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DKP and cross-class parity


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#1 norg

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:33 PM

This is an issue giving me a real headache as I'm coming to finalising our TBC system, and I'd be grateful for some input. Put simply, how do you deal with the fact that certain classes can potentially have so many more gear slots than others? For instance, a mage is only ever going to need a staff and a wand, regardless of spec. A warrior, on the other hand, will want a 1h to tank with, at least one other DPS weapon, a shield, and a ranged weapon. Shamans could now potentially want a healing weapon, a shield, two DPS weapons, and a totem. How on earth do you achieve even rough cross-class parity given these circumstances?

Previously I've moderated the price of a class's armour to compensate (so warrior armour would cost less than cloth armour), but now the difference in weapon expenditure is potentially so large that this seems impractical; I don't really want plate costing literally half what cloth does if I can help it, nor do I want staves costing twice what axes do. Also, this makes things awkward in a fixed price system now that seperate classes (I'm thinking enhancement shamans and hunters) will often be after the same gear. Do I really want to have two seperate prices for Generic Mail Leggings of Attack Power, one for hunters and one for shamans? Not ideally, no. So is there any other smart way of handling this issue?

#2 Llangera

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 01:59 PM

Well, the obvious solution would be to skip fixed prices, simply because with the abundance of good gear that TBC offers, no fixed pricing will ever be fair. We've always had a bid-system (except for Tier-armor which have had fixed prices), which imo makes people able to put their dkp in what they, themselves, consider worth putting dkp into. There are admittedly cons to this, but we have had very few problems with this pre-tbc.

I'm not really sure how I would handle it if I really wanted fixed prices, but perhaps you should only allow people to focus on one type of gear that they can get from raids (for example, your holy paladins can only get holyplate from raids, and your retri paladins can only buy dps-plate), and if they want additional gearsets they have to get them from non-raiding instances.

#3 Kalman

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:13 PM

Let's not suggest things like "bidded pricing", since they only make the situation worse - not only is someone going to have to spend 5 or 6 times instead of 2 (shaman vs mage example, and the shaman might want multiple totems for different purposes), but they're going to have to outbid focused classes on all of those items, or most of those items? Bidding won't help matters any. Saying to a hybrid class "You can only have raiding gear for one of your purposes" penalizes them for being hybrid and is an equally bad idea - not only does it annoy hybrid players, but it leads to your raid being unable to utilize their multiple abilities. Sometimes even a resto druid in bear form can be useful, but if they don't have any bear items, it can make it hard to utilize that capability.

Look at things like EJ's system of upgrade pricing with multiple paths. Consider having your hybrids settle on primary and alternate paths, and allowing alternate path gear to go to them for cheap/free as long as it isn't being taken as primary path gear for someone else; resto druid? You pay full price on your healing staff, but your feral items are free. If you don't want to deal with differential pricing (and I don't blame you for not wanting to!) I can't think of a better way to handle it.
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#4 Llangera

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:22 PM

I agree that none of my suggestions actually solved the problem, just pointed out that it is possible to do like that and thus escape the problem, if not actually solving it.

Our guild, being semi-casual, semi-hardcore, have went through plenty of different dkp-concepts, and has finally landed on a half-bid/half set-price system, and from our experience is what has worked best and kept the largest amount of people happy. We've resetted dkp now, but before tbc hit our hybrid classes were not at all low on dkp compared with other classes, think that out of our top ten on current dkp we had three paladins. We did not have any restraints on which type of gear people were allowed to bid on.

Our dkp system is based on a large pool of players, we might reevaluate it now that we have a smaller amount of active raiders.

/end of OT rant

Apart from that I agree that low priority and cheap offspec items might be a good way to go.

#5 emyln

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:52 PM

To me the concept of cross-class parity is just not logical. So what if a Warrior needs 3 weapons and a shield to a Caster's wand and Staff? They don't compete for the same kind of items. Warriors won't bid on a Staff and Caster won't bid on Shields.

