View Full Forums : Soulbound Exploitation


Destinae
10-05-2009, 12:26 PM
Hey guys, we recently had a pretty heated discussion in guild chat regarding the ability to trade soulbound items.

Here's the example:

Let's say the Death Knight wants the sword from H:ToC.
He convinces a friend in the party to roll on it with him.
The friend that wins it then trades it to him.

This screams Exploit to me...or at least a gross manipulation of the intent behind trading soul bound items.

During this discussion- some people defended this, saying that if we weren't "meant" to be able to do this, then we wouldn't have been given the ability.

The rest of us feel like this is just a more elaborate form of ninja-looting, which would result in the person being kicked from guild. (We don't want ninjas in our crew...)

This actually happened in our raid this weekend. A DK rolled on a sword with a load of Agi on it, defending his roll by saying it was an upgrade. As soon as we moved on to the next pull, he traded the agi sword to his friend (a hunter). We found out about this after the fact and now we're trying to figure out how to deal with it for future runs.

How do you guys feel about this?

Kheldar
10-05-2009, 06:54 PM
umm, hang on you can only trade to people in the grp/raid though ?

Nellie
10-06-2009, 07:47 AM
I think the point is that both the DK and the Hunter (And presumably some other players) rolled on the sword with the DK claiming that he wanted it for himself but after winning the roll immediately traded to the hunter who, presumably, wasn't the second highest roll so the claim that "oops, I looked at it and realise that it's rubbish for me so I gave it to him" doesn't apply.

In an honour roll system, i.e. you aren't using Suicide Kings, EP/GP or DKP, to "bid" for an item that's gaming the rules at best imo.

The soulbound trading feature was introduced, afaik, to counter idiot lootmasters like me who routinely give the item to the wrong player and then have to raise a ticket.

When you use something like Suicide Kings it's perhaps less of an issue as the DK would have sacrificed (some of) his own ability to bid for later loot by trading behind the scenes with the hunter having bid for an item he doesn't actually want/need.

the tl:dr version: Yes, it's taking advantage of loot rules.

Nellie
10-06-2009, 08:03 AM
And just as a follow on.

I don't know what the answer is, maybe it highlights a loophole in the rules that shouldn't need to be explictly warned against but saying "no block rolling on loot, we find out, you're out" is enough to push the point home.

Maybe pointing out that if people can't be trusted to act "honourably" within an honour role loot system then the alternative is to introduce Suicide Kings or, worse, DKP and people will have to earn the right to roll on loot.

Mistakes do happen, people roll on loot that they then realise isn't much of an upgrade, the lootmaster dishes it out to the wrong person. so and so was afk for the roll and so on. All of those are reasons for being able to trade raid loot between the raid. Forming a block vote with your mates so you get more chance to get loot than players outside that block isn't.

Raging Epistaxis
10-06-2009, 01:43 PM
IMO if the hunter and the DK worked it out ahead of time, then it's really wrong.
If the DK skipped over someone to give the loot to the Hunter, then it's still wrong, but arguably an honest mistake.

If the DK rolled, had 'buyers remorse' and traded it to the person with the next highest roll (?hunter), then that's well within the intents of the ability to trade soulbound loot.

In any case, the hunter effectively had twice as much chance of winning the drop as any other character - his /roll and the DKs.

I'd probably warn them about it and let it slide this time, unless there's overwhelming evidence of prior collusion.

skwidrific
10-06-2009, 03:12 PM
yea, that really strikes me as kickworthy if people are plotting ahead of time. It could lead to serious guild loot drama down the road. The biggest problem is knwoing how to enforce it, and keeping tabs on who got what...

i won a badass trinket in ToC25 last week, and a rogue whispered me and offered me 2K gold for it... I was tempted for a minute, but after the immediate dps increase i saw from it, i decided i wanted to keep it for myself :P

Magellan19
10-06-2009, 03:27 PM
This screams Exploit to me...or at least a gross manipulation of the intent behind trading soul bound items.

You're right.


some people defended this, saying that if we weren't "meant" to be able to do this, then we wouldn't have been given the ability.

They're right.


IMO if the hunter and the DK worked it out ahead of time....

They did. Or, at least I'm 99.9% certain that there was a desperate flurry of whispers between the DK and Hunter while loot was being discussed.


