“Ninja looting” is a common term used within many massively-multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) to describe the act of looting items from corpses, chests, and the game environment without permission.
This term predates World of Warcraft by many years, and was originally coined in virtual worlds that did not possess the same looting mechanics that are available in-game today. Because of how loot dropped in these other worlds — frequently in the form of free-for-all chests on the ground — it was possible for players to loot items they did not personally help generate. Stealing loot in this manner often required speed and subtlety, so the title “loot ninja” was born.
The World of Warcraft looting system was specifically designed so this sort of item theft cannot occur. In order for a player to loot an item, they must contribute to the corresponding kill or be a part of the group responsible for it. Players who do not meet these requirements will be ineligible for any loot that drops. As a result, players are only able to loot items they are entitled to own; they cannot “ninja” or steal loot directly from other players.
What if I disagree with the way loot is distributed? Isn’t that ninja looting?
No. Such disagreements are considered looting disputes, not ninja looting. A looting dispute occurs when a player loots an item for which they are eligible, but in doing so, goes against social looting practices (Main Spec > Off Spec, upgrades only, etc). While some looting disputes may be a social faux pas and can tarnish a player’s reputation, they are not a violation of any in-game rule. Scams, however, are a violation, and may occasionally accompany a looting dispute.
We will not be able to assist if:
- Group Loot, Round Robin, or Free-for-All was used.
- If Need Before Greed was in use. This is the mandatory loot method for groups created using the Dungeon tool.
- Loot agreement was not clearly defined.
Okay, so scamming is against the rules…what exactly is a scam?
In terms of loot, making and then breaking a clear in-game agreement on the way loot will be distributed by a Master Looter can be considered a scam. Unfortunately, some players will make loot agreements they have no intention of keeping to get players to join a dungeon or raid group. In these situations, players who disregard the original agreement and then take (or give away) loot in a different way are potentially violating our Scam Policy. If you believe you have been scammed, contact In-Game Support.
If a player is found to have perpetrated a scam after loot rules are fully defined, that player may:
- Be temporarily suspended from the game
- Have any money or item gains removed
In almost all situations, any removed loot will be left unassigned. Due to the privacy associated with these investigations, In-Game Support will be unable to release details regarding an investigation’s findings, actions taken, or its final outcome.
Note: Partial agreements that do not wholly explain how loot will be distributed may prevent In-Game Support from assisting. If your raid uses the Master Looter setting, be sure to clarify with your raid group using in-game text chat if any items are reserved, what (if any) restrictions will be placed on rolls, and how winners of open rolls will be selected.
Is there anything I can do to help avoid looting disputes in general?
- Understand how each loot setting in the game works. Since the in-game looting system is designed to place control of loot distribution into players’ hands, it’s important to understand the differences between them. This will help avoid misunderstandings and ensure the group uses the most compatible setting. For more information, review our page on loot settings.
- Group with players you trust whenever possible. While most loot settings allow game mechanics to determine how loot is distributed, some rely on one player’s discretion (Master Looter) or how quickly a corpse or chest is looted (Free-For-All). If you are unable to group with players you trust, Master Loot and Free-For-All may not be the ideal loot settings for you.
- Verify the loot setting selected by the group Leader when you join a new group or raid. If you have any concerns with the group’s loot setting, discuss it with your group members and clarify what, if any, additional loot rules may apply. This is especially important for groups run by Master Looter! If you are uncomfortable with the loot setting adopted by the group, respectfully declining the invitation or leaving the group before engaging in an encounter is recommended.
- Be polite and attentive when joining a new dungeon or raid group. Many times, players who believe they have been scammed simply missed or misinterpreted the looting rules and/or expectations set forth by the group Leader.
Remember: All raid members need to familiarize themselves with any rules in place when Master Looter is the designated looting type.WoW Ninja Looting Tips,