Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blue Post: Need Before Greed and Other Things

This slipped my radar at first, but thanks to Lissanna's excellent post on it came to my attention.

The Blue Posts:

  1. The Need Before Greed loot system will be the unalterable default looting system for pick-up groups in the Dungeon System and has been updated.

  2. 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.

  3. Group Disenchanting Option: In addition to rolling “Need” or “Greed” on items, players now have the option to elect for an item to be disenchanted. “Disenchant” works exactly like “Greed” except if a player wins the “Greed” roll, they will receive the disenchanted materials instead. Players who choose “Need” will always win the item and will always beat those that choose “Greed” or “Disenchant.”
A lot has already been said about these changes on the forums, and I want to try and cut through the hysteria.

The Actual Impact:

In a literal sense this change means that Moonkin will not be able to "Need" cloth when using the random group feature coming out in 3.3. A moonkin can "Greed" on cloth using the tool, but their rolls are grouped with everyone that just wants the item for enchanting mats or vendor gold.

In actual play this change will probably have very little impact. Who is running instances for gear any more? Most of the people using this too will be doing so to get emblems, get rep, or get achievements. The only really problem I have with the actual system is that it treats "Greed" and "DE" on the same level. Therefore an item that is a real upgrade for a new moonkin may get automatically DEed so that another player can have a shard in the bank. Other then that, the impact will only be felt by people who are leveling.

The Symbolic Impact:

The reason I have a problem with this change is the symbolic impact. Whether Blizzard means to or not, this change will be interpreted as a big flashing sign that says: "MOONKIN SHOULDN'T WEAR CLOTH!!!"

I am trying to look at it optimistically. First, this will probably have little or no impact right away. Thoughtful guilds like mine will still realize that there are valid reasons for Moonkin to wear cloth in some situations. Thoughtful Moonkin will pick their battles wisely and try not to rock the boat to much. Guilds that currently prevent moonkin from rolling on cloth will continue to do so. The status quo will be maintained.

Another reason to be optimistic is that there are massive changed coming to gear itemization in the next expansion. Moonkin shouldn't have to worry about Spirit any more and hopefully Blizzard will be better about providing gear with the necessary stats like Hit Rating. I may be dreaming but we may actually get to a place where spell leather is equal to cloth. If that happens then the leather vs cloth debate will change quite a bit.

That said, the pessimist in me is worried. Blizzard has gotten a lot better about providing quality spell leather, but there are a couple of facts that make me think that spell leather will never equal cloth.
  1. If you exclude Ele Shaman, there is one spec that will want to use DPS spell leather. There are 3 classes that are restricted to cloth.

  2. Most raids will run with only one Moonkin. Two at the most. On the flip side, most raids will have 6 or more cloth DPSers.

  3. In WotLK, cloth drops are twice as frequent as spell leather drops.

Blizzard has said many times that they don't like seeing items useful to only one class getting sharded week after week when there are possible upgrades for other classes. This is why they don't like to have idols drop from bosses. This means that there will always be better cloth options because there will always be more cloth options. If you only have one non-tier leather piece with Hit Rating you might be forced to use it, because you don't have other options. Moonkin will be back to the same cookie cutter gear we had in TBC.

A Failure of Logic:

Blizzard has acknowledged that this change was likely to be controversial, but they feel it is necessary to protect people against ninja's because it will be harder for players to protect themselves with cross-realm LFG. I understand the reasoning, but I question its logic. Blizzard explained it this way:

Ultimately, our logic went like this: If a Holy paladin loses a great non-plate upgrade to another player, one out of five players might feel bad. If a Holy paladin rolls Need on every type of armor that drops, then four out of five players might have a bad experience. The jerk potential seemed worse than the lost-an-upgrade potential as far as whether or not players buy into using the new dungeon tool.
On the surface the logic seems reasonable. Upsetting 1 person is better then upsetting 4, but I want to ask one question. How big of a problem are Jerks/Ninjas?

I've played WoW for a long time and I've done a lot of pugs. I've met my fair share of assholes, but I would say the vast majority players are reasonable and aren't going to "Need" every single drop.

For arguments sake, lets say that in 1 out of 10 instantance runs there is a jerk that decides ninja loot. Then lets say that in 5 out of 10 instance runs there is a Druid, Shaman or Pally that loses a legitimate upgrade, because they couldn't roll need or another player wanted a shard. Who knows what the actual rate for these to events will be, but I think everyone can see how the 1 vs 4 argument is misleading.

To use Blizzard's example, only the Holy Pally will be upset that he can't roll on the non-plate item, but he may be upset every time he runs that instance because there will usually be someone that hits the DE button without checking to see if it's an upgrade for someone that can't roll need.

I think we would all agree that ninja's suck, but someone getting screwed out of a legitimate upgrade is going to be much more common.

