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Posts with tag dkp

Why would a top guild not use loot council?

Why would a top guild not use loot council
A blog post over at World of Matticus caught my eye earlier this week. It's called Why a World Top 10 Guild Doesn't use Loot Council and tells a short story of how our own Matt Low was surprised to find out that a top guild didn't use loot council. While interviewing a potential recruit for his guild Conquest, the applicant explained that his guild used DKP for loot distribution because loot council had proven too time consuming.

Matt goes on to conclude that if you're racing for a world first, you probably wouldn't want to waste your time distributing loot of all things. A fair point, seeing as top guilds often get kills within hours of each other.

I myself have never been in a world top 10 guild, but having been in several competitive US guilds I've seen my fair share of loot council and DKP. Regardless of the system my guild was using, we were always expected to make (and sometimes post) a list of our best-in-slot gear before the start of a tier. For DKP, this was to reduce the amount of surprises in bidding and help us all get an idea of who needed what before we snagged an upgrade. For the more common loot council, this let the council put together a master list to decide who should get what first. But which one was more efficient?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

Breakfast Topic: Is DKP starting to become obsolete?

I was trundling through Wowpedia the other day for some background reading on loot systems (I'm writing a follow-up to Robert's not-so-original WoW miscellany) when I was struck by a sudden thought: I literally cannot remember the last time I saw a guild on my server advertising a DKP system or common variant like Suicide Kings. They advertise what level they are and what type of players they're looking for, the kind of raid content they do if they're raiders, if they do Rated Battlegrounds, and all that good stuff. But only very rarely is DKP ever mentioned, rarer still with a 10-man raiding guild.

I trawled through the guild recruitment forums to see if this was actually part of a wider trend, but don't know what to think. The 25-man raiding guilds are the most likely to say they use a DKP system or variant; 10-man raiding guilds nearly all use loot councils, at least from my (admittedly brief) survey of the current advertisements.

Is this also happening on your realms, or have I gotten this wrong? We all know that every DKP system has its issues and that administrating them is one of the larger headaches for guild leaders. 10-man raiding is also more popular than 25-man raiding right now, and it probably doesn't make sense for a guild to obsessively track DKP for a 10-man where most players probably aren't rolling on the same stuff. Is DKP dying, or is it just a sign of the popularity of the 10-man model?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What type of loot system works the best?

Loot drama is most often the biggest and juiciest type of drama. Lots of different guilds handle loot distribution differently, though most either do need/greed rolls or use master looter paired with some sort of external system. Sigtyr on the official forums brings up the loot council method, where a few individuals in the know get to decide who gets what piece. Sigtyr certainly feels that, despite objections from the peanut gallery, this system works the best for his group.

This discussion raises a good question: Is there such a thing as the "best loot distribution model"? When Star Wars: The Old Republic launched, Bioware seemed to have gotten a whiff of loot drama in games like WoW and even EverQuest (where anyone could loot anything, anywhere), devising a new system that is in use in its normal-mode operations (the SWTOR equivalent of a raid). There, most loot is auto-assigned based on class and spec. Personally, I've found that model to be frustrating because, among other things, it doesn't select against someone's receiving the same piece over and over again. Overall, I think that system fails because it takes the option away from the players and makes gearing up through operations as frustrating as needing on a piece of gear in the Raid Finder.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding

Ready Check: Looking into DKP loot systems

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop.

Welcome back, raiders. In our last edition, we talked about the importance of having a solid loot system as a part of a solid raiding team. Loot is the end result of playing this game, no matter which sector it is that you choose to focus on. Having a great distribution system for all the shiny trinkets that your raid stumbles across insider the corpses of giant beasts helps to ensure that everything runs smoothly. As was mentioned last week, each loot system is judged based on how equally it distributes loot as well as how well it rewards player participation.

This week, we'll be taking a look at one of the more common loot systems that you come across in WoW and how they all rank. Remember, loot distribution is always something that should be taken seriously, but more than that, there is no one right answer. Which system works for one raid group might not pan out for another. The ultimate goal is to avoid any and all loot problems in a raid; provided that a system avoids that, then the rest doesn't matter.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Nonstandard loot systems in WoW

No matter what the reason that you play World of Warcraft, there is one singular topic that all players must come across at one point or another: loot. Whether it be in dungeons, raids or PvP, loot is going to drop. When it comes to the end-game PvE side of things, you are more than likely going to run into various loot systems. There are really only four basic types of loot systems out there: DKP, loot council, open rolls or GDKP; the reality is that virtually every loot system created does fall into one of those four categories. Players are probably familiar with more traditional DKP loot systems or modified variants thereof, while loot council and open roll systems pretty much speak for themselves. GDKP is a somewhat newer phenomenon that's been sweeping the PUG scene these days.

