Full credit to Tyrian over at elitist jerks for his comprehensive post concerning GDKP. You can find the original post and discussion here. I have put Tyrian's post in these forums with his permission.

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The GDKP concept itself is very simple, despite the length of this post. I'm trying to very carefully and methodically explain a concept that is totally new to many people. It needs to be thorough. I want to try and pre-emptively address many of your concerns and questions. If you just want a quick 7-line summary, read the "GDKP In a Nutshell" section. If you want to fully understand why / how GDKP works - read the whole post.

Three things you should know before going to a GDKP run

1 - The number 1 rule: Make sure the GDKP run rules are stated INGAME before the your raid starts. They must be stated via ingame text. Mentioning them on vent (or external forums elsewhere) is not enough. Simply saying "GDKP run" is not good enough either. They must be explicitly stated, for example: "This is a GDKP raid. All epics and items of value are auctioned off for Gold. The combined money Pot from all auctioned items will be split 25-ways evenly to the 25 members present at the end of the raid".
2 - Ask the Raid Leader to state the GDKP rules in raid chat, before the raid starts. If they refuse - leave the raid.
3 - Avoid going to GDKP runs that use 'private bids' , 'silent bids' or 'anonymous auctions'. Be wary of GDKP runs that attempt to reserve any loot, or introduce complex/unnecessary rules.

GDKP run rules should be simple, fair and transparent. All of the above rules are there to protect you. If something ever went wrong, Blizzard GM's have a written statement/agreement the Raid Leader made to their raid before the run, and will hold them accountable to that.

Introduction

Starting a thread in here for those interested to discuss GDKP runs! On some servers, GDKP runs are very common and happen daily. On other servers, it's completely unheard of. I've constantly been surprised how many cross-server applications apply to my guild, and have never heard of GDKP. I figured all the big servers have these going, but it appears they don't! So, it's time to tell you what you're all missing out on!

Much of this post is a consolidation of other posts I originally made in the Benefactor's Bar 3.2 thread. This whole thread itself was moved from the BB a few weeks after initial posting, to open it up to more discussion here in the Public Forums. I've opted for more of a Q and A format, given the length of this post. This post is starting to catch on. You can see these effects via google:

site:forums.worldofwarcraft.com gdkp warcraft - Google Search
gdkp warcraft - Google Search
site:forums.wow-europe.com gdkp warcraft eu - Google Search

If you wish to translate my post in another language, please feel free. We would love to see more players around the world get exposed to the GDKP concept! Please link to this Elitist Jerks post URL in your translation, as your original source or reference. We're also very interested in reading responses to how your community / country reacts to GDKP, so feel free to post the links to your translated Blog/Forum posts here on EJ, or sent in a PM to me.

EJ is the perfect place for a thread like this. Because many of you are Guild Leaders, Raid Leaders, Officers, Class Leads or 'hardcore' Raiders. Many of you have a lot of gold. You likely care greatly about your character, and if you need something to make you better - you want it. Many of you have alts and offspecs you want geared up as well! Many players here just 'love to raid in general' and you would goto these runs just to make money or out of boredom. These are the sorts of players that GDKP runs thrive on having!

If you find the idea of 'buying items' offensive, try to reserve judgement until you read the whole post.

So does GDKP REALLY work?

Yes. The concept of GDKP runs isnt new, nor a hypothetical idea that 'could work if someone tried it'. There is no debate over whether GDKP 'could work' - it does work. It works daily on many servers, and has been for months / years! GDKP runs co-exist with other types of runs such as /random, they do not replace them.

GDKP runs often have a reputation of being the better way to of PUG, compared to /random ones. It can be hard to get an invite to the successful GDKP runs, because they are so popular and so many people want to go! After reading this post, you should have a clearer understanding of why.

