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Posts Tagged ‘loot’

Alas had a great post this week about setting up an addon for Suicide Kings loot. It got me thinking about our raid, and our loot system – or lack of one. See, I run as master looter but we don’t do dkp or any of that. We don’t even do Loot Council (I think Loot Council for 10 mans is silly anyway)

Officially our loot rules are “Need before greed, upgrades before side grades, main before offspec, don’t hog the loot”. That leaves a lot of wiggle room but so far it’s worked really well. I can’t tell you how many times two people have rolled on loot, only to have the winner say, “Hey, wait, your bracers are way worse than mine, give it to her instead.”

Or when the other husband and wife team were playing clothies and I’d get a drop, I’d just give it to Falahla anyway and let her take care of it.  I wonder if that’s why Ado levelled another hunter for us?

Have we had some drama? Sure, but the drama has come from two sources:

1. BOEs – when no one in the raid needs them, what to do? Someone always has an alt who wants them. Someone else has an auction spec that could use the cash. Lately I’ve taken to just having everyone roll and whoever wins can do as they like.

2. Alts. We have a fairly stable group of raiders but there are always roster changes. Log can’t make it? Ok bring Kalyon instead of Kerick and bring a different healer in. Now we’ve got a different plate wearer taking those drops, and maybe another int mail person who wants loot that would otherwise go to a raider’s offspec.

Here too the rule is simple: if you came in for us, you get to roll on loot. Again, this can cause drama, but all of our raiders are decent people, grown adults who understand that when it comes down to it we’re here to have fun.

But since I am loot master, I can if necessary be the petty dictator. Let’s say there’s that last point on my list – don’t hog the loot. People are going to have different thresholds of what that means. I keep a running track every night of who has gotten what. If, say, a healer has gotten two drops and a trinket  drops I’ll remind them of that and ask the other healers to roll first. This only applies to main spec! I’ll never punish someone for getting lucky with offspec rolls.

I could see needing a more formal system if we had less reasonable folks around, or there was any tendency to loot drama. In a ten man, though, the raid leader is able to know what her raiders need for drops and head off the drama before it comes. And my problem with most systems is it rewards the “regular” raiders at the expense of people you bring in to help one week. Those are people who are going out of their way to help you, and getting nothing but Valor points for it.

Honestly?  If people demanded a formal loot system, I’d suggest GDKP. Then at least if you don’t get loot you get gold.

I’d love to hear from other ten man raiders – do you use DKP varients, open rolls, loot council, or does it all vanish into the raid leader’s wife’s bags never to be seen again? <whistling>

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So I’ve joined close to a half dozen GDKP raids now, both ToC and ICC. I’ve gotten really lucky with upgrades for both my mage and my resto druid and think I can speak with a bit of authority on the subject. Since “GDKP” seems to be a search term leading people to this blog, I thought I’d post some tips.

First and most importantly: DO NOT BUY GOLD

If you honestly don’t know why, the short version is that gold sellers are thieves, liars, scammers and hackers. They primarily make their gold by hacking accounts, stealing whatever virtual goods are on them, turning it into gold and sending it to mules. Or they’ll turn hacked characters into botted farmers. Everyone knows someone who has been hacked. My own brother was hacked (he has since admitted that maybe making his WoW login name and his main character’s name the same thing was a bad idea). Friends and guildmates have been hacked. It’s not funny.

Gold selling is not a victimless crime.

If you need gold, go read blogs like Greedy Goblin or JustMy2Copper or Phase3Profit. Spend some time grinding gold. Back in TBC I ran the Sunwell dailies religiously for three weeks to afford epic flight. Since then I’ve learned to use the auction house and my own skills better and can usually show up at a GDKP with about 30k gold for Reversion and me to spend.

Digression over, on with the show.

1. Know How It Works

In general, a GDKP will be a 25 man raid of as much of the top raid as can be reasonably cleared. Whoever organizes it is responsible for raid makeup and must balanced geared players with rich ungeared players. The geared players may be coming for one trinket or just the gold; the ungeared players, for gear and to see content they might not get access to otherwise.

When a boss is downed, the loot master will link the drops in raid chat and then take bids on them using an addon that does the auctioning work for him. The minimum bid may be whatever was agreed upon; 1000 gold is pretty common, with recipes and components perhaps lower. There is also an agreed bid increment, usually 100 gold. You place your bid in raid chat. Whoever has the highest bid, gets the item.

