Raiding Spotlight: Loot Council

6 05 2009

Every once in a while, I’ll try to take a detailed look at a specific element of the raiding game. Today in the spotlight: Loot Council.

Loot Council, like DKP in its various forms, is a way to distribute loot to a raid. It functions by having a select group of Officers discuss the items that drop from a given boss and then deciding who in the raid would best benefit from the items in question. It can range from having zero interaction from the rank-and-file members of a guild, where the loot council makes all the decisions. Or, as happens in my guild, raid members put in bids on an item and then the council deliberates on who receives the item. Some of the factors usually involved in a loot council decision are attendance, suckage/awesome factor and how much of an upgrade the new item would be.

Now, why would your guild want to use a loot council system?

  • People won’t be bidding DKP on items frivolously, and won’t steal upgrades from players who need them more.
  • Loot will be distributed fairly in a way that benefits the raid over the individual.
  • Getting loot feels less competitive (compared to something like a secret-bid DKP system).
  • Players won’t be able to make bad decisions, like hoarding DKP for one item that isn’t even much of an upgrade.
  • Being passed over for an upgrade may provide an incentive to perform better in future raids.
  • Simplicity. Easy to explain to recruits, no need to maintain an account of who spent what when, etc.

Why wouldn’t you want to use a loot council?

  • If your loot council, or even one member of it, is corrupt, stupid, or anything like that, the whole system can pretty much fail.
  • It takes a lot more time for a loot council to discuss an item than to have players /roll or bid DKP, which uses up valuable raid time.
  • Members of a loot council do not necessarily know what’s best for every class, and this lack of knowledge can translate into mis-looted epics.
  • Less incentive to show up to a raid. You won’t get DKP or any other real benefit, aside from the possibility of the officers acknowledging your attendance.
  • The entire loot council process is secretive and hidden to the public, meaning that any problems that arise will remain hidden and unsolved.

There are a lot of pitfalls to a loot council system. It depends a lot on the honesty and intelligence of the officers involved. Players are removed from the decision-making process, which can be either a positive or a negative, depending on how trustworthy the officers seem/are. I think in guilds where people believe in the officers and do not feel incredibly competitive with each other, this loot system can function very well. If not, loot council is probably not the best system for your guild. Loot council is a hit or miss system. Either it will operate smoothly, getting upgrades to the most worthwhile raid members who can most benefit, or fail completely due to dishonesty, ignorance, or even a simple grudge.