twitter logo and link to our twitter account
SWTOR Life Logo
Search our SWTOR Database

Loot – Solo V Group

Published by under Blog,Crafting,Game Mechanics on Jun. 02. 2011.

This is not just an opinion but a known fact, the best loot in-game should come from large group content END.


I could leave the statement like that and move on. But this is not my way, I will list pros and cons from both sides of the fence and push my hopes forward in the what I see as a better way forward for MMO’s on the whole.


What we know now, and I will stress to leave out as much WOW references as possible. for in my eye’s WOW broke the loot-tread-mill system to no end.

“Clears throat”

So what tends to happen in MMO’s atm is that the highest loot possible comes from end-game large raids.

You and your fellow gamers will run the same instance time and time again. With a small chance to drop your class specific items and you then you have a chance to roll on that very item. These are the best items you can find in-game and the only way to acquire them, is in those larger raid groups.

Like it or not this is the way it should stay

The problem is though that not everyone likes or has the time to run countless raids night after night. You may not be sympathetic with those who can’t or wont put the time in. But MMO’s are made for everyone to enjoy the game and as such they should cater for more than the hardcore raiding groups.


(Start WOW rant) Yes WOW can shove those tokens, they have made your horrible excuse for end-game content worthless. (end WOW rant)

And yes I totally agree with the best items coming from raids, well I half agree but there is a better way forward. I will expand on this shortly.


Now when you are equipped with your high-end gear what tends to happen is this. You know how they look, and you can tell at a glance anyone that is not as well geared as yourself. These players ill equipped are now nothing but cannon fodder to you. You may be thinking at this point well I’ve put the time in, I should be all powerful. Which is in part right.


But this stance does not make for good all round game-play. Not everyone starts the game at the same time. When you start even a short time after the game is released you will find it hard even to muster a group to face anything that would not be considered end-game content.Your hopes of a good raid group is really non-existent. This only leads to a greater gap from the best geared to the players of limited time.


First off I will say this, new raid loot should not play out like a game of Top Trumps. What I mean is that if you have full gear and you def is 1000 and this also give you 50 stat points. The new raid gear should give you something like 1200 def and 70 stats for a full set. This way those with the time do not get an instant win in everything they do. What should happen is they have a small advantage over those players that tend to progress more slowly.


That’s the way loot is atm and as such if you want to have the best gear and stay competitive you have to run high-end raids. This system leaves those that only want to solo well and truly out of the loop. This is not good for the game or the solo players.


What I would like to see for the solo gamer is this. Just like raids and the different levels, items you encounter have a similar system for end game solo content. These quest chains or solo raid content if you will, should be challenging, rewarding and keep the solo player fairly well equipped. Not to the quality as group raid but within 10-15%.


Now these quests should take some time and as such if they take on the normal raid format should not kick the player out when they have to log off. Forcing the player to re-run the full instance again to catch up. This would kind of defeat the object they are trying to focus on and that being making the game and end-game content somewhat balanced for all play styles.


We should know by now there are 3 types of players that turn up in MMO’s.

1 – Those that play solo

2- Those that will do raids but shy away from the larger end-game raids.

3- High end-game raiders that do countless epic runs.


The loot should follow those types of players and the sets should reflect the difficulty level they require.

1 – Solo should be at a lowest end.

2 – Normal raid groups of 4 players should be bang in the middle.

3 – Large group epic raids should take the best gear the game has to offer.


Ok this is kind of what we have in-place already. But as it stands now the gap between them is massive and the solo player or the normal groups of friends can not compete with those hardcore raiders. What I would like to see happen is the gap shorten. From the bottom to the top being within 20% of defense and stats that’s across the board. No longer do I want to see a player that can not put in the time and find those all important large raid groups be down trodden to the point they are forced to give up on some of the other end game content the game has to offer.


Just because some do not have 40 hours every week to play and make them suffer as a result. Just playing longer should not make you a better player. Good players are good players and the time they spend in-game should not reflect on the skill they have in all aspects of the game.


I did mention before there is a better way forward. And you may have noticed I have not mentioned anywhere in the post so far where crafters fit in all of this.

Well here it comes.

The best way forward and I have seen something like this in other games is combine crafting and raids together.


Raids should still remain to drop high-end class items and continue to have some of the best gear. But a system that also drops a component that can be gathered and turned over to crafters to take it to the next stage.


