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Fimbo

Most Efficient Way of Gearing up a Guild for PvE Progression?

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Expansion changes aside (tokens etc), it sounds like your guild is currently struggling on the decision of being a friendly hang-out place versus being a raiding/progression driven guild. I'm on a backwater server, but in the farthest progressed Horde guild and we had to cross that bridge a long time ago. It definitely changed the guild design and operations, as well as some folks leaving and new ones arriving. But I think making that decision of "what are our goals" helps clear up some of your issues. We're now a raiding guild, but we have a Friends & Family rank for those casual folks. They come to ZG and alt runs, but when it comes to progression, it's very clear who is expected to show up, and those people do (so you don't have cancelled raids on those "wipe nights").

We don't push a required spec, rather we find folks that like the spec's we need. Our DKP is zero-sum; however, we add dkp for raiders on progression nights. I think the biggest thing with loot is that people need to use a bit of common sense. Our items are priced up front and heavily discussed. It also flags early issues (like SoD or HDI ring for druids) where folks can readily point out value (especially on the pure-play vs hybrid classes) or a "we must prioritize this". It's a lot of up-front work before tackling a new encounter, but then it's completely out of the way until the next instance.

I think the "don't put all your eggs in one basket" point is extremely key. You truly never know when someone might have some epiphany or RL concern that makes them post on your forums "sorry, but I'm leaving the game". If you're going to have a MT priority gearing, best be sure they are committed to the guild and game. When it works, it works great, but don't set yourself up for a full raid group minus the one key guy with the gear.

Really the big keys are to use liberal amounts of common sense, rid yourself of gear-drama concerns as quickly as possible, and just work with your members on what you all want to do together.

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One other thing to consider: do people -deserve- loot priorities?

For example, let's say you have an MT and an OT - the only ones prepared to spec prot, let's say. They're both lazy and turn up in lolvalor expecting to be just handed tanking gear because "IM MT LOL TY FOR MIGHT". Is it reasonable to try and say to your guildies "Well he's the MT, nevermind he hasn't spent any time in an instance since he hit 60 because he's been PvPing" or somesuch? It's much easier to justify loot priorities to people who run guildies through everything, farm like mad for consumables, etc.

The example is slightly improbable but still, I remember people (happily not DPS classes) turning up to MC when we were still learning it wearing the Undead Cleansing set and demanding (under our idealistic "whoever needs the upgrade most gets the item" loot system) to be handed T1. And the app wearing that same set who informed me that he didn't need to farm for gear because "i think wen my guild is doing zg/mc and having epics its waste of my time to run strat or school".

And just to back up the "all your eggs in one basket thing", yes it's another anecdote. We had a really solid MT who joined as the friend of a nice hunter who ended up not raiding much. A truly great tank whose only purpose with his character was to spec prot and tank, and whose attitude to PvP was "if I'm doing it, I walk forward doing auto-attack until I fall over dead". He was notoriously a bit of a dick at times but usually a nice guy and prepared to run anyone through anything just for the fun of it. The ideal MT in every way and we stacked gear on him all the way through ZG and early MC.

The problem was he was cybering some girl who turned out to be practically bipolar. She was the sweetest thing to everyone and admittedly a good healing druid, but had a really nasty streak and verbally abused a whole bunch of the officers including myself (at the time GM and often raid leader). Eventually things came to a head and I booted her out. Our MT followed her, taking every single tank drop to date with him.

The moral of the story: cybersex is evil. Also, even if your MT seems unlikely to burnout for the usual reasons, keep in mind (especially in an F&F guild like yours) that they might force you to make a difficult choice if a close friend or significant other turns out to be a psycho.

Sorry, that was rather rambling.

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I was in another guild on another server that prioritised it's loot to the MT. One MT quit the game, they prioritised loot to the next. That MT quit and joined another guild further in progression. They then prioritised loot to the third MT, who quit the game. At that point, the guild fell apart.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

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this post could have seen some real benefit from a spell checker.

Ok realy manners cost nothing. Im sorry but a reply like that is disgraceful. For one you cant comment on his spelling when your gramma is none existant. In future I advise you to make sure your own post is flawless before picking some one up on an entirely readable post.

