Cumulative Loot

Earlier this week Blizzard published a Dev Watercooler describing the changes in raiding in Warlords of Draenor. I don’t think anything in this article was news, in that all of these changes had been announced at Blizzcon. The major addition was a detailed discussion of the rationale behind the changes.

But this post isn’t about dissecting that discussion – I agree with pretty much everything Ion wrote in regards to the “why” of the changes. Instead, I want to revisit a topic that we’ve touched on before: raiding, burnout, and loot.

The key points of the watercooler article that are relevant to us are these:

  • LFR, normal, heroic, and mythic raids are on separate lockouts. In other words, you can run each one for loot each week.
  • LFR, normal, and heroic are flexible-size loot-based lockouts, which means you can run them as many times per week as you like, but you’ll only get loot from the boss the first time you kill it on each difficulty.
  • Mythic is a fixed-size boss-based lockout, meaning that it works just like MoP normal/heroic raid lockouts do. Once you kill a boss, you get an instance ID and you’re stuck with that instance ID all week.
  • LFR will likely not contain set items and specific highly-sought-after trinkets in order to prevent heroic/mythic raiders from feeling like they need to run LFR.

Again, most of this is not news – the last bit is the only tidbit we didn’t already know last November. However, the watercooler triggered a lot of the same negative reactions that were elicited after the announcement at BlizzCon.

In particular, raiders complained that in order to remain competitive, they would feel pressure to clear the same instance several times a week on different difficulty levels to maximize loot income. This in turn contributes to higher burnout rates amongst those raiders and a less fun experience. Our own Anafielle has been one of the more vocal people involved in this debate, even as far back as the early days of LFR.

Why Should Blizzard Do Anything?

You could argue (and many people have) that this is a self-inflicted problem. That these hardcore players are victims of their own inability to set boundaries, and that they just have to learn to manage their time better. I don’t think that’s a reasonable response, because it glosses over a lot of subtleties about the differing motivations gamers have, how we approach games, and the behavioral psychology involved in playing a game. I also think it incorrectly assumes that this is an issue which only affects mythic raiders.

Some players simply cannot enjoy a game unless they feel they’re doing everything they can to advance their character. This isn’t a new phenomenon, and it isn’t limited to mythic raiders. I’ve known players who never stepped foot in a heroic (MoP) raid, but still felt this way about their character. It’s sort of the “type A personality” equivalent in gaming, and I think every raider has a little bit of that tendency in them. For some people, it’s the cause of the bulk of the satisfaction they get from a game.

You may recall that I’ve covered this topic once before, when flex raiding came out, so I won’t re-hash all of the arguments for why raider burnout is a legitimate concern. It’s also got strong similarities to the issues raiders had with the valor point grind before the introduction of heroic scenarios. Each of these activities adds a chunk of time that a raider can spend to further their character, raising the bar a little bit higher. And there’s a strong social incentive to do so in most cases. Perhaps your guild explicitly states that they expect it of you, or maybe peer pressure is enough because you don’t want to be “that guy” that’s letting down the team.

So rather than brushing the issue aside with an “it’s not my problem” response, it’s worth considering the situation with a critical eye and asking, “is there a good way to fix this?”

Cumulative Loot

The last time I touched on this topic, I laid out several potential systems that removed or reduced the incentive raiders had to run lower difficulty levels of the same raid. Some of them, like the increased ilvl gap between LFR and Normal, have already become a reality. But the one I want to dwell on today is a system I called the “Cumulative Loot System.”

The idea I’ve liked the most so far is one proposed by Thels. …. In short, when you kill a normal or heroic boss, you also automatically get your personal loot rolls for LFR and/or Flex.  You could imagine various permutations of how this would work; maybe a normal kill gives you your LFR roll, while a heroic kill gives you both LFR and Flex rolls.  But the simplest case is just that you get both rolls on any normal or heroic kill.

The basic premise behind this system is that if you can kill a boss on heroic mode, then the normal and LFR versions are obviously beneath your skill and gear level. There’s no challenge involved in doing so for your raid group anymore, it’s just an arbitrary time sink that’s probably not very much fun. But due to the way loot drops are structured, there may be a significant benefit to doing so thanks to set items and trinkets.

So instead of asking you to dump that time into the drudgery of another instance clear, it just gives you that loot when you kill the boss on heroic in addition to your usual heroic loot.

In other words, the system accepts that it is the game’s fault that it is providing an incentive for you to do busywork. It’s sort of like your professor writing an exam problem that’s a little too hard, and then giving you a bit of a curve to compensate. Not that I’ve ever done that. I’m just saying… some professors might have. At some point in history. Definitely not me though.

When I mentioned this idea on Twitter yesterday, it set off a flurry of retweets, favorites, and responses. So I felt it was worth clarifying some of the details in a place where I’m not limited to 140 characters at a time.

The idea is most succinctly explained via an example. Let’s say my raid group kills the new boss Ogre McOgreton on mythic difficulty. He drops mythic-quality loot just like usual for my raid leader to distribute.  However, at the same time, I get the option to automatically get the results of my personal loot rolls for that boss from heroic, normal, and LFR difficulties. Doing so “consumes” my loot lockout for that boss on each of those difficulties that week.

Note that this isn’t guaranteed loot, because it’s a personal roll. I’m not suggesting the boss drops X additional heroic-quality items for your raid leader to distribute. I’m suggesting that the game makes up to three extra loot rolls for you, using the personal loot system, for each of the lower difficulty levels. Sometimes you might get 3 items from those three rolls (one heroic quality, one normal quality, one LFR quality). Other times you’ll get no items (use your best sarcastic Pat Krane voice and say “Triple Gold! Thanks Blizz!”). But no matter what, your loot lockout for that boss is flagged so that you don’t need to run the lower difficulty levels.

Recall that in Warlords, LFR, normal, and heroic all use loot-based lockouts. So being locked to a certain boss doesn’t prohibit you from joining a new group and killing that boss on that same difficulty again, it just prevents you from getting loot from the boss a second time. So this system doesn’t prevent a player in a guild clearing mythic difficulty from joining his friend’s raid and helping out. It just removes the loot-based incentive to do so, provided that player opted to get their loot during their mythic raid.

It also doesn’t penalize guilds that want to clear a lower difficulty early in the week and attempt a harder difficulty later in the week like a shared lockout system (i.e. MoP normal/heroic) does. If you clear normal (WoD) quickly and decide to give heroic (WoD) a try, great – you’ll get better loot when you kill that first heroic boss. One way to think of it is as a one-way lockout system – it only locks you out of lower difficulties (after giving you the loot, of course!).

There’s one significant modification suggested by Brian Packer that I think really makes the idea shine. He suggested that this system be integrated into garrisons via a follower mission. In other words, if I kill Ogre McOgreton on mythic, it unlocks a follower mission to “retrieve” my extra loot from LFR, normal and heroic. The next time I go back to my garrison, I can tell my follower to go “loot the body” or some such, and the next day he’ll return with my extra loot rolls.

This solves pretty much all of the major problems with the idea, most of which involved UI concerns like “how does this work with loot spec” and “how do I tell the game whether I want to use each roll or not.” It codifies the system as an optional thing rather than automatic, and the follower mission interface can handle the choice of different quest for each difficulty level and loot spec. It also puts a nice linkage between raiding and garrisons without relying on raw power boosts or buffs, so it’s not in any way mandatory.

I’ll also note that it still leaves open the possibility of setting up multiple runs combining mains and alts to more effectively funnel loot to a group of main raiders. In theory, you might still get more efficient loot allocation pulling those sorts of tricks, because you can funnel everybody’s loot “rolls” to the people who need it. But Cumulative Loot does severely reduce the benefit of doing that, simply because the personal loot rolls are guaranteed to be for the spec you want. If you go the “funnel via alts” route, the boss could drop three bows in a raid with no hunters. It basically reduces the reward-to-time-spent ratio of having multiple alt runs to the point that it’s not even worth considering for guilds outside the top 10 or 20.

Summa Cumulative Laude

In the eight or so months since that last blog post I’ve discussed the idea with a fair number of people. The criticisms generally fall into one of two arguments, neither of which holds much merit in the Warlords raiding system.

The first criticism is that it means fewer mythic and heroic raiders will participate in LFR, and that those players are necessary to carry LFR groups kicking and screaming to their eventual loot drops. While this may be at least partially true in the Mists of Pandaria LFR design, the blog post by Watcher explicitly states that it is not the case in Warlords. LFR is being tuned around the expectation that those players are not present. Which also means it’s no longer a limitation to this sort of loot system.

The second and most common response has been, “but that just gives mythic raiders loot they didn’t earn.” But that argument is fundamentally flawed because it’s built on an incorrect assumption.

When you kill a Mythic boss, what do you “earn” exactly? What’s the appropriate reward for doing that? Higher-ilvl loot, obviously, but how much higher and how much more? We’ve seen various different iterations of this in wow’s history, where killing hard-mode bosses rewarded more loot (Ulduar) and/or higher-ilvl loot (Ulduar and everything since). But the amount of extra loot has changed, as has the ilvl gap.

The truth is, the “amount” of those extra rewards is completely arbitrary. It’s whatever Blizzard decides it’s worth. They have an incentive to make it worth enough that people want to engage in all levels of content, of course. But whether you take the idealistic stance that they’re doing it to make the best game possible or the pessimistic stance that they just want to maximize subscriber numbers, either way, their choice is pretty much arbitrary. It is based more on relative ilvl gaps and power increases than on some nebulous idea of “mythic boss A is X% harder than heroic boss A, thus should give Y additional loot.” And in fact, as we’ve seen, one of the factors that goes into the determination of those ilvl values is how much incentive it gives players to run lower difficulty tiers!

When people suggest that Mythic raiders would be getting gear they “didn’t earn,” they’re making the implicit assumption that such a nebulous connection exists, when in reality, it’s an arbitrary reward. It’s a lot like complaining about having 10 levels per expansion instead of 5 because it’ll take so much longer to level. There’s an implicit (and incorrect) assumption in there that a “level” is some well-defined quantity of experience or time, rather than an amount set arbitrarily by Blizzard to ensure that reaching max level takes around 20 hours (or whatever their target is). And that incorrect assumption means the whole argument topples over under scrutiny.

Cumulat-usions?

I’m not suggesting that this is the only way to address raiders’ concerns of multiple loot lockouts. But out of all of the solutions I’ve seen, this one seems to have the most positives and fewest negatives. As I mentioned in August, it’s got plenty of additional benefits:

  • Since everyone gets extra loot, it feels good.  It feels like a bonus, whereas the traditional shared difficulty lockout feels punitive and restrictive.
  • It makes it clear that the real reward is time – specifically, time you don’t have to spend mindlessly clearing the same instance and can spend on other things.
  • It eliminates worries about LFR or normal mode loot being attractive to mythic raiders, which means that LFR and normal loot can be significantly better (i.e. a smaller ilvl gap). That makes LFR and normal raiders happy.

 

It’s pretty rare to stumble across a system that works this well without any major downsides. And yet, here it is. I’d also like to point out that I shouldn’t get most of the credit for the idea. It first came up in discussions with Thels on maintankadin, and of course Brian Packer gets all the credit for the exceptional idea of tying it into garrisons.

What I like most about the system is that it’s intuitive. If I clear a challenge mode in time to get the gold achievement, I don’t need to go back and clear it again to get the silver one. It’s clear from my accomplishment that I can do that, so the game doesn’t ask me to go back and spend another 20 minutes proving it. There’s no reason raiding can’t work the same way.