There is not getting around the fact that some classes are more gear dependant than others. Its the way the class system works in wow. Trying to adjust for it is just asking for a unnecessary headache.

My guild has always used a fixed price system. (Eg. 80dkp for all weapon drops, 120dkp for all chest drops etc) this is of course adjusted from instance to instance since BWL loot is worth slightly more than MC loot. I know things are different for TBC but still, it makes no sense to me for developing a table that charges different dkp for every class.

#6 Coriolis

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:54 PM

Let's not suggest things like "bidded pricing", since they only make the situation worse - not only is someone going to have to spend 5 or 6 times instead of 2 (shaman vs mage example, and the shaman might want multiple totems for different purposes), but they're going to have to outbid focused classes on all of those items, or most of those items? Bidding won't help matters any. Saying to a hybrid class "You can only have raiding gear for one of your purposes" penalizes them for being hybrid and is an equally bad idea - not only does it annoy hybrid players, but it leads to your raid being unable to utilize their multiple abilities. Sometimes even a resto druid in bear form can be useful, but if they don't have any bear items, it can make it hard to utilize that capability.

Look at things like EJ's system of upgrade pricing with multiple paths. Consider having your hybrids settle on primary and alternate paths, and allowing alternate path gear to go to them for cheap/free as long as it isn't being taken as primary path gear for someone else; resto druid? You pay full price on your healing staff, but your feral items are free. If you don't want to deal with differential pricing (and I don't blame you for not wanting to!) I can't think of a better way to handle it.

This is roughly what we're doing -> simply allow people to pay a reduced price for their "off-spec" item, if no one who would want it for their primary spec needs it. I can't see the problem with this personally.

#7 norg

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:12 PM

To me the concept of cross-class parity is just not logical. So what if a Warrior needs 3 weapons and a shield to a Caster's wand and Staff? They don't compete for the same kind of items. Warriors won't bid on a Staff and Caster won't bid on Shields.

There is not getting around the fact that some classes are more gear dependant than others. Its the way the class system works in wow. Trying to adjust for it is just asking for a unnecessary headache.

Uh, what happens if they share a set token? Is that fair?

#8 seped

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:30 PM

Uh, what happens if they share a set token? Is that fair?

This is where a lot of my issues with a bid system came up. We had historically few druids (2-3 tops). So when bidding on items like caster staves, leather thats not class specific, and tanking rings/trinkets/necks they have enough dps to crush any other class member easily.

This gets mirrored regularly in token like systems. Rogues bidding their max points losing to hunters who bid only say half their points on the qiraji armaments so they can make the dagger in three months when TBC comes out and use it for the few days when they are leveling until they replace it.

Class population imbalances in bidding systems with tokens just aren't pretty.

Hopefully TBC with reduced group sizes will make consensus a better way of distributing loot.

*Edit unmatched parentheses exception? oops. edit*

#9 Fellwraith

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:44 PM

I know EJ has a stickied thread on their own loot system (pre-TBC), but given the changes to raiding in TBC, I'm curious to hear what other guilds are doing.

We've been kicking around several different ideas in our officer forums. We wanted to eliminate some of the administrative hassles our GM has had to deal with (he sets up our healing assignments, runs the dkp system, sets up the raid and is usually the hardest working man in show business).

The quote below is what I posted about a week ago for the officers in my guild to discuss. I'm fairly certain there's something I haven't thought of, and I'm still waiting to hear back from a lot of our officers.

The things we're struggling with are:
- Setting the cap high enough for the hybrids, without giving too much preference to the "single-loot" classes (e.g. hunters/rogues). My initial stab at a cap is probably too low.
- Giving the generalists (e.g. the multi-spec druids) a chance to "double-dip" on a specific tier without having to wait for everyone else to complete their set
- 30-40 raiders doing 25 man content, so we need a common measure for loot distribution and keep people who aren't in the raid, but "on-deck" involved.

1) Zero-sum system. Points earned by the raid are points spent by the acquirer.

