The Silent Counterstrike

I’ve noticed something unusual, and I’ve sat on it for a while, but I think it’s time to act.

There is a saying; “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times it’s enemy action.”

Well, we’re up to five now. By the Auric scale, we’re definitely at enemy action.

It’s no secret I enjoy playing alts. I’m one of those folks that may have one or two characters I flat out love, those being my Feral Druid and BM Hunter, but I play lots of alts.

With the advance of Looking For Raid, there has been an added venue for play. Ding level 85, gear for new Heroics, run until decked and then hit LFR for polish.

At this point in time, I’ve got five characters at level 85, and all of them are pretty damn solid in LFR gear; Druid, Hunter, Warrior, Paladin, Rogue.

My Priest is at 83, and my Death Knight Bear and Cub character is 81, so those are next in line. Don’t ask if I’m going to train my 9 year old son to play in LFR if you don’t think you’d like the answer. Just pray his DPS isn’t THAT much better than yours. 🙂

Still, five characters I have geared up 100% through LFR Dragon Soul random groups rather than traditional raiding.

Here is what I’ve noticed and reported on before.

During the initial LFR rollout, you had a period of uncertainty. People were not yet fully accustomed to the idea that they could roll Need on anything they wanted with little to no concequences. So, there was a fairly reasonable chance for at least the first month of winning something as other players that had already won an item would pass.

After that began the period where some groups would begin running together and rolling on everything so they could pass it to a friend in their group that wanted it (enhancing chances), and also the Monty Haul scenario where people would roll on absolutely everything, to acquire trade goods so they could make a deal later for what they really wanted.

That seemed to be the period we were in now. Some folks bring decked out characters chasing that one item, others bring new alts looking for everything, and it often seems that every roll finds you competing against every single player, and nobody passes unless they have no chance of winning due to spec or class.

It can feel like if you did not get the actual highest roll out of 25 people, then you’ve got no chance. Greed and avarice have won. Blizzard has even unveiled new LFR loot rules for MoP that make it clear they are acting as though there is nothing to be done short of a scorched earth doctrine on the existing system.

My experiences over the last month to five weeks are leading me to believe we are seeing a silent counterstrike acting against the “need on everything” culture, working from the shadows.

Five times now, on different characters, the following has taken place;

I run, I do my best. I don’t have the worst gear in the group overall, I certainly don’t have the lowest DPS. There are one or two specific items I would like. During the run, as loot drops I pass on it, until finally one boss drops a piece of loot I have specifically wanted. Everyone rolls, I lose the roll with my number somewhere in the middle of the range. We move on to another boss.

Shortly thereafter, without warning a trade window is opened, and the piece of loot is placed there. No conversation, nothing. I accept, and whisper back my thanks and appreciation. The person then says something along the lines of, “No problem, I didn’t need it and you looked like the person who could use it the most.”

This has happened to me now five times, different people and different items for different alts.

Is it a sweeping trend? Maybe not. Have you seen it yourself? Probably depends on how many alts you’re gearing through LFR compared to actual raiding with a raid team and getting real loot.

But again. Once, sure. Twice, huh. Three times or more? I take note.

I like the idea of a silent revolt against greedy needy players. People who are nice people, and at the same time aren’t all confrontational yelling at other people in raid chat about taking things they already have one of and all that stuff.

People who may have just decided that if others will need for selfish reasons, they can need for charitable reasons. 

Yes, it does put another player in the position of winning an item and then having the power to decide who, in their opinion, ‘deserves’ the item most. That could be a hot little topic for debate, right? How do you decide who ‘deserves’ the loot?

Overall though, I think it’s a delightful idea, one that is worthy to discuss.

We talk about other people rolling need on stuff they don’t have a use for. How interesting that there are folks out there that have looked at the situation and decided for themselves to take a stand, but do it in a decidedly non-confrontational way.

It would take more work, but I have to admit, it’s making me reconsider my ‘pass on all unless I actually need it’ policy.

I might just start playing Secret Santa myself.

What do you think?