From a skill perspective, it’s sort of like performing a track and field event. If I can clear a 4′ hurdle track, it’s  pretty clear I can clear a 3′ one, or a 2′ one. There’s little point in making me re-run those to “prove” anything – it’s not a test of my skill at all at that point, it’s just another chunk of time I need to spend to clear a trivial hurdle (yes, I just used a hurdle metaphor in a hurdle analogy). Cumulative Loot just builds that into the reward structure. It says “sure, here’s the loot from all the lower difficulty levels that we know you can clear, great job on the mythic kill.”

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78 Responses to Cumulative Loot

  1. Not sure I can agree on this one. To use your analogy if you enter a competition and come first you don’t also get the prize money from second and third place.

    Raiders raiding below their level is what keeps flex going currently and would have the same effect come separate lockouts for WoD. It provides a pool of players that can be called on as a PUG but also gives them the incentive to do so.

    You can see as the tier has progressed how hard certain roles are to fill in Flex because those people got their gear from normal/heroic and have no incentive to go back.

    Currently guilds are able to do flex runs for socials and alts because the main raiding team still has useful gear to get so it’s not a totally altruistic endeavour, if you give everyone the ability to get all their roles at once you’ll have a much harder time convincing them to come along. Fair enough some will because they are like that, sadly not everyone is.

    • Your point about other difficulties seems more valid than your point about 1st/2nd/3rd place. It isn’t a competition that is costing someone else something for you to get it. Theck’s comparison to the height of hurdles is more apt, to my mind.

      However, knowing that I get all that loot just from Mythic and can then run Normal/Heroic at will to help friend would free me up to help friends or not as my time and patience permits. Some weeks I have more times than others.

    • Çapncrunch says:

      “To use your analogy if you enter a competition and come first you don’t also get the prize money from second and third place. ”

      This is a flawed analogy. You’re using an example where the rewards are limited (ie there is only ONE first place winner and only ONE second place winner, etc). In order for that analogy to work then you’d have to say that only the first few groups to kill a boss each week get any loot at all, and everyone else gets nothing.

      The analogy also fails as it is fundamentally impossible for the same person to come in first AND second. Also, there are in-fact cases where the rewards for races or contests are cumulative with each higher rank getting the same rewards as those below it with something else added on. While in raiding there is no mutual exclusion between killing the boss on Mythic as well as on Heroic/Normal/LFR. With shared lockouts this argument would have some merit, but with all of the difficulties being separated in WoD it just does not hold water.

      You are making the same false assumption that Theck referred to, you think that this system would give higher difficulty raiders “free loot”, and that is simply not the case. It gives them absolutely NOTHING that they wouldn’t already have available without this system. The only thing that the system would “give” them is time not-spent rerunning the same content. And I would argue that it doesn’t even give them that!

      The reason I say that is that right now, as it is, higher difficulty raiders actually put in MORE effort to get lower-difficulty loot than those lower difficulty raiders. First of all, it’s a given that higher tiered raiders put in more effort to clear their tier of content than the next lower tier of raiders puts into their tier (ie a flex raider puts in more effort to clear flex than an lfr raider puts into clear lfr, and like-wise normal raiders put in even more effort to clear normal, and heroic raiders even more effort to clear heroic). This is undeniable, as the higher difficulties obviously require more effort (not to mention more time).

      So not only are higher-tiered raiders already investing more effort and time than lower-tiered raiders just to get the loot that is intended for them. But then they need to invest even MORE time to clear those lower tiers as well.

      I think Theck covered pretty well that the “earned” argument is childish, as clearing the harder content already includes the ability to clear the easier version. In fact, that concept already exists in the game, when you clear a dungeon or raid on heroic you also get the “normal” version of the achievement as well, including the lesser titles or other rewards. or if you look at BC heroic dungeons they actually even drop the same loot, just with extra loot added on, ulduar hard-modes worked similarly. So to claim that a Mythic raider doesn’t “deserve” heroic/normal/lfr loot is just preposterous.

      So what exactly is your argument against this system?
      Does it give anyone access to anything they wouldn’t otherwise be able to get? No.
      Does it give anyone anything that they couldn’t otherwise get? No.
      Does it change the fact that higher-tiered raiders put in more time and effort than lower-tier raiders? No.

      ————————————————————–

      And your other argument about higher-tiered raiders being “necessary” for the lower-tiers to exist doesn’t even make sense. You are literally arguing that Flex raiders are not “good enough” to do Flex raids. If that is the case then why do flex raids even exist? Because they certainly do NOT exist for normal/heroic raiders to be doing, nor do they exist for normal/heroic raiders to carry LFR-raiders through. They exist for FLEX raiders to do. If you’re not good enough to do Flex (or any difficulty for that matter) without being carried, then that difficulty is not for you.

      The argument also completely ignores the fact that Balance is a relative thing. If the current versions of LFR and/or Flex “require” normal/heroic raiders to carry people then it means that they’re overtuned. Difficulty tuning is based both on the target audience as well as the ACTUAL audience. Which means that the only reason that Flex/LFR may be overtuned to the point of requiring higher-caliber raiders is BECAUSE those higher-caliber raiders are already in there. If you remove them from those difficulties they will be re-tuned to match the people actually doing them. This will actually make clearing these difficulties MORE satisfying for their target audiences since they’ll actually be accomplishing it themselves instead of simply being carried through by a handful of better players.

      Your entire post basically boils down to: “make the good players carry us”

  2. Lightsir says:

    I would love to see this system in WoD! I dont like the garrison thing, but if it is the best way to address the issue with several specs then..

  3. Dalmasca says:

    This system is very elegant at achieving the goals you listed in this article. However, one side-effect of the system is dramatically increasing the incentive to raid at a higher difficulty.

    This isn’t an inherently bad thing, but if you’re a relatively casual raider and find yourself in a under-skilled guild tempted by these strong loot incentives, then you could find yourself *still wasting time* wiping to higher difficulty bosses purely because of the *chance* at extra rolls/time.

    Personally, I’d love it. A guild could actually analyze their most efficient way of gearing up based on time spent raiding/wiping/clearing at a given boss & difficulty level. I think there’s something to be said for finding that best-for-my-group method. It’s very similar to adopting raid strats to your own group’s composition, needs, and abilities.

    • Theck says:

      I agree that it increases the incentive to raid at a higher difficulty. While the scenario you proposed certainly would occur for some guilds that over-reach their skill level, I think that the opposite scenario should also be considered. The system reduces the “time spent” cost of a Normal guild making those first few steps into Heroic, because they don’t have to reserve time in their week to re-clear the first few Normal bosses for loot.

      I’m not sure which is a larger effect though.

      • Çapncrunch says:

        Also, those that over-reach their skill level are likely to quickly realize that They Are Not Prepared and step down to a more appropriate difficulty until they are ready. In fact, in many cases that would probably happen on the first night that they do over-reach ( go into heroic, get roflstomped by the first boss for maybe an hour, “ok guys, we’re not ready for this, let’s go back to normal and gear-up for a couple more weeks”).

        Aside from situations where maybe a guild is “almost ready” to move up, and may kill a couple bosses and then wall on the next and are reluctant to go back to an earlier difficulty because their other kills are giving them extra confidence.

        But really the ideal way to work on progression will be to do your farm/easier content earlier in the week so you can focus all of your remaining time on progression instead of focusing on progression and potentially running out of time for your farm. And Cumulative Loot really does not change that.

      • Dalmasca says:

        Yup, I agree. It has great potential for people who would use the system optimally.

  4. Rohan says:

    No. You don’t want to put in the time, you don’t get the reward.

    Reward must be linked to effort. It is the very foundation of raiding. To give Mythic raiders extra rewards that they have not earned is just as bad as giving Normal raiders mythic-quality gear.

    Yes, you Mythic raiders all going to whine and complain that you “have” to do the lower content. But you don’t. Stand up for yourselves. If you don’t want to do lower level content, don’t. It’s Flexible content, so you don’t need the entire raid team to show up.

    Coddling Mythic players is bad for the game.

    • Çapncrunch says:

      What coddling? Mythic Raiders would still be putting in more time and more effort than anyone else, even under this system.

    • Theck says:

      I think you should re-read the section on why this is a bad argument. Because… it’s a bad argument.

      Mythic raiders already get extra rewards, and have for as long as multiple difficulties have existed.

      In fact, this EXACT system is how “hard mode” loot worked in Ulduar. Kill Hodir in time, you get all of the normal loot plus a cache containing a few higher-ilvl pieces. In other words, Hodir used Cumulative Loot before Cumulative Loot existed.

      Also note that while you’re very focused on Mythic raiders, I am not. This system is just as beneficial to a Heroic or Normal raider as it is a Mythic raider. For a Mythic raider, the LFR/Normal loot is almost completely irrelevant outside of the stray trinket or tier piece. So it’s basically tossing a few extra shards or gold at Mythic raiders.

      Using the term “effort” here is very dicey too. The only “effort” involved in a Mythic raid group clearing normal or LFR is time. What you’re essentially stating is that you think loot should be less proportional to skill and more proportional to time spent. Which I think is a dubious argument at best.

      • Çapncrunch says:

        In addition, another mark against the “effort” argument is that if you really compare the effort/reward differences that exist under Cumulative Loot it’s really not at all as striking as people are making it out to be. Under Cumulative Loot:

        LFR Raiders: Put in the “effort” required to clear LFR and get LFR loot for their effort.

        Normal Raiders: Put in more effort than LFR Raiders, and get the same LFR Loot and then also get Normal loot in exchange for that extra effort.

        Heroic Raiders: Put in more effort than Normal Raiders, get the same LFR and Normal loot they get and also get Heroic loot in exchange for their extra effort.

        Mythic Raiders: Put in even more effort than Heroic Raiders, get the same LFR, Normal and Heroic loot as the Heroic raiders and then also get Mythic loot for their extra effort.

        Each tier of raiders puts in more effort (and time) and gets additional rewards in exchange for it. Compare that to how things are without Cumulative Loot, where the amount of additional time and effort involved grows exponentially. In addition while it “seems” like the rewards as you go up grows substantially, it really doesn’t because you’re not actually interested in the loot several difficulties below you.

        Actually, what if that change was made to Cumulative Loot? What if Cumulative Loot only awarded you the loot for your current and ONE difficulty below it? So Mythic Raiders only got Mythic and Heroic loot for their mythic kills but not normal/lfr loot? And Heroic Raiders would get Heroic/Normal loot but not LFR, and Normal Raiders would get LFR along with their Normal loot?

        Then the “amount” of loot received wouldn’t be all that different between difficulties (everyone would only get 2 “sets” of loot per kill, except for LFR players), the only difference would be the quality of loot (which is already the case). And it would still substantially help the burnout issue. At most you’d only need to run the content twice per week, which isn’t so bad. And really few would even feel the need to go that far since it would only be for items 2 or 3 difficulties below them.

        • Thels says:

          Trinkets and LFR items are still quite worth it, though. A mythic raider that still needs 1 tier piece would likely go flex for another chance on that one tier piece that gives him or her the 4 set bonus.

          You could remove LFR from Mythic and Heroic, since it doesn’t contain tier pieces (and trinkets?), but LFR gear would still help out Normal players. In addition, completionists might want the LFR transmog sets. Why would Normal players get this for free, but not Heroic/Mythic raiders?

