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New Dungeon Loot Feature: The New Ninja Feature?

Patch 3.2 introduced the following new feature:

New Dungeon Loot Feature

    Players will now be able to trade soulbound items with other raid or group members that were eligible for the loot. This system will work like the Item Buy Back system and allow 2 hours for players to trade an item after it has been looted. Players who choose to enchant or add gems to the item will get one last confirmation before losing the ability to trade the item.

When I was first made aware of this feature, I predicted this would allow for a new form of ninjalooting in pug groups; mainly the acquiring of gear by someone who doesn’t need it in order to pass it to someone that does. This would in effect give someone double the chance of acquiring gear.

Now I’m sure that most of us have run into this issue and either made our own decisions on how to handle it or watched others make a decision. It finally happened to me.

Last night while healing for the first time on my druid and helping finish a Naxx25 run the chance to trade loot came into play. This was our weekly Naxx25 with a majority of guildies and a few pugs thrown in to fill things out. Understand that, with only a couple of exceptions where I purchased gear on the AH, if it drops in there I need it. We had a trash ring drop which I rolled on and won. Mach also rolled. No one else did. So I gave it to him.

Why? I have 5 level 80’s. This is my 4th healer. I think it’s safe to say that I’ll live if I don’t get loot fast.

So I gave the ring to Mach. Big deal. No one else rolled so no skin off anyone’s nose, right? Right. But later at Kel’Thuzad I was lucky to win the helm token out of maybe 4 rolls. If I remember correctly, and maybe I don’t because Mikata says I’m old, then the second and third rolls were pugs and the fourth roll was a guildie. There might have been another roll in there, I can’t remember. So what did I do?

Well, the title wouldn’t make much sense if I hadn’t done something that might be considered controversial. After winning the roll, I whispered my guildmate and told her I was going to give her the token.

Question: Did I ninja loot?

Consider your answer right now, because I want to see if your answer changes when I present you with a couple of scenarios.

Scenario #1

I’m ubergeared. I’m completely decked out in Ulduar gear. It’s painfully obvious that I need no Naxx gear. I roll on an item that drops and win, but I decide to give it to a friend a little later even though that friend rolled and did not come in second. I didn’t want the item, but I didn’t want a random pug to get it either when the run is primarily a guild run with the intent to gear up some of our own undergeared members.

Scenario #2

I’m undergeared. Anything that drops in the raid will be an upgrade. I roll on an item and win, but I give it to a friend that rolled, but didn’t win. I want the item, but I know my friend does too and this just happens to be an alt that I’m not too worried about. However, the friend didn’t come in second on the roll and wouldn’t have won it if I hadn’t rolled. But I rationalize to myself that the pugs wouldn’t have gotten the item either way, because even if I hadn’t given it to my friend, I would have kept it myself.

My Answer

Obviously Scenario #1 is ninja looting. I don’t think anyone can argue otherwise. If it isn’t an upgrade, then don’t roll.

Scenario #2 is what I did. I rolled on the item. I won. I wanted the item. I still want it. It’s a huge upgrade considering I’m wearing an ilvl 159 blue quest reward. So I looked at the rolls, found the next highest guild roll and decided to give it to her. She, and apparently her husband, were very grateful.  Happy guildies = happy me. 🙂

I won the roll. Because it was an obvious upgrade for me there wasn’t any chance of me not rolling. And because I won the roll the pugs wouldn’t have gotten the item even if I hadn’t given it to a guild member.

So did I ninja loot? And if you don’t consider it ninja looting, what would you do if multiple guild members rolled and wanted it? Give it to the next highest roll? Are you doing it then because you think of it as ninja looting or because you want to avoid guild drama?

If you want to answer anonymously, I’ve posted a poll on the sidebar.


21 Responses

  1. this problem have been evident since 3.2 launched.. i’ve experienced this myself from the winning and losing end..

    this is not a problem at all for guild runs.. passing loot over to other guildies could ‘make the guild better’..

    however, in pug.. it’s a different case..

    honestly, i think that ‘mostly guild run’ is not a very good point to justify denying a pug off their deserved gear..

    i do agree that, well.. if u need it, roll.. if it’s an upgrade.. get it.. that has been the way of wow since err.. vanilla wow i guess..

    however, in a ‘mostly guild run’ is just a pug run in my point of view.. the pug is in the raid.. they contributed to the raid now matter how small their role is.. and they deserve their rights too..

    i’m not bashing u.. as i said.. i’ve been on both side of the scenario.. this trading bop business is still pretty new.. maybe someday there will be a new guideline(ethic code) just like the ‘greed before need’ for these scenarios..

