Monday, July 13, 2009

WoW.Com Response: The BiS Trump Card

As I was browsing through (formerly WoWInsider) today, I came across a familiar topic. Should players be able to bid on gear below there max armor type even if it is BiS. Link to the post in question: (Link)

As many of you know I have covered this topic before, but I would like to inject counter points to those presented by Scott Andrews. I can't argue debate from the Plate vs Mail stand point since I have very little experience with either armor set or the classes that use them. So, I will look at this argument from my traditional Leather vs Cloth point of view.

Just so you know, Scott did say Balance leather is one of 3 sets where Blizzard has had difficulty producing well itemized gear, I highly recommend that you read his post before you go on. Classes limited by armor type would be at a severe disadvantage

Counter Point: By limiting classes to their max armor type you maybe putting them at a severe disadvantage. Here is a link to all of the gear with a 239 ilevel currently in game. There are 21 pieces total, 10 of them are unaffected by armor type, 7 of them are Cloth, and 4 are leather. If you limited Moonkin to just leather drops then the most they could wear is 2 so that they could maintain the set bonus. A cloth wearer could use 3 and still maintain a 4 piece set bonus. I know its not the cloth wearers fault that there are limited options, but it's not the Moonkin's either. Higher armor drops would go to waste.

Counter Point:
This assumes that the Higher armor type has drops that are similarly desirable. Lets compare [Footsteps of Malygos] to the [Boots of Haste Revival]. The FoM are ilevel 213 and the BoHR are iLevel 226, yet both are rated about the same in terms of DPS. Yet, I would be denied cloth upgrades even though my other option was not an upgrade. Granted in this case there is some crafted gear that would be better then most of the options but that is not always the case. From a moonkin point of view the spell leather available is almost always inferior to the Spell cloth available. So, just because there is a leather options, that does not mean it is a good option. For some classes and specs, the BIS list changes frequently.

Counter Point:
Doesn't this argument cut both ways? It is definitely possible that the BiS list of any class could change, but why should the player with the higher armor type be punished while the player with the lower armor type not be. It is just as easy for a moonkin's needs to change from one patch to the next as it is for any clothy.

Obviously if the changes are already known, then those changes should be taken into consideration. However, you shouldn't punish some classes because of an irrelevant uncertainty. Finally, the loot system would put a massive burden on the officers to know which items are BIS for every slot, for every spec in the game.

Counter Point:
I agree with this statement but not the conclusion drawn. Of course we can't expect raid leaders to understand the gear needs for every class and spec in raid, but how does limiting Moonkin to leather limit this problem.

You already have 3 classes wearing cloth. The needs of a holy priest are different then those of a shadow priest, who's needs are different then a Mages and so on. Since we've already said we don't expect the Raid Leaders to know the gear needs of every class and spec, so the problem already exists. If the problem already exists, how do we currently manage it?

The answer is unsettling to some, but really quite simple. We trust the players to know what gear they need and to bid/roll responsibly. Many high-end guilds take this a step further and request that their members fill out a gear plan on the guild forums. This way the leaders know what the raiders are thinking, and the raiders can know what other players need.

Most importantly though it openes the door to communication. You don't know how many loot arguments I've heard that could have been prevented with a little upfront communication. Most players are not loot whores, and most raiders will pass on a piece of gear if it is better for the raid. However, they have to know the situation if they are going to make that choice.

On top of that all players need to be considerate of their fellow players when bidding/rolling on gear. A few weeks ago the [Boots of Fiery Resolution] dropped off of FL hard mode. They are my BiS boot, and I had the most DKP of the casters in guild but I passed. I did so because I had won the [Staff of Endless Winter] the week before. It would have been easy to argue that I had put in the effort to earn those boots, but after a little thought I didn't think it was fair that I had two pieces of hard mode gear while a vast majority of our guild had none.

Limiting Druids to leather or Paladins to plate are very popular rules for loot distribution systems. However, most of the arguments used to support the limitation can easily be reversed, and cause dissatisfaction with in a guild. Rules are not enough to make a loot system run smoothly, because there will always be a difference of opinion some where.

The way to make your guilds loot system run smoothly is to encourage communication between the members. When someone one seems to be getting out of line or tries to game the system, talk to them first. Most likely they will back off.


Athryn said...

I endorse your views, and my guild runs on a policy where there are no armor restrictions. Of course, having a Moonkin raid leader helped with that decision. :D

Phil said...

Do we just run instances for gear? I don't and neither should you. (Referring to the reader) I’d like to think am a voice of reason in vent when we have gear arguments. I’ll pass on any cloth/leather when it’s an upgrade for someone else. And I don’t mind proving who deserves an item more although I act dumb most of the time to just keep things moving (had a big issue with a lock/moonkin over Dieing Curse). Is very simple to link what u have on and then the entire /roll group can see, well yeah I have a naxx 10 man item and you have a naxx 25 … I need it more. I like the ‘I need it more’ philosophy, but you can’t just bring a lower geared toon and expect to get all the gear. Loot distribution will always be a HoT topic. I like the way my GM manages the distribution… /roll if you want it then we will see who needs it more and if it’s off spec or not. He lets the guild keep running while he looks things up, might as well get rid of the trash. This way I find that people get more items in general and they go to the right people rather then all just going to DE. As a GM or RL it must be hard to deal with all the issues but that’s your job… All else fails I promote letting the GM or RL decided and if you don’t like it move on… It’s a game have fun enjoy … forcing me, a ToL /Moonkin to only take leather is just ignorant as to the value of gear stats unless they do a lot of programming

~Gargen of Vek’nilash

nin said...

