Can’t Win

A friend of mine has been regularly attending every raid my kinship does for the last few months. Unfortunately, disagreements about loot distribution have erased all DKP from everyone while we argue about switching to a new system. He keeps losing rolls over and over in the raids. Some members of the Kin have fully equipped main characters and are now rolling for their alts, yet my friend hasn’t won a piece from any raid yet. He told me that if he didn’t win something in the next run, he would quit the game for a while. He’s angry that people keep rolling for their alts when he doesn’t have anything on his main yet.

The next raid I /roll’d for loot. When I won, I asked that the loot be given to my friend instead, but he refused. He wanted to win “fair and square”, and not be given the item. Even if we immediately went back to DKP or immediately went to a loot-ladder system, it would be too late for him. After a month of greed-rolls for loot and equipment distribution based on luck, he’s pretty much fed up with the game and the kinship.

I tried to help, but I just can’t win. And neither can he.

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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.

20 thoughts on “Can’t Win”

  1. This is the downside of Random rolling. It’s fair, but only in the very long run. Short-term, it can be deeply unfair.

    Most guilds who use Random usually put qualifiers on it, like “Mains before Alts” or “Only one item per raid per player”.

  2. Yeah, my WoW guild doesn’t use DKP, but no one would ever be winning gear for alts before everyone’s main specs were geared up, unless the drops were something their class simply couldn’t use. We also utilize the “one item per raid” as well.

  3. Personally, I’d suggest that any Kinship that would let Alts take gear over mains is a bit…wrong. Unless there is something huge to tie you and your mate there, I’d be moving on

  4. Sounds like you both need to move on to a kinship with a rational loot system. You describe a loot machine rather than a group of friends playing a game.

  5. It seems to happen in all but the best of Guilds. Sure, there are plenty of “Need before Greed” and “Alternates after Main” rules, but then the big winners that have the most DKP grow “tired of farming the same area” (read: got all the good loot there); and the guild in fear of them loosing interest moves on to the next farming area. I can recall years of raiding in EQ-1 where some of the select few would roll on marginal upgrades over the item they upgraded earlier in the week while other members of the same class fell further and further behind. Usually, these select players were loyal right up until the day they were fully geared and left for “A real Guild”.

  6. One of the (many) reasons I quit raiding almost before I got started was the “Loot handout” system. I totally agree with your friend, Suzina; being given loot can often feel worse than not gettign it at all.

    As a rule, if I can’t get something myself, I don’t want it. I found that even winning a roll on a piece after a raid left a sour taste in my mouth. It felt like I hadn’t got it myself and I didn;t want it. I took to logging out before the loot was divided, or just not rolling on anything.

    On the other hand, in a raid I couldn’t do the very thing I most enjoy doing, almost the main reason I kill mobs at all – namely open them up and see what they have. I ended up having to watch other people do the fun part of opening the mob and seeing what it had at the same time as foregoing any chance of getting the loot afterwards. Worst of both worlds.

    That wasn’t the main reason I opted out of raiding, but it was a significant one. No existing DKP or NBG or CAWU or any other system I’ve ever seen would help. The only thing that might work for me would be a game-controlled smart-auto-loot system that put an appropriate item straight into each raid participant’s inventory, but I suspect even that would end up feeling sterile and unimmersive.

  7. I would say your guild sucks, not the various loot distribution systems. Loot-oriented raiding is one of the reasons why I am not a big fan of raids.

  8. Alternatively the bosses/chests/magic toilets at the end can just hand out tokens, where each person in the group gets one, and then they happily go back to town to exchange it at the nice NPC for the nice loot they want and can use.

    Does it make too much sense? Is it too fair?

    1. Sadly, Jules, it’s too /fast/. Devs need folks to run the race multiple times to get their carrots, or else folks bitch about having nothing to do and having no carrots to chase. One option is to do just as you say, and have the chest drop a token for everyone, but then the need for repetition requires multiple tokens for the goodie they proxy.

