Wednesday, 16 July 2008

On loot

Okay! Time for an actual post again. First a situational sketch and then the topic at hand. A friend of mine isn't happy with his guild anymore. That isn't something new in the world of WoW, but the thing that makes this slightly more unique is the fact that he isn't a regular member. He joined his guild way back when he was still leveling and as such, being the most knowledgable of his class at that time, he became a Class Leader, a rank that says officer of this class. Bear in mind that Class Leaders are the ones to talk to if you need info about the class and the guild, but that they should be able to help you with everything else aswell.

But since a few months, they abandoned the CL system, retaining the rank (which wasn't called CL, but had a quirky name), not only stripping him of his status, but also of all the things he could do for the guild. He used to be a raidleader and most of the guild found him a better leader than the actual guild leader. Nowadays, he only gets to lead raids if the other raidleaders are away, which isn't often. He is being put off into the newbie groups of the guild, which are many, due to the constant amount of leaving and joining members, they fail to keep alot of people. This leaves him with gear that doesn't upgrade and because of that he can't get on the higher raids. Kind of like a glass ceiling. They use the worst type of loot distribution, being whomever needs it, gets it, who needs most gets it. Which means that a full greenie decked player will get loot instead of him. And with a constant influx of such players...

But there is another problem: He is unhappy about the guild, just when another guild starts a recruiting spree, leeching off alot of members. He isn't exactly a fan of that guild, like me, but it can still look like he left because he wanted a better guild. He doesn't want a better guild in terms of progress, but in terms of the guild itself. He is sick of being screwed over. But, alas, guilds want to see gear, which he doesn't have due to aforementioned problem. More and more core members of his guild are leaving, because the guild leader is on holiday, with only founding members in charge that aren't able to lead. But I digress.

I actually want to talk about their version of the loot system.
The main problem of the guild is that it:
  • Has no leaders.
  • The people that CAN lead were nerfed.
  • Has no structure.
The guild uses their forums to make their raids. Not the nice PHP Raid things, like most guilds use, but a mere forum thread in which you can state that you would like to come. It's crude and it works, but it's far from perfect. Same with their way of dividing loot. I'll demonstrate their way:

We have 2 players: 1 new one and one experienced one. After a boss kill, an item drops as usual. Lets say that both players are Enhancement Shamans, making it easier for me to show you.

They slay Al'ar. Highly unlikely for their guild, as they haven't cleared ZA yet, but still. The [Talon of the Phoenix] drops. A normal guild would use systems that reward players that actually raid. You earn points when you raid and you spend them to get loot. But not here.
The experienced player has Reflex Blades (which I wouldn't use personally) and the new one has some Razor Scythes.

Most of the time, they only look at the color/rarity of the item. In that case, the new player would get the shiny loot, only to stop raiding afterwards for example, or to respec or anything. He just gets free loot.
They also only look at the item slot in question. If the new player would be hit capped already and the experienced isn't, the new one would get the item anyway. If the new player has full epix exept for the main hand weapon and the experienced only had blues, I wouldn't find it a fair and balanced deal.

Ofcourse, there are some advantages to this system: It's easy to use, no hassle and anyone can do it. But it's unfair, it is based on one person's (biased) opinion and can kill small guilds like the first paragraphs show. Not directly, but it contributes. Also, it can't be used to make people shape up (50 DKP minus! :P).

Then we have DKP or Dragon Kill Points. I didn't know, but apparently it has something to do with raiding in Everquest. /shrug It's an system that awards you for being there and for making progress. Everytime you kill a boss, you get points, which you can use to bid, or alternatively is used as a number. The higest number wins, but gets the item's value subtracted of it.
the downside is that the system can be in so many forms. I've only experienced the "Zero Sum DKP" system.

In simple: All the DKP scores added up are equal to 0. When ever someone gets an item, the DKP spent is divided along the other players. Fair, but heavy in the math, it really takes ages, it's hard to keep tabs on, just terrible. Ofcourse, this can be simplified, which led Phoenix Legion, which used Zero Sum, to Raid Points. It's simple:

You have a point cap. If you only do KZ for example, it's 60. When you buy an item, you lose half the maximum amount of points. As you do more and bigger instances, the cap increases. you get points for signing, attending, killing, making first kills. You lose points for not attending after signing and as a penalty.

Especially the last one is as easy as making a Google Spreadsheet and keeping it up to date. But, that guild leader didn't want it. Apparently it was defined a long time ago. A few quotes from their forum:

By one of their officers:
The concerns were in regard to people who aren't even geared enough for kara receiving epic items that more experienced players need also. The curent loot system rules state that the loot is is to be distributed to the people that have the most need for it, therefor the the people that are the least geared. Obviously these people are either new to the guild or new to raiding so they haven't contributed as much to the guild's overall progress as others. On the other hand the more experienced players who have raided a lot, and therefor contributed significantly to the guild's progress are already epic geared either from kara runs, crafted items or badge loot. So when an item drops and both of these people want it the one that is most likely to get it is the one that is undergeared. So basically the people that are epic geared have less chances of receiving an item than the people that are undergeared.
From the Guild Leader himself:
Without going into reasons for or against DKP, here's a far simpler question.

Who's going to keep track of it and decide what's worth what? I surely am not, I guarantee you that, I have enough to organise for something that's a game. It's not a full-time job.

So apparently, they know themselves that they use a terribly crappy system, but they cba to shape up their guild. It's a sinking ship. Ofcourse the forum thread on their forums is way longer than these 2 quotes, but to keep my friend's cover, I won't be posting names and as such a link to their forums. And the main reason is that they don't know the word "paragraph" in a sensible way, just like "capitalization" and "grammar". Not to mention "punctuation". Anyway: what do you think, how can you divide loot fairly?

1 comment:

gnomeaggedon said...

I am afraid I can't offer any suggestions.. but would have to echo you sentiment.. that system sucks.

In our casual group of friends we have a policy that the least geared get the leg up... but always within reason.

Simple things like main specs 1st.
The upgrades are negotiated or rolled. By that I mean if I am potentially competing with someone over a drop, we check each other out and decide whether either of us will stand down (generally I don't need for much, so my needs are closer to greeds). If we all want it... /random.
This works for my regular mates, plus the pugs we require.