These kind of drops will transcend all classes all builds. Only difference the assembly will be slightly different depending on your class. A trooper may need 4x-3y-2z components and a jedi may need 2x-4y-3z. Be they components of rare hides, circuit boards or the flower from a gum gum tree I don’t care but they should only be obtainable from raids. The amount that drops depends on the raid type. Solo, low end raids and large group should all have components that drop. And as you progress all area’s will have there very own epic drops those 0.01% drops that we all crave.


We all play games for fun and time spent should give us an advantage but it’s little fun when it comes to time spent more than another player I would win every PvP encounter with them, even if I was not paying very much attention to the game.

For those that disagree I would suggest you play something  other than WOW for this is not the be all, end all of games. It just happens to have the largest player base.


Large group raids items are the hardest to obtain and as such should remain at the top of the tree, but for the good of all games catering for all play types is good for everyone. Keeping players playing if they be solo or those that do nothing but group is good for everyone.


Until we meet again, MrWarlock signing off.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Loot – Solo V Group”

  1. Dalqakon 02 Jun 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Custom avatar

    One aspect that I will be curious about is the quality of gear obtained solely through PvP vs. Crafting and PvE. I believe the dev quote was that PvE gear would be within 10% effectiveness in PvP, but it’s unclear if PvP gear will be similarly effective in PvE.

    The other aspect of this that will come into play is that we may have interdependency between the raiders and crafters, for example. If the mats (rare drops) are not bind on pickup, they can be brought to crafters for usage in recipes.

    Now in this case, what sorts of systems will be in place to ensure that the crafter does not simply keep the materials…?

  2. jayon 02 Jun 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I dont really agree ,basic forced grouping .I dont like to group, Im a solo player .I prefer quest by myself and just enjoy the peace of the game ,I dont mind runing into fellow players for short conversations etc.But I have seen a couple of free to play and play to play games have solo instances .Gear drops for solo players should be just as good or better simply not everyone can solo a boss but take an 8 man group with 3 healers and its a win.

  3. MrWarlockon 02 Jun 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Jay you may have picked this up wrong.

    I did intend this to be more of making everyone more closely matched grouped and solo players alike. And after playing there is no way you would be to solo the content that a 4 player team would be to complete.

    And I do not agree that solo players should get the same items as groups. I ran many games in many groups with less than a 10% chance of gaining an item I could win or even roll on. Solo content you get everything all the time. To match that with being as good or better than group loot is really a none issue.

    It should keep you as a player competitive and within reach of large groups but I would not like to see leage groups wiped out if solo players get there way to have better loot. That would truly take the multi-player out of the MMO and who wants to play an O game anyway ?

  4. Cormeisteron 02 Jun 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Custom avatar

    I really like your idea about combining materials acquired through raiding and then crafting the best gear. If I remember something about *gasp* WoW, it was that this idea was the case back in vanilla days. Materials for the legendary weapons (Sulfuras and Thunderfury) had to be acquired from the Molten Core and Blackwing Lair which I thought worked really well and made the items very unique and cool. To my knowledge this isn’t the case anymore, but I would be very happy to see BioWare implement something similar to this system.

  5. Logun24x7on 02 Jun 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Not feeling that warm and fuzzy felling I usually get from one of you articles MrWarlock.

    We have a lot of talk in the community about endgame and solo adventuring content and I’m getting rather sick of the raiding community QQ over it. You don’t hear anything from the PvP’ers or the Crafters just the Raiders like you just stepped on their Epeen every time you mention rewards for solo endgame.

    An endgame retention mechanic for solo players is long over due and offering consolation prizes as rewards is not going to cut it.

    There’s a whole list of reasons this also would be of benefit to raiders but the biggest is it would also keep those adrift Raiding players geared up to slot in place when your main Tank tells you to go stuff it. Raiding guilds would have a pool of players to snatch up without a lot of back tracking.

    Like it or not WoW’s innovation was proving that by embracing solo players and allowing people to level solo all the way to cap you could take just over a million MMO players and turn that into 30 million.

    Now the ratio between casual-solo players vs the hardcore-raiding is off the charts and they’ve become the evangelist and caretakers of the genre. WoW invited them to the party and now they want their endgame too …they want this endgame pandering to the hardcore to end and I don’t blame them.

    I’ve long lost my love for raiding and as MMO players I think it’s an oxymoron that we whine about linear game play, lack of viable skill builds, pore customization, and pore lightsaber color choices but when we ask for more options for endgame the Raiders stand up and say …. No, no, no, you got to do it our way….there’s only one right way.

  6. Kevinon 02 Jun 2011 at 11:57 pm

    I’m sick and tired of hearing raiders qq. For a website focused on crafting, you sure don’t seem to want to give them a reason to actually craft.. I’m removing SWTOR Life from my rss feed, this is a known fact.

