Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Loot System Suite

This would be my ideal suite of built-in loot systems for an MMO. Each system is aimed and optimized for a different audience.

1. Personal Loot
  • Items are handed out on an individual basis, and are independent of other people in the group.
  • Items cannot be traded.
  • Aimed at eliminating loot drama entirely, as you get what the system gives you.
  • Is the fixed loot system for any group activity where you queue for a group.

2. Master Loot
  • The group leader gets full control over who gets which items.
  • Items can be traded with other people in the same group.
  • Aimed at guild groups who want to use their own system, be it Loot Council, DKP, etc, to distribute loot.

3. Need/Greed with WinCount
  • 3 buttons on an item popup: Main-spec, Off-spec, Greed.
  • Main-spec beats Off-spec beats Greed.
  • Each button has a WinCount associated with it for each player.
  • WinCount starts at zero for the instance
  • When you win an item, the WinCount for the button you chose is incremented by 1.
  • Lower WinCount beats higher WinCount.
  • If choice and WinCount are tied, random roll for winner.
  • Items can be traded with other people in the same group. This does not affect WinCount.
  • No Disenchant option, so mistakes with loot are always recoverable.
  • Aimed at pre-made groups who want a reasonably fair loot system that distributes loot widely with minimal administrative overhead.
  • Someone who rolls Main-spec all the time is expected to be dealt with by the group leaders. If people insist on gaming the system, then Personal Loot or Master Loot is a better option.
  • Basically requires more trust, in exchange for more speed and less overhead.

4. Auction
  • 2 button on an item popup: Bid, Pass, with a short timer.
  • Bidding starts at 1000 gold.
  • Bid increases the current bid by 10%.
  • If the timer runs out, the item goes to the highest bidder.
  • Gold is taken from winning bidder and divided evenly among other players in the group.
  • Items cannot be traded.
  • If no one bids, the item is given to someone at random.
  • Aimed at pre-made groups which want to sell items to people, rewarding geared players who help carry the group.
  • This type of system is popular in Asia, so may as well build it in for them.
There would be some other restrictions. Like when you make a group in the group finder, you have to choose a loot system, which is clearly displayed. Once you've chosen a loot system and listed your group, you cannot change it.

This is the type of loot system suite I would like. Each system is very different from the others, and has specific places in the game, or specific audiences, where it is better suited. I think that is a better way to go than four systems which only differ from each other slightly.


  1. Well, I'd give that suite two thumbs up.

    Only thing is that it feels like if you hardcode a starting bid in the Auction system (like your 1000 gold), guaranteed it's either going to be way too much or way too little for a lot of groups.

    1. Yeah, the starting point would have to vary by level, and maybe what type of content you are doing.

      The problem is that if the bidding starts too low, the first 10 or so bids are a waste of time (because the increment is fixed at 10%) where you're just getting the price up to where it gets interesting.

  2. It just seems like you are trying to overly complicate the existing loot system, which is just fine, in order to make all players choice fixed. You cant take humanity out of an mmo - either deal with the occasional letdowns or stick to single player games.

    1. Most of these options already exist in WoW, though. Master Loot stays as it is, Personal Loot gets restricted, and I adjusted Need/Greed to better fit how most guilds who roll for loot use it.

      Then Auction/Gold DKP is thrown in mostly because I find it interesting and unique, and it's a system that works a lot better with mechanical support.

      As for taking humanity out of an mmo, why was Personal Loot introduced in the first place? The old Need/Greed was good enough. FFXIV has gotten by just fine with only that system. But there was enough of a social problem that a mechanical solution was warranted.