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You Needy Bastard: WoW need vs. greed etiquette

Published 8 March 2011

Hi! You've stumbled upon a blog post by a guy named Ryan. I'm not that guy anymore, but I've left his posts around because cool URIs don't change and to remind me how much I've learned and grown over time.

Ryan was a well-meaning but naïve and priviledged person. His views don't necessarily represent the views of anyone.

Do I need an item? Did they verb the word greed? The Need vs. Greed treasure interface can be confusing to a new player who isn't used to it. But it's pretty simple once you get the hang of it. When loot rules are set to Need Vs. Greed, Whenever someone tries to pick up an item that is green or higher quality, the loot interface appears for anyone able to loot the item.

Screenshot of the Need Vs. Greed Interface

The Need Vs. Greed Interface

Some players get huffy if you need on the wrong item, but these guidelines trace out the basic etiquette. Players have four options:

  1. Need
  2. Greed
  3. Disenchant
  4. Pass

Need: I need this because it's better

Choose need when something is an upgrade to the gear you already have. The easiest way to find out if it's better is to hold shift and hover over the item, which will compare it to what you already have equipped.

Screenshot: a possible upgrade

I guess it's not an upgrade.

The more green stats the better. However, you also have to make sure the stats you are gaining are the ones you need.

Class & RoleImportant Stats
Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight TankArmor, Stamina, Strength, Expertise, Hit Rating, Dodge Rating, Parry Rating
Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight DPSStrength, Expertise, Hit Rating, Expertise
Hunter, Rogue, Enhancement Shaman, Feral DruidAgility, Hit Rating, Expertise (except hunters)
Shaman, Druid, Warlock, Mage, Priest Caster DPSIntellect, Spirit, Hit Rating, Spell Power
Paladin, Shaman, Druid or Priest HealerIntellect, Spirit, Spell Power

There are some stats everybody needs: Mastery, Critical Strike Rating, and Haste, but they usually come in combination with other stats. Essentially, if you can use something and it's got the stats you want, then roll need to get it. This gets a little more complicated as you increase in level. At level 50 you'll get armor specialization, which will give you serious benefits to making sure you're wearing all armor of one type. Otherwise need on upgrades. Don't feel guilty if everything that drops is for you--it's just the luck of the draw.

Needing for your unused spec is the leading cause of most fights in PUGs once dual talent specialization becomes available. Players that can use an item right now get precedence over players that would have to switch spec to use it. The best policy is to ask, and never roll for your unused (or off-) spec gear against someone who needs for their current (or main) spec.

Greed: I want this because I can sell it

Greed is the option to choose if something is not an upgrade, or if it's not for your spec. There's no actually "greedy" connotation to the choice: it's what players should choose 90% of the time.

Disenchant: melt it down for its magic

If your group includes an enchanter, you will have this option as well. Disenchant is essentially the same as choosing greed, except your enchanter will automatically turn the item into a reagent that can be used to improve your gear. Disenchanted items also take up less bag space and can often be sold on the Auction House for more than the original items' vendor price.

Pass: my bags are full

The only time you should ever choose pass is if your bags or full or if it actually makes your life worse by gaining the item. I sometimes pass on lockboxes because I can't be bothered to find a rogue to open them.

Non-gear items

Some creatures drop rare items that are not gear: Chaos Orbs, holiday items, and gems for crafting. In general, if you can make use of it, need it. Greed is the safe option if you're not sure.

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