Saturday, January 02, 2010

Disenchanting Option

The new disenchanting option in the default loot systems is interesting. Coriel is an enchanter, so it's always available whenever I do a random heroic.

In general, I like the option when doing random heroics. It's very convenient, and it saves me the trouble of handing out shards at the end. I'm somewhat sympathetic to those enchanters who feel it has taken away the profitability of enchanting, as they're probably correct. But I don't really look at professions as a means to make money, so more convenience for me is more important.

It's an interesting change, as it was a game system change that was driven by a social behavior. Enchanters were gathering unwanted items and handing out shards at the end of runs. Blizzard didn't really make this change for gameplay reasons, but to preserve a emergent social behavior that the playerbase had agreed to. This seems like a rare move for them, and I wonder if there are any other examples of social behavior that was later codified into game law.

However, I don't think the DE option is perfect. In fact, I think that the Disenchant Option should be disabled in the Group Loot system.

The DE Option is perfect for random heroics because of the forced loot system and transitory nature of the groups. You can't really trust the enchanter to stick around and hand out shards. As well, since you can't trade permanent items cross-server, the downside to accidentally DE'ing an item is low. After all, you can just run more heroics.

However, in other situations, I think the chance of making an irreversible mistake with the DE button is too high. Let's say you're in a raid that wants to use Group Loot with a "Need for main-spec, Greed for Off-spec, pass otherwise" rule. Right away you can see that someone accidentally hitting DE is going to cause problems.

It's especially annoying because Blizzard allowed Bind-on-Pickup items to be temporarily trade-able to other people in the raid. That made loot distribution a lot easier, because you could recover from mistakes. Did Deborah the Death Knight accidentally roll need on a caster staff? No problem, just trade it to the right person.

But the DE button cuts against that. It allows people to make unrecoverable mistakes with loot, which leads to drama and GM tickets. Simply disabling the DE button in Group Loot would eliminate all those problems. After all, you can still disenchant items manually if necessary.

To sum up, the Disenchanting Option is a good fit for the Need Before Greed system used in Random Dungeons, but it is not a good fit for the Group Loot system used elsewhere in the game.


  1. very interesting point in your post. There are times that I would want to greed but I ended up hitting the Disenchant by mistake. Never cross my mind of that kind of situation in a raid.

  2. Very interesting idea! hmm, how about we give the Raid/group leader the option to turn the thing off/on? :) that would be nice too! :D

  3. In random pick up groups:
    "The Need Before Greed loot system will be the unalterable default looting system for pick-up groups in the Dungeon Finder and has been updated."

    Of course that statement is point less since we're talking about a raid XD

  4. The biggest flaw I've noticed with the system in PUGs is that you can't ever /need on an item of a type that isn't the best for your class, e.g. a druid can't roll need on cloth even if no clothies want it. I've won a couple DE rolls to find out someone could have found a use for the item, but had to roll greed, and I always feel vaguely guilty afterwards. I guess the solution is to talk these things out at the beginning of a run, but these randoms aren't typically all that talkative and maybe not even prone to agreeing about such things.

  5. "I wonder if there are any other examples of social behavior that was later codified into game law."

    Back in the really old days, there was no "Greed" option. It was need or pass. When the loot dialog popped up, everybody stated "n" or "g" indicating that they would actually use the item or just vendor it :-)

    Something the new LFG system removed for me was starting a dungeon group by typing /who [mylevel -3]-[mylevel +3] and asking everybody on that list if they wanted to join me in some dungeon.

    Concerning the disenchating option:
    I have an enchanter on 80 and i really didn't like those raids where i was to gather all the crystals and hand them out after the run.
    You always had the risk of someone accidentaly "needing" an item anyway (BoPs being tradeable for 2hours being rather new). The "offspec-gear is better than disenchant"-problem Busket states just shows that you can't make a fool proof system that caters everyone. Someone might always click the wrong button.

  6. The LFG tool assigned me an amazing paladin healer for Mana-Tombs. There was nothing he couldn't heal and he never lost any mana.

    I inspected him and he had very nice gear, collected from all armor classes. I think they were mostly BoE or quest rewards.

    But the stupid disenchant options means that he will have a way lower chance at an upgrade in the level up dungeons, unless there is no enchanter present.

    This is especially bad for the vanilla content where nearly no sp/crit plate exists.


    I stopped playing my level 80 druid until this stupid loot system goes away. I want an option to roll need on cloth. If that need gets lower priority then cloth wearer, that's ok. But it needs to have a higher priority than disenchant or greed.


    And my DK couldn't roll need on these although they were a clear update and got disenchanted.

    Not a big deal but it's just stupid... why not put a class restriction on every item then? If is just wrong that you have to create a guild group to get some upgrades because of this system.


    This will be a problem for every non-cloth wearing class in a few month when cataclysm comes out and we actually need upgrades from the new heroics.

  7. I agree with the OP. Situations when someone hits a wrong button just appear, no matter how careful everyone wants to be.

    I was in a situation when a tier-set item was accidently given to the wrong character (who couldn't even use the item, of course).

    You have to contact the GMs and sometimes they are willing to "correct" your mistake. But they only do this ONE TIME per character, so you better don't mess up...