The soulbound trading feature was introduced to counter idiot lootmasters like me - AND MAGELLAN - who routinely give the item to the wrong player and then have to raise a ticket.

/fixed :wink:


The new system works both ways and I'm sure that Blizz knew it would, but they were probably flooded with so many tickets / requests / complaints that they finally said, "OK, fine. Trade a soulbound item if you must, but you may regret this."

By now, I think it's pretty obvious (to Raid or Guild Leaders realm-wide) just who tends to abuse the system and who uses it for it's actual intent.

I think, however, in Destinae's case, it was a perfect example of someone taking advantage of the system. But, /gkicking might be a little harsh whereas simply not inviting the offenders back to any more raids would probably do the trick, but it’s up the the nature of the guild, I guess.

Nellie
10-07-2009, 07:20 AM
To mash up Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park. Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should. But hey, it's an multiplayer game on the Internet. That seems to give some people carte blanche to a level of douchebaggery that I'd hope they'd never contemplate if they were playing a board game.

/gkicking might be harsh, but I do think people need to be aware that block rolling for loot as a little cabal isn't expected behaviour in what's supposed to a guild of friends with relatively lax loot rules as a result. You shouldn't need to remind people that if they've won a roll in a raid that they should be passing for other people, even with an honour roll system, but it's still an issue that comes up from time to time. We ended up putting the impetus on the LM just to note who'd already had loot and, nicely, tell whoever it was that the loot was going to the other guy as they'd not had anything yet.

If people can't play by the spirit of the law rather than the letter of it then you need to float the idea of introducing EPGP, Suicide Kings or DKP where you don't get free reign to just roll on any loot that you or your buddy fancies. Then if you really want to use your roll to boost your buddy instead of you that's kind of up to you but you're [probably] going to lose the opportunity to actually roll on an item that you do want.

Destinae
10-07-2009, 10:39 AM
For progression content, we ARE switching to new loot rules. Actually, because of this situation and a few other guildfails, we're switching to new loot rules.

The reason I posed the question here is because after they bailed on our raid, the one was in guild chat talking about going into H:ToC to help his friend win a sword or a polearm or somesuch that drops from there. AKA- They figured if they both rolled, it increases the chances that one of them will win it- and trade it to the other. I offered an explicit warning to the guild that this = gkick. He claimed it was only a thought, and that he felt bad because his friend had lost a bunch of rolls on loot and was just "trying to come up with a way to help." He made it onto my watch list for sure...(would have probably been Gkicked because of this + other stuff, but it requires a vote...vote=fail).

This sort of thing, unfortunately, is incredibly hard to enforce. I can issue all the warnings I want about it, but if the group they do this in isn't paying attention and doesn't bring it to our attention- we can't address it.

I'm completely understanding of the "Oooh I rolled but this isn't that great of an upgrade, so I'm trading it to..." No worries there. It's the schemed loot rolls that are becoming a concern. It's sad.

Nellie
10-07-2009, 11:20 AM
In some respects doing it in PuGs is even worse, especially if word gets out, your whole guild ends up tarred by the actions of a couple of people being silly.

This sort of thing, unfortunately, is incredibly hard to enforce. I can issue all the warnings I want about it, but if the group they do this in isn't paying attention and doesn't bring it to our attention- we can't address it.
Perhaps it's something that you need to discuss as a guild with regards to what people's expectations are. If the majority feel that they have an entitlement to priority on loot because they've done more raids or played better or didn't get something last raid (let alone last boss) or even just don't see a problem in forming a block to bid against their fellow guildies then a casual loot system isn't going to work. Lax rules rely on people not being dicks and playing fair of their own accord not because they have no choice in the matter.

Destinae
10-07-2009, 11:34 AM
In some respects doing it in PuGs is even worse, especially if word gets out, your whole guild ends up tarred by the actions of a couple of people being silly.

This is the fear we have. The guild knows my stance on it. Most of them agree. There's maybe 2 that I think would even do it, and if they do- I'm not even waiting for the vote- they're gonna get bounced.

For the most part, we have a pretty good core group. They're honest folks who are there to do their thing, and not as much for the gear. The gear for them is a definite bonus, but they don't get bent over loot ftmp. We're going to have to work out a better loot system with better incentives for people anyway. We have more no-shows, late-shows, random afks, and bailers than I can even deal with right now...So within the new incentive-based loot system, we'll be working on a way to prevent the block rolling as well.