  5. Talarian says:

    I think complaints about getting rewards raiders didn’t “earn” boils down to time. In MMOs, time is often a substitute for skill, and as such if you don’t put in the time, folks think you shouldn’t get the gear. Of course, this is a fallacy as you point out in your blog post, as reward systems are arbitrary and subject to Blizzard’s whims. But it’s silly to say that a Mythic raider wouldn’t just go roflstomp lower difficulties, so “earned” really must be a factor of time.

  6. Matthew L. Seidl says:

    How does this work when transitioning between raiding levels. Lets say my guild has cleared heroic, and is starting on mythic. We do the first 2 on mythic, but then hit a wall and want to swap to heroic. I believe we now have to kill the first 2 on heroic (depending on wing structure, but likely if we want to kill the final boss of the instance) and get no loot from them at all, then go forward with the rest of the instance. Especially if tier gear is late loaded (like now), we might be doing 10+ bosses in mythic, but still want to do the last 4 (in SoO) or 6 (in WoD) for those missing tier pieces. So we’re doing potentially hours of work with no rewards before we get to what we want to do.

    • Ikkilerme says:

      You said you cleared heroic. then you have earned heroic, normal AND lfr reward. Starting from this point you then go to Mythic where you kill 2 since it is raid boss id ( not personnal loot ) you get loot for all the raid.

      When you go back to heroic ( that you already cleared as you stated ) you effectively gain nothing. Since Mythic progression is Mythic only you will be stucked a 2 boss down for mythic and mythic only.

      There are more difficulty swapping. It’s 4 separate lockout and that’s it.

      • blizzhoof says:

        I believe he was saying that they had cleared heroic already (as in on a previous week). Basically, “we’re capable of clearing Heroic.”

    • blizzhoof says:

      Actually no. Currently WITHOUT this system that is what you will have to do in 6.0. On the contrary, if killing a boss on Mythic loot locked you to the Heroic and Normal modes, then when you went into the raid on Heroic the bosses would be dead as long as the leader of the group was loot locked to those bosses.

      That’s how Flex works now. If you kill Immerseus and Protectors today and then start a flex group tomorrow and go into the first wing, then you’ll be at Norushen.

      However, if it did work the way you are suggesting I still wouldn’t see the issue. You’re complaining that if you killed the first two bosses on Mythic AND GOT HEROIC GEAR from them, then it would depress you not to get that heroic gear AGAIN when you killed them on Heroic. Instead, you’d rather not get the Heroic gear from the Mythic kills and instead only get it on the Heroic kill?

      I guess I can see the argument from the stance of with the Mythic kill you’d get Heroic loot using the personal loot system and therefore would be unable to get it from the regular drop loot system and pass it out accordingly. That actually makes a lot of sens and is a pretty good argument against.

      • Thels says:

        The issue would be that you would have to kill 10 bosses, to receive gear of only the last 2 bosses. Even if you would otherwise likely disenchant most of the remaining gear, it’s a heavy discouragement to have to work through all those bosses without so much as a single drop.

        However, it is likely that the bosses alive is determined by the loot lockout of the raid leader, so this should not be an issue.

    • emruseliavery says:

      This would work exactly the same way as it does on live. Using the cumulative system, if you kill the first 2 bosses on mythic you and use the loot rolls on heroic, normal and lfr as well, you would become locked for the first two bosses in all of these modes. Currently, when a raid leader makes an instance for a raid difficulty, all bosses up to the first he has not defeated are dead in this instance. This means in your case, if you have killed the first 2 bosses on mythic, use the heroic rolls, and then proceed to make a heroic raid. Then the heroic raid would start where you left off on mythic (after 2nd boss). As such no time is wasted, and aside from having to exit the instance prior to switching difficulty, it would work exactly as it does on live with shared lockout.

      On the other hand, say you were switching in a number of alts for the heroic run and wanted to kill the first 2 bosses again on heroic again so that the alts might get gear. Then all you would have to do would be to have one of the unsaved alts be the raid leader before you enter the heroic instance and you would get a completely fresh instance even though the majority of the raid might have killed the first two bosses.

      As a last example going beyond your question. If you only wanted to defeat the last boss on heroic each weak and you didn’t want to clear through all the bosses beforehand. All you would require is to have an alt that is saved for all bosses except the last to create the raid instance. This alt wouldn’t even have to be in the raid after the instance is made, and could extend his personal lockout each week. This would allow you to only kill the last heroic boss in perpetuity.

      Using the system as it is now, and would be under this loot system. You would have all the freedoms of choice in how and when you choose to clear raids you have ever had and then some.

    • Theck says:

      Looks like Blizzhoof already beat me to this answer. As far as we know, those bosses will already be dead in Heroic as long as your raid leader is locked to them.

      (Also note that even without that, they’ve said there will be methods to skip earlier bosses that you’ve already defeated a few times)

  7. Berry says:

    My gut reaction – “Hey Thek, Do you want your grapes cut into sections as well as peeled?”

    My reasoned reaction – To oversimplify, high end raiders have 3 basic traits.
    Skill. Time/Effort. 9-30 high end raiders in group.
    You’d like to shortcut Time/Effort. “Please hand me the rewards of running those lesser raids for being part of a team good enough to kill a Mythic boss.”

    Beyond the hubris, I think it would upset the tuning system. Right now Blizz plans for the really top teams to go in wearing dungeon blues. (plus crafted etc and whatever they can gather the first week.) Over time, raids get easier simply via additional gear. Your plan would cascade gear into all raids significantly faster, particularly since Blizz announced plans to make it more likely that you will get useful gear rather than duplicates off of personal loot. It would also make it easier to get the theoretically coveted “extra stats” on items, which, again, is something Blizz doesn’t want. (Whether it would be worth downgrading ilvls for extra stats is a different question.) Blizz stated that they want farm bosses to be more interesting for players, and they hope that the extra stat thing will drag out the BiS collecting.

    On an economic level, at the start of an expac purple crystals are worth a great deal, and mythic raiders with enchanting would have an unfair advantage. (I’m not sure if Blizzard tunes around early raiders at all levels of difficulty having the best enchants or not?)

    I don’t like your “hand me the loots” proposal, but I would be in favor of allowing Coin Rolls for the easier difficulties. Raiders could target bosses with coveted items, but potentially skip having to clear a raid for a single item. Coin rolls are choices and sacrifices by the player, which I prefer to simply dishing out extra gear.

    • Çapncrunch says:

      “Your plan would cascade gear into all raids significantly faster,”

      Howso? They would have access the the EXACT same quality of loot each week under this system as they would have without it. There would be no “extra” gear, no “increased odds” of extra stats or the like. The only change is that under this system Mythic Raiders wouldn’t be forced to run the content 4 times a week to do so.

      • Çapncrunch says:

        I somehow missed your last paragraph before. And I will comment that I do see something of use in that idea. I could understand if some sort of condition or prerequisite (perhaps tied to the garrison idea) in order to be able to get your lower-difficulty loot along with your current difficulty kill.

        Similar in concept to collecting lesser charms to trade in for bonus roll coins, if we had to collect or do something each week to enable the cumulative loot system. With a key difference being that rather than being limited to only a few cumulative kills per week, it would enable it for all bosses for the week (since if it was only for a handful of bosses per week you’d still wind up doing those difficulties for the other bosses, so it wouldn’t really change much).

        This would help satiate the complainers who seem to think that it gives “free” loot. And as long as it involves less (and more flexible) of a time-investment than actually clearing the additional contents it would be a step in the right direction.

      • Berry says:

        “Your plan would cascade gear into all raids significantly faster,”

        OK, this is complicated. Blizz has stated that they are changing the rules for personal loot to make it less likely to get duplicates. For a mythic raider, that means every week Mythic (off boss), plus personal heroic, normal, lfr. 3 extra chances at filling slots that need an upgrade – and the chances are tilted to provide 3 viable upgrades and not dupes.

        A very top end mythic raider MIGHT run all 3 each week in addition to Mythic. My (MoP – heroic) guild has a mix of people, and I promise you that not all of those 20 people will run all 3. So for us it would definitely be a higher loot drop rate.

        Go down the food chain a bit and you get to people with children and demanding jobs and a better sense of priorities and balance. ;) They may raid Normal or Heroic, but not Mythic, and they won’t have the time to run an extra 2-3 raids. This system will definitely front load their raids with more gear.

        So yeah, I think this proposal would upset Blizz’s tuning of raids.

        • Çapncrunch says:

          I wholeheartedly disagree with you. The further “down the line” you go the less those people would be getting from it. If you take people for example that do not raid beyond flex, I would guarantee that nearly all of them run LFR as well, so it gives them no extra loot. And the people that only do Normal, a lot of them also probably do LFR and they probably try to do flex as well, so again there’s little difference there (and it’s probably the greatest difference the system would have). The people running Heroic, are already running normal as well (due to the shared lockout), and the majority of heroic raiders (remember, current heroic raiders ARE the mythic raiders) would most certainly also do flex until there is nothing left for them there. They may skip over LFR but only because they’ve already outgrown it, so does it really make a difference at all if it’s giving people gear they don’t even need? Can you really call that “cascading gear into raids significantly faster”?

          Basically it boils down three distinct situations:
          1) Giving people (a chance at) loot from difficulties that they would have run anyways.
          2) Giving people (a chance at) loot that they have no use for at all.
          3) Giving (a chance at) loot to the “casuals” who could still use a lower difficulty item but would not otherwise run it.

          In the first case it makes no difference at all, other than reducing burnout. In the second case it makes no difference at all because the loot won’t even be used.

          The 3rd case is the ONLY one that gives anyone any “extra” loot. Except think about who it actually benefits: despite what many of the naysayers are claiming by and large it will NOT be the Mythic raiders benefiting from this. It will be the middle-of-the-road raiders (which ironically is probably where most of those naysayers fit in). If anything the system benefits the casual raiders much more than it does the top-end raiders.

          In addition, consider the reason for WHY it will benefit those people: It “benefits” them because they’re not running content that offers loot they could use. So WHY aren’t they running it? Because they don’t want upgrades? Preposterous! They’re not running it because they don’t want to have to run the same content multiple times per week (in other words: burnout), or because they don’t have the time to do so.

          The first reason is actually an argument in favor of this system because the system is specifically intended to remove the necessity of running the same content multiple times per week. And as for the second reason, it’s just another example as to why this system is clearly not an elitist concept.

        • Thels says:

          “Go down the food chain a bit and you get to people with children and demanding jobs and a better sense of priorities and balance. ;) They may raid Normal or Heroic, but not Mythic, and they won’t have the time to run an extra 2-3 raids. This system will definitely front load their raids with more gear.”

          So… Take Johnny. Johnny has always been a skilled and competitive gamer when he was younger. Now Johnny has a wife and some kids, so he doesn’t have much time to play WoW anymore, but his wife gives him slack 2 evenings per week. So Johnny has only 2 evenings per week to spend inside WoW, but perhaps a couple of minutes here and there at work to check websites and tactics.

          Without a Cumulative Loot System, Johnny can raid his 2 evenings per week, but doesn’t get any gear outside of raiding. His guild starts raiding mythical, but he’s still missing a couple of important pieces left and right. Johnny could spend some more time raiding heroics to get that gear, but that’s a few weeks he hasn’t been raiding with the guild, so the guild invited someone else. Johnny could spend some more time staying with the guild, but the others in the guild farm some heroics on other evenings, and Johnny is falling behind on gear. When they get to the boss with the hard DPS check, Johnny is benched, since he can no longer pull his weight.

