There are several different types of loot systems created for handling the distribution of loot in end-game raiding. These loot systems were created to fairly hand out loot to those who participate in raids. From personal experience, there are pros and cons to every loot system available. My question, however, is which loot system is better? Now, I know it really depends on the guild and what the guild as a whole prefers, but I want some feedback. I want to know what the majority of raiders in the “End-Game MMO” world prefer.
DKP – What is it? DKP, short for Dragon Kill Points, is a concept originally created by Thott of Afterlife, at a time where the only two raid targets in Everquest were two dragons, Lady Vox and Lord Nagafen. These points are awarded to each guild member as they attend a guild raid. The current DKP of each member reflects his or her priority for loot. When a member “wins” an item, they lose a DKP amount that reflects the value of that item.
- Points awarded to those who put in time and effort in the raid. Points accumulated are spent toward loot. Points are then deducted from that player.
- Players hoarding their points so that they cannot be outbid on loot.
- Hate Bidding – Where a player with more DKP intentionally continues to outbid someone else to cause them to spend more points.
Suicide Kings: What is it? Loot distribution system for guild raiding. Suicide Kings was designed to be a system that distributes loot in decently fair manner, and nothing else. If you choose SK as your loot system, that means you are going to have to find some other way to get players to perform well and show up when no loot drops. This emphasizes the point that SK works better in casual and friendly environments where people show up to play first and foremost, and loot is but a happy consequence. If loot is the main (or only!) reason people show up, SK is not the right system for you.
- Very transparent, and simple to maintain
- Loot distribution takes place very quickly
- Veteran players cannot build a large DKP lead, inflation is a non-issue
- A more casual gamer who does not attend very often can still work their way up the priority list to have an opportunity at loot
- Works well for motivated guilds who don’t need to use DKP bonuses as incentives
- Encourages people to pass on minor upgrades so others who need more can have a priority
- No rewards for desirable behaviour (like punctuality, potion grinding, joining wipe runs)
- Does not take into account or track if one player gives more dedication to raiding[going more times] vs another.
- Somewhat disadvantageous for hybrid classes or classes needing resist gear, since they are interested in many more items than “pure” classes.
- Raid Members at the bottom of the list have a potential to bid more since they have less distance to Suicide, thus allowing potential access to more gear.
- Different lists (i.e. A List for All Raid Gear, and a List for Tier Tokens) allows the potential for a member to receive more than one piece of gear on a run where gear is restrictive in a 25+ man raid.
Loot Council: What is it? A predetermined group of people – usually the GM and officers of the guild – decide who receives loot determined by different factors.
- The people on the council (should) know what is best for the guild/raid and can give loot to where it is most needed or deserved. In theory, loot will always go to the correct person.
- Loot Council can sometimes have less of a cutthroat feeling than DKP, where there is a high pressure to be always at the top of the list.
- Many of the problems of other (point) loot systems can be avoided, including inflation or hate bidding (draining).
- Exceptionally rare items can be given to those who need them most, rather than who has the most points at the time (for example, a Thunderfury to the main tank).
- Loot Council is only as fair as the people on the council. One corrupt council member can destroy a whole guild.
- It requires more work on the part of council members to pay attention to and keep track of that which determines loot distribution.
- Actually awarding loot can take more time as council members debate to whom it should go.
EPGP: What is it? EPGP is based on the concept of Effort Points and Gear Points. Effort Points quantify the effort each member put towards the (common) guild goals and Gear Points quantify what each member got back in return. Loot priority is computed as the quotient of the two; priority (PR) is equal to EP/GP. This is all kept track of by the EPGP Addon all raiders in the guild must install.
In a sense EPGP is like zero sum, but without all the need to rebalance the system, or impose taxes to give points for other effort put into the guild. Zero sum awards GP/N points to each player for each item dropped (GP the value of the item and N the number of players in the raid) so that the sum of all points for the members of the guild is zero. EPGP on the other hand is by definition self balanced since priority (and hence chance to receive loot) is directly proportional to the effort you put and inversely proportional to the rewards you got. It is also much more flexible than zero sum since it doesn’t require a specific balance point (sum to be equal to zero for example). As such points can be awarded for almost anything without any taxation or over complicating the system (see below). Also another problem with zero sum is the random value of each boss. A boss kill is a boss kill and the effort to kill it is the same no matter if it happened to drop 1 or 2 epics. With zero sum since the amount of effort points the members get is proportional to the loot dropped which is definitely not representing fairly the effort each member puts in the guild.
This problem is non-existent in EPGP because of the use of the EP and GP decay. Only temporal EP and GP are accounted. So the latest you “use” your PR lead the least amount of benefit you get out of it. And the earliest you take an item, the faster its value will decay.
New members vs veterans:
Because of the decay, new members become equal under the system much faster. EPs decay over time so with a 10% decay in about 15 raids a veteran has about the same EP as a new member (if they both attended the same raids). The only barrier to entry for new members is reaching Min EPs in order to be eligible for loot.
Members that are geared up vs members that are not:
Members that are geared up already will end up with the highest PR possible and will have first priority over a new (and possibly rare) drop. This will satisfy these members. Members that are not geared up already will end up getting loot in most raids which will keep their priority low. So they will still gear up but they will not threaten members that wait for a special piece to drop in order to get their satisfaction as well.
Unlike Zero Sum with taxation, which is very similar, there is no need to rebalance when members join/leave guild, and no changes in tax/decay because of more tries on new content. The reduced complexity of the system allows more people to understand it, which keeps the queries to the guild master low and member satisfaction up.
Hard to assign item values and boss kill/tries values:
Because effort points are decoupled from effort points it is easier to assign “good” values for each category. Guild Masters/Officers can focus on balancing different boss kill/tries, materials farming rewards separately from item values. If you notice in the above example nothing would change if each raid was awarding 987 EP and each piece was worth 123 points. Balancing rewards and items is extremely hard; balancing them in isolation is quite simpler.
Randomness on boss value in zero sum
Zero Sum’s major flaw is that for the same encounter, you might end up getting more or less points, depending on the loot (which is random). This introduces a major cause of unfairness to the system, since the same boss, which requires the same effort, is worth more in some runs and less in others. In EPGP each boss awards the same EP every time, adding to the fairness of the system.
Free /roll: What is it? Just what it says… Boss is killed. Loot is linked. Who ever can use said loot is asked to /roll 1-100. The person with the highest roll wins the loot.
- Easy loot to those who roll the highest.
- Easy loot to those who roll the highest regardless of someone already winning an item off of the previous boss.
- RNG (Random Number Generator)
- One person could potentially win every cloth/plate/leather/mail DPS/Heal/Tank drop off each boss for an entire raid night.
So. You tell me. Which would you prefer??