Nellie
10-07-2009, 12:33 PM
Not a great fan of incentive based loot systems myself.

I took a more binary approach:

You bail on the raid without reason or don't show up with telling someone you don't get to go on the next one.

You turn up late without notice i.e. >5minutes after start time, you lose your spot to one of the reserves.

If you're in the raid you get to roll on loot, one roll for Tier, one for "normal" loot. Once you win a piece you don't get to roll again unless everyone passes.

Only takes a piece of paper or notepad open in the other monitor to keep tabs on who has had loot and hence get's passed over on the next piece.

Destinae
10-07-2009, 01:28 PM
I don't like incentive based loot rules either...but I'm at a loss with this guild right now. A few trusted/adored guild members have recommended moving to an incentive based loot system to weed out the folks who are holding us back/ruining it for the rest of us.

No one's motivated. Casual guild is fail guild. Lesson learned.

I'll leave it up for members to decide. After a tears-inducing nightmare of a Naxx25 fail...I don't think we'll be doing many "all-inclusive" guild runs anymore. We'll take our solid core group and pug the rest...and keep with the more casual loot rules. We have some restrictions on rolls and whatnot, but ftmp we keep it pretty casual.

Nellie
10-07-2009, 09:11 PM
Agree with you on the raiding, you can be in a Casual guild that raids but you can't casually raid. You want the nice loot you have to make the effort especially once you get past Naxx where the need to "move out of the bloody fire, for the love of all that is sodding holy, how many times have we done this fight and why do you always, always, end up dead?" is that much more important.

The people tagging along for the ride get frustrate because they're getting shouted at and everyone else gets frustrated and starts shouting because what should be a nice quick run through the first couple of bosses turns into a 4 hour wipe fest.

Destinae
10-08-2009, 09:34 AM
Totally agreed. The loot drama mentioned above put a SERIOUS halt to our "friendly" raiding for this week. No one wants to raid with people they think are going to cheat on loot rolling.

We're working on developing our raiding core now, and come hell or high water we'll get there...

lumbergh
10-11-2009, 01:01 PM
Just playing devil's advocate here.

Let's say there are five people in a group, working together to successfully run an instance.

Then a loot drops. Doesn't matter what the loot is, each player contributed one-fifth of the work to kill the boss. So, each player has a one-fifth claim to the loot.

Out of general common courtesy, some players don't roll because (a) they have something better, (b) they can't use the item, or (c) some other reason.

That is common courtesy, and not an explicit rule in the game. However, each player in the group could roll for the item, and even if the winner can't use it, they could vendor/disenchant it for their own purposes.

Now, we have a DK and a Hunter in the same group. The Hunter wins the roll. He has every right to do with the item whatever he pleases. He can vendor it, disenchant it, or give it to his buddy the DK. He does NOT have to trade it to the player with the second highest roll.

For every item that drops, each player has a one-fifth chance to win. The Hunter is not reducing the win % for anyone. Of course, if he passed the roll then everyone else would have a one-quarter chance to win, but he is not breaking any rules by rolling, he's just breaking the commonly accepted etiquette.

So it's not an exploit, it's not cheating. How the guild chooses to deal with the player, depends on the guild.

Destinae
10-13-2009, 09:32 AM
Understood, Lum, and to a certain extent, I agree. But it's not fun to give your time to a raid, put in your share of the work, and get screwed out of a nice upgrade because people are block rolling for it...whether the item will drop again or not. It's just really hard to calm people down when stuff like this happens. Really, really hard =(

People already tend to get really bent over losing loot rolls. When you add in the fact that there are extra people rolling who then trade it to their friend...it really causes drama and slows everything down. That and the inevitable hissy fits people throw once they realize what's happened (if they realize it at all).

Our ML can override the rolls if need be, and I'm sure if someone's rolling on a less-than-optimal piece for his class or spec, the rest of the group would call him/her out on it...

I'm just glad I got some different opinions on it. =)

Well played, Devil's Advocate, well played. lol

As far as our guild working out a policy on it- they just don't like to group with people who are known for this type of stuff. If it's our own guildie, we'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it I guess.