          Johnny is effectively removed from Mythic raiding, not because he doesn’t have the required skill or motivation, but because he didn’t have the initial luck to receive the correct items, and doesn’t have the extra time required to make up for it.

          A Cumulative Loot System would reduce these effects, and give Johnny a bigger chance to continue raiding at the difficulty level that interests him. Of course, since his guild only raids 2 evenings per week, they’re nowhere on the world progression, and unless their server has a low population, aren’t anywhere of interest on the server progression, but that’s ok, as long as they’re having fun.

          So that leads to the big question: Should Johnny be allowed to raid mythic or not, just because he doesn’t have a lot of time available to play anymore? He has the skill and motivation required to raid mythic, and any lower difficulties will likely not hold his interest for long.

    • Theck says:

      As Capn said, the amount of loot you get per week is no different in Cumulative Loot than it is without it.

      More to the point, you’re wrong about tuning. They definitely do not tune around those guilds going into Mythic in dungeon blues. They completely expect guilds like Method, Blood Legion, and Midwinter to clear LFR/Normal/Heroic the first two weeks before stepping into Mythic on week 2. And in subsequent tiers, they expect those guilds to come in with a fully-upgraded best-in-slot set from the previous tier.

      And note that none of that would be any different whether we used Cumulative Loot or the existing system. The only difference is how much extra time they have to spend on those LFR/Normal/Heroic clears.

  8. R says:

    I’m not going to argue your main point that the game should help keep the 5% (just a number, not an accurate one) of the playerbase who must do everything possible that is available to do despite things like time constraints, common sense or other people in-game calling them idiots for doing it, from doing exactly that… I don’t think sacrificing content flexibility for the 95% is worth the cost. Some of us want to be able to do a Flex run with buddies and bring our main instead of an alt because of that one stupid trinket that won’t drop on normal or heroic. Maybe that’s just a 5%, too, but it’s a 5% that’s actually playing how they want to, not how they feel they should be playing, which is an attitude I’d like to see Blizzard reward, not penalize.

    But yeah, I don’t want to argue that point. :)

    I want to mention a thought I had related to cumulative loot but… not. You know all those older bonus roll tokens we have kicking around in our currency tabs? Elder Coins, Thundering Whatevers? What if they could be used for bonus rolls for lower-calibre difficulty tiers in addition to earlier tiers of content?

    Example (including bonus revamped UI at no additional charge!)… I have 3 Timeless Tokens, 7 Thundering Whatevers and 5 Elder Coins. I’ve killed a boss on heroic that has loot I need, at least theoretically… stupid trinket has never dropped.

    Anyway.

    Up first pops a bonus roll option using Timeless Tokens that allows me to pick the spec I want to roll for right in that UI (which is where it SHOULD be, I’ve rolled in the wrong spec almost as often as the right one this tier). I say yay or nay and I probably don’t get heroic-level loot, or get something I don’t need.

    Next pops a bonus roll option using Thundering Whatevers that allows me to pick the spec I want in order to get loot off the Normal version of the boss with a higher drop chance. I say yay or nay and maybe get normal loot I don’t need.

    Next pops a bonus roll option using Elder Coins that allows me to pick the spec I want in order to get loot off the Flex version of the boss with an even higher drop chance. I say yay or nay and likely get flex loot I don’t need.

    Now… those won’t lock me out of those extra bosses for the week if I do decide to run normal or flex but they will make me ineligible for bonus rolls on them… so, while there isn’t zero incentive to run lower difficulty content, there’s significantly less (half, assuming you used older tokens on all bosses you care about).

    I’d also keep no limit on the amount of earlier tokens players can get each week (up to cap) and use… just limited by one per boss per week in terms of being used.

    Aside from being clunky, which I’m sure could be fixed, is there an issue with this re-use of older tokens to make it more of a strategic move rather than just automatically removing any non-social incentive to run the lower difficulty content on that toon?

    (and I just noticed that Berry actually started toward this type of system at the end of his comment… so we’ll call this an extension of that rather than a new idea)

    As a totally separate, much simpler idea that may actually be what you’re proposing, what about simply having one additional bonus roll for each boss killed that DOESN’T require currency but is limited to 3 rolls per week that’ll, if you hit the roll, give you a random piece of gear off the boss loot table from any earlier difficulty (say, 25% chance of loot drop, if it does drop, 40% chance it’s LFR, 30% chance flex, 20% chance normal or 10% warforged normal, assuming you killed a heroic boss, where it caps out one difficulty level below what you’re killing)?

    • Çapncrunch says:

      “I don’t think sacrificing content flexibility for the 95% is worth the cost. Some of us want to be able to do a Flex run with buddies and bring our main instead of an alt because of that one stupid trinket that won’t drop on normal or heroic. Maybe that’s just a 5%, too, but it’s a 5% that’s actually playing how they want to, not how they feel they should be playing, which is an attitude I’d like to see Blizzard reward, not penalize.”

      It’s a good thing you didn’t want to argue this point because you are completely wrong on it. Nothing about the system sacrifices any flexibility nor does it penalize anybody. For one thing the proposed system is defined as being OPTIONAL. So he’s not even saying you’d be forced to use it. Second, even if you did use it you’d still be able to run the lower-difficulties again, you just wouldn’t get loot for doing so (because you already got your shot at it).

      ————————————

      As to the suggestion about having multiple bonus roll currencies to roll on other difficulty gear, it’s not a terrible idea. However you are flat-out wrong when you say that it significantly decreases the incentive to run lower-difficulty content. Because people already use their bonus rolls on their current/highest difficulty that they’re doing, not on the lower difficulties. The only exception would be bosses that they are not able to kill on their current/highest difficulty yet (which would be no different under your proposal either). When raiders run lower-difficulty content they’re doing almost entirely for the “regular” loot, so this proposal doesn’t change that at all.

      • R says:

        Maybe I’m doing it wrong but I’m in a position right now where the only piece of gear I need (need = significant upgrade, >i10 delta) is a trinket… so I’m using bonus rolls on trinkets down to and including flex since I’m running an i522 ToT trinket right now. I ran flex last night on a toon that routinely kills 8 bosses on heroic each week and used a roll.

        In my case, if I couldn’t have rolled on a flex trinket, I’d have brought a different toon to the run but not everyone has multiple viable toons. And yeah, that’s an edge case, but all we’re talking about here are edge cases of various types, whether we’re talking the “must run anything for incremental benefit” crowd, the “must have all the tmog gear ever” crowd, the “I’ll only run lower-end content if I can use bonus rolls” crowd, etc. And your response, while probably correct in today’s game, doesn’t factor in that bonus rolls MAY NOT WORK LIKE THAT in WoD and probably won’t, that’s why I proposed a modification of the system… but what we actually get could be completely different, especially in a world with lower-impact Valor Points (lower impact than today?) and smarter bonus rolls. The only point I was really aiming to make is that I don’t want to see less flexibility brought in to save the 5%ers from themselves. I basically aim taking the position that it’s largely a self-inflicted problem although I’m well aware that it isn’t limited to heroic raiders. I’d also claim that it’s possible to be a heroic raider without having that particular need to do everything always (although I more or less got called out for that on a different blog, apparently heroic raiders SHOULD feel obligated to do everything always… guess we all have different takes on where the “enough” bar is).

    • Theck says:

      Cap beat me to the punch here too, but note that this system doesn’t prevent you from doing a Flex run with your buddies on your main, even if you’ve opted (and again, it’s optional) to get your loot during your Mythic clear. You can still zone in and clear that flex run with them because they use an LFR/Flex-style loot lockout.

      You just won’t get any new gear from the bosses you’ve already killed on a higher difficulty if you’ve opted to get that loot earlier in the week.

    • Theck says:

      Oh, also, regarding using old tokens: I think the problem with that idea is that it just adds more incentive to run old, irrelevant content. It would encourage you to go farm coins so that you could get all of your weekly Mogu Runes, Elder Charms, and Warforged whatevers to use on current content. It would actually contribute to burnout, I think, not alleviate it.

    • Theck says:

      That said, I think the basic idea you’re going for is sound: give players who have killed a boss on X difficulty some way to get the loot from that boss on lower difficulties at a significantly reduced time expenditure. It could be something as simple as a quest they need to do out in the world. The key is that it should turn something that takes an hour or two into something that takes a few minutes.

      • R says:

        Responding to all 3 comments at once to save space…

        I think I knew that you strictly meant a loot lock, not a boss lock… I think you can re-run flex today already, for that matter. I was strictly talking about for loot… thing is, if I’m going to be running something that’s of borderline use for me for primarily social reasons, I don’t mind having a reason to bring my main toon (to the great benefit of the group with a small chance of benefit to me) vs bringing an alt (to minimal benefit of the group but more chance of benefit to me). It’s content I’m running anyway, why not have some small incentive remain to bring my main?

        Sure, but farming tokens (at least today) is a different type of content… it’s farming mobs and opening chests out on Isle of Thunder… it’s collecting coins on Timeless Isle to turn in for tokens… it’s not raiding just to enable more raiding. I’ve never particularly liked that when each content tier (not talking raids exclusively) comes out the previous content is more or less nullified… when I go back to Isle of Thunder to kill rares for VP farming these days I’m usually the only one there. That’s kind of sad.

        And yeah, I have no issue with that… although to be honest, the trend of making LFR gear less useful may also act as a useful curb to forcing running of that content. I welcome that.

  9. Matthew L. Seidl says:

    Except in WoD, everything is its own lockout. So if we’re 8/16 Mythic in WoD, we have to kill 24 bosses – 8 mythic and 16 heroic, assuming we want the gear off the end of heroic, etc. With this loot system, we get 0 rewards from the first 8 bosses in heroic. With the WoD system as presented, we get loot from those bosses, its just loot we likely don’t want. It seems like a separate argument if this completely separate lockout thing is good or bad (I think bad, but I would love to see arguments).

    So, *IF* I can skip the heroic’s I’ve done in mythic and start half way through the instance, then I love this. Without that, the thought of getting no drops at all from the first 8 bosses, except for whoever we had to sit for mythic, is morale crushing. Sure, the bosses might be easy, but its still a slog.

    • Theck says:

      The assumption is that you can skip those bosses, because when you create the Heroic instance, it will start immediately after the last boss your raid leader is saved to. Which would naturally be the boss you killed on Mythic.

  10. blizzhoof says:

    When replying to Matthew Seidl, I realized a few issues with this loot system. I mentioned one in my response, but it’s worth expounding on and hearing arguments as to why this isn’t a real concern or how it can be fixed (because I love the idea of this loot system).

    First, considering the fact that Mythic will be 20 man and that Heroic will be able to accommodate at least 25 (I heard possibly 30 somewhere), then we’d still have to re-clear Heroic/Normal every week while gearing up. If we will have to re-clear anyways, then using group loot will be much more efficient than using personal loot. So, what problem does this really solve?

    Secondly, I don’t think the garrison idea is as good as it sounds. If it takes a day to get the gear, then most guilds are going to have to either restructure their raid days to benefit from the system or re-clear it Heroic first anyways and then wait a day to get their normal mode gear gathered before progressing on whatever boss they’re on. Basically, the garrison thing just complicates the issue and goes against what we’re trying to fix. I guess I could settle if the quest was completed instantly, but it’s still not ideal to have to be like “okay everybody go to your garrisons and get your quests done, then meet back here in 10 so we can start progressing.” However, it does fix the issues your brought up, so if the quest completes instantaneously then it would be worth it. If it took any more than about 5 minutes it wouldn’t solve anything for the majority of guilds.

