I received an email yesterday looking for some advice on how spirit gear should be handled when there is both a healer and a DPS that can make use of the item. Since this is an issue that I think many guilds probably have to deal with on a regular basis, I thought it would be interesting to see how everyone handles spirit loot. Below I’m going to provide the question as well as my response to the question. But then I’d love to hear your take on the issue as well.
(Please note that I’ve taken the liberty of changing some specifics to generalities in both the question and my reply).
Last night we had a spirit item drop that both a healer and a DPS could use. The healer and the DPS rolled… and the healer won. After the raid a number of us were on vent and there was more talk about the DPS rolling on spirit gear.
Our guild leader thinks it’s important to think about what is needed for the best of the raid and that healers need to get the gear first. I, personally, have a serious problem with dps rolling on spirit gear and then also rolling on gear without spirit on it. It just seems like double dipping on two loot tables when the healer only has one loot table to roll on.
I went to EJ to see if there was a clearly defined answer to the question, and wasn’t able to find one. However, what I did find was a note that said just because you CAN roll on spirit gear doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Of course, the same note then also listed the contested item as BiS for this DPS class, so I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this situation when it comes up again in future raids.
What is your guild’s take on this?
We open spirit gear up to: Moonkin, Elemental Shaman and Shadow Priests, as well as our healers and everyone is pretty much on equal footing for it. Largely because so much of the gear is shared, and a lot of the spirit gear is also BiS for the DPS classes as well as the healers.
That being said, we do ask everyone to know what is BiS for them gearwise, and take that into account when they are asking for an item. Sometimes when we are trying to decide where to award an item, we will ask the DPS class where it falls in their gear list before awarding it and take that into consideration. If it’s an item that is BiS for them, and they won’t be replacing it with something else down the line, it’s equally open for them. We don’t not award it to a DPS just because a healer wants it as well. The converse is also true, however – I received my BiS weapon from Magmaw over a DPS, even though the weapon does not have spirit on it.
The only people that we really ever favor gearing up over others are our tanks – and only to a small degree. In my opinion gearing your DPS is equally important as gearing your healers because DPS pushing a boss down faster will also make an encounter easier. We really try very hard to gear our raid team equally, so that every member has equal gear to perform their job and so that our raid team grows at the same rate.
The item you referenced is really tricky, mostly because there are very limited options for that gear slot. Because of the lack of options, and the fact that the DPS can make good use from the spirit on the item that did drop (and is his BiS), I probably would have given him equal opportunity to receive it.
As for looking forward – I would probably just ask your DPS to know what spirit options are good for them (they will have some BiS gear that contains spirit), and ask them to refrain from rolling on spirit gear that isn’t BiS for them unless your healers don’t need the item. I think that should be a reasonable compromise on both ends, as it lets your DPS have an equal opportunity for gear upgrades that contain spirit, but also doesn’t put your healers in a bad spot either.
Regardless of my advice – I’m curious how other people handles spirit gear within their raid teams. We have always been open and aware of “BiS” for people that may be “unconventional” – such as leather for warriors and cloth for shaman/druids in prior raid tiers. We have always accepted that BiS is what it is, and trust that our raiders have spent the time to research their gear before asking for loot. I’m curious, though, if we are just really open-minded in this respect. What is your take on this topic? If this email had come to you, how would you have responded?