Pandaria to change Raid Finder looting rules

Blizzard's Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street talks about the new looting rules in Mists of Pandaria and why they were changed.


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.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 28, 2012 7:00 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Pandaria to change Raid Finder looting rules.

    Blizzard's Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street talks about the new looting rules in Mists of Pandaria and why they were changed.

    • reply
      March 28, 2012 7:02 AM

      They basically just copied the loot system from Star Wars: Old Republic.

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        March 28, 2012 7:11 AM

        Given how much SWTOR built on from WoW, who can blame them?

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        March 28, 2012 7:46 AM

        Thats always been the big thing going for WoW, they've copied or emulated so many features of other MMOs that appeared after its launch. So whenever someone says "But MMO XY has this feature, anyone can say yeah WoW has that as well."

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          March 28, 2012 8:13 AM

          And sometimes it seems like WoW adds a more polished version of the feature almost before the other game even comes out.

          What will likely eventually dethrone WoW is a collection of features that they can't, due to the time and effort required, integrate into WoW's aging engine and infrastructure.

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            March 28, 2012 8:56 AM

            I thought public quests, or whatever they were in WAR, might be that. But no, they sucked because there were never enough people around for them.

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        March 28, 2012 8:52 AM

        Star Wars has Need/Greed. Or did the first month, anyway.

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        March 28, 2012 9:02 AM

        The horror!

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        March 28, 2012 4:09 PM

        No they didn't. Not at all.

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          March 28, 2012 4:14 PM

          SWTOR's Normal Ops :

          For 8 man normal ops, each boss drops 2 tier tokens and 2 pieces of loot. The game picks 1 person to assign each of those pieces of loot to. One person cannot be picked twice. You getting a piece of loot means no one else will get that piece.

          WoW Panda Expansion RDF :

          You're rolling against yourself and not anyone else in the raid. For instance, if you have a 25% chance to win a drop, then you roll a [0,1] number. If the number is greater than 0.75, then you get loot off of the boss' table. No one else's rolls affect this. It's possible (but not probable) for everyone to get loot, or no one to get loot. This is what they mean when they said each roll is independent, and no one else's rolls effect yours.

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      March 28, 2012 7:38 AM

      Jumpin on the fail train eh Blizzard ???? I'm sure this will be exploited quick.... Forcing a player to get an item that is inferior to what they have while the lower geared player gets the shaft...

      Stay Classy Blizzard

      • kek
        March 28, 2012 8:01 AM

        How is that possibly an exploit?

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        March 28, 2012 8:11 AM

        blizzard has a lot of tools to track player data. they are probably doing this because evidence shows that, overwhelmingly, players can't be trusted to do the right/responsible/decent thing without an impartial, less efficient system doing loot allocation for them.

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        March 28, 2012 9:06 AM

        What is it with 'Stay Classy' being overused completely out of context lately?

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          March 28, 2012 4:31 PM

          This dude trolls every Blizzard article. Most likely he doesn't even know what it means.

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          March 28, 2012 4:34 PM

          stay classy atom519

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      March 28, 2012 7:44 AM

      In MMOs of the future you won't even have to interact with other people at all. You'll just have thousands of other players running around cluttering up the landscape while you do meaningless quests that are repeated over and over again and have no impact on the world.

      What an awesome genre!

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      March 28, 2012 4:35 PM

      I've never been a real big raiding fan, but I think I preferred it before you could just queue up with random people and get something. This was kind of a logical progression in how they've been approaching the game, where demands for equal loot opportunities are met across the entire spectrum of player involvement, but... It's all just feeling so cheap these days. You just show up, suffer a little bit with people you don't know and aren't even on your realm, and are rewarded by the loot train.

      I think this demonstrates how flawed raiding was from the get-go, if it's so discouraging to players that they need to band-aid it with an automatic raid generation system.

      I wish they'd just step back from raiding and center the game back on five player content, across PvE and PvP, and maybe even some refocusing on the solo experience. At the very least drop 25 player content entirely. I thought the idea of raiding was the coolest thing on the planet back when WoW first came out, but in actual practice I think it's turned out to be miserable for more than 95% of people who get involved in it.

