DKP vs Loot Council
 
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DKP vs Loot Council

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Soupoftheday
(@soupoftheday)
Eminent Member

Recently I've been asked a "much debated" question by my guild in our discord.

"How will loot be distributed in our raids?"

My intention is to use a Loot Council and have experienced class leaders in place to assist the council with any difficult decisions. Some of the guild agree, some prefer a DKP style system.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic, reasons for and against, examples of scenarios from your own experiences etc.

I'd also like to invite my Guildies to use this forum as an open channel for discussion.

I'll leave a poll too, you can change your vote at anytime if you change your opinions after reading this thread.

Thanks,
Soup

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Topic starter Posted : 16/04/2019 1:31 am
Merode
(@merode)
Estimable Member

DKP makes personal issues a non-issue and in large guilds those are certain to happen. In case of council, people might suggest there's some bias and there might be because of human nature. Even if there won't be any, people might feel unhappy anyway, just not share it.

In every guild I was part of, there was DKP with certain exceptions (MT etc).

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Posted : 16/04/2019 1:37 am
Nymis
(@nymis)
Reputable Member

DKP makes personal issues a non-issue and in large guilds those are certain to happen. In case of council, people might suggest there's some bias and there might be because of human nature. Even if there won't be any, people might feel unhappy anyway, just not share it.

In every guild I was part of, there was DKP with certain exceptions (MT etc).

DKP also has "personal bias" because it's made and designed by people. It might seem fairer because it involves numbers, but numbers do nothing but add another layer of complexity and ambiguity to the same thought process behind Loot Council, which is often to reward people based on attendance and performance.

It's biased because at the end of the day, someone still has to decide how to award those DKP points, which activities are worth DKP points, how much each activity ranks against each other in terms of DKP points, which items are worth how many DKP points and so forth. Not to mention the fact that you have to constantly come up with systems to prevent people from abusing whatever system you have in place: issues such as DKP hoarding, DKP collusion to have minimum bids on items, etc.

And also, in every guild I was part of LC was used LoL If you have capable, competent and trustworthy leaders, it's the best possible system. That's why LC survived over the years whereas DKP or EP/GP is barely used by most guilds nowadays.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 2:09 am
Nymis
(@nymis)
Reputable Member

I'll be copying and pasting this from a different discussion because it's relevant.

The problem I have with DKP is that, at the end of the day, with the amount of effort you'd have to put into that system in order to make it work you might as well put it into refining your criteria and judgment for Loot Council. Even so, it would still be an inferior system to Loot Council given that corrective measures against unforeseen circumstances can only be accounted for a priori in a DKP system whereas the Loot Council can and will always step in and apply as soon as unforeseen circumstances occur. In other words, if something unforeseen and undesirable happens, you have to oblige by the rules you've set in with DKP, whereas with Loot Council you can always step in and say "no, we won't do this, and here is why".

Even if you were to put your mind up to the task of designing a DKP system which:

a) adequately accounts for the value of each DKP eligible activity in terms with some objective quantifiable metric and records these activities flawlessly
b) provides an adequate minimum bid for each and every single item inside a raid proportional to that item's utility and rarity against arranged bids
c) counters DKP hoarding and inflation without punishing veterans
d) rewards a different number of DKP points for a different variety of raids progress (progress raids, farm raids, more difficult bosses etc.)
e) confers a motivating method of converting DKP points from one phase to another as more raids become available

You could still have undesirable situations where Warlocks are getting an over the mages even though they're doing DPS that's worse than a Hunter's pet in that current content phase. That situation might be fair from a DKP perspective and it might be fair from the Warlock's perspective, but it would definitely be a loss for the whole raid - whereas with Loot Council, I can step in and see if I can explain it to my fellow Warlocks that it's more important right now that we think as a raid group and less so about who can get which epic items first, that their patience and perseverance will not be forgotten and it will be their day in later content patches and onward where they will be favored over the mages on these matters. Or sometimes it's the other way around, and I will step in and say "Warlocks have received nothing in the past 2 months, let's allow this drop go to them this time around because otherwise I fear they might be leaving for other guilds soon".

