Friday, June 20, 2008

DKP Concerns - Building a Better Off-set

Selfish post incoming, it's about me and mine and probably doesn't apply to most/all Retribution Paladins out there. You've been warned.

One of the wonderful things about playing a so-called "hybrid" class is that I have the ability to completely change my group role on a whim. Whether it's to cover a need for a group, to try something different, or just out of sheer boredom, I can plop down some gold, get undressed, and go from face-smasher to meat shield to healy-pants in 3 minutes or less or your money back, guaranteed. It allows me to spice up my WoW experience, and helps my guild out as well. Karazhan run short a healer? Sure, lemme grab my healing gear. Zul'Aman run needs a Protection Paladin to zerg through for a bear? I got ya covered pal, lemme find my shield! Raid time, gonna go kill us some bosses - Cath you got your mace? Sure do, friend, and I'm munching on Roasted Clefthoof in preparation.

The problem comes in when you realize that to be able to provide that flexibility and those options to friends and guildies, it's not just respec and go. To hop into a different role and perform at a high level in all cases, gear needs to be kept up to date. A Retribution set with 2000 unbuffed AP and 32% crit chance is great for tier 6 raid instances! However, hopping into a gear set with 1000 bonus healing and 70 mana/5 will not be of much help to a group in Black Temple. Being spec-flexible requires a raider to maintain several sets of gear, which is a tax on the player's bank space, gold reserve, and DKP-spend ability (for those in guilds that use DKP). Most guilds are unwilling to let raid epics go to players at no cost for their "off-set." There are many different ways guilds handle this situation: my guild charges a heavily reduced DKP price for epics that are unwanted by raiders for their main set, and awards these off-set pieces to those who all ready have an equivalent item-level epic for that armor slot. In contrast, Months Behind of Eredar allows its raiders to choose a designated off-spec and /roll for items that are not wanted by raiders for their main specs, so long as the item falls under the realm of their designated off-spec.

Many systems charge something to a player's point total for gear, even if it is for an off-set and even if it is for a nominal price. That puts hybrids who maintain their off-sets at a distinct disadvantage in the raid loot world, however, as they are constantly going to trail their fellow raiders in point totals. It's an issue that is very touchy - awarding gear to hybrids for off-specs at no cost alienates the "pure DPS" players, as they see gear being given out for free and want free stuff themselves. On the other hand, awarding gear to hybrids at any cost, reduced or not, puts hybrid's point totals at a perpetual disadvantage. This is nothing new - Rohan tackled this issue way back in 2006 in her "Price of Specialization" post, yet it is a problem to which I have not seen an adequate solution proposed. The options I personally face are to either a) tank my DKP and keep my off-sets up to date, or b) let beautiful tier 6 quality tank/healer loot get disenchanted and then two months later bound into an instance with Karazhan epics on covering a tank/healer role for an absent raider. Option A leaves me out in the cold when it comes to upgrading my gear for shared tier armor tokens, but Option B leaves the guild in a bind come crunch time. I end up choosing Option A, but I'm not happy about what it does to my DKP total. And that's not to mention the heavy gold cost of gemming and enchanting three full sets of gear.

Maybe I'm just a loot-whore. I dunno. What's your call, fair reader? What is the best way to deal with off-spec/off-set loot and hybrids in a DKP-governed raid guild?


Jason said...

Eat it and tank that DKP. My old Druid's raiding guild used DKP that allowed negatives. So and most of the hybrids were far and below 0. It was good times. And come time for those tokens dropping the high-end DKP people (mages mostly for my tier tokens) would pass the first one off so I could roll against the other druids there (and lose). Every mage knew that their gear will help their dps and longevity, but that don't mean shit if their tank A) is dead or B) can't out TPS them.

So I would say Loot Whore it up and have your 3 sets, and come tier token time, talk nicely to the DPS or Healers in your bracket as long as it is a real upgrade for you and not one of those sidegrades that is going into the well, this is my threat set, this is my mit set this is my EH set kind of thing. Wow... now that I think about it... I have a lot of "sets"

Honors Code said...

I'm in a similiar situation to you. We are going for progression on Archi Monday and only bringing in our best Warrior tank. Even the other Warrior OTs are having to respec to DPS for this. So I'm trying to get a raid spot as Holy but my healing gear is way behind, because I generally don't bid against the 'real' healers.

MD said...

We just recently faced with similar issue, where a token gear ends up being unlooted because nobody wants to spend their full dkp for an offset item. The week after, the raid leader offered such items for bid in gold, with a fix minimum cost. This works out pretty well since the raid leader knows everybody spec and we allowed for negative dkp.