Manners do cost nothing wether your helping some one or not, did it occur to you that English may not be his first language?

edit: Clarification

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Prioing loot is silly, more so now that class roles are less well defined in a raid sense, and as well described above, is more likely to hold your guild back than help it progress, especially in the kind of guild the OP described, which is probably going to face a large helping of drama as they take the steps to become a progression guild.

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One other thing to consider: do people -deserve- loot priorities?...<lots of examples of drama>

All the things you describe are not loot priority issues. They are guild management issues. In other words, no loot system in the world will fix a guild that is as dysfunctional as what you describe.

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All the things you describe are not loot priority issues. They are guild management issues. In other words, no loot system in the world will fix a guild that is as dysfunctional as what you describe.

In retrospect, you're right. Excuse me for talking complete crap.

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this post could have seen some real benefit from a spell checker.

While your post is a shining example of how people need to capitalize the beginning of their sentences.

Irony = time off from posting here.

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Along the lines of gearing up a guild, how difficult are the heroic 5-mans? Is it as difficult as a 45-minute Baron run? Is it as difficult as 5-manning Onyxia? Is it as difficult as 5-manning Loatheb?

Is it one big gear check? Is it a skills and group coordination check?

And where does it fit in the progression? If you're skilled, you can take it on when you first reach level 70? When you have the full Dungeon 3/blue PvP set? Or should you only attempt them once you're fully geared in Tier 4, fully enchanted and loaded with potions?

Also, how are the rewards handled?

If anyone has a link to a post that already has this information, that would be great. I did a search on "Heroic Instances" but didn't turn up anything that useful.

Thank you in advance.

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I'll make a post on it, I've done most of the 5 mans in beta on heroic. Also, for those of you who like to cross your t's and dot your i's, there's resist gear in them thar hills.

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Honestly, loot priority means little to nothing unless you are a hardcore guild at the very top of content. My guild, which I've been with since we started on MC, is currently on Emps, with Spider wing in Naxx cleared. We have never, ever done loot priority, with the slight exception of asking (not demanding) that our rogues consider passing t3 tokens to tanks first. It's an honor system that trusts that people will be careful when choosing loot and not constantly bid on things that could be better used by another class, but that hasn't stopped us from having several Shadow Priests with 400+ damage, a pair of well-geared Feral druids, etc. If it wasn't obvious, we don't force spec, either. Forcing either gear or spec is indicative of not trusting players to think for themselves as to what would be best for their own and the guild's long-term goals and gearing and speccing to match. Have good players who are there for the game, not the purples, who are willing to look up boss fights, addons, and consumables, and the rest will follow - and you'll have a happier guild to boot.

I would really love to be in a guild that has no loot rules ever, but people taking/passing for the good of the guild. Never happened tho.

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On top of that -- and I just realized this reading one of the posts above -- the classes are split in such a way that it's easily possible to get boned in one of your three raid needs (healing/tanking/dps) with an unlucky drop distribution.

1. Warrior/Priest/Druid. That's two of your three tanking classes (including the class that's arguably meant to be the primary tank) and the two strongest healing classes. If you don't get many of these, you're likely going to be hurting for both tanking and healing.

2. Mage/Lock/Hunter. All dps here.

3. Paladin/Shaman/Rogue. Seven sets. Two healing classes and one tank class.

The only real saving grace is what was mentioned above: The level 70 5-man gear is vastly superior to level 60 5-man gear relative to the raiding gear at each level. Still, this could be painful.

IMO, Warriors/Priests/Druids tend to need the most gear, Paladins/Shamans/Rogues tend to need the next most gear, and Mages/Locks/Hunters tend to use only one set.

Coincidence? If set#1 drops more often, I think this system actually isn't that bad.

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I'll make a post on it, I've done most of the 5 mans in beta on heroic. Also, for those of you who like to cross your t's and dot your i's, there's resist gear in them thar hills.

Thank you Anias. I'm sure this will be of benefit to many people.