Even if they disagree with me, I believe that a genuine, human explanation is far better than a "it's just numbers, bro" excuse.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 2:19 am
Merode
(@merode)
Estimable Member

DKP also has "personal bias" because it's made and designed by people. It might seem fairer because it involves numbers, but numbers do nothing but add another layer of complexity and ambiguity to the same thought process behind Loot Council, which is often to reward people based on attendance and performance.

It's biased because at the end of the day, someone still has to decide how to award those DKP points, which activities are worth DKP points, how much each activity ranks against each other in terms of DKP points, which items are worth how many DKP points and so forth. Not to mention the fact that you have to constantly come up with systems to prevent people from abusing whatever system you have in place: issues such as DKP hoarding, DKP collusion to have minimum bids on items, etc.

DKP has no personal bias, at least in sensible guilds. There should be rules posted on the forum from day one, which clearly state what awards DKP. In case of my guilds it was time spent in raids and boss kills (first kills with a little bonus). There's also loot table with price of each item. If there are some concerns about price of particular item, it is discussed. This way, if you spend time in raids and contribute, you're going to have most DKP. It rewards attendance and performance without need for human judgement. It also plays into human psychology, because even if you didn't get any loot or raid turned out a total failure, you still earned some DKP which in your head means some progress.

And also, in every guild I was part of LC was used LoL If you have capable, competent and trustworthy leaders, it's the best possible system. That's why LC survived over the years whereas DKP or EP/GP is barely used by most guilds nowadays.

99% of time it might be true, but then again there are stories about GMs literally ninjaing items. Just the other day a guest on Countdown To Classic mentioned his GM ninjaing one half of Thunderfury. I understand however that this is a very radical example. Nevertheless I still think that loot distribution based on a couple people's subjective judgement is bad choice and will eventually make people unhappy. Numbers are great because numbers are objective.

I honestly don't know any guild on my realm during Vanilla that wouldn't use DKP. Loot council might work in case of guilds made of RL friends.

Even if you were to put your mind up to the task of designing a DKP system which:
a) adequately accounts for the value of each DKP eligible activity in terms with some objective quantifiable metric and records these activities flawlessly
b) provides an adequate minimum bid for each and every single item inside a raid proportional to that item's utility and rarity against arranged bids
c) counters DKP hoarding and inflation without punishing veterans
d) rewards a different number of DKP points for a different variety of raids progress (progress raids, farm raids, more difficult bosses etc.)
e) confers a motivating method of converting DKP points from one phase to another as more raids become available

You could still have undesirable situations where Warlocks are getting an over the mages even though they're doing DPS that's worse than a Hunter's pet in that current content phase. That situation might be fair from a DKP perspective and it might be fair from the Warlock's perspective, but it would definitely be a loss for the whole raid - whereas with Loot Council, I can step in and see if I can explain it to my fellow Warlocks that it's more important right now that we think as a raid group and less so about who can get which epic items first, that their patience and perseverance will not be forgotten and it will be their day in later content patches and onward where they will be favored over the mages on these matters. Or sometimes it's the other way around, and I will step in and say "Warlocks have received nothing in the past 2 months, let's allow this drop go to them this time around because otherwise I fear they might be leaving for other guilds soon".

Even if they disagree with me, I believe that a genuine, human explanation is far better than a "it's just numbers, bro" excuse.

The thing is, if those rules apply to all people, it will be mostly (but not perfectly) just. I don't like your example with warlocks. In my opinion if the item IS designed for your class, you might get it. Even if it will not be the best thing from min-maxing perspective of your guild. However some items are strictly limited to a group of classes which should also be clearly stated on your forum (not everything is a hunter weapon). There's no need to come up with rules, because most of the time you're copying some better guild's rules (at least in our case) and just adjust it.

I would also like to mention that there are two versions of DKP. One is with bidding which might be very weak and then I agree with you. The other one is with fixed item prices and people with most DKP are simply asked if they want them. There are also some sensible rules: if you have , you won't get ..

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Posted : 16/04/2019 2:21 am
emberfiend
(@emberfiend)
Active Member

I think there is a decent case for both.

