How to decide who gets the raid gear? A look at DKP

Character progression is often central to the reward system for MMORPGs and one of the big reasons that we choose to trudge through the 40-man raids each week in WoW Classic. In most games we see a simplified random roll system where you either indicate that you would like an item or it can be randomly assigned to you. In this 15 year old game that has its hooks in me once again, we have opted to create a more complex system that takes into consideration a players level of dedication to the overall group. This system is complicated further by the fact that we are tracking this all for three separate raid groups all at different phases in progression.

My guild uses a system of DKP which stands for Dragon Kill Points. As a participant in our guild you will earn points which can be used as a currency to buy gear and upgrades for your character. While DKP isn’t the only method that guilds use to distribute gear upgrades, it is a popular method.

Benefits to using a DKP system:

  • Autonomy – the players get to pick their items
  • Transparency – the players know where they stand in relation to those also competing for gear upgrades
  • No Favoritism – since players decide when and how to spend their points they won’t be forced into

Negatives to using a DKP system:

  • Collusion – players can work together to manipulate the system in order to gain more favorable outcomes for themselves
  • Punishing New Players – in some systems the veteran members can get so far ahead in points that they will always get every item before the new players can. Making it so that a new player can go many months without receiving any rewards.

Any loot system should allow for new players to come in and feel like their time is being rewarded. This is why catch up mechanics in loot distribution are so important. There are a couple ways that you can allow newer players to catch up to older players.

Decay

Adding in a percentage based decay to a players total balance of points is one way to allow newer members to catch up. This means that new players will get those items that are not highly sought after. Veteran players will keep their standing in relation to the others provided that they do not spend any of their points. Eventually this allows the veteran player to have first pick of one very impressive item.

DKP Reset or Wipe

When new content is released it is common to take the historical points and bring everyone back down to zero. This is another option to help newer players gain some of the more competitive gear. Some guilds opt for periodic resets of points which encourages players to return at the start of new content, which historically can be when you tend to lose people.

Is it the right system?

There is never a right or wrong system for distributing gear to your players. There will always be the potential for conflict or drama around how loot is being awarded. What works for some guilds may not work for others. It largely depends on the leadership that is in place and how everything functions as a whole.

If DKP is not the system for your guild you can explore other methods of loot distribution:

  • Zerosum DKP – points awarded based on how much is spent
  • Loot Council – Small group decides where items go
  • Suicide Kings – Players are in a priority list, once receiving a piece of gear they go to the bottom of the list
  • Need before greed – often used in pug groups, who ever can use the item and rolls the highest, wins the loot.

There are many systems out there for loot distribution. Keep in mind that you can never please everyone in a large group of players. In any of these systems: Keep it simple and easy to understand, keep it transparent, and spread the wealth.

I know a lot of you out there have experience raiding in large groups. What loot distribution method did your guild use?

New Adventures on Deviate Delight

Blizzard opened up the ability to transfer your characters between WoW Classic servers. This was something that my mega guild decided to jump on. We rolled on the Fairbanks server initially for it’s population and its balance between the factions. We had great hopes for all of the fun PVP elements that makes the game so fun. Dreams of competing for world bosses and grinding out the requirements for the opening of the gates of Ahn’Qiraj were brought further and further out of reach, not because of our lack of ability to achieve these feats but directly because of a horde faction mega guild (bigger than my mega guild) that would camp the world dragon spawn with 80+ people so that they could kill it as soon as it spawned. We just didn’t have the ability to do this and our players wanted to play the game rather than engage in these type of tactics. We discovered that this horde guild also planned to completely cut the alliance out of the ability to farm for the Black Scarab mount by transferring all the materials required to push the event into the next phase via the cross server auction house to alts.

On top of all this new information we had a dwindling alliance population, likely due to the amount of in world pvp there was. During this time I had given up on doing dungeons in Black Rock Mountain since it would take me over an hour of corpse running to get to the entrance. It was frustrating and felt like a large waste of time. Prior to the ability to transfer realms, the alliance population seemed to dwindle as people quit the game or decided to roll on different servers. This made going out in the world even more daunting as there was little to draw attention away from my red name.

