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Posts with tag loot-distribution

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

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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Officers' Quarters: Ultimatum


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

I see this happen all too often when Blizzard releases a new tier of raiding: People get terribly impatient with loot. They want the new loot, and they want it now. They somehow forget that, eventually, if they keep attending raids, they'll get everything they want and then some. This week showcases a prime example of this, but also a set of loot rules that perhaps aren't working very well.

Dear Scott,

I'm in a relatively small horde guild consisting of about 15 core members. One of my best real life friends is in the guild, and they've all been together since WoW classic. I came on the scene in march, and have been very active ever since. I help put together raids, all that jazz. We've been progressing quite well through ICC 10 (what blizzard will allow us to currently at least).

The other night, we downed Marrowgar, and
Citadel Enforcer's Claymore drops. I was currently using Tyrannical Beheader from POS, and rolled a 61. A fellow pally rolled a 79. He was using Orca Hunter's Harpoon from HOR. I was the Master Looter. After much begging and pleading, I looted the sword to the pally.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Dual specs and loot priority

Like lots of other players, I found myself running the regular version of Trial of the Champion endlessly in pursuit of trinket drops when patch 3.2 hit, and it wasn't uncommon for groups to spend some time beforehand figuring out who was going to roll on what. With so many players now dual-specced into different roles and volunteering to come to 5-mans on an offspec just to get things moving, determining who had more priority on an item drop usable by multiple classes got a bit tetchy at times. I saw some ugly fights break out, and never more so than when a DPS player who respecced to heal for the sake of the group was told not to bid on the Abyssal Rune or Banner of Victory. Losing a roll on something you need to an off- or secondary-spec sucks, but being unable to roll on gear that benefits your main spec just because you respecced to get the group going is equally agonizing.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Classes

WoW Rookie: Sharding etiquette

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

UPDATE: Most groups use the automatic Disenchant option available in the loot roll box as of Patch 3.3.

This week, we're going to help you understand a practice that varies wildly from group to group, server to server and even expansion to expansion. "In the past few months, I've run into a situation with people who are (or who I think are) new players who happen to be 80," reader Sarabande writes to WoW Rookie. "To them, the idea of DEing BoP items for shards is completely alien (and to at least one, he just rolled greed on everything 'just to see if he could get it')."

Should your group roll for unwanted or unneeded drops when an enchanter is on hand to disenchant them? What's accepted in one situation might be scorned in another. Because there's no single way to handle the situation, it's important for new players to be aware of the options. It's also important to understand the reasons why players feel so strongly one way or another about this issue. Because there's no single "correct" method, the savvy player respects the group consensus.

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Filed under: Enchanting, Items, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Features, WoW Rookie, Making money

SWAPS loot system offers another DKP option

I'm finding myself really fascinated with loot systems lately -- the old DKP is pretty good, but even that has drama, and it seems like there's a lot of interesting ideas going around about how to evenly and fairly distribute loot amongst a group of people. OutDPS has a writeup about a loot system called SWAPS. Instead of sending "points" off into the void, you actually "give" your spent points to everyone else in the raid. You start out with 1,000 free points (though those are distributed over time, to prevent new players from having tons of points early on) and then when an item comes up, everyone bids on it: the highest bid gets the item and the points they bid are spread around to the rest of the raiders. In other words, if someone in a 10-man raid bids 500 points and wins an item, those 500 points are distributed evenly amongst the other nine raiders. While the winner loses the 500 points they spent, everyone else gets a bonus 56 points. The person winning the item "pays" for the privilege of taking it by beefing up everyone else's point totals.

It is probably not a perfect system (there's no way to reward points for anything other than loot dropping, for one thing, and while some people have modified the rules to create a separate bidding pool for class items, the basic system doesn't cover class or offspec items), but it does solve a lot of the questions of fairness, and it keeps everything pretty above-board: if you are low on points, the only reason would be that either you just started raiding, or that you've just spent a lot of points on an item. There's an addon, of course, and it will give you all sorts of reports and updates on where all of your raiders are at in the system. If you've been poking around for a DKP system that is based on being open and fair, it might be worth trying out in your guild.

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Add-Ons, Instances, Bosses

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

Insider Trader: Who keeps the shards?

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

In the Burning Crusade, an Enchanter's job in a raid or dungeon was to disenchant the boss drops that no one wanted into Large Prismatic Shards, and the entire group would roll for them.

This was considered the standard, and was the fairest way to divide up the loot. Instead of rolling on the bind on pick-up items that were not wanted, in order to sell them to a vendor for profit or to help pay for the repair bill, they were turned into something more useful. Prismatics sold for more at auction than a vendor would pay, and the shards could be saved for when the characters needed something enchanted.

All of this changed in Wrath of the Lich King. Suddenly, many Enchanters were acting like anyone who expected to roll for shards were selfish and clueless, and it has since become the norm for the Enchanter to keep all of the shards.

This week, I'll be discussing the reasons behind the change, and reassessing just how fair the change really is.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Wrath of the Lich King

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

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