Loot council: risk of abuse, more efficient
DKP: fairer per-person, less efficient

I lean DKP - does it really matter if a drop goes to someone less optimal if they put in the time? - but what really matters is what your guildies are keen on. Poll them, discuss it, poll them again.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 2:35 am
Nymis
(@nymis)
Reputable Member

DKP has no personal bias, at least in sensible guilds. There should be rules posted on the forum from day one, which clearly state what awards DKP. In case of my guilds it was time spent in raids and boss kills (first kills with a little bonus). There's also loot table with price of each item. If there are some concerns about price of particular item, it is discussed. This way, if you spend time in raids and contribute, you're going to have most DKP. It rewards attendance and performance without need for human judgement. It also plays into human psychology, because even if you didn't get any loot or raid turned out a total failure, you still earned some DKP which in your head means some progress.

Just because you announce the rules a priori does not mean there's no bias involved. If it's subject to be discussed then there is inherently a bias in it, don't you think? And what do you mean "without human judgment" - it still takes human judgment to decide who gets what DKP where and when and how much at what point in the game, right? Not to mention how, when and for how much you can convert that DKP from one raid to another - so on and so forth. This is like trying to write a law for every case and sub-case and situation in existence versus judging matters on a case by case basis.

And having LC doesn't mean you abandon all and every form of non-subjective metering. You can still do a simple attendance list at the start of every raid just like you would on DKP, and still demand a certain percentage/number of minimum raids to be attended before you consider people for loot.
his GM ninjaing one half of Thunderfury

If you think throwing your guild away for half of a Thunderfury is worth it, you probably didn't have that good of a guild to begin with - but allowing Rogues to get TF because tanks had to spend all their DKP on tank items is just as silly. Given a situation where you're forced to trust some stranger, I think you can safely trust the person who has the most to lose in case of a bad call.
Nevertheless I still think that loot distribution based on a couple people's subjective judgement is bad choice and will eventually make people unhappy. Numbers are great because numbers are objective.

But those numbers are still arbitrarily chosen by people. And like I said, the problem with DKP is that if something unexpected happens, something neither you nor anyone who designed that system accounted for it beforehand - there is nothing you can do about it. You can't step in and say "wait, hold on, this isn't right we can't do this" - even if you're right and what you're proposing is the fair thing to do, even if most people agree that is the case.
Loot council might work in case of guilds made of RL friends.

That's definitely where Loot Council doesn't work LoL

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Posted : 16/04/2019 2:43 am
Merode
(@merode)
Estimable Member

Just because you announce the rules a priori does not mean there's no bias involved. If it's subject to be discussed then there is inherently a bias in it, don't you think? And what do you mean "without human judgment" - it still takes human judgment to decide who gets what DKP where and when and how much at what point in the game, right? Not to mention how, when and for how much you can convert that DKP from one raid to another - so on and so forth. This is like trying to write a law for every case and sub-case and situation in existence versus judging matters on a case by case basis.

And having LC doesn't mean you abandon all and every form of non-subjective metering. You can still do a simple attendance list at the start of every raid just like you would on DKP, and still demand a certain percentage/number of minimum raids to be attended before you consider people for loot.

What do you mean by bias in DKP? It's like saying there's bias with money in that somebody decided how much bread and water costs. The rules of DKP apply to everyone, even GM (with exception of MT/OT). Loot council however might reward Johnny instead of Maggie, because Johnny is Mr Popular and Maggie is silent dweller. Both members raid regularly so it's hard to say there's bias, but you can tell Maggie is upset about it after a couple weeks of being second class citizen.

It's as easy as saying - one hour of raiding is 1DKP, boss is 3DKP, BWL boss is 5DKP. And then it applies to both Johnny and Maggie and if Maggie is unhappy, it's only because Maggie didn't have time to raid. Still, if they are good guildmates, Johnny can pass on item so Maggie is happy.

(...) but allowing Rogues to get TF because tanks had to spend all their DKP on tank items is just as silly.

As I said, MT and even first OT weren't subjected to DKP and had absolute priority on tanking gear.

But those numbers are still arbitrarily chosen by people.

But it also applies to everyone, so it's hard for it to be biased if creator is also subjected to it.

And like I said, the problem with DKP is that if something unexpected happens, something neither you nor anyone who designed that system accounted for it beforehand - there is nothing you can do about it. You can't step in and say "wait, hold on, this isn't right we can't do this" - even if you're right and what you're proposing is the fair thing to do, even if most people agree that is the case.

