Monday, September 27, 2010

Loot Toot!

Our raid force have got in to a bit of a discussion about different loot rolling systems for raid forces. It’s quite an interesting debate really. So far there have been several suggestions on loot, including the most popular systems which appear to include DKP (Dragon Kill Points - if you have been hiding for the last 10 years), Leader run system and /random 100 systems.

I’ve always been intrigued about how other guilds do this as loot is inherently a sticky subject. A loot rule for one person may not suit another, or indeed it may suit one or two people, but not the rest of the raid, but the one or two it benefits, may be the leaders/officers. There are so many variations, so many tangents at which the discussion is taking, the debate seems to be getting some rather good suggestions put forward and not just about loot.

Other issues raised have been Real Life stuff, available playtime, quality of players knowing their toons, behind the scenes DKP dealing and a few other things I fail to recall now. What got me interested was the fact that as in any situation where you have a group of people coming together and in this circumstance around thirty I guess, there are SO many differing points of view and opinions. Admittedly most seem to fall in two main groups, which currently I would call ‘Team DKP’ and ‘Team Random’. Even in those two distinct camps though there are various takes on how it should be done. So what system should we go for? What systems seem to have less problems than the others? Well, the answer isn’t that simple. Because what works for raid force A, may not work for raid force B, again because of the fact that individuals are involved.

I stated in the forums I am not a big fan of DKP. I have had experience of this system before when I raided with Inquisition and later Elven Blades (think they had a DKP system, don’t rightly recall). Now not once did I have reason to gripe about the system. When I was running with it my main was a Necro. We had about an equal split of melee and caster dps in our force so all was pretty well balanced. But, it seemed, as every DKP spent mattered, that I spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about if I should bid on an item or not especially when I knew there ‘could’ be better loots to come. For me the DKP system made the looting more onerous than it had to be. Looting seemed to take an age as the leader had to allow the members time to review their current kit against the dropped item and then decide how much to bid for it whilst taking in to account those you would be bidding against. It was a gamble every time and to be honest drew away from the fun side a bit for me as at the end of every fight, instead of relaxing and enjoying the victory I was frantically examining items against my equipped stuff in time so I didn’t miss the bid if I decided I wanted the piece. Just added a bit of stress where there need not be any. Throw alts in to the mix and that’s two toons you have to examine before placing a bid at different stages of the loot process.

I know some raid leaders may state that you should know what drops in a zone and work out prior to going there if you are going to bid or not. Now that’s not a bad idea, apart from two aspects. One is that no one is going to spend DKP without double checking if it’s the right decision. Which means taking a few seconds to examine the equipment against what you have. This is probably an issue that effects most raid loots rules actually, not necessarily just the DKP system. The thing that seems to take the time is waiting for the raid looter to go through the bids and wait to make sure all bids are in before making the choice. That brings us to another question. Integrity. If you don’t have a loot council (or have one that colludes) and rely on just one person taking blind bids (there are other ways to do bids, but this seems most common alongside the specific bid amount per item type/rarity etc)) then the raid is leaving itself open to an abuse of system. Hopefully it would get sussed out pretty quick, but in an age where such an (originally) respected business man as Madoff can pull the wool over every ones eyes (well not everyone but that’s a different subject ;) ) then some person who you think you know well as you speak to them daily on the interwebs in a game may not have any problems trying to fleece you. Single decision systems are dangerous in MMOs I reckon. There is no accountability.

Also, as mentioned above there are the various types of DKP system. The set price per item type/rarity system, the standard bidding system (open bids), and the standard bidding system (closed bids). There of course other versions of these and some go off into incredibly complicated sub rules but those won’t help answer the question of “What system is best for us?”. Personally if using DKP, I think the most fair system is the set price system, but even this to be totally fair should have points required assigned to each item that drops and not just slot/rarity/type. I say this because there are quite simply a fair few items out there that stand out from the crowd. In reality they may still be fabled, may still be for example a primary slot item and therefore cost the same as others in the same category. BUT they are clearly a superior item. That’s why assigning an exact amount per exact drop for the content you are raiding should be the best way to do it. I know it’s not likely as it would take a ridiculous amount of time, but it would be the best and fairest way I feel.

I think in the end a raid force will work out what is best for them, but the most important key factor in having a loot system that is perhaps not liked by ‘all’ but is adhered to and respected by ‘all’ is strong and honest raid leadership. With a good honest strong raid leader, I don’t think you’ll go far wrong. As the great Winston Churchill said, The best form of government is a Benevolent Despot (which is probably impossible because absolute power corrupts), but the sentiment is right. Get one of those for your raid leader and you’re laughing, no matter what loot system you adopt.

What loot systems do you run for your raids? Any innovative ideas I have missed??

Until next time,

Be well.


  1. Never been a fan of DKP myself. I've always preferred a Can and Will Use system, where if you can use the item, and will use it (rather than sell it or drop it on an alt) then you are free to bid for it.

  2. Hi Mate. Yeah I agree. I don't like DKP systems and would always prefer a common sense method. Cheers for the comment ;)