Dual specs and loot: after the storm

| Saturday, May 2, 2009
In an earlier post I contemplated the effects of dual specs on loot distribution and also proposed the system of main, secondary, off for loot priority. Since then I attempted to do a followup based on some conversations with one of my guild's officers. Unfortunately that post never got finished.

My conversations with the officer seemed to have had some effect though. There was some sort of debate among the leadership about what to do about loot. I don't know the exact end result. However, my last time in Ulduar on Tuesday, during the Razorclaw loot, dual specs came up. A few people sent in offspec needs, but then after some questioning changed them to dualspec needs. Apparently the priority system has developed in some form.

Still, it's not a simple issue. One person's dual spec may be of greater use than another person's main spec, depending on attendance, size of upgrade, relative frequency of needing one spec or another, etc. Nevertheless, we're clearly making progress with loot distribution.

So now I wonder, how has your guild handled dual specs?

Sorry this is coming out so late. I don't like throwing out a bunch of posts all at once, so I'd delayed this one for other posts. Then it got buried under drafts and I only refound it now.


Stabs said...

Loot distribution is a big problem in WoW because the drops don't reflect the population.

Plate drops, for instance, are 33% tank, 33% healer and 33% dps. Plate wearing raiders include 2 tank specs, 3 dps specs, 1 healer spec plus 3 dk specs which can be either tank or dps but are commonly dps. So in a balanced group you will have a loot distribution as follows:

Per hundred plate drops
Ret pallies, Arms Warriors, Fury Warriors, 2 DK dps specs: 7 items each

Prot Warriors and Pallies, 1 DK spec: 11 items each

Holy pally: 33 items

Now that dual specs have come in the shrewd players will be stating their main spec is the category with the most competition and their offspec is the healer.

For example a Pally seeing those hundred drops will get 7 dps items and as much healing plate as he wants if he is Ret main, Holy second or he will get 0 dps items + healing plate if he is Holy main spec, dps second.

I can see a great many healers becoming "dps, don't mind healing as long as I can collect dps loot" since essentially it double-dips loot.

Klepsacovic said...

@Stabs: Loot would ideally reflect the average setup of a raid which is likely to differ radically from the overall raiding population. Do your numbers include tier pieces? Those can fit multiple specs of multiple classes and therefore are adaptable, making it harder to truly say there are X tank drops and Y DPS. Add onto that flexible items like 2h weapons for DK tanks, staves for hunters and feral DPS/tanking, spell power items without hit which are usable by many specs (though I make no claim that they are ideal).

The 'DPS' healers are a potential problem. Leadership would have to look at it and say "we looked over the last X number of raids and you are clearly a healer."

Stabs said...

Tier items and token systems (like Emblems of ___ get around it neatly).

As for flexible items those are even worse. Remember all the drama associated with Dragonspine Trophy, a physical dps trinket that dropped from Gruul? Everyone and his brother wants that - there were people who had seen it drop 20 times and rolled/bid every time without getting it.

As for the healer problem your solution does not work if you need them to heal. Tell a dps main/healer secondary who you need to heal that he won't be allowed dps loot because he's healing too much and he'll just say ok, I'll stop healing. Or guild-hop, after all he'll have pretty nice loot by now making him attractive to a more advanced guild.

I'm speaking really from my previous experience of playing a Holy Pally. I got stupid amounts of dropped epics because I usually had a monopoly on spellpower plate, but it was hard to get offspec stuff like rings and trinkets because there was always someone else who had prio, even in alt runs. Especially in alt runs.

I hope they address this at the design level. The simple solution is to adjust the % chance to drop on the drop table so the dps item is 5 times more likely to drop.

As it stands I have raided with a few different set ups and we have always had desperate competion for dps trinkets while sharding vast quantities of caster plate and caster mail.

I am expecting it to start becoming routine for players to manipulate the system in the manner I have described - from a selfish point of view it doubles your loot gain.

Klepsacovic said...

I did not mean flexible items as in useful cross-class. I meant useful cross-role.

Any loot system which is restrictive will increase the chances of guild-hopping. However the next guild in line might hear why the person left: they were no longer able to exploit the loot system. As a preventive measure leadership would have to be active in tracking drops and specs to quickly find people exploiting the system. Ultimately like any other loot system ever before, it comes down to people not being jerks and those around them monitoring the situation.

My own experience has been almost the opposite. In retrospect my guild should have started using secondary spec designation before 3.1. What's happened is that main specs kept getting small upgrades over off-specs which were going to become secondary and so the secondaries end up poorly geared. This happened to me with ret and it's making me nervous since while my prot gear is up to par, my ret gear is weaker than I think it should be, but since my guild isn't going to start booting me every other boss (this is part of what dual spec was intended to fix), we're just going to go ahead and have worse DPS. I will be trying to fix this once I have more time by joining naxx 25 PUGs, but even there I'm worried that I'll be tanking and facing competition from a dozen plate DPS and even if I manage to convince the ML to let me roll equally, the odds aren't good.

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