Once again I have been thinking about loot systems and how they work. As you probably know, my current guild works with Suicide Kings (also known as SKG from the name of the mod – Suicide Kings Geo). For the uninitiated, here is a brief run down of how the system works. SKG is based upon having master lists of everybody in the raid. We use a three list system: one for Tier, one for Raid (armour and weapons), and one for Miscellaneous Items (trinkets, relics, off hands, etc). The purpose of having three lists is to ensure that items of equal value are banded together, which makes it fairer (because all suicides are not equal after all).

At the beginning of the system, everyone used a random roll to establish their place. Raider rank members of the guild rolled 500-1000, and non raider rank members rolled 1-500. This ensured that those with Raider rank maintained their first preference for loot (at least to begin with). People who join the guild, as well as PuGs, join the list at the very bottom.

The system then works by having people ‘suicide’ for an item of loot they want. Suiciding simply means you sacrifice your position on the list and move to the bottom. When more than one person suicides, the person highest position wins the item. Everyone in the raid then moves up a position, while the people not in the raid do not. This is SKG’s way of rewarding people for attendance.

I think SKG sounds to be relatively fair in theory. Everyone has a chance at all loot (rather than DEing items because people have insufficient DKP, or other happenings people have heard of). Pugs also get a chance at the loot if no one needs it, which I believe is preferable to it being DE’ed or given to someone for an offset that they will never use. However, there are some major flaws, which I think really need to be addressed.

- There is no real reward for showing up when you have a character who is ‘fully geared’ (to farm content).

- Alts in our system run off the same list as the main – i.e. If I wanted to take Hermia to a run, I would use Saresa’s position on the list to suicide. Saresa has built up a fairly high place on the list by holding back from suicides, and can now take loot that would perhaps be better served going to a new recruit.

- In some ways, luck still plays a fairly major role. A great example is the Tier pieces. I have awfully bad luck when it comes to drops most of the time. I also make basically every required raid (if I had to guess, I would say I have 90% attendance). Through sheer dumb luck, everytime we downed a boss who dropped Tier gear I was away, or they didn’t drop a Hero piece. Of course, if it only dropped when I wasn’t there, all the other Warlocks, as well as the Mages and Hunters, advanced ahead of me on the list. It got to the point where people who attended far less than me had 3/5 of Tier 5, while I had none.

- Pugs can end up ahead of guildies. An instance of this happened today. We had a warlock applying to the guild who we decided not to let in. Now, for some reason or another, they have been present for a couple of raids throughout the application process (three I believe). Through this attendance, and the fact that I suicided for my T5 shoulders last week, they were above me on the list. When 3 Hero T5 Pant tokens dropped today, I felt fairly confident that I would get them (because most everyone else had them or better). Instead, one of the guild mages won them (perfectly fine), a guild alt-become-main got them (OK I suppose, although I still disagree with being able to swap an alt to a main simply because your main is now fully geared), and this app warlock got them. That really ticked me off, because the officers had decided half way through the raid that he would be rejected, because, frankly, he was not at all good.

I think that these issues are a major problem for our guild. The encouraging of alts to raid is a detriment to progression, as is letting upgrades go out of guild. People have no real incentive to show up, which means our core has deteriorated, resulting in the need to recruit and train. Of course, a loot system surely can not be the sole cause of guild trouble, but it helps.

My Ideal Loot System

- Rewards raiders for showing up to farm content

- Rewards raiders for raiding with their mains, despite the fact they may not need anything else from that place.

- Rewards people for showing up to ‘wipefests’ (new difficult content)

- Rewards people of Raider rank (or equivalent) before non-raiders

- Ensures that guild mains ALWAYS get upgrades before pugs or alts

- Discourages people from ‘main swapping’, as this often hinders progression.

- Rewards people for being punctual, reading strats, and being prepared.

- Discourages people from leaving upgrades in order to ‘save’ for more significant upgrades (DKP hoarding)

- Is ultimately beneficial to the guild’s progression.