Other Things:

Nature's Grace:
I agree Nature's Grace is a big part of the problem here. We changed Gift of the Earth Mother for pretty similar reasons. However, Nature's Grace is a Really Big Deal. We honestly keep talking about changing it, but we're also paranoid about screwing it up because Balance dps is dependent on it. NG is probably an overbudget talent, but in this case if we nerfed it, we'd have to mess with Balance in a lot of other areas to compensate. We'll almost certainly do it at some point, but I worry about messing with it for 3.3.
Translation: "Nature's Grace is getting nerfed in 4.0."

After reading all of the discussion, I agree with Ghostcrawler's comment quite a bit. If Nature's Grace wasn't so powerful we wouldn't be clipping the GCD, but it's such a powerful talent that nerfing it is more difficult then it sounds. Given that we are so close to an expansion it is probably a lot easier to alter the talent and the spec as they are making the massive changes that come with every expansion.

Twisted Nether Blogcast:

In case you missed it, my appearance on the Twisted Nether Blogcast round table is now available. You can find it here. I am also told it is available on Itunes.


Morphster of Aggramar said...

I agree with you that the disechant option is dumb. For the last year I haven't had my own enchanter so I simply collected all my boe's and paid an enchanter a few gold to disenchant them for me. Even now that I have a max-level enchanter I still prefer to "greed all unless need" because I hate standing around at the end rolling for shards. Frankly, I think we'd be best served by leaving the greed/need system as is but incorporating the other two new loot rules. I'm fine with the other changes though because if a moonkin sees a cloth upgrade and loses the greed roll he can still negotiate with the winner and trade for it. For me at least, if a cloth piece is a clear upgrade I'd just give it to the moonkin rather than even barter with them. Hopefully most people will do the same.

Erdluf said...

I'd like to see

Need Dominant Armor >
Need >
Greed >

Winning via "Need" (either one) tags the item so that it can no longer be Vendored, Traded, or Disenchanted.

You can Need a BoE, but it won't be useful unless you use it personally.

Jelement said...

"In actual play this change will probably have very little impact. Who is running instances for gear any more? Most of the people using this too will be doing so to get emblems, get rep, or get achievements."

One thing to consider though - our new 5-mans will be ilvl 219 gear on normal and ilvl 232 on heroic, so we ~will~ be running instances for gear. And this will be our system moving in Cataclysm as we re-gear again also.

Word verification for this comment - "pally"...made me laugh.

Graylo said...


Something more complecated like that would definately be fairer, but it still leaves me with two issues.

1. I still don't like the implication that Cloth is for clothies, and leather is for moonkin.

2. I wonder if they are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I know there are assholes out there that will try and take the gear that they don't really need for personal gain, but I think they are the exception rather then the rule. I just wonder if the "fixes" do more harm then the assholes do.


Maybe its because I'm a raider, but I still don't see a lot of people using the random tool to farm the new instances. If your looking for gear your probably going to try and form a group specifically for that instance and the new rules wouldn't apply. If you're using the random tool then you're only going to get put in that instance once out of ever 15 trys or so.

Jelement said...

Good point, but remember this isn't just for the random tool, but any use of the new Dungeon System, even if I queue for a specific instance.

So the easy solution is to make the full group of guildies and call it good, which means of course Blizzard had to dangle a carrot to get those of us who would do that to try and use their new system.

"Players who take part in groups who have one or more members who have been matched with them randomly from within the Dungeon System will receive extra rewards, up to and including the coveted Perky Pug non-combat pet. The more random players with whom one groups, the faster the pet can be obtained."

Which now means if we have a competent tank, heals, and 1-2 dps, we'll probably pick up 1-2 people from the Dungeon System just to work towards these rewards.

I guess that is best done while in the random queue rather than when specifically trying to put together a group for the new IC 5-mans.

The cloth issue does suck, and something about it should be changed. The way GC put it basically sounds like "We know there's a certain percentage of jackasses in our player base, and we're going to try and keep them in check at the expense of our hybrid players"

My wife called the new Dungeon System the "pug-hugging" system this morning, as it seems to encourage us to go outside or guild, to the point of even offering rewards. Don't think I like it, but we'll see how it goes.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am ignorant but this idea of having a mandated loot system from WoW feels like a government sanction. While they are at it why not require players to utilize their raiding schedules and only allow people to play when they want us to?!

In a raid we set up a lootmaster system and perhaps they are forcing us to have a lootmaster in a 5 man now as they feel we are so retarded we can’t event hold a 5 man without their input as to how we should distribute loot.

I can DE on one of my 80s and I like the choice of telling ppl I DE or not… I have macros set up for DEing and announcing these facts.. It’s a choice, and if they implement this loot system I will choose to hit need every time for spite’s sake, even if it doesn’t let me. Then I will put in ticket after ticket until I piss someone off.

Spitt said...

The benefit of the disenchanting, will be the enchanter will now have more room in his packs. But really, shouldn't we join a PUG with empty packs anyways? I don't like the idea that people see what has been disenchanted. In some PUG's, people wanted to roll on my disenchanted items.
I wonder if you will be able to choose disenchant, if your skill isn't high enough, or if you dont have that skill.

Cassandri said...

I'm a max level Enchanter. But I don't advertise that fact when I join PuG groups. I greed along with everyone else, save myself the drama/work, and if I get lucky and win a few things then the disenchanted mats are mine.