  2. Well, I wouldn’t call it “ninja” – that sounds so dirty.

    But what you are effectively doing here is changing a roll system (highest roll wins) to, in essence, a loot council, where YOU are the council. You have the item, you decide who gets it based on whatever factors you determine. The pugs who rolled were doing so based on the fact that it was established at the beginning of the run (I’m assuming) as a roll loot system. When you won the roll and gave it to the guildie instead, that’s not honoring the roll system at all. The pugs might as well have not rolled.

    I do see both sides (and have been on both sides – including the side of the person who had to make the decision who to give it to and the side of the person who won the roll and then decided afterwards that i changed my mind and would rather it go to someone else.) In each case, I deferred to the roll system – whoever rolled the second-highest got the loot. It was only fair, in my mind.

    The guildie-versus-non-guildie shouldn’t be a factor, in my opinion – whoever rolled second highest should have gotten it if you didn’t use it yourself (I don’t see why you didn’t, though – if it was that much of an upgrade, why didn’t you use it yourself?)

    Just put yourself in the shoes of the pug who rolled second highest. 🙂

    Some would argue that since you won the roll, it was yours to do with as you wished. But see, if that were the case, then why couldn’t everyone in the raid roll on every drop, regardless of need or ability to use it?

    You did have good intentions and I wouldn’t call you a ninja, and the fact that you’re questioning yourself shows that you are not 100% decided one way or another on the issue, either.

  3. I guess the starting point was your original intent.

    Did you roll to get the item, or bolster your guildy’s chances (especially if you rolled after your guildy’s roll was beaten).

    If you genuinely rolled to keep the item, then there is no issue with the intent. If you rolled to bolster your guildy’s roll.. then the intention was to ninja.

    As for the direction the loot went in once you decided you didn’t want it…

    I have been in a few guild/pug raids where puggers were lucky to get a roll at all.. if they did, then not for the cream of the crop.

    Still, if the raid group was still together, I would probably have passed it to #2. If the raid group had already split for the night… not 100% sure… probably the guildy… of course, once again the question is whether the delay was a pure action, or intended to remove the puggers from the situation.

  4. I’m a ninja looter. I freely admit it.

    Today, I was in a brewfest group with my very own spouse and 3 random people. I was on an alt that in all honestly I didn’t particularly want a mount on. lo and behold – the mount dropped. first impulse I had? not to roll. second impulse and the one I followed through on: roll to give my SO an extra chance at a mount he really really wanted. He ended up winning the roll anyways, so it was a non issue at that point, but had I won the roll? you bet I’d trade that mount to him in a heartbeat. Its probably unfair and not particularly commendable behavior on my side, but happiness of someone I care about means a lot more to me then a random stranger, simple as that. and if that moment of joy can be achieved via pixelated unfair advantage? so be it.

  5. Yes, #2 is ninja looting. It alters the probability of winning the item. Your guildie has a higher probability of winning than the PuG because he has a 2x chance of winning (his normal chance + your normal chance).

    In general, passing to or giving loot to favored people wrecks the “fairness” of /random. It’s not a good idea, and should be severely discouraged.

    Even passing to the second highest is not a good idea, because you make the decision *after* you know who the second highest is. That knowledge alters the probabilities.

    Even though the new rules can cause headaches, in my opinion, the ability to correct genuine loot mistakes without resorting to a GM is very nice, and very useful.

  6. I’m going to make a couple of assumptions – one, anyone who can benefit from the item on their main spec (or in a pug, perhaps ‘current’ spec is more appropriate) is entitled to roll, and two, if an item is not an upgrade or does not convey something beneficial (eg a set bonus) then you probably shouldn’t be rolling, even if you’re formally entitled. You can argue both of these assumptions, it changes how you view what happens. But what these assumptions mean is that by the time we get to the roll we have established that the people rolling are a)equally entitled to the item and b)have an equal chance to win it.