Heres the GDKP concept in a nutshell:

- GDKP stands for "Gold-DKP". It can also be known by similar names such as "Gold runs", "GKP runs", "Cash runs".
- It was a Korean concept brought to WoW. It's already established and extremely common in some regions, only recently introduced on some servers , yet still 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, its gold which determines who gets what.

Who goes on these sorts of runs?

A successfull GDKP run attracts many types of players. Different types of players benefit in different ways by going. Getting the following mix of players is crucial to the runs success:

- The 'Geared Mains'. The backbone of your raid. These players go for the gold, go for fun or because they are bored, but they dont actually want or need anything. They outgear the content and make the run easier with their presence. You want a selection of key people in your raid to fall into this category (The Main Tank, A few healers, A few DPS).

- "Rich Undergeared Characters". These players need every slot upgraded. They have cash and will be interested in every item they could use which drops. They could be fresh-to-80, recruit a friend levelled, Alts, Mains that don't raid, Mains that missed their Guilds weekly run or Casual players.

- "The High Rollers". These are the VIP's. They are loaded with cash, and aren't afraid to spend it. They could be the worst geared played in your raid, in full greens and hit 80 twenty minutes ago. Or they could be the best geared player in your raid who has their eye on one special item, and ready to pay an astronomical price to get it. Make sure these players are on your friends list, and always offer them a private invite first when you form your raid. GDKP raids love these types of players coming along.

- "Geared Mains with Specific Needs". These Mains want one specific item. They likely already have quite good gear, probably dont need anything else, and are only coming back to the instance for something special. The types of items these players need are often trinkets: DST, IDS, Fury of the Five Flights, Grim Toll, Death's Verdict, Reign of the Unliving.

- "The Average Rollers". These players aren't necessarily rich, nor would they spend massive amounts for The Big Items, but they will happily spend gold to buy whatever takes their fancy. Their combined purchases can add up a lot over the course of the run, even if the big items like Deaths Verdict going for massive prices steal the show.

You want all of those types of players in your GDKP run. You want to avoid inviting players who are "Undergeared players who are not prepared to spend any gold". They dont bring anything of value to your successful run, they just leech off it. "Gear and/or Gold" is a good catchphrase. You need to have one or both of those conditions met, or you aren't suitable for an invite to a GDKP run.

What are the major benefits of GDKP in a nutshell? Is this the magic solution to everything?

I will elaborate on benefits further later in my post, but in a nutshell:

- It's fun
- The raids are usually more successful than /random raids
- You can make lots of money (even if you didnt buy or need any items)
- You can get items you want and still make a profit
- You have good control over your ability to get items you want (aka by how much you're prepared to pay for them)
- GDKP runs attract geared mains who don't even need the instance, because of their profitability.
- People are unlikely to leave GDKP runs early (You only get your share of the pot if you stay to the end)
- People are compelled to play better, because it's in their personal financial interests (You might get replaced and lose your pot if you're bad)
- You can get gear for your offspec, profession patterns, orbs etc with no "MS>OS" type restrictions
- GDKP runs can be quite self sustaining. Once word gets out how successful GDKP runs can be, better players will start wanting to go. Better players further increase the chances of a better run, and it's an upward spiral from there.
- It's easy to find replacements for people in successfull GDKP runs, even if you only have one boss left to kill.

Please note: GDKP is not the magic solution to 'perfect pugs'. You still could have bad players on the run. You still could have no good items drop. You still might have to compete for drops against other interested players. However, none of those points make GDKP any different than a /random PUG.

Like any successsful run: you need a good raid leader who knows how to put it together, who to invite, and how to manage your run. GDKP is no different. In fact, it's probably more important that you have a strong raid leader for these types of runs to be a success.