I think this is a question mostly for more casual guilds. I can't see this being an issue in any guild that is even remotely concerned about progress.

nin said...

As a sidenote, aren't Threads of the False Oracle BiS?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for addressing this Gray. I can't even express how angry I was when I read the post on

We recently went through this in my guild. For the past year we allowed people to roll on upgrades regardless of armor class. We brought in a new RL and he flipped out when I won a roll on a cloth item. He immediately left the guild over it. Of course this then had all the clothies questioning the rule again.

Having this argument over and over again was like beating my head against a wall. I passed guildleader to an officer and joined a raiding guild.

Mooresnow said...

A few weeks back I bid on Bracers of Unleashed Magic (cloth with +hit) I was in bad need of a set of hit bracers, and was very excited knowing that I had the most dkp. Then an officer (a mage who also wanted them) dropped a bomb on me saying that it was guild policy that clothies have priority on cloth. Needless to say I had read the loot policy carefully and this was not in there. This was quite the shock for me and I was a bit vocal over vent mostly out of surprise.

While after a long talk with the officers after the raid this hasn't become guild policy and the mage got the bracers when they dropped next week. Communication is key, and raid leaders/officers please be sure not to change loot policies mid raid.

Ultimately, it does come down to trusting your fellow raiders to know what upgrades are available to them. If there were bracers with +hit I would have waited for them, but as it was I was in bad need of them. Unfortunately only us Moonkins realize that Moonkin leather pieces are few and far between =/

Anonymous said...

This was a hot topic of debate in my last guild. I was one of two moonkins that wanted to roll on cloth, and of course there was resistance. I was able to win over the officers (and many of the clothies) by doing two things.

First, I presented several different authors' weighted gear lists and pointed out that when you remove tier pieces from the picture, the top of the list is dominated by cloth. And I don't mean just the BiS position. It's common to see #1 cloth, #2 cloth, #3 cloth, #4 leather, #5 cloth, #6 cloth...

Second, (and this ties in with the first point) I explained how similar our ideal itemization is and then challenged the most vocal clothies to find pieces of leather they wish they could wear. Some didn't find any, others came up with slight upgrades.

After doing this, nearly everyone involved in the debate readily agreed that balance druids should be allowed to roll on cloth until a time comes when there exists leather pieces that are a clear upgrade over cloth that would compensate for not getting to wear cloth.

Cerista said...

Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I was a little irked when I saw that article. I agree with some of the points that were made, but overall it doesn't make sense to me to gimp raiders simply because they can wear a higher level of armor, which in some cases will have inferior stats.

You came up with some great counterpoints without making it sound like a rant. You're awesome.

Like you and some of the other people who commented said, this isn't a huge problem if people just communicate with each other and pick their battles well.

Anonymous said...

And please don't forget the obvious for druids is the +370% (was +400%) armor gained in Boomy form. There is a reason Blizz gave us that...

PLUS a Blue post rather recently that said they expect druids to roll on cloth and they do not have the time/resources to create huge numbers of duplicate gear for each class because most of it would be DE'd after a short time, and *everyone* would take longer to gear up for the next level of raiding. The is the final word, as far as I'm concerned and only players out-of-the-loop wouldn't know this.

The WoW.Com author, IMHO obviously has NO IDEA what he's talking about in regards to gearing up "utility spec" classes and has reached the wrong conclusion. It is too bad that he is actively giving out his faulty advice on such a popular blog. :(

Jormundgard said... writes rarely know what they're talking about anyway...

Anonymous said...

Could you please revise your best in slot ulduar gear prefernces? There are a few items that weren't discovered when you made your list. I'd like to see an updated version please =D

Kerry said...

To the person who mentioned the blue post expecting us to roll on cloth:

Apparently not all the devs are in agreement on this. Part of the druid Q&A with Ghostcrawler included this particular gem which, though the question is really about ferals, touches on us too (emphasis mine)....

"Q: Have we considered providing more tanking leather and to prevent extra loot clutter possibly finding ways for Balance and Restoration druids to use solely cloth item since they often use them already?

Ghostcrawler: No. Druids are a leather-using class. We are just going to have to make three types of leather (melee, ranged and healing). You have to understand that even though we have pushed bears and cats farther apart, we still consider them to be part of the same spec. We can't get into the business of itemizing for niches within a particular spec or we're just going to have too many items per tier. I can see the argument for having tanking and dps leather and making the casters use cloth. That's just a different design and we currently like for certain classes to be associated with certain types of armor. We like that druids look different from say priests or mages (even ignoring the forms thing). We like that we can kit druid tier piece armor to look a certain way."

So, one blue wants and even expects us to roll on cloth, and another wants us all in leather. But if GC wants us to do that, why isn't there already good moonkin leather? It's not like druids wearing leather is something new, and neither are moonkin themselves. If leather that's properly itemized for us comes out, wonderful. The other casters are safe from us "stealing their loot" and we don't have to worry about this kind of situation again.

For myself, I'm in a 10-man guild, so the BiS question doesn't really come up. I tend to pass on cloth until none of the clothies in my group need it anymore, to help avoid this sort of thing. We don't tell people they can't roll on lower armor, but priority tends to be given to those rolling for their highest type. There are also, obviously, other circumstances to consider, such as attendance, performance, how big the upgrade is, and how much loot has been won by whom already. It's usually not as clear a decision as the author makes it out to be, especially since the example belt is probably BiS for the shaman too, which rather changes the circumstances a bit.

Phil said...

This statement by Anon, "and then challenged the most vocal clothies to find pieces of leather they wish they could wear" is a great sugestion. Thanks for this.

Hmmm do I want a 236 or a 212 from the same run off the same boss...

Gargen of Vek'nilash