21 thoughts on “The Silent Counterstrike

  1. I have gifted several items during the LFR (I run for valor and that oh-so-elusive 1 item). I basically give it to the high roller that isn’t an asshat or has better. Sadly, I have plenty of time after the wipes (/sigh) to inspect gear. I figure someone will get a useful piece, they rolled high and they actually (in my mind) need the piece based upon their gear/role. It bugs me when someone rolls need for an item they already have, have equipped, and then announce “will trade x for y.” Maybe this is right, wrong, ethical, or unethical – I don’t know but I walk away at peace and it seems that someone else is happy based upon the whispers.


  2. I have given away many pieces of loot that I won for an off-spec I never really play. I inspect the other folks who were rolling on it and see which one looks like they need it the most and then toss it to them. Gave one person 2 pc of tier gear and made their day. Random Acts of Kindness just go to prove not EVERYONE in LFG is a jerk…. too bad they are the really vocal ones


  3. I am such a person who trades away the items he wins in rolls. I always wait till every person did his bidding. Then i will need if there are some people also needing while they already have it or better. I do this to give the people, who can actually use it, a better chance of aquiring a piece. Maybe the other “needers” did it for the same reason but often not.


  4. I’ve gotten gift trinkets this way on two characters. Like others I have mixed opinions on it – I was certainly grateful at the time. But, if the “Secret Santas” don’t roll, then I’m only competing with the people who actually need the item and some schmucks who are rolling for everything in sight. I’d have a better chance of winning the roll myself.


  5. I went into LFR seven times last night. Seven. The first six times, the group wiped on the first group of trash. It was like being on the Cubs baseball team. It was epic. And during the 7th run, nothing but Valor Points and bemusement. About the fourth time, I thought to myself, golly, maybe I shouldn’t be here in my OS healing gear. Perhaps it’s me. I was the common denominator. A hunter who had Vial of Shadows and another great agility trink won another trink, and ignored my requests. Don’t blame him. Sure that was worth some gold for him, while the irony was I was there as resto and not my beloved enh spec. Sigh. I just had to laugh 🙂 This is the game we play, isn’t it? The favor is with the house.


  6. I’ve made it a habit of doing this because every LFR run I’m in has players leeching off of the group.

    Warrior queued as DPS, but in prot spec, with a friend ensuring we don’t leave combat long enough to get a vote-kick going. Hunter in full cloth gear. Etc. (The sorts of things that make me wonder if they’re actually enjoying the game to begin with)

    I only need 1 or 2 more items out of the entire instance at this point. Anything else I get, I take a quick look at the meters and gear to make sure I’m passing to someone who can use the item and isn’t trying to auto-attack their way to epics.

    One person was extremely thankful when I gave them a Gurthalak. (Apparently shield tanks get the roll bonus too)


  7. I haven’t seen it happens as much as you have but I have run into a few people that offer to help me get gear in LFR for no real reason other than they remember having to get it themselves. That hasn’t happened very often though. I have alts that constantly loose every roll to people with OS on the mind or are looking to trade. Perhaps its just my luck.


  8. Personally, I’d need a Pawn-type addon that would tell me that Fred the Rogue is not yet in 4t13, or that Bob the Mage would see this Int necklace as a big upgrade. Even between pulls I’m too busy/lazy to figure that out on my own.


  9. I’m not sure I agree – much for similar reason’s Holly posted.

    That said I’ve got a post brewing (largely in my head at this point) about the loot changes for MoP and why perhaps it was the only way. I’ve been reading Bruce Schneier’s Liars and Outliers which is all about trust and the way it plays out in society and our decisions. I’m only a third of a the way through it but I already see the signs of how it applies to the LFR loot. The traditional mechanisms that maintain trust (encouraging people to act in the group interest – i.e. not needing on things you don’t actually need) within society basically don’t exist in LFR. The difference is that LFR is a contained system and Blizzard can change the rules 🙂


  10. mmm, I’m not sure where I sit with this, I want to say it’s wrong and feel it’s wrong, for both sides. But in the end, taking part means you have a right to any loot you can roll on, I’ve always been big on that fact (I also think the group has a say in who’s in it >.< which is why the kick rules drive me batty.) In the end, I don't think I could in good conscience do secret santa, because in the end, while what I was doing was well intentioned it's still the same thing the others are doing but in a more justifyable manner.

