I write a lot about gearâ€”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 canâ€™t pick up whatâ€™s best-in-slot. What I donâ€™t normally cover is the politicking about who gets whatâ€”normally I donâ€™t care. If you show up all the time and play like a champion, chances are pretty decent youâ€™ll pick up what you need. But letâ€™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 uniformsâ€”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 didnâ€™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 playersâ€”and still gave partial preference to folks whoâ€™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 itâ€™s called â€œShroud.â€
Iâ€™ll save you some potentially boring history, but the loot system is (predictably) named after the guild that created it, and itâ€™s what we currently use to distribute loot in ECR. It goes a little like this:
|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 â€œShroud.â€ 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 winnerâ€™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 â€œShroudâ€ 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 itâ€™s not best in slot or totally amazing, he or she can attempt to obtain the item using a â€œstandardâ€ 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 â€œsaveâ€ 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 â€œoffspecâ€ 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 whoâ€™ve been around awhile will generally have more points to Shroud with and thus more chances to win what theyâ€™d like, they also lose considerably more than someone with fewer points.
The raider with fewer points losing nothing by Shrouding on potentially â€œless desirableâ€ 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 outâ€”not necessarily their performance. You also occasionally risk ill-will when an individual unexpectedly Shrouds on an item that is generally bid â€œstandardâ€ (ex. tier gear)â€”sometimes folks just prefer (and anticipate) a roll-off on more common items. This is called â€œShroud Bombing.â€
As Mortality says,
â€œLIKE AN ATOMIC BOMB TO THE FACE, THE SHROUD BOMB IS GREAT FOR CRUSHING THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF YOUR FELLOW RAIDERS.â€
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 wouldnâ€™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 losersâ€”whatever) so that youâ€™re ensuring your raid gears up appropriately, the â€œShroudâ€ exists to discourage collusion. Maybe thatâ€™s mercenary. On the other hand, if youâ€™re content to let RNG decide the win every time, thereâ€™s no point in having a DKP system anyway.
Although I havenâ€™t participated in a guild that used Suicide Kings or full-fledged EPGP, the Shroud system is about as close to â€œperfectâ€ as it can getâ€”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 donâ€™t waste their points Shrouding on worthless items. Itâ€™s like youâ€™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 sheâ€™ll notice you, you can pass her a note and hope sheâ€™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 herâ€”I mean, it, you go for it.
WIN BIG OR LOSE BIGâ€”THERE IS NO TRY.