Thursday, May 8, 2014

More Thoughts on WoD Lockouts and Loot (Also Top Two Lockouts?)

I'm working on a pair of posts (involving how I started blogging and the importance of 5% in heroic raiding) but decided to give myself a freebie here in the meantime (started as a small comment I was going to leave at Clockwerk's blog but it kept growing).

Was reading Clockwerk's recent post on lockouts and had some thoughts in response to both his post and the current comments.  Probably best to read those first.

Lot of talk lately (including comments of my own) on Theck's idea of Cumulative Loot -- which is something I wrote a post on a while ago as well.  With the changes to loot (primarily allowing master loot for Flex (aka Normal in WoD)) this opens up new possibilities and brings up new problems.

Instead of personal loot for the cumulative loot (which most guilds would want to avoid as traditional drops are much more efficient), theoretically could just have a Mythic boss flat out drop the gear for Heroic/Normal/LFR as well.  Presumably that loot could be /rolled off pretty quickly or given to priority people if that exists -- less wasted loot and would only take an extra minute or two per boss.

Could arguably not include the LFR drop if Blizzard is so convinced it'll be irrelevant so quickly for Heroic and Mythic raiders.

But even that causes issues because there's an incentive to clear it on Heroic first with 30 people for the best chance at a rare trinket or whatever dropping and then doing 20 people with Mythic.

Part of the problem is that I don't think anyone sees a perfect solution.

Default has us running at least 2 lockouts a week for a long time, most likely 3 for a bit, possibly even 4 on the first tier.

All below (personal rolls) doesn't allow master looting and if the gear is trade-able encourages stuff like bringing 15 hunters at a time to get that agility trinket for the hunter main.

All below (master looter) takes extra time per boss (not a massive issue but it may slow down less efficient groups) and still encourages to clear the place on Heroic with 30 people first rather than just doing Mythic.

All of these solutions have at least one major flaw in them.

Let me go ahead and toss another idea into the pot (which also is not perfect)...

What if only the top two lockouts you've done reset?

Simple as that.

Say you do half the tier on Heroic one week in addition to clearing on Normal.  Next week, only Heroic and Normal reset (plus Mythic since that was never locked).  LFR is not available since it's three levels down.

Or say you're working on Mythics and kill a few bosses.  Next week only Heroic and Mythic reset -- Normal and LFR are locked.  In general, you can never kill a boss for loot more than twice per week -- and in some cases can only do it once (if you're 75% through Mythic you can only kill the last boss on Heroic).

So what are the advantages?

1, you're limited to two lockouts per week, which is an improvement over three or potentially four.

2, you still have to kill the boss multiple times for the people complaining about "free loot for no effort" or whatever.

3, since you have to kill the boss on the specific difficulty, you're free to kill a boss on Mythic first if you wanted with 20 people and then still bring 30 on another day for Heroic -- avoids the problem mentioned above with wanting the largest group possible for master looter.

But I said it wasn't perfect -- what are the catches?

1, the first week of raiding you'll clear Heroic and Normal -- meaning both will reset for the second week.  On the second week you'll clear Heroic, Normal, *and* start Mythic.  That's three lockouts.  Now, assuming you can kill Mythic bosses then Normal will be locked for future weeks but that technically is a violation of the "two lockouts max" rule.

2, there's potentially a disincentive to move up in difficulty.  Let's say you're in a guild that wants to try Mythic.  If you try Mythic and kill a single boss, you're locked out of Normal entirely.  Only get full Heroic plus one Mythic boss.  Some groups may find they prefer to farm Normal for a few more weeks and would thus delay Mythic progression until they don't care about Normal.

Now, one could argue that if you're capable of killing at least one boss on Mythic then you SHOULDN'T really be worried about Normal gear and getting a few pieces of Mythic gear will help more long term than another clear's worth of Normal gear -- or at worst you might be in that "problem position" for a week or two and thus it's a very temporary thing.  But I felt it was worth mentioning, at least.