2) All items cost ilvl * 10 in points. ilvl is easily gotten from the add-in called ratings buster (converts all ratings into % based on your level, also computes the ilvl on all items). It's a more direct and less arbitrary way of assigning points. I'm using big numbers because it's easier to do the math.

3) If the Loot Council (members tbd) determine that item to be part of an upgrade chain over an item someone purchased previously, half of the previous item's cost is deducted.

For example, if I buy a t4 shield of defense (ilvl 95, 950 pts) and 3 months later a t5 shield of uberdefense (ilvl 115, 1150 pts) drops, it costs me 675 points to upgrade.

This will give more preference to people who specialize and it may be more of a discount than we're looking for.

4) Cross-spec loot (ie second token for t4 - same armor spot) costs half price once you've taken your primary spec piece. I think the set bonuses will keep people from double-dipping too much.

Example - Mr Restodruid wants some kitty dps gear. It costs him 475 to get the kitty t4 breastplate after he gets the resto breastplate.

5) DKP cap of 1.5x the expected cost of a full set of armor. For t4 that will be 950 * 5 pieces * 1.5 = 7,125 (basically your primary set, a weapon, a trinket and one other item - that is about what you got in MC the first time around). T5 will be 1150 * 5 pieces *1.5 = 8,625. This could be a bit higher depending on what other non-set items drop.

Note that the t5 cap does not include the impact of discounting for completing the first set. I'm thinking if we have a situation where both sets are dropping (e.g. running MC/BWL concurrently or BWL/AQ) it will be an incentive for people to backward update for offspec suits. By the time you're hitting the cap, you should be doing something new anyway.

We've also had some discussions about chucking dkp entirely and doing everything based on a loot council, but I don't know if that will lead to problems given the number of people we'll have raiding. The thing I like about dkp is that isn't arbitrary, it's based on attendance, you can assign it to people who are available but not in the raid, and it provides for an even distribution of loot.

#10 Lord BEEF

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 04:47 PM

You do have to take this into account. In BWL we had staff of shadow flame at 225, so they'd be using that and usually a green wand or a ZG wand and that's all they'd have to pay in their weapon slot. A warrior would have to pay 275 for their ashkandi, another 150+ for a tanking weapon, 75+ for a shield, and 50+ for a ranged weapon. Orignally the idea was "well warriors get more from their weapon slots" but then token systems were added and it caused problems.

Nowadays casters get just about as much from their weapons as melee so you have to just look at how many each has to loot and adjust prices accordingly.
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#11 Sunna

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:12 PM

We are planning to use a bidding system with a minimum bid for all items. The way I expect this to pan out is that hybrids who specialize in one tree should be able to compete with single purpose classes like mages when it comes to bidding up choice items or early drops. Hybrids who want to gear themselves up for all their possible roles will have to hold back and get items a bit later when they are more likely to be available at minimum bid cost. In addition we intend to let alts participate on lower tier raiding. A player with a priest main for example will probably go for premium healing gear in the higher level instances. He then has the option to pick up dps cloth or a second priest set by continuing to raid the instances that have been on farm status for a while and where most items will go for low or minimum dkp. Or he might chose to play an alt like a rogue or hunter and to gear up that alt by participating in the lower tier raids. It's really up to the player to decide for himself what his primary spec is. We will treat gearing up an alt and getting alternative gear for a main as equal. It's probably also worth mentioning that we will have separate dkp tables for different instances or groups of instances so that nobody can make dkp in lower tier raids to spend in higher tiers.

We had a shaman who would respec almost every week and who would send a tell on every equipable item. I don't want to give hybrids special privileges that encourage that kind of attitude. On the other hand I want all players who do choose their gear carefully and concentrate on one role to have the same opportunity to gear up.

#12 Kytrarewn

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:13 PM

Here's a question for you: What do you do if someone uses their token for an item that is not beneficial to the raid group as a whole in the "multi-set sets"? Or at least not optimal, for example, a druid taking their moonkin set initially.
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#13 mavfin

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:20 PM

Here's a question for you: What do you do if someone uses their token for an item that is not beneficial to the raid group as a whole in the "multi-set sets"? Or at least not optimal, for example, a druid taking their moonkin set initially.

