moments and rolls on spell power items accidentally – just can’t, and won’t have to explain himself to pitchfork wielding casters. Reducing the potential for arguments is a sensible, if slightly cynical, move in a system which promotes meeting random strangers who have no reason to relate to or sympathise with you.

Yet what does that do to your characters? It might be taboo but we all know that paladins do incorporate all types of armour into a healing set, have done since the beginning of the World … of Warcraft. A paladin friend of mine has recently started gearing up for his holy off spec. He would prefer plate items of course, but any type of item with spell power on it is better than healing with defence rating gear. We had the Azure Cloth Bindings drop for us just earlier today – and he couldn’t roll on them. Sure, he’d only have used them as a stop gap until something better and more, well, platey came along. But until then they would have seriously boosted his off spec prospects and none of the actual clothies in the group showed the slightest interest in wanting them anyway.

The only option for my friend, or anyone looking to boost their off spec with drops forbidden by the loot system, is to greed the item and hope that RNG is kind to them and doesn’t shard it for someone else. Or of course to keep running Heroics, waving sadly at these drops, and waiting until they’ve enough badges to get the badge equivalents.

Take another situation. You’re a tree who is so bored you’ve taken root in the middle of Dalaran and didn’t bat a branch when children – sorry, gnomes – covered you in tinsel and shiny lights two weeks ago. You want to do something different. Something fun. You’ve had the cookie-cutter spec for a while, got the gear, done everything you want to do. So you start playing around building your own spec – something hybrid that allows you to heal and CC or DPS without changing spec. Yes, healing and DPS – you know it happens, especially when people are bored. And Heroics aren’t exhilarating, let’s face it.

Say you want your druid to be able to do all that in one spec – well then, you’ll need to play around a bit with your stat distribution and probably get some new armour. Would you like some hit with that? How about a new party hat – the cloth Sightless Crown of Ulmaas would do the job. Oh wait – you’re a druid – you can’t roll on cloth, even if the rest of the party consists of three death knights and a warrior.

There are still a couple of loopholes, too. To my knowledge death knights and druids are able to roll on loot with block rating on it. A pointless stat to them, but perhaps your death knight tank decides that he is so desperate for something to upgrade from his blue helm that when Second Helm of the Executioner drops it is a must have even though the itemization is aimed more at the group’s paladin who is only tank as off spec.

Well, gratz to the death knight for the upgrade – but it’s only a minor victory for him, and leaves both him and the paladin a bit cold. Should Blizzard further tinker with the need before greed system? Perhaps add class specific tooltips – “classes: paladin, warrior” – to the aforementioned Executioner’s helm. Similarly for every item, and a filter that only allows the specified classes to roll on items with stats meant for them.

If this came into play then it would likely automatically further restrict itemization choices for players. Every rogue of the same playing level would look the same. Every healing priest would be in the same dress, every restoration shaman would have identical mail shoulders for restoration shamans. That Winter Veil tree druid in Dalaran would have even less freedom to play around with his spec and try new things. But at the same time – everyone would get loot cookie cuttered to cater the ‘correct’ stats to their spec.

Say that our off spec tank paladin from earlier wants the correct stats – for his protection off spec – and rolls need on the Executioner’s helm against the death knight tank. Whatever his reason, I’d bet the death knight isn’t impressed with him rolling for his off spec. Would you be, if someone else rolled against your main spec items? We’ve all seen it. Perhaps the need before greed system should take specs into account. A priest is healing in a random dungeon? Right, says the loot system. He can’t roll on items with hit on them like Bracer of Worn Molars, under any circumstances. On the up side he won’t be able to ninja, on the down side he won’t be able to prove he’s trustworthy or improve his shadow kit if everyone else passes on the toothy armguards there.

These are ridiculous ideas, I hear you cry. They’ll never happen! Maybe you’re right, or maybe they’ll happen at some point. I’m just saying that the need before greed system is already restrictive – unnecessarily so, perhaps. I for one am perfectly happy with a holydin rolling on cloth items so long as no clothies need the item, and so preventing holydins from doing it seems a potential waste of an item. It may be a slippery slope we find ourselves on in the name of wrapping classes up in their own specialised cotton wool.

