DKP is the worst thing ever

I don’t like DKP systems in toto—independent of the specifics of a particular system’s rules. There are a variety of reasons for my dislike, some stronger than others, but it boils down to the fact that they’re unnecessary, hurt more than they help, and cover a symptom of a problem rather than address it.

I encountered a DKP situation recently (via myself and other folks from the guild I’m in joining in another guild’s DKP raid) so since the topic came up I thought I’d share my thoughts on the matter generically, from a broad view.

Here’s what’s wrong with DKP systems…

It’s for people who don’t trust each other

If you need a DKP system then you fundamentally don’t trust the people you’re playing with.

I can only remember one actual loot dispute over raid attendance, so it happens rarely to say the least. We don’t use a DKP system, I argue, because we all trust each other. And as individuals we know that if we don’t get an item now that we’ll get it later—we won’t be screwed out of an item by another person.

As well, if someone genuinely needs an item more than someone else then we agree usually by consensus that the person should get it. This works both to distribute specific items and also as a control against players who feel their character is eligible for every item that drops (to put some hyperbole on it).

More often than not we pass on things, preferring to defer to make sure everyone is as geared as they can be. This is ideally how it should be, with friends cooperating toward a common goal and everyone helping each other to achieve it.

DKP exists where trust and friendship are vacant. The problem isn’t a lack of a DKP system, it’s the perceived need of having one in the first place. Correcting that is where effort should be placed.

However you define your enjoyment of WoW, I doubt that earning DKP points was why you started to play the game. DKP bleeds your time, energy, and fun away from playing with friends and toward playing a system divorced or, worse, in competition with your friends.

It shifts focus away from the game

DKP encourages participation in the system rather than the game of friends coming together to have adventures. It becomes “I must attend tonight’s raid to earn DKP” instead of “I want to play with my friends” or “we have to kill this boss—tonight’s the night!”

Certainly this isn’t the case with everyone, people absolutely go to a raid specifically hoping for a drop, but DKP pulls focus toward being about gear more than about playing with friends. It hurts more than it helps.

It removes, not adds, hope

While playing with friends is the larger reason, everyone who joins a raid has a hope of getting a drop and that hope helps motivate attendance. But a DKP system can shut that down and override other factors, shutting out the possibility of getting a drop. Without that motivation people can be  disincentivized from playing in a manner they otherwise wouldn’t be.

Getting a raid together can be difficult enough as it is. There don’t need to be more obstacles to it.

Maintenance multiplies

Tasks involved with maintaining a DKP system for a guild would, it seems to me, snowball, and not just for guild leaders and/or whoever’s in charge of accounting. It increases the load on players, too, who already have enough to keep track of with their various gems, enchantments, talents, skills, rotations, and achievements.

Now if they want to raid then there is yet even more to keep track of besides their role in boss fights.

The amount of work to manage a guild’s DKP seems, at least on the surface, to be monumental which makes it even more tragic.

Objections to loot rolls are fundamentally petty

Purely from anecdotal evidence I’d say the primary reason for DKP systems is to reward attendance. That is to say: keep someone who spent one night in a raid from getting an item that someone else spent the past four nights trying to get.

My reaction to that is attending a raid is a sunk cost—it’s spent whether or not anything drops. You don’t know going in whether anything useful is going to be available at all. Whether someone was in a raid 100 times or 1 times isn’t relevant, the availability of the items is wholly independent of who showed up for it.

But the odds of getting a drop are greater than 1-100. The more you attend a raid the more likely you’re going to get an item without having a DKP system in place.

Hippie sensibilities

Guilds can and should be places for friends to have adventures together. DKP systems exist where that camaraderie is lacking. If you’re going to spend effort on DKP, direct that energy toward healing the wound that has spawned that mistrust instead—the benefits are better over the long term.

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Posted on November 22, 2010, in World of Warcraft. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I agree with the sentiment but the fact is how can there be trust in a PUG, which seems to be where things are going. I do however, want Cata raiding to be harder to discourage PUGging everything. There are alot of jerks in WOW, and that isnt going to change if people can do the highest level content with any old group. Being in a guild requires that you think of others more than yourself, to make the whole group stronger. The jerks that I speak of do what they do because they are not in a guild, therefore they can do whatever they want without consequence. Even after they do what they do and get a bad rep, name or realm change and voila!

  2. Accountability does not demand distrust. Just because a group of people decide to assign a monetary system to distribute loot does not mean they don’t trust each other. You are making an assumption with no foundation.

    Judging by the language you used in your post, you have never managed a DKP system. Your whole section about how difficult it must be to manage it is purely speculation (aka bullshit).

