How to get what you want: clothes ON edition.

Posted in Guide, Raiding on May 20, 2009

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.

26 Comments

  • At 2009.05.20 16:54, Rohan said:

    Your table is unreadable. The font is too small. I am using Google Chrome.

    • At 2009.05.20 17:25, Runycat said:

      Interesting. Shows up fine in IE, Firefox, and Safari. I’m honestly not sure how to fix that.

      • At 2009.06.12 02:36, Phill said:

        The problem is that you’re using Google Chrome.

      • At 2009.05.20 17:28, Jacemora said:

        It is also too small in Firefox, I had to use the Zoom feature of the browser to read it.

        I did read it, and I think your way of distributing DKP and loot is the best I have heard of to date.

        • At 2009.05.20 17:49, Runycat said:

          I really don’t know what’s up; it’s still showing up fine. I screwed around with a few things, so let me know if that fixed it.

        • At 2009.05.20 20:21, Kayeri said:

          I use Firefox and I have no problem reading it at all, Runy. In fact, there has been some discussion about changing our dkp system, so I am going to link this post into our officer forums.

          Thanks for sharing. :)

          • At 2009.05.21 05:29, Dysheki said:

            Same here, I have Firefox (v3.0.10) and everything shows up fine for me.

          • At 2009.05.20 21:41, Aleanathem said:

            Great system! My current guild uses a loot reel similar to Suicide Kings, but I’d love using this when with some minor changes. As you said it doesn’t compensate for a player’s ability or lack there of ability. The plus to SK is no one person hoards all the loot.
            I wonder though about how you work those raiders sitting for the night. Do you award them points as long as they are online, etc?

            • At 2009.05.21 23:18, Runycat said:

              You know, right now we don’t really have anyone sitting, and I’m not entirely sure what the procedures are for that. I’ll look it up.

              As I mentioned, I’m not very familiar with SK; however, loot ends up being fairly evenly distributed with Shroud. Every once in awhile a lucky individual times their bids correctly and ends up with a few shiny pieces of loot more than maybe they should have taken, but it usually ends up that people will standard roll on most stuff. For the bigger ticket items (like weapons, especially), you usually have one person blow their load with a Shroud, and then that person quiets down for awhile.

            • At 2009.05.21 11:19, Jobless said:

              too bad my guild runs LC with high bias towards whoever is in their clique not base on performance and/or attendance otherwise a solid loot system also could bring a guild together to talk about it and actually allow a “shroud” item to be rolled for to save some points

              • At 2009.05.21 11:32, Runycat said:

                I’m really not a fan of loot council, because I do not believe that a small group of people somehow knows what the absolute best piece of gear is for every person, spec, and class without bias. As I said, it’s difficult to find any kind of loot system that’s entirely fair, but regardless of how you obtain gear, I think it’s really important to do your research and discuss what your best suited to obtain with other folks in similar roles (i.e. tanks, healers, caster DPS, physical DPS, etc.).

                If you are unhappy with how things are being run in your guild, I recommend either talking to an officer or reconsidering why you’re there. There’s no point in playing in a situation where you’re dissatisfied or feeling like you’re on the wrong end of someone’s clique.

                • At 2009.05.21 14:41, Aleanathem said:

                  LC works if it’s a small guild or you trust your officers. If there is no trust it fails. LC is only bias when there is no trust between officers and members and the officers are there for the gear only. I think LC works in a few situations because not all officer groups are cliques. =)

              • At 2009.05.21 18:03, Alathea said:

                I run with a shroud system and hate it, hate it, hate it. It only works for gearing one spec, and poorly at that. I’ve watched lovely feral offspec loot get sharded because I could not afford to spend 10 points. You have to hoard points in order to shroud on tier gear and weapons. If you’re geared, you still have to hoard your points because all the DPS folks who only need one set of gear are accumulating points for the next tier of content. Pick up even a couple off-spec pieces and you’re irrecoverably behind the rest of the raid.

                The only time I saw a tier 7.5 vanquisher hat token drop on KT (there were two) I lost my shroud by one point. A mage who can barely pull 2K DPS in T7.5 won it over me, the healer at the top of the meters who kept his sorry butt alive when he mana bombed two other people. In a normal loot council, I would have at least had a fair roll.

                • At 2009.05.21 23:13, Runycat said:

                  Every loot system, Shroud included, has problems; however, I can see a few more issues than your loot system based on what you’ve discussed (and perhaps you’ve highlighted points I should have brought up in my article).