What do you think? Is the need before greed system protecting us just the right amount in random dungeons at the moment – should it be more or less protective? Are you getting infuriated trying to gear up your new fury warrior? Is all this an argument to make a premade group so there aren’t limitations on loot?

24 thoughts on “Your Wish List vs. The Need Before Greed System”

  1. My druid always wears cloth, mostly because cloth tends to be BIS for moonkin ’cause Blizzard doesn’t itemize specifically for moonkin. I stomped my feet a lot when this system was on the PTR, but at this point, I pretty much just do guild-only runs if there is something specific that I want, but can’t roll for in the PUG system.

  2. Can you still trade BOP items, even in a PUG? if that happens you could ask for it from whomever won the item. Granted it’s still up to them to give it to you. we had a tree that wanted the cloth that dropped and we were all ok with it, but the person who won it had hit Disenchant.

  3. I’d prefer a tiered NbG-system. Like if all clothies chose “greed”, then the leather-users need beats that, but if one clothie pressed need, they get it. This would lessen the cries of people stealing loot from others (damn you druids, shamans and allies, stealing my cloth!) and it would enable people to gear up off-armor.

    As it is now, I migth drop my boomkin-spec, because I cant roll on any cloth and see it get disenchanted every time. I could however, roll on dps-leather with agi and ap no problems, and only against rogues.

  4. I like having the option for disenchant. I like have Need weighted before Greed. I don’t like not being able to roll Need on pieces that are an upgrade for me due to the loot restrictions. I had a piece drop for me that was an upgrade and couldn’t roll need on is since it was mail (I wear plate), nobody else in group was a mail wearer and it got disenchanted. That’s frustrating. I think Blizz needs to relax those restrictions. I have always asked before I rolled need in the past and indicated that it was an upgrade for me. In addition, if it’s an upgrade for somebody else in the group and they can’t wear anything else, I would pass for them. After all, it’ll drop for me again sometime later!
    Perhaps Blizz is just trying to eliminate problems with people needing on all the epic gear …ninja prevention

  5. I’ve had a couple of instances where someone needed an item that wasn’t their armor type, so they had to greed roll against the rest of us. I won the item once and immediately opened trade with the person who it was an actual upgrade for, regardless of armor type. What’s the point of keeping a BoP item that will only vendor for a few gold, when someone else can actually use it.

  6. I’d like to see them add another option.. offpsec. Ideally it would allow for druids, pallies, shammies, ect to be able to roll on off-dominant armor types. Need would be top priority, so that the clothies would still get first dibs, but it’d at least give the others a chance at it.

  7. In a PoS group the Mail helm dropped off the last boss. It has a boat load of haste, i think 87, on top of Int and SP. This has Pally Healer written all over it (well one that is trying to hit haste cap for a 1 sec FoL), but oh no I can’t roll on it ?!?!?! Thankfully there was no DE option as we did not have a DEer in the group and the person that won was nice enough to give it to me!

    On a plus side, if your a clothie, you will never have to worry about this problem

  8. As a priest, there’s an upside to this though. That being we can keep paladins and shamans (and yes I suppose druids too) away from our precious healing drops. Maybe they have fixed the droprates a bit, but I still seem to see an inordinate amount of spellpower plate that only one class will ever have any desire to use…but when cloth drops, we healing priests had to fight with all three other healing classes for the only type of gear we could wear.

    The old system seemed kind of unfair, but I think maybe they squashed a fly with a sledgehammer. Sure the original problem is gone, but now we have a big gaping hole in the wall discouraging paladins and shamans.

    As long as boss drops don’t become BoA so that offspec rolls become “rolling for my alts who aren’t here”, I totally agree with Melfina. Need before Offspec before Greed/DE.
    .-= DFitz´s last blog ..Taking the Plunge: An Unexpected Side Effect of LFG =-.

