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To GDKP or Not to GDKP

December 31, 2009

I’m sitting in a GDKP raid of Trial of the Crusader 25 right now and blogging while waiting for the bidding process to run its course. [Now blogging while deceased on Jaraxxus – one of the hazards of any PuG, and particularly a GDKP run].

The Gold-DKP raid is a relatively new occurrence on Twisting Nether. We’re a little behind the times here since the GDKP is a regular thing on many servers. GDKP caught on Horde side during the winter months and it made its appearance within the Alliance in mid December. Gwaeni of Scarlet Dawn began leading weekly ToC 25 GDKP raids.

My curiosity was piqued. The GDKP raid is a raid in which each piece of loot is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The only restriction is a minimum bid. The gold goes into a raid pot. At the end of the raid, the pot is distributed equally between all raid members. Some raids are more profitable than others. With the release of Icecrown Citadel, the ToC content is out-dated. The gear will be still useful, but it won’t fetch as high of a price as it might have pre-Icecrown Citadel.

The GDKP raid attracts certain types of players and it is important to have a balance. I’d like to quote Gwaeni herself from her TN forum advertisement. She listed the three categories that she is looking for to fill the GDKP raid.

1. The appropriately geared for the raid player, that needs maybe an item or two, wants to support GDKP runs to broaden the pool of raiders, or wants to bid on BOE items for resale. (They are the backbone of the raid.)

2. The mid-geared person that could probably get into a 25 man TOC, but wants to make the push to get ICC 25 invites by getting a few upgrades.

3. The person who probably couldn’t get into a pug that gear checked, but wants to make the leap into raiding, and has the gold to improve their character.

My warlock falls into the first category – as does my live-in tank and cohort who came to the raid as well. I don’t bring my priest because I still occasionally host ToC 25s for guildies and frankly…I don’t hate myself enough to heal for a GDKP run. My destruction lock puts out a modest 5k DPS and could still use a side item or two and I’ve got a bit of gold lying around. (By that, I mean my tank has gold lying around and is willing to share.)

The balance of these categories is key to making high sales and to actually clearing the content. Too many in the bottom category and you won’t get the bosses down. Too many in the first category and only certain items will be bid on, with the rest going to waste. I honestly think that the mid-geared player is the most essential. Steady and moderate bids still produce a tidy sum at the end of the evening, with those few high bids padding the total.

It might also matter how well you balance the classes in your raid to promote healthy competition. A bidding war is exactly what you want. You also want to make sure that every item will be bid on and nothing goes to waste. No bid? It gets disenchanted and the shard is auctioned off. There are no freebies.

Lastly, a GDKP raid leader might also seed the raid with friends or guildmates who know the fights in order to ensure the success of the raid. Even better if they are willing to bid on items. This is particularly important when it comes to the tanks and healers. Don’t overdo it though. When half the raid is from the raid leader’s guild, don’t expect a hefty payload.

Currently prices are middling in this raid, but people seem willing to pay more as each fight goes by. I think the content is aging rapidly as we approach the second wing of ICC. Also, the drops in ToC are notorious for repeating week after week. Some of us, myself included, have the gold to spend but haven’t had the chance to bid yet.

Average final bids:

  • Trophies 700g
  • Orbs 150g
  • Gear 300-700
  • Rings/Neck/Weapons 1000+
  • Trinkets 3000+

Actual Bidding Prices

#[Trial of the Crusader] Raid Log #

Twins: 650 + 850 + 700 + 500 + 1900 = 4600
Jaraxxus: 650 + 300 + 800 + 300 + 1700 = 3750
Beasts: 300 + 300 + 300 + 900 + 600 = 2400
Anub: 100 + 600 + 300 + 1200 + 4700 + 1000 = 7900
FC: 1000 + 150 + 800 + 300 + 500 + 300 = 3050

Gold Pot (25 members): 21700 gold
868g per person

Hold on.

Reign of the Unliving dropped. I spent my tank’s gold proudly and brought it in at 4700g. Was it worth it? Probably not. But it sure was fun bidding against the other guy. The entire raid got caught up in our bidding war and applauded us afterwards. I secretly hoped he’d outbid me by another hundred and I’d reap the benefits of the padded raid pot. Regardless, I am ever so happy to throw my Embrace of the Spider out the window. It’s been good, but so long! I was so excited that Gwaeni had to call my name twice for me to run up and pay my gold to receive my prize.

