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Setting up a loot council DKP system


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#1 Copernicus

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 08:48 PM

Going into the expansion is going to be the ideal time to change a DKP system. The new loot available right at level 70 will be only a half-step behind the current best loot available. I have a general idea of how the various straight-DKP systems work and their pros and cons. A smaller raid size does seem like it would favor a loot council type system. It's a lot easier to figure out how to optimize a drop if it only involves 2 or 3 people, or DPS gear with 6 people. And if 10-man raids are a reasonable level of obtaining gear, then a loot council seems like it would be even more viable.

But I know next to nothing about loot council systems and how to implement them in a transparent enough way to avoid any issues of favoritism coming up. So for guilds or people who have participated in succesful loot council systems, how was it set up?

#2 Drauk

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 08:50 PM

But I know next to nothing about loot council systems and how to implement them in a transparent enough way to avoid any issues of favoritism coming up.

You can't. Since loot council is entirely based on subjective decisions, you can't avoid that, even if everybody is 100% fair, you always have subconscious prejudices and preferences.

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#3 Hiatus

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 08:58 PM

A loot council lives and dies by its members. If they're all your buddies IRL and all that, it might work as long as people have reasonable expectations and a mutual trust.

Naturally such a situation is (likely) pretty rare. This is the internet, after all.

The only successful loot council system I have ever seen is one that is entirely officer-assigned. A guild on my server does this for every drop, and they are the only guild to have killed C'Thun (on both Horde and Alliance). I couldn't fathom such a system working for reasons that Drauk mentioned, but it certainly does work for them.

#4 Monsanto

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:00 PM

But I know next to nothing about loot council systems and how to implement them in a transparent enough way to avoid any issues of favoritism coming up.

You can't. Since loot council is entirely based on subjective decisions, you can't avoid that, even if everybody is 100% fair, you always have subconscious prejudices and preferences.

And even if it was 100% fair, it wouldn't be percieved that way.

#5 Amera

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:08 PM

You can set up a middle ground approach that uses DKP to track attendance and contribution, but ultimately leave loot decisions to officers based on current DKP, recent attendance, and so on. Your members simply need to trust that DKP will decide loot unless there is a very good reason for it; if you start getting willy-nilly the whole thing will collapse. But if some guy has a ton of DKP but is at 20% attendance for the last three weeks while some other guy has less but 100% attendance over that time, you might want to award it to the second guy if you consider all other factors (just an example). The key is being consistent and making sure your members know what the criteria for loot is, and that you only want to get involved if there is a very good reason. Make sure you can defend any decision, and show a willingness to do so publically and transparently.

But ultimately any loot system has to have the buy-in of its members, and i think straight DKP is generally the easiest for many guilds, especially on established servers. If you are in the position of being the pre-eminent guild on a server, you have more flexibility to set up the loot system you want simply because people are less likely to leave over it for lack of options. Then, if it is a good and fair system, over time they'll buy into it anyway.
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#6 Northerner

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:09 PM

And even if it was 100% fair, it wouldn't be percieved that way.

That is indeed the tricky bit. Both my present guild and my last raiding guild were Officer Award and while I personally like the system, I'd be the first to admit it is bad for potential drama. On the one hand, this does allow you to weed out loot-whores rather easily but on the other hand, you will lose some quality players that just don't like the inherant 'unfairness'.

On a slight aside though, it is going to be a big challenge dealing with DKP going into the expansion for many guilds. Without policies to prevent hoarding, there are likely going to be many issues when gear changes dramatically. I know in EQ we went through some issues before coming up with systems to handle severe mudflation but most WoW guilds have not been through the post-expansion drama before and it is bound to blindside many of them. Add in the levelling speed differences, the relative class power changes, returning retired raiders and the new raid cap and it will indeed be a recipie for danger.

#7 Groglox

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:26 PM

We use a loot council system with background dkp like what you discribe, and provided your guild can trust your officers (which is gained and reinforced by mostly smart loot decisions), it works out great. Taking loot out of the player's control works out well I think and puts more focus on the encounters at hand.

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#8 Copernicus

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:38 PM

We use a loot council system with background dkp like what you discribe, and provided your guild can trust your officers (which is gained and reinforced by mostly smart loot decisions), it works out great. Taking loot out of the player's control works out well I think and puts more focus on the encounters at hand.

What's the background dkp that's used? And do players make requests for loot or is it just assigned by the officers?

#9 Twid

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:39 PM

I helped run a loot council system from first lucifron kill through killing Huhuran (switched to dkp retroactively for AQ40, while maintaining the council for BWL and MC)

The single biggest drama inducing problem that can arise from a loot council system is unexpectedness. It's something that can occur in any system, but loot councils are particularly susceptible to unexplained decisions.

The way we got around this was by extensive use of loot lists. We are not a cutting edge guild by any means. We downed the Twin Emps last week for the first time, so we know pretty much everything that can possibly drop in an instance, and have seen many threads and such detailing what classes things are best for and such.

We have a list of all the drops for MC and BWL in separate threads on our forums. If you want an item, you sign up for it. We don't have any restrictions on what people can put their names down for (as long as they can equip it of course, and aren't just going to sell the nexus), but that of course doesn't mean that you'll be getting first dibs on it.

