Wednesday, July 26, 2006

1.12 and DKP Capitalism

Alrighty. Some ... people... have been complaining that I haven't updated my site in a while. I guess I've been a little busy.

I've also been kinda out of topics. Yeah, everyone's covering the new 1.12 whatever patch and the rogue review, as well as the contention regarding alliance shamans and horde paladins. I hope to the gods they don't actually name their classes that, since "paladin" has a very specific connotation, especially in the World of Warcraft game history, that wouldn't really make much sense in the context of a Blood Elf.

Shamans? Eh. Not so much a history, and not so narrowly interpreted.

Obviously, talents and skills will be different, with similar themes. I'm not worried.

(Although I wish Blizzard would come up with something unique instead of ripping itself off).

Okay, well, you asked for it. Here's what I think about the rogue review:

1) 90% of what they're doing constitutes a "fix" to a vast number of problems that have been plaguing rogues since day 1, and should have been fixed much earlier, in earlier patches.

2) Classes that have already undergone reviews have been seriously upgraded. I played a warlock prior to the warlock review, and it was so difficult, I nearly quit the game (survivability was zilch). I even posted a guide here on how to pvp against warlocks as a rogue. It was something like: rush the bastard and just kill him. Now, I'm lucky if I survive a warlock encounter. They're tough as nails, and quite often top the pvp kill charts (aren't DoTs fun?). Anyway, what do rogues get? A slightly fiddled-with talent tree that really doesn't do all that much. How about a nicely revamped talent tree, some friggin tier armor that doesn't look like all the other tier armor (how many friggin shoulders have to look exactly like shadowcraft shoulders? even random, non-set ones look identical!), and maybe, just maybe, some rogue-specific quests that require a bit of stealth, pickpocketing, assassination (without having to fight through an army of mobs first), thievery, whatever? Heck, I just ruined #3 on, because I said it all right there.

3) Re-read #2. Also, read my mind. I'm not feeling very verbose today.

Thought of the day:

Is the capitalist society of today the equivalent of joining a classic DKP system WoW guild that has been running instances for 200 years?

Let me elaborate on what I'm talking about. DKP = dragon kill points, which is a system whereby members of a group earn points by attending instance raids. They can then spend these points to "purchase" dropped items. The higher the number of points a member has, the more that member can outbid other members for an item. The classic system allows stockpiling of these points, and "old" guilds tend to have members with so many points, that new members literally can never catch up in order to bid on anything at all.

So, does that mimic capitalist society? In other words, when you, a n00b in the world, tries to get into business, do you even have a chance in hell to acquire the kind of wealth the lead aristocrats possess based on years and years of being in the same "family"? I could name some names, but I'm sure you can figure out a few.

If this is the case, is there a way to beat the system? Should there be?

Your thoughts?


Anonymous Verash said...

Quick answer on the DKP:

The proper comparison isn't so much capitalism, but more likely late-stage feudalism, when the system started to fall apart because of capitalism and the rise of the middle class as an economic and social force. There's a reason lots of guilds crack up over badly implemented DKP systems.

So, keeping that in mind- if your guild has one of these horribly tuned systems- how do you get the most out of it?

1. Collusion: Prop up that creaking edifice!

If the system is primarily dominated by a rich old guard, then you may notice a strange thing- they almost never have bidding wars with each other! Those are reserved for when the nouveau riche get uppity and try to take more than scraps from the table. The primary currency at this level is social, rather than DKP- passing up gear without a bidding war is done to engender goodwill and keep the system from collapsing (a bidding war in the top end could destroy the cartel). Make friends with folks you'd compete with normally, and pass up some gear that they'd want- hope they do the same.

2. Exploit those neglected markets: bring it all down on their heads!

So sucking up to the old guard isn't your style? Find a way to get DKP that the old guard think's they're above- ZG runs for enchants, Molten Core/Onyxia runs for guilds that routinely clear BWL. The 20 man instances are good- unless they've set up lower DKP rewards for these, you'll be racking up DKP fast due to the quicker resets (it's actually likely that they'd have better per-run rewards for ZG, at least- if you have to make a special request to get a full group for it, then it's gonna be a pain to get your new shoulders enchanted).

The best is some combination of these, and in a perfect world, you wouldn't need to game the system. But nobody, and I mean nobody uses the prehistoric, inflationary DKP system unless they have either an incredibly commited, unchanging raiding group, or absolutely hate newcomers.

Monday, July 31, 2006 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous heather said...

Mmm. Meaty post. I've always thought there was really no good answer to the DKP problem because there are two, equally valid sides to the argument. If one comes into an existing raid, one should not be shut out of the distribution of loot; you are, after all, immediately helping out. However, if one has worked one's butt off to learn how to beat an instance, been there to help others gear up and beat the instance, should he have to hand over loot to folks who just waltz in and take advantage of the hard work he did in working out strategies and team-play and all that to beat the raid instance?

I can see the validity of both arguments, and I can see why both sides can end up feeling cheated. I'm not sure there's a good answer; I certainly haven't seen one yet.

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