Pandaria to change Raid Finder looting rules

Joining up with unknown groups for World of Warcraft instances can be a pain, especially if you have unscrupulous sorts that like to ninja need loot and drop group. To alleviate some of that anxiety, the pandas will be bringing in a new Raid Finder looting system when the Mists of Pandaria expansion launches later this year.

In the past, looting used to be kill boss, loot, then roll need or greed for the winner, explained Blizzard's Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street in a water cooler blog post. Under the new system, loot winners will be randomly determined automatically, and only class and spec-appropriate items on the boss's loot table will be awarded to the winners. So no more hunters rolling on two-handed strength axes.

There will be no more Need/Greed rolls or the ability to pass, and no gear trading is allowed, Street said. Off-spec loot will not be available, but he said they may reexamine that down the road. The idea is to relieve the social pressure on a group of random people thrown together for a raid.

Bonus rolls are also coming to Pandaria, courtesy of the Elder faction. Daily quests for them will give a special currency and this currency can be used to purchase a Charm of Good Fortune. Players can then use this charm if they want a bonus item from the boss's loot table. This comes in especially handy if you have been unlucky getting that specific item you wanted of a boss. The bonus roll will give you a small chance at an epic item, but you will always get something, even if it is just gold, gems or flasks, Street said.

Other changes include area looting from mass kills, and the restructuring of Valor points. Instead of valor being used to purchase tier gear, the points can be used to incrementally upgrade existing gear.

The changes sound logical, but I'll reserve judgment until I see it in action. It probably won't be long before someone figures out how to use it to their advantage.