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A Better Loot System: Opt-in Master Looter

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Acidblood, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Acidblood

    Acidblood Cupcake-About-Town

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    I agree with what you've said, I just meant it more in the sense of 'getting it right'. As in there is a fine line between making rare (best in slot, or close enough too) loot too easy to get (so everyone has it given a practical amount of time), verse making it too hard so only the really lucky get it (and most people just give up). Add to that that everyone's definition of where that line is is different and it makes hitting that 'sweet spot' harder than you might think, but not impossible.
    Little bit of both. I've had my share of bad rolls and ninja loots, and yeah, when you have been running an instance for a week to get a certain item only to see it go to someone's 'offspec' it kinda stings a little. As you said though it's only pixels, and they are only games, so I don't get too bent out of shape about it, but that doesn't mean we can't all have a bit of fun speculating about ways to make things better.
    Maybe, but I would rather do over-engineered and have to scale it back a bit than under-engineered and leave gaping holes. Also, the reasons for the diagrams and such is that it's a new idea (as far as I know), or at least one that's foreign to most people, and it generally takes a bit of explaining (and diagrams help) to get people to understand new ideas. Well, having them experience it is the best way, but since I won't be launching an MMO any time soon this is the best I've got.

    Also, why is that everyone is so quick to say 'rolling is fine' but I am yet to see one person justify that with more than 'it's tried and true' What is it that makes a rolling system so damn good? Really I want to know, because I just do not get it.
     
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  2. Jojin

    Jojin Cupcake-About-Town

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    The best part of this system, is in it's simplicity of design. Everyone understands how it works and it actually puts a lot of the decision making into the players hands, which is where it should remain.

    There will be people who make good decisions and others who make poor choices, but in a game where we are playing with others, this is part of what it means to really interact. The ups and downs with the game and the players build up a connection to the game and make us feel a part of something real.

    If some overly complex system or loot for everyone is put into place, it feels really cold and boring. There is little reason to care about who I am with, aside from their ability to pull their weight so I can get my goody bag at the end. This is the feeling I get from many of the recent games, often times never needing to talk to the other members.
     
  3. Doomgrin

    Doomgrin Cupcake-About-Town

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    If there is one thing about Gw2 is that everyone gets their own roll. No guarentees on what you get, but the spoils are yours to do with as you please. So now instead of artificial systems, debates, DKP, blah, blah, it is now just a matter of trade/economy.
     
  4. lusciifi

    lusciifi Cupcake-About-Town

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    To me rolling will always be a more fun loot system then just everyone gets their own. Its hard to quantify fun, but ive played games with both systems and i enjoy rolling for loot WAY more.

    You may think that not getting something every fight is not fun, its your opinion and i respect that. But i actually like loot being rare. There are less payoffs but the payoffs are bigger. Its incredibly fun for me to finally get that last piece of a set or uber rare trinket ive been waiting months to get.

    Like i have said previously, this is fine for solo/small group play but would just be a terrible system for raids. Most guilds i have been in have not had any loot drama. DKP is a more fair system then just everyone getting loot because if there's a super rare drop, some trial app cant take it and quit the guild the next day. It also allows you to save your points for something you really want. Instead of having the same tiny chance of getting it every week, you can have a better chance when it drops to be able to pick it up.

    To the trade/economy comment, i assume you are talking about pretty much everything being BoE. This system works okay in a game with little gear progression but in a more traditional MMO loot format, full BoE loot would ruin the progression.
     
  5. Draegan

    Draegan Cupcake

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    I agree, balance is always that hardest part of design.
     
  6. Acidblood

    Acidblood Cupcake-About-Town

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    Thank you, and I agree to an extent... There is a definitely a thrill to winning a roll on a good piece of gear you have been wanting, but there is also a thrill to seeing it drop in the first place and I disagree about the decision making, interaction and the simplicity.

    Yes, there is decision making and interaction in an organised group, but that has a lot more to do with it being an organised group (that communicates) than with a rolling loot system; i.e. free for all works in an organised environment (though yes, rolling does help with the organisation). However, when you are in a less organised group, usually with strangers, and usually with at least 1 who refuses to communicate (talk or listen) at all, then any decision making and positive interaction by the other group members with regards to loot under a rolling system can easily be lost, often replaced with negative interaction (kicking, ignoring, and worse).