  9. I think the loot “rules” should be run by run, chosen at the beginning like LFG’s role-option. Casters/Healers roll on spellpower, while armor class trumps others (if a clothie and a leather wearer roll on cloth gear, the clothie wins regardless since.. his choices are more limited) (or a dps and a healer roll on spellpower and +hit gear, the dps wins automatically) (this would cover the DK/pally tank gear too LOL_SHIELD_DUH stuff, where a pally would auto trump a dk if there is a shield block value on it)

    My major annoyance right now is the purple boe drops. Had one drop in heroic UK and thank heavens the DK was a good guy. He was the only one that could roll need on it, but afterwards put it up to a /roll for everyone.
    .-= @valkyrierisen´s last blog ..New Content agony =-.

  10. I honestly think that Blizzard didn’t bother going into enough detail when they were working on this loot system, and think they should revise it bit more yet. Ideally, I would like to see something where they would determine spec to allow main specs to get gear over off spec, but I also like the idea of limiting it to class, so I would suggest something like this:

    1. Need – Limited by Class/Spec
    2. Need – Main Spec
    3. Need – Off Spec
    4a. Greed
    4b. Disenchant

    Sure it might be more confusing [for people that can’t read], but it would also solve a lot of the loot issues all around.
    .-= Spazmoosifer´s last blog ..Circle of Killers! =-.

  11. I am a tree and I approve of this message.

    Please, for the love of my sanity, follow typical loot council rules!
    Primary armor wearers main spec -> Secondary armor wearers main spec -> Offspec -> Alt -> Disenchant/Greed.

  12. I think “restrictive” is exactly what Blizzard was concerned about, and they tried to be as unrestrictive as possible. The armor class debacle is there purely to prevent ninjas, and seeing how common courtesy is rapidly disappearing from cross-realm groups, I think it’s a necessary evil.

    What I would really love, is to have a “role-based” priority system. If the healer Needs the Tears of the Vanquisher, then the healer gets first grab no matter what. The problem is that they would need to go classify each piece of gear (especially trinkets) and that’s something they’re not going to do due to the enormous cost involved.
    .-= Maaya´s last blog ..The Chiseled Stalagmite Pauldrons =-.

  13. On my server, ninjas (especially in heroics) weren’t ever much of a problem. It was “hey any objections if I roll on that for offset?” “no” or “if I can roll on it too for offset”. I really haven’t run into many situations where some one says “rolling need (gear spec they’re currently in)” and someone else rolls need for their offset anyways.

    That’s all gone now. There needs to be a little more wiggle room, because the cool part about some of those higher armor classes is that you can wear some of that lower class armor. This is especially true for casters, since the needed stats are mostly the same (except perhaps spirit/mp5). For melee this is less of a problem, because of the str/agi disparity. Even warriors are less likely to want agi mail/leather, because of recent talent changes (although gear with AP on it is likely still an upgrade).

    And yes, I say this as a cloth healer: Give our high armor hybrids some love! I don’t think ninjas were such a huge problem before that this kind of draconian measure is necessary.

  14. Thanks for the discussion folks! I’m enjoying the stories and some of your ideas for loot system modifications look promising.

    @Lissanna – Aha, so the NbG system has turned you off of the random LFG system completely? Interesting – and understandable (and perhaps a lifesaver for guilds?) How does *not* using the random LFG system and getting its bonuses affect you, if at all?

    @Hod and Dynasor – At least it is still possible to trade items after the official roll – so long as it hasn’t been DEed. Doh. Being traded an abyss crystal isn’t quite as useful 😀

    @Magsy – Interesting. So this is informing which spec you go for, based on the availability of loot? How do you feel about that – a bit miffed, or was changing spec something you’d thought about trying anyway?

    @Valkyrierisen – Good idea to have loot rules chosen run by run. Do you think that has the potential to lead to arguments at the beginning of the run, tho?

