PSA: Ninja or Not

Warning: Long post!

So via a Twitter link, I stumbled upon this FaceBook page dedicated to naming and shaming the ninjas of the WoW community.

For those of you who don’t want to log in to FB, here’s the image of the post in question:

Yeah! Damn that monk rolling on cloth!

As a mage and a priest I fought boomkins and restos for a long time over cloth pieces. Now I have to fight with monks over it too? Where’s my pitchfork and torch?

But the armor specialization makes it stupid for leather wearers to roll on cloth…

Wait a minute.

Let’s look at this a little closer.

Level 16 HEALER monk rolling against an unknown level MAGE on a piece of SPIRIT gear.


How is this even an issue?

Armor specialization doesn’t kick in until level 50. There is NO PENALTY for a monk to wear cloth prior to that.

It has SPIRIT on it. Which no self-respecting mage should be rolling on unless they’re naked in that slot.


I see the term “ninja” get tossed around a lot.

It should not be a catch-all for “every guy that rolls against me on a piece of gear I want.”

Ninjas are the ones that put together raids with “OPEN ROLLS!!!!11” and then boot everyone before loot distributes or passes everything to a guild mate and logs.

Ninjas are the warriors rolling on spell plate for “the lulz.”

Ninjas are ones that through their actions, coupled with malicious intent, bypass an agreed-upon loot distribution system.

Ninjas take gear or items that they can’t use, don’t want, or already have just to make a negative impact in someone else’s life.

Ninjas are NOT the people that can use a piece of gear and so roll on it.

Ninjas are NOT the people that don’t know better. And in the low levels, there’s probably a fair amount of that. We were all new players once and a lot of things have changed (armor specialization bonus, hello?).

I don’t think publicly calling people out on what was a VALID loot roll helps anyone in the community.

Here’s some math.

For gear, ilevels 1-50 take you up to about your early to mid-40s. This happens to be about when you should start paying attention to the armor type you are equipping to make use of your specialization at 50.

In that span of 50 ilevels, here’s the rough breakdown on bracers (the item in question in the screenshot, numbers from filtering in Wowhead and trying to remove PvP as well as faction-specific dupes):

  • Leather bracers with spirit: 9
  • Cloth bracers with spirit: 23
  • Cloth bracers without spirit: 150+

Seriously. Up to the mid-40s, a mage has over 10 times the opportunity to upgrade their bracers compared to a monk that only rolls on leather spirit gear.

This is why Blizzard lets us roll “below” our armor type.


The conversation continued in Twitter with the gal that had posted the link, feel free to scan through my tweets if you care for the details, but what came out of it were 3 things:

  1. It’s a bad habit to roll out of your armor type.
  2. The tweeter had made the mistake before (rolling on a lower armor item) and suffered for it.
  3. If you don’t ask, you’re a ninja.

Point 1

Yes, it can be a bad habit if the person doesn’t know any better. If they haven’t hit 50 yet on a character they probably aren’t aware of armor specialization or that people are glaring at them through a computer screen for their audacity to roll on a piece of gear with bigger numbers.

But it’s not a bad habit if it’s an education decision. If it’s an educated decision, and a valid one (like a healer rolling on spirit gear), then there’s no need for it to be plastered as a ninja-attempt all over the interwebs in an attempt to shame the person.

Likewise, if it’s a question of ignorance, education will go a lot further than wordlessly spreading their mistake through a community already infected with enough negativity.

Which brings us to…

Point 2

Just because we had rough childhoods does not mean we should beat our dogs or our children or any one around us. If a situation sucked for you, don’t perpetuate the cycle – fix it. Or shut up and get out of the way.

Point 3

Would it be nice if people asked? Sure. Know what else is nice? Puppies and kittens.

It’s a PUG. I don’t know about you, but I generally don’t talk in PUGS. I want to get in, get out. If someone starts a cheerful conversation, I might join. But my job is to DPS or heal and I cannot do that effectively while typing. If I wanted to chat, I would be doing so with my guild. But I wanted to kill stuff so I joined a dungeon party.

