Monday, December 8, 2008

Distributing Naxx loot

So today our subject is Naxxramas and the "new raiding". Some guilds already started, others aren't too far from their first Naxx raid. And sooner or later the raiders will find themselves confronted with the question of how to distribute the epic drops. Of course established raiding guilds have systems to do that, but they might find some new complications: Wrath of the Lich King blurred class roles and stats to some extent.

Imagine you have a raid with 10 players, one of each class (yeah, I know, probably not the perfect setup). An epic piece of plate armor with +defense bonus drops. Do you automatically give it to the warrior, or would the paladin or even death knight have the right to roll on it too? Even more tricky, what if a cloth epic drops, giving +int, +sta, +spi, and +spellpower, and it would be an upgrade for the priest, the mage, and the warlock. The time where healers had a separate healing power is over, so what would make such armor "healing gear"? The spirit bonus is probably slightly more useful for a priest, while lets say +spell hit or +critical might be slightly more useful for a mage. But would you automatically assign all gear with spirit to priests, or would a mage have the right to roll (or spend DKP) on that gear too?

Leather and mail are somewhat less complicated, because there are less classes needing it, and in some cases there is still only one class who can use it; for example leather with spellpower is a druid exclusive. Of course a rogue and a druid could be interested in the same sort of dps leather armor, but there is less overlap than for plate or cloth. I don't really know how raid composition will work out in Wrath of the Lich King, but of course it is totally possible that a raid has 4 or 5 cloth wearers, or some other accumulation of people vying for the same loot.

And of course the old loot distribution problems haven't gone away: Do you try to spread gear as evenly as possible, which slows down progress? Or do you concentrate gear on some strategically important characters, which speeds up progress, but risks huge setbacks when somebody leaves the guild or stops playing. So guild drama isn't going to go away anytime soon. But there is some hope that with Naxxramas being somewhat more accessible than Karazhan, plus all the other ways to gain epics from badges etc., random raid epic drops aren't the one and only way to upgrade your character. We'll see.

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