Q: What is loot priority?
A: Loot priority is a system whereby certain characters always get loot over certain other characters. At Prime, main characters (mains) always have loot priority over alternative characters (alts). Also, gear useful for one's current spec (tanking/healing/dps) always takes priority over gear for an alternative spec. Officers will handle any exceptions, which will be very rare and based purely on longterm guild need.
Q: Is there loot priority by guild rank at Prime?
A: Yes. Prime uses guild ranks to help determine raid invitations and loot priority. This priority supercedes any consideration of DKP. Please see Guild Ranks and Rank Priority for details on our ranks and rank requirements.
Q: What kind of DKP system does Prime use?
A: We use a strict zero sum DKP system for our raids. We role for loot with basic limits for 10-man raids.
Q: What is zero sum DKP?
A: In a nutshell (i.e. as it is defined on Wikipedia), it is a fixed cost system that removes point inflation by giving all participants an equal fraction of the points spent on an item by a single participant. Over time, zero sum DKP does a better job than traditional DKP of giving people a fair incentive to come to raids, especially when we need them the most.
Q: How do we get points?
A: There are two ways to get points. The huge majority of the time, people raiding will share positive gains based on the loot value dropped by bosses. Those outside the raid will lose nothing. However, this all revolves around the DKP value of dropped loot. So we must do it differently when no boss dies or when loot has no DKP value. We do want to provide an incentive for tough raids in new instances where we're learning tons but don't get the kill. We have devised an "attendance DKP" workaround that involves all the potential raiders and (brace yourself) uses both both positive and negative numbers.
Q: So how do we get points?
A: When a player buys loot, the points they spend is split amongst all the raiders present. The cost of the item drop is divided up amongst the players and given to them as positive points, while the purchaser loses points equal to the item cost. Those outside the raid gain or lose nothing, with an exception for people sitting on standby. See Answers on Raid Attendance for details about our standby channel.
Q: What does that formula look like?
A: DKP per person = [(Cost of item purchased) / (Number of people in the raid + raiders in the standby channel)].
Q: Can you give me an example so I can see how the numbers work?
A: Say there is a raid that has 25 members in it, and there are 5 raiders in the standby channel. A boss is downed and a Tier shoulder token drops that is worth 20 points. If looted by one of the raiders, that person would lose 20 DKP, and people (including the raider who purchased the item) would gain 0.667 DKP. Or, (20) / (25+5) = 0.667.
Q: So how much do items cost?
A: Please see our DKP Loot List for more information. Costs for later bosses will be added as necessary. Karazhan loot remains free with the usual restrictions of one set item and one other item per week, with exceptions when the loot would otherwise be sharded.
Q: Ok, so say that all items are sharded, how many points will people get?
A: Zero. Items that are not looted can not grant points since in zero sum, points are only given if points are taken away, and vice versa. If a situation arises where loot is becoming frequently sharded and raiders are finding themselves gaining no points, it is perhaps indicative of the need to progress to new content.
Q: So, my DKP may be negative, surely this is bad?
A: Absolutely not. In fact, most people’s DKP will be negative at some point. At any given time, it's typical for half our players to be in the negative with most of the points leaders less than two solid purchases from going negative. You can purchase any item you want with negative points. All that matters is that you have more points than ayone you are bidding against, hence the importance of relative purchasing power versus raw points.
Q: Ok, so explain then why it' so important to use zero sum DKP. Why can't we just give out points to people who show and none to people who don't and avoid all that unpleasantness with the negative numbers?
A: In other systems, the tendency is to award more points for bosses on average than is spent on the loot those bosses drop. This is usually true right away and becomes worse as loot gets sharded. Over periods of months and years, this trends puts hundreds and then thousands of excess points into the hands of veteran raiders. These are known as inflationary points. With zero sum, there is absolutely no inflation. All points given out are taken away from somewhere, and vice versa.
Q: Why is inflation bad?
A: Inflation creates an enormous advantage for veteran raiders with good attendance. A raider who shows up 100% of the time will accumulate a mountain of points until no one can possibly outbid them on an item. This is a raw deal for new or under-geared members. They will always be relegated to picking up scraps and will never have a serious shot at items.
Q: But, I wouldn't mind sitting on a pile of points and outbidding everyone! What's wrong with that?
A: It’s great being the guy at the top, but it sucks being the guy on the bottom. With zero sum, everyone working hard soon gets the chance to pick up loot that they want. This tendency towards loot rotation gives everyone a stake in success. This translates over time into faster progression. You see, with traditional DKP, those who have fewer points feel little incentive to progress. They anticipate a long delay before loot is defaulted to them. With zero sum DKP, those with fewer points will get a fair shot at loot since their turn will come up sooner. With no inflationary points providing a huge advantage to veteran members, it's also easier to recruit. We prevent guild collapse by ensuring that it's never too lonely at the top - ie nobody gets to stay there forever.