    • Theck says:

      You have a good point about the “benchwarmers,” for lack of a better term. The handful of people that sit out of some of the Mythic kills would still be eligible for Heroic loot, so there’s an incentive to re-clear and funnel gear to them.

      That said, note two things:

      a) The amount of loot that will drop in Heroic is proportional to how many people are not locked. So in that clear, you might get one drop per boss from each boss even in a 25-man raid, because 20 players are already saved. That’s a lot of time investment for very little reward. It’s more likely that guilds will do an alt run or let those players join a pick-up group to get that loot.

      b) Consider how it works currently: the players that sit out of a few bosses don’t get loot on heroic or normal for those bosses. And if they rejoin the group for the next boss, they’re immediately locked to previous bosses. In other words, exactly the way the new system works if you assume you won’t re-clear Heroic just for those 4-5 players.

      I think the sheer time investment of re-clearing is probably enough that guilds won’t bother to do that.

      I disagree with the Garrison thing because I don’t think the 1-day delay is a big deal. Guilds will already prioritize spending time on progression to spending time on farm. I think most guilds would just keep chugging at progression and enjoy the no-time-spent extra loot as it comes. Practice on a boss usually makes more difference than a little extra loot that’s below your target ilvl anyway (and note that most of that loot will be shards or gold).

      • blizzhoof says:

        I’m speaking of the first tier here as later tiers it wouldn’t really be an issue outside of tier bonuses and really stupid trinkets like Bindings:

        About the Garrison thing, you’re definitely wrong when it comes to a guild like mine (and we’re not even US top 50 this tier). During the first about half to 3/4 of Mythic progression we would absolutely be forced to clear on Heroic first every week to get upgrades before going into Mythic if we had to wait the day to receive loot. Upgrading from blue heroic dungeon gear (which has been confirmed to be lower ilvl than LFR) to heroic raid gear will be a tremendous increase in throughput and survivability. There is no way that spending half an hour on the progression boss wearing significantly lower ilvl loot will be more worth it than just clearing those 6 bosses on Heroic, getting those 36 drops, and then going back into the boss. Not a chance.

        Furthermore, if it does actually take 24 hours for the quest to complete, then you won’t have the loot the next day either. We raid Tues, Wed, and Thurs from 7pm – 11pm CST. If we finished farm at 9pm Tues, then that gear wouldn’t be available until about 9:10pm (at the earliest) on Wednesday. And that would only be if we took a break immediately when the boss died Tuesday to have everybody go to their garrisons and start the quests, then they’d have to use flight paths to get back (dunno if they could even hearth to their garrison). We of course would then have to take another break at the same time the next day to have them go retrieve their gear and get back. Alternatively we could just wait until after raid to do the stuff which would mean that the gear would only be available on the third day of our three-day raid week. That’s a terrible idea.

        • blizzhoof says:

          Half an hour is an underestimation. Probably will take an hour to an hour and fifteen to kill the bosses on heroic. I still think it’s easily worth the time to gain up to 36 upgrades.

          • Thels says:

            You might be right, but… Spending an extra hour to quickly kill the bosses on heroic is not that much of a problem. Sure, it’s taxing some of your time, but with a guild group, it’s not that much effort.

            You will likely not be farming LFR and Normal with the guild, and after a month or so, you will likely stop farming Heroics with the guild. There will still be a few people left that miss a tier piece or a trinket here or there, and even if it was tied into the Garrison, it would help them there.

            Or even if you would normally continue to farm Heroics, if you know that there are only a few items remaining that could possibly an upgrade, it starts to become more interesting to just spend an hour extra on learning a new boss fight with slightly weaker gear and let the remaining guildies get their gear from garrisons.

            Once again, it’s not meant to be a system to get everyone their best gear asap, it’s meant to be a system to discourage players from grinding out lower difficulty levels for those last few remaining items, and that is what it accomplishes.

  11. emruseliavery says:

    (note to avoid confusion all hardest modes will be referred to as mythic regardless of mythic existing in that period)

    Let us try to revisit the augments for and against introducing such a system.

    Raider burnout: This is the principle argument behind such a system. It has most recently, been addressed by blizzard in the Watercooler: Raiding part 2, while discussing ICC’s 2 raid lockout system.

    “Players often felt obligated to run both 10-player and 25-player modes of the same content each week in order to optimize their character, which could accelerate burnout. (Best-in-slot trinkets and other items on the unique 10-player loot tables didn’t help here.)”

    The conclusion of this was to merge 10 and 25 man into a single lockout to prevent raider burnout. What is being introduced now is in effect a 4 raid lockout system in a 16 boss tier. The potential for raider burnout is higher then ever before. And lets be clear the consequences of raider burnout are significant. Players unsubbing hurts blizzards bottom line and players quitting their guilds are deeply disruptive for these social structures and the community at large. So, the question is not if blizzard should deal with this issue. It’s only a matter of how it should be done.

    Furthermore, this is not just an issue for heroic and mythic raiders depending on which solutions are chosen for this problem, the consequences of the solutions affect the non-raiders, lfr and normal raiders alike. As I see the thus far 4 different systems have been put in place to alleviate this problem.

    (Shared-)lockout. The concept of preventing players from playing across multiple formats or difficulties simply as an absolute disincentive to play more then intended. Additionally, this has a unrelated but equally valid method of gating character progression which lengthens the time until boredom issue.

    Item level gap. A gradient disincentive which causes the players to make a cost benefit evaluation of their own times worth in respect to increasingly diminishing rewards. As such, as ones gear gets better it becomes less worthwhile to consider doing lower difficulties for loot. As a concept this is an elegant solution with respect higher difficulty raiders as they get a feeling of graduating out of the lower difficult.
    However, there are two significant drawbacks to this system. This requires a combination of a significant item level gap between each raid tier and a large amount of loot dropped pr boss for the lower tiers to provide no worthwhile benefit. A too large item level gap greatly undermines the self-worth of lower difficulty raiders and distorts the game balance in the long run (i.e. crit reaching 100%). On the other hand a too large amount of drops undermines the replayability of appropriate level difficulty as one becomes fully geared, and gaining little to nothing from successive farm runs. This will eventually lead to guilds stalling on bosses as their item level stops increasing, which forces a guild to improve solely in skill to defeat their next progression boss. A boss which may prove impossible depending on turnover, which leads to frustration and unsubbing.
    Furthermore, as elegant as this solution is there are some very unfortunate correlations with the nature of randomized loot. This is generally most profound in trinkets. Due to the power difference in trinkets, one trinket might constitute the largest upgrade a character can make. Furthermore, if this(these) trinkets does not drop on higher difficulties, killing one boss on the lowest difficulty could be a larger personal upgrade then killing any other boss any other difficulty.

    Bonus point capping. (Valor, badge of justice etc). The various point systems form to an extent the secondary progression system. By which a character progresses simply by playing and which is devoid of any impact of luck. While this system has never been the principle factor in character progression, it has been capped for two reasons. One of them being to prevent player burnout from being able/forced to play until the upgrades from this system are exhausted.

    Removing powerful effects from lower difficulties. This is essentially a compliment to the item gap solution where special items, i.e. heirlooms, mounts, trinkets, set bonuses etc. have been removed/nerfed on lower difficulties. These are all pinpoint alterations to remove higher difficulty to have any incentive to run lower difficulties while not preventing them. However, one must keep in mind that as these rewards are removed to prevent burnout, they also take away from the experience/joy of lower difficulty raiders of finding these items as they are now kept out of reach.

    While not all of these systems have been implemented to prevent raider burnout. They all support each other in doing so, and are very effective at that. But, they come at a cost, either by baring social interaction with the lockout system, or diminishing the worth of and rewards for the players on lower difficulties. With Warlords of Draenor the lockouts as a concept is essentially being removed. This puts a strain on the other systems. We have already had our first taste of it with the removal of set bonuses and powerful trinkets from lfr, and I expect we will continue to see the massive, or potentially even larger level gaps between the difficulties.

    If this system is introduced the strain on other burning reducing systems (shared lockout, ilvl gap, lfr generic gear) is reduced. By introducing this system it would be possible to reduce the level cap, the exiting set bonuses could be kept for lfr raiders and loot drops as a whole could be reduced which would increase the replayability/excitement of drops, and would reduce the requirement for secondary bonus systems such as warforged/sockets/tertiary stats to even exist.

    TLDR: On the other hand, arguing that this system should not be implemented, for reasons such as mythic raiders don’t deserve more loot, is arguing that mythic raiders deserve higher item levels or that lfr raiders don’t deserve set bonuses. If one argues that the burnout of mythic raiders doesn’t concern other players, one just have to realize the excessive number of steps that have been taken throughout wows history to address burnout. Often to the determent of non-mythic raiders’ experience.

    As a final note. One must consider the social impacts of this system. Shared-lockouts posed as wall preventing players from raiding with friends and family on lower difficulties. This solution does not do so. However, it makes the deed into a strictly altruistic endeavor by stripping any reward from doing so. Personally, I believe this will have a significant effect on this kind of social raiding and pugs alike. However, I don’t think it’s an unsolvable problem. There are many dials which can be tuned. This system could potentially only provide half of a loot chance of lower difficulty items as bonus loot (or some other percent), and only half a lock. As such, a player half locked to a boss would get the other half chance of loot from killing it on it’s actual difficulty. This would greatly disincentivize players from raiding on much lower difficulties and at the same time it wouldn’t be a complete waste if one where to do this raid. This idea was only a quick one. And it has its own flaws in being difficult to communicate to players. However, it is made as an example of how this system with a little effort could be tuned to address everyone’s concern.

    • Çapncrunch says:

      You make many very solid points. All of the discussions so far have mainly focused on the merits or potential drawbacks of the proposed system, purely based on the environment Blizzard has presented. But I don’t think any of us have made a direct comparison to the other burnout-remedies that we’ve seen before. And I think you are absolutely correct, the proposed system is probably more effective at reducing burnout than any of the previous mechanics, without carrying any of the inherent limitations of those mechanics.

  12. Matthew L. Seidl says:

    How does this remove the time commitment of a normal mode guild stepping into heroics? They’d get the normal mode gear from the heroics they’re doing, but without a shared lockout, they’d still have to clear those same normal mode bosses to get to the bosses they can’t yet do on hard mode. Unless Blizzard adds a way to skip large pieces of the instance. There hasn’t been a raid yet where more than 2 bosses were optional in order to pull the final boss (Ulduar had 2 skippable bosses, a bunch of raids had 1). Maybe we’ll get ‘wings’ in everything except mythic that lets us start out the instance further in, but without that I don’t see how this saves time. If we do get wings that let us start a fresh raid at any boss (maybe in sets of 2. Sets of 3 is getting to granular I think), then this would be great. But I haven’t seen anything of late saying Bliz might be letting us do this.

    • emruseliavery says:

      The option you are talking about have been in place since cataclysm. All you need is a character(alt) which is saved at the point where you want to start your raid. You enter the raid which this character as the raid leader. Then you can continue from the point where the alt is saved. The beauty if this is that the alt doesn’t have to participate in your clear and the alt can extend his personal lockout indefinitely.

      • Theck says:

        As mentioned earlier, you wouldn’t even need an alt. If you clear 3 bosses on Heroic, and your raid leader opts to get his Normal loot, he’s also saved to those 3 bosses on Normal. If you zone out and enter a normal instance while he’s raid leader, those first 3 bosses will already be dead, just as if you killed them on normal already that week.