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Honestly, loot priority means little to nothing unless you are a hardcore guild at the very top of content. My guild, which I've been with since we started on MC, is currently on Emps, with Spider wing in Naxx cleared. We have never, ever done loot priority, with the slight exception of asking (not demanding) that our rogues consider passing t3 tokens to tanks first. It's an honor system that trusts that people will be careful when choosing loot and not constantly bid on things that could be better used by another class, but that hasn't stopped us from having several Shadow Priests with 400+ damage, a pair of well-geared Feral druids, etc. If it wasn't obvious, we don't force spec, either. Forcing either gear or spec is indicative of not trusting players to think for themselves as to what would be best for their own and the guild's long-term goals and gearing and speccing to match. Have good players who are there for the game, not the purples, who are willing to look up boss fights, addons, and consumables, and the rest will follow - and you'll have a happier guild to boot.

I am going to echo what Nisu said.

I think if you want to see more progress you should be less concerned with loot distribution and focus on some other things.

I suggest looking into having players who play well, pay attention, research encounters, come with consumables, not afraid to use consumables, and a good raid leader. I also suggest trying to have more than enough good people instead of the perfect amount if they all happen to show up. You have these things and more bosses will die, giving you more loot to distribute as your guild sees fit.

I have been in a few guilds now. Some of them have failed and blamed loot distribution/lack of geared players in the raid for failure and some of the guilds went on to kill more bosses. The biggest difference I saw between the guilds was not the quality of loot on the players, it was the quality of play and the willingness to use consumables to overcome the lack of stats. You get too militant about loot distribution and it can create drama which usually means you lose players and that hurts a lot more than spreading out loot a bit more between happy well prepared players. Gearing up certain people before others won't magically kill bosses.

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IMO, Warriors/Priests/Druids tend to need the most gear, Paladins/Shamans/Rogues tend to need the next most gear, and Mages/Locks/Hunters tend to use only one set.

Coincidence? If set#1 drops more often, I think this system actually isn't that bad.

Except they should have split it the other way, for example Warrior/Mage/Paladin, Priest/Lock/Shaman, Druid/Hunter/Rogue. As it stands, the mages/locks/hunters are going to be done first and then have no reason for coming back. This is assuming equal drop priorities.

And just as a sidenote, starting from Judgement, I have a healing gear bag, a DPS gear bag, a NR gear bag and a FR gear bag (and two bags of consumables), with tanking gear going in on top of the DPS/healing stuff. That's more than most priests I know (our priests don't pack NR), and as much as any druid/warrior I know.

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Well, while the allocation of the classes might not be the best there is atleast a system I think:

X of the Fallen/Vanquished Champion = Paladin, Rogue, Shaman.

X of the Fallen/Vanquished Defender = Warrior, Priest, Druid.

X of the Fallen/Vanquished Hero = Hunter, Mage, Warlock.

Going by the 5 mans you need atleast 1 Tank and 1 Healer and rest is DPS/Others. If you take a look at the "Warrior, Priest, Druid" part you don't need a Warrior to tank if you bring a Feral Druid so that reduces the competing classes to 2. If your Druid is healing then there won't be a need for another Priest thus reducing competition to 2 classes again (assuming a Warrior tanks). Likewise you won't bring 1 Hunter, 1 Mage and 1 Warlock to every 5 man, usually one or two of those DPS classes.

That being out of the way there still is a big problem with off specs. What if your Druid is tanking, your Warrior and your Priest are DPSing and you have a Paladin healer? You'll have 3 classes competing for one token. Add the fact that those classes have atleast two different sets to collect and you are in for some pain.

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I agree to some extent funball. But on the other hand, and speaking as a hybrid, would it be fair for some classes to get 3 sets in the same amount of time as other take to get 1?

As Jubling replied to this, "why not"?

What if Druids/Paladins/Shaman/Priests/Warriors (hybrids) got all 2/3 of their chest pieces for one chest token turn-in?

That might seem over the top, but we can't use all three sets at the same time. One chest token turn-in would give the chest pieces needed to perform any of the 2-3 functions already laid out by the new tier 4/5 sets. Having to gear up 2-3x more than a pure DPS class is not a "feature" of WoW, it's a pain in the ass.

Blizzard went in the right direction by offering different sets. This would be a great "next step".

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As Jubling replied to this, "why not"?

What if Druids/Paladins/Shaman/Priests/Warriors (hybrids) got all 2/3 of their chest pieces for one chest token turn-in?

