Monday, January 05, 2009

Not Your Mom's DKP

I've always wanted to set up a DKP system for our guild in the past. However, the last time I polled the guild regarding creating a loot system, a slight majority voted for no system.

I was trying not to be a dictator and I really did want feedback from the guild members. I want everyone to be mostly content with how things go and what systems are set up. However, that doesn't mean there aren't people who by relation to someone else got in this guild and isn't afraid to exploit our casual/friendly style of looting.

And it's unfortunate of course because otherwise we wouldn't need any rules or safety nets to ensure that during THIS expansion, good guild members don't get shafted.

However, sitting down and coming up with a DKP system is TEH UBER BITCHIN! It's not easy to decide what's the most fair way to distribute loot...especially for our guild. We only raid 25 man once a week and it's mostly just for fun and so that everyone has a chance to play together. Also, I like to flex the jae muscle just to prove that a few skilled, mature players can do just about anything they put their minds to.

And honestly, I'm not that concerned with loot myself but when I hear that certain great players don't want to raid with other players in our guild because of their loot attitude, it makes me think I need to head-off the drama before we even begin.

So here are the facts:
1. I don't want to deal with assigning loot value to items if at all possible because then you get the common complaint "why is that dagger worth more than that sword?".
2. I just need a system so that it deters people from rolling need regardless of actual need and also to protects dedicated raiders from people looking to just drive-by raid. Example: we had someone in TBC who only wanted to come to the raid to get better gear so they could apply to another guild. So they showed up for two raids and then *POOF* were gone.
3. We're largely just a totally casual guild so I don't want something overbearing which just screams OVER-COMPENSATION!

I've found two loot systems so far that I really like for our guild. The first one is called SK (Suicide Kings) and the second is called EPGP (Effort Point/Gear Point).

SK is extremely simple and the self-titled mod pretty much sets everything in auto-drive for you.

There are the five basic rules I modified slightly for our guild:
1. Players are put in an ordered list by random roll automatically.
2. Any future players added will be inserted at the bottom of the list to keep the current list fair.
3. When loot is dropped, the person who wants it and is nearest the top of the list wins the loot thus suicides himself/herself and gets put at the bottom of the active list.
4. Players who are not currently in the raid (aka not attending the current raid) do not move up or down in the list. There position remains frozen until they are currently in the raid.
5. If no one wants the item, it will be DE'd and sent to the guild bank.[/size]

(rules I took from http://www.wowwiki.com/Suicide_Kings)

The basic commands for the mod to work are simple.
They just whisper me "bid" and the mod automatically determines for me who is closest to the top of the list and therefore the winner of the loot. You can also retract your bid.

If everyone in the raid is fair, this system works great.

HOWEVER, SK is open to MANY exploits. For one, I can see someone holding their position at the top of the list for several weeks hoping for a specific item and therefore not getting upgrades in between that could help their performance.

Another one would be someone near the bottom of the SK list constantly suiciding on items because it doesn't really hurt their position.

Also, I wouldn't put it past some people to secure a position at the top of the list and not show up again until we're on a boss where they need a specific item.

SOOOOO, I started to look at EPGP which is FAR more complicated but is built to deter this type of loot nasty-ness.

EPGP works by awarding players EFFORT POINTS. This number is sort of like DKP points only you don't spend them on anything. You gain EP primarily by being present for raids and downing bosses. Every time you loot on something that piece of gear has a point value assigned to it which is called GEAR POINT. You're "rank" is calculated by EP divided by GP and is called Priority Ratio.

For example, you raid Naxx a full week and it was worth 3000 Effort Points. You got two pieces of gear during that run; one was worth 100 GP and the other 200 GP bringing your total Gear Point value to 300. Your ratio is 3000/300=10. Your fellow raider only got one item that run and it was worth 100 GP. His ratio is 3000/100=30.

He has a higher Priority ratio than you 30 > 10 so when the next piece of loot drops, he'll get priority over you.

The beauty of this system is that it has a built in "decay" which you can set to decay the EP/GP over a certain amount of time. So if you set your "decay" to 10% then at the end of one week the EP/GP will be reduced by 10%. By having a static reduction to the EP/GP, you encourage people to spend early so their GP will begin to decay sooner thus giving them a better Priority ratio (PR=EP/GP).

What this system is designed to do is to encourage regular attendance (keep your EP high), early spending and discourages point hoarding (to avoid decay dropping your PR).

The huge issue I have with this system is that it totally gives me the EPGPEES! hahaha! Okay, I had to say it at least once. THE MOD sucks. version 5.1.2 cripples itself as compared to the previous versions. It's limited, it doesn't aid in set up very well and I'm not sure how it supports multiple raids if at all.

Also, it uses Officer Notes to store all of the PR ratios which I think is intrusive and cumbersome. I haven't actually had a chance to test this in an actual raid yet but it doesn't seem to have any kind of assistance with automatically assigning GP when people get loot. I have to do that in conjunction with loot distribution which just eats up a lot of time during the raid.