        • emruseliavery says:

          Yes, I misunderstood the problem. With respect to SoO. I thought he said, If you killed Immersius on heroic(mythic) and after being unable to kill protectors just wanted to end the week with a normal(heroic) garrosh kill. You could skip straight to garrosh with the use of an alt. Or proceed to normal(heroic) protectors without an alt.

          • Theck says:

            We actually did a lot of that during heroic progression on some of the later bosses. We’d skip the first chunk by zoning into an instance we had previously saved on an alt, so we could start at e.g. Dark Shamans to work on Thok or Blackfuse progression.

            Unfortunately that trick doesn’t work for heroic Garrosh.

  13. Çapncrunch says:

    Ok, so I’ve already responded quite a few times to other peoples’ posts, bringing up a few different points; but I wanted to make my own post to summarize my thoughts on the idea.

    First of all, as should be obvious from my other posts, I do think the Cumulative Loot system is a generally good idea. Perhaps not perfect, but definitely a step in the right direction. First off, the system is not simply a matter of coddling the top-end raiders, it has benefits all the way down the line (with the admitted exception of not affecting those that don’t venture beyond lfr). For the top-end raiders the only real benefit it offers them is less time spent and less burnout, and maybe a little extra gold from selling or disenchanting the loot that’s completely useless to them. And as you move down the line from the top-end raiders it still offers similar benefits to them, it still saves them the time and burnout from needing to run the difficulties below them (or in a similar vain gives them the benefits they would be getting if they weren’t already limited by time or burnout factors), they’d just get less gold-benefit from it since less of the gear would be obsolete to them.

    Though like I said the system is not quite perfect though. The biggest short-coming is clearly its reception: many players mistakenly see it as giving extreme favoritism to the top-end raiders, primarily because they get the “most” loot (despite the fact that much of that loot they get isn’t of any actual use to them anyways). Another concern (which ironically I don’t think anyone else has mentioned) is the impact it would have on the economy due to the “useless loot” it will inevitably give out, which not only increases gold in-come (plus by not running the content multiple times means less repair bills), but also increase the number of disenchanted epics.

    I’ve mentioned a few ideas that I’ve had to help with some of these issues, which I’d like to cover here:

    1) Overlapping Loot:
    I mentioned this in another post, which is my idea of cutting down the amount of “extra” loot that is obtained through cumulative loot in order to make it appear more even. Where instead of getting a loot roll for all difficulties below what you killed, you only get a shot at loot from one difficulty below you. So instead of Mythic raiders getting 4 difficulties of loot on their kills, they only get 2, and Heroic raiders would only get 2, and Normal raiders would also only get 2. LFR raiders would unfortunately be left out since they’d only get 1. But overall this would make it so that the higher tier raiders don’t get “more” loot just higher ilevel, which is the same as everyone is already used to. And it accomplishes this by only removing the items that are least-likely to be desirable to heroic and Mythic raiders anyways (which also helps with the gold/enchanting issue I mentioned earlier). It also doesn’t compromise the burn-out solution since again, it’s only denying the loot that is most-likely undesired anyways. And even in the worst case that that Mythic/Heroic raider does want those lowest difficulty items they’d still only need to run the content a second time, instead of 3 or 4 times, which would still be a huge improvement over the current system.

    Also, the issue of LFR raiders being “left-out” since they wouldn’t get any “cumulative” loot along with the usual rewards, this could be mitigated by offering them the ability to get some other compensation. This could be even lower ilevel variations of the LFR gear, or maybe 5manheroic gear or heroic scenario gear, or something else along those lines. The worst this would do is create incentive for Normal raiders to want to run LFR instead of using the cumulative loot system, but since this lower-than-LFR gear would essentially be 2 difficulties below normal, it’s doubtful they’ll have use for it, and if it’s equivalent (or is) 5man/scenario gear then they’d have other options for it besides LFR anyways. So it would basically boil down to the same situation as for Heroic/Mythic raiders where the worst case is they decide to run the content a second time per week for significantly lower gear, which I again think is an acceptable option.

    2) Cumulative Earnings:
    This was also brought up in another post. Where instead of Cumulative Loot being available to everyone every week automatically, make raiders have to work for it. It could be something along the lines of collecting something which is turned in each week to make Cumulative Loot available for the week (similar to collecting lesser charms to trade in for bonus rolls, except that once activated it would let you use cumulative loot for all bosses, not just a few, since the idea is to eliminate the need to run an entire difficulty). Or it could be integrated into the Garrisons or something. Just in some way make players have to “do” something to use it. This would also help alleviate the reception issues by making players need to work for the benefit. And so long as the time investment is less than it would take to re-run the content (and/or more flexible investment) it would still retain most of the benefits of the system.

    3) Diminished Cumulative Loot:
    This I didn’t mention before but I think it is another option. As it is, the Cumulative Loot offers equal rewards compared to running the loot on every difficulty individually, at the benefit of less time spent. But what if it didn’t? What if when you killed a boss on Mythic, the odds of getting a Heroic item was less than if you had killed it on Heroic? To toss some numbers around, Let’s assume that when you kill a boss on Heroic you have a 15% chance of getting heroic loot, but when you kill a boss on Mythic and you choose to use the Cumulative Loot system you only had say a 12% chance of getting a heroic item. In other words it’s a tradeoff of loot chance for time saved. This would also help with reception since it carries an inherent cost. And because the lower difficulty items, while worth going after, are not a priority, many would likely still find it worth the time-saved to give up a little droprate on them if it meant avoiding early burnout. It would also create an interesting choice for players that may have time/desire to do extra runs occasionally, since if they plan to do so they can then choose not to use their cumulative rolls to make that extra run a little more worthwhile for them. However the downside to this is that choosing to lower your chance at loot can start to feel frustrating at times, and the system could potentially feel punishing if you use a cumulative roll in your main raid and then later in the week find yourself running a lower difficulty, having effectively jipped yourself. Another downside is that it would probably require Blizzard to be more transparent with what the odds on personal loot actually were, which could also lead to more complaints from players who feel that their results do not match the odds that Blizzard tells them.

    There are probably other variations that could be made as well, or some combinations of them. They all address the apparent concern of giving higher-end raiders something for nothing, without compromising the main benefits of the system (which benefit everyone). In particular I’ve become quite fond of my first suggestion, it offers the main benefits of the Cumulative Loot system while retaining much of the feel of the existing loot progression system already in place.

    • blizzhoof says:

      Another benefit that we haven’t spoken much about is that it will allow Blizzard to put tier sets and good trinkets back in LFR. Their current plan is to not have tier or strong trinkets drop in LFR so that raiders don’t have to run it. This has upset a good amount of the LFR playerbase. While I agree with their decision to remove them, if they could find a way to have them in without making us feel pressured to run LFR then it’s a win-win. Granted, that would require that Mythic raiders have chances at everything. So, if they were to go with your proposal of the one-difficulty down loot, then they couldn’t re-implement the tier/trinkets into LFR (which I’m fine with as well).

    • Thels says:

      As you replied yourself, there are benefits to LFR with the cumulative loot system, in that they could get their Tier pieces and Trinkets back.

      1) This would still require people to make 1 additional clear as long as they need 1 more tier piece or trinket. It would reduce the effect of the system, though someone who is grinding their way to mythic shouldn’t have issues getting into a normal pug, so it’s not too much of a problem. I don’t think it’s a required benefit, though.

      2) Forcing players to perform additional steps to gain the additional loot is weird, since the system is actually designed to do the exact opposite, though if the additional steps are minor enough, such as visiting your garrison and sending your followers on a single mission, it’s not really a problem.

      3) I really don’t like that solution. It basically forces players to plan ahead too much. Say I’m running Mythic, but plan on helping out some friends in Heroic on monday. Do I take the heroic loot now? If I do, then I’m wasting my higher chances on monday. If I don’t, and monday’s raid doesn’t go through, I cut myself in the fingers.

      • Çapncrunch says:

        Mostly my same thoughts. Also, worth stating that I’m making these suggestions under the current LFR-model where they get tier and trinkets as well (and also means that LFR doesn’t contain unique gear models like they have planned for WoD).

        1) Yes, I’m aware that by not including all lower levels it does create some possibility for making Heroic/Mythic raiders having some reason for needing to run the lower content. However, I honestly don’t think this is that bad. Burnout isn’t a linear effect, it’s (ironically) cumulative. Every additional run you add is worse then the one before. I really don’t think *needing* to run the content 1 extra time to get loot that’s 2 or 3 difficulties below you is that unreasonable. It’s when you’re faced with the possibility of having to run the content 3 or 4 times that burnout really becomes a major issue.

        2) I disagree that it’s really all that weird. We already do it for bonus rolls. And Valor. And it’s been done for reputation gear too. The system is not really designed to eliminate addition steps to gain additional loot, it’s designed to avoid having to re-run the content multiple times for additional loot. By attaching the lower-difficulty loot to a different task removes the burn-out issue (so long as the new task itself is not burn-out inducing). And if the other task is flexible enough that it can be done a little here and a little there, it will also still help those with time restraints by letting them work on it when they are able to, and that’s before factoring in it taking less total time than rerunning the raid.

        3) Yeah, I’m not too thrilled with it either. It sounds good on paper, but does have that “trap” type of feel. But even so, it would still be a step forward from having no choice but to run all of the difficulties if you want any chance at the extra loot.

        • emruseliavery says:

          I have nothing to add to the first two points. However

          3) Even tough I proposed something similar with 50% reduced loot chance, I very much agree that this has a trap sorta feel to it. And forcing the player to make a cost benefit analysis whether he wants the heroic loot now for use in mythic progression or if he wants to delay it to the end of the week is IMO a bad addition of complexity in the system.

          To find the best version of diminished loot I would like to ask the question what do we hope to achieve with it? a) From my impression it is to add a cost into the system, so that the raider doesn’t get what feels like “free” bonus loot. b) Retain some semblance of it being better to do this raid, where one to help out friends, however small the benefit may be. And the original purpose of this system is to prevent the need to run lower difficulties to fill in the last few slots with powerful trinkets or set bonuses.

          I think 2) solves the question of adding cost into the system the best way. However, I think the diminished loot system conflicts directly with the purpose of the system. If the loot chance is worse it still requires people to raid all 4 difficulties for the best chance of character improvement regardless of how small the loot chance is reduced in the garrison system. That said, I think it think with slight tweaking it becomes better.

          TLDR: How about, you only have limited number of bosses you can get loot from through the garrison? To match the coin numbers, lets say you can send out 3 follower missions out to get a shot at piece of loot from a boss on every lower difficulty of each raid tier.

          In this example if you kill all 16 bosses in t17 on mythic, you would have 9 available follower missions, 3 for each LFR, normal and heroic. Sending out a follower to (kill) collect loot from a boss would give you just as good a chance of loot as killing it yourself, and doing so would lock you to that boss.

          This system would eliminate the need to run lower difficulties if you only need a couple of trinkets and a set item, while preserving the full chance of getting these. On the other hand, When you need a lot of items from a difficulty it still feels beneficial and required to complete this difficulty. And I don’t think this is a bad thing, if you lack a lot of items there’s a large chance of gratification through running the instance. But, when you need few items, it becomes a large time commitment for a run which will likely lead to disappointment.

          And last, this method doesn’t discourage you from raiding lower difficulties with friends&family as you still have to option of off-spec loot on the remaining 13 bosses.