GDKP Run Rules

State the Rules at the start clearly. This is done to to protect everyone involved. If something went wrong, your statment of the loot rules is what Blizzard GM's will use to hold people accountable to various policy's, such as their 'scam policy'. Its exactly the same as a Raid Leader announcing "Loot rules are MS over OS" in random runs you already go to. You might spam this macro in /rw at the start of your run:



The cardinal rule is: Be Fair, Reasonable and Transparent. Remember that you will be carrying some (potentially very) undergeared players, who might do terrible DPS. These players are in your raid to 'spend up big'. They are an important part of your raid, too. You can't randomly remove them at a dps-benchmark boss, if you failed to balance your raid correctly because you wanted 15 rich green geared players in at the start. Thats not fair, don't do it. Now if people are obviously just 'being **** by dying in fire, doing horrific DPS because it appears they are AFK or aren't trying - you are well within your rights to remove them accordingly, after an initial warning.

Best Practise: The raid leader needs to START the GDKP run with 25 players he/she is confident could FINISH the run.

Are there mods for it?

Yes, like this one: GoldRaidManager - Addons - Curse



You would be crazy to run a GDKP raid and not use this mod. Basically you sit back and let this mod automate the bidding and auctions. All you have to do is trade people their item for the Gold, and manually split the pot at the end of the run. To see an example of what this mod looks like in action, and how easy / intuitive it is to use, visit the link below:

http://media.curse.com/CommunityServ...grm_manual.JPG

Do people actually make money on these runs?

Yes, some runs can make a LOT of money. Some won't. Here are some examples of recent GDKP runs on Blackrock.

A typical Naxx 25 Gdkp pot lately on Blackrock will earn you a pretty small amount, maybe only 1k if you're lucky, since the gear is so outdated now. When the instance first came out it could have been 2-3k. About two months ago we made a few Ulduar 25 GDKP runs (Before toc was released and the items outdated) - they only killed a few watchers but could get ~1-2k pots from half of the instance.

On Blackrock currently, going to a GDKP TOC 25 will earn you between 3000-6000g for one hour of your time invested.

Items such as Death's Verdict in TOC, the highly desirable items, can fetch between 15000 - 25000 each. Each player in the raid could receive nearly 1000 g from that item alone. Other items from old instances like Naxx might only go for 100-200g. Trophies for Tier 9 currently vary between 3000 - 6000g each on Blackrock (equating for 5 guaranteed per run: AKA Your pot might be at least 35 000 guaranteed before you even start the run, regardless of what else drops).

I hate the idea of spending gold to get items?

Put it in perspective and you might change your mind. Heres an example: Imagine for a second that you have ONE item you want from Naxx still. Would you pay 500g to get it - and never have to go back to Naxx again? Would you pay 5000g to get DragonSpine Trophy if it dropped, and never have to go back again?

What if you could make 1000 gold to go on that run via the GDKP pot, and had to pay 500g of that money to guarantee you will get that item - instead of having to /random to get it. Would you do it? You would come out 500g ahead and still get the item you want. Theres nothing stupid about that. If the item didnt drop, well you just earnt 1000g for your time (instead of being on a run that earns you nothing).

Or if you have an alt you quickly wish to gear up. Dont feel like doing pugs and random to try and win drops? You would rather just spend some of your farmed-gold to quickly buy up key pieces? Splurge and get it.

People like to put up barriers immediately when they hear "What, you pay money for items? Thats outrageous! HORRIBLE IDEA" without realising sometimes you actually could make more money overall than you actually spend etc. Big ticket items like Death's Verdict are obviously out of reach (unless you have the money). Pots can vary wildly between raids (how big the pot is depends on how much good stuff drops and what instance your doing). But as I said, a typical GDKP toc 25 pot lately here is going to earn you about 3000-5000g for your time invested on the run. People want their trophies badly! (Could be more or less depending on how many death verdict type items drop)

Would GDKP runs work on your server?

Since I originally wrote this post, I estimate 100+ different realms have tried to introduce GDKP to their server, you can see the threads here:

site:forums.worldofwarcraft.com gdkp warcraft na - Google Search
site:forums.wow-europe.com gdkp warcraft forums europe - Google Search

Many of those realms are NOT well progressed servers, yet are getting them started.

