I’ve been researching some of the popular guild loot systems, and in my opinion, EPGP seems to be the most fair, thoughtful, and easiest to maintain. I’m hoping I can convince guilds to use it over DKP, Loot Council, and Suicide Kings, because these systems all have glaring flaws that I think will introduce completely unnecessary stress factors and fairness issues if used:
- DKP can have issues with point hording that make it extremely difficult for new members to get gear, and gear can be priced unfairly if a bidding system is used.
- Zero-Sum DKP can be extremely unfair when comparing point accumulation potential for progression nights vs. farming nights, and seems difficult to maintain when members leave, and wasteful when no one bids on gear.
- Loot council is highly susceptible to corruption and favoritism (although there’s no doubt it’s the only option for guilds going for server first).
- Suicide Kings penalizes heavily for taking sub-optimal or offset pieces from a high position, which can lead to poor gear distribution.
Most of the negative comments I’ve heard about EPGP seem to be the result of guilds running bizarre, nonsensical configurations. When configured correctly, I feel EPGP all but completely eliminates the issues mentioned in the other systems.
Players are given EP (effort points) for time spent raiding (guilds can also give EP for showing up on time, donating supplies, boss kills, etc.). Players are given GP (gear points) for taking gear. PR (priority) is EP divided by GP. The player with the highest PR has first dibs on taking gear. When you take gear and incur GP, your PR falls. When you earn EP, your PR rises. The addon manages everything, and the end result is list for the master looter, prioritized by who’s most deserving of gear based on their contributions weighed against how much gear they’ve already taken.
- Gear is not purchased with EP. EP and GP are never deducted (except for the weekly decay). They’re simply used to determine your PR (i.e., your place in line for gear), and otherwise operate completely independently of each other.
- EP and GP are arbitrary values. It doesn’t matter whether your guild awards players 100 EP per raid, or 1,000,000, or if a piece of gear costs 1 GP or 5,000. They’re just used to determine the PR ratio, so all that matters is consistency (e.g., decide what you want your EP values to be before your first raid, and stick with them - forever). However, using higher numbers may be a better option because smaller numbers will lose accuracy when rounded since I believe the addons convert to integers.
Advantages of EPGP
- Prevents hording. EP and GP are decayed by 10% (customizable) each week. This is EPGP’s best feature, IMO. The longer you go without taking gear, the harder you’ll be penalized by the decay. This helps to promote fair and even gear distribution.
- Natural balancing. The weekly decay ensures that no one gets too far ahead or behind. It gives veterans an advantage, while also allowing new members to catch up over time.
- Fair pricing. Gear pricing is fixed. This prevents bidding wars and overpaying for items, which can put people in a hole.
- Encourages taking minor upgrades. To prevent players from only taking BiS gear, different GP options can be set. For example, a guild could configure “Need (100%),” and “Greed (25%)” options. Choosing Need would give you top priority for the gear, and you’d pay full GP if you won. This would be used for tier pieces, BiS gear, and major upgrades. Greed rolls would only be considered if no one chose Need, and if you won, you’d only pay 25% of the item’s GP value. This would be used for minor upgrades and offset pieces. The discounted GP option lets players take sub-optimal pieces without taking a huge PR decrease, which again helps to promote fair and even gear distribution.
- Protection for veterans. A minimum EP for taking gear can be set. Say an average 3hr raid awards 5,000 EP. The minimum EP could be set to 5,000 so that a new member would have to run at least one full raid with the guild to qualify for gear.
Anyway, if you’re reading this and planning to be a Classic GM, I hope you’ll consider EPGP. Gearing can be stressful, but I think EPGP can at least help to make it a fair and unbiased process.