Need vs. Greed

Need vs. Greed

Mind if I roll need?

You’re in a dungeon group camping the epic sash of awesomeness. This sash is one of the best you can get for your melee abilities. You realize you are the only melee DPS in the group, and the only one who can use the sash. It drops! YES! But wait… why is everyone rolling ‘need’ on the epic sash of awesomeness? You ask, “Hey, why are you all rolling need?,” to which they respond, “I need money bro.”

Need vs. Greed is one of those glorious debates that sorta fizzled out over the years. I don’t know whether it’s because loot has become so individualized, or everyone just rolls need on everything because they no longer care. I for one have an opinion.

Only those present who can use the item as an upgrade are entitled to a chance at obtaining the item. I believe that the warrior filling the warrior role should get the warrior drops, and a wizard filling the wizard role should get the wizard drops. No, it doesn’t matter if you have a warrior alt! I don’t group to feed your alts. Greed rolls, or FFA rolls, are for items that no one can use as a direct upgrade.

There’s a school of thought out there which supports the ridiculous idea that any item is up for grabs by anyone if that item can provide any use — whether that use be liquidating it for cash or being used by an alt. These brilliant people seem to completely ignore the ‘greed’ side and lump everything into a need.

Some games have a built-in system to protect players. Warrior items can only be rolled on by warriors, etc. Some systems are more loose where you can roll if you can pass the check of simply being able to equip the item. While better than nothing, you’ll still lose items to the guy who wants to fund his other melee character when that awesome melee gear drops that he already owns.

Advanced Loot Window

EverQuest’s Advanced Loot Window

Some games do not have any of these systems at all. EverQuest is a prime example, and the source for my recent thoughts on the subject. I know that the advanced looting system was added and will be present on the progression server. This introduces a rolling system like WoW has/had where players can roll need and greed, etc. I fear this system may induce idiot loot

How to protect yourself against idiot looters:

  • Start your own groups and use master-looter
  • Decide on the rules upfront when forming a group
  • Know the rules of the group you’re joining before you join

As I alluded to before, this debate over the years has given rise to the clamoring for individualized loot. Such an idea isn’t completely out of the question for me, as I have often championed this very thing be present in all raid environments. However, something about forming a group to go into a dungeon and camp an item makes it more real if that item has a tangible presence for everyone. I think it all boils down to the world feeling connected and shared between everyone, and no part of the game being instanced — even the loot.

I welcome your thoughts.

Where to Get the Best Loot

Where should the best loot come from? Really think about that question for a moment because it defines the entire game.  Whatever opinions I might have fighting big bosses because it’s cool, this generation only goes where they can get the best loot — the bragging rights prevail.  It don’t know why I find this so insightful or enlightening all of a sudden, but it just dawned on me that if you stop having the best loot come from raids… people won’t raid anymore.

We keep trying to think of ways to wean people off raiding, but the solution really is to give them an alternative way to get better gear.  If a game had raid content, but the same gear could be obtained in a group of six then people would go in groups of six.  If I could farm items on my own and craft better gear, then farming would be the prevailing activity.  It’s not hard to herd the cattle if you know exactly how to motivate them.

Getting back to the question at hand, where should the best loot come from then?  Should it be raiding?  If so, why?  I see absolutely no reason why raiding should give better gear than groups.  I see people who feel entitled.  I get the logic behind putting the carrot just out of reach so people will constantly push towards something and keep playing, but that can easily be something other than raids.  Why can’t the best gear be crafted or found in groups?  Players should have options, and there should not be one place or playstyle given priority.

I’m interested in what you think.  I lean towards crafting as the primary source for the best loot with every type of activity providing ways for you to earn some type of resource that you can give to a crafter (or use yourself) to improve your items.  I’m also a believer that items shouldn’t be replaced so often, and that our dependence on gear should be minimized in favor of character progression, but those are topics for another time.  Realistically, in today’s themepark content driven generation, I’d prefer group content giving the same loot as raid content.