That might seem over the top, but we can't use all three sets at the same time. One chest token turn-in would give the chest pieces needed to perform any of the 2-3 functions already laid out by the new tier 4/5 sets. Having to gear up 2-3x more than a pure DPS class is not a "feature" of WoW, it's a pain in the ass.

Blizzard went in the right direction by offering different sets. This would be a great "next step".

While I agree with the fact that the current token distribution is a little odd, this is what you're suggesting sounds like to me, you want a PvE Raid set, and a PvP/Grind set at the same time. But that would leave out some classes whos PvE sets aren't exactly practical for PvP (mages for the most part). I wouldn't complain to getting two though :) And since I've been playing my shaman over the last few weeks, having to get more than one set sucks, but I (a mage) wouldn't really like what you suggested. This probaly sounds like a QQ post, just my opinion though.

As said before, I'd think the classes need to be swapped around a bit, or maybe the % drop rates reflect the amount of classes in that group. That could backfire though, seeing Token1 with a 40% drop and Token2 with a 20% and Token3 with 40%.

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We will "not care" about loot so much in tbc first.

there are a lot of ways to equip and we will use no dkp system.

example: Karazhan - 10 bosses (+3 optional bosses)

every boss dropps 2-3 epics (+ a lot of really good random epics)

you go in with only 10 people.

that are ~2-3 epics for everybody each run.

our class/raid - leader will decide who will get an item.

for sure we will equip 2 tanks first before we will equip the off warriors with highend tank epics.

healers will only get healing stuff and damage dealer will only get damage stuff first. ;)

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Some people seemed to get very weak minded MT's out there, and that scares me. I admit, we lost the former MT due Drama, but without euipting the new MT (that's me) our progression would be much lower (we started from Zero in MC). So euqipting the MT and a second one first is a good idea, the risk of loss is always there, and not a real reason to hinder stuff (RL can happen anytime to anyone) and the other....make clear that a) Tanking set ist not a price for archivment, it's an investment b) That the sweat,blood,tears off usually more then 40 People have flown.

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Some people seemed to get very weak minded MT's out there, and that scares me. I admit, we lost the former MT due Drama, but without euipting the new MT (that's me) our progression would be much lower (we started from Zero in MC). So euqipting the MT and a second one first is a good idea, the risk of loss is always there, and not a real reason to hinder stuff (RL can happen anytime to anyone) and the other....make clear that a) Tanking set ist not a price for archivment, it's an investment b) That the sweat,blood,tears off usually more then 40 People have flown.

I believe the argument is that you're MORE likely to lose someone that you've geared up as a priority.

It can work if you've got folks who are incredibly loyal and dedicated to staying with the game. Most people would say that they share those qualities, but actions tend to speak louder than words. Is the advanced progression worth the loss when a higher end guild comes courting and offers your MT the chance to leap frog in progression and prestige if they'll just walk away from that guild that geared them? A lot of tanks take the easy choice. It's easy to jump past learning and up to a new tier of content. It easy to have the "best" guild on servers tag over your head- there's a certain amount of pride in being recognized for your guild as being the best in progression on your server.

A strong MT with a basic time-based pay out system should always have sufficient dkp to purchase the important stuff. In many ways it's better for the guild to let "main tank" be divvied out by best gear and to have best gear be based on attendance. If your "main" tank stops coming as often- someone else is out there tanking the bosses and putting in more time and they're going to have more dkp to spend on gear- which will put them in front of the other tanks as the new main tank. We have no main tanks in our guild. We have 5 tanks- 2 of which tank bosses more often, 2 of which dps more often, and one of which is an ot more often.... but those roles change very very flexibly when gearing and attendance changes. They all have acceptable tank sets, and they all have a certain amount of dps gear. that's a strong point for our guild- if Kelris or Tankman (Our usual tanks) leave the guild we're not SOL for tanks, we can shove the others into their spot and it would only take a week or two to cover the gear difference. Would it suck? Oh hell yes. Finding dedicated strong tanks with excellent attendance and a good deal of T3 is difficult as hell. But for covering the MT duties- we would manage a hell of a lot better than if we'd prioritized gear to one of those to the detriment of the other tanks.

A guild always suffers when a high attendance player suddenly quits.

Adding to the pain by having geared them as a priority over the others and having no one able to fill in that loss is incredibly bad.