    As dorky and stupid as it is I reflect on the episode of Star Trek TNG for Data's trial. "With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." And that's where I feel this is heading, no matter how well intentioned your 'take it and give it to the 'most deserving' person. If that's what you want to do with the loot you win (because as aforementioned, you have a right to try to it as well) then that's what you do. I personally can't take that approach 'need' and 'greed' are different buttons to me for a reason. I'm not calling your opinion wrong, just wrong for me.

    Yes people took advantage of and abused the system, and that's why they're changing it. Plus the new loot system just makes more sense and you won't get the 'nobody can use it at all' problem. And yes I have seen that once in an LFR (a tier token where we literally didn't have -any- of the classes on it, it was freaky)


  11. To me, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    I know the intentions are good, but people setting themselves up on their own as loot council masters is also an issue. I don’t want X who afked through the boss to take the BIS healing trinket, but I don’t want Y to set himself up as judge for everyone to see who deserves it either. Not only does it require researched knowledge of each class for judging which spec needs it the most, but people who do that in a random have no incentive to stay impartial, nor do they know what’s going on behind the scenes as they might with their own guild.

    A self-elected loot council with no accountability can just arbitrarily decide that the hunter must need the polearm more than the feral druid since the hunter is still in blues while the feral is in mostly epics, despite the fact weapon dps is better for ferals than a hunter’s stat stick, or the fact that mastery isn’t so good for the hunter, or the fact that the feral has been running this for weeks to try to upgrade his staff while this is the hunter’s first run, or the fact that the hunter only outdpsed the druid because druid was tanking. Etcetera, etcetera.


    • The road to Hell is paved with good intentions…
      I feel for you B3, it is a great idea to gift items to the most deserving: but who is that and how do you decide?

      Fred: DPS Warr, avg ilvl 394. 46k dps, activity (a recount stat) 8.5%
      Jim: DPS pally, avg ilvl 375. 32k dps, activity 10%
      You win a str dps ring and decide to give it to Jim, as he’s obviously trying his guts out; but you didn’t notice Fred had to stop dps 3 times during the fight because he was pulling agro off the lazy tanks; and that ring was the one upgrade he was chasing this run…

      I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but in this case, it may be better to receive than to give.


  12. Curious. I actually had this happen to me twice, on different toons.

    Once, I managed to return the favour by winning something the secret Santa could use (which I could also use, but wasn’t a major upgrade). I gave it to my secret Santa and counted that as him paying it forward. Another time, someone just flat out gave me something they won soon after the roll. And I’m not even counting the times when people trade me gear they won but didn’t need at the end of the instance since that’s probably the ones who were hoping to trade for something.


  13. I have needed on items and tokens I don’t need, usually in an effort to keep them out of the hands of people who are literally doing nothing and leeching off the rest of our efforts or out of the hands of jackasses who are swearing/insulting the rest of the group.


  14. Great idea! Monday night I went to LFR on a whim. I heal, 99% of the time (love resto druid!) But I do have a boomspec, and figured I’d live ‘the other side’ in LFR. Sadly, I didn’t have a dps meter, and no one posted – so I have no clue how poorly I did (and I’m sure it was poor). I’m fully decked out in i397 healing gear (have yet to get our guild to do heroics) so I passed on all the drops… I probably should have needed on the dps and tier gear though… be nice to have a second set of gear that wasn’t all heal…

    Anyway, no matter what, heal or boom – I’m gonna adopt this secret santa idea.

    How are YOU gonna decide who gets what? For tokens, I’ll probably just look for whoever can use it that has the lowest ilevel for the slot – if a tie… Tank>Heals>DPS? and if only dps… well, if I get a meter, probably the lowest dps – they obviously need the most help. LOL

    Non-token gear should in theory be easier, as its more class/spec specific. Heck, there’s probably a decent to good chance that if I won something like that, few others would be able to (leather caster items, specifically). Otherwise, probably just use the same guideline for tier tokens.

    Fun times!


  15. That’s actually a neat little idea. I just got going in LFR with my shaman and haven’t had it happen to me, but I wouldn’t mind being one who helps others out at all. That said, I only ever seem to be joining the raid (as heals) on their 3rd try at Madness of Deathwing so I don’t get to roll again.


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