                  Shroud does work very well when gearing up one spec, and in general, that’s what you do when you’re progression raiding. In our guild, we have a few individuals who regularly switch to their designated offspec for raids, and those people are the ones who get use out of those offspec items on a regular basis. The rest? Pretty much gets sharded, as you described. I have no interest in healing or caster gear, and eventually I’ll get a second set to use for tanking (as I’m primarily DPS).

                  It’s a matter of waiting, especially when content is new and things may not be on farm yet. I joined this particular guild a few months ago, and even though I’ve gotten a cornucopia of decent upgrades (and a few dismal losses, to be sure), I’ve never once gotten anywhere near negative DKP. Do you get points just for start and end? For killing bosses? For time spent DURING the raid? Does everyone always Shroud bomb? Is there conscientious discussion within your classes about who really needs what and whether someone can maybe wait? Shroud tends to work better in those scenarios (yes, minor collusion zommmmg).

                  Finally, if you’ve got a Mage doing sub 2k DPS on a full-clear Naxx run, there problem lies not within your DKP system but within your guild itself. I’d be pissed if some slacker Shrouded on my gear and won too–but the difference is that we don’t tend to keep slackers around. Have you talked to your officers about how that works? If the guild you’re in is casual enough to allow that (and there is definitely nothing WRONG with that at all), Shroud probably isn’t what you want to use.

                  Regardless, best of luck and I hope you can get your situation sorted to something that suits you better.

                  • At 2009.06.11 20:45, Torix said:

                    Easy modification which allows you to build up off-spec gear is to add the option of a zero-bid as well, which obviously ranks below any bid involving actual points being spent.

                    Obvious benefit to the group being that if (in a pinch) they need a healer to tank or DPS, odds are better that they’ll have a halfway decent set of gear to do it in.

                    You get a few less shards in the bank – in my experience, no real loss!

                  • At 2009.05.22 05:56, Stop said:

                    Just wanted to chime in and say that this (though we don’t call it shroud) is exactly what we’re using, using replace 10 with 20. Bids are either ‘half’ or ’20′; points are accumulated for showing up early, sticking it out til the end, hourly, and (as a thank-you for the bajillion wipes on progression) awarded for first-time boss kills.

                    Incidentally, we once had a dude (before my time, though) save up something like 1800 points and blow half of it on a BoH. He then left the server. Awesome.

                    • At 2009.05.26 15:17, Wintersdark said:

                      I’ve long been a huge proponent of this sort of thing in loot systems for ages. Particularly points awarded for being at the raid start on time,points awarded for time spent and for being present at raid end. In fact, I feel those are more important than boss downing! This, of course, assumes your guild requires a given level of performance and doesn’t rely on dkp to motivate performance. In so many point systems, players are penalized for struggling and wiping in progression content but rewarded for easy farming runs.

                      • At 2009.05.28 13:29, PB said:

                        Same here, I have Firefox (v3.0.10) and everything shows up fine for me.

                        • At 2009.06.10 06:03, Shroud Loot System | P.C. Gaming said:

                          [...] of Kings Runycat, from Unbearably HoT, has an interesting overview of her guild’s loot system: Shroud Loot System. I haven’t looked at a loot system in a [...]

                          • [...] of Kings Runycat, from Unbearably HoT, has an interesting overview of her guild’s loot system: Shroud Loot System. I haven’t looked at a loot system in a [...]

                            • [...] Blessing of Kings and Unbearably HoT have posts up talking about the Shroud Loot System, a looting system designed to serve as an [...]

                              • [...] ins and outs of the Shroud Loot System Both Blessing of Kings and Unbearably HoT have posts up talking about the Shroud Loot System, a looting system designed to serve as an [...]

                                • [...] of how many bosses has been killed. Designed to reward high attendance and learning new content. To get an item, you either bid half your points, or pay a low fixed-rate for less desirable items (in the event of a tie, the items is rolled for, which allows people with low points to still have [...]

                                  • At 2009.07.29 09:48, Alexsa said:

                                    We’re currently attempting to implement this for our guild. Are you using a mod in-game that you can recommend? We’ve been handling this manually so far due to inability to load php modules on our hosted website. Any thoughts you can share?

                                    • At 2009.08.05 21:57, Runycat said:

                                      Sorry to take so long to get back to you! Our RL used QDKP2 for tracking everything, and then CTRaidTracker to track loot.

                                    • [...] an item, or they can give the minimum price and be in competition with other people with a /rand. Runycat had a very good post about this loot system and ours is basically the same. This system enable us to keep some [...]

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