How to get what you want: clothes ON edition.

Posted by in Guide, Raiding

I write a lot about gear—what looks totally sweet, stuff that will probably improve your DPS, how to kill the boss to get the gear, and the next-best-thing if you can’t pick up what’s best-in-slot. What I don’t normally cover is the politicking about who gets what—normally I don’t care. If you show up all the time and play like a champion, chances are pretty decent you’ll pick up what you need. But let’s set the record straight: there is no perfect or fair loot distribution system. Finding a DKP setup that pleases your entire raid group is like stuffing high school kids into uniforms—a few people look good in chinos and pleats and the rest are content to bitch until they graduate.

But what if there was a different option that didn’t rely on the supposed know-all of a loot council, RNG, endless grinding for consumables, an absurd amount of seniority or DKP hoarding? What if there was a system that rewarded your raiders for time spent in raid and content downed? What if that system also helped to level the playing field between older and newer players—and still gave partial preference to folks who’ve been around for awhile? What if it also allowed raiders to really differentiate between the most highly coveted items and those that might only be a slight upgrade? That system exists, and it’s called “Shroud.”

I’ll save you some potentially boring history, but the loot system is (predictably) named after the guild that created it, and it’s what we currently use to distribute loot in ECR. It goes a little like this:

Basic Shroud Concepts
Guild Amendments
Raiders are awarded a set number of points for being present at the beginning and the end of each raid. Regardless of the number of bosses downed, points-awarded stays the same. In this way, raiders earn DKP even during progression raiding when killing bosses may be slow-going or non-existent. Raiders earn 2 points for being in raid at the start and 2 points for being in at the end. Raiders are also awarded an additional 1 point per half hour of raid time.

Raid leaders also have the capability to award 10 points for first kills during progression, which rewards the folks who put the time in to down a boss, and may occasionally up the per-half-hour points to 2 during progression.

When a raider wants a particularly item, they “Shroud.” This is essentially a bid for that item, and of the Shrouders, whoever has the most DKP earns the item. When the item is obtained, the winner’s DKP is reduced by half.

Ex. Runy Shrouds on Lotrafen. She had 400 DKP. After receiving the item, she has 200 DKP.

Same. A “Shroud” is the highest form of bid possible and should only be used if the item is something you really want. If no one else Shrouds on that item (and there are no other bids), you only lose 10 points rather than half your DKP pool.
If a raider does not want to Shroud, they can bid on the item for a fixed amount of points. If a raider wants a piece of gear but it’s not best in slot or totally amazing, he or she can attempt to obtain the item using a “standard” bid for 10 points. If there are multiple standard bids, a roll-off will determine who receives the item.

If a raider wants to save a piece of gear from being disenchanted, they can bid “save” for 10 points. This is essentially the same as a standard bid; however, all standard bids have priority over saves.

Finally, if a raider wants a piece of gear for offspec, they can attempt to win it by using an “offspec” bid for 10 points. This bid also has a lower priority than standard bids; however, if a raider is often asked to utilize his or her offspec, they may be given priority.

Shroud > Standard > Offspec > Save

All extra loot is disenchanted.

Raiders who hoard points (both intentionally and non-intentionally) pay a greater Shroud cost than those who have fewer points. This is to discourage endless point hoarding. A raider must have at least 20 points to Shroud. While folks who’ve been around awhile will generally have more points to Shroud with and thus more chances to win what they’d like, they also lose considerably more than someone with fewer points.

The raider with fewer points losing nothing by Shrouding on potentially “less desirable” items that other raiders would have put to a standard roll-off.

Are there drawbacks? Sure. The Shroud system rewards people for simply showing up and sticking it out—not necessarily their performance. You also occasionally risk ill-will when an individual unexpectedly Shrouds on an item that is generally bid “standard” (ex. tier gear)—sometimes folks just prefer (and anticipate) a roll-off on more common items. This is called “Shroud Bombing.”

As Mortality says,

“LIKE AN ATOMIC BOMB TO THE FACE, THE SHROUD BOMB IS GREAT FOR CRUSHING THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF YOUR FELLOW RAIDERS.”

Overall, however, the key to making this system succeed is to drive home the importance of Shrouding whenever you desperately want a piece of gear. Hunter pissed because he bid standard and a Druid shrouded? Tough fucking luck. By bidding standard, that Hunter acknowledged he wouldn’t be heartbroken if he lost the loot. While I would always encourage you to discuss potential upgrades with your fellow DPS (or healers, or tanks, or losers—whatever) so that you’re ensuring your raid gears up appropriately, the “Shroud” exists to discourage collusion. Maybe that’s mercenary. On the other hand, if you’re content to let RNG decide the win every time, there’s no point in having a DKP system anyway.

Although I haven’t participated in a guild that used Suicide Kings or full-fledged EPGP, the Shroud system is about as close to “perfect” as it can get—in my opinion, of course. You encourage your raiders to show up, stick around until the end, and do their gear research so that they don’t waste their points Shrouding on worthless items. It’s like you’re back in high school sitting next to that super hot chick in algebra class. You can gaze longingly at her and hope that maybe she’ll notice you, you can pass her a note and hope she’ll read it before crumpling it into the garbage bin, or you can go balls out and ask her to the prom. If you want her—I mean, it, you go for it.

WIN BIG OR LOSE BIG—THERE IS NO TRY.