Mar 212013

It is actually a breech. How literal.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

Sometimes you will see an advertisement on the LFM screen that lists the target quest and then adds a note along the lines of “handover the XXX or don’t join”. XXX can be any highly sought but rare drop.

Something about this offends me, but only slightly. After all, I can easily “don’t join”, which is how I always react to such a post. Yet still. I think it is the confrontational manner of the post. I am not offended enough to say or do anything, but it leaves me vaguely frowny, wishing there was another way.

As a contrast, consider that sometimes I will see a posting like “quest is complete, step in for loot and XP. Please handover the XXX if you get it”. This is essentially the same thing but not exactly, for two important reasons.

  • The leader is not expecting you to run the quest, he or she has already done so
  • Politeness counts

I am completely willing to join these types of invitations, and really, who wouldn’t be? Free loot! One has to take care not to break an elite streak as these are often Epic Normal, but otherwise like I said, free loot.

I like the way those two words sound when used together. “Free loot”. Nice, yes?

Now that the background has been laid, let us examine the case of Chelena Armstrong (the World’s Strongest Halfling), who is currently on a grind for the shard of the Fury of the Flame.

My normal farming method is to run the quest once a day, generally first thing in the morning, until successful. I don’t mind if it takes time, victory is assured eventually. However in this case I am a bit constrained because I am so busy getting my house ready for an upcoming wedding that on many days, that early run will be my only DDO for the day. And Chelena needs about a half-dozen more mauls once she has this one.

Another downside of this time constraint is that it takes too long to form a party for this quest in the morning, I have to solo. I cannot reliably solo this quest without using resources with this character except on Epic Normal. Using resources is a big farming no-no. I believe that named drops are more common on Epic Hard or Epic Elite difficulty, but Normal is all that is available to me.

Hold me closer spiny spider
You have to put up with a lot of this when farming Spinner of Shadows

And so I find myself soloing the quest, completing everything except the last conversation with the Silver Flame that will finish it, and posting “Free EPIC normal XP and loot! Just step in. Please pass Fury of the Flame shard”.

Groups form much more quickly when there is free loot involved. I haven’t gotten my shard yet but I have greatly increased my chances.

But I feel strangely guilty about doing this. I am not sure why, but I do. I’ve been at it all week, maybe my lack of success is kismet? The universe punishing me for my slightly cheaty approach to this?

For that matter, is it slightly cheaty? Or is this a genuinely righteous way to go about acquisition?

I am conflicted.

What do you think?

  11 Responses to “Free EPIC loot, just step in! But there’s a catch …”

Comments (11)
  1. Guilty? About an arbitrary setting by the GM? Which is then designated by the GM as BtC?


    I do think tone and attitude count toward the gaming community, so in putting up your lfm up, keep that in mind (as you have) as I think that has value in how people perceive and feel about being in the game.

    But guilty about farming? Are you kidding? WAI. GM can change it anytime.

    • It is not about the farming. It is about inviting people in after the quest is over to increase the chances that the specific shard I am seeking might drop.

  2. I feel kinda bad in a way when I get passed ANYTHING, even if I win a roll on it – sometimes ESPECIALLY when I win a roll on it because I know anyone else who rolled also wants it. Heck, I felt bad when Jall pulled a Stone Heart and neither of the two WF in the party wanted it, so I stuck it in the back for Winnie when she grows up… how weird is that?

    But yeah. Politeness is a big deal, at least for me. “Pass XXX or don’t join” – well, I’m not going to join because from the tone I can already tell that the poster is an ass, and there’s nothing I want badly enough to party up with an ass. (OK, *maybe* a Band of Siberys for Even, but you’ll never see a ToD LFM that says, “Quest done, join for free loot.”)

