The first part of this post, looked at Buzzkill’s blog recounting the DKP practices of Nihilum under the authority of Awake. In this part, Buzzkill describes the DKP system in the post-Awake era, and how it slowly descended into a loot dictatorship before being transformed into a proper loot council for the formation of Ensidia. From here on the text is taken directly from Buzzkill’s blog, with my own comments in red:
Post-Awake Dkp Systems Aka Things Getting Better
After Awake got booted out of the guild, things got much better. We still used dkp as an indicator of who got what, but mostly for attendance tracking and everything got much fairer towards general members of the guild. Kungen never really cared about it apart from when the items in question were important to the raid, namely weapons and trinkets, and he wasn’t there for farm anyway, so the bulk of the decision making fell on Cloze, a senior officer liked by the majority. So what could possibly go wrong? Apart from Cloze being a bitter Dane who was waiting for glaives for a year, and threatening to quit almost every time they didn’t drop, nothing really. Nothing went wrong for me at least and the rest of the people he liked. See, Cloze, as much as he was respected and liked by mostly everyone, he was in fact a guy who, much like myself, favored his friends and good players over annoying f**ks and scrubs, so not everyone was happy about it. As time passed, he more and more ignored dkp, giving out items to people whom he (and some people in the CL chat) thought more worthy than the rest. He still likes to call Muqq and me the biggest benefactors of his method, saying we both got truckloads of stuff when we shouldn’t have, and even though I’d like to call him a liar on that, it was kind of true. Only there were more people on the list (Danes!) and hey, who can blame the guy, he chose the right people to reward for their efforts!
With the expansion on the horizon, loot became more and more irrelevant, and I think that most had pretty good gear in Sunwell, so I guess the system worked. A much wider range of people got their stuff and were adequately geared for progress than before, and maybe not everyone had the same chance of getting an upgrade when they deserved it, I personally believe (and it’s not the lootwhore in me saying this) that this system had nothing to do with us losing world firsts in Sunwell. It’s not that the core and support wasn’t geared, it’s the fact that it either wasn’t present or hadn’t played well was the bigger factor. I don’t remember if many people whined about the new system, but it was surely a step up from the Awake era and it might be memories of the horrid loot distribution under him that made us all much happier when he was gone and people that deserved loot actually got it. My only complaint about this dkp era is that Kungen gave the KJ legendary bow to Ahoq over anyone else, even with the whole CL channel yelling and screaming not to do it. Such a waste of a perfectly good item… a big thank you to the hunters for managing to screw up the simplest jobs they had on Kil’Jaeden was 98 legendary bows dropping in a month, as opposed to 1 glaive in a year for a class that pissed blood for the raid every week, real funny, loot gods.
How Nihilum even functioned as a guild has to be something of a mystery. Imagine any normal guild made up of everyday players, and then imagine the drama that would ensue when an established DKP system turned into “I’m giving my friends the item’s they want and the rest I don’t really care about.” Choosing a distribution system as a guild is no easy task and finding one that people agree on can be tricky, but arbitrarily overriding that system is a recipe for disaster.
An interesting thing to pick up on from Buzzkill’s last paragraph is the awarding of the KJ legendary bow to Ahoq. Presumably, this was because he had more DKP than other potential recipients and was therefore entitled to the bow. However, as Buzzkill notes, entitlement is not equivalent to desert. There was clearly a feeling amongst the officers and class leaders that although he was entitled to the bow, he in no way deserved it, and in this case entitlement should be overridden in favour of desert. How desert plays a part in distribution systems and how wanting to reward desert has seen distribution systems evolve over the years is one aspect of my current research, and something I will be touching on a lot more in future posts.
Ensidia Loot System – Approaching Perfection
The loot system was naturally one of the biggest concerns I had when it came to Ensidia, and all my fears were quickly dissolved with the introduction of the council system. It was simply the best thing I’ve experienced in WoW on that front. The council was made out of class leaders and guild masters, who would vote on the person that should get the item. For the most part, and I’m talking heavily over 90%, there were no issues, drama or arguments over it. There were some hiccups though, mostly involving certain classes and players whining about them not being viable in the upcoming instance due to their class leaders and more important core members getting the bulk of the stuff over them, but nothing that Mek couldn’t solve in the everyday whine flood he was dealing with. Every now and then he’d mention in CL chat how this or that person is discontent over the fact he hasn’t gotten an item in months, while Muqq has everything he needs and more. This person, who’s name might or might not rhyme with Geoy is irrelevant.
The most annoying part of the whole loot council was listening to Tun argue with rogues about items, I tapped out of more “this is a rogue trinket! No, this is a druid trinket” wars that I can think of, which for me is pretty much the most annoying discussion in WoW imaginable. Scrubclasses arguing over who needs an earring more, whooptydo, where’s the closest cliff that I can throw myself off of? Superior Warlock and Mage classes had our stuff sorted out properly, I don’t remember ever having a dispute over item distribution with Ekyu, we had s**t sorted like it was supposed to be, always knowing who is getting what and when they’re getting it. Of course, it all got more complicated with shadow priests becoming better in raids and consequently greedier and joining the fray. At least we only had Muqq to listen to, since it’s not like he cared enough about other priests to fight for their gear. Narkara (aka the loot octopus, since he never had enough tendrils to loot as much s**t as he wanted), was happy with getting anything, and no one really cared about Eoy getting stuff, so there were no loot wars over his items really.
There was slight corruption involved as well, but nothing that would be outside the norm. Obviously the council tended to vote on their friends over people they didn’t necessarily like and wanted out of the guild, but since GMs were ever present and actually cared about the distribution, the atmosphere in the guild and fairness, this was curbed down to a minimum, where they’d veto certain items going to a preferred person, but instead going to a tard whining how he never gets anything. I never really had my finger on the pulse of the guild when it came to these subjects, but I feel that most were satisfied with the system and it was definitely the best thing for progress. The core was decked, everyone that we needed were taken care of and apart from these smaller instances, I don’t think there was ever anything resembling a real loot drama, as opposed to constant whining and bickering in Nihilum when it came to giving anything to anyone.