“Fair speech may hide a foul heart” — Samwise
When we were looking for a guild, there were a lot of things that made our new one very appealing: they demanded a high level of dedication, skill, and knowledge and as such, they got shit done. When signing the “Have you read and do you agree to the guild policies” portion of the application, K- and I both commented on how pleased we were to see their loot distribution system: loot council.
I have raided long enough to have experienced almost every method of handing out gear: random rolls, suicide kings, DKP, EPGP, loot council. And I’ve raided long enough to have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly that can arise from each. I’ve personally benefited from each system, whether it’s via lucky dice for random rolls or via consistent attendance and smart spending for DKP. But my benefit and the raid’s benefit aren’t always the same thing; and while “the numbers” (the numbers on the dice or in the DKP logs) might indicate “I win,” I believe that loot council does a better job making sure that “the winner” is the raid, not just the individual.
The Throatripper: Other than gear that dropped from the contested Avatars, this dagger was, at the time my dirge won it, the best-in-slot for several melee DPS classes. The dirge in EQ2 is a support class: a dirge provides required buffs for the raid and debuffs the mobs — DPS optional. Now for me, DPS wasn’t optional, and I didn’t autofollow/tab out like many dirges did. I was a beast. But I was a dirge, and my DPS, while exceptional for a support class, always ran behind the damage of, ya know, DPS classes. But I was at every raid. (Can’t raid without a dirge!) I had the most DKP. The dagger was an upgrade. I bid. I won. The brigand and the assassin were pissed off, and in some ways, rightly so. The guild probably would have been better served had the weapon gone to one of them. I won, but the guild lost.
Betrayer of Humanity: This weapon dropped the second time I killed Kel’Thuzad with our former guild. Best-in-slot for a Blood DK, I was thrilled for Kaleyen, as I assumed that he would win it. Since joining the guild, we’d attended all the raids, and Kaleyen had been saving his DKP for this upgrade. But an alt of someone who’d been in the guild far longer than us, someone who had DKP stockpiled from the Burning Crusade, bid and won. Now granted, the axe is probably best-in-slot for a ret paladin too. I don’t know. What I do know is that an alt won, an alt who never attended a raid again. An alt won, but the guild lost.
There’s some discussion in our new guild about loot council as some initiates seem rather unhappy with it (that an initiate feels compelled to question guild policies is a bit shocking to me, but that’s a different issue). They’re pressing for a DKP system as they contend it’s fairer. I guess I’d argue (if I had the balls to post on the guild forums as an initiate, that is) that loot distribution is unfair from the get-go — from the very moment that RNG causes the item you want to drop the one night you aren’t around. Although the word is wielded like there is a clearcut “right” or “wrong,” what’s “fair” is actually pretty subjective, and sometimes has more to do with whether you personally feel slighted than whether an injustice has occured. Loot council isn’t perfect — nothing is — but as the system weighs input from a group of people and from a variety of factors (including attendance, which is really all that DKP monitors), I think it does a good job of making sure that when a raider wins an item, the guild also wins.