Big, busy servers might have an advantage: They have lots of progressed raid guilds. Lots of raiders who want the drops. Said raiders have lots of alts. Lots of said players are quite rich. The server itself has lots of farmers due to a very strong economy, eager to spend cash. The bigger and busier your server, the more raid guilds - the better.

But it appears that any server can try GDKP , and your server culture is the biggest factor which will determing whether your community embraces it. Even if a server isn't big on clearing TOC, there's no reason you can't successfully to Naxx GDKP runs instead.

I cant see these runs working. Pots being Ninja'd. People not trusting the Leader etc.

Once people adopt the idea, you might be surprised how much this is all a nonissue. If the pot is ninjaed, Blizzard GM's actually will intervene and split them to the raid, if there was a written agreement at the start of the run. This is why i'm highly recommending all Raid Leaders paste the rules at the start, and Raid Members refuse to go on any run where this isn't done. Here are two sourced Blizzard quotes detailing their policy on intervention (which applies to GDKP runs).





Most GDKP successful runs are by regular leaders who do it consistently, like any pug, and get a good reputation first and regular players who go weekly. GDKP runs are not just 'random PUG raids thrown together from trade chat'.

Remember people are not likely to leave GDKP runs early. Would you leave the run after Twins if Death's Verdict didnt drop, if you stood to receive 5000g for being present at the Anub'arak kill? People may also less likely to be ****, since you want to finish your run! Some raid leaders will make rules such as, "If you fail too much to void zones on KT you forfeit your pot'. You probably wouldnt be surprised to know that this magically makes everyone play alot better!

I've noticed on blackrock Raid Leaders associate GDKP runs with their name closely. Nobody says "LFM GDKP Naxx". Character names are almost always used. This obviously increases trust and helps establish a relationship, especially if the runs are run often. The comments in /trade will be things like,

"LFM Gurgthock's weekly TOC GDKP Run. Pst stats/spec and amount of gold you're willing to spend"

Will it always benefit me?

It has certain benefits for characters in different situations. Using an extreme example, if your fresh-to-80 alt wants Death's Verdict and full Tier 9, and you have 200g - you simply aren't going to get any of that in a GDKP run. You need to be smart and realistic about your expectations.

Perhaps you want to get ~4-6 easy pieces (eg wrist, libram, waist, neck) for ~1-3k g total, thats realistic. You might be prepared to spend about 4000 g to get one great item, thats realistic. You might be prepared to spend 20 000 to get Death's Verdict, again thats realistic.

Remember that although you spend gold to buy stuff, its often gold you 'would have earned anyway' just for going on the run. So you might actually come out breaking even. The net effect is your personal wealth might not change, even if you spend thousands of gold, but you also got a bunch of epic upgrades in the meantime. You win.

Theres a big distinction between 'the current content' and 'the old content' for GDKP runs. Alts actually are probably the biggest winners in a GDKP pugs for non-progression content. You can easily and very cheaply get tons of gear in an outdated instance like Naxx. Whether you need to go to GDKP or /random after that, will vary. You can use GDKP and /random runs both to your advantage. Get 'the basics' in GDKP, then move on to /random if you have no gold but want Death's Verdict type stuff.

Lets say a typical Naxx run these days (since naxx is so outdated) could get you full T7 and a couple random slots nobody needs these days (a wrist, a libram etc) for 1000g-1500, but you make 1000-1500g for going on the run. Thats the reality of how the runs (for naxx) can be: Alts jumping from quest greens/blues to that, for no effective cost and all done in a single run. If, of course, you want to take your new-to-80 alt to TOC and get t9 pieces and chances at Deaths Verdict - its not going to work (unless you have big bucks ready!).