  7. BorukBHon 03 Jun 2011 at 12:34 am

    Okay I agree that Raiding should have some really great gear, but I also think crafting should give those that don’t solo the chance at really great gear as well.

    I don’t mean in the way that all you have to do is craft to be the best geared, i mean that combining items from ALL crafting professions, combined with BOE drops that raiders can easily get. Make the recipes hard to obtain or super rare. SOMETHING that gives the solo player a chance, even minutely, at getting really great gear.

    “The best way forward and I have seen something like this in other games is combine crafting and raids together.”

    As per your quote…the only thing I hated how WOW did it was the patterns, made good stuff, but they were BOP recipes and if you were raiding, you didn’t need what the recipe made and you couldn’t give it to anyone either.

  8. MrWarlockon 03 Jun 2011 at 2:10 am

    Though I may be a hardcore gamer of 40+ hours per week this does not say that I myself am a hardcore raider.
    I will after a short time spend a great deal of time doing solo content, and as such I so want to gain gear through that method also.

    But there is a clear fact that solo and raid groups gain items in very different ways. And yes both groups should still remain within touch of each other. That being said it is always harder to gain gear from raids. This is more a numbers thing than anything else.

    As for crafting and items gained from raids and solo play they should all mix and become the best gear in TOR. It only makes sense that crafting and items (non gear) should be combined to make a much improved items at the end of the day.

    There should be things you can only gain from solo play same goes for large raid groups when combined with a rare schematic be the finest equipment the game will ever have.

    As for PvP and items well you don’t need a group to join in on PvP. Pugs are the norm and TOR will have pugs and pre-made groups for anyone wanting to indulge in.
    We also know that PvP gear will only have 10% more benefit over raid gear, not a great gap like many games out there now have in place.

    So this being said solo and group content should also be closely matched though if you go the way that some would like and have solo content becoming better than raid content. You will see a mass migration from raid groups and team play to everyone going solo.

    I mean what’s the point of going through the fuss of getting a group joining a guild and having to put up with junk that goes with the grouping aspect of MMO’s ?
    If at the end of the day you can solo for best gear. This is a multi player game and as such there are rewards for playing in a group.

    For those that want to solo so be it, I like to do this also but I can see that its harder to gain gear from those bigger groups and hard to set up than just logging on and doing your own thing.

  9. I Solo, You Solo | TORWarson 03 Jun 2011 at 2:35 am

    […] you want another take on solo play you can visit Mr. Warlocks post over at SWTOR Life, where he gets into the nuts and bots of his preference for loot division […]

  10. Logun24x7on 03 Jun 2011 at 2:52 am

    I hate this idea that everything has to hinge on the all-mighty Raid

    The idea that crafters get road blocked to content because rare mats or blueprints only drop in raids is just a bad game design IMHO.

    For crying out loud does everything in the game need to belong to the raider, fine keep any form of endgame adventuring progression, but for gods sake don’t make me raid if I want to be a competitive crafter /cry

    I’ll do flashpoints (4 mans) until the cows come home or even grind faction for 100 hours but don’t make me do another raid …hehe

    The last thing I need is to bare witness to another childish temper tantrum over vent or guild imposition over gear. / ya I know this has never happened in your guild right? … tell it to someone else that hasn’t been MMO gaming for 13 years …lol

  11. MrWarlockon 03 Jun 2011 at 3:12 am

    Logun you are right and I have to agree.

    If I had my way the best gear would come by the way of crafters and to gain the skills required you would have to forgo PvP and PvE skills to spend point in your given craft.

  12. Logun24x7on 03 Jun 2011 at 3:36 am

    Thanks MrWarlock
    But I don’t think there’s a right or wrong on this topic it’s one of these things that we all have our opinions on that comes down to our own personal experiences.

    I found this earlier today this is its Damion Schubert presentation on the MMO Loner from AGDC 2009 where he does into great detail on understanding the solo MMO player.

    Although I feel he shares your thoughts on endgame, I’m impressed that he’s gone to this lengths to understand the MMO player that for what ever reason decides to play solo.

  13. Moonkin no moreon 03 Jun 2011 at 6:09 am

    As an avid raider i cannot agree that it is harder to gain gear from raids in fact i think its so much easier. So many times my guild ran raids where one or two dps that normally were on didn’t show and we brought lesser geared members of our guild only to see items drop that I or another guildie already possessed go to these first time raiders. Sure it took me 4 months to get mine but now the new guy gets lucky and gets a bunch of that elite gear because “BoB” the uber hunter dps went out on a date and did not show up for his raid slot. Solo content requires people to earn every piece through questing where as raiding requires a whole lotta luck and the skill of others around you who know the raid to gift first timers with gear just because all the uber raiders already have an item.

