Dragon kill points (usually abbreviated with the acronym DKP) designates a kind of currency which is earned by participating in endgame raids and spent by acquiring loot from endgame bosses. The term DKP is also frequently used to designate raid-level loot system in general. The most popular systems for endgame loot distribution are point-based (and thus DKP systems). The very first endgame loot distribution system was developed by the guild Afterlife in 1999 and named for the original two EverQuest end bosses, both of whom were dragons.
Creating a DKP system gives an example of how to build a DKP system from scratch.
From EQDKP - About:
- What is DKP?
- DKP, short for Dragon Kill Points, is a concept originally created by Thott of Afterlife, at a time where the only two raid targets in Everquest were two dragons, Lady Vox and Lord Nagafen. These points are awarded to each guild member as they attend a guild raid. The current DKP of each member reflects his or her priority for loot. When a member "wins" an item, they lose a DKP amount that reflects the value of that item.
- DKP allows for an unbiased comparison between guild members when decisions about loot are to be made based on attendance and recent items that have been awarded.
Most guilds using a formal loot system will use a website to communicate current standings to their members. There is a plethora of ways to do this ranging from simple lists updated manually, to highly tailored full-fledged graphic mods. When setting up such a system it helps to keep it simple at first, and not to get carried away with fancy features and time-consuming projects.
The technically simplest method of dealing with DKP is to just have a list on the guild forums or a flat html file in which the standings are manually updated. The disadvantage of this solution is that there will be no item history, and it's not easy to do fast searches while raiding. Updating can also be time-consuming and error-prone. If a simple system (like Suicide Kings) is used, this approach may still be appropriate.
The vast majority of raids though use some ingame mod to collect data, and a website with a database to display the statistics. These DKPSoft systems need some time to set up, and a little learning on how to use them, but offer a lot of nice features, and are quite safe and simple to use.
Most are PHP/MySQL based, thus need a website supporting that.
eqDKP is something like a gold standard, the grandfather of all such systems. It is rather well documented, and sports support forums on its website. It's not a bad idea to simply start there if there are no specific reasons to use one of the other systems.
A recently popular dkp system is called GDKP or originally created as Perfect dkp which is essentially a zero sum gold exchange system.
A Project (namely eqDKP Plus) with extended Functions and as well supported Games has evolved from eqDKP. It has an included Raid Planner, Boss Progressing Graphs, an Importer for Raids from WoW and supports many CMS and Forums to login with the same username.
If you wish to integrate your DKP within a phpBB3 forum then you can use bbDKP, includes multiple dkp pools, multiple guild support, headcount & ct_raidtracker import, bossprogress, automated guild application template, bbTips plugin with item, itemico, spell, quest, achievement tootltips, Guild roster with Armory update. Games supported : WoW, Aion, EQ2, Lotro, FFxi
Some live DKP standings examples:
- Exercitum Guild using WarcraftDKP
There are also addons that use Officer/Public notes to handle DKP. As such DKPs are tracked in real time and everyone has the latest standings readily available, in the expense on not being able to handle DKP tracking for people outside the guild:
- EPGP (download addon at Curse Gaming)
- Quick DKP (this one falls back to internal storage for people outside the guild)
And there are also systems that don't use the Officer/Public notes, but keep their own storage mechanism:
- RDKP (Can be found at Curse Gaming)
- DKPmon Full in-game display and bidding for Zero Sum, Boss Auction, EPGP and Fixed. Also allows for development of custom plugins to support additional DKP types.
Scientific research on DKP systems
Meanwhile, the economics of MMORPGs in general, and the loot distribution systems in particular, have become the subject of scientific research. Notable articles include:
- Spohn, Dave. DKP - dragon kill points. About.com.
- Neils Clark (August 2006). "Addiction and the Structural Characteristics of Massively Multiplayer Online Games" (PDF). University of Hawaii.
- Oppenheimer. Loot Distribution for Raids. World of Warcraft Stratics.
- Castronova and Fairfield (October 16, 2006). "Dragon Kill Points: A Summary Whitepaper" (PDF). Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research.
- Developing management skills through MMORPGs
Dragon kill points, general article about the origin and some basic variants
- Management sites