Friday, January 30, 2015

Personal Loot vs. Master Looter: Your Preference and Why

img. WoW Interface
This is something that's been on my mind since the introduction of the Personal Loot option in Warlords of Draenor raids. Through anecdotal evidence I can report that there seems to be a clear favorite, but I'm also aware of the benefits to each method. I'm on the fence---I'm not sure you can say which method is best, because the best method can vary widely based on the motivations of the raid group.

While probably not necessary for the audience, I'll still briefly describe the difference between the two systems: with Personal Loot, everyone has a %chance to receive an item from the boss. With Master Looter, the raid is guaranteed one item per five players, and the loot master hands out the items based on the type of loot system being used (Need over Greed, Loot Council, DKP, etc.).

Heading into Warlords, I had an old-school attitude. Manually dishing out loot is part of what makes it a raid! Then, nearly every group I joined outside of our guild raid was using Personal Loot---granted, this may be a result of the fact that the groups are PUGs. Still, I couldn't help but notice that with Personal Loot A) Loot takeaways were equal to and often better compared to Master Loot B) No time was wasted calling for rolls, tracking them, dishing out the loot, etc. It jogs up the memory of having to wait to pull Iron Juggernaut during the Siege of Orgrimmar because our master looter was still handing out drops from Galakras.

Not only does Personal Loot take less time, but it removes the guesswork behind who gets what. No raiders are going to accidentally roll for something they can't use; no raiders are going to miss a call for rolls on an item they could use; and finally, a raiders' ire is directed solely at RNG---not at the player who won the roll over them, or the raid leader's unfair loot system. I feel Personal Loot works well for our guild, which fields a consistent 1-night raid, though it wouldn't for a group that prefers to gear its player more strategically.

That's just my take though---and not all of my fellow guildies would agree with it! I'm curious to know which method you prefer, and the reasons for that preference. Feel free to reply to me on Twitter!


  1. Our raid does Master Looter. It's nice because we generally get along, so folks will often pass up loot to shore up someone who's lagging because of bad luck. We don't have that opportunity for Personal Loot. It helps build camaraderie.

  2. In my guild we use master looter for the main raids, but we're running mythic content and use a loot council to distribute loot out to those who can use it best. We didn't do this from the start though - for the first couple of normal & heroic resets we used personal loot as it gave people a nice baseline of gear.

    That said, we had a range of loot drops from 80% of the raid getting something from a boss to no loot dropping at all - aka what you'd expect for a normal distribution of per-player loot chances!

    For adhoc / casual / fun raids we'll use personal loot to reduce the load on the raid leaders - they're supposed to be fun raids after all! And as you note, it really speeds up raids.

  3. We used Personal Loot for a while but switched back to Master Looter for a few reasons:
    1. We had a couple of bosses in a row where no one got any loot at all. RNG at its best, no doubt, but it freaked people out. The argument was made that had we been on ML, we'd have been guaranteed some drops - even if no one could use them they could have been DEd.
    2. On PL people would get pieces that they had no use for but that other people really needed and they were unable to give them to the person in need. People found this very frustrating (we are a rather altruistic group).
    3. Enchants are really expensive right now. We need to be able to DE pieces that are BoP but not good for anyone. On PL, those who weren't Enchanters were SoL.
    4. BoEs that dropped went to individuals and we had to ask people to donate them back to the guild for guild funds if no one could use them. This felt bad.

    Personally, as the loot master, I would prefer to use PL. It saves soooo much time - but unless there is a way around the above, I'm stuck missing trash while I dole out loot.