Need before Greed

Today I joined a pickup group for the Forges with my Runekeeper. It was a pretty good group. We all kept re-doing the instance so that each person in the group could get the desired item at the end. Most of the time, the person who just won the roll says “thanks for the group” and leaves. So I felt pretty good about the group.

One of our members was a Lore-master who would always switch to their level 48 Captain for the last chest. They had asked if this was OK before starting, and our leader had told him it was fine. It was on our fourth run that a second age Captain’s weapon dropped. The leader of the group gave it to the level 60 Captain in the group without putting it up for a roll.

He said, “I think you’ll agree that this should go to the other Captain, because you can’t use it yet.”

I could hardly believe my eyes. The whole point of our Lore-master attending was so that he could bring his level 48 into the group and roll for the equipment. He was getting his equipment ahead of time so that he’d already have good gear when he reached a higher level. The level 48 Captain just said that he couldn’t argue with a group leader, and left the group. Then he logged off.

I felt that was wrong. If that was how we were going to handle things then we should have told this guy, “Yes, you can switch to your level 48 Captain, but we’re not going to give you any of the good rewards because ‘need’ is defined as ‘I can use it right this second’.”

To me, need and greed are easily defined. Are you going to use it for the character you’re rolling with? If the answer is yes, then it’s need. If a person is going to sell the item, then it’s greed. That’s all. It doesn’t matter when someone is going to use an item.

So I felt pretty bad for the guy. I felt he had been robbed of his 50% chance to roll on the weapon. I felt like leaving the group over it. But I also knew that I had just won my radiance armor in that same run, and it would seem to be in poor form for me to leave immediately after getting my precious armor. So I told the group I had to take care of something and I quickly went back to the auction house. I purchased the cheapest second-age Captain weapon I could find and sent it to the level 48 Captain through the mail. I told him that I felt bad for him. I said that if I helped the rest of the group get their radiance armor without sending him something to make up for his loss, I would feel guilty. On the other hand, if I abandoned the group immediately after I had received my armor, I would feel guilty as well.

I wasn’t the person who benefited from him being robbed and I wasn’t the one who made the decision. But I had to do something. What happened to that guy was wrong.

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Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband. Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

22 thoughts on “Need before Greed”

  1. Switching before the loot would come is nothing but exploiting not just the instance, but the whole game! It’s the most disgusting example I’ve ever heard for power levelling, and it’s completely killing the game’s spirit which so wonderfully recreated Tolkien’s philosophy.

    That lvl 48 Captain would deserve a ticket instead of a 2nd age 12 levels above his character’s limits.

    I see more and more people joining PUGs simply to farm and sell the rare resources other people would actually need for their current character’s in the group. I would never need for anything for my alts, if I was simply helping a group, which I do on my LM plenty of times now that the Mirror Halls need CC so badly.

    You are playing Laurelin, right? I think I’ve seen your name before. If not, pls forget about my post, I had a char on Snowbourn, I know how things go on other servers, but an EN-RP should never really reach these “lows” if you know what I’m trying to say..


  2. Semi-devil’s advocate:

    Sure, in this particular case there was that pre-arrangement with the L48 guy, so it’s kind of moot, but in a case where there isn’t a previous arrangement I think -when- it can be used does matter for need.

    Strip your example of that previous arrangement and it’s clear: There’s a L60 and a L48, and a L60 item for that class drops. In my view, assuming all other things are equal, the L60 has a more immediate need than the L48 simply by virtue of being able to use it right that second. The L48 has to hit 60 to use it, which could happen next month or maybe never. Who knows.

    That said, group leaders going back on previous arrangements as soon as conditions change has been a staple of group content since forever. Sucks majorly, but not much you can do. You did the right thing afterwards, so gg for you.

    (and people still ask me why I don’t like to group ;) )

  3. Usually need is “if you can use it now” but it sounded like in that case the whole reason he switched was to get it for his captain, and by allowing him to switch the leader was tacitly acknowledging this, after all the guy kept helping everyone why else would he switch.

    wow Illthirst, so the guy runs over and over helping others with his higher level better equipped character when he doesn’t have to, and you think he should be reported?

  4. That’s why one of my kin’s rules is to clearly demarcate loot rules ahead of time whenever you are fellow leader… even if the group is all kin. There are far too many interpretations of “default” need/greed rules. For instance, I totally disagree with the “when” someone is going to use the item as being irrelevant. “Need” in my opinion should be damn near imminent usage, but that’s just me.