Set items are handled on a per class rotation, where some classes do "first piece of each set goes to most senior members in a rotation, then trickle down to the newer guys", some do single piece rotations for all class members, some do optimizing set bonus rotations (ie: Mages all getting 3 pieces of netherwind)

Set pieces are not where the drama potential arises, as pretty much everyone knows the pecking order in their classes. The drama potential is over cross-class loot items. This is where veterancy becomes a bit cloudy, and thus is the reason we switched over to dkp for AQ40 and beyond (everything is cross-class from now on save for plate/mail healing gear)

For cross class gear, if it is a pretty hotly contested item, we establish a pre-determined order that lists to whom item will go. A lot of the time it's a class rotation, like the Drakefang Talisman. It pretty much cycles between warriors/rogues/hunters, because we're carebear like that, and the hunters would seriously kick and scream and not tranq shot or something if we didn't give them a spot in the rotation.

For weapons, to avoid hoarding by senior members, we take the following stance:
- You put your name down for one weapon (or two if you're a dual wielder)
- If you get said item, you're at the bottem of the totem pole for any future weapon drops in the instance. So when we started out BWL, and are not even close to Nef. If a warrior wants a BWL sword as soon as possible, he puts his name down for the UTB. If he picks that up, he's at the bottom of the list for Ashkandi (not that we've ever seen one in over thirty Nef kills) If he's patient, he waits until nobody has their name on the list for the UTB, and it goes to a freeroll. Meaning paladins, hunters, warriors, etc... can pick it up with no penalty to other drops. If a warrior/paladin/hunter do happen to have their name on the UTB however, it's going to the warrior first.

Basically we want people to have their mind made up what they want, to avoid "purplitis" setting in and just picking up something because it's new. It also allows newer guys who would be waiting for a hell of a long time for an Ashkandi to grab an upgrade while they wait for all the senior members to get their Ashkandi's.

For the most part however, it's a rotation that's figured out beforehand. Changes can be made, just not during the current raid. If someone has a problem with the order it's going in, they can feel free to speak up (and boy do some people like to do that!) and we'll evaluate their position and respond accordingly.

Personally I think the system worked for us when we started out as basically a PuG MC group, and had people coming and going as they pleased. It carried over into BWL, and worked fine, however all future items are basically cross-class, so we just migrated over to a variant-sum (basically new content iDKP with monthly rezeroing) dkp system to avoid the headaches from an officer's standpoint.

We added a veterancy clause that allows someone with twice the total points earned of someone else to call priority regardless of current points, but they can only do that once per instance. For example, we killed the Emps, I was low on DKP after picking up a couple doomcaller's and the SR we needed to kill the emps, so I used my priority on the regalia that Vek'lor dropped. I'm now deep in the red, but I got that one choice item I was hoping for without having to hoard points over the very new priest and the very casual priest who happened to show up the one day we finally kill the bastards.

I won't be able to call priority again until we get into Naxx, where I'll probably save it until the wraithblade. Though I'd imagine there will be several people putting in for it that I can't use it over.

It's just a little veterancy that we wanted to carry over into the dkp system to show appreciation to the people who have shown up day in and day out.

In retrospect this was probably a bit more than you were looking for, but it's my reflections on about a year and a half's worth of being under a loot council, then being promoted onto the loot council, and then facilitating the shift from the loot council to dkp (with the help of quite a few people)

*Edited because proper names deserve proper capitalization :)

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#10 Bloodterror

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:54 PM

I'm in a loot council guild (on Thaddius) and while the drama is intense at times, the distribution of loot is so much better than under DKP it makes it worthwhile. A few things to shoot for when setting up your system:

1) A large and diverse officer core. Trying to eradicate cliques is retarded and futile, treat cliques as different constituencies, and have fair representation for each. Also, know the different biases of your officers, when you understand where people are coming from who they like and who they don't, its a lot easier to make a fair, objective decision.

2) Your officers and most of your members had better care about the guild and its progression. These kind of systems don't work with ME ME ME NOW people, and you'll find out who they are pretty quickly.

3) You'd better be good at arguing. When someone brings up an issue you'd better be able to readily defend your position, the positions of your officers, and elucidate in a polite manner why your opponent eats paint chips.

4) Transparency to an extent - You want the reasons for decisions to be plain but the actual vote should not be made public. If your officers feel they can't vote against their friends if its in the best interest of the guild because they will find out then the system breaks down. Votes must be private (typically in O-chat), but the arguments can and should be presented on demand.

5) Tools like loot trackers and attendance sheets can be useful, but they aren't the core of the system. The core is intelligent decision making by people who care about the guild.

Upgrades don't get sharded or wasted on non-raid-interest classes, people don't hoard dkp, lootwhores are very quickly rooted out and no loot is wasted on them before they quit/are kicked. Flakers don't accumulate points over several months of 50% BWL/AQ attendance and blow them all in Naxx. The bench/alts don't loot over main raiders. The general item hemorrhage of DKP systems is stopped up.

