I logged in on a hot lazy Saturday afternoon expecting to do a bit of leveling with Cass. We have taken the plunge and started a summer project: to level a Gnome Warlock and Mage together.
Little did I know that I would end up doing Trial of the Crusader 25 on not one but two of my characters!
Run 1: GDKP Run, 1.5 Hours, 2k Gold
While we were leveling a friend asked if I would be interested in joining him for a GDKP run of 25 man ToC. Both of us had missed our guild’s weekly clear of ToC. The GDKP run was ready to start – they just needed a healer. A geared healer, a “seller”. And since I was looking for an excuse to get out of Loch Modan (evil Troggs) I agreed to go along and find out what it was all about. I had no idea what a GDKP run was until yesterday and to be honest I didn’t really understand how it was going to work until we were a couple of bosses in.
There is a fantastic post on Elitist Jerks which outlines very clearly how a GDKP run works. I’ve copied the “in a nutshell” explanation below to briefly explain it for those who haven’t heard of the term:
GDKP stands for “Gold-DKP”. It can also be known as “Gold runs”, “GKP runs”, “Cash runs”.
It was a Korean concept. It is well established and extremely common in some regions, only recently introduced on some servers, completely unheard of on others.
Items which drop in your run are auctioned off in raid chat. The highest bidder receives the item and the gold they pay is added to “The Pot”
Profession Patterns, BOE’s, Crusader Orbs, Disenchanted Shards etc are all auctioned off in this manner as well. Everything that drops.
“The Pot” keeps growing in value until the end of the run
“The Pot” is split evenly at the end of the run to all 25 players in the raid present when the final boss dies. Everyone gets an equal share.
There is no mainspec > offspec priority, it’s gold which determines who gets what.
This week was the second week that Gigantor, the top Alliance guild on Barthilas has run a GDKP TOC 25. From what I could tell, the group consisted of approximately 15 geared players and 10 under geared players. Although even the under geared players weren’t that badly geared and I didn’t see a Gear Score number below 4500 in the raid.
Many of the under geared players, the loot “buyers”, were Gigantor alts, however there was also a number of other smaller, less progressed guilds represented as well. These players were expected to bid gold for items – essentially earning their right to be carried through the content by more geared (and perhaps more skilled) players. For the most part this worked really well. We had good loot luck and saw 3 coveted weapons drop. Each sold for between 3000 – 7000 gold.
Some of the under geared buyers were just after 1 item, while others in the run were happy to bid on pretty much anything. One Shaman in the raid purchased 2 pieces of cloth spell power gear because they were better than what he currently had, even though they weren’t really itemised for his class. Players like this really make the GDKP runs work. We also had a Restoration Shaman in the raid who had joined as a lesser-geared “buyer” who didn’t bid on anything even though a fantastic pair of bracers dropped from Anub’arak. It’s people like this who I doubt will ever be invited back.
Without a single wipe, we finished Anub’arak and the pot was announce at being just under 50k. The raid leader traded each person 2k gold, even those who had bought items with gold, and then removed them from the raid. It was all over very quickly and I was 2k gold richer for very little effort.
If GDKP runs are not currently organised on your server and your guild is clearing normal TOC without any problems I would very strongly suggest looking into this. Guildies that are currently bored with TOC will be more likely to come along because of the monetary incentive and instead of the majority of gear being wastefully de’d, you’re helping out lesser geared alts and wealthy mains still wanting that 1 great drop.
It’s also a lot of fun playing with people you don’t normally get to play with and shaking things up a bit.
Run 2: Guild Alt/PUG Run, 2.5 Hours
While I was finishing my smooth GDKP run, some guildies started to put together a Vitare alts/PUG TOC 25. By the time I finished killing Anub’arak they were up to Faction Champions and things were going ok, not great, but ok. A player had dropped out and they asked me if I would be willing to bring in my Discipline Priest.
Now let me tell you a bit about my Priest who I haven’t really talked about on this blog ever. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been taking her to the occasional guild 10 man when they are desperate for a 10th player. And they’d have to be pretty desperate to take my Priest.
Alexria must have the best loot luck of any character that I’ve ever played. With only an Ony 10, half an Ulduar 10 and 2 x TOC 10 runs under her belt she has replaced all her greens and is only wearing 3 blues.
Even though her gear isn’t that embarrassing anymore, the truth is I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing as a Disc Priest. Both Cass and Nysander (our guild’s full time Discipline Priest) have given me some advice. But I wouldn’t count on Alexria to make a massive contribution to the success of any raid she is invited to. But I digress….
I joined the alt run at Faction Champions with Alexria. The healing team consisted of a couple of very geared Holy Paladins and a Restoration Shaman so I immediately started to worry. How was I, a tank healer, going to be of any use? They didn’t need another tank healer. The only option, as far as I can see it, is to raid heal with Power Word: Shield aka bubble spam. This might be a reasonable healing method but I soon discovered that it isn’t exactly mana efficient.
The Horde Champions die without incident. By the way, being a Priest in this fight is incredibly boring – all I ever seemed to do was Mass Dispel!
Then we reach the Twin Valk’yr. A whole stack of people forgot to switch colours and died in addition to those raid members who thought they could “tank” the orbs and then had the audacity to complain that they weren’t healed! The Resto Druid in the raid just doesn’t seem to be cutting it on the raid healing so I concluded that bubble spamming was going to be a neccessity with this bunch.
We did get Twins down that next attempt and I was surprised that I still had mana at the end of the fight after all that bubble spamming. I am amazed at how much mana my Shadowfiend regenerated for me. Add that to some mana from Hymn of Hope and a mana pot and I was ok.
Anub’arak time. This is where it all starts to disintergrate. We hit the enrage timer and wiped twice. The DPS blames the healers for doing too much healing (for those interested this was completed BS – people in phase 3 were low!) and the healers blame the DPS for being… well, shit. A couple of people leave in a huff. We stand around waiting for replacements only to try again and regress. Players are struggling to kite in the burrow phase and we wipe again. After about 10 attempts a group of annoying Red Sun alts leave in a huff and we call it.
A Night of Trial of the Crusader
When I started my first TOC run – the GDKP run – I was a amazed that people would be willing to pay anything for this gear, especially the Trophies, considering the rumors of patch 3.3 hitting live servers next week.
Now I find that I’m considering taking my Priest to the GDKP run next week as a “buyer”. That way I can get the achievement for completing TOC 25 and buy some good pieces – if they drop.
The way I see it, sure I might spend 5000g if some good Priest cloth items drop, but I’ll also probably get 2000g gold back if its anything like this week’s run. Assuming that they keep inviting me (as a buyer, Alexria, or as a seller, Lathere) at some point I’ll have recouped my gold entirely!
And it sure was a much smoother run than our traditional PuG alt run turned out to be.