Ninja Looting – A Dying Art

Keen and Graev have an article up about ninja looting in WoW and how he was scammed out of an item during a raid. It got me thinking about how ninja looting is a dying art.

Ninja looting was big back in the days of EverQuest, before the computer handled rolls automatically and group leaders could assign loot types with thresholds and all of that fancy stuff. If you look at games like Warhammer Online, ninja looting is pretty much impossible – you can’t even roll ‘need’ on items for other classes. Ninja looting used to take skill and it was all about being able to open the bag of loot faster than anyone else! People today have no clue what ‘real’ ninja looting is and they’re quick to throw around the term at any occasion.

I was never much of a ninja looter because I have a condition in which I suffer from a lot of guilt when I do something ‘bad’. However, I had a friend who, due to some sort of childhood truma, had no problem looting the crap out of everyhing he saw. It got him kicked from a lot of groups.

Anyone remember the ’spires’ in North Karana? It was a fun spot for grouping aka camping. It could support 3 groups at a time (…I think, sorry my memory is fuzzy), one at each spire and one in the middle and it was the unsaid rule that each group would only take a certain mobs from certain spots. You see, EQ was all about the unwritten rule, the gentleman’s agreement, the street posse treaty if you will, and looting was no exception. It was considered that each party member would only loot ‘every-so-often’ and make sure loot was distributed evenly. In a good group, it was no problem, but every once in a while, someone joined who decided they wanted to take everything and a battle of ‘target and click’ would rage, the fastest fingers winning. THAT was real ninja looting.

North Karana spires

North Karana spires

So what happened to my High-Elf friend, Tenebrae? Well, he was last seen doing an Ogre the favour of taking his money to buy him something from an NPC in Qeynos for him. Tenebrae entered the shop, ‘Gated’ away, camped out, and kept the cash. Classic.

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  1. [...] any sort of loot mechanics or target tagging. Ninja looting was a commonly used term (I even had a friend who specialised in it) and the only thing that prevented it was the social code that people conformed to. Same goes to [...]

  2. thrinetu says:

    OMG! someone else who has the same condition as me! i suffer from guilt if i even think about needing something i can’t use at that very moment for or for that toon

  3. Carl70 says:

    EQ was the wild wild west of looting…for a goof and we used to do races from Qeynos to Freeport with low level characters, winner take all. So one of my friends is busting through the mountain pass, hoping there will be some groups cleaning out the Gnoll population so he can make it through. He comes upon a group hanging around this gnoll corpse and decided to loot it on a whim as he’s running by…BAM Polished Granite Tomahawk. Much “OMG who took da PGT,” etc. etc….by the time these guys realized what had happened this guy was in the forest already.

  4. keychainkid says:

    Sadly, as “annoying” as it was, the cut-throat nature of EQ seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs. A few sandbox games like EVE, Darkfall, and MO are trying to keep the flame alive, but overall the production value of most sandbox mmos are greatly lacking, and it is hurting the genre due to most modern MMOs believing their player-base can’t handle getting a little dirty while playing a video game.

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