#11 Aphyrax

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 09:57 PM

A fascinating aspect of loot council is that the council often ends up short-changing itself on loot because they try hard to avoid the perception that they favor themselves. And that perception will come up whenever the first drop of a really good item goes to one of the members of the loot council. Thus most of the time to avoid drama the council will pick up the second or third drop of a councilled item even if a council member actually should get it first.

Concrete example. We killed Nef the second time yesterday. I walked away with a Netherwind chest piece even though I was probably #3-4 in line for it. How did that happen? 2 of the mages in front of me couldn't make that raid, leaving me and the mage class leader in contention for the item. He deserved it more than I did, we both had the same chest piece and it would also have granted him the 5 piece set bonus. When the guild leader asked the mages who should get it I even said that he should. So imagine my surprise when the item popped up in my inventory. I am pretty sure that he didn't want to take the first chest piece to avoid the perception that the council favors itself, especially after there was some drama when he got the first NW shoulders that dropped.

EDIT: The moral of the story: I like loot council, but I would never want to be in charge of one, because I would probably get charged with favoring myself while at the same time actually short-changing myself. Talk about double whammy...

#12 Oggie

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 12:37 AM

One suggestion that was considered for my guild was officer loot council with a rotating committee of ~3 people from the general guild populace.

Track attendence, last time they got an upgrade, ect- emperical evidence helps a lot.

My only suggestion to this, I have no idea how it works in practice but on paper sounded good.

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#13 Pand

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 12:53 AM

Insomnia of Tichondrius uses Loot Council, they use attendance and item disgression to determine who'll benefit the most from loot.

http://www.insomniaguild.org/ILS/

#14 Fendryl

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 01:02 AM

We just switched from a pretty much straight dkp (some minor class preferences), to a hybrid merit/dkp system. Rank is earned via merit, dkp settles ties amongst equal ranks. If the point ever comes up that a lower ranked person has a significant amount more dkp than a higher ranked person, it's used as a red flag to review both members' ranks.

#15 Kytrarewn

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 02:54 AM

A transparent DKP system would have to include the player's spec, attendance, and how effectively he uses his gear at present.

Take a rogue for example: Go to Chalon's DPS spreadsheet.

Upgrading from piece X to piece Y will yield a 3.4 DPS increase for the rogue.

The Rogue has 90% attendance.

He uses his gear to 95% effectiveness.

The "point value" for that piece of gear is 2.907.

Another Rogue has a worse piece of loot. The piece in question will yield him a 6 DPS upgrade.

However, his attendance is only 70%, and he only uses his gear to 65% effectiveness.

The "point value" for him, on that piece of gear, is 2.73.

However, this is even more hardnosed and more of a numerical pain in the ass than DKP is.
==============================================================
Honestly, my guild uses loot council (not of the type explained above, thank god) , and I love it.

Progression > PvP, and loot council emphasizes this more than DKP, in my experience.
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#16 spronk

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 04:08 AM

I've never understood why people come up with such convoluted systems that slow down raiding (spending 5 mins debating loot vs 1 min auctions). straight up DKP (hourly or zero sum or whatever) with or without auctions/bidding is 100% transparent, super easy to track/implement/use with eqdkp/raidtracker, and speeds up raids.

it seems people try to combine two systems, DKP and raid formation. raid leaders creates raids based on who's needed, whos not a noob, who can be counted on to stay, etc. that isn't really related to DKP, more based on what raid leader/class leaders know about their people.

the only time DKP really is a problem is when off-specs bid on stuff (oomkin/ferals, shadow priests, retadins) against pure DPS classes and if you are really trying to min/max in 40 mans you shouldn't have any off-specs anyways (for naxx). Yah sometimes you put the hammer down and say "ok first desecrateds are going to tanks to get 3 warrs in 4/9 dreadnaught, QQ more rogues" but its rare - in fact T3 warr, elemental bulwark, and some nature/shadowAQ40 stuff (for huhu/TE) are the only ones i can think of to prioritize from MC->Naxx.

For 25 mans off-specs may be very valuable or may continue the current trend of being shortbus, we just don't know yet.

#17 Groglox

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 04:47 AM

We use a loot council system with background dkp like what you discribe, and provided your guild can trust your officers (which is gained and reinforced by mostly smart loot decisions), it works out great. Taking loot out of the player's control works out well I think and puts more focus on the encounters at hand.

What's the background dkp that's used? And do players make requests for loot or is it just assigned by the officers?

The background DKP is decided by attendance, last loot recieved (date), last loot recieved (item), mainly. For example: Nef dies, ashkandi drops. The officer will say send tells to me for [Ashkandi] . The officers then decide based on the background attendance and loot history (and sometimes performance), who the item would be best for and who deserves it more, and it goes to them. None of the members can see any of the numbers, but knowing it is there help create a base of trust while your officers show they make the proper decisions.

It probably shouldn't surprise me that the first applications of one of the coolest creature designers ever made is going to be cockmonsters and titwalkers.


I mean christ, cunnilingus is much like being a resto shaman, you spam the button and let it do the work. So long as you change targets as appropriate you don't need to put any thought into it.





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