Now I’ll be doing dailies, working the AH, and attending a few weeks of GDKP runs to pay back my tank. The good news is that, after a few weeks, I actually will have paid him back. With suckers like me around, these raids are decently profitable. Tonight raked in 868g per person, effectively reducing my debt by 1k after emptying my clothie pockets. I realized later that I paid every single person in the raid 188g for my trinket. Quite a profit for them!

After I picked up my trinket, my bidding partner recognized me in vent. Turns out it was an alt of a fellow who attends my weekly ICC 25! It’s a small world. Lucky for me he didn’t expect anyone to have much gold to spend and he left his other 10k on an alt.

I’m off to test out my new shiny toy.


Some final thoughts about GDKP runs…

It’s fun.

I’ve only got the energy for a GDKP raid once a week, but it’s pretty fun to watch the bidding wars and see how item values change over time.

There is no losing from the standpoint of gold and loot.

You have a chance at emblems, loot, and your portion of the raid pot. Even if you spend money, you get loot and are refunded some of your payment.

GDKP runs take a bit longer and some may face difficulty downing the content.

Due to the extended time given to the bidding process and the complications of having well-geared, mid-geared, and under-geared players, the GDKP raid might take a bit longer than most raids. Raids risk being imbalanced since it’s based on who is interested rather than who is the right class/spec. Tonight’s raid starting at 9PM, pulled the first boss at 9:30PM, and I walked out the door with gold and loot in hand at 11:30PM. It honestly wasn’t that bad, but this week’s raid was rather competent. Not all of them go quite so smoothly.

GDKP raids are better as moderate money-makers than earth shaking auctions.

We don’t want to cater to gold sellers or gold buyers. I am comfortable with bids going as low as 300g and as high 1000g. These are values that players can reasonably accumulate and make the GDKP raid fun, interesting, and worthwhile for all three categories of players. Bids that regularly go far beyond that are questionable, in my opinion.

GDKP raids would be a great way for a guild to get a prized item for a primary raider or simply to restock the bank.

Volunteer a few of your good men and women and send them into the GDKP raid. Sink some of the guild bank into a particularly elusive item that will benefit your chosen player. Purchase patterns, orbs, or trophies. Want a robe? A ring? It doesn’t matter if it’s not their dominant armor type. In a GDKP raid, holy paladins can win cloth and an arcane mage can finally get that Ring of the Darkmender without facing the wrath of seething healers. Or, send your more altruistic volunteers in to earn emblems and have them donate their monetary winnings into the guild bank. Even a portion of their earnings will go a long way towards funding raid repairs or raid supplies.

GDKP runs won’t replace regular raids and PuGs and would hurt a server if they became the predominate way of doing things.

It’s a novelty. I wouldn’t want to see the community aspect lost that comes with guild raiding and even pug raiding. The people that you meet are spectacular and the focus of the game should be on the lore, the content, the player skill, and the player personalities. I’ve never liked basing anything on how much gold someone has accumulated – there’s a lot more to WoW than that. The DKP, EPGP, and RNG Gods watch over us and design our PvE fates with whatever cruel or benevolent intentions strike their fancy.

Should GDKP raids be focused on older content or new content?

I don’t know. An ICC GDKP raid would be very profitable; however, it might not get very far. The ToC raid is more reliable because people are familiar with the content and are still willing to spend a reasonable amount of gold to get a few items they still need or to gear up alts. It’s also quick in comparison and easier for people to stay till the end to collect their pay – thus earning repeat customers.

Personally, I’d rather be in ICC with guildies, friends, or my usual crew of misfits that I rely on to keep me sane while leading them through a scourge-filled fortress. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t support them attending a GDKP raid on an off-day and getting some funds for repairs or replacing that last low level item that’s plaguing them.

Thanks Gwaeni.

My tank and I toyed around with hosting the GDKP runs Alliance-side and we decided against it. I had moral concerns which I’ve since overcome, and organizing things for Icecrown Citadel was burning us out already. Thanks for stepping up for the Alliance and leading the GDKP raids. Your patience is growing each week and the raids are getting more enjoyable and quite profitable. Much better to have Scarlet Dawn leading them than say…well…others.


From → Pugging It, Raiding

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