Once upon a time, in a WoW far, far away, I really cared about loot. I felt cheated whenever I got outrolled for something. I refused to look forward to the next level, the next dungeon – if I missed out on something now, I was cranky about it. I was also polite enough not to spread my crankiness around to others, but still, in my head, the Loot Drama Monster raged.
My first instance of even minor loot drama occurred when I was a very naive little player in the Scarlet Monastery with a small group of strangers. I was terrified of grouping with others back then, and, completely ignorant of how things worked properly, I managed to turn into a bona fide loot ninja over boots. What happened was this – my boots were terrible and an upgrade pair dropped off of a trash mob. As I did when playing just with my pally, I hit “need”. The boots popped into my bag, and I immediately put them on. A few minutes later, a second pair of boots dropped, even better than the first. “Ooooo,” I thought. “Better boots!” And away I went, clicking “need” and strapping them on. I did have the grace to entertain the vague thought that it was a shame I couldn’t give the other boots (which were now soulbound) to someone else. But I really have no excuse for my behavior when the third pair of fabulous, even-better-than-the-other-two boots dropped and I “need”-ed those, too.
“Why are you needing all the boots?” asked one of the nice strangers who was probably beginning to hate my guts.
“They were better than my other boots,” I responded feebly, finally realizing that I was an asshat of epic proportions. “Also, I was raised by wild dogs,” I should have added. I have never done any such foolery since.
For the most part, The Fantastic Four did not experience major loot drama. There was a brief touch-and-go moment in the Temple of Atal’Hakkar when my druid clicked “need” on the Vestments of the Atal’ai Prophet and won it.
Our shadow priest twitched.
“Is everything okay?” I asked.
“Well…why do you ‘need’ cloth stuff? It’s kind of irritating,” she replied.
I had to admit to myself, I could understand her frustration. Putting myself in her slippers, she watched me day-in, day-out take cloth items that were significant upgrades for my little healing druid. What she probably hadn’t noticed was that day-in, day-out I saw tons of leather items…none of which were really good for a healer. Our rogue was decked out to the nines in leathery perfection, but my druid hung out at the back in her half-leather, half-cloth ensemble, praying for the day when she would no longer have to wear cloth at all.
“Well, there aren’t a lot of leather caster items around…this chestpiece is a significant improvement for me. Believe me, if I thought there were a leather version floating about, I would have passed on it.”
This mollified the shadow priest somewhat, as did the fact that a week later we were some levels higher and wearing entirely new gear anyway. We’ve never really encountered loot drama in our foursome since.
Hitting level 80 really changed my outlook on loot, too. Doing heroics over and over and over (and over) again, it started to dawn on me that the loot that I missed out on today had a very good chance of being there tomorrow, and “The Precious” that I’d been mentally crooning over was most likely not all that “precious” at all, but instead something that dropped one of every five times. Raiding only amplified this, since we are doing the same areas and the same bosses every week. With this understanding, the Loot Drama Monster finally left me.
I no longer feel agitated when I’m outrolled on something really cool (like Phaelia’s Vestments), because I know we’re going to be back in here regularly and soon enough I’ll get a chance at it again. As for leveling loot, I no longer care at all if I get outrolled. I’m leveling. Today’s loot is tomorrow’s vendor trash!
However, I’ve noticed that saner heads do not always prevail among others in my raid groups. Occasionally someone will get a piece of loot that someone else wanted and the Loot Drama Monster will rear its ugly head as the “someone else” begins to complain in vent or chat. At this point I tend to turn up the music or strike up a scintillating whisper conversation with another raid member who enjoys excessive amounts of sarcasm.
Loot Drama is the Epic Drama of WoW, at least as far as forums and wow.com are concerned. People ninja-ing loot, people feeling that they were unfairly overlooked, people rolling on things they don’t need. For goodness sakes, people – if the only reason you play the game is to get “The Precious” you’re missing out! Loot didn’t bring me my in-game friends, or my mini-goals, or the satisfaction that comes from killing that raid boss we’d been working for weeks on. Loot is fun and shiny and gives us the extra-added superpowers needed to go in and kill bigger and badder things (which drop even shinier loots!) But in the end, for me, at least, it’s a bonus to my efforts. A little “well done, you!” rather than the be-all, end-all of my gaming.
Unless, of course, it’s the whole purpose of a particular quest, such as Pike’s…in which case, someone taking it from her would be (a) improbable, since she intends on solo-ing it; and (b) deserving of a beating-to-death-by-sock-filled-with-jello.