At the end of the raid, the pot is divided equally among the raiders.

There may be variations in these rules, such as penalties for being an idiot, or disobeying orders. There may be rules for what happens if you leave early or are kicked from the raid. Get this in writing; ask the raid leader to type the rules in raid chat before the start, for everyone’s protection. If you have to file a complaint later, having the details in raid chat gives Blizzard a place to start their investigations. If all details are conducted over Vent, it’s just your word against theirs.

2. Know The Organizers

First, you’ll want to be sure the raid is going to get somewhere. It’s no fun being locked to a raid ID that only downs Marrowgar. Look for GDKPs run by the top guilds on your servers. Sure, it’s probably their alts that are going but the alts of top raiders are usually well geared and competent.

Second, make sure you can trust them. If XXArthaaasXX is spamming trade for “TOGC25 GDKP run” and he belongs to “Dæthz Knightz”, be careful. The pots can get really big and you don’t want someone walking away with all the gold. Again, big name guilds usually care about their reputation on server and won’t scam someone without a good reason.

3. Be Prepared

If the guy organizing the raid has been spamming trade all week advertising it and asking you to sign up on the guild’s site or the official realm discussion board, don’t expect to get a slot at the last minute by whispering him. You might get lucky, you might not. Follow the rules, sign up or send an in game message ahead of time. They may ask for armory page, specs, gold you have available to spend – don’t be tempted to lie here. Be upfront. A good GDKP is an ongoing phenomenon and you would probably like to be invited back.

Gather your gold together on the character you want to take to the raid before you go. You don’t want to have to zone out halfway through for more gold.

Act like this is a real raid, because it is. Get your flasks, potions, buff food, gemming, and enchants ready beforehand. Bring gems and enchants for anything you might want to equip right away.

Know the fights. Again this goes with knowing the raid. If you have done the first four ICC fights and that’s as far as the GDKP is going, great. If you’ve done the first four but the GDKP advertises that it regularly downs Putricide, then learn the fights you haven’t seen. Watch a general strategy video and read advice on whatever roles you might be asked to perform. Note: not “what role you normally are”. Sometimes they will ask you to play as your off spec, even if your main is better geared. GDKP runs are about filling holes with bodies, not about letting YOU do what you really want. If you want to run ICC as a resto druid and nothing else, join a guild or pay a guild to take you in that role. If you want to pay money for gear, do what the raid leader asks.

Get Vent, if you don’t have it. Any successful GDKP is going to use a voice server; there’s just no other way to manage 25 people. If you are not at least listening in Vent, you may (and probably should) be kicked. You need to know when the raid leader wants you to move, not just do what you think is best.

Get Deadly Boss Mods, or your equivalent mod of choice. Make sure it’s up to date.

4. Know What You Want

Before the fight, go look at the loot tables for every boss you are expecting to down. Write down a post-it note list of what pieces that boss drops that you want, and how much you want it.

Why not just wait and see what drops? Several reasons. First, you want to make a mental budget. If you know the one item you really really want drops from Marrowgar, then if it drops you can spend as much as you want on it, and if it doesn’t drop, go ahead later and spend money on things you didn’t care as much about. On the other hand, if you really want a Gunship drop, then don’t blow all your money on Marrowgar.

If you have an offset that you are thinking about gearing: again, prioritize. Don’t spend 10k on a drop from Marrowgar if your main set might get three or four drops later. But if a piece is going for a song, bid on it! I picked up Niebulung, a caster staff for my offset the last time I ran ICC for the minimum bid because no one wanted it.

A word about BOEs: some bosses drop loot that is Bind on Equip, not Bind on Pickup. Check these while you’re researching. If they happen to be best in slot for you, be prepared to spend a lot of money because chances are, some capitalist on the run will try to buy it to re-sell on the Auction House. Is that person you? Make sure you know what it’s really worth. Don’t spend 2k on primordial saronite if they usually sell for 1800 gold; don’t spend 12k on Marrowgar’s Frigid Eye if it sells for 6k. And remember that the heroic version of the BOEs are NOT BoE; don’t bid on one if you can’t use it! The raid leader will probably hold you to your bid…

5. Bidding strategy

If you’re like me, the moment you see that one of ‘your’ items dropped, your adrenaline kicks in. Forget about the boss fight, this is the real action! Your heart races, your hands shake, you start messing up as you type – and all of a sudden you just bid 18000 gold instead of 1800. Ooops. Or you mistyped and whispered your bid to your friend. Even more oops.