      I feel as though I've just made a rambling, useless post.

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        March 28, 2012 6:04 PM

        Never fear, I read the whole thing!

        Personally, I don't think raiding is the flawed portion so much as the player base (and Blizzard catering to them/us). WoW has been on a gradual downward slope of "lets make things easier on players" since it released. At first, this was wonderful. The genre and game started out as a super hardcore environment and over time started to shed some of the shitty mechanics that made it less fun. The problem arises when Blizz just kept going with the simplification. It became bland and super casual (except for that absolute upper echelon of guilds going for world firsts).

        While I respect your opinion, I feel that Blizzard should do the exact opposite. Stop giving players the notion that they can do things alone. Focus more on getting the social aspect going again, rather than the anonymous focus battlegrounds and raiding have taken.

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          March 28, 2012 6:32 PM

          Well, it's like with Diablo 3, I'm sure they're going to have great small group mechanics that make it challenging and fun for coordinated groups and very difficult for uncoordinated groups. Number of players really doesn't have a lot of bearing on challenge in the macro sense; a single-player game can be extraordinarily tough.

          However, I think that when they sit down to create a game that's playable for 25 people at once, it necessarily reduces the available complexity for smaller groups. Designing for many players means that it has to become more of a numbers game, where things like threat and DPS and healing throughput become more important than micro-level things like whether a player has fast reflexes or precise movement of their character or the ability to do a jumping puzzle. You can't tune mechanics that are super challenging for a single person, because anything so challenging that a single skilled player is likely to fail at, when extrapolated over 25 players, means that a bunch of those players are likely to fail and thus make everything nearly impossible. It might make more sense with numbers; if I make something so tough that a skilled player has a 75% chance of completing it successfully, then what are the chances that 25 skilled players will all complete it successfully? 0.075%. What if they've only got a 50% chance? 0.00000300%. Obviously this is a simplification, and in a real world situation some players performing well may be able to compensate for one player screwing up, but in general, more moving parts is a higher chance for failure, so a designer will necessarily have to lower individual difficulty to compensate for increased group difficulty. I think the end result of this in WoW is pretty obvious to anybody who's been in a raiding guild: you end up with a lot of encounters where you really feel like you've personally played almost every encounter perfectly, based on the synchronized swimming type of gameplay it encourages, and yet you can still end up failing based on one or two people. It ends up feeling super easy for you, and the real gating factor ends up being whether the less experienced people can learn the steps.

          So I think that forcing the game designers to make an interesting raid game has consequences. They've really piled on the complexity involved with doing damage, so that you can essentially just be standing still, attacking a boss that's also basically just standing still, and still have to focus on what keys you're pressing, what order you're pressing them, whether your cooldowns are up, etc. Think about that. How many games do you know where just sitting there can be considered a fair amount of work?

          If they were able to take that part out and focus on small group stuff, they could also focus on making the individual experience richer.

          Just my theory.

          With regard to the social aspect, I've never felt like I knew more than 5 or 6 people in my guilds *well*, and the rest were largely just there. Maybe that's just my personality, but I'd speculate that a lot of people end up feeling the same way, where *most* of the people in their guild are just people they need to complete encounters rather than relationships they care about. Especially considering the churn in your average raiding guild.

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      March 28, 2012 4:43 PM

      doesn't this just encourage class only groups? why would you join a raid with another dps of your same armor class if you have to compete with them for loot?

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        March 28, 2012 5:12 PM

        No. In the system they describe, you're only rolling against yourself.

        The flow is :

        kill boss -> Do I get loot? -> (Yes) Give you usable loot.

        You are treated completely independently from the rest of the group. How you "roll" has no impact on anyone else's ability to get loot, and everyone else's roll has no impact on yours.

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      March 28, 2012 5:29 PM

      Man what are they going to do for people that don't get loot at all? I think they need to start handing out "I didn't get loot' trophies to anyone that logs out without getting any loot so that they won't go off and kill themselves while in a rut of depression.