All About EP/GP

This is a slightly edited version of a post about EP/GP that I did for my guild’s forums.  Since I seem to have done this several times in the last few months, I figured I’d post it here so I can point people to it in the future.

EP/GP is a loot distribution system that tries to do the same thing as most DKP systems (fair loot based on effort put out and gear already received), but without all the horrible mucking about with out-of-game DKP websites.

But What If I Hate Reading?

TLDR people: go download this addon: http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/epgp-dkp-reloaded.aspx so you can see the standings and how much GP items are worth.

TLDR people who can’t be assed to install an addon: do nothing, but don’t whinge if you don’t understand what’s going on come raid time.

For those who want the full scoop, read the rest of this post as well as the EP/GP wiki

The Basics

EP/GP is a relational loot system.  Everyone has three numbers that change based on their raiding activity.  When you spend time raiding and/or killing bosses, your effort points (EP) go up.  When you receive loot, your gear points (GP) go up.  If you divide EP by GP (hence the name), you get a third number: priority (PR).  This last number is what determines who gets loot.

When loot drops, the master looter will ask those interested to say something in raid.  Typically, you say something like “interest” or “offspec” or “alt”.  Of all the people who say that they’re interested, the person with the highest PR wins (though obviously mainspec beats offpsec or alts just the same as they do today with /roll)

EP/GP is not DKP

This is important to get out of your head.  DKP is like cash: you earn it and you spend it.  EP/GP isn’t like that.  EP and GP always go up.  Only your PR changes.  If EP goes up, PR goes up.  If GP goes up, PR goes down.  It isn’t important how much of either you have – what’s important is your relative standing among other people in the guild.

How Do I Earn EP?

Generally you get a certain amount of EPs for time spent raiding and a certain amount of time for each boss kill.   Normally progression kills are worth more than farm kills.  If you’re starting out new, I would suggest something like:

  • 1000 EP for every 15 minutes spent raiding
  • 1000 EP for every farm boss kill
  • 4000 EP for every progression boss kill
  • 1000 EP for every wipe on a progression boss (to a max of 3000 per boss per raid)

What exactly defines a farm vs progression boss is up to the guild leadership.  What we used to do was consider any boss progression content until we’d gotten a clean kill 3 times in a row.  After that, it was on farm.  Obviously, you need to keep a list of what is farm and what is progression somewhere your members can access it.  Don’t forget to list hard modes separately (i.e. Freya can be farm while Freya+1 can be progression)

ZOMG Those Numbers are Ginormous!

These numbers may look high, but that’s fine.  EP is not cash.  You don’t spend EP to buy items, so it doesn’t matter whether you give 1 EP per boss kill or 1 million EP per boss kill.   The ordering of people by PR would be exactly the same.  And everyone loves to see big fat numbers, right?

What is the GP value for an item?

The GP value of a weapon is based on several things: the quality (green/blue/purple), the item level and the slot it goes in.  The addon shows you the GP value of an item in the tooltip:

epgp_article_gp_value

See that line under the last “Equip”?  That shows you how much GP an item is worth.

Sweet, I’m Just Going to Camp the Top of the EP List Until We Get To Yogg-Saron

Hold on a sec there cupcake.  EP/GP penalizes you for doing that.  Every week, your EP and GP are both reduced by a percentage (I suggest 10%.)  That doesn’t change the relative order of people on the list, but it does make the gap in between people’s EP smaller.

Let’s say that I have 40000 EP and 250 GP, and Frank has 30000 EP and 350 GP.  My PR is 160, their PR is 85-ish.  For Frank to overtake me in PR, he needs to gain 26000 EP (we’ll assume that they get no drops in the meantime for simplicity).  Using the suggested numbers above, that’s about 3 hours of raiding and 4 progression boss kills.

Once decay kicks in, I have 36000 EP and 225 GP, and Frank has 27000 EP and 315 GP.  Now Frank only has to gain 23400 EP to overtake me.

The higher up on the list you are, the larger the drop in your EP and GP.  Your PR remains the same.  That means that after each weekly decay, the person below you needs to do less work to overtake you.  So don’t camp the list.  Just state interest in items you want, and let the math behind the system do the work.

Why Does That Weapon Have Two GP Values?

Ah, good of you to notice.  Or good of you to keep reading this far.  Whatever works.

The problem is that some slots are more important to some classes than others.  For example, a melee class would take a ranged weapon just for it’s bonus stats like crit rating.  A hunter would take a ranged weapon for all of it’s stats.  So a ranged weapon is worth more to a hunter than it is to say a rogue.  For that reason, a hunter takes a ranged weapon, their GP goes up by more than if a rogue took it.

This works both ways: if a hunter takes a melee weapon, their GP goes up by less than if a rogue took the same weapon.

The idea behind this is that for any class, the total GP for your main hand, off hand and ranged weapon comes out to more or less the same value for a given tier of gear.  See the EP/GP wiki for full details.

