As I’m sure most priests in a DKP raiding guild can sympathize, competing against other healers for your pretty trinkets, gear & weapons just sucks…hell, it flat out blows goats.
Resto druids, resto shamans, & holy paladins pretty much have a monopoly on their non token gear. The Ret or prot paladin won’t be bidding on that spell power chest, the feral or balance druid probably aren’t interested in the leather healing legs, and the Enhance shaman really couldn’t care less about those healing boots. Most of the time, those healers are getting those items for the minimum bid because of lack of competition. Priests, on the other hand, are the only class with TWO healing trees – we’re already competing with ourselves. Throw in the fact the alot of our ideal gear is coveted by DPS cloth wearers (or even non cloth wearers, depending on your guild’s policies), and you’re spending alot of DKP for one item…leaving you at a serious disadvantage when that hot ass trinket, weapon or ring drop.
So what to do? Beats the hell out of me. I know my guild has touched on the issue again and again, throwing around ideas such as per item bid caps on non cloth wearers, “taxing’ items with no class competition, limiting when other armor classes can bid on things….but we’ve never really tried to act on any of them, so in the end, we just plug on and piss & moan about it. Luckily, we’re generally not selfish people, so it hasn’t come to blows….yet.
Matticus from World of Matticus was kind enough to offer to write some guest blogs for lucky people, and Derevka and I were honored he chose to write for us (He’s kinda a big deal, in case you didn’t know). I asked him to tackle this subject for us, and luckily, he has experience with it. As usual, he has some tremendous suggestions and ways of dealing with The Gear Curse.
6 Priest Loot Strategies to use in DKP Guilds
Last week, I made an offer that I would write a guest post about anything. Avalonna requested I put down my thoughts on acquiring Priest loot in DKP guilds. Even though my current guild employs the use of Loot Council to manage gear, I certainly was no stranger to DKP. In fact, the guild I was a part of before, I was just a regular player competing with other classes. I was a Holy Priest who had to learn how the system worked and work within it in order to see any upgrades for my character.
Here are a few lessons I learned during my time with DKP. I’ll follow it up with policies I wish were implemented.
1) Understand that you’re not going to get the best possible items in every slot
While it would be nice to get the best item in the game, simply put, it’s not going to happen. Not unless you run the instance an insane number of times. Even then, the items you seek have to drop. There needs to be no one else competing for it.
Did I mention the amount of incredible luck that needs to be involved?
The sooner you wrap this fact around your head, the less stressed about gear you will get. You’ll look at your DKP resources in a new light and make the smart choices.
2) Prioritize your list and figure out what you need vs others
Perform an audit of your character. You want to plan out in advance the upgrades your character will receive while they are working their way through a raid instance. Don’t forget to consider the gear that is purchasable with the various Emblems if they are superior to the equipment you have. Craftable stuff (usually belts or wrists) are items to consider. The differences between bracers that drop from a raid instance and bracers that are constructed are fairly marginal. They’re not worth the 45 minimum DKP bid anyway (or whatever value is used).
At the same time, have a general idea of what other casters would shoot for. MP5 weapons aren’t as widely sought after compared to items with hit, critical strike raiding or haste rating. You might be able to shave some costs by going after weapons with regen stats on them. Paladins and Shamans don’t usually pursue them nor do other DPS classes.
3) Weapons and trinkets are priority one
Weapons and trinkets should beat the top of your shopping list for acquisitions. They represent the biggest increase in spell power and utility (depending on the trinkets).
Tip - Go staves: Between staves and main hand/off hand combinations, the latter is almost always going to be superior in terms of throughput. Top healers rely on the main hand/off hand combinations because it’s the best for them. You can use this bias to your advantage. By openly switching to staves, you won’t face as much competition from other players. For one, this knocks Paladins and most Shamans out of the running. You’ll only have to contend with the other caster classes now. I’ve found staff upgrades to go for near minimum prices because casters leaned towards the main hand/off hand combination allowing you to snag it cheaply.
