What DKP loot option?

Automagica posted about the Great DKP Divide, and gosh darn it I ranted so hard that I think it deserves publication here too. Go read, and then bookmark him.

Keep in mind too that loot discussions bring out the best and worst of people, so while I don’t expect to see flames, I do expect that every person will have a different opinion; and that its all relative and all personal.

As a casual I hate dkp. If you like it, skip this post and stay happy. Also as a casual I’ve seen many systems and none really will cater to get gear for casuals; but then that is perfectly fair. No regular attendance = no regular loot. Simple. Many moons ago I was more hardcore, and this comment is based upon both experiences, but I was never a true “wow is life” player.

What DKP means to me: It is sign that the guild has gotten mature enough to see the need to reward the long staying and regular members. Its also a sign that they are not mature enough, or close knit enough to use another system that has subtle but powerfully different aspects (see alternatives below). And there are a plethora of alternatives, tweaks, and special rules.

If the guild uses a straight DKP model for loot, then they need to consider two things:

A – separate dkp tables for different raids.
B – moving raids off dkp when they are “farmed out”.

A – You do this so that the guys who regularly attend can see a point of differentiation between Class Drops, drops from specific instances, and general drops.

It could be that you have the extra tables for Tier Tokens (t4, t5, t6), could be by Class (warlock, druid, etc), or by Instance – or even a combo.

Consider the Karazhan runs where a range of toons attends  each with different gear needs. If you have a general table and a class table the distribution of Tier items becomes easier to track, and one member will not always be at the mercy of the entire raid, but will only need to compete with those of the same valid classes in the run.

B – Moving a run to open roll / off-farm

When a guild is good enough, and the majority of the players have all that they need, you place the loot on officer assigned (or even open roll). This means that the regulars will still get items, but the loot from that instance is no longer a priority. In affect the guild is saying that the gear that drops there is now made redundant by other items that are now on farm. This is usually a death knell for the instance runs for that place as well. As a progression guild will not waste a night running where no items can by be gained.

Might also be useful to create a Toon gear wish-list for the farmed items. Make people nominate what they want publicly ahead of time, and then there are less hassles.

So what are the loot alternatives? (you’ll need wowwiki or google to read all the details folks)

– Zero sum DKP is better than straight DKP, and zero sum is one of the most popular dkp systems used.

– Suicide Kings is better than a DKP system. Go read about the different SK systems in depth, and you’ll see that it is just as viable for the regulars, but allows the semi-regulars to still get rewards.

– Class lists are a must, and INstance lists are handy.

– a method of rolls: major upgrade, minor upgrade, offset, then open roll will work if you play with the same set of players each week. The roll priority is given to the toon that will get the most benefit, with the raid leader having final say. I think this suits 10 mans particularly well, but doubt it would work in the old 40 man days, and suspect even 25s would get ugly.

– Officer assigned. The guys running the show decide all loot, and you get loot by attending, contributing, and not screwing up. I like this method, but it does not work in “political” guilds, or any pug run.

In the end players need to do their homework on the system being used, and perhaps leave or discuss this in guild. Keep you self happy, ignore your “internal loot whore” who wants everything first, and be honnest with what you are seeking, and what is reasonable for the guild to use.


Blessing of Kings has a comment about the Loot-Council, and Loot in general.

BoK talks about loot being for either Reward or Investment. In general terms the Loot-Council looks at loot as an investment, and DKP looks to be a reward system. SK is certainly a reward system. My preference would be for an investment system, but again this would actually disadvantage me as a casual.


11 thoughts on “What DKP loot option?

  1. We have just set up DKP. We are using a standard DKP where I have given the loot various weights. We only use DKP on “Progression” raids. ie Kara is Need/Greed and ZA is DKP. Our DKP is set cost and highest DKP gets the item.

    In Kara we go with Need for onspec upgrade, Greed for Offspec/crossgrade.

    The one thing we have decided to do with DKP runs is give Tanks the preferance.

  2. It all can get very complicated can’t it!

    Let’s see… My guild has dkp awarded for things like signing up and being on time, as well as staying till the end and of course boss kills. Progression bosses are extra I think…

    Then we have different max and minimum bids depending on the instance and the item…

    We don’t, however, use any kind of lists or nominate loot that we want or anything like that in advance. (I actually prefer zero-sum, it juse makes more sense to me than assigning arbitrary values to both items and actions… )

    anyway… I think when you start introducing the concept of one player needing an item more than another, then somewhere someone has to be subjective to make that call, and no doubt someone else will disagree. The more people affected, the more likely someone will be upset by the decision.

    I don’t have the answer, but I do think it’s important not to lose sight of the purpose of DKP, which is to record how many dragons you helped to kill!

  3. I used to be in a guild that used DKP, and my current guild uses a loot council. I remember when I initially made the move, I was worried that I wouldn’t like the loot council system, but it turns out I love it.

    The benefit of DKP is that you have more control over what loot you get. If you really, really want an item, you can bid appropriately for it. I used to find this very useful when I was bidding on off-spec gear–if nobody wanted an item for main spec, and it would be a significant upgrade for my healing set, I could ensure I would get it by upping my bid a little.

