I had gotten some questions about our DKP system when I wrote my “things I like most about my guild” post. Since I know how to use it as a raider, but not how it works overall or how to set it up, I asked my guild leader, Fiordhraoi (also a blogger), to guest post about it. Here’s what he had to say.
Well, Euri wanted me to write an explanation of our loot system, since he’s gotten questions. I’m not going to go super deep into the mechanics, as you can read that on the addon/system webpage here. I will give a brief explanation below, if you don’t want to dig into the super gritty details, however.
Aetherial Circle actually decided on a loot system back before Burning Crusade came out, and we were starting to clear UBRS as a guild and looking for either enough people or a guild alliance to poke our noses into Molten Core. Of course, then BC release was announced, everyone stopped raiding, and we pretty much just got on with BC.
Now, the reason we decided on a loot system was because the guild my wife and I were in before went through epic drama over a piece of Sunken Temple loot (yes, I said Sunken Temple). It started becoming viscious, with accusations of favoritism on the part of GMs, harsh words flying around everywhere, and we left the guild to avoid the crossfire. So when we started seriously considering raiding, we figured we needed a system that was impartial. Loot arguments are probably the number one reason for guild splits/disbands, etc. Even moreso back when you had to have 40 people in a raid and not 10 or 25.
So we wanted whatever system we chose to have the following characteristics:
1) Completely above board. We wanted people to be able to see everything that was going on, and not just have a piece of loot awarded to someone without knowing why.
2) No favoritism, or even the perception of favoritism. This is one of the main reasons we didn’t go with a loot council – no matter how fair you try to be, someone is always going to disagree.
3) Little to no inflation. I had talked to a few people looking to join other guilds, and they said that one of the main things that turned them off was the fact that those who had started with the guild or been with it a long time had huge point balances that new players would never be able to match, and so even after a year or more of membership, a new guild member would still likely be second, third, fourth in line for any gear upgrades.
One of our guildies (who is still a member, although unfortunately he doesn’t have time to raid anymore) mentioned SWAPS, and we took a look. It seemed to be what we were looking for.
BASIC RUNDOWN -
SWAPS is based around the idea that a loot system should be a closed ‘ecosystem’ so to speak, thus avoiding inflation that comes when an essentially unlimited pool of resources in the form of points continues to accumulate over time. It works as follows:
When a person joins the loot system, they are given 1000 points. To avoid incidents of people buying something their first night and then guild hopping, etc, these points are awarded at a rate of 200 points per raid, starting with the second raid. So after the 6th raid, a person is fully vested into the system. Those are the only “free” points you are ever awarded, period.
When loot drops, a classic auction starts, with people bidding on the loot back and forth. Eventually someone wins. Now, instead of the points the winner spent just “disappearing,” they are instead distributed among the rest of the raiders present. In essence, you are paying the rest of the raid for the privilege of looting.
Example: In a 25 man raid, an item drops. Bob and Joe bid back and forth, and eventually Bob wins the item for 480 points. Those points are deducted from his balance, and each of the other 24 raiders gets 20 points.
And really, it’s that simple. There are a couple minor math complications and such that can be explored in more detail if you want to read the link above. The addon posted does the math and runs the auctions for you, but even if you didn’t have the addon a moderate skill with Excel and the patience to actually run the auction would work.
Overally, we’ve found this loot system successful. It rewards those who attend more frequently (more loot dropping when you are present = more points you get), but not to such a degree that someone new to the guild will be unable to get into the action after a few raids. Everything is kept out in the open, and we’ve never had any major complaints.
The one modification I’ve made is to reduce the timer on the auctions, as we found it took too long to wait around for one to finish. If you open up the swaps.lua file in the addon, you can look for a value that says SWAPSSECONDS = 1 if I remember correctly. You can change that “1″ to another value if you want to change the timer. So right now, I have it set to .5, which means the auctions go twice as fast.
There you have it. When I said it felt fair, I meant it. It’s not perfect, but for a relatively stable group whose composition changes less than most guilds from month to month, this works very well and feels fair to all the participants.
ps. I promised a recruitment plug for the writing Fiordhraoi did. To apply, go to the recruitment forum, create an account, and leave us a note. To try out with us before filling in a recruitment post, you can join one of our raids as a PUG here. We’re on Drenden US.