I assume that the new system will register than I'm an enchanter and therefore present the Disenchant option on the rolls interface. And therefore force me to disenchant drops for other people. How annoying.

It's a skill, it's not something that should be taken for granted.

As for the armor types... well most people who behave badly in groups (that I've noticed) are usually rolling Need on items for their offspec. Say a tank rolling Need on a dps weapon. The new system isn't going to stop that from happening, so I'm not sure if the Armor type restrictions are more help than hindrance.

Hiraun said...

This might noch have that much of an impact for a raider but what about the leveling Moonkin? With the current system you have at least a chance of winning something useful if you can live with the "Bad moonkin, rolled on cloth"-attitude in many PuGs.

Merlot said...

Gear options for moonkins and elemental shaman may be pretty miserable in Cataclysm, especially with the stat overhaul. Healer gear is going to be doubly sub-optimal for dps. They could solve it easily by adding a new tier of priority for 'offspec' or similar that sits below need but above greed.

Superku said...

Think some of you are exaggerating the trouble of finding decent leather items while leveling / starting endgame. The only reason this would be an issue now is because of the scarcity of good leather items, not because we want to use cloth. It's important to remember that that is the reason we want access to cloth.

Simply assuming the gear distribution and quality will stay the same in Cataclysm as it is now seems a bit like preemptive complaining. We don't know how it will turn out before we can see all the loot.

Jornk said...

I don't think this new system will encourage people to go outside of guild. I think a majority of people that are already in a guild will spam /g to get a group b4 they use the PUG system. I personally only see myself using it for the daily heroic at most. I think this system is method to help clean up the trade chat spam.

@Everyone else

I'm fine with the DE=Greed thing. At least 90% of the PUGs I have ever been in greed with the intent of DEing. I think all this will do is make people start needing on off spec items.

You can still have ninjas after this change. If there is only one plate wearer in your random party, then he is the only one that can need on plate and ninja all the drops. So there will still be jerks out there, and in this case, the jerk plate wearer needs to decide whether or not the vendor cash is better than a chance at a shard. I bet a majority would go with chance at a shard seeing that it is wicked easy to farm up gold these days. IMO, when you PUG, you are basically taking a gamble on the success of the run anyway, so why get jacked if someone ninja's loot.

Lherin said...

You all don't seem to be taking into account what I term 'the asshole factor(tm)'. It's been stated many different ways. But the crux of it is, people are more likely to behave like assholes when under the cloak of anonymity and a large population.

Now, when you are limited to a single server, you can only screw over so many people before you can't find a group anymore.

However when you are in a group of 4 or more servers, what are the bad repercussions of rolling poorly? They are diminished quite a bit, because there's a large chance that you might not even see these people again. I think the potential for mischief is actually quite high initially, given how I see people on the net behave. You only need to look at all the level 1 alts posting crap on the blizzard forums to get an idea of just how many assholes play wow.

Appock said...

I totally agree with you. DE should not be on the same level as Greed. If leather/cloth drops, a tank obviously doesn't need it and he will most likely hit DE. If more people hit DE than not, a druid that could use that cloth piece as an upgrade will likely miss out.

I'm not sure what the answer is... I'll have to think about this some more.

Shilton said...

this affects directly to leveling droods and shamys, first they have to wait that any cloth wearer dont want an item, then survive through the DE rolls. and there is almost nothing of leather and mail for leveling casters, and of course in the comming expansion.
i have a prot warrior as alt, and i just decided that i want to farm gold in the pug system, i will just go need anything i can, and perhaps win some DE rolls for good profit, good farmnig for sure
the ppl wil get sick prety soon of that type of behavior and will not use the system, or perhaps use it only for the rewards.
the system is about to born dead ;)
i dont see blizzard doing a catalog of possible spects for the loots to priotize them in the instances, so probably we will se very offten all this behaviours you menction D;

kindercan said...

this won't effect me in any way, since i only run instances in my guild, there is no ninja's in my guild, we always let people get the gear they need, and moonkins (me) can roll on cloth. pugs are horrible, we stay away from them as much as possible.

Grumpyhorn said...

I think the DE option should only be if ALL people decide to DE the item. It may not depend on having an enchanter in the group, so there will be more materials available. This will affect the server economy but that's not the main issue.

I run a decent amount of PUGs on my alt, and I see less ninja's in a 5-man than in a PUG raid. Recently someone rolled 4 times on the Ony head and I suppose he hoped no one noticed.

In a 5-man, most people will let you buy the gear if you offer the vendor price or a little more. If you want a piece of cloth but don't want to need, that will probably work still.

I'm guessing that you'll see more people spamming trade to stay away from other servers than you do now. The LFG channel was a failure at first and I predict this will need major adjustments to make it viable. One new pet will only keep people in long enough to get the reward.

Kring said...

That also means off-spec gets priority before off-gear class.

A healing priest gets priority on a spellpower/hit cloth piece over a moonkin.

But a healing druid comes after a mage for healing cloth.

I wonder if that leads to more healer or less in the tool.