Gdkp is better seen as a way to quickly gear up alts using previous instances easily/fast/cheaply, or fill in spot holes for mains for specific key items you need badly (eg grim toll) in any instance, or rich characters who have the luxory and money to buy whatever the hell they want. Its not a way for alts/mains to get the best current-progression items (eg full t9 and deaths verdict) instantly, unless you're really prepared to shell out for them. If you are prepared to shell out mega-bucks to forcibly get everything you want, the rest of the raid will love you for doing it (they get a share of the gold your paying). Think of it this way:

- If you goto a 'random roll pug' you might expect it would take you 2 weeks on average to get a desirable item, unless you get lucky on a roll. Chances are 4-6 people will roll on what you want, so if you got a desirable item in 2 weeks you are pretty lucky.
- You could goto a GDKP twice, make 8000g, and on the third run buy several items (or one big item) with 100% certainty of getting it instead, if it drops. The money you ultimately spend might seem large (WTF 5k g for a trophy?) , but its actually money you never had 2 weeks ago, and money you never would have earned if you went on a /random run instead.

Depending on your POV, its the same thing - and you could be better off with the latter. You're effectively using the time you spent on previous runs (aka the money you made) for you in future runs. That concept doesnt really exist for a true /random group. It doesnt matter if you lost the roll in the 10 previous runs, you lose again to someone who comes the first time and thats just the way it works.

Many people here wouldnt pay 5000g for a Trophy from TOC 25, but other people on your server happily would! Every single trophy for our last few weekly GDKP TOC 25 runs was eagerly snapped up for about 5k = 25 000 gold from trophies for the run alone (1000g each split at the end, before other drops) You can either go with them and try to get the item at a certain price level (obviously means you want it badly) or just go along and reap the gold benefits of other people who do instead.

I think the idea is that no single PUG system (random or gdkp) is perfect for every situation (or players needs) but both of them can have very compelling pro's.

What makes a successful GDKP run?

1 - A good leader who knows how to put it together.
2 - The 'right types of players' in the raid.

You need a healthy mix of player types I mentioned earlier. It might sound tricky to find specific types of players, but mostly this just falls into place naturally with a good raid leader handling it.

25 players in greens who have 100k each in the bank, aren't going to clear anything. 25 players in ilvl 258 gear, won't need (spend on) any upgrades. The Raid leader needs to find the balance when doing invites.

I will add that when doing /trade chat invites, many leaders will ask you to pst The amount of gold you are prepared to spend before inviting you. Not all leaders do this, but some do, "PST stats, spec and the amount of gold you're willing to spend." People can lie about their wealth? Thats why it's often required that people verify (display in trade window) they have it first, before getting an invite.

Does GDKP work for all instances?

It can, but not necesarily equally well. TOC lends itself perfectly to GDKP because its such a short instance with no trash, and the ilvl of items is very desirable for any Ulduar/Naxx geared player. TOC also will 100% drop 5 trophies per run for T9, which all 25 people in your raid could use. Naxx is also good for GDKP, because it is easy and 'everyone has done the fights' and knows the instance. It was much more rewarding back in its heyday though.

What challenges will I face when making a GDKP run?

Rucvv made an excellent post on page 2 of this thread elaborating on this. I will discuss it a little myself, but for further details click this link: http://elitistjerks.com/f15/t77416-g...2/#post1423129

On Blackrock Alliance, people will say things in trade chat like "LFM GDKP TOC 25, Pst stats/spec and amount of gold you're willing to spend". Nobody thinks its unusual or says anything. Other servers unfamiliar with the idea, might not react the same way till it becomes part of your server culture. These are the sorts of challenges you will face:

1 - Dealing with people who don't understand what GDKP is

- Some will think its a scam (Your going to steal all their money!)
- Some will just laugh and say its a stupid idea that couldn't possibly work (as many of you probably thought when you started reading this post)

2 - Fleshing out the raid with types of players I listed above.