    I’ve posted some of those “free loot” LFMs myself, usually for eDA or Chrono, always something like, “Completed, free chests, please wait for all before looting.” So far I haven’t been after anything in particular, just spreading the wealth around. But no, I don’t think it’s cheating at all. Farming is a lot of work for often little or no reward. If you’re giving other people a shot at getting some nice stuff free and by doing so, you increase your own chances of getting the item you want, nothing wrong with that at all.

  3. You win they win and who knows maybe you being a decent guy on the lfm pannel catches the eye of one new player and they go “There are cool people at the end game” and stay spending all kinds of $ for Tps making it a win for Turbine and some random guy… You DON”T KNOW!

    Set the morals aside on this one. #maythelootgodsbewithyou

    • Nah, don’t feel guilty. It’s not as if you invented collaborative economics. People give away things that they have, but don’t need, to those that need, but don’t have, all the time. People work together and trade things. It’s not just part of game community, it’s part of our social and economic culture. This is why manners make a difference, and people are more comfortable when it’s phrased in terms of “Quest is done! Free loot!” When the LFM’s phrased like, “Do the quest for me and give me the loot!” it’s reminiscent of a corporate bank or something. 🙂

  4. I don’t think it’s an “ethical question” (as you say in your tweet) and it doesn’t have anything to do with morals either, it’s just virtual loot and it’s not like you’re lying to someone or insulting them. The only person you might be cheating on is yourself, in that you might get less erm… satisfaction out of finally obtaining the item if it’s passed on to you by someone else, depending on your attitude towards this.

    For some people, HAVING the loot is the goal, regardless of they get it. For others, it’s WINNING the loot, which usually includes some effort put into getting it. Neither of them is right or wrong, it’s a computer game and different people get fun out of it in different ways.

    I don’t join “free loot” LFMs in hope of getting something I want because I wouldn’t enjoy having and using it if I don’t think I deserved it. At the same time, I don’t judge anyone who joins them (although if I see someone join every free loot LFM that pops up, I will probably be inclined to think they’re a bit cheap). And of course it depends on the circumstances – if I’ve farmed something to death and still haven’t got it, I might accept it if it’s offered to me as a freebie because I might feel like I’ve already put enough effort in the cause to “deserve” it.

    In your case, it sounds like you’ve done your bit, you’ve been farming the quest for a while and you do all the work. So from my point of view there’s no need to feel like you’re cheating, but then again, it’s up to you to make up your mind about it. 🙂

    • Of course, if he does all the work of the quest… he still “wins the loot”, even if it drops under somebody else’s name and gets passed to him.

      Geoff: You’re totally not cheating or anything. Stop feeling guilty.

      Also, I feel the same – If I run the quest, I’m bloody well gonna keep whatever drops under my name that I want (so I simply won’t join those types of LFMs. Even if I don’t want the item in question, but do want something else. I’ll join “please pass _____” ones, though). If someone else runs the quest and I’m coming in at the end… well heck, they did all the work, I’ll bloody well pass over whatever they want!

  5. I wouldn’t feel guilty, but I would also pass along anything that my toon(s) couldn’t use, either by putting it up for a roll, or just leaving it in the chest for a more suitable owner. I’ve been trying to get the Seal of the Luminous Truth for some time now. And I am beginning to suspect that the entire Spinner chain is bugged, as I have not seen any Seals/Scrolls/Shards drop for several weeks now.

  6. The level of guilt one feels is inversely proportional to the quantity of loot one passes. Farming is the defacto way of life in MMOs, and one is surely going to have drop in one’s name plenty of loot he or she can’t use. The more you pass freely to your pugmates/guildmates, the less guilty you should feel for asking for what you need. Happily I group with some pretty darn generous folk, so we tend to all come out ahead in the end 🙂

  7. A-ha! I posted an email to DDOCast about the dearth of epic shards and seals. i am looking for “Midnight Greetings” I think I will try this approach after running Tides!

    Cheers gamer Geofff

  8. You know, I can solo Chronoscope on Heroic Elite. Never occurred to me to finish and then offer chests to others. I LIKE this idea!

What do you think?

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