My 7th time dying on my way to Black Rock Mountain to help a guildmate in BRD

When you are in a guild as big as mine there is a lot of opinions floating around, when choosing a new realm to play on was no different. I remained largely impartial and wholeheartedly supported the decision that was made. We decided to move to Deviate Delight which is an RPPVP server. I’ve never played on any type of RP server for no other reason than it was not the type of server that my friends played on. I was intrigued by the idea since I spend a lot of time watching twitch streamers that RP in games and play Dungeons and Dragons. A few days before we had planned to move (after our scheduled raid night) me and a friend rolled up some new characters on Deviate Delight. We decided that we were going to RP the best we could even if it felt different and silly. This opened my eyes to a lot of the small details that were put into the world. What was this here? A bloody trail on the ground? We better investigate!

We all transferred about a week ago and I am so happy with the change. Everyone is nice here! I don’t know if its because they are more willing to interact with others instead of playing the game like their own single player themepark or if its because they haven’t been killed so many times to the point of hating the game. What ever it is, there is definitely a different vibe going on. The chat interactions that I see are more delightful and a far cry from the “go to wowhead noob!” that I am accustom to. More than once I’ve had some server veterans welcome me to the server 🙂 Its definitely a pleasant experience so far! I’ve already started a few new characters and look forward to some new memories in Azeroth.

Cali is one of the current leaders for one of Entitled’s three raid groups. For more info about the guild /w Caliphis in game on the Deviate Delight RPPVP server.

My Big @$$ Guild

Last time I wrote in my diary I talked about how I was not the guild leader and loving my low pressure time playing in WoW Classic well my role has changed a bit in the past month and I have been put in charge of one of our 3 raid groups. So I have a good bit more work to do but I’m also not stress or wondering if my guild is going to explode like it has so many times in the past. Since I’m not the head girl I’m still keeping my easy schedule and enjoying myself

I’ve completed some of my goals with my character and also added to my list:

  • Get my priest to level 60
  • Collect all of the dungeon keys – still need my UBRS key
  • Work on my pre-raid best in slot gear – 2 more crafted pieces, 2 DM N pieces
  • Enjoy some of the higher level dungeons
  • Form some new friendships with my guild mates
  • Epic Mount
  • Figure out the nuances of this guild that I find myself an officer in
  • Try not to mess up people’s DKP (good so far)
  • Make some gold so I’m not so dam poor!

My role in the raid group is mainly administrative. I track DKP and collect and distribute loot. I’ve also been streaming on Twitch.tv/Caliphis for our raid nights so that those that are sitting can watch what’s going on. The other officers and group leads are super positive which is a nice change from my typical pessimistic company. Everything is going great in this new chapter so far. I hope it continues 🙂

Not the Guild Leader and Loving it!

I decided well before the release of WoW Classic that I was going to find myself a giant guild and enjoy the social aspects of having a big group of guild-mates to run dungeons and do quests with. I was preparing myself to venture out into the world of finding a guild when one of my friends messaged me about joining their guild. I thought to myself “A guild of several of my friends that I don’t need to take part in leadership!? Amazing” Although there was one draw back, they were planning on rolling on a PVP server. The hubby and I had already decided that we wanted to play on a PVE server this time around and avoid the infuriating deaths from random ganking. While the offer to join my friend’s guild was tempting I politely declined and thought that was the end of it. Aaaaand then they got to my husband. In the end we ended up joining our friends on their PVP server and in their big-ass guild. It was the right decision and I’m happy we(I) got talked into it.

Enjoying a leisurely flight to Ratchet

So I sit here finally writing down the joyful experiences of the past 3 weeks. I have felt personal happiness in my life that I haven’t felt in a while. I have been getting less annoyed by things that would have bothered me a month ago and I’m finding it in myself to just let things slide instead of fixate and obsess on negative energies that were plaguing my home life. I’ve spent a lot of time on my computer and I’m on the cusp of level 50 while I take my time exploring the world, leveling up professions including fishing and cooking. I’m doing all of this without feeling the pressure to lead the charge in leveling in order to get our group going in the raids. I don’t feel the pressure to grind endlessly to get the best gear for myself in order to set a good example for the rest of my team…because they’re not all MINE this time around. I get to be a Soldier instead of a General and I’m really enjoying the lack of expectations for myself and my time.