    Also, the main reason everyone knows rolling is because it's used so much; and it's just need or greed, a seemingly simple choice, right? Not so much when you consider all the factors that go into making it an informed choice (upgrade? better for someone else? someone just rolled need anyway, should I? ...); it can get pretty complex. Granted this is mostly overcome within a well organised group, but again this has a lot more to do with communication than with the loot system itself. And again, it is in the less organised group where it can all fall apart so quickly, and again, to borrow a metaphor; it only takes 1 bad apple to ruin the whole bunch.

    Now maybe the bad apples should just be kicked, ignored and excluded? And for some this is all you can do, but it leads to a slippery slope when this is the fate of all those who don't play be the unwritten rules, and make no mistake a rolling system, while as you say has a 'simplicity of design' on the surface, has a lot of unwritten rules; that usually change depending on who is involved.


    Also thank you, and I guess you have a slightly different definition of fun than I do, but then so does everyone. As I've said a few times though, I do not believe everyone should get something for every fight, as yes, there is definitely a thrill to having something that you want drop, and 'wining it'. Keeping that event rare enough so as to not dilute that feeling should be a goal of any loot system, and something that, yes, I do agree games with personal loot have generally gotten wrong.

    It does not have to be this way though, and one of the key features of opt-in master loot is the sharing of loot (and thus the removal of the need for loot fountains), but sharing only among those who are willing to participate. Those that do not participate are not punished, they still get their own loot, but they do miss out on the benefits of loot sharing. Note: I'm assuming that with group based PvE challenges being one of the focuses of elder game WildStar will have a lot of Bind on Pickup loot.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Again thank you for the replies, they have certainly made me put my thinking cap back on. At the risk of making opt-in master loot slightly more complex (though it's a relative straight forward system, it just has a lot of depth and flexibility if you want it), I've come up with some small changes and the addition of distribution rules.

    The changes are that players no longer nominate someone else to be a master looter, but rather volunteer themselves, setting a distribution rule and rarity level* when they do. Again, those who do not opt-in (or a master looter with no one opted in to them) simply use a personal loot system.

    Distribution rules determined how the loot is automatically distributed among those who opt-in to that master looter. Some examples of distribution rules would be:
    • Manual. The loot is not automatically distributed; basically like the master looter option in games like WoW.
    • Rolling, the 'tried and true'. Any loot picked up by the master looter is rolled upon (need, greed, etc.) by those who opted in. This could be the default as it seems popular.
    • Vote. Each player that opted in votes who should get which item, tied votes are rolled upon.
    Note: These are just examples, and can be refined or more added later. I'm not sure about the technical aspects (I don't have access to Carbines code) but I think it would be interesting if addons could add additional distributions systems into the game for guilds with DKP, EPGP, etc.

    * Just to clarify, examples of rarity levels would be (and I'll use standard ones as I don't know what they are in WildStar): Epic, Rare (default), Magic, Common, Junk, and 'Opt-in decides'. For 'Opt-in decides', the player opting in would pick which level they want to opt-in at and would only share access to items of that rarity and above; this option may not strictly be needed, but I feel it adds more flexibility to the system for those that want it.

    Edit: I'll update the OP with these details later once I've had more of a chance to think on them and get some feedback.
     
  7. Diableblanc

    Diableblanc Cupcake

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    Seconded. This is why I don't like joining forums at the pre-game stage, look at all this people arguing and just discussing about a system that they haven't even tried and may/or MAY NOT be bad :/. I'd just rather have the dice roll, master looter? what if you get a group full of other guildies and they needed just one more. And the guy turns out to be a douche and doen'st give you anything. Dice rolling and how tera did (you can't roll for any other class that not your own unless there isn't that class in the party) it's good enough.
     
  8. BrokSamson

    BrokSamson Cupcake-About-Town

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    I vote...well a few things.

    1. Put a dkp system in for guilds so they don't have to pen and paper it, and allow the guild to see the transactions. It is not that hard when you have an SQl database backing things.

    2. Put in personal loot as well as the rest of it. Every kill should give everyone something. It will be cooler.

    3. Pug dungeons are the hardest thing to figure out so do a few small things like make class specific gear only rollable by classes and if nobody is in there that can roll on it...de it or whatever the WS version of that is automatically so it is simple. Simple...not perfect, but that is the best you will ever get in that situation.
     
  9. Jojin

    Jojin Cupcake-About-Town

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    The game mechanic design is simple, not complex. The social interaction of members and decision making is a human function and therefore is always complex.

    This whole fear concept that something might go wrong isn't a good groundwork to restrict the freedom and abilities of us as players. It only leads to things which bog down the game and make it a cold boring environment.