But really, I don't want to talk about those systems. The debate over which of these is the best option has been done to death. Instead, I'd like to introduce three off-the-wall loot systems that I've seen in my day that I've personally found to be highly interesting. Are they "better" than others out there? Who can say? It's all a matter of opinion, really, but -- I think, at least -- they are worth taking a look at.

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Gold Capped: GDKP raiding for fun and profit

Want to get Gold Capped? Every week, Basil "Euripides" Berntsen takes a short break from building a raiding guild on Drenden (US-A) to write up a guide that will help you make or spend gold. Check out the Call to Auction podcast, and feel free to email Basil any comments, questions or hate mail!

A very interesting form of raiding has been gaining popularity. GDKP stands, literally, for "gold dragon kill points." It's a badly named system, but essentially, it means that instead of some effort-based DKP system, people participating in the raid use real currency: gold.

So what is this GDKP thing, anyway?

In a GDKP raid, all items of value, whether they're BoP gear, Primordial Saronite, BoE drops, Precious's Ribbon or quest items, are auctioned off in an open bidding system to all participants. The person willing to pay the most for it will get the item in exchange for gold, and at the end of the night, all the gold that was collected is divided out among the raiders.

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Filed under: Economy, Gold Capped

Officers' Quarters: PUGs are people too

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available this spring from No Starch Press.

As Wrath of the Lich King winds down, interest in the current raiding scene will wane. Members will play less, attend less, or even quit the game until the next expansion draws them back in. More and more guilds will have no choice but to invite PUG players to fill their remaining slots. When PUGs join your raid, loot can become an even more sensitive issue. This week, one player is fed up watching PUGs win loot over fellow guildies.


I'm writing to you Scott to request assistance or advice with an issue i seem to be having. I'm the offtank for my 10 man ICC guild, we only have 1 wing down, but we are extremely casual. Usually during our runs we will take 1-3 pugs with us as not everyone who signs up for a raid makes it. Here is where my issue comes in. The pug's get to roll on the gear that we guildies have been bashing our heads into a wall to get for the last month, and they WIN!! The GL/RL just hands it right on over like it's a piece of candy. I'm tired of it Scott and I don't know when to put my foot down as an officer and say "enough is enough" and "It's time for a change".

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

The sudden popularity of GDKP

We've been seeing this GDKP thing sneak up on the forums and elsewhere a lot lately, and while Scott has mentioned it (in a somewhat disparaging way, in fact), we haven't really taken a good look at it yet. So let's do so. GDKP stands for Gold DKP, which is kind of a mishmash of acronyms. DKP, or Dragon Kill Points, are a very popular way of determining loot division in a raid -- the concept dates back to earlier MMOs, and involves players earning points per boss kill that they can then spend on gear. We've talked about other DKP systems before. But rather than awarding loot based on arbitrary points, Gold DKP, as you may have guessed, instead gives loot to the player willing to pay the most gold... to the other players in the raid.

The way it works is this: You go into an instance, say Naxx, and everyone knows ahead of time that it is a "GDKP run," or a "gold run," or a "cash run." You down the first boss, and Webbed Death drops. The master looter then takes bids of gold on the item (this can be done via public chat or via an addon), and whoever bids the most gold gets the item. The person who wins then pays that amount of gold (some raids have minimum bids of, say, 100g) to "the pot," and the raid moves on. Another boss drops, another item drops -- usually all items, including recipes and mats, are auctioned off -- and another high bid goes into "the pot." Then, at the end of the raid, the pot is evenly split among all members. Everybody who joined in on the raid gets an even share of the bidded gold, including people who got no items, or the Mr. Moneybags who won them all.