Seeking info: No Loot Containers in SWTOR?

I just received some startling news today.  According to multiple sources, the loot container system, as announced by the developers (in a forum thread that disappeared), did not make it into the game.

In normal mode raids, loot is automatically assigned to a random person that can use the item.  It doesn’t matter if the item is an upgrade or if the person already has said item, it randomly goes to them.  This can not be turned off.

Hardmode and Nightmare modes allow this feature to be turned off, making the loot system identical to WoW.

What the #!$% happened to the loot container system we were told about?  If it was subject to change, I never read anywhere that they weren’t being implemented.  What happened to everyone in attendance getting a bag, and in that bag you could find a piece of loot or some tokens?  What happened to the idea that everyone putting in the time and showing up has something to show for it?  The current system is GARBAGE and I can not believe that we haven’t seen more outrage over a system that randomly passes out loot to people.

Loot containers were one of the reasons I was sold on SWTOR.  I thought the idea was a major step forward in promoting the enjoyment of raids.  Now I’m completely uninterested in raiding and will likely cancel my account if all I have to look forward to are raids that are no better than WoW’s.  What’s the point?

If I sound pissed off it’s because I am. I was looking forward to something this whole time just to learn at the end (when I’m level 50) it isn’t true.  I don’t like feeling deceived.  I don’t like idiotic design decisions.

Can anyone provide me information on the SWTOR raid (operation) loot system?  Do I have my details wrong?

PvP Stats: Not Necessary Before, Not Necessary Now

Why can’t items be universal?  Why do I have to obtain a set of gear for PvP and a set for PvE?

Having to gather gear with a PvP stat has never made much sense to me.

The problem started with players who only wanted to PvP.  These PvP-only types bemoaned the idea of having to go PvE to obtain their gear.  The solution?  Make a set of gear obtainable through PvP!  Several iterations of this idea have been implemented throughout the years.

At first, the PvP gear was inferior to PvE and it was worthless.  Then the PvP gear was just as good but easier to get so no one did PvE.   I guess no one cared to actually solve the problem, because the most recent version is the PvP Stat, and it’s been with us for a while now.

The PvP stat, whether it’s resilience, expertise, toughness, or whatever your particular game calls it, gives you an edge in PvP by lowering the damage enemies do to you, and increasing the damage you do to enemies.  It becomes a must-have in order to compete.   I think the original problem still exists: Players can’t play the way they want.

Read on for my thoughts on the problems caused by PvP stats and why past games have done fine without them.

[Read more…]

Modifiable gear (orange named) in SWTOR

Modifiable items have orange names and can take various types of modifiers.

The little things in SWTOR deserve some praise.  I absolutely love the modifiable items.  Items with an orange name can be modified with enhancements.  Ctrl+Right click opens a window for the item.  For example, my lightsaber can be upgraded with a new hilt, crystal, etc., and my robe can take different components as well.  Orange items have base stats and rely entirely upon the modifiers to give them stats — in essence, they are a shell with a look.

I like these items for two main reasons.

First, if I like the look of the item then I am able to keep the item while leveling up and simply upgrade.  For example, my really neat brown hooded robe, like the one Obi-wan wears, can be modified.  I love the look and I want to be able to wear it later.  Hopefully I can upgrade this item with mods to make it usable at level 50 because this is exactly the look I want to keep.

Second, modifiable gear gives a purpose for crafters.  Artificers, like Graev, can make upgrades for lightsaber crystals and hilts.  I’m not positive, but I think Cybertech and armstech make them as well. This has potential.

I don’t know how well these items stack up against end-game raid gear.  I’d love to see some rare recipes drop in raids that allow crafters to make raid-like stat modifiers for these items.  It’s a really neat system capable of being taken very far if Bioware has taken the steps to keep it relevant to players at all levels.  If anyone knows how this is handled at endgame, I’d love to know.