    I think the fellow leader in this case was wrong as to not inquire as to why the LM/Cap wanted switch at the loot roll, but it seems the LM/Cap is equally at fault for not clearly speaking his intentions to the leader as to why s/he wanted to switch.

  5. U have a soft heart…. that’s a good thing. Too many people are too hard hearted when it comes to this stuff

  6. I’ve always been of the thought that need means it is an upgrade and you can put it on right now taking priority over someone being able to use it in a couple of levels.

    That said, if the outing was intended for helping gear someone up, the expectation should be that upgrades go to said person or they at least get a shot.

    Pretty sweet of you to send him an item though.

  7. I think it’s kind of greedy to demand that people allow a lower level in the grouup just to roll on gear it may need in 15 levels time when there’s someone else there who might use it now. How would you have felt if he’d brought a level 48 runekeeper and demanded to roll against you for any good loot?

    But really the group leader should have told him that right at the start.

  8. I’ve never, in any MMO, seen “need” defined as “can you ever use this item?” It’s always been not only “can” you use it immediately, but “WILL” you use it immediately. If not, you don’t *need* it. Greed doesn’t mean simply selling items. In fact, your Lore-master intentionally switching to a low-level alt to get loot ahead of people in the group who can and will use that loot is pure greed. Period.

  9. I think the idea behind giving the drop to the level 60 captain vs the level 48 captain is right – that is the greater need is the captain who can use it immediately. However, the way the situation was handled was poor – because the level 48 captain was lead to believe he or she would be able to roll for the drop(s). If the leader informed the level 48 that the level 60 had priority because of his or her level, then I don’t think anybody would have been wronged. The level 48 could at that point choose if they wanted to be in the group or not.

    What you did was admirable. Righting a wrong with your own resources is commendable and speaks to the kind of player and person you are. We need more people like you out there in our games.

  10. I think you guys are missing the point. This wasn’t a simple matter of need before greed. This guy was there with his high level character for the sole purpose of getting the item for his low level toon.

    In my opinion, when the group leader took away his ability to freely roll on the item he certainly helped the group get, he intentionally “used” this poor guy. If he had no intention of allowing him to roll, he should have said so. I doubt he was stupid enough to misunderstand holding the entire group up so this guy to could switch toons for the loot roll.

    For you to go out of your way like you did was exceptional. If I played on your server I would be honored to group with you.

  11. NBG is very subjective. I’ve seen people claim they ‘need’ something for their alts and all that rubbish. I agree with you – it’s something your class ‘needs’, then it’s fair game. Duh.

  12. I think Xerb has a good point, that the group leader was using the guy’s higher toon on the instance.

    But that said, I also think that the guy should have looked at the group makeup and said “Oh look, a level 60 captain wants the same item I do and can use it immediately, while I just want it for an alt” and thus from that either a) not been in the group at all, or b) decided to stay in group and keep trying AFTER the other guy got it on priority.

    Any PUG I’ve ever been in has always defined “need” as “you’re going to equip it as an upgrade right now.” If you want it for an alt or just for “appearance” then it’s okay to ASK if you can roll need, and if everyone’s ok with it, then fine. But otherwise, you roll greed and that’s that.

    FWIW, I’ve lost many an item to someone else rolling need when it was better for my class or I was a higher level on a same class toon and thus would be able to use it sooner. It’s just how the games work at times. Frustrating, but not really a big deal either.

  13. If there was an agreement, it should have been honoured, period. I’d have been of the opinion perhaps that the guy that wanetd to switch shouldn’t have been able to roll on any loot for his lvl 60 if he wanted loot for his lvl 48, but that’s just me

  14. @Spinks
    “How would you have felt if he’d brought a level 48 runekeeper and demanded to roll against you for any good loot?”

    Of course I’d be ok with that! The whole point of him bringing his loremaster was so that he could roll on equipment for a character that needed it still. He did every bit as much work as I did in those groups, yet we’re going to say to him, “No… you can’t use it until next week, so you don’t really need it.”

    On both my Lore-master and my Runekeeper I received my gloves and boots before being high enough level to equip them. The groups needed me, I filled a role of healer or CC and filled it successfully. I would be horrified if at the end of the instance the coin was assigned to someone who could use it sooner.

