So Who Likes DKP?

My past experience is that the more you raid, the more you like DKP because the system favors you.  That’s a self-serving rationale.

As our guild pursues a merger, one of the issues we will likely have to deal with is DKP. We don’t use it. I don’t like it. However, many other guilds do use it and its likely that we’ll have to deal with it wherever we end up. Both of the guilds we are currently exploring as possible merge partners use some variation of it.

DKP seems to me to be driven by a sense of entitlement. Its saying “I raid more than you so I get the loot.” There is some merit to that, I suppose. But it is disheartening to the player lower on the DKP scale to know before even setting foot in the instance that they have no shot at the good drops.


This weekend when we went to Kara, I lost the roll for my T4 gloves. Ah, well. C’est la vie. The person I lost the gloves to was a hybrid pally that mostly solos but came in with us because we had an open spot in the raid. It was his first raid, I believe.

When the gloves dropped there was a tiny moment when I thought… “I deserve those gloves! I’ve been on every Kara run this guild has ever done! I’m the top DPS! I’m the Guild Master, for crying out loud!!!” Those are the kind of greedy, selfish thoughts that drive DKP systems. In reality, I had no more right to those gloves than anyone else. We all contributed to kill Curator, we should all have a share in his loot.

In fact… it might have turned out better this way. The pally that came with us got several epic items on his first raid. Perhaps the thrill of the loot will lead him to become a more regular raider and contribute to our guild’s success. Isn’t that a better result than me getting the gloves just to say “I haz T4!”? Its not like I’m hurting with Gloves of Dexterous Manipulation.

Our own loot experiences aside, when we merge we’ll probably have to learn a DKP system. I assume that we will start at the bottom of the list and have to go through several raids with no shot at loot before we’ve accumulated enough points.

Are there any good DKP systems out there?


11 Responses to “So Who Likes DKP?”

  1. April 21, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Who likes DKP? I do.

    Of course you don’t need DKP for loot feasts like Karazhan (where twice as much items drop per run as players participating), but honestly in high end raiding, with more than 3 raids and a different lineup every night, and especially when you have to motivate players not to only sign up for farm but also for progress runs, having a DKP system becomes essential.

    In the 3 years of WoW raiding, I experienced three different DPK systems:

    a) Zero-Sum DKP. Each potential drop gets a fixed DKP value assigned. Once the item drops, the player with ‘need’ and the highest DPK can buy it, the price is substracted from his DKP account (can also become negative), and the DPK/#raiders is added to each participating raider. The sum of all DKP thus remains zero. Advantages: effort is rewarded over all raids, fair chance for new players entering the system. Disadvantages: farm raids more rewarded than progress raids, and stingy players not needing for drops they could use if they are saving DKP for another drop (disenchanted item = no dkp for the raid)

    b) Fixed DKP system. Similar to Zero-Sum, only that the sum isn’t zero. Each raid gives a fixed DKP value; bonus DKP is granted for guild first kills (progress motivation), and minus DKP is given for messing up raids, afk’ing for an hour etc. Works well, but is usually inflationary (DKP sum usually positive), making it hard for new raiders to catch up at all.

    b) Bet DKP. Fixed amount of DKP for each raid, regardless of the item drops. Thus wiping an entire night on a progress encounter gives the same reward as rushing through farm content. Bonus DKP can be granted for extremely well raid nights, and less DKP can be given for raid nigths with very very poor performance. The DKP on each player’s account is always positive, and can be used to bet DKP on drops (the player bidding the most is getting the item). Items that noone wants tend to be cheap, and items that are desperately needed are more expensive. This effect is especially visible with bids on set tokens: the players that want them early (when lots of players bid) have to spend more, those with patience (when most other players already have them) spend less. That’s the DKP system we’re currently using, and I’m very confortable with it. To counteract the behaviour that someone saves a ton of DKP in easy content (T4/T5) to spend it on T6 items, we have 3 different accounts per raider (T4, T5, T6 dkp). If you have to bench players, or exchange them during the raid to build a special class setup for a boss, they get the same DKP as the ones participating.