Bonus: By pursuing a staff, you only need to get lucky with the drops once. By going for a main hand and off hand, you need two bosses to drop the items that you want. So once you get a staff, you can scratch weapons off your list and move on to the next upgrade.
4) Let others go first
Players have a habit of paying higher prices to get something first. No matter who gets the item, it’s going to have a positive benefit for the guild anyway. You have to have a long term strategy when it comes to this stuff. Be as economical as you can. Let your fellow guildies push all in with their DKP. Congratulate them and when that same item drops the next time, you won’t have to spend as much as they do.
DKP doesn’t determine who gets what. It determines who gets what when.
Here’s an example of some really good healing mace. Traditionally, it’s going to go for a high price. As time progresses, the bid price drops.
5) Be frugal
At least, when it comes to DKP, you don’t want to over commit. If it’s possible to acquire an upgrade outside of the instance via crafting, the AH, or through badges, explore that possibility. By spending non-DKP resources on items, this ensures that you will have DKP to pickup items that are only obtainable from raid instances.
Does this make sense?
You can get gold easily by doing dailies. You can get Emblems by getting involved with instance farming. Materials to craft stuff can be farmed or bought.
But DKP can only be earned by raiding.
6) Stab the pot
This is a poker expression. Sometimes, there’s a minimum amount in the pot and no one seems to be interested in contesting it. Most poker players would take the aggressive stance and throw in a bet to see who reacts. Either the aggressor is going to get called or the players around them will fold allowing the aggressor to gain a small amount. This means that either you’re going to cause a competition or else others will find it not worth going for.
The same principle can be applied with DKP. If you sense there is no interest from anyone (or no one has placed a bid at all), throw in a minimum bid plus 1 or 2 increments to see if you can secure an item for cheap.
An upgrade is an upgrade.
I usually go through one item slot upgrade per raid instance. It’s unheard of (and usually bad form) to replace a recently acquired item once or twice within the same instance cycle.
7) Policies I would enact
* Restrict bidding to set armor types
As clothies, we have to compete with other armor classes for a majority of our item slots. Druids, Shamans, and Paladins will like to weigh in and pick up our gear.
The single biggest argument I heard from this back in the day when I was trying to find out why Paladins were rolling on my cloth gear was the fact that cloth gear was often better than their plate equivalents. It offered more stats or more power.
Okay, I can respect that.
But as a guild leader, my underlying objective is to move the raid forward as quickly as possible. I don’t want to spend an extra 4-8 weeks farming for more gear because a Paladin was too stubborn to take the plate spell power upgrade that would’ve helped them out.
It’s up to the leadership to determine what is more important. If it’s min maxing players to the highest degree, then spend as much time necessary to farm the requisite gear while blowing up perfectly good upgrades. But if it’s raid progression, then it’s time to sit down with the classes and explain to them that when there are more players involved with wanting loot, the longer it takes to bring everyone’s gear standard up. Consequently, it takes more time to prepare the entire guild for the next instance.
Your guild isn’t here to give you the best gear in the game. Your guild is here to propel you through the game with what gear you have.
* Penalize off armor bids
Yup, I would add an extra tax if players bid on armor types that they shouldn’t be going for. It’s the same reason as above but it will make players think twice. At the same time, it reduces the competitive edge they have if they end up being the only mail or leather wearer in the raid and puts them in line with everyone else. It’s up to you to determine how much.
The beauty with loot systems is that it can be tailored in any way possible.
These were just some of the issues that lead me to reconsider my position with that DKP guild at the time. Eventually, I grew tired of it and opted to form my own guild which currently uses Loot Council to decide items. It’s a great way to sidestep most of this mess but it does come with its own.
(BTW We’re STILL looking for an exceptional Holy & Ret Paladin (Dual spec prefered! Apply at www.godarknemesis.com )
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