Can you name any example? In my experience nothing extraordinary ever happened that required DKP rules to be rewritten.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 2:55 am
Nymis
(@nymis)
Reputable Member

There are also some sensible rules: if you have Azuresong Mageblade, you won't get Staff of Dominance..

Like I said, with all the time and effort you're putting in designing these rules and exceptions you might as well sink into refining your loot decision process.
I lean DKP - does it really matter if a drop goes to someone less optimal if they put in the time? - but what really matters is what your guildies are keen on. Poll them, discuss it, poll them again.

Yes, there can be a lot of bias with LC, that is why having objective perspectives when deciding who gets loot is of utmost importance.
Those perspectives are the only thing that can validate your claims against any accusation of personal bias - because they represent the sole means by which your judgment on the loot council can be challenged by others effectively. So it's not that it would burn my soul to let Warlocks get a Mageblade before Mages, but if my guiding perspective in terms of loot distribution isn't grounded on anything serious or objective and I'm letting the Warlocks get that because "whatever, they put in just as much time as anyone else", I'm going to be inviting all sorts of nasties into my raid, because it tells them that "time invested in raids" is my guiding perspective on who should get loot and they stop caring about other relevant factors (performance, consumables etc.).

Philosophically, I think it all comes down to collectivism vs individualism - do you want what is best for the collective or do you want what is best for the individual. They both have pros and cons, but I lean on the collectivist side of things when it comes to raids because they should be, in theory, collectivist in nature on the long run. People thinking as a group will always be ahead of those who think as individuals.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 2:57 am
Merode
(@merode)
Estimable Member

Philosophically, I think it all comes down to collectivism vs individualism - do you want what is best for the collective or do you want what is best for the individual. They both have pros and cons, but I lean on the collectivist side of things when it comes to raids because they should be, in theory, collectivist in nature on the long run. People thinking as a group will always be ahead of those who think as individuals.

I guess we just had different goals. Me and my guild, we realized we wouldn't be the best guild even on our realm. It was probably more about fun in our case. I can't imagine joining guild wherein it'd predetermined by council what I'll be wearing and when. I believe in commitment and reward for it.

I guess what you described might have workd in 3-4 best guilds in the world.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 3:03 am
Nymis
(@nymis)
Reputable Member

What do you mean by bias in DKP?[...]
It's as easy as saying - one hour of raiding is 1DKP, boss is 3DKP, BWL boss is 5DKP.

I am not saying that the way the rules are being applied is biased - I am saying that the way these rules are being conceived is biased and prone to misjudgment, exactly the same as the Loot Council. At least with LC you can appeal that decision and have a conversation right then and there about it - with DKP you can't really rollback and say "we're not applying these rules here today because reasons", otherwise you're back on LC.

For example: what if I think one hour of raiding is worth 1.5 DKP if it's progress or 0.5 DKP if you're getting carried as a Trial/regular Raider? And you mean to say that the first tank and spank bosses of MC are worth just as much as the Rag - that doesn't sound fair. What about aqual quints, how much DKP should that be worth? What if I'm raiding with the most expensive consumables on me as a mage for an extra 100 DPS - should I get as much extra DKP as someone who's raiding with the most expensive consumables as a Warlock while only pulling an extra 20 DPS, even though his consumables are much cheaper than mine?

The more you wrap your head around designing the perfect DKP system the more you realize how impossible that task is - and consistently applying bad and biased decisions, even if you apply them fairly to everyone, doesn't relieve the problem. It just pointlessly over-complicates matters, and you're still down to human decisions in the end, except everyone's more confident because you've expressed the exact metrics in numbers over time instead of quick and educated rational decisions taken on the spot with a threat meter, a damage meter, the Class Lead and an attendance sheet.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 3:09 am
Nymis
(@nymis)
Reputable Member

I guess we just had different goals. Me and my guild, we realized we wouldn't be the best guild even on our realm. It was probably more about fun in our case. I can't imagine joining guild wherein it'd predetermined by council what I'll be wearing and when.

I'm not doing that either and I certainly don't plan that either! But when loot drops, you still want to maximize your group's potential, right? Even if you're not the best on the server, you'd still want to get better as a group doing what you do.

I embrace the bias and I would rather stay open about it and let people contest decisions factually rather than contest DKP points just like I did up there. I'd rather talk damage/threat meters, attendance sheets, AH prices and so forth than DKP points (why is this worth as much as that, etc.).