      LOTRO is doing that for the radiance gear only (gear that is not just a good treat, but a necessary key for further content). But for the 3-man dungeons you need 4 tokens for the armor piece; for the 6-man, it’s 7. It’s fully fair and fully consistent. Lottery drops can NEVER be won, but they can also be won on the very first trip. It’s a double edged street or something. ;-}

  9. Random piece drops from ‘end bosses’ of ‘dungeons’ is obsolete technology. Seriously. I don’t understand how it is that designers who get so many things right, like those of Turbine or Blizzard, can’t manage to get past a system that connects success to reward (which is perhaps the single most fundamental linkage in an MMORPG’s gameplay) that was known to be a terrible system before Ruins of Kunark was launched. Seriously. It’s been ten years and I’m still killing Nagafen and cursing because I didn’t get my Cloak of Flames.

  10. You shouldn’t let players roll to gear their alts when there is someone there that needs gear for their main, especially an active raider. If the folks in your KS are too greedy to agree to that I’d say it has some serious issues.

  11. This same thing happened in my WoW guild with my friends. The guild used to use the “Ni Karma” point system, but the officers got tired of trying to keep the information up-to-date. When raiding started in WotLK, they just decided to go with random rolls with some typical caveats: mains before alts, etc. However, one of my friends who plays a priest is notorious for his awful rolls, so he got screwed over on a regular basis. It got to the point where he had a significant amount of hit bonus on his gear, specced to Discipline, because that was the items he happen to win.

    Now, this might not be a huge problem if people weren’t hyperfocused on the loot. One time right before I quit WoW, a few people were debating about rolling on a cloak that was a very minor upgrade (or, probably a side-grade) that was a tremendous upgrade for me. After some convincing, they let me have it. When I later pointed out that we should focus on upgrading the whole guild, and that someone upgrading from a blue item should probably get some priority in the introductory raid, I was told that someone “still in blues” should “focus on upgrading” outside of raids. That attitude, coupled with a rather “meh” rest of the expansion is pretty much why I don’t play WoW anymore.

  12. I’m trying to wrap my head around a LotRO kin that would actually bother to use DKP.

    None of the raids are particularly huge and most of the items tend to be fairly class specific.

    We’d decide on the class/classes eligible for the item (based on the stats) and see whom wanted the item within that group. If it was multiple people and none we willing to pass it came down to random roll and that was their item for the run. Class specific 1st and 2nd age weapons and items didn’t count against the one item rule and 3rd age were considered free roll trash loot unless needed.

    If the item was BoA and no one wanted it we would just sell it and put the cash into the kin vault. BoE items and class specifics that weren’t needed or wanted were put in the AH for kin funds. Kin funds were generally used on mats for potions and bulk amounts of rarer crafting mats so it came back around to everyone eventually anyway.

    People that didn’t like that system didn’t tend to stick around long enough to cause any problems and people rolling outside their class on items were blacklisted.

    Simple solution to a rather simple problem if you ask me. LotRO isn’t nearly like WoW when it comes to gearing and item drops. DKP sounds like far too much micro-management if you ask me.

  13. My Kinship uses an SK (Suicide Kings) system. It certainly has a few problems, but having a quick look at loot distribution amongst our 20 DN raiders, 5 have 2 set pieces, 11 have 1 set piece, and 4 have none. Those with no pieces tend to be the people that have raided the least, but they are likely to get their 1st before those with 2 get a 3rd.

    SK is an uneasy medium between the administration of DKP and the arbitrariness of random rolls, but it works pretty well for relatively stable groups. It is casual friendly, in that it doesn’t penalise people for having to miss a raid or two, but it ultimately rewards attendance. Definitely worth considering.

  14. Moondog: Devs can control the speed of loot acquisition by messing with the number of tokens required to be exchanged for (x) loot.

    I don’t particularly agree with this mantra of having to repeatedly run content (one way or another) for rewards, but it seems to me it’s about to be 2010 already and the least we could do is to stop dicking our players so much. So yeah, if you absolutely -have to- have your players run and re-run and so on to keep them in the game, at least make sure they take a little piece with them at the end and no one ends up with empty hands.

    Then again (devil’s advocate here) conflict is fuel for a lot of players. Who knows how many people are actually motivated to keep going for the item after losing rolls and rolls? We don’t have a metric for that. If we take “loot drama” away, that’d probably be a healthy thing overall, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t be 100% healthy.

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