Back in September 2009, Blizzard released patch 3.2, with this came a system that would allow the trading of soulbound items for 2 hours between players who were present at the time the loot was distributed. It was basically a way for Blizzard to cut down on the amount of tickets going to GM's over items being given to the wrong person by a raid leader. What also came with this patch, was a practice of rolling on items for your fellow guildies while in a PuG, even if you didn't need the item yourself. It's a way of granting a friend an extra roll for free, effectively double their chances to win against other people. It's an issue that isn't often talked about, and when it is, it's usually swept under the rug with a cry a “hushes” from all those involved.
Does that mean, if you play as a couple, you are always secretly entitled to a free second roll?
About a year ago, Mouse and I were the joint GM's of our own little 10-man raiding guild called the “Rainbow Explorers”. We were quite a good little team, nothing groundbreaking though (although, we did have a stunning pink tabbard). We weren't aiming for server firsts or anything like that, we just wanted to make an environment where people could come two times a week, and have a good laugh while we progressed through Ulduar. At some point, we teamed up with another couple in our guild to start farming for the [Swift White Hawkstrider] on a daily basis. I personally had no interest in the chicken, but I decided to come along and help as Mouse had her eyes firmly fixated it for the past couple of years.
Needless to say, as with most farming adventures, we spent the good part of three months or so running the dungeon on an almost daily basis, with nothing to show for it. As they say, good things come to those who wait, and eventually, we had our first chicken drop. Right away, I clicked on the “pass” button. As I made it clear some time ago that I had no interest in it. Everyone else clicked need, as you would expect, and the winning roll went to the husband of the other couple. Little Mouse was slightly miffed, but I just gave her hair a quick ruffle and told her that we'll just keep on farming until we got her one as well.
With an exasperated sigh, Mouse accepted and we hearthed back to Dala, mainly to sell off some junk. It was that that we saw the achievement for the hawkstrider posted within the guild. But something wasn't right, the name next to it was the one of the wife, and not that of the husband. Well, as you could imagine, they was quite a public outcry from the pair of us. We felt strangely violated and betrayed by the whole situation. Mainly due to him rolling for the item without any intent to use it himself. It's our own fault for not making sure that something like this would have happened before it did.
Now, I'm not going to out-rightly condone the swapping of loot for others. How could I? I've been guilty of it on more than one occasion. Especially with the dawn of cross-server instances. The [reins of the blue proto drake] that Mouse currently uses, I won that and traded it to her the moment that everyone else left the group. It's a benefit of playing as a couple. I'm not saying that it's morally correct, because it's clearly not, but if you can get away with it, and you're not likely to talk to those people again, then why not?
You know what was strange about that event? I didn't feel bad at all. Not one little bit. I robbed a mount right from underneath their noses, and never even blinked. It's probably due to the nature of random heroics these days. Everyone just comes in, does there part, and just leaves. Almost as if they were a robot or an NPC. No, that's not fair, NPC's have far more personality. That's why it's so easy to do. The only times I hear people try to converse with one another, is if they have a problem with their gearscore. (Not a topic that I'm going to rant about, as there are a million of other blogs that have done that for me, bottom line, it's a good tool if used correctly and knowledgeably. You can't blame the gun for murdering the victim.)
There we go, somehow, we've come to a little revelation. If you don't want to have your loot stolen, then talk a little. Be human. It is a multi-player game after all, so reach out a little!