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Lerrielin
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re: Warcraftier’s Loot Distribution System

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Warcraftier’s Loot Distribution System


Introduction

We use a modified Zero-Sum DKP system. There are many versions of DKP, but Zero-Sum is the foundation that we have built upon. We have chosen this system because it is simple and not overly time consuming to administer, thus allowing more attention to be focused on actual raid progression.


Mechanics

Like a pure zero-sum DKP system, all raiders (and raider initiates) start with a DKP total of 0. When a boss dies, each piece of loot dropped awards its base value DKP multiplied by the number of raiders present. When an item is given to a raid member, they have to pay for it in DKP (going negative if necessary). The DKP spent is immediately distributed among all the raid members, including the individual who received the item. Thus the amount of DKP, i.e. the sum of all members totals in the system, is always zero. There are no repercussions to having negative DKP. Of the individuals expressing interest in an item, the one with the highest DKP wins the item. Only mainspec items cost DKP. Offspec items are handled differently (see Modifications section).

The values of items are set, and item cost discrepancies only exist between Normal and Heroic level items. Every Normal item has a base value of five points, while every Heroic item is worth ten points.

To give an example of our DKP system in action:

Hypothetical boss “Loot Pinata” is killed in Heroic mode. “Loot Pinata” only drops one piece of gear, the “Pinata Chestpiece of Bustiness”. At the time of his death, all twenty-five people present in the raid will receive 10 points (base value of 1 heroic item). The individual who wins the “Pinata Chestpiece of Bustiness” pays the item’s point value multiplied by the number of people in the raid, or 10*25 = 250 DKP. Thus, the winner of the “Pinata Chestpiece of Bustiness” has gained 10 DKP and paid 250 DKP, netting -240 DKP, whereas all 24 other individuals have gained 10 DKP, netting +10 DKP.


Issues with Global Pure Zero-Sum DKP

Unfortunately, pure zero-sum has a few flaws:
- It does not reward the learning of new content, as far fewer bosses are killed during progression than during farming.
- Disenchanted items do not award DKP, thus leading to RNG being the determining factor governing how many points a raider receives in a given night.
- Offspec items that raiders could benefit from tend to be wasted through disenchantment because everyone wants to save their DKP for mainspec upgrades.
- The barrier to entry is high for new raiders entering at 0 DKP.
- Vanity items purchased with DKP indirectly harm the raid’s progression, as raiders may hoard DKP towards the purchase of these items, hence passing useful upgrades for disenchantment.


Modifications on the Pure Zero-Sum for our DKP System

We have built upon the traditional pure zero-sum DKP to suit our guild culture and beliefs.

First, we believe that progression should be rewarded more than farming, so each progression attempt that is made is worth 5 points in Normal mode or 10 points in Heroic mode. There are exceptions to the rule; for instance if a boss is relatively easy and downed quickly, we would not award progression points. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but the general rule of thumb is as stated above.

Second, we do not feel that RNG should be one of the primary governing factors in determining how much DKP one earns in a night. Thus, we incorporate an artificial bank character, "Peon", to pay the DKP for disenchanted items so that raiders can still earn points from items that are disenchanted.

Third, we do want our raiders to be able to enjoy playing styles other than their normal raid roles, both inside and outside of raid. As such, offspec items do not cost DKP. A winner of an offspec item pays no DKP, however he or she is required to submit what would have been the product of disenchanting that item (i.e. Sha Crystal) to the guild bank. In the case of raiding offspecs, i.e. a DPS mainspec that serves as an offtank for certain fights, no submission is required for the items that go towards these sets. In the event that multiple people are interested in an item for offspec, the individual with the higher DKP will receive the item, at no DKP cost. However, in the interest of spreading offspec items around, we ask that offspec items be passed by those who have already received offspec items in a given night. The exception to this would be if the items are going towards a raiding offspec. The turn-ins for the disenchantment equivalents are not expected immediately if the market prices are extraordinarily high at the time of item receiving. An announcement will be made when prices fall, and raiders are expected to turn in mats that they owe from earlier offspec purchases.

Fourth, to combat high DKP value accumulation, we create a new tracking page for each new tier of raid content. This way, new raiders who may enter behind existing raiders in one tier will start on equal point footing with everyone else on the new tier. The effectiveness of this modification falls off in the last tiers of expansions, which tend to stretch on for significantly longer than normal. However, as progression should be done by this point and all that is left is farming for BiS to get a head start into the new expansion, we aren’t overly concerned about the accumulative effects.

