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.
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.
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.