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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

Wrath of the Lich King login screen video

There is a new addition to the login screen for Wrath of the Lich King tonight. A large dragon, which was previously just a white mesh, swipes down from the sky and roars at you as you log in. It is a very cool addition to the otherwise bland login screen.

I was able to capture the video above, and the audio you hear is just as I hear it. I expect there to be a "roar" or something else eventually inserted for the dragon. Nonetheless, it's quite a neat feature. You can also watch a high quality version via YouTube.

The new beta build just came out tonight, so stay tuned for more info and analysis as we get it all collected together.

Filed under: News items, Wrath of the Lich King

PTR is up and running


Good evening ladies and gentlemen (cue the WoW Insider Show intro music). For tonight's entertainment, I present to you a fully functional PTR – complete with Sunwell Plateau and lots of goodies to play around with. Well, at least it's evening if you're up with me at 3:00 a.m. when I'm posting this.

But even if you're not a night owl, now is probably your last chance to head over to the PTR and test out all the goodness that is patch 2.4. Blizzard had shut it down until now, possibly to just test out one or two other things before releasing the patch soon. My bet is still on March 25th. I have no little birdie in my ear saying that's a for sure thing, but I just have this gut feeling I'm right. If you've participated in the guess the release date contest, you might be under a week away from winning a nice 60 day game card.

I had to apply a couple of patches when logging onto the game tonight. It only took about 10 minutes though. Not too bad. We've looked over the patch notes and in-game items and can't find anything different – although perhaps there are some changes we're overlooking. However with that said, often times Blizzard will make the "undocumented" changes on the PTR right before they release the live patch. Who knows what those are...

Happy PTRing!

Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Realm Status, News items

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