Fifth, as we believe that DKP should only be used for the betterment of the raid, vanity items are completely off the DKP system. Vanity items are mostly mounts that drop from raid bosses. The way that we handle these items is as follows:
- Items that are 100% guaranteed drops, i.e. Lifebinder’s Handmaiden from Heroic Madness of Deathwing, are free-roll.
- Items that are rare drops, i.e. Astral Cloud Serpent from Elegon, are subjected to gold auctions. The winning bidder must have the gold on hand, or otherwise forfeit his/her win. The gold goes to the guild vault.
- In the rare event that a item is both a rare and a guaranteed drop, i.e. Purebred Fire Hawk from Normal and Heroic Rag, it will be treated in the category in which it appeared (drops in normal – gold auction; drops in heroic – free roll).

While the vast bulk of raid-related vanity items are BoP and thus restricted to those present at the kill in which it drops, in the event that a BoE vanity item appears, all individuals in the guild are eligible to bid on the item, and the auction would be conducted at a pre-announced time in the future.


What Determines Attendance for the Purpose of Point Accrual

Earning DKP is, simply put, based on attendance. However, how we define “attendance” may differ from what one would observe from a different guild. To us, “attendance” is:
- Being in the raid.
- Being asked explicitly by the raid leader to be around and available at moment's notice to pull into the raid, even if the individual isn’t initially present in the raid.
- Coming in to replace an unforeseen circumstance (IRL emergency, DCs, etc).
- Being rostered for a raid but unable to participate due to factors out of your personal control and out of the raid's control (this explicitly DOES NOT include DC/connection issues).

Things that do not count as "attendance":
- Not being available for a raid.
- Leaving a raid in which one is rostered early for a pre-determined reason, i.e. needing to leave early. These situations will get evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but generally people who leave on their own volition, independent of any raid considerations, get DKP up until the time they leave as opposed to the entire raid.
- Not being asked explicitly to stick around.

The last point is controversial and we've rehashed it many times. There is a logical argument in, "If I'm available for raid but I'm not needed, shouldn't I get points anyway?" Our current stance on this is that we do not want to encourage a super-hardcore environment, as if we give standby DKP, people who are not rostered for a night will feel "required" to sit around outside the instance portal waiting so they'd get DKP. This, quite frankly, is extremely unfun and not in alignment with the guild's beliefs. While some guilds do employ this practice, we do not believe that it is courteous or proper to make people do nothing but stare at the instance portal for three hours as they hope to get invited to raid.
People who are "alt" status are only expected to be present for the first 15 minutes of a raid to see if they're needed. After that, they're free to do whatever they want. Sometimes, people opt to leave their contact info when they log off in case they're needed, but this is on a purely voluntary basis. Alt status people that get pulled in get DKP the same way that anyone in the raid gets DKP.


How to Express Interest in Loot

To express interest in loot, simply whisper the master looter (usually Lerrielin), “mainspec” or “offspec”. If one is not certain, one may ask for a hold on the item, which will cause the loot master to move to the next item, and then return to the item after the other items are dealt with. If one remains unsure, one may take the item for offspec for the time being, but is expected to have it figured out before the next raid (but keep in mind that mainspec interests will take precedence over offspec). In the event that one takes an item for offspec and realizes that it is a mainspec upgrade, one is responsible for letting the raid lead know so that the DKP can be adjusted accordingly. Failure to do so will result in negative consequences (see Repercussions and Punitive Measures section).


Common-Sense Clause and Exceptions

As time passes, Blizzard’s handling of class-specific loot has undergone many changes. However, we will still continue to try to abide by common sense in distribution of loot. To give an example from the past, when a bow drops, a hunter would have priority on the item over rogues and warriors, as the hunter uses the bow as an actual wielded weapon whereas the rogue and warrior would use it as a stat stick. By the same token, a weapon that was a stat stick for a hunter but was an actual wielded weapon for a druid would go to the druid first. These examples are antiquated in the current scene, but nonetheless serve as a solid example for the sort of “common sense” that we follow.

Historically, there have been certain items that have been “broken” (in a good way) for certain classes, even if multiple classes could benefit from them. A good example of this was the Tiny Abomination in a Jar during ICC days, which was grotesquely overpowered for Retribution Paladins. In these cases, such an item that would go to the class that would make the best use out of these items, as the raid would benefit the most from the item being in its hands. For an item to qualify for this kind of an exception it must be MASSIVELY more effective for a given class spec. Tiny Abom for example gave Ret paladins close to 25% of their total dps and was roughly 5 times as effective in their hands as in the hands of ANY OTHER class/spec.

Finally, at the start of each tier or sub-tier, we will prioritize loot to tanks and to some degree healers. The amount of prioritization performed will depend on the content. It will never be done in such a way to produce a situation in which those being prioritized would be in full tier while everyone else has no tier (unless certain tiers are grotesquely overpowered). The situation will depend on the specifics of each instance. The individuals receiving prioritized loot still pays DKP.


