Deadly Cupcakes

Game Discussion => Outside Azeroth - General Chatter => Topic started by: Marco on April 16, 2018, 07:10:30 AM

Title: BfA personal loot
Post by: Marco on April 16, 2018, 07:10:30 AM
From developer interviews it seems likely that Battle for Azeroth will remove the loot system selector and make personal loot the only loot system for current content (previous-expansion raids will use a more generous legacy loot system).  I think most people here don't personally care because they were already using personal loot except for tier tokens, which won't exist in BfA.  But I want to talk about two questions related to this change: will it kill split runs, and why is Blizzard doing this?

A brief primer on split runs: let's say a new raid tier is opening, and the previous tier on mythic had a base drop item level of 400.  On week one, heroic opens with a base drop ilvl of 415; on week two, mythic opens with a base drop ilvl of 430.  So a mythic raiding group has two lockouts to run heroic for upgrades before starting in on mythic.  A world first contender will, for each of those weeks, run the heroic raid as many as six times, with five mains and 25 alts in each raid, and all upgrades being funneled to the five mains via master loot.  Those mains have the benefit of up to 12 heroic lockouts before their first pull on mythic, which is one of the big reasons why the first eight bosses in an eleven-boss raid might fall on the first day of a new mythic raid tier.  Split runs are seen as a necessary evil for high-end raiding; if Blizzard could wave a wand and kill split raids at no cost, there would be less burnout among competitive raiders and perhaps a more interesting world-first race.

Forcing personal loot with no trading would definitely kill split runs.  But since personal loot does allow restricted trading, people disagree on whether this change will actually kill split runs; indeed, some people think competitive groups will do split runs for longer because the benefit will be more diluted, dividing up the runs into primarily cloth/leather/mail/plate groups to facilitate trading.  I think they might be missing the following:

* No legendaries in BfA makes it less likely that a player can trade away a heroic drop in a given slot.  Right now owning a legendary is a free pass to trade away upgrades in that slot, whether or not you have the legendary equipped, so as the expansion has gone along we have gotten used to fairly free trading.

* Azerite-affected armor pieces (head, shoulders, chest) will not warforge or titanforge, and will be among the highest-impact items.  Everyone going into the next raid tier will only be at ilvl 400 in those slots, and won't be able to trade away the 415 heroic drops.  Similarly, weapons cap out at +10 warforged, so even players coming in with 410 weapons won't be able to trade away 415 heroic weapon drops.  Mythic+ may be a potential spoiler in week two if it works the same as in Legion, but guilds probably won't want to farm up a bunch of mythic+ drops before doing heroic split runs in week two because it would take too much time, so we're probably just talking about the one ilvl 430 item per player from the cache.

* For the remaining slots, more trading will be possible as many players will be coming in with titanforged gear in those slots.  But the items people will be able to trade will mostly be the uninteresting non-warforged/titanforged drops at the same item level as most players already have.  I think the biggest benefit people might see is the ability to trade around trinkets.

* Even if the change doesn't kill split raiding among the top few guilds, toning down its impact may still improve the world-first race, and will certainly limit the degree to which split raiding trickles down to less competitive mythic guilds.

All of that said, developers have repeatedly made it clear that split raiding isn't a real motivator for forcing personal loot, only a side benefit.  At the same time they haven't given any other reasons for the change, instead turning the discussion to things they have done or could do to make personal loot more palatable to players.  To me, this says that they don't believe that their reasons are easily articulated in a way that is convincing to players.  Here are some ideas on what the reasons might be:

* Eliminating master loot makes it easier to model player power progression, making it easier to tune raids (not just at the mythic world-first level).  Players don't generally see the benefit of things being easier for Blizzard, so wouldn't accept this reasoning.

* If master loot isn't often used, developers may see it as an attractive target for elimination just for simplicity.  Players don't generally see the benefit of incrementally reducing complexity in a game, so would likely reject this reasoning.

* Master loot generates support tickets due to abuse or perceived abuse (even though it is limited to mostly-guild groups), and Blizzard wants to stop seeing those.

* Blizzard may have a general sense that master loot is more likely to tear a guild apart than it is to hold it together, although this would be hard to measure.  This reasoning would come across as patriarchal to players, while developers might feel like they have a responsibility for that aspect of the game experience.

The reaction I have seen to the change has been split, with mostly poorly-considered reasons on both sides.  It's also mostly a tempest in a teapot; I think the vast majority of players don't have a reason to care about the change, and most players probably don't know about it yet anyway.
Title: Re: BfA personal loot
Post by: Snique on April 17, 2018, 12:41:43 PM
Do you (or they) think this is likely to lessen invites for non-guild people into guild groups? I've gone into some PUGs with an understanding that regular raiders have priority choices. Usually that's for set tokens, but also for hard-to-get items like a specific relic or whatever. I don't mind, since I can still get my bonus rolls, and would be sad if PUGs were diminished.
Title: Re: BfA personal loot
Post by: Marco on April 17, 2018, 05:43:49 PM
It's possible.  Encouraging guilds to pad out their raids with carries to give last pick of loot seems like a mixed bag--it's good for people who otherwise wouldn't have an opportunity to raid, but is a bit predatory and is probably a source of GM tickets when communication breaks down.  It also doesn't seem like an intended consequence of flexible raid sizes, so it probably isn't a very compelling argument to keep master loot from a designer perspective.