Tuesday, February 23, 2010


After reading about the success of GDKP runs on other, higher population realms, I brought it to my server to see if it was viable. For those unfamiliar, it's a live auction raid where all drops are bid on and the total gold is divided evenly to the raid at the end.

We've run three ToC25 raids and an ICC25 so far. None of the runs had high-value items drop like trinkets or Bryntroll. That being said, the overall response was highly positive. I've received countless mails and whispers of thanks for previous runs and interest in future ones.

A quick lesson learned from the first ToC25 was skill/gear balancing. I took a core of about 10 people from my guild on a mix of alts and mains and the rest was open to trade chat applicants. Despite requiring vent and giving explanations pre-fight, it resulted in a three hour raid that should have only taken one. There were several wipes and even successful attempts took a very long time: 14-minute Beasts, 13-minute Faction Champs.

I started vetting applicants after that experience and the three runs since have been wipe free and painless. WoW-Heroes has a nice new pulldown category on everyones profile called Raid Statistics. It gives you a complete breakdown of their boss kills for every raid situation in WotLK. Immediately you can identify a player's experience and knowledge of what they're asking to attend. If they're on an alt, just ask for their main and look it up as well.

Another important component is balancing the class and armor types in the raid. You'll want a healthy mix of geared and undergeared players in each role (tank, healer, ranged, melee) and armor type to ensure that as many items as possible have value. This will result in more competitive bids and not minimum prices for every item that drops.

It's not necessary to have only experienced players. However, having a 30-40% core that are in charge of the key roles (2 tanks, 1 tank healer, 2 raid healers, 1-2 ranged, 1-2 melee) will save on headaches and time drastically. Since anyone can win an item regardless of their current role in the raid, there will still be melee wanting the tank gear, casters wanting healing gear and druids and paladins wanting everything.

It's important with this loot format to be upfront with the rules early and often to avoid confusion. There is a GDKP addon called Goldraidmanager that will help you run the raid a bit more seamlessly. However, I find it clunky and a very poor user interface. I only use one feature of the add-on which is an auto advertiser. I can set my text, channel to post in and interval of minutes between posts. This allows me to announce a raid in the hours before, so I can take applicants questions and not focus on a trade macro.

I have the rules in a 4-macro set that I raid warning when the group is forming and have other assistants take questions on how the process works. When everyone is in vent, we go over it again in person just to be sure. It's important to have everyone on the same page before they get saved to the instance. I even do a practice auction on one of my pieces of gear I link so they can see the process in action.

All bids should be in raid chat and we take the first correct bid as the official bid for that amount. If 5 people open the bidding at 150g for a ToC25 item, then only the first person has that bid. Everyone else was late and must increase their bid if they wish to bid again.

Keep public track of the total gold after each boss and invite others to keep track as well. At the end of the run, I have them form a single-file line and come open trade with me for their share. After the trade, they are removed from the raid to avoid any chance at double-dipping.

The first ToC25 run resulted in about 1250g per person.

The second ToC25 finished with 572g per person.

The third ToC25 earned 634g per person.

The first run included a nice number of BoEs and patterns which brought the total up significantly compared to the 2nd and 3rd. Depending on your server, ToC is still quite profitable. Juggernaut's Vitality, Death's Choice, Reign of the Dead and Solace of the Fallen are still highly sought after trinkets, even for those in ICC gear.

Additionally, the instance is ripe with pattern drops and BoEs that will increase your run's total gold. There are two cloaks, two rings and a neck that are still in the 6-8k range on my server.

The ICC25 run resulted in 37,300g or 1492g per person, with many items in the 5k range including Tier tokens, a BoE Ikfirus's Sack of Wonder and Nibelung. I handed out the gold split after Saurfang and we went on to kill the Valk mini-boss for a final Frost Emblem.

There is potential for massive totals from the Citadel wing of ICC25 and hopefully we'll see some of those drops this week. I know some are willing to drop as much on a trinket as the entire first run combined.

For this instance, the balance of geared/ungeared isn't an issue since it's current content and almost everyone will want something from the bosses. There were only two items that went for below 1500g and it was because they were fairly spec-specific.

I've stayed away from VoA25 as a GDKP format. I'm not writing it off entirely, but since everything that drops is either class specific or PvP gear, the pool of bidders on any given item will be at best two to three people. I will be attempting one this week as a trial run, assuming we can actually win WG on an off night for our guild.

When you factor in the time spent, even the low net runs of ~600 gold isn't bad for 1.5 hours of time considering you were raiding instead of just playing the AH. My gold/hour is much higher on the AH but this provides an avenue of raiding I wouldn't otherwise have access to on my alts. It's also strengthening our guild's alt base to ICC25 readiness levels.

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