By having your priority list mentioned above, you should have an idea of how high you are willing to go. Start low, see what competition you have. Prices will pretty quickly get to the range where people who don’t want the item that much drop out. Then you either win, or get into a one on one bidding war.

Don’t go over your budget. Make your highest bid amount mentally and stick to it. Conversely, don’t take yourself out of the game prematurely; if you were willing to spend 5k gold on that hat, bid 5k!

If you see a bidding war forming up, you can try the “money dump” method; bid something like 2/3rds of your ‘high bid’, if that will take the amount a good bit higher than where it currently is. This shows your competitors that you are serious, that you have at least that much gold, and that they’d better be serious if they want to compete with you. Psychology is a weird thing. If you sloooowwwly creep up to, say, 5k, in 100 gold increments, you are much more likely to bid 5100 gold than if the price goes from 2k to 5k instantly.

Don’t be afraid to go for broke. Unless you screw up royally, you are going to come out with 1/25th the pot – that’ll at least be repair costs for you until you can earn a little money back. Again, don’t take more gold than you’re willing to spend. Don’t borrow gold from a friend; that’s a good way to ruin the friendship. Borrow gold from your spouse or partner, yes, if you can’t give that money back then you have more problems than I’m going to talk about ;-D

Final Notes

GDKPs are a lot of fun if they’re well run. I highly recommend them. Remember that the other people on the raid are coming for gear or cash, not just the pleasure of your company, and treat them that way. Be respectful and honest. Don’t waste their time; time = gold on these runs and if you waste time, you may find yourself out in the cold.

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GDKP

I think everyone knows what GDKP runs are these days; if not, the quick version is that when loot drops, you bid gold on what you want, high bidder wins, and at the end all the gold spent is divvied out in equal shares to the raiders. Guilds often run GDKP raids for their raiders’ alts as well as a few pugged potential buyers.

Tuesday after the ICC zone buff was raised to 10%, one of the officers of our guild announced they’d be doing a GDKP run of ICC this Saturday. I immediately went to town, clearing out my bank vaults and doing some serious auctioneering. With six 80s between us, Reversion and I have most of the professions covered and mine are especially lucrative; jewelcrafting, enchanting, tailoring, and my pally tank has a glyph business that has been netting us a few hundred gold a week. Basically, Tuesday my mage, who is our auctioneer and has all Reversion’s and my money, had about 14k gold; Saturday we had 32k. I sold a couple primordial saronite from frost badges that my alts had collected but mostly it was bank leftovers, bags, and gems. Also a weird quirk on my server has runed orbs selling for more than 4 times the cost of frozen orbs and I took advantage of that.

Anyway, Saturday rolls around; the raid leader asks Reversion to bring his hunter instead of the druid, which he’s happy to do, and I get an ok to come on Analogue. This will be the first time we’ve actually gotten past Marrowgar on 25 man ICC and I’m looking forward to it immensely. An hour before it’s time to go we hear a horrible thumping and crashing from the garage. We go out and find our washer has walked off the pedestal, fallen on its face, ripped pipes out of the wall and there’s water going everywhere.

Great. The joys of home ownership.

We shut off the water, move the boxes off the floor, start hacking at pipes. Reversion assesses our tools and gear and we make a quick run to Home Depot. Five minutes before raid time, we’ve got a fix that lets us have cold running water, the washer is on its feet and given a tentative “maybe it’s ok” verdict, and we decide to raid.

Marrowgar gets one shot and a pair of caster leather gloves drop, which I buy even though it breaks my Tier 10 2 set bonus; they were just too nice to pass up. Deathwhisper takes two attempts and some nice hunter pants drop for Reversion’s hunter Approximate; we both got lucky and got these pieces cheap as my competitor druid was afk during bidding, and Approximate was the only hunter around.

Then Gunship, and I’m holding my breath the whole time and then it drops: the Abacus, the trinket I’ve been wanting since I first heard of it. The bidding war is fierce but once it gets past 3k gold it’s down to just me and a holy priest; we bid it up to 4.9k before he drops out and lets me have it, telling me privately that if Trauma drops off Rotface he’s not giving up so easily. I tell him it’s on and don’t tell him that I still have close to 20k if Trauma drops and man do I want that mace.