    If someone dose the job, and whether by player skill or by virtue of their equipment/traits they are able to get the job done, they deserve to be able to roll for their class.
    I see no “immediate use” clause on need. By that logic, someone could say, “Hey, I’ve got a watcher raid tomorrow, I NEED to get all this radiance now. All you punks can get it next week.”

    No, … need isn’t when you’re going to use it, or what you’re going to use it for. I don’t care if you’re rolling for a cosmetic outfit you’ll wear in six months… if you’re going to use it on that character it’s like it’s bound/linked/no-trade. It’s for you, and that’s all it has to be.

  15. I don’t have much experience with group instances in LOTRO so I’m a little confused with the situation. Exactly what was the agreement with the loremaster/48 captain? That he could switch to the captain for the loot on just the very last chest, or that he could roll for all loot that dropped along the way as a captain? Was he ever claiming any incidental loot as his loremaster?

    Personally, I’d be inclined to agree with the group leader if the agreement to switch was for the last chest only.

    Don’t see what’s wrong with talking it out over quitting without a word though. If the 60 captain was already sporting second-age weapons out the wazoo, perhaps the 48 captain would indeed put it to better use (assuming he ever gets to that level.) Maybe everyone would agree to be fair and do a simple coin toss to decide who gets it.

    Need/greed’s a really weird system to me anyhow. Just asking for drama and squabbles. Rather systems where you don’t see what other people get (CoX) or loot pickup is already all pre-assigned (Guild Wars) or token-buy systems (various MMOs.)

  16. Precisely the reason I don’t run in PuGs.

    His level 48 captain will have more than enough chances at getting weapons as the character levels up. The group leader should have honored the original agreement but I do think that the guy whom left the group didn’t really miss out on anything.

    Were it a first-age item I’d say both the 60 and 48 should have been able to roll but in the case of a second-age just give it to the guy that can actually use it. There’s a 95% chance that the legacies would be fairly useless and the weapon would become an XP rune and some relics at lvl 11 anyway.

  17. Personally I’d have to say that giving the item to the level 60 captain was the right call – if they both had rolled, it would be fairly ridiculous to see the item going to a bank vault for 12 levels while the level 60 guy who could use it got nothing. I understand agreements, and if the 60 captain had agreed beforehand that the lower level guy could roll on a big item like that, maybe he should have, but really in this case it’s hard to see that the 48 captain got ripped off.

    Usually in these cases in my groups, we say that the 48 guy can get any items the higher level guy doesn’t already have – this still leads to them getting some nice gear ahead of time.

  18. It needs to be discussed in advance. If the group leader is happy to have the Loremaster along and let him switch for a loot drop then of course the alt has a right to Need. He’s swapped him in specifically for loot.

    However the other Captain should have been asked. I know if I do a run and someone wants to swap an alt in just to roll on an item I need I wouldn’t be too keen. I’d probably just find another group.

    I think the group leader handled it badly. If he’s letting someone swap in to roll on loot he has to let him roll (duh!). But you shouldn’t switch someone in without agreeing with the other players first.

    On the plus side the Loremaster handled it incredibly well. Props to him for his grace about the matter.

  19. The group leader cheated that guy out of his time. If he didn’t want him rolling on stuff with his lvl 48, he shouldn’t have let him switch out and he should’ve been clear about it from the start rather than leading him on until the item dropped.

    Totally unethical IMO.

  20. Sooth @ what Rav said. The problem here is not how to interpret need/greed, because everyone has their own definition. The problem is that it was not established ahead of time what definition was being used by the group.

  21. I also define need as will equip now. I can be lenient if will use next level but the when is very important. I have no problem with someone switching to another character for chest loot but the need before greed rule does not change.

    To show you the difference in opinions I find it totally unethical for a level 48 to need a 60 weapon over a level 60.

  22. I would say that generally, no the 48 should not have been allowed to roll. However the group leader told him that he could, and the guy used his LM to help them through several runs. He didn’t help them for hours just for giggles, and it wasn’t fair to lie to him to get him to help on his main.

    Bottom line: the group leader screwed up. Not only by saying he would allow a 48 to roll against a 60 for items in the first place, but also by not honoring his word when a second age actually appeared.

    Once you have agreed on the loot rules and everyone is OK with it, you stick to them. End of story.

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