Lich me!

So, I have some unhappy warlocks. One of them is wearing sackcloth, moaning and pouring ashes on his head and one I’m pretty sure has gone mafioso on me. He told me that with the new expansion, he would be “looking after his boys” and “making sure they get what they want” and if not he “would be cracking some heads and capping some knees.” Now, I’m used to a little strangeness from our Shadowflame Coven. Last time I went over there to visit, they wouldn’t let me past the front door. I don’t know what they had in there but it smelled like brimstone and roses. And it was giggling …

Regardless, I dedcided it was time to figure out what exactly was causing all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I eventually got them to stop chanting in demontongue and finally worked it out that they were upset about this:

All items and effects which grant bonuses to spell damage and spell healing are being consolidated into a single stat, Spellpower. This stat will appear with the same values found on items which grant “increased spell damage and healing” such as on typical Mage and Warlock itemization.


Now I’ve been around the block a few times and I know full well that warlocks are not truly happy unless they’re watching things runing around, screaming and preferrably on fire. But they do get a lot of delight from complaining, and I’m pretty good at just nodding and smiling and pointing them in the direction of some helpless critter they can torment for a while.

But I think they have a point here.

I know that the changes to caster gear aren’t exactly “news” at this point, but with the announcement of a firm release date, it’s time to really start being prepared for the changes that are inevitably coming. And while I think our warlocks are overreacting a bit (typical, but what can you do?), for myself I need to be prepared as a guild leader and a raid leader for the dreaded ‘loot dramaz.’

We typically run with the EPGP loot system and while that was initially an incredible pain in the butt to implement, it works really well for us. I’m not going to brag that we don’t ever have any issues over loot, we certainly have our fair share, but EPGP seems to be the fairest system out there. Like with the dreaded dkp or even open rolls, the biggest issue we have is that folks will roll or attempt to spend their earned points on items they don’t need. We usually get around that by giving the officers the power to veto any roll. Which works …. mostly.

What I’m concerned about is how we’re going to keep loot distribution from descending into fistfights. I know for myself that at least when I tell someone I’m not going to count their roll, I can point to the stats and make a pretty good case for why. When an item is a ‘spellpower’ upgrade for everyone from shadow priests to arcane mages, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to impose that extra little bit of subjective ‘fairness’ that our vetoing lets us do. I’m wary of just slavishly applying the EPGP system and telling folks to just deal with it. Myself and my officers pride ourselves on caring very much about each guildie as an individual and showing that we were looking at more than just a number spit out from a mod was one way we showed that.

So am I being a chicken little here? Is anyone else concerned about how they’re going to deal with the new gear stats? If you’re a raid leader or a guild leader or even just a raid member, leave me a note and let me know your thoughts. I’ll be back in a bit, I can hear some odd thumping noises and I smell burning furniture, so I think our warlocks are at it again. I hope they got their summon spell right this time. Last time it took me three days and a very large bag of gold to hire a druid able to get our guild office properly exorcised, and the place smelled like burnt mistletoe for a week …



  1. Yakra said,

    September 18, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Other item stats will still differentiate gear. Hit will mark caster dps items, for example. Paladin’s will avoid spirit, Druids will avoid Mp5.

    As far as item stats being better for one class then another, for example spell crit (big for paladins, less so for druids) – you’ll need to decide if your going to enforce “best for” type limitations. As a raid leader / officer, I don’t do this. If the priest really wants the healing/mp5 staff, and is willing to spend whatever points needed to win it, power to them.

    The more you remove Subjectivity from loot, the less likely drama is.

  2. Adrenis said,

    September 18, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    I am occasionally a raid leader, and I’ve heard some concerns about this issue as well. Simplifying the stats, as Blizzard appears to be doing, and adding a new class will definitely create more situations where more than a couple people want the same piece of gear.

    I think it just underscores the importance of having a specific loot system in place that you do not deviate from and that everyone is familiar with. Also, raiding with people who know their class well (and what gear to roll on) is always a plus.

  3. Isisxotic said,

    September 22, 2008 at 11:46 am

    I’m not a raid leader or GM (and hope that I never will be!) but, as a RAIDER, I would suggest you shy away from using the veto too often, or at least have very clear rules that explain when it would be used. Otherwise, you’re opening yourself up to even more loot drama.

    For example, I’m a shadow priest. I don’t (currently) stack crit. But if an item with crit drops, that doesn’t mean I would necessarily pass to a mage or warlock just because they’d get more out of the crit – it may still be an upgrade for me. I’d be awfully frustrated if I was vetoed from spending my dkp on items that had crit simply because they were “better” for mages and warlocks, however incrementally. If you have people rolling on the “wrong” gear, that may be a place where someone who knows the class well can step in and *suggest* that they pass to someone else.

  4. oriniwen said,

    September 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    The only reason the veto works is because our raiders have an absolutely phenominal amount of trust for their leadership. They know that everything we do and every decision we make is done in the name of bettering the guild as a whole. We have used the veto only very rarely in the past and the icidents that come to mind were to keep greedy mains from rolling on offspec loot instead of handing them over to useful alts, to help “power gear” someone we needed for a certain role in a certain fight and once (and thank Elune only once) as a punishment for someone who behaved in an absolutely apalling manner earlier in the raid. It’s not something I like to use, and it’s never my first choice, but I like to have the veto clause written into our loot rules, to show that we’re paying attention not only to who is getting what gear, but also to why. It works for us, but I certainly wouldn’t reccomend for everyone (or even anyone!)

  5. Burnedout said,

    October 9, 2008 at 2:17 am

    I’m the guild leader of a guild called Really Bad Players on the server Terenas. We’ve just finished filling our roster for WotLK and will raid three nights per week. Our Web site is

    We put our loot distribution up to vote between loot council and DKP, and the guild voted for loot council. There was some back and forth as to which motivated consistent play, but loot council was the winner. It was by a landslide. With that being said …

    I’m probably not up to speed on all the changes, but if I understand it correctly, the only potential conflicts I see are mages/warlocks/spriests vs. priest, ele shaman vs. resto shaman and OOMkins vs. resto druids.

    Assuming you only run one ele and one OOMkin, then that scenario is almost negated from being an issue, and that leaves you with all your casters.

    Also taking into consideration most players are either going to still be wearing their T5/6 or quest blues/dungeon drops, I think it’s safe to say the gear will be distributed to whomever receives the largest immediate benefit (while also taking into consideration loot tables and how long it might be before someone might get another upgrade) – regardless of class.

    In all honesty though, I guess we’re just going to have to see how the armor changes affect each individual class, how many people are consistent and how many are contributing.

    I’ll come back when it hits and we start raiding to let you guys know how it goes. I’d be interested to hear feedback from you as well.

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