    So in this situation, whether you need the gear or not, and whether it is an upgrade relative to the other players, is not the issue. It all comes down to intent. If you consciously roll on an item with the intention of giving it to another player if you win, you are unfairly stacking the odds against any other players who roll for that item. It is ninja looting and you should not, ethically, be rolling in the first place.

    If, however, you genuinely qualify for an item, believe you need it, roll on it and win it, but later decide through guilt or generosity to hand it to someone else, that’s *arguably* fair game. I say arguably, because the most ethical thing to do at that point would be to either hand it to the person who rolled second, or ask all the people who originally rolled to re-roll. But the fact that you were entitled to roll and won it fairly means the item becomes legitimately yours, to do with as you choose. If you choose to vendor it, disenchant it, or stick it in your bank and never use it, that would be up to you, so I guess handing it over is fair game too. I wouldn’t think that if I’d lost out on the roll though, I’d feel cheated.

  7. Yeah, It is ninjaing…

    A roll is a roll. If you won it, fine. Use it. But to roll just so a pug doesn’t get it, well. I have a problem with that.

    I guess its just me being overly generous. Yes, guildies come first, but even if your only pug 1 or 2, that raid would most likely not have happened without them. They have every right to the loot as well. It sucks to see good loot go to pugs, especially if you had the intent of gearing up other toons, but RNG is RNG.

    This would have been punishable in my guild.

  8. Its rough being pugged into someone’s guild raid. You know you’ll be looked down upon and mistrusted from the beginning and you can be damn near certain that no loot is going to be flowing your way. Never mind that without you, this guild wouldn’t be able to fill out their raid. That fact usually gets ignored or dismissed with quiet contempt.

    If you do luck out into getting into a foreign guild’s raid and they’re using a free roll system for loot then congratulations, you might walk out of the zone with something to show for your mostly thankless contribution.

    Unless everyone in this other guild is rolling on stuff they aren’t going to use just so you don’t get it over a guildie.

    Keep it fair. Only roll on what you’re going to use, anything else isn’t your business.

  9. Yes, you clearly ninja an item because you chose You chose to ignore the intent of the loot rule: highest roll wins an upgrade for himself/herself. You (subconsciensly) thought of the PuGs as not worthy of an equal chance at loot.

    If you believe your behavior was correct, why don’t you state “Anyone for which the item is an upgrade can roll Need and the winner can trade the item to his friends and guildies if desired” when you form your next mixed raid? I would be interested how many PuGs left the raid at that time and how much loot drama occured during the raid if the trades are transparent.

    I believe this would be a non-event and not worthy of a post if you did not feel a pang of guilt.

    Guilt is a good thing.

  10. While the intent was not to ninja, that was the effect.

    Passing the item after the first roll, that was fine. But from that point you had decided that you didn’t need any of the gear in that run. By not rolling, you still would have increased the chances that your guildie would have won subsequent rolls.

    By rolling and passing you devalued the loot rules by deciding to pick and choose who would get the loot.

    Take the following roll example

    /92 Pug #1 (Guild B)
    /84 guildie (your guild)
    /53 You
    /48 Pug #2 (Guild B)

    So what happens now? If Pug 1 rolls and passes to Pug 2? How do you feel about that? You and your guildie both needed it? But someone else decided that you weren’t worthy of it.

    Those Pugs enabled your raid to happen. They didn’t just bring buffs or more dps. They brought their time and enabled you to do what you wanted in the game rather than walk around Dalaran with your mounts on slow. You owe them the respect of fair looting policy.

    And for those who disparage pugs, unless you were one of the lucky ones who got into a guild with RL friends the instant you rolled your character, remember you were a pug once too.

  11. Yep, you were a ninja. Just because Blizz allows stuff to be traded doesn’t mean that there is now gray area in what’s right or wrong. So you’re a hero to your guildmate…is it worth it? I suppose so if your conscience doesn’t bother you.

  12. If I knew a guildie needed the item too and I was on an alt, then I wouldn’t have rolled for it in the first place even if there was a possibility that my guildie could lose it to a PUG. Saves a lot of trouble. 🙂

  13. This was an issue before the patch as well. It was easy to win a roll and ticket the item to a guildie stating the ML mislooted an item. With the new trading mechanics it’s made it easier… but every clever player already knew how to exploit this prior to the patch.

