It’s Raining EP
If you’ve read my article about EP/GP, you know that one of the benefits of the EP/GP system is that you can award EP pretty freely without corrupting the system. While the same can be said of merit based (but not zero-sum) DKP systems, the amounts you can award are limited because they represent direct purchasing power within the system. If you award 10 DKP for a raid, then every 1 DKP you award for a bonus is 10% of the purchasing power that a member gains from a raid.
EP/GP is different because while awarding EP does increase your PR, it doesn’t increase your purchasing power by the same amount. The actual increase in your purchasing power depends on your GP value as well as the size of the bonus compared to the EP you get in a normal raid. Because EP/GP allows you to easily use large numbers for EP rewards, this gives you a lot of flexibility in how you award EP bonuses.
EP bonuses can be useful to enforce positive behaviour in members, because it appeals to their
motives. Likewise, negative behaviour can be discouraged through the use of EP penalties (awarding a negative amount of EP). But negative EP can have an effect on guild morale as a whole that exceeds the desired punative effect on the individual.
Another idea that achieves the same goal is to award a bonus to everyone except the offender. Rather than penalizing someone for not being on time to a raid, give a bonus to everyone who is on time.
But how far do you go?
Do you give bonus EP for every person who doesn’t die in a fight to indirectly penalize those who do? How do you distinguish between those who can’t help but die (e.g. try applying this to Vaelestraz in BWL). Surely there is a fine line between situations in which you can use this lack-of-reward-as-penalty when the situations in which a direct penaltys is called for.
My recommendation is to give bonus EP regularly for the things that members are expected to do. If everyone is expected to do something and everyone does, then they all get the EP bonus and the relative spacing of members is unchanged. For exepected situations in which a member has done something to damage the guild, award negative EP.