Legendaries

We believe that legendaries should be awarded to the biggest contributors to the raid. Therefore, we do not rule out newer raiders when we consider candidates for awarding a legendary.

When a legendary is announced, we will create a theorycrafting thread and encourage raiders to post detailed, researched, well thought-out responses explaining why their class and spec would benefit the most from the legendary, or in some cases, why their class and spec would not benefit the most from the legendary. Individuals may also PM these responses to us if they wish.
Veterancy is only a small factor in determining who should be awarded a legendary. In the past, we have given legendaries to people who have been in the guild for only a month (and these individuals are still with us today). In the determination of legendary recipients, we look for exceptional performance, consistency of that performance, theorycrafting viability of the class/spec, a good team player attitude, availability/attendance, and an overall embodiment of the Warcraftier spirit.

Legendary awardees will still pay DKP. As we have no idea how future legendaries will be constructed, to give an idea of how DKP is paid for legendaries, we will use the Dragonwrath example: The starting 378 staff cost 125 DKP, which is equivalent in cost to a Normal weapon. When the staff was upgraded to the 391 stage 2 version, the individual was charged 250 DKP, which is equivalent in cost to a Heroic weapon. When the staff was upgraded to the final legendary form, no additional DKP was taken, as the legendary is an award for performance and attitude.


PvP Items

Any items that drop from bosses that are primarily oriented towards PvP activity (generally designated by PvP power/resilience being present on the item) do not cost DKP. Since these items do not affect PvE progression they are FREE-ROLL. It is worth noting though that we do employ a need before greed style rule. Essentially when PvP gear drops, individuals on ACTIVE arena or RBG teams get to roll first, if none of them want the item then anyone may roll.


World Boss Drops

Due to a variety of factors (including but not limited to the fact that we can't guarantee equal access to these kinds of boss kills) we do not charge or award DKP for any world boss drops. Same applies for loot that derives from use of Elder Coins of Good Fortune.


BoEs and Raid Craftables

BoE drops in raid are handled the same way as BoPs. A winner of a BoE item is expected to equip the item right away. In the event that no one wants a BoE, it will go to the guild bank, and be held for three weeks for any possible interest. Following that, the item will be available for social members or raiders to purchase for their alts. The items will be ~50% of current market price.
Craftables that include raid-specific components will be provided with the expectation of partial contribution from the recipients. The level of contribution is left to the discretion of the crafters; some crafters will provide cooldown materials free of charge, but the general rule that we expect is that people provide the materials used in those cooldowns, and that the cooldowns themselves are free of charge. The raid-specific components will be provided by the guild.

Threads will be created to keep track of which BoEs the guild currently has available, as well as which patterns we possess. Requests must be posted in the appropriate thread, to the specifications of all the information required by the thread.


Repercussions and Punitive Measures

The information in this section has never been relevant, and is here solely in the interest of full disclosure.

Fundamentally, no loot system is perfect, and what has always made our loot system work is the people that participate in it. We’ve always been fortunate to have a history of people passing to each other in the interest of optimizing the raid as a whole.

However, in the event that something unsavory occurring, we will take measures on said actions. Any abuse of the loot system will result in raid suspension. We strongly frown upon DKP hoarding, and will ensure that any advantages that arise from DKP hoarding dissipate through manual adjustment or automatic point accruals by everyone else.

Examples of loot system abuse include:
- Taking an item as offspec but using it as mainspec without notifying the loot master/raid leader for an extended period of time.
- Hoarding DKP by allowing upgrades to go to DE and thus hurting the raid as a whole.
- Being present during the time that a BoE drops but waiting until past the 3 week hold time on BoEs to purchase the item to use as a raid upgrade.
- Buying raid BoEs from the guild at the reduced cost and reselling them.
- Selling crafted raid BoEs made from raid materials made for your usage.


Products of Raid

All the products of raid are used for the betterment of the guild.

X Crystals (Sha Crystals, Maelstrom Crystals, Abyss Crystals, Void Crystals, etc) that we get from disenchanting unwanted raid gear and from offspec turn-ins will be returned to raiders through enchantment of raid gear. If one would like to enchant a piece of raid gear, simply ask one of the GMs for the crystals.

Gold from internal mount auctions is used in a number of ways:
- The purchase of any material we may be short of, i.e. raid-specific crafting materials and other raw materials in general
- Awards for internal guild contests, i.e. tabard contests and larger contests.
- Covering repairs.


Conclusion

Fundamentally, what makes the guild working smoothly is you. No loot system can take the place of courtesy, kindness and common sense. No system is perfect onto itself. We encourage folks to keep an eye on their own points and notify of any errors or concerns that may arise. As with everything else in this guild, communication is key.
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