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and say what you did was fair game. You were in that run not only to gear yourself up, but to gear up your guildies. If the loot rules were unlimited loot… then you’re free to roll on everything. If the loot were one item per wing and you were not taking more loot than that… then you’re free to roll on what you choose.

    I’ve done this multiple times. Yes, it’s not fair to the PUG but if the PUG wants fair the PUG should run with their guild or a steady group of people. When you’re freelance raiding you should expect to have the deck stacked against you. Yes, you’re helping the raid progress… but if you’re in need of a lot of gear then you’re more than likely being carried more than you are an asset. I know that’s not always the case but PUGs are typically interchangeable…

    The only time I would call this a “dick” move is if you win the piece from someone who has won nothing, and rolled on nothing for the entire run. The guy or gal who is just looking for that one piece. If that wasn’t the case then you did the right thing for you and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. Hell, I’ve done it a few times and it helped my guild so while I’m not wearing the piece it does indirectly help me.

  14. I have to agree with Ron.

    When i PUG into some other guild raid, i expect to end the night with a lot of…emblems. Nothing more.

    If i’m lucky enough to WIN a roll then great but i expect to have to roll against everyone that could potentially use the item no matter if they need it or not.

    It might not seem fair to the PUG…but i see it as its a guild run first so most of the loot should go to the guild. Plus the PUG do have a chance of winning some items if he’s the higher roll. Sure, the raid might not have happen without the 2-3 PUG but those 2-3 PUG wouldnt have been raiding either without the 22-23 guildies. A bunch of emblems and a chance to win some items should be enough for a PUG and thats true wether i’m the PUG or the guildie.

  15. Me too. Have to agree with the last two posts… I go into pugs expecting only emblems. I will typically pass on everything except a truely needed item… then will ask party if “okay to need” like most folks do. I have yet to not get an item under those circumstances.

  16. “A mostly guild run” is like “a little pregnant.” If you need to PUG people to make it happen, then you should consider them equal when it comes to loot.

    Since you guys allowed them to roll in the first place, I’m guessing they were told they would be able to win loot.

    What you did wasn’t technically ninjaing, but it was pretty tacky. If you truly needed it, you should have kept it. If you didn’t need it, you should have given it to #2, PUG or not. If you wanted your friend to get it, you shouldn’t have rolled at all.

    Making the decision post-roll is changing the loot rules on the fly and on the sly, which isn’t cool.

  17. The false honor some people are showing here is absolutely laughable. Lets put this in to perspective to the “fair” people who have commented thus far:

    – Given a choice in hiring a friendly, former colleague who has been out of work for some time or a stranger with slightly better credentials, what would you do?

    – Given a choice of buying the last in the store for your child on Christmas Eve or passing it to the person who entered the store before you, what would you do?

    Two simple questions that you wouldn’t have to think twice about before answering. Why should something as unimportant (in life) as a piece of loot be treated any differently? Ky made the same decision for his group of people, his “in game family” if you would, that any “fair” person here would have made in the real life examples I listed above.

    My point… if we’re not going to be as honorable in real life, why should we try to be even more honorable in a virtual game?

  18. Ron, don’t assume everyone in this world has as little honor sense as u.. Just because u’re not capable of being generous, doesn’t mean the world is full of selfish people..

  19. Ron: Please don’t paint us all with your “false honor” brush. I’d hire the better candidate and pass the toy. Easily.

  20. He was intending to keep the item for himself but compassion lent over and smacked him in the back of the head OK. How many of the “Saints” here have won for example a frozen orb you wanted for your self and a couple of hours later given to a guildie to craft something? If the answer is none then you probably do not actually give two flying %^% about your guild mates or friends if the answer (the more likely one) is that most have done that at least once then congratulation you successfully fell off your high horse, it’s a little different but not by an notable margin yes one is a BoP and ones a BoE but that line is a little blurred these days anyway

    Also Ron though rough about it holds many salient points if you actually READ and digest his comments before jumping on the defensive but then blunt people always get that reaction…. People do not like being put on the spot haha.

  21. […] of it has been due to another issue. As you know I hit 80 on my druid not too long ago and even ninja’d an item the other day. So what now? For many people the answer is obvious. Gear up. The problem is, […]

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