A lot of my casts make my pigtails whip around in a wild way. Gotta love it!

So what are my goals in the game? I ended up playing my favorite class but on a new to me faction. My dwarf priest has long pigtails for the cool flowy casting animation. She’s a sexy dwarf because that gives me Fear Ward which the min/maxer in my cannot pass up. I’m leveling up with my husband, who I am eternally grateful that he has not left me in the dust and out paced me as we’ve been leveling together. My current goals in the game are:

  • Get my priest to level 60
  • Collect all of the dungeon keys
  • Work on my pre-raid best in slot gear
  • Enjoy some of the higher level dungeons

You will notice that something that ISN’T on my list of goals is to get into the big boy raids. This is the first time that I’m OK with not raiding. I’m not saying that I won’t play in the raids at all but I am currently not committed to a schedule. My first raid that I ever did in my life was Zul’Gurub and that content made me feel like a bad-ass. I will make it point to get into those runs but I anticipate that those groups may be a little bit more casual friendly since they resent every few days instead of once a week. I love the trolls (it was the first race that I played extensively in WoW!) and I can’t wait to soak up the nostalgia.

IRL Prep for WoW Classic

World of Warcraft originally launched in 2004 back when I was in my early 20s and life was a lot less busy. I worked at Best Buy on a varying schedule, I lived in a one bedroom apartment and didn’t have anyone to care for other than myself. I first got into World of Warcraft when all my gamer friends seemed to be playing it. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the performance issues with the MMO that I was playing at the time (SWG) so I figured it was time for a change. Of course, I didn’t have any idea what World of Warcraft was prior to its release. I had played Warcraft II and III, but didn’t follow the up coming titles since I was very much engrossed in the current game that I was playing. Since that time, I have become infatuated with new games and truly believe that the best time to play a MMO is when its new and the vast majority of players are experiencing it for the first time.

World of Warcraft Classic was announced back in 2017 when I was about 2 years into a private server obsession. I had fallen back in love with the prior expansions and was super excited to play the authentic version of Vanilla that all of the private servers had a hard time living up to. While I enjoyed several new MMOs this year I have had my sights set on WoW Classic as my new obsession. The game comes out tomorrow and between a spouse, kid and a house to maintain I have a lot more on my plate than I did 15 years ago. In order to make the most of this launch week I’m working hard to prepare!

Here are my quests for today:

1 Day before WoW Classic Launch here is my Quest list to be completed:

  • Snacks of Stormwind – Grocery Shopping enough food for 10 days
  • Prepare the Royal Kitchen – Clean up the Kitchen
  • The Soiled Garments – Laundry
  • Pies for the Boy King – Cook the following things – Meatballs, Lasagna, Roast Chicken, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Asparagus, Mini Cheese Cakes!
  • The Dwarves be Thirsty – Prepare Lemonade and Iced Tea for the week
  • Muck out the Stables – Clean the Bathrooms

Already Completed Quests:

  • Make Ready for Battle – Clean and organize the computer
  • Sharpen the Swords – Install addons, ensure PC is at top performance
  • Make it sparkle, make it shine! – clean the living room, bedrooms including dusting and floors
  • Update the Official Records – Reserve my character’s names on our server

Ready your battle stations. The day is nearly here!

Should I play a priest in WoW Classic?

I have a long history playing a priest in World of Warcraft. It was the first character that I leveled up to 60 and the character that I first experienced large group raiding on. I’ve often been teased about deciding to play a new class and then going back to play priest. It’s a pattern that I’ve followed for the past several WoW expansions.

Many claim that Priest is the strongest healer in World of Warcraft Classic. As a priest you will have a big variety of spells in your toolkit to help you with many different situations. You have strong single target heals as well as heal over time abilities and a group heal.