- This is much easier for a smart and experienced raid leader to do. He or She probably has a good reputation/guild to fall back on, and some friends and regulars who can invite to form a strong Core. The raid leader needs to pull in the correct people most likely to make the run a success: Both in terms of ability to generate gold, and players with the gear/experience needed to make the run smooth.


3 - The Raid leader getting experience leading this type of run.

- He/She will want to use a mod to help initially. Read further into the thread for good practises on topics such as how to split the GDKP Pot at the end effeciently, and how to handle initial invites.
- The raid leader might be overwhelmed initially. You want to ideally trade players for them to show their wealth, armory all players, check achievements etc. While all this happens he/she might be getting tons of whispers from people interested to join, or asking for further explanations as to what GDKP is. This can be alot of work for one person (especially in conjunction with point 1). It definetely is a good idea for the raid leader to have 1-2 coleaders who help do these tasks.

The biggest challenges for GDKP runs arise in the first few weeks, until you get your Reputation and Word-of-Mouth out for the runs to become self sustaining. Don't be disheartened or overwhelmed if you face challenges! You definetely will want to read Rucvv's post, http://elitistjerks.com/f15/t77416-g...2/#post1423129 .

Summary for Raid Leaders

You need to decide what you want your run to achieve before invites go out. Are you trying to make a big-earning GDKP run with a huge pot? Then be agressive about it.

You will want to do something like a "Gear and/or Gold Check". If people dont have either of them, they aren't suitable for an invite.

People should be in your GDKP run for one of two reasons: You want to make LOTS of money, or you want to spend LOTS of money to get gear. Its the raid leaders job to put that together. Dont be shy about this fact, nor hide the fact this is about generating gold. You're not here to just get people an achievement for full clearing!

Before anyone is invited, you might require people to trade you money first in the window (not actually give it to you, just show you) to prove they have the wealth they state. Again this might seem quite personal for those unfamiliar with the concept, but people will do it.

"Ive got a friend boomkin interested who has 100 000 gold eager to come". THATS the sort of player you want to invite. Get him in ASAP! Get in more people like him, give him some equally rich competition! Put him on your friends list and ask him weekly if he'd like to go! Encourage players (nicely) on vent to bid each other up when items drop, "You cant let him have it for that price!" or "That BOE sells for 8000 g on the AH, dont let it go for 3000g!". Watch the money get raked in when the good items drop and people compete for them.

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You could alternatively make a 'more social GDKP' with more friends/guildies. These people might not spend as much, and the run will generate less gold. It might be more fun to your players and regarded as a weekly social event.

Conclusion

I will quite confidently say, if people took the plunge and tried this: and you made a decent GDKP run that cleared TOC and earnt everyone 2000-5000g each, word would get around fast. After that first run, you will find that subsequent runs get progressively easier and better. Once people hear about it, better geared players will be interested in going for the gold. Rich players with undergeared alts will start wanting to go, then you start making more money. From there, it's a vicious upward spiral as you start attracting more and more desirable players.

Word of mouth and your reputation is extremely important to GDKP runs. Always be as fair as possible. Be courteous and patient when explaining the GDKP concept to people who don't initially understand or embrace it. Treat the raid and its members well and with respect, even if they aren't all geared or equally skilled. Acknowledge that you will have many different geared/skilled players in your raid, ranging from "Pretty bad, undergeared players who have never done the instance' to 'Amazing, decked out players who know the instance back to front'. Some players may need more help and explanations before fights, be prepared to help them.

YOU stand to be the biggest beneficiary by doing all of this, because your runs stand to be more successful in future as a result. I hope the four main things you take away from my post are:

1 - GDKP can work wonderfully for many different types of players
2 - The Raid Leader has alot of responsibility to ensure a successful GDKP run
3 - A Good Reputation and Word-of-Mouth are crucial to successful GDKP runs.
4 - Only make or goto GDKP runs where the Rules are explicitly stated ingame at the start of the run by the Raid Leader. (Mentioning them on vent alone is not good enough, they must be stated ingame).