  14. Petrosison 03 Jun 2011 at 12:47 pm

    The whole problem starts with MMOs being about gear and items. I hated it when I realized in WoW I hate to grind my gear again, because new expansion came. And as soon as I was fully equiped – another expansion made my gear look ridiculous, and I had to start gearing up all over again. I quit WoW few times – just because I was frustrated with the whole idea as the gear being the goal of the end game.

    Since SWTOR is about story, why not change the whole WoW formula? Gear should be obtainable through PvP, PvE and crafting equally. And not just one gear set as the best in the game, but many different sets, that are the best.

    Let’s not change the gear with any expansion, but just add new gear (content). If SWTOR is about story why not make the end game rewards not to be gear, but – let’s say story events. Further I stand firm by my belief that player housing (not ships in space, not instanced housing) and control of territory make much more fun end game content in comparison with standing as a statue in Stormwind for all to see my tier 11 gear (and very rare mount).

    If SWTOR does not revolve about gear and items acquiring, then this will be much better game than WoW.

  15. Willuff058on 03 Jun 2011 at 3:10 pm

    In my heart I know I’m a solo gamer. It’s why I’m so excited about SWTOR. Knowing that I can go through dungeons by myself woopin’ the behinds of so many enemies and bosses has me drooling.

    When it comes to drops for solo being better I agree. They don’t need to be just as good as raid drops but good enough to the point that I feel I was fairly rewarded for the amount of time and work I put into a particular quest. For me it’s not about who gets the better drops or why they get the better gear. I, as a solo player, want to be given a reward that reflects the hard work I put into the game.

    I agree with the idea that crafting should come into play. That I feel would be a great way to help balance things out with gear. I may not have gear that’s as good as a hardcore raider but by using crafting I could level the playing field a bit.

    Whether this is all fixed by the time the game comes out doesn’t matter. You can have your better gear and still need the help of at least three other people to get through a quest. All I know is I’ll be having a good time going through dungeon after dungeon like a one man army.

  16. Rikon 05 Jun 2011 at 9:55 pm

    One thing I dearly loved about the failed game that is SWG was the early idea of gaining schematics, and high end crafting components, i.e. Krayt pearls, and tissue. You brought that to a serious crafter and he made you your weapon, but usually you had to give up the rest of your schematic uses, or offer up some of those mats to him so that he could make another one to sell off. This was a good system. I have NEVER liked the idea that you kill a boss and he drops gear.

    Tokens work better for me because it isn’t like a boss drops a token, it’s a digital representation of a unit of achievement. Those units of achievement build up and enable you to be entitled to gear of your choice, that fits your current need, not some arbitrary loot table. I can’t tell you how many times I raided Black Wing Lair in 7/8 Stormrage waiting for that damn belt to drop, which it never did. That’s a time sink, not a legitimate reward system.

    Another think about SWG was, for me as a bounty hunter, I could take the highest NPC bounty missions and sometimes get a double gold (Elite) mark. 90% I was not capable of taking that dude down, and I couldn’t bring friends because the mechanics of the fight made my mark untargetable to others, as well as not allowing me to be healed by players while in combat with that mark. These were very difficult fights, and most of the time required as much luck (for me) as skill. I had to work very hard to even have the gear to have a chance. These type of fights were as hard as any raiding boss I’ve ever done, and at least I had no one to blame but myself if the encounter was not successful. The rewards were good, but they normally weren’t stellar. A bounty hunter armor schematic that I could take to an armorsmith and have another piece of armor crafted.

    Raiding, while challenging, is most often the product of being able to gather groups of people together. And, many players will join top guilds and just get their table scraps (which would often times be better) rather than help a fledgling group of players get through the process. Generally people want stuff for free. As someone who ran a guild, worse experience of my life, I know from countless hours looking at parsed information, that 50% of the players don’t live up to their potential. They just show up, do the minimum and hope it all goes well so they can gear up. It’s all well and good to say don’t take them, but anyone who has run a smaller guild know that’s not an option. They also know that players will use you to get the minimum gear requirement to join bigger guilds.

    There is an idea. Tag your gear to your guild. Ha Ha, boy would that cause some hate. Anyway, I think there is a way to do challenging single player, or small group content that can be reward similarly to raid gear, especially if the content is designed to require just as many hours of play to attain it.