Loot Sharing Is Not Stealing

There is an interesting article over at WoW.com dealing with the issue of whether a player who wins loot in a raid and then transfers it to another member of the raid (through the use of the 2 hour default trade timer) has stolen the loot.  You can read the article here.

After wading through 7 or so pages of the comments, I wanted to weigh in on the issue. 

Loot sharing is not stealing.  It is unfair, but it is not stealing. 

Let me explain.

Stealing is traditionally defined as unlawfully depriving another of their property.  In the example quoted in the article, and as skillfully noted in the comments by Lilbanshee, the alleged victim has exactly the same odds of winning the item whether or not the collusive players eventually share the item.  There has been no deprivation, and therefore, the collusive players cannot have stolen the loot.

Even though the alleged victim has not been deprived of the opportunity to receive loot, the beneficiary of the collusion has had his/her odds significantly improved.  This is inherently unfair to the first player. 

Unfairness, however, does not transform the loot sharing into stealing.

I respect the author of the article for his courage to criticize an unethical practice, but respectfully submit that he erred in calling the practice stealing.

And as a final note, unfairness is best prevented by having clear and visible loot rules, not by reliance on understandings or impressions of what a typical player would or would not do.



2 comments so far

  1. Unroku on

    I understand your point when you talk about them having the same shot at it to start (when rolling) but when you start to include other loot systems is where I start to have some issues. Examples being:

    1. Loot council decides to give an item to one player who then turns around and trades it. Issue being the upgrade was for you for a reason!

    2. DKP. Spending DKP for an item to give it to other players just is not fair. The act of getting DKP is a showing of dedication towards one guild. Giving a item to someone with less DKP defeats the whole purpose.


    • wantedpriest on

      Loot Council – This seems to be more an issue of fraud to me. LC awards an item on the condition (normally unspoken) that the recipient, and only the recipient will use it. If you accept the loot with that condition, and then trade it, I think you are committing fraud. (Still not stealing though.)

      DKP is tougher. I view DKP as a purely self-interest driven system. If people want to loot share, which is against self-interest, I think they should be able to do so. The shroud system, in theory, limits the potential for abuse.


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