PUGS are also like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get; but I usually get a mouthy asshole that I refuse to give any fodder to (I equate them to those mystery chocolates that are filled with creamy nastiness). Which leads us to sub-points…

1 – If it’s an educated decision, why should the player have to ask? What if the mage said, “NO THAT’S MY SPIRIT GEAR, YOU GET YOUR FAT PANDA ASS OFF MY BRACERS!!”? Regardless of what the mage, or any other player in the group says, that was a valid loot roll for the healing monk. Asking “permission” for something the game is designed to allow you to roll on is akin to open invitation for trolling.

2 – If they are new, how would they even know to ask? If they are bad enough off that they think that agility makes them run faster (seriously, my mom thought this for a long time), why would it even cross their mind to ask before hitting a little button that lights up on their screen? Now they don’t know that they shouldn’t be rolling on the item AND they don’t know that there’s a hidden code of conduct that states they get to wear the Scarlet N for failing to ask. But at least it’s all over FaceBook.

This post is already ridonkulously long, but I would like to close with a handy guide:

When Can I Roll on Cloth Spirit Bracers and Not be Called a Ninja?

  • Are you a healing priest (disc/holy)?
    Yes – this piece of gear was made just for you!
  • Do you have a healing offspec available and normally wear cloth (spriest)?
    Yes – you can convert the spirit to hit. But check with the healer first since you can also get hit through another nifty stat known as “hit” and they can only get regen through spirit.
  • Are you a healing non-priest (shaman/druid/monk/paladin) AND you are below level 50?
    Yes – This is a valid piece of gear for you.
  • Are you a healing non-priest (shaman/druid/monk/paladin) AND you are above level 50?
    No – You will get better results and fewer insults equipping your appropriate armor type.
  • Do you have a healing offspec available and normally wear something better than cloth (shaman/druid/monk/paladin) AND you are below level 50?
    Technically yes because of the spirit to hit conversion, but check with the healer first.
  • Do you have a healing offspec available and normally wear something better than cloth (shaman/druid/monk/paladin) AND you are above level 50?
    No – You’re sacrificing too much by equipping below your armor level. And no, you can’t use it for transmog.
  • Does your class completely skip healing and you normally wear cloth (mages/warlocks)?
    Maybe – This would have to be a damn good upgrade to trade off for the presence of the useless stat. If the healer is passing, and it is a genuine upgrade, roll. Just be aware that there is a potential upgrade right around the corner. Like, as soon as you enchant that you will get something way better.
  • Does your class completely skip healing and you normally wear something better than cloth (hunter/warrior/DK/rogue)?
    No. Just no.

13 comments on “PSA: Ninja or Not

  1. zarigar says:

    Whoever is maintaining that Facebook site has way too much time oh her hands. I’m all for mocking people when they go for stuff that’s not appropriate for them, but this is ridiculous. Why not just say the mage was a ninja, too?

    I briefly looked over some of the other entries on that page and it seems more like a lot of nitpicky things instead of outright ninja-ing. I don’t know who that page is for, but I guess if it makes them feel better about themselves to rage against the injustices of low-level loot distribution…


    • Tirael says:



    • Leit says:

      Nothing worse than wretched creatures who want to be unquestioned. Nothing weaker, more pathetic than a tool who can’t step back and admit an error.


    • Leit says:

      Huh. Best thing about being in a completely different country? A lot of places that aren’t the US have specific protections against the kind of bullshit “but they hurt my feeeeelings” legal action that seems common in the US.

      That said, I’d also look up if your state has an anti-SLAPP statute. They’re pretty cool.

      There’s also the simple option of adopting the immortal Eminem aphorism “I am whatever you say I am”, and just showing them what actual trolling is.


  2. Darraxus says:

    Lol that is not a ninja. A ninja is the guild group who was needing on every piece of armor no matter what to give it to their guild members in my sister’s pug the other day.


  3. As a holy paladin who wore mostly cloth until around level 80 (seriously, spell plate does not exist before Northrend), I approve of this post.


  4. theerivs says:

    This is really sad, is this guild in question all ride a short bus around.


  5. ngrfgt says:

    if it gives you a dice icon, you can roll on it

    cry more, bitch nigger


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