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While I agree with the fact that the current token distribution is a little odd, this is what you're suggesting sounds like to me, you want a PvE Raid set, and a PvP/Grind set at the same time. But that would leave out some classes whos PvE sets aren't exactly practical for PvP (mages for the most part). I wouldn't complain to getting two though :) And since I've been playing my shaman over the last few weeks, having to get more than one set sucks, but I (a mage) wouldn't really like what you suggested. This probaly sounds like a QQ post, just my opinion though.

As said before, I'd think the classes need to be swapped around a bit, or maybe the % drop rates reflect the amount of classes in that group. That could backfire though, seeing Token1 with a 40% drop and Token2 with a 20% and Token3 with 40%.

The different sets for hybrids are no different for grinding or PvP from what a mage or warlock would deal with. They typically have reduced stam and fewer defensive statistics than an ideal PvP or grinding set will have. What the different sets DO provide is our complete package of itemization that has always been lacking.

This idea will cause a lot of skepticism, because receiving three epics when a DPS class receives one for the same turn in doesn't seem fair. On the other hand, most of the hybrid classes would probably agree that being forced into a talent tree is a little painful, too.

If a mage wants to experiment with fire or frost or arcane, the same set works great for all three schools. It's rare that you'd have to change a single piece of gear no matter what you are doing. Previously, if a Priest decided they wanted to play around with shadow for a while, they had to pick up a lot of gear, and fight with other classes to get it, too.

Now the set pieces are available, but do I really want to have to spend triple the DKP for it? Do I want to be picking up a balance piece that I'm grabbing just for fun (this is a video game) when another Druid needs a piece of healing gear?

Picking up up all three sets for one token eliminates a great deal of drama, makes life a lot more fun for the hybrids, and will have little impact on game balance (remember, we could have picked up that damage gear, anyway).

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Even with recruitment though the guild is not huge by some standards. Around 100 level 60s, but many not regular players. Frankly we struggle for 40 players regularly (especially for wipe nights ;)) 20/25 however is much less of a problem so we are very pleased with Blizzard's decision on lowering the raid numbers.

I've been part of a hybrid guild like yours for nearly two years, and we've gone through all the issues you described. (Nearly exactly ... scary.)

I'll have to echo what a few have already said -- successful raiding has very little to do with gear and EVERYTHING to do with turnouts, guild management and your raid leader. And I think it's worth remembering this even in light of the smaller raid cap size. I don't expect this to change just because you're organizing for 25 people instead of 40. Hopefully it will be easier to accomplish and put raiding into more guilds' realm of accessibility, but the same tenets will still be there.

before you guys do anything, I'd really recommend your entire guild hash it out over what kind of raiding they honestly want. and do it now before the expansion hits.

you probably have that core of 20-25 who wants fast progression and reliable turnouts and a lot of raiding each week. then you have the rest of the guild -- the 80 accounts who show up whenever they feel like playing, may or may not stay online the entire night, and may or may not be interested in your guild's progress as much as their own acquisition of phat lewtzorz.

if my assumption is correct, you really need to make it clear in your guild that membership for raiding will have different expectations than membership for casual play.

in my guild, we eventually created two membership ranks -- Raider and Member. we manage Raiders like a pure raiding guild. we have attendance requirements (60%, possibly upping to 75% for TBC) and skill expectations. for general Members, there are no requirements. anyone can be a Member and do whatever they want. we don't expect them to raid. by the same token, Members must understand they have no priority on raid invites. they fill in from time to time, but that's the price of doing business that way.

We have fluid movement between the ranks -- we average the two most recent months of raid attendance so it's not uncommon for some players to slow down, their attendance goes under 60%, they're bumped down to Member and we open recruiting for that spot. Vice-versa, a Member decides they want to raid more and starts showing up a lot. They get their attendance over 60% and become eligible to become a Raider. (The actual percentages are based on our 4-raid-per-week schedule. You get 1 pt for being there the entire night and 0.5 pt for showing up late or leaving early. It doesn't matter if you're in the raid or not. As long as you're online, ready and able to jump in at any point.)