    DKP totally makes sense for me, especially in large raiding guilds (we have 2 concurrent raid groups, one in MH/BT, the other in MH/BT/SW) where each ID is raided for 4-5 nights, with different players.

    Oh, and for your guild merger: the DKP should be reset on a merge between equal sized guilds to provide a fair starting ground 🙂

  2. April 21, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    My post definitely comes off as negative about DKP. I’ll be the first to admit that since I’ve never tried it my opinion comes out of ignorance. And I can see the merit if you have 7 tanks in a 25 man raid all wanting the same plate drop.

    I’ve always been in a guild of friends, so we were happy no matter who got loot. If the guild is large and the players are more like co-workers than friends then I guess DKP is a very efficient and businesslike way of going about things.

  3. 3 David
    April 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    DKP is the ONLY loot system to use, for a variety of reasons. However, there are a number of DKP variants.

    First let’s look at why you use DKP over other systems. The other options are basically loot committee (or person) where a group/person (guild officers usually) decide who gets the loot or some variant of random. DKP is better than both of these because everyone knows exactly where they stand and they can prioritize their own loot.

    Think about that, if you have someone making decisions, people will just get pissed…period. If you random, people will get pissed…period. If you go in with an objective points system that is free for everyone to see exactly where they stand…there is NO room for emotion. That is a HUGE advantage.

    As for what type of DKP system, you probably want a zero sum type of system where points in are balanced with points out. This eliminates the concerns of the more casual folks. Here’s one way of doing it:
    -Allow people to declare themselves ‘inactive’ this makes their points stay consistant. They have to take themselves off ‘inactive’ to gain points and are not eligable to spend points for 1 week after turning off ‘inactive’. This lets people take a break.
    -Award points consistantly. However you do it. Something like 10 points for a boss, bonus 4 for first kill, plus 1 point an hour, etc.
    -When loot drops, take silent bids, one round. Do 3 calls and then award to the highest bidder but announce all the point values bid so everyone sees what was bid.
    -Every week take the net points in/out and average that across all active raiders for that period and adjust everyones score. Ex: there are 50 active raiders, points gained this week were 1000, points spent were 800 for a +200 difference, which averages to 4 points per person. So everyone loses 4 points. This keeps points in and out balanced and prevents long timers from gaining an advantage.

  4. April 22, 2008 at 8:14 am

    My guild, like most, does not use DKP in Karazhan and ZA. In those runs we use a loose form of loot council – the raid leader basically asks who is interested, and then we discuss who should get it. Generally we base it on how big of an upgrade the item is, and how long since the last drop for that toon. Generally the raid leader and any officers lead the discussion, but anyone except for those involved throw in their input (although, we have no actual rules here.. it is just that our folks never argue for themselves getting an item..). We’ve rarely had any trouble assigning loot this way.

    Moving to 25-mans, where you have more players and fewer drops, we knew that we need to try something else. If nothing else, the pressures and grief of a formal loot council are more drama than I need.

    I wanted a system that rewarded players for showing up and not getting drops, but that ensured that the more casual players could still compete for items.

    We settled on a slightly different system, based on the Shroud Loot System (http://www.wowwiki.com/Shroud_Loot_System). Points are given for showing up (on time, prepared, with everything you need), and then points are given for each half hour of raiding – with more being given for progression raids. This is certainly not zero-sum.

    When loot drops, members have two choices – they can bid 10 points, or half their total. Highest bidder wins, with a /roll in the case of a tie. This accomplishes a few things:
    – Players with the most DKP get priority on items that they deem to be big upgrades
    – That priority comes at a cost. They will spend more points than someone else might later. (their ‘half’ is higher than another persons ‘half’)
    – Having won an item with a ‘half’ bid, you are pretty much certain to be back in the middle of the pack. This helps counter some of the “big lead” problems.
    – For items that are small upgrades, or for an off-set, you can bid 10 points. These items generally end up as a roll-off, unless someone else bids half. Having the highest point total doesn’t help here, to get benefit from that you must bid ‘half’

    It has worked well so far. Casual players are accumulating points, and either bidding 10 points on the less desired drops – where they get an even roll – or saving points for bigger upgrades.