        • emruseliavery says:

          As an addition to the above. I think this system would best be described as Limited Cumulative loot (LCL). And it has one additional benefit, which I think is quite important from a server economics perspective. It prevents the massive flood of additional vendor gold or shards flooding the market. With limited cumulative loot is only in same order of magnitude as the bonus already produced by coin rolls.

          The system could use the exact same system as the new WoD coins system. Where, each week you do 3 garrison “quests” to earn your 3 warforged seals. In addition you could earn 6 (made up number) LCL loot tokens which allow your followers to go kill the raid bosses on lower difficulties and bring back your loot.

          This would naturally be balanced such that earning the LCL tokens would be less time consuming then doing the raids. The loot isn’t free since you are paying for it with questing/mission time. The system encourages you to explore the rest of wow,replacing the boredom associated with farming trivial raids. The system ties in well with the follower system since gear they bring back which you cannot use can be used to gear up your followers. And the system brings a natural threshold for when you graduate out of the lower difficulties. Instead of you graduating when you have filled all slots with better items, it turns into graduating when all slots are better except for 1-3 items. At the same time it doesn’t take away any secondary benefits from actually doing these raids, except for not getting loot on the few bosses where you used the LCL system.

          • Thels says:

            “2) I disagree that it’s really all that weird. We already do it for bonus rolls. And Valor. And it’s been done for reputation gear too. The system is not really designed to eliminate addition steps to gain additional loot, it’s designed to avoid having to re-run the content multiple times for additional loot. By attaching the lower-difficulty loot to a different task removes the burn-out issue (so long as the new task itself is not burn-out inducing). And if the other task is flexible enough that it can be done a little here and a little there, it will also still help those with time restraints by letting them work on it when they are able to, and that’s before factoring in it taking less total time than rerunning the raid.”

            The problem that all the valor grinding, lesser charm grinding, lower content grinding, etc… is stacking on top of each other and also a source of burnout. People that just want to raid can find it very tedious to have to grind Valor AND Charms AND their Farm on top of each other in addition to raids, especially back before HC SCenarios and Timeless Isle made it hard to cap Valor and Charms. Removing one timesink with another doesn’t really fix the issue at all. It would quite possibly end up being faster to just run the instance again and then remain unused.
            ____________________

            I really like the idea of only choosing a few bosses for which you want to receive the chances of loot. It still means you want to go back the first few times, but then when there’s only a few pieces of loot remaining, you can use the Garrison for your weekly drop, which reduces all that “free extra drops” that would screw up the economy.

  14. Balkoth says:

    Given that Normal and Heroic will have a choice of Personal vs Traditional Loot I’m not sure I see this idea working out well. Presumably it’ll still be significantly more efficient to have 25 people kill a boss and split up the 6 items that dropped compared to having all 25 people do personal loot. Don’t really want situations where player A gets a belt sidegrade when he really needs a massive bracer upgrade and player B gets a bracer sidegrade when he wants a large belt upgrade — couldn’t trade those in personal loot.

    This especially true once you’re down to only needing a few items per person from the lower difficulties — much easier to fill those last few slots with Master Loot than Personal Loot.

    • blizzhoof says:

      It’s true that once you get down to only needing a few pieces that it will likely make more sense to actually clear the lower difficulties, but that’s why it would be an optional system. Up until that point, when everybody needs lots of gear, it will make a lot more sense to just clear the place on your chosen difficulty and take what you get from from the Cumulative Loot system, as more time on the boss will be more effective.

      Of course the really top end guilds won’t use this system as they’ll want to do the five or six alt raids that they do to funnel gear, but guilds like mine (US 45th in ToT and US 54th in SoO) will absolutely take advantage of this system. We raid 12 hours a week and spending as much of that time on progression as possible makes us happy. I imagine many guilds under the top 20 don’t want to clear 3 difficulties every week and would appreciate this change.

      • Balkoth says:

        “I imagine many guilds under the top 20 don’t want to clear 3 difficulties every week and would appreciate this change.”

        My concern isn’t that this change isn’t an improvement but rather it still doesn’t fix everything and I’d rather have a solution that didn’t leave problems. I supported this idea (http://balkothsword.blogspot.com/2013/08/raid-lockouts-and-free-loot.html) back when personal loot was the only option (and thus the Master Looting issue we’re talking about wasn’t a concern) but now?…

        I’d rather see something like the boss actually dropping all of the gear that it’s eligible to drop (so killing it on Mythic with 20 people who haven’t killed anything that week would drop 6 Mythic, 6 Heroic, 6 Normal, and 6 LFR pieces, basically). If half the people had done Heroic already you’d see 6 Mythic, 3 Heroic, 3 Normal, and 3 LFR. Might be slightly more confusing in terms of people needing to know whether they’re eligible during the week but would help on divvying up loot in terms of efficiency. Could still simply do quick /rolls and get the whole thing done in under a minute.

        • Thels says:

          Balkoth, I had the same reservations as you when Theck suggested the Cumulative Loot System for WoD. For 5.4, it fit perfectly, as you could only receive personal loot on the lower difficulty levels anyhow. For 6.0, things are working differently, and the system no longer fits perfectly.

          The massive amount of pieces that would drop might get a bit over the top, even though I think the numbers are going down. Raids are likely to drop 1 piece per 5 players (with a 20% chance of an extra piece for each extra player), which means 4 pieces in mythic, so at most 16 pieces. That’s still a lot if you’re not using an addon for it, or if your loot council needs to look at each piece individually (though they probably don’t need a thorough look for the Normal/LFR pieces).

          Overall, though, the major benefit of masterloot only arises if you are going with a guild group. If you pug it with a bunch of randoms, masterloot is not likely to give you as much of an advantage over personal loot, if at all. Therefor, while Cumulative Loot doesn’t give you the best possible loot, it does discourage you from individually investing time in pugging the rest, which is a big step in the right direction.

          Guild groups that run heroics in addition to mythic will of course have an advantage, especially if they fill the roster to 25 for the heroic runs. There’s little that the Cumulative Loot System can prevent about that. Even if you did give all the loot for 20 man, they would still have to re-run the content for the remaining 5. Heck, they could run heroics 5 times, every time bringing 5 mains and 20 alts, and giving the 5 mains all the gear. Masterloot on any difficulty other than Mythic will allow for these kind of gimmicks.

          This also raises the issue that it’s no longer optional, or at least not on a per-player base. If your raid leader has it enabled, you’re locked out, even if you plan to help some friends later on.

          • Thels says:

            I don’t think you could reach a perfect solution with the Cumulative Loot System for 6.0, mainly due to group loot being enabled for lower difficulty levels that are on separate lockouts. It’s just a step in the right direction, that reduces the effects, rather than eliminating them completely.

            I had another idea recently, which I dubbed the Limited Loot Reset, which basically only resets the loot lockout for the highest difficulty every week. It will start out unlocked on all levels for all bosses, so it still allows you to loot each boss on each difficulty level during the very first week, but after that, it only resets on the highest difficulty level.

            So, say, week 1 you cleared Normal and Heroic. After week 1, Heroic resets, and normal does not. Week 2 you clear Heroic and kill the first 4 bosses on Mythic. The first 4 bosses reset on mythic, and the remaining bosses reset on heroic.

            Since Mythic is always the most difficult raid setting, it always resets, so there are no problems with raid lockouts. All lower difficulties only have a personal loot lockout, so it doesn’t prevent you from helping out friends when you feel like it, even if you are a heroic raider, and this still allows Mythic raiders to step 1 or 2 levels down to farm archievements, even if it doesn’t earn them any other loot.

            The main gripes are:
            – It will be unintuitive at first, and requires gui changes to clearly indicate what’s going on.
            – It takes things away from players, which is why players might be unwilling to accept the system.
            – It still allows you to farm the LFR wings when they are released. (Though… they could start with all LFR wings locked out in loot until the week they open up. Then players that haven’t killed those bosses on Normal during the week before can farm LFR for gear, while those that did kill it on Normal or higher during the previous week cannot.)

          • Balkoth says:

            “Heck, they could run heroics 5 times, every time bringing 5 mains and 20 alts, and giving the 5 mains all the gear. Masterloot on any difficulty other than Mythic will allow for these kind of gimmicks.”

            You’d need 100 alts to do this — bringing the loot locked alts would make less gear drop.

            “This also raises the issue that it’s no longer optional, or at least not on a per-player base. If your raid leader has it enabled, you’re locked out, even if you plan to help some friends later on.”

            That is a potential problem, true, you’d have to opt out with your friends earlier to make sure you save your loot lockout for later with your guild. The whole situation is messed up.

            “I had another idea recently, which I dubbed the Limited Loot Reset, which basically only resets the loot lockout for the highest difficulty every week.”

            Interesting idea. For the LFR concern, you’d simply check the previous week to see what should be unlocked — literally just have everything locked except the highest.

            However, I think you would need to make some modifications — if you’re unable to run Mythic that week it would suck to be unable to loot the first four on heroic. So probably lock out everything but the highest two difficulties — so if you kill bosses on Mythic and Heroic, LFR/Normal are locked.

            This means worst case you have to clear two difficulties, never more. Still not perfect but probably the best you can get.

          • Thels says:

            True about the 100 alts, but it can be done. But even if you forget about that idea for a moment, it seems Normal and Heroic allow up to 30 players, so farming Heroics with a full group is already 50% more loot than receiving loot for 20.

            Cumulative Loot cannot be a perfect solution for 6.0 and forward. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it’s good enough. It is most likely good enough once you don’t run the lower content with the guild. As long as you’re effectively farming lower content with the guild, it will likely still beat Cumulative Loot.
            ____________________

            For the Limited Loot Reset, you want to start with everything unlocked during the first week, so people can jump in wherever they want, and it never prevents them from stepping up in difficulty, as that remains there unlocked, waiting to be entered.

            I’m not sure about 2 levels unlocking instead of 1. If you’re progressing through heroic content, that means the last few bosses still reset on LFR difficulty every week, so you’re still having to farm entire Normal and the last part of LFR.

            Remember, if you don’t kill a boss on Mythic, it’s available for loot on both heroic and mythic during the next week, if you kill it on mythic again but not heroic, it will remain unlocked on heroic week after week after week until you actually go down there and clear it once more. The system doesn’t lock lower difficulties, it just doesn’t unlock them.

            If LFR wing 1 opens week 1, then it of course needs to be unlocked to everyone. Wings that open during later week could potentially remain locked. Guilds that weekly clear those bosses on normal or higher before they’re unlocked in LFR are loot locked to LFR from the get go, meaning they have no incentive into going LFR at all.

            The system is automatically self-containing. As long as you clear the bosses on the most difficult level possible to you, those bosses won’t drop any loot on any lower levels (assuming you cleared the lower difficulty levels once. Also note that you don’t have to do it all during the first week. If you missed your guild’s normal clear in week 1, but did join them for the heroic clear in week 1, then normal is still unlocked until you visit and clear it once), thereby removing any incentive to kill them on lower levels. You can move up the ladder at any time and receive additional loot.

            If you move down the ladder, you’re locked out of loot for one week per difficulty that you step down, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

          • Balkoth says:

            “farming Heroics with a full group is already 50% more loot than receiving loot for 20.”

            Assuming you have the alts available, yes.

            “It is most likely good enough once you don’t run the lower content with the guild.”

            Probably, yeah, just still annoying.

            “For the Limited Loot Reset, you want to start with everything unlocked during the first week, so people can jump in wherever they want, and it never prevents them from stepping up in difficulty, as that remains there unlocked, waiting to be entered.”