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Filed under: How-tos, Fan stuff, Guilds, News items, Economy, Instances, Raiding

The ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System

Both Blessing of Kings and Unbearably HoT have posts up talking about the Shroud Loot System, a looting system designed to serve as an alternative to the standard DKP setups. The main point of SLS is that unlike DKP, it rewards points not just for downing content, but for just attending content, so that the focus is more on attendance and participation rather than progress (which, you'd assume, would eventually come if people are constantly showing up). Instead of kills, points are awarded at the beginning and the end of raids (no matter how much progress is made), and then when an item drops, players can bid points either by "Shrouding," spending half of their DKP (whoever spends the most gets the item), or by bidding a low fixed cost (and then they roll off for the item, with whoever wins paying the low fixed cost). BoK has a great example of how it works: either you spend half your points (if you have the most overall DKP, you're guaranteed to win) or you take your chances against a dice roll.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding

The drama of DKP

Donnyman is going through an issue with his guild that many a guild has faced before: the drama of going to DKP. Especially lately, it seems like lots of guilds are aiming to make the jump to DKP: because the endgame is relatively easier lately, lots of folks are getting into raiding seriously, and unless your guild is the closest of friends, you can really only go so long without people starting to wonder why the other guy got that roll when he's only been to two raids in the last month when they've been to five. At that point, the guild either breaks up due to loot drama -- or you decide to settle on a system like DKP.

The good news is that lots of guilds have been through this before, and there's a lot of great guidance out there about how to switch to DKP and what kinds of systems you might use if you do. I've only been in one guild that decided to go from a free-for-all roll to a loot system -- they chose Suicide Kings, everyone agreed it was fair, and they've never looked back. Donnyman's having an issue with his guild leadership's decision to put a little erosion on the DKP, and it's true -- if the whole guild isn't behind a disagreement like that, there could be some breakup. There's lots of great discussion in the LJ thread about how decay actually affects people who can't raid from time to time, and Donny ends up with two choices: be OK with it, or find another guild (there's plenty of them around).

It's not impossible to pull off a switch to DKP from a free-for-all system, but you need to a) make it clear that it's in everyone's best interest (if loot drama is starting to sneak up, it probably is), and b) make sure it's as fair as can be. Consider what your guildies want (more loot, just to have a good time raiding, or to reward people who do well or people who need the gear), and then go with a system that meets those needs.

Filed under: Tips, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Raiding

Officers' Quarters: Dual spec, double loot?

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Ever since Ghostcrawler's Q&A session last week, it seems like everyone wants to talk about dual specs, so I might as well give in. A few readers have written me to ask how I will handle loot distribution in this crazy double-speccing future. Does having two easily switchable specs entitle a player to double the loot? One reader details his struggle to formulate a fair and effective system:

Dear Scott,

As I'm sure you're aware by now, Blizzard recently stated that dual specs are definitely in the foreseeable future. This brings a huge dilemma on raid loot distribution. How do I distribute loot when everyone can use it now?

The issue was brought up on our guild's forum recently, and I had not even thought about the possible ramifications til now. Is there any good solution? Let me give a little run down of my thoughts so far.

[. . .]One officer suggested that we up the amount of DKP people can earn on a boss and let everyone bid on the item if they could use it in their dual specs. My thoughts were that this would highly inflate the DKP of the "pure" classes seeing as they only need one set of gear so would be bidding on only half as many times as "hybrid" classes. And that would not be fair to those who play hybrid classes but for the sole purpose of DPS. Also, it would open up the floodgates on tier tokens. If everyone had the right to roll on whatever they could use, they'd be bidding on more than one tier token, possibly alienating the newcomers who could afford said token but just didn't have enough DKP to outroll the weekly raider who already has that tier item for another spec essentially making loot distribution less even across the board.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

DKP pitfalls and how to jump them

Kree's got a nice set of posts about some of the more advanced problems with a DKP system in his guild (he calls them pitfalls, which works very well as a metaphor). I've never been part of a really serious DKP system, but just like with any other economy, DKP can lead itself to imbalances if you aren't careful with how people are getting and spending points.

Inflation is definitely a problem I've seen in other guilds -- usually, with DKP, you have a few very consistent raiders, and everyone else can fall behind. And eventually you get a few folks with tons of DKP, so much so that they can outspend everyone else and basically dictate how gear drops. Kree's solutions are good, though -- he offers up "point rot" (points devalue over time, so you can't save up tons of them at once), and a point cap (though even that can cause problems, as people are forced to spend DKP on gear they don't need rather than losing them). The other issues, collusion and upbidding, don't happen quite so often (both of those require players to be rather malicious, and in guilds where everyone knows which gear they should and shouldn't use, you don't usually have an issue), but he's got some good solutions there as well.