So right now I'm sticking with Suicide Kings until I can find an easy way to implement EPGP.

What sort of annoys me is reading all of these forum posts about DKP (which I did for hours today) about ridiculing having to use a loot system in the first place.

Those that say in the forums: You should just go with strong leadership and respect in the raids. Foster a friendly atmosphere and teach respect to your members. Try to encourage everyone to be fair about loot and keep it all friendly.

/puke

Yea, so I think they forgot the bit about ending world hunger and peace in the middle east.

DUH. Of course I wish I had that kind of guild. Hell, I almost do except for a few here and there that always are looking to exploit everything. If ALL people were TEH UBER AWESOME SAUCE, there would be no such thing as DKP to begin with. There wouldn't even be a choice of dkp. And if you ARE LUCKY enough to be in such a guild of candycane lamp posts and cotton candy clouds, be grateful.

But I hate it when they make the assumption that a perfect little guild can exist everywhere if you just sprinkle a little sunshine and warmth on it. I wish it were so but unfortunately it ain't. You're always going to have one or two people who destroy a "trust" system.

Why not just stick with NEED roll??? That's what I get asked a lot.
Here's my example:
At the end of the year at your job you know you put in a ton of hours and worked your butt off. However, I just got hired on last month and I sit around eating mini Nilla Wafers all day and surfing the net but I happen to be employed as the year finishes. Would you be okay if your boss said we could /random 100 for a raise or /random 100 for a 15k bonus?

I mean, you have equal shot at the raise as me. You COULD get the bonus but then again you might not. That's how I feel about NEED rolls to those few players who just show up when they feel like it and then disappear for months on end.

I really, really respect the players who have put in effort and who have been there with us and for us and I don't like seeing their hard work get exploited. It makes me totally insane.

7 comments:

wow said...

I don't know if this would work for your guild, but have you considered using two different methods of loot? One for progression and one for farm content (or bosses)?

I'd suggest staying with Suicide Kings for farm content. One of the fun things about playing is getting a drop that you, the player, want, and not what someone else things you should have.

For progression content I'd suggest a loot council made up of your most trusted members. Hand out the gear to those where it most benefits the raid which takes care of your points about hoarding dkp and passing on upgrades. You can also let it be known that at times people will get loot from the council because of the time and effort they've put in to the guild/raids. As long as you don't do the reward option on a common basis you should be ok.

No matter what you do loot is always going to be an issue. My problem with a number of complicated systems is that tend to overemphasize the value of the loot versus seeing the content. Simpler systems such as suicide kings make the distribution fast and lets you get on with enjoying the game.

Chicknfood said...

Try adding decay to suicide kings. Every raid you miss you go down one position on the list, this also gives new guild members a chance to surpass dormant AWOL members. Let guild peer pressure discourage hoarding. Class officers can suggest someone bid an item instead of hoarding if it's a good upgrade.

JohnHenry said...

Our guild uses zero-sum dkp and it seems to work out quite well.

snape said...

i like chick's suggestion of adding decay to suicide kings.

as for "someone holding their position at the top", well they pay to play the game so they should be allowed to get the gear they desire the most, especially if they show up every raid and doesn't cripple the performance because of lackluster gear.

as for someone near the bottom always bidding since it doesn't affect their ranking, perhaps you can institute a limitation rule, such as max 3 bids per raid and 2 epics won, per person. something like that.

Cylena said...

I really, really like EPGP.

The mod for tracking it *is* a bit cumbersome, but everyone in our guild (we're a pretty serious raiding guild), both new and old, really digs it. Everyone I've talked to about it has agreed that it's the best loot system they've ever run with.

You've summed up the strengths (and weaknesses) of both systems pretty well already, so you obviously know what you're looking at. The question that remains is if you're willing to put up with a little bit more hassle during loot distribution in exchange for a really strong system.

Alan / Falcon said...

The thing about the /need roll and bonus analogy is this: the manager is offering a $15k bonus not just once at the end of the year, but every week. Every week you show up to work, you have a chance at that $15k. That goober who is going to be fired at the end of the week had a few chances at $15k, sure, but you get dozens of those chances every year. It would stink if the new guy won the bonus, yeah, but I don't know how that makes the system actually unfair.

Of course the analogy breaks down again if you say that you only need one 15k bonus, and additional bonuses would be wasted on you (because in loot - you don't need five of those helms!!). But still - If you show up to more raids, you're around for more drops. And that is your reward.

wowcast said...

If loot had a 50-100% drop rate each week, I'd agree with your analogy Alan. However, it is very possible that a piece of loot you want can drop once in 10 weeks or once in 2 months.

Back in the Karazhan days, I remember running for 4 months and the shield out of the Chess Event never dropped.

If Blizzard implemented a token-based looting system all around, then I'd definitely agree that it could truly be round-robin with loot.

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