hopefully, your guild can find some peaceful co-existence between the two types of players. it's not perfect, but it's the best we've come up with so far. Edit: You might run across Members who resent not having raid invite priority, yet cannot commit to the attendance requirement. That's the only drama we have to deal with in this structure, and it sucks, but all you can do is explain the raiding goal (steady progression) and what it takes (steady participation). You might have people /gquit over it but -- not to sound cold -- but it doesn't hurt your raid progress to lose a Member. It does hurt quite a bit to lose a Raider, so in a clinical way, it "pays" to make your Raiders happy. And that means surrounding them with reliable, skilled players and keeping raids full, day in, day out. You can't accomplish that when you're kowtowing to every casual player with an attitude who demands epix just b/c other people in your guild are getting them. :P

obviously there are a lot of other things that go into successful raiding, but it all starts with your guild expectations. you need to figure that stuff out at the start and structure accordingly. I actually think the Raider/Member split will be more important come TBC because the smaller raid sizes will demand even higher gameplay from each individual raid member. Fights may become even more technical or gear-heavy than they currently are.

And again, fast progress has nothing to do with gear -- it has to do with how much facetime you can get in the instance and learn the fights with a steady reliable crew and give everyone time to get acclimated. That is impossible in a typical family/casual guild.

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Picking up all 3 sets (or 2) for one token is really no better than simply adjusting the drop rates to make sure that tokens drop based on set distribution rather than class distribution. So the drop rate would be:

3+3+1 = 9/19 chance

1+1+1 = 3/19 chance

2+2+3 = 7/19 chance

The split should have been done better; paladin/warrior/rogue (3/2/1) + shaman/priest/mage (3/2/1) + druid/lock/hunter (3/1/1, but counterbalanced by druids being the most likely of the 3-role classes to pick up all 3 sets).

(Of course, speaking as a class that only wants one token who's paired up with a couple 3 token classes, I'd obviously be all for this - gives me a much better chance at my stuff, since I doubt our paladins or shamans are really going to be after all 3 sets all that quickly.)

Anyone bringing DKP into this automatically loses, by the way. DKP is social, not technical, and has nothing to do with it; you could as easily say "People won't have to pay DKP for alternate role tokens once they have their main role itemization" and use it is as a counterargument.

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Picking up all 3 sets (or 2) for one token is really no better than simply adjusting the drop rates to make sure that tokens drop based on set distribution rather than class distribution. So the drop rate would be:

3+3+1 = 9/19 chance

1+1+1 = 3/19 chance

2+2+3 = 7/19 chance

The split should have been done better; paladin/warrior/rogue (3/2/1) + shaman/priest/mage (3/2/1) + druid/lock/hunter (3/1/1, but counterbalanced by druids being the most likely of the 3-role classes to pick up all 3 sets).

(Of course, speaking as a class that only wants one token who's paired up with a couple 3 token classes, I'd obviously be all for this - gives me a much better chance at my stuff, since I doubt our paladins or shamans are really going to be after all 3 sets all that quickly.)

Anyone bringing DKP into this automatically loses, by the way. DKP is social, not technical, and has nothing to do with it; you could as easily say "People won't have to pay DKP for alternate role tokens once they have their main role itemization" and use it is as a counterargument.

What technical concerns are there? The itemization values and class talents are not in question in this discussion. The technical concerns with coding a drop rate or creating a multi-reward turn in as I suggest are trivial. No class becomes numerically overpowered under any scenario (relative to other scenarios). If you think there's a technical reason that this is not true, then give it.

Anyone ignoring the social impact of a technical solution (or any solution) in an MMORPG is naive. DKP is the primary method of loot distribution for end-game, and cannot be dismissed. Even a non-DKP distribution system, whether it is random 100 or loot council, will eventually have similar consequences for players and their experience in game. If you aren't comfortable discussing how DKP or any other social concern might have an impact, feel free to skip over it or ask some questions.

In your solution, you suggest re-distribution of classes so that tokens can be dropped in equal quantities. As you mentioned, this solution works well for a DPS class, because in any given distribution system, the DPS class will finish their complete sets first. Your system requires hybrids to spend 2-3x as much time in a particular instance as a DPS class in order to complete all of their sets. Either the DPS classes are eventually going to be "dragged along" to help finish sets, or the hybrids are going to be angry that they aren't able to finish sets.

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