Friday, April 24, 2009

A Bad Judgement Call

Many of you are familiar with my DKP posts from a few months back. In one I talked about the typical "pitfalls" that inherently come with them. I have also written about the use of DKP systems to help with policy enforcement. Well not too long ago we ran into an issue in No Vacancy involving a combination of these.

We were working on Sartharion with three drakes up and were having issues with people frequently failing at fire walls and void zones. We had tried as many things as we could think of to get people to pay more attention and fix their mistakes, but nothing seemed to work. So one night I announced that each failure would bring a 50 DKP deduction. It seemed to work as our failure rate decreased dramatically. So we continued with the same policy on subsequent nights of attempts.

However, the policy which worked the first night worked adversely the next. It wasn't that people started failing more, it was the fact that people decided they didn't want to raid anymore. During this night we had people who failed frequently just up and leave the raid. When asked why their reply was simple "I don't want to lose any more DKP." We even had a particularly loot greedy person leave the guild that night.

In the end, we re-evaluated the policy and completely agreed it was unfair. Even though the top DKP earners in the guild had over 1,000 DKP the average was in the 400's. We refunded all DKP and put in a lower penalty.

The moral of this particular story is to approach your penalty and bonus policies in a more methodical way. I randomly chose the 50 DKP as we were starting. More than likely I got the idea out of my head because I watch too much Onyxia Wipe Animation playbacks. But we never sat down and pre-planned it. We didn't think about how it would effect overall performance, just how it was effecting current performance.

This mistake was a costly one for our guild too and it was all my fault. We have not gotten S3D down yet and now we have attendance issues for Ulduar. We lost one member through it and there are a few others who haven't been on as frequently since it (although part of that is because we have let too many people in the guild who aren't used to real progression and really are just in it for the gear farming).

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