This is my first attempt at a “Shared Topic”. I apologize to the good readers of Blog Azeroth as I did not really understand this concept at first. But now that I at least think I do, I am attempting to “write” the wrong as it were. The topic question was posted on the BA forums and for those who like me were not familiar with the concept of a shared topic, the idea is essentially to have multiple authors write about the same topic. Feeling rather daring, here goes nothing.
Fragments of Sanity
Honestly the issue of deciding who is going to get the Fragment of Val’anyr is something that somewhat “snuck up” on us and is fixing to “bite us in the butt”. We stand on the precipice of our first Ulduar raid tonight, and the issue is still very much under discussion. I feel confident that the officers will hash out something throughout the day and make our professional-esc decision before we start the invites tonight.
The whole issue of who gets the Fragments honestly gives me a massive feeling of Déjà Vu, as should it any group that’s been around long enough to have raided the original Naxxramas. If you remember back into the annals of time we have dealt with this same issue regarding the Splinter of Atiesh used to create the previous omg-caster-legendary Atiesh.
The deciding of the loot process for it was somewhat of a debacle, but not because of the design. The low drop rate combined with the general horrible luck that our raid had (never saw a single binding of the windseeker in 2 years of raiding MC) meant that nobody even got vaguely close to the “staff of awesomeness”. What we were left with were a few scattered splinters and everyone with a nice hollow feeling.
The Shattered Plan
As we now sit on the verge of our first foray into Ulduar I see that we are starting to arrive at a similar play for distribution. The Elders have all agreed that this item is far too precious to allow it to go to something and fickle as random chance. We use a Zero Sum dkp system with a 5 week vesting period, so in theory it would be conceivable for one of our less seasoned and dedicated players could wind up winning a pure bid war as well. In addition, the last thing we want to do is reward a player who has been hording points and in essence hurting the performance of the raid by not taking upgrades. Simply dictating which player is going to receive the item also seems heavy-handed and unfair.
We are far from a hardcore raid. We only exist by the cohesion of the players, and in making this key decision we have to be conscious of this. So right now the “best” avenue appears to be an open vote. Our raid is organized into function teams; The tank team, the healer team, the caster team, and the melee team. Thanks to the dual specs, these lines are a little bit more blurry than they used to be but in general we still organize along those lines. What appears to be the fairest method is to put choosing the first candidate for Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings up to a vote of the active primary healers.
So as it stands right now, it is looking like a vote will be made by the active healers in the raid. Who better to choose a worthy holder of the legendary weapon than those in the healing trenches? To keep things fair and unbiased, the vote will be held in private tells to a non-healer officer and tabulated at the start of our raid tonight. This player will become our first candidate for the epic.
Now the big point of debate is who much this “right” is going to cost the member, and how we are going to deal with points. Since Zero Sum dkp works best when there is a steady trickle of points, as it stands right not we are looking at a fixed point per Fragment, and then a kicker cost a the end when the weapon is created. This should serve two main purposes for the overall health of the raid. The first is that the point drain will cause points to keep flowing into the system for the players who attend each raid where a fragment drops. Secondly this places the chosen healer in a position where they are less likely to be able to contend with the other healers for “first drops”, making it at least fairer to all in the system. If for some reason the chosen player cannot attend a raid on which a fragment drops, the spot of “second legendary” will be put up to an open bid.
Is this going to work? Is this going to be fair to all players involved? Is this even going to be the solution we wind up doing tonight? In all honesty I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but for now it appears like for the good of our raid, this is the best possible solution. Only time is going to tell whether or not this scheme is going to work better with Val’anyr than it did with Atiesh. At least in this scenario we are dealing with a smaller pool of potential players, which in my mind can only help the process.