Greedy Goblin

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Gold bid does not reward good players

There is a common misconception among players: "gold bid (aka GDKP) reward good players as they don't buy gear but get gold from the pot". It is commonly commented to my "boost raid" posts. Actually it's wrong two times.

At first it equals "good player" with "geared player". Someone doing 8K in full 251 bids on gear, while someone doing 8K in full 264 does not. Someone doing 12K in 264 also do not and gets equal share from the pot as the 8K-in-264 guy. If we want to motivate people to play to their skill and not just watch TV, gold bid won't do that.

Secondly: "gold bid rewards geared players as they don't buy gear but get gold" is also wrong. At first an obvious example: two holy palas, one is full geared, one is in starter gear, the first doing 2x more healing than the second. No caster item without spirit drops, so neither of them bid on anything. They get equal share from the pot, despite one does 2x more.

OK, you can say it's bad luck and it's reasonable to assume that gear will drop. So let's see a piece of BoE gear! A BoE will sell for its AH price (or a bit below because of AH cut). If it's cheaper, one will surely buy it in the raid just to sell it in the AH. Since anyone can sell the item in the AH or buy an identical at this price, "buying the item on market price" gives no gold-value to the buyer. He simply transformed his 5K gold into 5K worth of item. So the situation is equal to "boss drops 5K". 9 people get 500G directly while one pays 4500 and gets 5K when he sells the item at the AH (or 5K opportunity cost when he doesn't buy another in the AH). Since everyone was paid equally, there is absolutely no extra reward for the geared player.

Now let's see the most common case: BoP item. To assess its value, let's say that it has a BoE-equivalent in the AH for 5K, so anyone getting it gets 5K in opportunity cost since he does not have to buy the BoE. A BoP sells for less, due to limited demand. You just have to outbid the few people who want the item. Imagine that anyone online could bid, not just the people in the raid. It's no wonder that the price would be higher. That's exactly the case with the BoEs, as anyone can bid on them in the AH. So by buying a BoP the buyer gets gold value, he pays 4K for an item that would sell for 5K in the AH! The gold at the end distributed equally, so 9 people get 400G and the buyer gets 5000-9*400=1400G in opportunity cost.

Conclusion: gold bid favors the less geared players.

Now let's see why do people tend to believe that gold bid favors the more geared players? The same item drops as before. The less geared players /roll for it, since it's an upgrade for them. Their chance to get it is 1/N where N is the number of less geared players. So on average, with /roll, the less geared players get 5000/N G value. The more geared (who don't roll since it's no upgrade) gets nothing.
  • gold bid: geared gets 400, less geared gets 400+1000/N (1/N chance of being the winner)
  • /roll: geared gets 0, less geared gets 5000/N.
Gold bid is less unjust to the geared player than /roll, but it is still unjust as it gives more reward to the people who work less. My solution for this was the boost raid system where there is a direct payment to the boosters from the normals.

The PuG update: Last week's progression got its fruits, on yesterday's boost raid we did 8/12 on 25 men, resulting 2200G for boosters and 1450G for normals. Not bad for 3 hours even in goblin terms.


Unknown said...


I believe you are viewing the immediate transaction without any regard to future transactions. Yes, an undergeared player is going to get more bang for his buck. The geared player ALSO gets more bang from is buck from the undergeared player buying gear due to the loss of purchasing power of the undergeared player thus lowering the ceiling price for the geared player.

Every gear spot does not have a 264 BoE that can be purchased for it, so you can't always say there is a 5k BoE that you could have bought that you got for 4k. Out of 18 gear slots, you would be lucky to 5 slots that can be filled this way with most people sitting around 3 or 4.

Additionally, once you've bought that 5,000g piece of gear and equipped it when a comparable piece on the AH would cost 6,000g, you now have somewhere over 4,900g worth of sunk costs that you cannot recover. If the pot is worth 5,000g at the end, then your assets have changed by something around 25g - gems - enchants. Yes, you also gain the 1,000g in opportunity costs that you gained from not buying the BoE off the auction house, but once the transaction was made, those opportunity costs are no longer relevant. They only apply in the decision making on whether and which transaction to make. The geared player that bought nothing had his assets raise by 5,000g.

GDKP is a method of managing a raid, not just a loot distribution method. It has advantages that no other method has and is capable of taking PUGs further, capable of encouraging PUGs to stay past bosses they want, capable of replacing PUGs that leave the raid, and capable of encouraging PUGs to improve themselves and function better.

John Newhouse said...

Again, I must say it was awesome raid. Except on the 2 "cry babies" bosses where it went so-so, we pretty much rocket out all bosses.

I enjoyed it alot since it was first time I saw seeing this content. Being in The PuG is so great for the following reasons:

1) You are given a chance to prove that you can raid (aka, no GS/Achi bullshit). I was given my chance on PP progression while I had equivalent of a 4100 GS I think with no achivement.
2) No time wasted with afkers, unprepared people, unflasked people, etc.
3) You get paid to raid.

I got 3 items (a mark, a i264 staff, a i264 gloves) for about 2k gold and I got a return of 1.4k. So for ~600g, I got very strong upgrades.

And if you do not have much gold, no problem, you might not get gears this run, but next run you will have alot of gold from your previous raid and you will be able to.

Ismaele said...

The BoE/BoP example is useful for understanding the mechanic, but is right to introduce an approsimated value due to measure the lack of bidder?
Every raider is investing time and lock to the opportunity of partecipating to an eventual auction with limited bidders, so this auction has a fee that every raider is paying. Is right to assume that all the fees goes to the winner of the auction?
So, with roll system lower geared gets all, with gold system everyone gets the same (even if with 1/3 rule to 2nd lower geared player have a chance to get a little more because they are likely to compete on items with other low geared).
So, you introduce Booster/normal player classification. In this way boosters get all the same that is a bit more than normal.
How to identify a booster? It's just a matter of skill? If all players have same skill but different gear their performances will not be the same for all. A booster could be someone who has all item-level equal or superior to the item-level dropped by the boss.
Making booster/normal difference on skill base could be an incentive for normal player to perform badly. Skill is a pre-requirment that allows you to join the raid.

Taemojitsu said...

Gold bid favors the more-geared player because many PUG raids will include both a core of well-geared and experienced players and the bidders who are expected to show they have the gold to compete in bidding. The market value a BoP would have is irrelevant, because if all BoPs reached that market value it would soon cause that price to fall. Individual value is not the same as market value in most cases, except for totally demand-inelastic items, so viewing the market value as the 'gain' for the player can be misleading if they are the consumer of the product with no resale.

It may be worth mentioning that the gold bid method in the MMO 'Aion' is known as "instant settlement", which is possibly a reflection of the longer settlement times of traditional gold bids in MMO culture. Isn't used much in NA/EU tho because all named creatures are camped/dominated by legions..!

nehunter said...

Gevlon ? You missed the hole argument why "GDKP rewards good play".

If someone performs bad you can simply kick him and give his gold to the one who's gonna replace him.

Ngita said...

The sole advantage of a gold bid run for good players is their a better chance of reaching bosses that you could not access in a pug.

Eenheid said...

This seems obvious but perhaps worth mentioning:

When people say "gold bid rewards good players" or "gold bid rewards geared players," perhaps what they really mean is "gold bid rewards good players more than /roll" or "gold bid rewards geared players more than /roll."

This is basically what your article shows -- I just point this out because maybe people aren't 'wrong' when they say "gold bid rewards good players" or "gold bid rewards geared players," they are just being imprecise.

Only the booster's gold system, that I have seen, comes close to rewarding good players more.