Dkp = Dragon Kill Points for those who are unfamiliar, and the term has been around for quite some time. It’s a loot method that a huge amount of guilds use in order to total up who gets what in a raid. It’s also a method of loot distribution that causes much debate, and there are good and bad sides to using it. Personally, I hate it.

In eq1/eq2 the majority of raiding guilds that I’d been in over the past 4 years used DKP. The only exceptions that even come to mind are Keepers of the Elements (eq1) and Forsaken (eq2). Basically you earn an amount of points every raid you attend, some times you can receive bonuses if you take down a boss encounter for the first time (the guilds first time, not your personal first time), you can lose points for being late, leaving a raid early, or even for making stupid mistakes depending on how strict the guild is. This method of earning points is a high winner with those people who can attend every single raid, namely the main tank, and all of the raid organizers (guild leader is typically included in this list as well). When something drops that you want, you bid on it using these points you’ve accumulated. Person who bids / has the most points, gets the item. Seems pretty fair, right? After all, you do want to reward those who attend the raids, and those who attend the most raids deserve to have a shot at the best items first…….or do they?

Lets say I join a guild, and they use dkp. Oh, wait, I’ve already done that (and left last week). The guild has been established for a few years, and have raided heavily, so those who are on for a constant basis and can raid daily, have acquired 300 dkp. You earn 1 dkp an hour, with about 15 hours of raid time a week if you attend every one. Being a new member, you start at 0 dkp. In fact, being a recruit, you can’t even bid against regular members, which is actually quite fair. You’re new after all, doesn’t matter if you attend every single raid upon joining, the ‘real’ members earned their dkp in the past and deserve to have dibs on items.

Now lets say something drops, and it’s not an upgrade to anyone in the guild since they’ve been raiding heavily for so long. In fact, it’s not an upgrade to anyone except you. But you’re new, and have no dkp. Some guilds I know would loot the item and vendor it, rather then letting the new recruit have said item, since they’ve not yet earned any dkp. Other guilds, would let the recruit have the item for a minimum bid of dkp so that the person was in the negative, and would have to earn their way back up to a positive amount.

Even with these small issues, that’s not what I hate about dkp. The part I actually dislike the most, is the following:

Say you join a guild that uses dkp. That’s fine and dandy, you have no issues with it. You begin raiding, and you raid daily, for three months. During that time, hard_core_raider_101 has been missing for two months. They grew bored with the game once each instance had been beaten, and moved on to something else. They have 300 dkp saved up from al of their hard work. However, a new expansion is on the horizon, and a week before it’s due to release, they come back to the game and start raiding again.

Now, you’ve been raiding for three months, and have managed to save up (with a few upgrades here and there) 200 dkp. You’re reliable, on time, and haven’t missed a single raid. Despite this fact, the member who’s been missing for those three months still has more dkp then you. When the new expansion comes out, they also have first dibs on anything that drops over you. Even though you’re the one who’s been playing.

Fair? Not in my opinion.

I realize that loot is not a huge deal on raids. In fact, I enjoy raiding simply for the pleasure of being able to work together and take down a mob that others can’t take down. It’s a thrill and I like it. But unfortunately the rewards that come along with it are hard to ignore, especially if you’re in one of those constantly raiding guilds that tend to be a little.. greedy.. and talk about loot rewards 24/7. It becomes difficult not to care. When you have the mentality that the guild as a whole will be better the more people you gear up, and the rest of the guild is of the opinion that it’s everyone for themselves when it comes to loot…. it’s hard not to feel slightly bitter.

I wish I could find more raiding guilds who were able to take down targets, and used a better method of loot distribution. Unfortunetly it’s very rare, but I can keep hoping.