Don't take this wrong, but, usually someone who says this would never allow a moonkin in their raid to start with, so there shouldn't be a problem. That aside, this is an internal guild issue about how much control the guild exerts over the players and their specs. i.e. YMMV according to your guild rules.

#14 Uziel

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:22 PM

Here's a question for you: What do you do if someone uses their token for an item that is not beneficial to the raid group as a whole in the "multi-set sets"? Or at least not optimal, for example, a druid taking their moonkin set initially.

We dealt with this saying that we won't enforce specs, or gear choices.

But when it comes time to form the raid, and you are moonkin with tier 4 moonkin gear, and there is a spot for full healer and two people to fill it, it is going to go to the person that has selected a spec/gear choice for the benefit of the raid.

#15 mavfin

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:25 PM

Here's a question for you: What do you do if someone uses their token for an item that is not beneficial to the raid group as a whole in the "multi-set sets"? Or at least not optimal, for example, a druid taking their moonkin set initially.

We dealt with this saying that we won't enforce specs, or gear choices.

But when it comes time to form the raid, and you are moonkin with tier 4 moonkin gear, and there is a spot for full healer and two people to fill it, it is going to go to the person that has selected a spec/gear choice for the benefit of the raid.

This is probably the best way to handle it. If the open spot is for a damage-dealer, the moonkin might be able to drop into a magic DPS group and give them the aura and do their thing. If not, they'll have to sit.

#16 Evalara

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:46 PM

Classes that need more loot... need more loot. No points system can solve that for you.

#17 Hamlet

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:11 PM

Classes that need more loot... need more loot. No points system can solve that for you.

What? Yes it can. The base concept is to realize that some classes need more loot, and try to equalize the sum of what every class pays for everything they need.

#18 Risingstar

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:18 PM

If you truely want parity then the best solution is probably just split them out. Seprate DKP for spell casters, melee/hunters, and healers. This way you don't even need parity. The only problem would be cross class or cross role items or pallies in the guild for a long time that want a DPS weapon over that warrior with questionable attendance / recently recurited.
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#19 Kazanir

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 06:48 PM

It's impossible to ignore cross-class parity due to the tokenized drop system of the set armor. If you have separate DKP charts, how do priests bid against warrriors for Tier 4? If a hybrid ends up paying a million DKP to buy two or three sets, how do they ever win a piece of tier gear against a mage or warlock? If you charge warriors for four "hand slots" (1H, OH or 2H, Shield, Ranged) while casters only pay for one or two, then the casters have a permanent and growing advantage on tokenized loot. That's just not workable anymore.
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#20 Kalman

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 07:02 PM

Unless of course you charge the casters appropriate amounts for their 3 slots such that 3x Casterloot = 4x Warriorloot = 2x Rogueloot. The problem there is that then you *have* to price differentially, since a warrior's 1H/OH are going to be the same (more or less) items as a rogue's 1H/OH, but they're still going to have to buy a shield to tank with.

In the end, the things you need to aim for are that equal points spent roughly equates to equal progression for a class' capabilities; if the class has more capabilities, you simply need to aim to progress those capabilities equally. If you don't want to price the items themselves differentially, you need to provide some other way for hybrids to acquire the gear that allows them to be hybrids without ever discriminating against hybrids *or* your pure classes. An offspec cheap/free setup is probably the simplest solution.

Token systems, the way Blizzard implemented T4/T5, completely fuck this up, for the record. They needed to put the tokens for classes with N sets on the same token, and then provide correspondingly more of that token, such that by the time a rogue completes their set, a priest is completing both of theirs and a druid is completing all 3 of theirs. Instead, you'll run into the unpleasant situations of either hybrid classes getting their hybrid loot after it's trivial because as off-spec it can't be bought unless no one wants it for primary (which is pretty much what happens with cross-class loot in non-token systems) or with bad feelings when a priest has both of their sets, even though they're never nuking in a raid, while a rogue is still puttering along in Assassination.
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