Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Phat Loot and How You Get It

So how does the old loot-whore Zakesh look on the diffrent ways to divide the spoils after one of these trips where a bunch of aggresive people go and start a genocide on some creatures thats the hate-object of the day.

First of all I do think loot is important, after you are max level and skills, it's with loot that you improve and make your character better and that is for me a big part of game. The socializing its what makes the game enjoyable and even why you go online on the slow days, but on its own it wouldnt be enough, not for me atleast.

So when you get a big group of people together and I´m guessing that a big part of them is there because they want loot or rep (that gives loot) how to you make all of them happy or atleast satisfied since most of them probably wont get anything that specific night?

There is a couple of diffrent lootsystem out there, but most of them is a variant of DKP, loot council, suicide kings(which can be argued is just another dkp system) or random roll.

Random Roll
People just do some kind of /roll and winner gets the loot. Some system gives modifiers to your rolls or just allow certain people to roll.

Pros:
*Easy, specially with a pug or when you have outsiders from another guild in your raid.
*Its usally dont start much drama because there aint no specific player to blame

Cons:
*Its random, some people might not get their upgrades for a long time
*People tends to roll on everything they might need insted of just the best upgrades

Suicide Kings
Basicly you put everyone thats gonna raid with you in a big list, usally randomized when you start, when something drops you go from top to bottom if people want the item. The person who is highest on the list that wants the item gets it and drops to the bottom of the list. It's a variant of the DKP in that it rewards that people has been to the raid and then you spend 100% of your dkp to get an item

Pros:
*People only goes for the best upgrades they can get
*Its easy to maintain for the raidleaders
*New raiders/casual players can usally catch up quick

Cons:
*People tends to pass on upgrades because they wait for the absolute best upgrade
*Its easier for the people at the bottom of the list to get many items because all the top ones dont want to lose their spot.
*All items is valued the same.

Loot Council
You have a set group of people that decide on each item who deserves/benefits from it the most, usally officers of the guild.

Pros:
*Properly used it can be very fair
*It doesnt take any maintenance outside raids
*People who really needs an upgrade gets it
*You can reward people that go that extra mile for the raid

Cons:
*Often perceived to be unfair by ones not getting loot
*Tends to lead to drama because its opinion based
*Requires a big understanding on all classes mechanics and the raiders upgrade paths for the people in the loot council
*Can take much time away from your raidtime
*Very hard to be impartial for the council members

DKP
Dragon Kill Points, basicly a point system where you can reward people for boss kills, time spent in raid, showing up on time and for sticking it out on wipe nights. The points is then either payed for in certain fixed prices, fixed percents or with bidding to get loot.

Pros:

*Rewards consitent raiders
*People can choose themselves how much an upgrade is worth to them
*Everyone earns loot based on their measurable effort for the raid

Cons:

*Its impartial to people bringing diffrent value to the raid
*Takes alot of maintenance outside raid
*Colluding can cheapen the system


Lets draw politics into the mix
Many has drawn a parell between communism (loot council) and capitalism (dkp). Communism like loot council is a beautiful idea, but due to human nature it doesnt work very well in practice. Capitalism on the other hand is cold, hard and rewards those that can work the system. I do like the comparsion and finds it to be an interresting idea, but I dont agree that its 100% correct. We are all humans and as such we draw human flaws with us into the game. Greed, bias, envy and whole lot of other bad qualities is things that might always show up, even in people who we didnt expect to have them. There is also of course good qualities that offsets the bad ones, but the bad ones is the ones that tend to mess things up. If loot council and dkp really was like communism and capitalism we should expect loot council to be out of fashion very soon. Or is it maybe easier to implent communism in a fictional world over the real thing?


The 2 most popular system is definitly loot council and dkp in some form. Both systems can work very well for the right guilds but it differs alot which works for each guild.

Why oh Why Loot Council?
Loot council requires that the people in the council has the complete trust and respect from the other guildmembers, they dont have to like them, just think that they is impartial enough. Impartial can be really hard, I dont know if anyone can say they dont have guildmembers that they dont get along with or just dont think they bring much to the guild. Things like that tends to affect your descision and even if they dont affect your descisions its very easy for other people to think that they do. As another point, diffrent people may have very diffrent opinions about what people brings to the raid. If you know that someone tries really trying and doing everything they can do be better, but still performs worse than the guy who dont care how do you compare that in a fair way. If you dont know either of course you gonna give it to the guy who dont care, but if you do know them, its probably hard to not let stuff like that affect you.
It tends to favor the ones that is noticed the most rather than the quiet ones.

Omg, Why DKP?
Dkp on the other hand is complety fair and free of every bias because it just measure if you show up on time and how long you spend in the raid. Your people that raid alot get better loot than the ones who dont show up as much so you get more value out of good items. On the other hand the guy who do 500 dps each fight gets as much as the guy that does 1200 dps as long as he shows up as much. But the thing is that if you bring that guy it has to be for a reason, like you dont have anyone else and then you wouldnt be able to raid without him either. You can still reward people with signups and how you assign diffrent jobs, but its harder to do with dkp. Another problem with dkp is colluding, that 2 or more players reach an agreement to not compete for loot and choose in between themself who should get what so they have more points to spend on stuff they compete with others for. This is a problem with attitude in the guild and usally not easy to remove.

My final thoughts
I’m a big fan of DKP mostly because I know for a fact that you need all those 25people to be able to raid and in some way they should be rewarded for it. And even if people dont get loot that evening they still see their dkp points increase so they feel they have gotten something out of the evening while with loot council its harder to see the benefits of loot councils favor.

I have raided with both and I for me I have felt most comfortable with dkp.

3 comments:

2ndNin said...

:P Been there and argued that.

In short I agree, a perfect loot council is a great idea, in reality I want to control my spending choices and my upgrades. As a Paladin tank my interaction with "warrior" tank gear is such that I need 90% of it as much as any warrior for the Main Tank set, and the other 90% of it for trading in to balance my gear. Now since paladin drops are a) rare, b) not wanted by anyone but me, this gives me a chance to roll on some of the items that I need to make it up, with a loot council these would go straight to Warriors each time because people don't understand my gearing and only see "spell damage vs no spell damage" rather than "omg massive avoidance piece! means I can swap in x, y, z".

While Matticus's post favoured a loot council because of decisions like a Paladin getting the Healing weapon from Illidan, I can't help but feel that since that player had the highest DKP it was their choice to do so, and still beneficial for the raid.

Zupa said...

I haven't had the dubious pleasure of being in a guild that used the loot council method, and I think I would like to keep it that way.

As things stand at the moment, there are two mages who have about 7 or 8 times as much DKP as I do, as well as 2 or 3 warlocks...

When an item drops, if any of those 5 people want the item, and bid the maximum, I miss out.

I am totally happy with that, as they have 8 times my DKP for a reason, namely that they have been around contributing to the guild for a lot longer, and have spent a huge amount of their time on guild progression.

As such they shouldn't miss out on an item they need or want because someone who is much newer to the guild outrolled them.

The answer, of course, is to raid more, get more DKP, and thus more loots.

In the meantime there is always badge gear, and non-dkp instance runs like ZA or Gruuls (in our case) where loot is distributed with the normal need / greed system.

+1 DKP system !

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