    I want to make my own decisions and I want others to make decisions. This is how we get to know the nature of others and can spark new friendships. I like to know if a person I am with is a considerate individual or a greedy one. I also want the ability to be giving myself, so they can know the same about me. Sure, sometimes people will be greedy, but that's part of life. It's all these possible outcomes; the emotional ups and downs which breed unique life into the game.

    When you talk with friends about the game, you never hear boasting, "You remember that time we all got our individual loot drop?" "Yeah, what about it?" "Well, we all got it."... Instead you hear stories about, "Yeah John was pretty cool, he passed on X so I could start doing Y." "Or yeah, we quit playing with Greg, he always rolled on everything, so now we take Jane with us."

    I don't want some cold calculated system in place in some vain attempt to stop the chance of something bad happening, especially when worst case isn't really a big deal; not getting a piece of loot isn't the end of the world.
     
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  10. Acidblood

    Acidblood Cupcake-About-Town

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    I thought a bit more about your earlier post after I replied, and I take your point, but I don't see the experiences you are talking about, or the decisions that lead to them, being totally lost with an opt-in loot sharing system (i.e. Opt-in master looter). Yes it is a bit more complex conceptually than enforced rolling, but it gives people choices, and just as many decisions if they still want them, the difference is that depending on the choices others make your decisions may not impact quite so heavily on them. The bad often highlights the good, I get that, I just don't believe we need the bad to enjoy the good.


    I would like to see a built in DKP system as well... It needs to be customisable though, so guilds can use there own flavour, but still with a good enough base offering that you can pick it up and use it without customisation. Unfortunately I don't know anywhere near enough about DKP systems to offer any suggestions, so I'll leave that to others.


    I thank you all for your feedback, and while I'll still keep an eye on this thread (among others), I think I have enough for now, and that the system I originally proposed has evolved enough that it really needs a fresh thread, but that's for the beta forums once I know more about what is in the game already.
     
  11. moneda

    moneda Cupcake-About-Town

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    Take heart in knowing the devs are watching. ;)
     
  12. CRB_Gortok

    CRB_Gortok Carbine Econ Designer

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    I saw you post in another thread somewhere. It was interesting to read and I instantly like the idea. I am not sure that it can be made viable, though. I am not responding in any official sense, more because I enjoy interesting designs. I admit I have not read this iteration or the responses, but here is my take:

    Per player loot is drastically different from group loot. Loot that goes to a group can feel rewarding even if you did not personally get anything. If you have individual loot and you get nothing at all, that is not satisfying. Because of this, group loot can get away with being less rewarding on the whole, where as per player loot has to reward something much more frequently.

    There are many ways to handle this, but all of them pretty much involve choosing a path and sticking with it. I suspect that this hybrid approach, while very interesting, leaves one of the two scenarios feeling lacking (most likely individual loot). The reason is because of balance.

    We would not be able to change the loot table depending on whether you opt-in or not. That means the drops would be balanced around one or the other, and one approach would always either be or feel wrong (both are bad).

    Let's say you kill a boss that would normally drop 1 item for a group of 5 people. You have now created 1 items worth of wealth, and someone will possibly get an upgrade. In an opt-in system, you have a few ways to rebalance this:

    1) Each person gets their own item from the same drop table. This creates a lot of wealth. And if you opt-in you now have 5 times as many chances to get an optimal item. This is not viable.
    2) Each person has a 20% chance to get an item. In this case opting in is always the right choice because you have a 20% chance to get an item that may have a 10% chance of being good for you.
    3) Each person has a chance to get an item they can use. You are either increasing the overall wealth creation, or the drop rate has to be incredibly small. Either way, opting-in is fairly pointless; you got something you could use already.

    In a game with pickup raids things are rebalanced quite a bit. I think the opt-in idea comes as clever hybrid to the pickup vs guild raids issue, but to make it work I feel like you would need to have a whole loot system designed around making sure players got the same amount of wealth for killing a boss whether they opted-in or not and that is a tremendous amount of work for not a lot of payoff.

    WildStar has both systems, but they are separate. Some things are dropped for the group, and some things are individual.
     
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  13. Acidblood

    Acidblood Cupcake-About-Town

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    Yeah getting the balance right would be tricky, and like you said, you would have to design from the ground up to really get it right, as personal loot would be the one that suffers. In theory this may encourage players to communicate more and form friendships, but then I'm an optimist not a psychologist. I also had the idea of skewing the odds, so under option 2. it would more likely to drop items for your class, which I think would help both with making personal loot more rewarding and with the whole 'we have too many X class / X armour wearers', but again it would have to be designed for to get it right.
    Great to know, and I can't wait to see it in action :)
     

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