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!

Revisiting WOW Cataclysm

I have many fond memories of the 2010 World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm. It was my last two year of college and the last time that I was able to spend a good amount of time gaming. I was in a great guild that I will play with on and off over the next 9 years. I was part of their raid team for 2 raid releases and had a blast. In 2011 I got to attend Blizzcon and meet up with several of my guildmates as well as dozens of players on our server, Illidan. It may be the rose colored glasses but Cataclysm will always be one of my favorite expansions because of the relationships that I built and those memories of kicking butt.

For the past several months, I’ve been playing on the WOW private server Apollo. Instead of playing one of my tried and true class, I dove into something new to me. I created a Night Elf Druid which is something that I have never done before (I know! It’s a shock to most people when they find out that I’m a girl). I spent my time exploring the zone that had been completely changed due to the wrath of Deathwing and to my delight. I realized that this was my first time leveling in these zones, even though I’ve been playing World of Warcraft intermittently since the game was initially launched. I had the pleasure of floating around a flooded Thousand Needles and got to explore a wonderfully revamped Ungoro Crater along with many more new and improved areas. Experiencing these zones for the first time made WOW seem like a brand new game.

Of course by the time I got to the end of my leveling experience I discovered that I wasn’t really interested in the gear grind and the scheduled raiding that typically goes into endgame raiding on private servers. I spent most of my time farming and leveling up professions and trying to make a bit of money. One of the ways that I measure success in an MMO is how well I can make money in the game. If nothing else, this experience on the private server drove me back to play retail WoW so that I could further explore the early zones and have my progress saved forever on my 15 year old account. If I’m going to be leveling up characters for fun, I might as well be unlocking heritage armor on my allied race characters!

As a final gesture, I split my remaining gold between those folks in my guild that were kind enough to answer my dumb questions and make me feel included. Enjoy the gold! I know that you all will get more use out of it that I will.

New PC Setup!

I first built my dream desk back in 2012 after graduating college and when we bought our first house. I wanted a big desk with plenty of room to spread out and one that was visually appealing. I was very much into IKEA hacks on reddit at the time wasn’t able to find anything that I want that was pre-built…as a desk. So I dreamed up my future gaming space and started planning it out in my head. I would need space for a second monitor and a large surface for my mouse. I wanted my desk to be ergonomic so that I could avoid the chronic back pain that seemed to creep into my life when I was spending a little bit too much time at my desk. I explored our IKEA store and found each part of the desk that I had built in my mind. Instead of a desk I opted for a table top and legs for more space, I found a shelf and the legs that go on the bottoms of most of the small dresser to make my monitor shelf. It’s was a project that I gladly assembled and enjoyed for years.

I tend to update my gaming PC in stages, so a new graphics card one year and then a new motherboard/processor another. I have been building my own computers for the past 10 years, it is just like a big lego set with interlocking pieces. My desk is an extension of my gaming experience. For many years I’ve enjoyed my set up, the monitor height, the ability to push and pull the elevated shelf as I needed. Even though I loved my desk there were a few things that started to annoy me about my set up. When I added my microphone (which is my new love) it limited where I could attach it the arm. Also the legs of the monitor shelf would tend to interfere with where I wanted to move my mouse around. I enjoyed my desk but I was ready for a change.

Black desk with raised monitor shelf and Darth Vader
To my old desk: You have server me well for many years. I throughly enjoyed you but now it’s time for a change.

In my family, we are not big gift givers. So when the extremely thoughtful gift of wireless headphones needed to be returned due to my discomfort, I was left with funds to play with and the opportunity to select my own gift. My gaming set up needed a face lift! I already had some experience with desk mounted monitors with my set up at work and how my husband’s desk was set up. I wanted to free up all of the space that the monitor shelf took up and also gain a bigger range of motion to move my monitors around. So I ordered my mount!

2 Monitor Desk Mount on Amazon

I waited a few days and when I got my mount I was super excited, except there was one problem….One of my monitors wasn’t able to be mounted. My husband pointed out that now was a good time to update my monitor since they were far older than my desk was. So I put him to work shopping!

What? He is way better at finding the deals.

He picked out a BENQ gaming monitor which boasted a refresh rate miles ahead of what I had. He mentioned that this new monitor wouldn’t likely align with my old monitor on my new mount. This made me a little bit sad, would this bother me? I thought about it.

The hubby says to me “you know….you could just get two monitors”

I was surprised, “could I do that?”

Of course he would give me a smart ass response “yes, you see this box right here where it says quantity? You can make it what ever number you want and they’ll send that many to you”

I was super excited to be getting a monitor upgrade for the first time in a long while and probably the first time ever where the monitors that I was using wasn’t broken. Set up was easy since this is the 4th monitor mount that I’ve assembled. I still need to redo my cable management but for the most part everything is how I want it.

I love this more minimalist style of desk, I have a lot more room and the monitor height is adjustable to a much greater range. The whole space just feels more open. ❤ my new set up!