If I say "I want the best upgrade for our guild, we've decided this class should get it for the following reasons, we've decided this person from this class should get it for these reasons" - I think it allows players to contest this decision more easily saying "nah, this item is better for this other class" or "nah, this other dude could use a better improvement with it" and then we can explain what we've seen on the damage meters and threat meters and come to a consensus together - instead of saying: "he had the most DKP, nothing else matters, conversation is over."

The most important thing about taking good decisions in my opinion is allowing people to contest them. If you don't trust the loot council (and you shouldn't) try to poke holes in their logic as much as you can - it's the only way they can improve their process.

Predetermination is just a guideline, even if an item is "destined" for mages I'm still going to look at the threat meters and pass if they're up there. Arming mages with powerful weapons is stupid if they're going to kill themselves (and the raid) with them LoL I don't think you can design a DKP system to factor in these... sort of people.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 3:21 am
Merode
(@merode)
Estimable Member

I understand the sentiment but with such cold logic, hunters will always be lower in DPS than rogues and fury warriors. Same with warlocks having lower dps than mages, not to mention warlocks will be higher on threat. So the conclusion is, game is biased in that some classes perform better. LoL Would these classes be considered worse in the eyes of council? I hoenstly don't know, since this system is new to me.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 3:51 am
emberfiend
(@emberfiend)
Active Member

Nymis, you seem keen on quantifying things, so here's a thought: what if regular upgrades keep people excited about raiding? Roughly speaking, DKP ensures that the interval between upgrades is minimized for each person. What is an excited warlock who puts in extra effort over the following two weeks worth to the guild, as opposed to an extra 0.07% raid DPS from giving it to the mage? 😛

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Posted : 16/04/2019 3:57 am
Nymis
(@nymis)
Reputable Member

I understand the sentiment but with such cold logic, hunters will always be lower in DPS than rogues and fury warriors. Same with warlocks having lower dps than mages, not to mention warlocks will be higher on threat. So the conclusion is, game is biased in that some classes perform better. LoL Would these classes be considered worse in the eyes of council? I hoenstly don't know, since this system is new to me.

As a Warlock class lead, I would have to consult with them and see their sentiments on the matter. This is yet another thing DKP cannot account for - like I said, if I'm stepping in saying "Warlocks haven't received a piece of loot in 2 months, let this go to them" and people will say "yeah, that's reasonable" it's fair game.

Trying to account for this in DKP is damn impossible. Should Warlocks have the same rights as Mages in the first patches? No, because Mages do more damage, their consumables are more expensive, the upgrades on them are more justified. Should Warlocks always be behind Mages? No, because that's bullshit to them. Where do we draw the line? As far away to give items to the Mages, as often as we need to keep the Warlocks playing. You can't design point system that can do a better job than people talking it over. Human problems require human solutions.
Roughly speaking, DKP ensures that the interval between upgrades is minimized for each person. What is an excited warlock who puts in extra effort over the following two weeks worth to the guild, as opposed to an extra 0.07% raid DPS from giving it to the mage? 😛

But effort and need involved in the raid is not leveled out evenly. If you're just looking at it from the perspective of "how many raiding hours did everyone contribute" then yeah, DKP does make sense. But tanks for instance put in a lot more effort for the raid and the raid needs them to be well geared. Even people in favor of DKP agree you can't make them roll for items the same as other classes.

An item which gives a mage 0.07% extra damage goes to that mage because he's doing 20-50% more damage than the Warlock behind him and because he's paying for some consumables that the Warlock is probably not paying - or he's paying them at a different price, who knows.
That extra 0.07% raid damage means faster clear times, fewer wipes and so forth. That extra 0.07% damage also means that people will be less likely to think "oh, he's a biased asshole, he gave that item because of X, Y, Z reasons" and more likely to think "alright, he gave that item to him because of extra raid damage, fair enough".

We're going to have "excited" Warlocks too, but you can't base all your decisions on maximizing people's excitement. Excitement doesn't do DPS better or tank better, and people do want to clear content faster and faster. There's also a human part to consider (which I've talked about earlier) but it shouldn't be your go-to decision making perspective, or else you really are going to stink of corruption and ineffectiveness.

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Posted : 16/04/2019 4:34 am
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