Here are the classes and slots that use different values:

  • 2H Weapon: TG warriors using a weapon for offhand or hunters using a weapon for either hand, the lower value is used.  Since the whole MH/OH thing for TG warriors is mostly æsthetic, what most guilds do is charge the lower value for every other 2H weapon a TG warrior gets.
  • 1H Weapon: when used as an offhand, or as a tank for tanking, or by a hunter, the lower value is used
  • Shields: tanks pay the higher value, everyone else pays the lower value
  • Ranged: hunters pay the higher value, everyone else pays the lower value

If two people are interested in an item, but their GP would go up by different amounts, then the person whose GP would go up by more wins the item.  If their GP goes up more, then it is worth more to them.

PR is used to decide who gets an item only among people whose GP would go up by the same amount.

Let’s say that a ranged weapon drops, and you have a mainspec hunter, offspec hunter and rogue in the raid.  The weapon is worth 149 or 49 GP.  Assume that the PR values are: mainspec hunter = 5, offspec hunter = 15, rogue = 10.  The mainspec hunter’s GP would go up by 149.  The offspec hunter’s GP would go up by 14.  The rogue’s GP would go up by 49.  If all three want the item, the mainspec hunter gets it even though his PR is the lowest because it’s worth the most to him.

So Why Should I Install *ANOTHER* Addon?

Oh, you addon haters.

You don’t have to.  EP/GP only requires the master looter to have the addon installed.  Your EP and GP counts are stored in the officer note (this is what the 0,0 in everyone’s note means because the system was just reset).

The addon does two things for you: it lets you see your standing in game:

epgp_article_standings

and it lets you see the GP value of an item.

If you don’t install the addon, you can still see the EP and GP values (because you can all now read the officer note), but you’d have to do the PR calculations yourself.  So unless you’re one of those freaks who enjoys doing long division while raiding, you’d be best to install the addon.

What About Items for Alts?

Generally, you  let alts and offspecs have items for a percentage of the GP.  I recommend 10%.  Mains and alts share the same EP/GP pool, so this means that your buying power goes down by a little bit when you get an offspec item, but only if no main spec wants it.

The 10% is applied to the higher GP value if an item has two, so a rogue alt would pay the same as a hunter alt for a ranged weapon.

Some guilds also have a sidegrade policy, where an item of the same ilevel as what you’re using in that slot only costs 10% of the GP value.  The system is flexible enough to support this; it’s up to the guild whether they want to offer this to their members.

What About Standby?

EP/GP supports a standby list.  The raid leader will mark people on standby when the raid starts, and whenever EP is awarded, they will get a percentage of what people in the raid get.  Typically, you go with something like 50% of everything, or 100% of time spent but not boss kills, or 100% of everything except bonuses.  Whatever works for your guild.

The EP/GP addon also supports a whisper mode, where everyone has to re-whisper the raid leader after each award to re-add themselves to the standby list.  I don’t recommend using it however, as there is the potential for people to exploit the system and give standby EP to a friend who is offline.  In a large guild, you might not notice such malfeasance.

What About Bonuses?

EP can be applied at any time for any reason, so the raid leader could give extra EP for reaching a certain goal (e.g. a full clear in 3 hours, or one-shotting a particular boss) or for meeting certain criteria (like signing up for 3/3 raids each week).

This works both ways – you can award negative EP to one person or to the raid as a whole.  And because EP/GP lets you use epic numbers, you get to scream on vent: THAT’S A FIVE THOUSAND EP MINUS!

kek

What About People Outside The Guild

Because EP/GP stores values in the officer note, it’s not easy to deal with people outside of guild.  As with most systems, you tend to have priority tiers:

  • mainspec
  • offspec
  • alt

At a given tier, you have to use the same metric to decide who gets an item.  So among mainspec whose GP would go up by the same amount, the highest PR wins.  But you can’t mix out-of-guild people in the same tier as people using EP/GP, because they don’t have a PR value.

What we did in my last guild was to put out-of-guild mainspec just after in-guild mainspec, and out-of-guild offspec just after guild offspec.  So if no mainspec people want an item but one offspec person does, and there are two out-of-guild people in the raid.  Those two would roll to decide who gets the item; the offspec guild member would not win automatically.

Of course, how you do this depends on your guild’s outlook on loot.  Personally, I feel it’s my job to gear up my guild’s mainspec players, but not to gear up their alts.  And if I don’t offer reasonable loot terms to out-of-guild members, I’m probably not going to attract them in the first place.

This type of a setup is good for attracting pugs to your farm raids (because there will be less mainspecs declaring interest), but doesn’t work so well for small raids like OS or Malygos, or for progression raids, either because there will be very little loot, or a lot of mainspec interest.

One other option if you have out-of-guild members who raid regularly is to use the unofficial EP/GP outsiders patch: http://code.google.com/p/epgp/issues/detail?id=237.  I wrote up the original logic for the patch, but the credit for releasing and maintaining the patch is due to Baaras of Pixelraiders on Blackmoore-EU.

What About 10 vs 25 Man Raids?

Normally, you use EP/GP for your main raids and then an alternate system (/roll) for your unofficial smaller raids.  But if you want to use EP/GP for both and keep two seperate pools, try this addon:

http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/epgps.aspx

I haven’t tried it myself, but the logic behind it is sound.

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