Nellie
10-13-2009, 10:36 AM
Understand what you're saying Lum. But on a guild run I'd be very disappointed to learn that what are supposed to be my mates are block rolling on loot to decrease my chance of ever winning a roll. And this isn't something new, you've always been able to block roll, you just had to raise a ticket to get the loot moved.

There are no explicit loot rules in WoW at all. There are a couple of basic distribution mechanisms and that's your lot. That's why there are a myriad of 3rd part loot distribution systems and about to cater for who gets what loot and when and that everyone gets a fair crack of the whip at getting loot even if you have to earn the right to roll first.

In some respects I think it's soemthing that new and/or casual guilds learn very quickly. However casual you think you might be, you need a couple of basic rules when it comes to loot just to prevent misunderstandings if not deliberate "loot whoring".

The Hunter is not reducing the win % for anyone.
Er, yes he is. Me, him and the DK are running an instance, we can all roll on every bit of loot that drops. If we all just greed/need on everything regardless of actual need or courtesy then we've all got 33.3% chance of winning the item. The hunter decides he's got everything he needs so he's going to roll on every piece of loot and give it to the DK then the DK now has a 66.6% chance of winning the roll to my 33.3%. Whereas if the hunter just doesn't roll we've both got a 50-50 chance.

On a PuG you might get away with, I HS out and the hunter trades all his stuff to the DK, I'm none the wiser everyone's happy although I'm possibly stupid to agreeing to let everyone need on every item in an instance that I want loot out of. In a guild, sooner or later, as with here someone is going to notice that the Hunter is rolling on loot, with his mate, and trading the loot over.

[edit] Although actually I'd be quite interested to see what the various PuG runs have introduced to prevent this kind of block voting going on.

Destinae
10-13-2009, 12:47 PM
Blizz has a hands off stance on ninjas, citing that items "will drop again." So...that being the case, Lum's definitely right on the rules.

I was looking at this as it fits into a raid setting. You might invest ~an hour into a heroic run (Unless it's like Khel's epic AN run lol), but you're investing hours into a raid. So, if you have 3 people that can use Ironsoul (+Strength 2H Mace), and one of them has convinced other people to roll on it and if they win it, trade it to him...it does seem to tilt the odds in his favor. Player A and B are rolling on their own. Player C is rolling, plus has 2 friends rolling with him.

Player A and B each have 1/5 chance of getting the item.
PlayerC now has 3/5 chance to get the item because of the 2 additional rolls. (My math is probably wrong, but just trying to illustrate the point).

That just seems like a slightly unfair advantage is all. Player A and B have invested the same amount of time and effort into the raid, but only have 1/5 chance of getting the item where Player C has manipulated things to gain a 3/5 chance.

I think this is where you need a really trustworthy ML who's ready to override the rolls if he sees raiders rolling on things they really "shouldn't" be rolling on.

It's kind of a sad discussion to be having, really.

But on a guild run I'd be very disappointed to learn that what are supposed to be my mates are block rolling on loot to decrease my chance of ever winning a roll.

I agree. I'd be pretty disappointed in my crew if they were stuffing each other on loot rolls.

I will say this: Having Lum play Devil's Advocate DID help me understand the other side of this argument. It might make crossing that bridge a little easier, should a newb GL ever have to. I'm just glad that most people are still courteous enough to allow items to go to those who would benefit most from them =)

Nellie
10-15-2009, 07:37 AM
Having Lum play Devil's Advocate DID help me understand the other side of this argument.
true and it's indicative of the mindset of a lot of society in general not just game players that if something isn't explicitly forbidden then it must be ok to do it right? I mean if you didn't want me to do it you'd have made a rule or implemented a mechanism to stop me.

There's a (probably urban legend) story regarding all the guff you now get when you come to login to most corporate PCs about you must be authorised etc etc which came about because originally the login screen said "Welcome" and was used by a hacker as a defence: "if you didn't want me to login to your system, why did it welcome me and invite me to login?"

Destinae
10-15-2009, 09:43 AM
Sad, but true. This doesn't seem to come up too often with our crew. The people who do this just don't get invited much. It's not the most pleasant thing, but I'd rather just bypass all the stupid loot drama and try to have fun.