(You can also check out the discussion of this topic at Hearthcast.com's Podcast, episode 117)
Bearing in mind that the Mists of Pandaria Raid Finder loot system seems to eliminate most or all of these issues, and None of this applies to actual raiding proper (normal mode, heroic mode, pugs or guild runs where there is usually a loot rule or system and a group-agreed upon designated master looter) here's my thoughts on Current Random Raid Finder (Dragon Soul) looting:
1) The Raid Finder system is currently flawed by design both by blizzard and ALSO by many of the players' expectations.
- Blizzard admits design fault, they are revising Raid Finder looting in MoP.
- Blizzard's roll design allows for engineering odds in your favor. it does not guarantee you anything at all, but it does help your odds.
- Some players expect an etiquette to be followed, this is also a flaw, because the larger the pool of people, the more diverse this becomes and etiquette can differ greatly the more people you throw into the mix.
When i'm done with a RRF Dragon Soul, often my recount will show 40 to 60 players total. this means that people are after 1 thing and leave., Even if you're queueing for RRF by yourself and not with the aid of a guild, this can still feel just as unfair.
- Let's say by some stroke of luck you are 1 of 2 people in the entire raid that can use an item/token. This token drops. "Hey, i have a 50/50 chance!" you think. You lose the roll. "Ah well.. the next one that drops is surely mine!" you think, except the person that just won an item leaves the group. RRF inserts someone else that can use the same item/token you're after. Now your chances effectively went from 50% to 33%.. if this happens again it just dropped to 25% and so on.
- Disenchant for Materials for your own/guild's enchant or sell materials for AH
- Use the actual item for an upgrade
- Trade it to an friend/guild mate for an upgrade (They still had to be there for the kill)
- Use the won item for a later trade or barter for a different item someone else wins from a different boss either for yourself or for your friend(s). In some cases this can actually even out loot distribution instead of it being very lopsided, which it can be, naturally.
3) The path of least resistance.
The only way possible at all for a "Fair" system to work in the current form is to assure that all 25 (Minimum) PUG members in a RRF group are all on the same page. In a 5 man this is much easier to agree an upon an etiquette.This still does not guarantee anything in either a 5 man or 25 man since there is nothing at all to enforce it in Raid Finder.
- The easiest thing to do, regardless of how "You" think things should work or not, is to use the system to your advantage without exploiting the system. Exploits are not allowed. Using the game's system is. The game allows you to roll, you roll.
- Needing on something you don't exactly need can still benefit you, and someone else later. An item can be traded later on, assuming both players were there for the kill.
- Maybe you've needed on something for future trading/bartering, but the item you really wanted never dropped. It's completely the players discretion to give the unwanted needed item to someone else or not. Maybe it will pay their repair bill. Maybe they can disenchant it and sell the mats or use them for their own enchant.
4) The problem with "Fair"
"Fair" is subjective. What's fair to one person is not fair to another. A hard core raider running raid finder might be trying to match up his 4 piece bonus because he's not having any luck in normal raids, this is his second chance in raid finder. To simplify, lets say there's 2 people rolling on this token. The Raider who is leading, instructing and carrying the raid and the Inexperienced First Timer who is barely showing up on the healing/DPS meters and possibly causing trouble by not following instructions.
- If the Raider wins, the I.F.T. thinks it's unfair, because the raider already has loads of high level gear and he doesn't. gee, what an unfair system.
- If the I.F.T. wins, the Raider is upset because "this guy isn't doing anything to help out" and probably would have little trouble completing the content without the person entirely, and darn it, that 4 piece would really help out my normal mode team progression! gee... what an unfair system.
By trying to play by "What one thinks is fair" you leave yourself open to a very subjective array of opinions on what is fair by a MINIMUM of 24 other players, probably more by the end of the raid as people leave and even more players fill their departure. Use what the Raid Finder gives you to your best advantage, doing any less will only cheat yourself. Always roll "Need" if you can, even if you don't need that particular item, because you can always use it as "currency" to trade for an item later if someone out rolls you on that... and they probably will.
** If by the end of the run there's nothing to trade if for, and you still don't need or want it, Make note of the other rollers or other nice people and give it away!
I could go on for pages about other ways players 'unfairly' troll raid finder (sometimes it's not even loot, they want a reaction) to get what they want , such as the AFKers that roll need. Effectively, the debate about Guildies rolling for other guildies, is as valid an argument as complaining about allowing people able to leave. Or new people to join in which increases or decreases your original odds in the first place of winning something. Or the people that continuously start combat/boss fights so they can't be booted and still will be allowed to roll on the loot. Or that you suffered through a bunch of Ultraxion wipes, beat him finally and some new person joins in at Blackhorn and wins an item right off the bat over you which you might also think is unfair. None of this is a valid argument.
You need the rest of the people to complete the raid, just as they need you. You're entitled to roll on anything you can roll on, just like they are.
5) What Blizzard says:
Blizzard stated that Raid finder is there for people that would otherwise never get to SEE (experience) current/end game content. They have now enabled the otherwise unable. The gear and valor points are added incentive for people of varying skill levels to keep queuing up. Of course the gear helps boost you up and can be a great aid in normal mode progression, another incentive, but not it's originally intended purpose.
- It is IMPOSSIBLE to Ninja anything in Raid Finder. You cannot set it to master looter, which is THE only way to truly ninja anything.
- There is no exploit by TOS definition for teaming or pairing up with a friend to increase either of your odds of winning an item. It might be disappointing to you or others if you win/lose but it is not an exploit.
If you are truly interested in the loot, and not just the experience of the dungeon, The game allows you the freedom to be in a guild that does the content you want to do and has rules you agree with and a loot system you are on board with. That's where "Fair, etiquette", more often than not, comes into play, not in the current PUG system. Thankfully the MoP PUG Raid finder loot system is entirely based on You VS the game's dice, and not you VS another player's Dice, your fortune or misfortune will be entirely your own and not impacted by anyone else.
I'm not trying to convince anyone to do anything special, and this only matters for a few more months anyway, but you may need to open your mind in the future to this type of thinking, that you should play by the game's allotted rules, and not simply trust complete strangers. That's just asking to be taken advantage of.