    Under the loot council system, my healing gear has been suffering a bit, because off-spec gear goes to a random roll. So a player who thinks “meh, I might want to heal someday” has the same chance of winning as someone who plans to respec and heal on a regular basis.

    It’s an acceptable trade-off, though. I trust the loot council, and I’ve always found their decisions to be fair. And of course, the main benefit of a loot council: loot is assigned where it will benefit the entire raid the most.

  4. I prefer loot council to any of the alternatives. If you can’t trust the officers get the hell out of that guild or stop whinging IMO.

    Zero Sum DKP would be second on my list as it rewards people who attend.
    DKP is flawed though as it encourages hording and can often see perfectly necessary upgrades for people getting DE’d or absorbed into someones off set purely b/c it isn’t THE drop you were after.
    Bid based DKP systems are just rubbish, they are prone to rigging – particularly for class or role specific gear

    Suicide Kings is the worst system I’ve ever had the misfortune to have to be a party to. It rewards ONLY the people who get into a given raid ONLY for the time that they are in the raid groupand ONLY on the toon you are currently using. So if you feel like being nice and letting someone else in for a shot at something or your guild wants to swap others in to get a better class mix you get shafted.
    It’s the only system that NEEDS you to be GREEDY for it to work properly.
    I can’t actually think of a single positive thing to say about SK.

  5. My wife’s guild has a system that I quite like.

    It’s a ranked bid / council hybrid. Players submit how much they want it, with a ranked “bid” of 1 / 2 / 3 for off-set / upgrade / best-in-slot. If there’s a tie, officers resolve it. (Actually, from when I’ve been watching, if there’s a tie one of the people involved will normally withdraw their bid to give it to the worse geared person.)

    There’s no earning of DKP to back up those “bids” — it’s just a familiar descriptor. I mention this solely because people on IRC misunderstood that point.

    Its pseudo-downfall is that it does require that people in your guild not be a bunch of colossal lying dicks. But we’d hope that’s true!

  6. Hi David, bidding like that make sense, and certainly would be a better option for Rakarth above too. Just noted that you’re also a prolific mod creator. I use some of your stuff – so thank you.

  7. Heh quite a vehement response re SK from Rakarth. We use SK in our raid and while it’s not perfect I find if no worse than any other system and in some ways better. We have admittedly tweaked the system a little for our use and also have generally mature non tard raiders. I’m not sure what you mean Rak by saying that “It rewards ONLY the people who get into a given raid ONLY for the time that they are in the raid groupand ONLY on the toon you are currently using.”

    Our list is maintained across raids and we keep subs and non regulars on it so they’ve actually got a good chance of scoring loot even if they can only make raids every so often since they will move up the list as other players win bids and go to the bottom. As far as alts go – they are listed separately from mains since we do have situations where we ask people to bring another toon for optimal raid make up.

    If no one bids on an item then it goes to open roll – and anyone who can use it can roll.

    I don’t think the system is perfect, but I think it is a sight better than DKP or loot council. It’s transparent and puts the power in your hands. If you choose to sit on your position holding out for one item then that’s your choice. If it means your performance suffers – well then you’ll probably get benched if it lags too far behind that raid. We’ve been using SK from T5 onwards and it’s not resulted in the raid not gearing up as it should. I think our track record is good evidence of that.

  8. Hi Jez,

    What I mean is that if I have to bring in a certain toon b/c we are short are particular class, when we defeat that boss my primary raiding toon does not move in the SK table.
    I could care less where my alts lie in the table as mains should always receive loot in preference to an alt.
    If our guild has 45 raiders and they all show up to raid the only people rewarded are the people in attendence of a particular boss kill. The system will be highly skewed in favour of the regularly invited members. At least with DKP they get recognition and with a loot council it’s not even an issue.
    Going to an open roll defeats the purpose of SK in the first place. Why give up your spot for a minor upgrade when you can just roll for it?
    “If you choose to sit on your position holding out for one item then that’s your choice. If it means your performance suffers ”
    Not only does that person’s performance suffer – more importantly the raids performance suffers.

    Any system that encourages hording is bad for guild progression.

    Loot council is by far the best option. Your Officers/Class Leaders should be reliable and know what gear is good for what specs, etc.
    If you don’t trust your guilds leadership then it probably isn’t the right guild for you anyway.

  9. Seems like Loot Council is is the best option in a perfect world!

    but how could a guild change ?

    Any changes to a DKP system that has been around for a while is a surely what guild leader nightmares are made of!

    Someone is going to cry, the only question is who and for how long.

  10. EPGP gets my love. A non-zero sum dkp system that is balanced around giving new members in a raid a fair shot at gear early, letting people hoard if they want (but limiting it’s effectiveness), and rewarding people for taking gear often.

    It’s very shiny.

  11. Just been reading EPGP and it looks pretty sound. The rewards for new members are limited if you use a decay method, and the regulars keep getting items. Impressive.

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