    @Maaya and Felade – Aye, the root problem here is trust – and trust of strangers one will likely never see again, at that. It’s a nebulous area and I think Blizzard are very aware that the loot system has to be sensitive of it – do you think they’ve got it right at present? And how much should the loot system ‘encourage’ or suggest immediate distrust?

    Keep the comments coming! Looks like we’ve all been in a situation affected by this, and the range of solutions so far is quite startling. Also – Happy Winter Veil, everyone!
    .-= Mimetir´s last blog ..Juddr: Your loot wish list vs the need before greed system! My new post at #WoM for Winter Veil – – #WoW =-.

  15. I don’t care what set your building. If a Pally rolls on cloth he is wrong. “But i need it for my healing set” No you don’t, go run heroics and get badges and buy appropriate Plate healing gear. A Paladin wearing even 1 piece of cloth just SCREAMS “IM A NUB”

    Clothies wear cloth…No one else.

    <—Holy Priest

  16. I agree there needs to be another option somewhere between need and greed/DE. Not sure if it’s just my battlegroup (Bloodlust), but my PUGs are very light on casters and so there have been a lot of cloth and leather caster items from Frozen Halls that there was no competition for but that I couldn’t have. Even if there is no DE so it doesn’t get sharded, it’s hard to get a trade because A) I can’t offer them monetary compensation if they’re from another server and B) people are in such a darn hurry! They are locked in a speed run mentality and don’t even want to take 5 seconds to type in party chat, and if the drop is from the last boss of an instance people are gone in a split second before a proposition can even be formed.

    @ Padre
    Please do one of two things:
    1) Study itemization of plate/mail/leather caster classes at somewhere like until you are enlightened as to why those classes can and should wear cloth situationally,
    2) Continue believing only cloth classes should wear cloth, in direct contradiction of the fact that Bliz chose to allow all classes can wear it, but refrain from making uninformed and inflamatory comments.

    You can pry my Bejeweled Wizard’s Bracers from my cold, dead wrists!! (they’re crafted, don’t worry, I didn’t ninja them from a priest).

  17. I think you’re all wrong and the Blizzard developers are actually way smarter than you give them credit for. None of the systems suggested above are better than the one actually implemented. If a system allowed an “in-between” roll priority for off-spec, I’ll tell you exactly what would happen. Every hybrid and multi-armor-type class in the game would figure out about 10 seconds after trying such a system that they are allowed to make a stronger roll on more loot than pure classes. Regardless of whether it’s *actually* an upgrade or whether they have *any* intention of playing the off-spec in question, they can make a roll that beats other greed rolls and nets them more loot/gold/shards than everyone else. Oh? So maybe the system should somehow, ummm… recognize that the loot is *really* an upgrade for a spec that they *actually* play? Please. I would rather the devs work on stuff better than ridiculously difficult tasks like that, and I’d definitely rather *not* hear the QQ when players disagree with the judgement calls of a system like that.

    And what’s more, Blizzard already figured all this out, and discussed and abandoned a dozen other systems before falling back on the one they actually implemented, which is the simplest and most elegant solution.

  18. What about an additional queue, let’s call it the “Loot Finder”? It acts just like Specific Dungeons, except you “call” on *one* piece of specific loot that you want first grab on. The server picks people off the top of the queue by matching those calling on loot in the same dungeon, but calling on different loot. *IF* the loot you called drops, you are guaranteed to have it, regardless of whether you can even use the item.

    To avoid people ninja quitting after seeing their call didn’t drop, all Loot Finder dungeon bosses can drop broken tokens for everyone instead (remember the Mechanar keys?). When you finish all bosses in the dungeon (i.e. no skipping) each of you can combine your tokens into a master token, which when used will give you a Mysterious Satchel. The loot will have been distributed according to each of your calls. Opening the Satchel, you will either get the loot you called (if it did drop) or you will get some gold (for regular dungeons) / one emblem (for heroic).

    If we’re worried about loot that nobody wanted that could have been disenchanted, then each boss can drop additional gold to be shared equally among the party. Personally I’d give up a crystal or two for that entitlement guarantee.