  1. It's interesting how they are treating LFR. The separate loot table already defines what most of us who raid believe about LFR - that it is nothing like raiding and thus, it should not be treated the same. It is however a good tool for those who want to see the bosses, get a feel for the lore, maybe learn a little bit about how the fight goes... well, that's what I go in there for (oh and I go in there to take pictures for various blogging reasons).

    It's only at the start of the tier you'll have issues with the multiple lockouts. I think that's part of a serious raiding guild - that you do that stuff at the start of the tier before you phase it all out. If you can stick out those first... 4 weeks?... then after that it will be easier.

    For me, there will only ever be 2 lockouts, so my life is simple. I'd would hate to think what it would be like for you, your first few weeks or raiding would be at high risk of burnout! Casual raiding is so much simpler than hardcore.

    BTW, your blacklist was interesting, and I think I can understand why.

    1. Part of the problem for us is that we specifically raid two nights -- we don't want to be committing a bunch of time per week. And we accept that we'll have less progression time on bosses -- but now we're also being told we'll have less gear as well unless we spend more time outside of raiding. Or it cuts even further into our progression time which also sucks.

      And we're not even doing something DIFFERENT -- we're doing the same raid on easier difficulties.

      "BTW, your blacklist was interesting, and I think I can understand why."

      Yeah. Many reasons, but I swear I could have said "Nice weather, isn't it?" and he would have replied with "Are you saying I'm an idiot who can't tell what the weather is like without your help?"

      Going out of his way to take offense from stuff that wasn't there.

    2. I actually meant your list of blogs you had blacklisted. But yes, when I read that thing I could see it was just.. irretrievable no matter what was said. Oh and I also think it's funny that your blog could be Balkoth SWORD or Balkoth's WORD.

    3. URLs don't allow punctuation or spacing! Wonder if anyone else has thought that.

      The funny thing is that he could have simply stopped posting or left a comment saying "All right, that's it, I'm done talking here, move on" and that would have been the end of it. No harm, no foul. But...that didn't happen.

      Regarding the blacklist, Stubborn actually convinced me to write about how I got into blogging which directly relates to those two incidents, funnily enough. Not going to mention names in the actual post but you, at least, will probably be able to put two and two together. Wording it carefully and draining to write about so won't post it for a few days, at least, but you might find it interesting. Trying to eliminate all identifying information but if you're familiar with the bloggers it's probably impossible to hide it all.

  2. I don't totally understand how the all below system still encourages you to run Heroic first? Is it just because you can get more items with 30 people in the raid? Because if you run Heroic and it drops the loot for everything below that difficulty when you run mythic wouldn't it just drop the mythic loot? As long as there are different levels of the raids the problem of running the same raid multiple times per week will exist and I doubt they will ever find a perfect solution.

    As someone who has been in hardcore guilds in the past there is no such thing as saying "well just don't run it" because the guild expects you to run it as many times as possible to maximize chances to have that little extra possibly needed to get a boss down. Once progression is over it changes, but progression can last a long time on some tiers. WotLK raiding got to be a major pain in the ass with the multiple lockouts and alt raids and everything else that was done in order to maximize potential.

    I don't think anyone should have to raid the same raid multiple times per week in order to maximize their loot chances, but I can't think of a system that can prevent that without having other issues. At the same time it is nice to be able to run something to help out a friend without sacrificing your own chance from your "real" raid.

    1. Yes, you would get more items with 30 people in the raid and could funnel those items into a smaller group. Better chance of rarer items like trinkets dropping.

      "I don't think anyone should have to raid the same raid multiple times per week in order to maximize their loot chances, but I can't think of a system that can prevent that without having other issues. At the same time it is nice to be able to run something to help out a friend without sacrificing your own chance from your "real" raid. "

      Agreed on all counts, and I think the top two lockouts idea is the best I've seen. Can still help friends and "only" have to run content twice per week max. Not ideal still but seems to improve on the other ideas in nearly every way.