    So, why not use a normal bid system? It just seems a bit gamey – we are a pretty casual group, and that type of in-raid competition just didn’t seem like the way to go for us.

    We went with a time-based system, rather than based on kills, to motivate people to show up for progression nights – rather than just signing up on farm nights where points and loot are more plentiful. This way, more points are giving on learning nights, and more loot on farm nights. Have had no problems with this – although, we’ve never really had problems with people selectively signing up, so I’m not going to swear this is actually working.

    The actual loot system aside – a system to manage things seems very important. webdkp.com is what I’ve been using. The addon is not the most advanced, but the web interface is very simple and keeps a history that anyone can check. No matter what system you use, having it be transparent is critical. It does not have explicit support for our loot system, but I have had no problems with using it at all.

  5. 5 Jon
    April 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    SLS is extremely intriguing. We start Gruul’s tomorrow and are looking to implement something simpler than your typical zero-sum DKP but more rewarding than Suicide Kings.

    @notcoding – You say you award on the half hour. How many points? and what do you give out for bonus points (on-time? progression boss-kill). Can people bid if they have less than 10 points?

    @dinaer – Sorry for hijacking your thread. I couldn’t find a method of contact for notcoding on his blog.

  6. April 24, 2008 at 8:45 am

    @Jon – We looked at Suicide Kings as well, but didn’t like that there was no distinction between large and small upgrades (I want to motivate people to take items, not simply keep points for some future upgrade).
    We give 1 point per complete half hour, 2 points for progression time (for the 1st and 2nd kill). I also give 2 points for being on time.
    Most runs give between 4 and 12 points per person.
    We do let new players bid if they have less than 10 points, though not if they are negative.

  7. April 24, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    @Jon – no problem 🙂

    @notcoding – I like the system you suggest. I think that actively bidding against each other can create too much antipathy within the guild.

    I’m not really fond of giving points per raid time. That seems like too much for the raid leader to keep track of.

    Its time for me to really start thinking about this. We will (hopefully) begin 25 man content next month.

  8. April 25, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Yeah, the per time/per kill issue can be of a pain to track. The first several raids I struggled a bit with the dkp tracking.

    I tried using a mod (from webdkp.com) to give out points during the raid, but with everything else going on, it never worked. I always forgot at some point, so doing it ‘live’ just didn’t work. I could probably have delegated that out to someone else, but I never did..

    I realized though, that I’m already uploading a WWS (wowwebstats.com) log for every run. That tracks the start/end times for the raid, and for each boss attempt. If we have partial progression nights, it makes to easy to see when we switched from farm to progression, as I can just check the times for each kill.

    It ends up taking just a few minutes to update to dkp, even if we had people swap out during the night – most nights we keep the same raiders all night, which makes it much easier.

  9. April 28, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    DKP may seem unfair, but is it really any fairer than going to multiple raids and being unlucky on the rolls? Remember that the rate of loot in Kara is actually much higher than in 25-mans.

    Or what about one of your most consistent raiders, who only needs one or zero items from Karazhan? The one who always comes and helps ensure that your guild is successful, even though she hasn’t gotten any loot over the last few runs? Is it fair that she can be outrolled on the one item she wants by a first-time raider?

    That’s the hard part about loot distribution: deciding what is fair.

  10. April 28, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    We’ve adopted the system that our ally guild is using. It has DKP earned for raid attendance and boss kills. But there is no bidding system. Highest DKP gets the item, all items have a set DKP cost that is subtracted from the winner’s total. Pretty simple. As long as everyone starts at zero it can work, I guess. I’ll have an open mind and give it a try.

  11. 11 oriniwen
    January 20, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Comment bump for an old post 🙂 I’d suggest the EPGP system over DKP any day. It has a lot of the merits, none of the drawbacks.

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