            Never said otherwise?

            “I’m not sure about 2 levels unlocking instead of 1. If you’re progressing through heroic content, that means the last few bosses still reset on LFR difficulty every week, so you’re still having to farm entire Normal and the last part of LFR.”

            No. You’re doing heroic so that unlocks. Normal is one level below heroic so that also unlocks. LFR doesn’t unlock.

            “if you kill it on mythic again but not heroic, it will remain unlocked on heroic week after week after week until you actually go down there and clear it once more.”

            You didn’t mention that part that I saw — sounded like if you killed a boss on Mythic one week it was locked on heroic as long as you kept killing it on Mythic. Which would stink if you couldn’t run Mythic one week AND couldn’t loot the boss on heroic.

          • Thels says:

            Perhaps I should’ve described it a little more detailed:
            At the start of a tier, every boss is available at every difficulty. Let’s assume a 4 boss tier:
            Boss 1 gives loot on LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic.
            Boss 2 gives loot on LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic.
            Boss 3 gives loot on LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic.
            Boss 4 gives loot on LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic.

            During week 1, you clear Normal. You also kill bosses 1-3 on Heroic:
            Boss 1 gives loot on LFR, Mythic.
            Boss 2 gives loot on LFR, Mythic.
            Boss 3 gives loot on LFR, Mythic.
            Boss 4 gives loot on LFR, Heroic, Mythic.

            At the end of week 1/start of week 2, each boss unlocks on the hardest difficulty it is locked on. It doesn’t lock any difficulty levels that weren’t locked yet, so at the start of week 2, your loot lockout looks like:
            Boss 1 gives loot on LFR, Heroic, Mythic.
            Boss 2 gives loot on LFR, Heroic, Mythic.
            Boss 3 gives loot on LFR, Heroic, Mythic.
            Boss 4 gives loot on LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic.

            During week 2, you clear Heroic, and kill the first 2 bosses on Mythic. You don’t bother with that one final boss on normal that is available to you:
            Boss 1 gives loot on LFR
            Boss 2 gives loot on LFR
            Boss 3 gives loot on LFR, Mythic.
            Boss 4 gives loot on LFR, Normal, Mythic.

            Then at the end of week 2/start of week 3, each boss unlocks on the hardest difficulty again. Since Boss 4 on normal wasn’t locked it doesn’t suddenly get locked:
            Boss 1 gives loot on LFR, Mythic
            Boss 2 gives loot on LFR, Mythic
            Boss 3 gives loot on LFR, Heroic, Mythic.
            Boss 4 gives loot on LFR, Normal, Heroic, Mythic.

            Overall, you can do slightly more than kill each boss 1/week, since you start with all 4 difficulties unlocked at the start of a tier, but you aren’t in a rush to catch up on that during week 1.

            If bosses that are available for loot during a week would be locked out during the next week because you kill a boss at a higher difficulty level, that suddenly applies pressure to go and kill that boss this week.

            But yes, if you have Mythic on farm, and normal and heroic are locked out, they remain locked out, until you skip Mythic once. Having Heroic available if you don’t plan on doing Mythic and unavailable if you do leads to problems like “Do I have time to kill it on Mythic later this week? If I don’t end up killing it on Mythic later this week, do I waste loot?” It’s a bit of a headache.

            On the flip side, if you do NOT farm Mythic during one week, it means Heroic is unlocked during the next week, and will remain unlocked until you go back and visit it, so you can catch up the week after when everyone’s back from their break, or leave it waiting there for a few more weeks until you have more time. There’s no pressure to farm it that specific week.

          • Thels says:

            As for the top 2 levels resetting. it becomes weird mid-progression. Say you killed the first 2 bosses on mythic, but the last 2 bosses on heroic. A 2 level reset would mean the last 2 bosses would now be available on normal, which is quite a step down from mythic raiding.

          • Balkoth says:

            “As for the top 2 levels resetting. it becomes weird mid-progression. Say you killed the first 2 bosses on mythic, but the last 2 bosses on heroic. A 2 level reset would mean the last 2 bosses would now be available on normal, which is quite a step down from mythic raiding.”

            No. You killed bosses on Mythic, that’s level one. Heroic is one level below that so that’s level two. Normal would only unlock if you didn’t kill any bosses on Mythic at all.

            “But yes, if you have Mythic on farm, and normal and heroic are locked out, they remain locked out, until you skip Mythic once.”

            And this is a problem — if a group can’t quite field a Mythic roster one week they’re going to want to at least clear Heroic for loot. But they wouldn’t be able to in your system. Being able to clear Heroic the next week for loot doesn’t help because they’ll want to be back to doing Mythic progression at that point.

          • Thels says:

            What you are talking about is a totally different system than the one I was discussing. Yours would be a deterrant to try and kill the bosses 1 level higher, because as soon as you kill the first boss, you exclude yourself from loot for another difficulty for all bosses. That makes no sense. A lot of bosses wouldn’t reset loot at all, and you’d pigeonhole yourself into being forced to try the highest difficulty level, even if you can only get loot from the first boss, or abstain from raiding for an entire week.

            Loot reset should definitely work per boss, not in total.

          • Balkoth says:

            “What you are talking about is a totally different system than the one I was discussing.”

            I’m aware, yes, I’ve been saying that for a while.

            “Yours would be a deterrant to try and kill the bosses 1 level higher, because as soon as you kill the first boss, you exclude yourself from loot for another difficulty for all bosses.”

            Yes. If you kill a Mythic boss then you can’t get Normal or LFR loot. If you kill a Heroic boss you can’t get LFR loot.

            Is that so terrible?

            “A lot of bosses wouldn’t reset loot at all, and you’d pigeonhole yourself into being forced to try the highest difficulty level, even if you can only get loot from the first boss, or abstain from raiding for an entire week.”

            You’re guaranteed to have an entirely difficult reset (the one below yours) plus up to an entire other difficulty.

            Yes, if you can only kill 2 Mythic bosses then you only get 2 Mythic plus all Heroic the next week, but if you’re able to kill Mythic bosses then why should you have to worry about Normal or LFR at all?

          • Thels says:

            Yes, in that way it could work, I guess. It’s quite different, though, and I wonder what the advantages and disadvantages of your system are over mine.

            I can most certainly see guilds that are struggling with Boss 1 on mythic to just not kill it for now, and farm normal+heroic until everyone has 4 piece and proper trinkets. I don’t think that’s good gameplay.

  15. Thels says:

    Anafielle brought the issue up with Ion Hazzikostas on Final Boss:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tq6ZjZzD9BA
    The topic is at 1:34:10.

    It seems the devs aren’t too interested in protecting us further against farming multiple difficulty levels, and are happy to keep things open.

    • Thels says:

      Olivia Grace also brought the issue up with Ion Hazzikostas on Wowhead:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDFVOAkMo7A
      The topic is at 41:50.

      • Balkoth says:

        I’m a bit disgusted that Hazzikostas compared it to getting mailed the loot each week. We’re ALREADY killing the boss each week. How much time out of progression should we be expected to commit to optimizing our character? Clearing the instance three, potentially four times (near the beginning) per week seems insane. Do they remember nothing from Mists launch?

        • Thels says:

          It’s the entire Black-White idea I don’t really like. What if Cumulative Loot only applied to LFR gear. So, if you killed the boss on Normal/Heroic/Mythic, you would get the LFR drop chance, IF the LFR boss is already open.

          Then they could add the set bonuses and trinkets back to LFR, and nobody would feel forced to run them, and you still had a reason to go Normal or Heroic with your friends.

  16. Gupsy says:

    Pardon me for my English, I hope you could understand most of it anyway, as you are so smart :-}

    My opinion is your point of view are biased from the “top players” prospective. It introduce even more frustration on the large majority of player-base. People who can’t enjoy the upper content because of their lack of skill, time, hardware, friends and so on. They are paying exact the same, they have the same right of feeling “good”, “heroic”, satisfied from their game experience. It is important the game does not exalt so much the existing differences, a better player will shine even if his gear is not so much better that one of his hits does 3 time more damage that the same from one less “skilled” (read geared) player. Actually it is not so, and this is a problem of the game not a “plus”. A less scaling difference in gear will made even Mythic difficulties much better, as being “perfectly” geared will not turn it in “routine”, or undo-able if not:
    imo the increased difference in iLevel was a clear error in the game. Actually the LFR gap in damage are so high that under-geared or occasional players, the primary target of the whole LFR idea, are simply feeling superfluous, less useful then a geared bot, and prob they are right.

    What about a simple “weekly fixed amount of chance in getting a loot”? You can allocate a big part of it in the precise pieces of gear you need (this can mitigate the too bad luck problem too) and let the RL free from the burden of assigning pieces (one of the bigger cause of complains in most guilds). If you spend all of it in the Mhiyhic run you have no more for the other type, no “need” of doing it. This coupled with a “standard assignment template” for those who don’t care to make precise choice seems a better pattern to me. I like simple design.

    • Airowird says:

      While certainly understand a ‘lower tier raider’ feeling frustrated over this (more importantly, a Mythic alt will be better gear for next tier normals at same effort than a normal raider’s alt), I think the jist of this could be fairly implemented with atleast the following two restrictions:

      a) The drop chances for the auto-completion is lower than actually doing the run. e.g. If a full clear on LFR nets you an average of 3 items, the no-time/effort way only gets 1-2. Time will remain a factor in obtaining gear, but lack of time atleast gives you an extra chance, similar to how the daily instance/scenario bonus works. Especially as a replacement for the coin system, this could be a viable fallback method.

      b) You can only specify a single loot role per difficulty, not per boss. This both simplifies the UI (only 3 buttons to get lewt) as well as nudges players to complete a secondary gear set more than fishing for a single drop in lower difficulties. Granted, this would be more useful in the current single-primary design, but it would still hold true for weapons, trinkets and jewelry, which will be relatively hard to come by in Warlords, compared to armor-specific gear. This also means that if you only need that one item, you could grab a pug for it first, then ask the game to ‘auto-loot’ the rest. (One would assume the game rolls personal loot for you for all bosses which you have killed on a higher difficulty yet haven’t been flagged for)

      Extra possibility:
      You can only get gear from the one tier below you. e.g. Mythic kill grants you a ‘free’ Heroic roll, but not Normal/LFR and so on. This means nobody will feel forced to complete two runs every week simply because of the one or two raiders missing that one trinket that just never drops even though you’ve been killing normal/heroic for 7 months. (Yes, that means you Ticking Ebon Detonator!!)

      • Gupsy says:

        I still think a solution that mixes the old valor+cap system with typical rnd drop chance of encounters can resolve all this and much more. Something that can address the foolish iLev scaling of the actual system problem too.

  17. I, personally, like this idea. I love to raid, but I have a husband, a job and other real life obligations. I’m in a progression-minded guild. It’s not a Method/Blood Legion/Midwinter, but typically, we get at least some heroic bosses down each tier or if we clear the tier in heroic, it’s months after world first.

    I would appreciate not feeling like I’m letting my guild/raid team down (which would be both internal and a little peer pressure) if I don’t run my main through the current raid(s) 2 or 3 or 4 times a week at the beginning of each tier to gear up. In addition to raiding, I enjoy many other aspects of WOW, and I’d like the opportunity to experience those when they come out (especially new features that come at the beginning of an xpac) in the limited amount of time I can play WOW given my other real life obligations.

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