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In Final Fantasy XIV, Lootmaster is a style of loot distribution where the party leader decides who gets what. By default, loot is distributed by need or greed, where every player in the group gets a chance to “roll” for an item.
Need or greed is the standard for duties you complete via the duty finder.
When an item drops, every player in the group gets the chance to roll. Players that can currently use the item can roll need, and players who can’t roll greed.
The game then randomly selects a number between 1-100 for each player (like rolling a massive die) and the highest number wins the loot. Need rolls will always outweigh greed rolls, so they only really count if nobody in the party needs the item.
Still with me? I know there was a lot of rolling in that last paragraph, so let’s move onto explaining a drastically different type of loot distribution: Lootmaster.
Lootmaster can be selected by navigating to the Duty Finder by pressing the U key, and pressing the little gear icon in the corner of the window.
It overrides need or greed, putting the responsibility of who gets what solely in the hands of the party leader.
The party leader will distribute items individually, or make everybody roll greed if they want something.
Why Use Lootmaster Over Need Or Greed?
Lootmaster is typically used in raiding communities with static teams.
This way the group’s leader can ensure that the player who would benefit the most from the gear receives it, no questions asked.
If one member of the party would only receive a small boost in statistics from a drop, but somebody else could significantly upgrade, that would make a better contribution to the group’s progress as a whole.
So for hardcore raiders, Lootmaster can be great, allowing responsible party leaders to make decisions that would improve the party (and not just the individual).
Since some jobs share gear, and therefore could all roll need on it, Lootmaster ensures the gear goes to the person that would get the most significant boost from it.
Maybe the healers are struggling in one particular encounter, and the spellcasters are doing just fine. Then an item drops that would upgrade all of their stats, but only one could have it.
In this case the Lootmaster would give the item to the healers to give them an important edge.
Unfortunately, even in the FFXIV community, there are players who’ll look to exploit the Lootmaster system for their own gain.
The simplest example of this is mount runs.
Extreme versions of Primal trials have a small chance of dropping mounts on successful clears. A Realm Reborn had horses, Heavensward had birds, Stormblood had mythical dogs.
In all three of these examples, collecting each mount rewarded players with another (usually extremely shiny) mount.
Obviously they’re highly collectible.
And players will often organize farming runs, clearing the trial multiple times in succession until the mount drops.
Square doesn’t publish the drop rates of these mounts, but it’s estimated at roughly 10% – meaning if the trial is cleared ten times, one mount might drop in that time.
There was a trend where party leaders would organize these farming parties and enable Lootmaster, duping people into joining their group to help. And when the mount eventually dropped, the party leader would give themselves the mount and leave the group.
This wasn’t the case for every Lootmaster mount farm. Some party leaders did start out with good intentions, but from experience, those groups tend to naturally fall apart over time when people get what they came for.