As a leveling player:

  • Pro: WANDS! One of my favorite things about playing a priest is that for the first 30 or so levels you will be using your wand as a large part of your damage. Wands are not effected by spell pushback and can often out DPS your mana expensive damage spells
  • Pro: Levitate is a great spell to have in your arsenal since some areas in the world of Azeroth have steep falls.
  • Pro:  Psychic Scream is fear that will send several of your enemies running scared for several seconds and is great to have when you are running the risk of being overwhelmed
  • Con: Psychic Scream a double edged sword. Sometimes you will seriously save your own butt with a well timed fear but you can also send the bad guys running into the arms of their friends….and then the friends come to help. So use with caution!

As a solo player:

  • Pro: A Priest has some great survivability if you are playing on your own. Since you have both damage and healing spells you can top your health up if you get too injured.
  • Pro: Shadow Form will reduce the amount of damage that you take by 15% and can make you a much more solid cloth-wearing-wizard out in the world
  • Con: Mana management can sometimes become an issue, but if you run out you can always use your wand to auto-attack mobs.

Playing with groups:

  • Pro: Groups are very easy to find since you will be one of the most sought after healers in the game.
  • Pro: Fearward [Dwarfs Only] is a buff that you can cast on yourself of friendly players to negate a fear. Fears are prevalent in the game in dungeons, raids and in PVP. When effected by a fear effect you lose control of your character and will run around (sometimes into more angry mobs) until the effect wears off.
  • Pro: You can buff party members with Prayer of Fortitude which will increase your party members health.
  • Con: If you want to be a competitive players in high level dungeons and raids you will most likely be asked to heal. Shadow priests have huge mana issues and are not a great option for most groups

Priest is the first class that comes to mind when I think of healing in WoW. As a priest you will have a large variety of heals and be in a position where you will be asked to join groups. I haven’t 100% decide what class I’ll be rolling in WoW Classic but priest is one of my favorites and a strong contender.

Should I play Mage in WoW Classic?

With August 27th just around the corner you may be asking: What class should I play when the game comes out? Mage is a great choice for many since they bring respectable damage, utility and the ability to teleport everyone to your major cities! Mage has been one of my favorite classes since I created my undead mage back when World of Warcraft first came out. Here are some pros and cons too keep in mind when considering mage.

As a leveling player:

  • Pro: You can conjure your own food and water. In WoW Classic you routinely had to sit and regenerate your health and mana bars before you were able to carrying on fighting creatures. Having the ability to create ‘free’ food and water are huge money and time savers as you level up.
  • Pro: Early leveling slows are great for fighting tough mobs. This enables you to keep some distance between yourself and everything else that is angry with you in the game.
  • Pro: Slow Fall is a great spell to have in your arsenal since some areas in the world of Azeroth have steep falls.
  • Con: you will be moving a lot while fighting. Mages are considered glass cannons and therefore will do high damage but will also take high damage if hit. I’ve found that of all the classes you are the least durable as a mage in general but make up for it with cooldowns like Iceblock and Ice Barrier.

As a solo player:

  • Pro: Great at killing stuff. As a frost mage you have the ability to group up several enemies at once and kill them slowly with your blizzard and cone of cold abilities. You can also spend talent points to increase your slow effects on your enemies and make it even easier to kite (run away from) mobs as you kill them. Here’s a deep frost build that can help you with some solo farming: https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/mage/230001–05350233132351351
  • Pro: Portals are an easy way to make money. If you are available in a major city, you can almost always pick up some easy gold selling portals to other locations. That and you can quickly teleport yourself to difference cities.
  • Pro: great solo utility in spells and can play highly diverse play styles depending on how you spend your talent points.
  • Con: Mana management can sometimes become an issue, but if you run out you can always use your wand to auto-attack mobs.

Playing with groups:

  • Pro: You will probably find it easy to find groups since mages bring good ranged damage and the ability to Polymorph humanoid mobs.
  • Pro: As a mage you can create food and water for your group at no cost to you.
  • Pro: You can buff party members with Arcane Brilliance which will increase mana users intellect and mana pool.
  • Con: If you are the only mage in a large group, creating water for everyone can take up a ton of your time.

You should play mage if you enjoy playing ranged classes with a large variety of abilities. If you enjoy people needing you for things like portals/water/sheeps this will be a great way to fill that people pleasing need. Mages are strong in both PVP and PVE content. If you enjoy having just one main character and spending time in all aspects of game play in WoW Classic, mages are a great choice.