    The system is very simple to implement, very simple to understand, and loot disputes are impossible.
    .-= Maaya´s last blog ..The Chiseled Stalagmite Pauldrons =-.

  19. I think part of the reasoning behind Blizzard’s rules for Need before Greed is tied into the upcoming Cataclysm stat changes. One promoted change is that strength will only be on plate and strength only will benefit plate wearing classes. That would make warriors, Dks and paladins rolling on leather gear completely obsolete and fit in exactly with what the current LFG rolling system uses.

    I haven’t seen anything on how this would affect casters however. If anything, if spirit becomes a healer only stat even more then boomkins and elemental shammies in particular will be still treated horribly loot-wise. Perhaps Blizzard intends to create actual leather and mail caster dps gear sometime?

  20. Yes, the system is there for good reasons but is really annoying at times.

    My personal alchemist alt is a bear/moonkin druid that would deserve some love as she churns out flasks for my 5 characters.

    Lether gear with hit is tragically scarce, and while I strive to get rid of hit on my shadowpriest and warlock, I really have a hard time keeping the poor moonkin hit-capped.

    Being able to need +hit cloth items when no clothie wanted them was a good way of doing it, but alas that is over with the random pugs.

  21. @HARK80 Oh, I am a veteran of wow. I do not need to go back and “enlighten” myself. Sure a Paladin might benefit from a cloth item, but for how long? For a week til a Plate piece drops that is more suited? for 2 weeks til they earn enough badges to buy a plate piece?

    If there is NO clothie priest in the group, then by all means roll on the item. BUT, if there is a clothie who can ONLY wear cloth and a plate wearer, or leather wearer ganks it..then that is wrong.

    again…go earn some badges and buy some gear that you will use for longer than a week.

  22. @Padre,

    You may be “a veteran of wow”, but you’ve missed Hark80’s point.
    Sometimes a cloth item is the best-in-slot for a holy paladin. It’s not a case of “a week til a Plate piece drops that is more suited” – sometimes the stat itemisation is simply better on a cloth piece than -any- plate piece. (It’s not every case, but there are situations where this happens.)

    You seem to think that the pally is thinking “this is the best I’ve found so far”, and that the item will be replaced with a better suited plate item.
    What you miss is that sometimes they know “this is the best possible stat balance for this armour slot for this class. There -is- no better plate item.”

    In that case, it won’t be replaced in a week. It won’t be replaced until new items or changes to talents or spells make some other piece better. No amount of badges changes these cases.

    Oh – for the record, my main’s a priest.

  23. I always to check to see if another member of the group i am in needs the piece (not by checkign them out, just by waiting on their roll) when i see a piece for my “off spec” drop, i dont roll need against heals or tanks, and rarely roll need against full time dps.

    my thoughts:

    out of all the options I think I like the following setup the most:
    Need main armor type
    need off armor type and mindful of dual spec for currently on character

    alts should not be thought of as anything higher than a greed/de option. you can just as easily get your alt geared in the instance itself so alt shouldnt be a roll option*

    This set up eliminates the need to roll greed on an upgrade and hope people forget there is a de option available but still allows for people to not roll on need for everything (*stares at pallies sitting at the top of every piece of gear in existance*) Example would be my shaman, she would love some good resto gear but also is ds’d enhancement (love the sounds when i go enhancement, so… destructively upbeat)


    and I truely think that boe items should never be anything other than greed or de and here is my reasoning:
    you are being greedy by not buying it in the ah, so therefore your running the instance to get it is just a way to get out of paying someone else to get it and everyone needs gold to play the game (repairs? ammo? you could get away without ever buying food if you used bandages exclusively but you would then also have lots of down time and still need to regain mana**) despite the reasoning though I am super glad right now that I can need on items that are boe and my armor type, I have gotten three upgrades this way on various toons.

    * unless of course they drop boa gear, make no sense to have that done but still.
    ** unless you are a hunter with viper or are too stupid to require mana

    post may be more jigsaw puzzle than cleverly outlined post.


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