Thursday, January 15, 2009

Delving into Loot Systems

Well I did say a few posts ago that I would talk a little more about DKP. In response to that post I got the following:

I've been doing a ton of research with WoW and just recently started playing the game myself.

One of the most surprising things I've learned about is the whole DKP system.

I knew WoW was a pretty extensive game, but damn - I had no idea it was this intricate. Are you using a self-made DKP system or something you purchased online. Anyways, first time visitor to your blog and as a new WoW player I'm enjoying it.

AKA: Darren

First off Darren, thanks for the encouragement. It is good to see that people read the blog, whether new players or veterans.

Now i shall confuse you with the complexities that are loot systems! Since these things can get a bit unruly I'll split it up into a few posts so you don't have to read my block of texts all at once(and so it looks like I'm posting more than I really have been lately)!!

First off, why have a loot system?

Well you have many reasons. As I mentioned before, attendance is a big part of it. But for the most part the primary reason guilds use loot systems is because of the loot. Loot is the single best and single worst things in WoW all in one. Many many guilds break up over bad loot systems and tons more people leave guilds because they feel the loot system isn't fair enough(read, I didn't get the gear so I'm taking my toys and going home[to my rich friends house who will give me stuff for less work than you required]).

The doling out of loot is the single most important part of a raiding guilds existence. How you do it defines how your guild progresses. Both for the members perspective of loot fairness and the leaderships perspective of better gear placement = better progression.

Gear Placement?

Long-time (or veteran) members more than likely will come across some upgrades during your progression, whether big or small. Newer members tend to always be in need of upgrade's at a larger scale, but you don't know if they'll stick around or not. You want to keep both parties happy so that none of them turn tail and leave en masse. The solving of this problem is gear placement. Who do you give the item to so that your guild can progress more as a whole?

What exactly is a loot system?

WoWwiki describes a loot system as "any method to distribute items amongst a group of players."

If you play WoW at all you are already familiar with at least one loot system. This is of course the random roll system. Assuming the group leader has the loot settings set to Group Loot then every time an uncommon or higher item drops a screen comes up asking you to hit need or greed for the item. Then it takes the needy players first and gives each of them a random number generated by the computer. The closest to 100 wins! This is the most basic of loot distribution systems that you can have. Some guilds run using this system solely.

The problem comes when people have seemingly hot streaks or cold streaks on the Blizzard system(or alternatively just using /roll). This is where the more complicated systems come into play.

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