Monday, May 28, 2012
Last night I enjoyed some GDKP on my shadow priest, who as best as I can tell is my second favourite character... or at least the first I level after my main and who I raid on most often.
If you aren't familiar with GDKP, it stands for GOLD DKP. It combines the fun of raiding with gold making and the excitment of bidding for items with cold, hard coin. DKP stands for Dragon Kill Points, but in this context is just the most commonly used acronym for "formal loot distribution methodology" for raiding. In a GDKP run, everything is up for grabs and is awarded to the highest bidder. The gold raised by selling every, single item is then divided equally among all the participants.
Cataclysm had it's ups and downs for GDKP. The introduction of gear equality amongst 10 and and 25 man raids made it easier to form groups of similarly skilled peers to progress through content. However the incentive of extra loot for 25 man raids means that there's more loot than ever before to bid on. On Dath'Remar at least, GDKP hasn't been popular at all until Dragon Soul started to get nerfed substantially.
The beauty of GDKP are the competing priorities that can create a delightful raiding environment. The overall goal is to have a smooth run, and raise as much money as possible. Here's who you bring to get that done.
Raid Leader and Master Looter
The raid leader and master looter combination are crucial to the success of a run. They need to be respected members of the server's raiding community and they need to know how to keep things moving. They need to explain the GDKP rules to people who don't know them, and make sure the bidding is quick efficient and most of all fair. They need to be able to balance the group as a whole and keep the run downing bosses and the gold flowing.
Quality Raiders that don't need a lot of loot
Quality raiders (often from the raid leaders guild, friends list or network) are what makes the run smooth and who do most of the heavy lifting during boss kills. The beauty of quality raiders is that while they don't bid on the majority of loot, and are there to rake in the coin at the end, they often contribute more than their share to the gold pot. Quality raiders are often wealthy, competitive and care a great deal about that one drop they have never seen (even when raiding on their alts). When you get those seldom seen BiS drops, it's more often than not a quality raider that will bid far outside the limits of characters that are in the run to buy a lot of gear.
Undergeared raiders (or alts) that want to buy a lot of gear
The meat and potatoes of the GDKP run, you want enough players with plenty of gear to upgrade to drive bidding prices up, but not so many that you risk wiping on straight forward bosses. The balancing act depends on the difficulty of the raid bosses attempted, and at the 20% nerf mark in Dragon Soul normal mode means there's plenty of room for everyone.
The GDKP run I joined had been running successfully for a couple of weeks in a row, and I really didn't have my eye on too much loot. I was glad that I went on Zenborg who is my most geared and best performing alt (although a survival hunter packs a decent punch at early gear levels) overall the raid benefitted from some extra oomph in the DPS department.
The run was humming along until we killed Ultraxion, and the [Experiment 12-B] mount dropped. Back in the good old days, you could only bid gold that you actually had on you, but after the mount dropped people requested a quick break to log over and forward some coin. Although I had previously sent Zen 100k, I thought when it came to a mount I didn't want to risk it. I promptly logged over and send another 150k just to make sure. When the bidding started I was surprised at how quickly it went from nothing to 50k to 80k and beyond. Then the bidders dropped to myself and another priest going smartly in 5k increments all the way to 150k. I wasn't quite sure what my limit was, but with the announcement of account wide mounts, and my raid group only having seen the mount from Madness a couple of times I wasn't going to stop there. Finally, I secured it for 155k and was just overjoyed when it hit my bags.
I had a nice congratulations from my fellow priest, whose limit was 150k and a couple of well meaning crys of 'you're insane, mate'.
The great thing about the run was that bidding was so furious on other items, that my 155k, while making a big difference didn't come close to dwarfing the pot, which by the start of warmaster was up to 430k. Two bosses and two Gurths later, we had arrived at a grand total of 603,200g. So my mount was only 25% of the total, and everyone walked away with 25k.
I bid on serveral upgrades during the evening with a pretty hefty haul of caster loot. In particular, both [Cunning of the Cruel] and [Will of Unbinding] dropped. I did bid heavily on both, with each of them going for more than 25k, but since cunning dropped on Warmaster, I didn't want to be too extravagant after winning the mount. In hindsight, poor Zenborg (and none of my other characters beside my main have done well with trinkets) is wearing [Bottled Wishes] and [Darkmoon Card: Volcano] so I could have afforded to be more aggressive with trinkets. Right at the end of the night, I thought I had [Rathrak, the Poisonous Mind] all sewn up at 25,100g but a last minute bid and my preference for staves was the end of my aspiration for loot.