Saurfang gets one-shot. So far the fight that I’ve found the most different on 25 versus 10 man is Deathwhisper; the mind control and the sheer number of adds made that one interesting. Most of the fights are actually easier for me as a healer, since I can concentrate on raid healing and just spam Rejuvs and WG everywhere.

We head to Rotface first. It takes two tries, and the second time we succeed even though one of the pugged guys does not take his small ooze out of the raid – someone managed to pull it out after two minutes. That’s the first time I’ve seen that fight and I enjoyed it even though I ended up dying twice on the second attempt – bad luck with slime puddles.

Trauma, of course, does not drop. Argh. I’d been setting myself up all week but I guess when I’d already got the Abacus I couldn’t be too greedy.

Then we go to Festergut and we wipe and wipe and wipe, mostly by hitting the enrage timer. I end up pulling out my mage, we swap out the worst dps (the aforementioned pugged warrior who didn’t move his slime) and finally – finally – get him down, after a heartbreaker attempt where the last one of us died a nanosecond before he did.

Why am I writing all this up? Because I wanted to emphasize how awesome GDKP runs are for people who have skills, ok gear, and not enough time to commit to a real raid schedule, or just don’t want that pressure regularly. If it had been a “real” guild raid some of the wipes would have been… unpleasant, but because everyone there was a customer as well as a raider, the raid leaders had to put up with a bit of idiocy. The idiots’ gold is just as good as anyone else’s.

It takes gold to make gold of course, but at 80 the gold comes rolling in with minimal effort. Dailies, or auctioneering, or a good profession, add up fast. I’ve never ever bought gold, but I have four characters with dual spec, three with epic Northrend flying, crafted gear, and been a high roller on two GDKP runs in the last four months. And I have a trinket that I’d have given my eye teeth for, a fun afternoon of content that for me was progression, and an achievement in my log.

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An encouragement to anyone out there with alts you’re grinding to 80, wondering if you’ll bother gearing up at top level: it really is easy these days.

With Analogue and Invariant things were hard. I had a list of BiS from each dungeon, then each heroic dungeon, then Analogue ventured into Naxx or OS once in a blue moon and sometimes got a drop.  Analogue was pretty well geared up when Triumph badge gear became readily available; it took her very little time to fill the last few slots and since then she’s slowly but steadily been adding gear improvements from Frost badges, ICC drops, whatever happens her way.

Invariant had about half Triumph gear, half lesser, when I got into a GDKP TOC 25 man run with 8k gold and walked out dripping with epics. For whatever reason, everything that dropped was useful to a mage and nobody else was bidding hardly at all. I got literally a half dozen drops plus a pattern for Bejeweled Wizard Bracers that I used as a license to print money for a while.

So then I get little Divergent up to 80, buy her the made chestpiece and start tanking heroics. Wow. She got drops in the top end heroics pretty fast. I put her away for about two weeks and then the last two days got her out again. Quick rundown:

Patch 3.3.3 dropped, and on our server at least crafting mats dropped too. I picked up the stuff and had the Saronite Swordbreaker wrists (plate tank 245 wrists) made, and bought a Titanium Earthguard Chain for a lot cheaper than I’ve seen it before (actually below the cost of the dragon’s eyes, someone was selling low). I then ran normal HoR once and the shield dropped. Yay! Don’t tell some of the alt tanks in my guild who have been grinding that place for weeks only to lose roles to off-specced dps. And I had enough Triumph badges to buy her pants. So that was four upgrades on Wednesday night.

Thursday we did FoS and PoS on heroic. Got a pair of boots out of FoS, closing out one of my weak spots, Ick’s Rotting Thumb trinket, and finally a weapon to take the place of the Lucky Old Sun. That thing was really ugly and I’m glad to drop it. Spent a few hundred gold on enhancements and bam, all of a sudden she could tank raids. Not ICC, but the rest, sure. I’m hoping to get her into the weekly raid as a tank this week, our server has Patchwerk and it should be easy mode.

So yeah, between badges, made gear, and the new top end heroics, gearing up is easy. If you’re not a tank, buy one for fast queue times and go crazy.

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