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6 Responses to “WTB a fair loot system, PST!”
  1. Hello,

    Our guild also uses SK – we’re a late-night guild that raids and we have a lot of family people who only raid when they can. We wanted a system that was “fair” without expecting people to raid. We have 3 lists – need, want and offspec. Loot is allocated in priority fromt he list – you bid need if something is a good upgrade for you, want if it’s something you would like and offspec speaks for itself. We ended up with 3 lists because people weren’t bidding on things because there was a certain item they were waiting for, so we were DE things.

    It’s a hard balance. We take mains to raids over alts and try to encourage people who have taken alts NOT to bid over people trying to gear up a main character.

    As a casual guild, it’s hard for us to reward people for signing for farming, wipefests or whatever so we often have to beg people along and as a result can’t really ask them not to roll on things.

    I’m not sure there is a system that answers it all. For us, SK works best along with careful and repeated discussions on our forums, gentle reminders to people and encouraging people to tell others what they are after and keeping communication open.

    Sorry – waffled on a bit here :P

    Sephrenias last blog post..Is the end in sight for Lorienne?

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  2. Nothing at all wrong with long comments, I enjoy them. I think SK has the potential to be a good system, if it is used for the right sort of guild. There just seems to be so much room for people to abuse the system – perhaps it is best combined with a Loot Council type approach *shrugs*. Maybe this is one of the reasons why I am not a GM!

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  3. My guild uses a system that is like SK but no suicide takes place. You get DKP for showing up on time, each boss kill (extra for first down), and every piece of epic loot that drops. Each item has a set amount of DKP associated to it (nice round #’s here). If you want the item you say so. Everyone who expressed interest in the item has their DKP checked. The one with the most wins, gets the item deducted from their DKP and we move on.

    So, if I show up to every raid, I should have tons of DKP and be most “worthy” of items. There is no real penalty for being a loot whore either as long as you show up enough to offset the amount of gear you acquire.

    Alts run on off-raid nights and work on a separate DKP pool. If your alt is called into a main raid night, then you can use your main’s DKP pool.

    DKP can be infinitely complicated and there are a million ways to do that. Finding out which works best and is simple is quite a task.

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  4. The list of requirements you set forth is a bit hard to bring under one hood. I think that in order to foster progression, the only system which does that is a loot council.

    Provided it can establish and maintain a perception of fairness (in other words, if one of the council members is interested in the loot, he can’t participate the council decision), of course.

    Loot Council tends to be a long affair after each kill, though.

    Gwaendars last blog post..Quick Glance at Death Knight Tanking Talents

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  5. I agree that there is no real hard and fast answer to the problems of loot distribution and, like most things in the world, there isn’t a real way to meet the ideals which we set. I am a fan of loot council as a rule, provided that the people making the decisions really do have an awareness of what each person is doing (how is their attendance? Have they been slacking off as of late? Are they generally prepared on time and willing to listen?). Our guild did have a similar system before, but I think abandoned it because of the amount of time that it takes, just as you said Gwaendar.

    DKP to me also is looking more appealing in some ways. I think DKP allows for people to have time off from the game without significant penalty. It also allows for people who cannot make certain nights, and rewards those who can. Then again, DKP is definitely not a perfect system.

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  6. I agree with Gwaendar that (as you have noted, and suffered thereby) there are too many “rules” in your system.

    Our DKP system only rewards people actually in the raid. We give extra DKP for clearing trash within a fixed timeline. (I think last week it was 10 minutes from MDs up to last kill before Hydross, for 10 DKP.)

    We give DKP for every epic (not including patterns and gems) that drops, whether from trash or bosses. First roll is MAIN only, starting with 1DKP and going by 5s (1 is actually 0 but the add-on we use doesn’t recognize 0; if you win with 1, the item costs 0 DKP).

    And we still end up sharding a lot of stuff. *cry*

    Sure, there can be an issue when someone has tons of DKP and elects to go for an item that is only a minor upgrade, when it might be huge for someone with much lower DKP; however, I can’t recall that ever being an issue. (Which isn’t to say it might be later.) The officers tend to remind folks to think of the raid overall, and that seems to help.

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