DKP was designed
to make sure passing out drops is fair, and Blizzard has put all sorts of rules and restrictions in the game to try and get raiders the gear they need without a lot of fighting. As long as your guild remembers that there's always more gear to go around and that no one piece is worth stealing or causing trouble over, a good, balanced DKP system can help you avoid these alligator-filled pitfalls pretty easily.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Guilds, Odds and ends, Raiding

Officers' Quarters: The new loot drama

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Take a look at the stats on that trinket at the right. No, it's not the best trinket in the game (or even close) -- but what's remarkable about it is that any spec of any class could make a legitimate case for rolling on it. Add to that the fact that it's a world drop, so it could drop in any random pick-up group, and it's BOE, and you've got the perfect recipe for loot drama. The name says it all, doesn't it: Tears of Bitter Anguish. It's like Blizzard knew how much QQ this item could cause.

In this new world of spell power and combined spell/melee hit/crit stats, raid leaders have to make some tough decisions -- and not everyone is happy about it. This week's e-mail is all about the loot QQ.

Dear Scott,

I am a regular member of a fairly hardcore raiding guild, and have been working as the master looter since BC. Our guild has always has the rule that everyone gets dibs on their armor class first. For example, as a Holy pally, I can't roll on cloth gear unless no clothies want it, the theory being that its not fair seeing as clothies can't roll on plate.

While I have had no problem with this, we are running into a problem where there is very little spell mail armor, and so our shamans are feeling a little left out when leather Boomkin gear drops and the lone druid in the raid automatically gets it even though there is very little gear for themselves. As well, when mail does drop they get into arguments over whether it is Resto, Enhance, or Elemental gear, seeing as it looks almost identical.

Any suggestions?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

WoW Insider Show Episode 66: Felicia Day and her show

Yes, our podcast is a little early today (due to the holiday, I'm going to be traveling on Saturday, so no live show as usual this week), but we've got a bonus for you anyway: Felicia Day, creator of The Guild and star of Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, joined us to talk about the second season of her web series, which just started up the other day, and the deal they've recently made for Microsoft to show it exclusively on MSN, Zune, and Xbox Live.

Since most of our bloggers were out for the holiday this week, it was just me and her, but we had a lot of fun -- there are some good hints in there about new characters coming to join our favorite guildies this season, the third season (!) of the show, and how Felicia is able to get MMO concepts (like "DKP" and the idea of a "guild" itself) across to people who may not play MMOs. And I also got to read some emails and get a little bit of WoW talk in there -- if you'd like to email the show a question or comment for next time, you can do so at as always.

We'll be back as usual live on Ustream on Saturday, December 6th at 3:30 Eastern, so make sure to tune in then when we'll get back to the WoW talk. In the meantime, enjoy the show, and do go check out the first show of The Guild's second season (or watch it in HD on Xbox Live) -- it's great.

Get the podcast:
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasts, Odds and ends, Humor, Interviews, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW Insider Show, Achievements

Officers' Quarters: /facepalm

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

Sometimes I get an e-mail describing to me a guild leader who fails for so many reasons that I am simply at a loss for words. However, words are all I have to work with here, along with my trusty Picard ASCII (courtesy of Blizzard poster Datth), so I will do my best. I warn you that this e-mail is a very long read. But those of you who want some insight into exactly what not to do as a guild leader, read on!

Dear Scott,

Around May the more progression-ready members of my casual guild started filling in spots for an established raiding guild doing 10man content with promises of moving to 25man content fairly quickly in order to see the BC raid instances pre-WotLK. One thing led to the other and I ended up gutting my guild of those more dedicated members and all of us joining up with the raiding guild which seems to be usually how these things go.

What I ended up discovering is the guild I joined into had been much bigger and more organized at one time but was in its last throes and the person who brought the two guilds together was given the GM role in order to facilitate his, and others, dreams of 25man content. Long story short the raid guild had long since mastered Kara, but always struggled on ZA, and had only barely glimpsed the insides of the 25man instances.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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