    I think you’re 180 degrees off when you talk about DKP shifting focus from the game. A lot of raiders(i would say most) are interested in getting better gear to down further content. Knowing that you are earning a slice of the pie as you show up for every raid is an assurance that you aren’t wasting your time.

    “Whether someone was in a raid 100 times or 1 times isn’t relevant, the availability of the items is wholly independent of who showed up for it.” – You.

    I really enjoyed this sentence.

    In game, without any external constraints, you are absolutely correct. However, you completely miss the point. DKP is a system designed to balance out that injustice. You look at justice in the distribution of loot through a tiny lens, accounting for only one raid. However, a DKP system, when executed properly, has a broader scope, rewarding player contribution and participation on a grand scale.

    Your perspective is so obviously warped by the fact that you are the person who put in the one night of effort and didn’t get what you wanted. You might see things differently in the other persons shoes watching you walk away with the epic loot that you’ve been spending your weekends working for.

    You say attending a raid is “a sunk cost.” It’s true, that time has been spent whether or not you get anything. But there is a way to reward you for showing up and not getting anything, but sticking it out anyways.

    In closing, I think your arguments were emotional, speculative, and lacking solid foundation. Hope and trust can’t be objectively measured. Raid attendance and progression can. DKP.

  3. @Joshua…

    >Accountability does not demand distrust.

    The two hold hands. There would be no need for accountability if there was trust.

    >Just because a group of people decide to assign a monetary system to distribute loot does not mean they don’t trust each other.

    Certainly friends can use DKP with other friends, but at the core, the reason for such systems is the fear that someone will get something they don’t deserve and to protect people who feel they have something to lose.

    >Judging by the language you used in your post, you have never managed a DKP system. Your whole section about how difficult it must be to manage it is purely speculation (aka bullshit).

    There shouldn’t be •any• additional effort. Any amount is too much. But my estimation of difficulty extends entirely from what I’ve seen. I’ve never managed it, no, I’ve only seen it from the other side and what I’ve seen has been bad.

    >A lot of raiders(i would say most) are interested in getting better gear to down further content.

    That’s a fair criticism. Not everyone plays for the same reasons.

    >Knowing that you are earning a slice of the pie as you show up for every raid is an assurance that you aren’t wasting your time.

    Assurance is the key word. It means that you don’t have to worry about being screwed. In other words, you need a system to assure it. That’s the problem.

    >DKP is a system designed to balance out that injustice.

    Another important word choice, injustice.

    >Your perspective is so obviously warped by the fact that you are the person who put in the one night of effort and didn’t get what you wanted.

    That’s wholly incorrect. To use a quote of yours, that’s: purely speculation (aka bullshit).

    >You might see things differently in the other persons shoes watching you walk away with the epic loot that you’ve been spending your weekends working for.

    Obviously I wouldn’t since I’ve been playing without a DKP system and I’m still playing, still raiding, &c. As I mentioned in the post, the guild I’m in doesn’t use or need such a system.

    >You say attending a raid is “a sunk cost.” It’s true, that time has been spent whether or not you get anything. But there is a way to reward you for showing up and not getting anything, but sticking it out anyways.

    The reward is playing with your friends—there is no system necessary for that, which is my point.

  4. >The two hold hands. There would be no need for accountability if there was trust.

    That’s an awfully idealistic thing to say. You’re pegging “accountability” as this awful thing. Trust or not, accountability is a good thing, in my book. “It helps keep honest people honest.”

    >Certainly friends can use DKP with other friends, but at the core, the reason for such systems is the fear that someone will get something they don’t deserve and to protect people who feel they have something to lose.

    No, at the core they are to reward players for their efforts, beyond the scope of one individual raid.

    >There shouldn’t be •any• additional effort. Any amount is too much. But my estimation of difficulty extends entirely from what I’ve seen. I’ve never managed it, no, I’ve only seen it from the other side and what I’ve seen has been bad.

    That’s just silly. I don’t know how you quantify that. By what standard do you say Need > Greed, MS > OS, or friends distributing loot isn’t too much effort but DKP is.

    >Assurance is the key word. It means that you don’t have to worry about being screwed. In other words, you need a system to assure it. That’s the problem.

    That is a very pessimistic outlook. Here’s what it actually means, though.
    assurance |əˈ sh oŏrəns|
    noun
    1 a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise

    >That’s wholly incorrect. To use a quote of yours, that’s: purely speculation (aka bullshit).

    Perhaps.

    >The reward is playing with your friends—there is no system necessary for that, which is my point.

    Your guild is using a system whether you’re willing to admit it or not. MS > OS rolling is a system. giving loot to the person who needs it most is a system. DKP is just a different one.

    Thanks for the response

    ps- don’t forget to enchant your ring and bracers, and get your 2nd socket for that belt. actually… why are you wearing spirit gear?

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