Buying in to Suicide Kings

When it comes to divvying out loot, I’ve heard of more than a few systems that players seem to hate.

A straight-up DKP system, some would argue, leads players to save up all their points, never spending them until the absolute perfect item drops. And once that happens, you just have to hope that there isn’t someone else with a point or two more than you. And when players aren’t spending their points, inflation is inevitable, since members will become willing to spend more points to get the loot they want.

Similarly, bidding DKP systems can drive up the “price” of loot. Although, conversely I suppose if there is no minimum bid, raiders may be able to get a good deal on an item as well, if no one else is willing to bid (perhaps because they already spent a higher amount of DKP to bid on the same item earlier).

But not having any personal experience with any of these, I can only  repeat the pros and cons that I’ve heard from others. What I can confidently say is that I am becoming an increasingly big fan of Suicide Kings.

You’ll find my reasoning behind the cut.

The way that Suicide Kings operates starts like many other systems: create a list of participating players. Let’s assume we’re starting off with a 25-man raid. Each player will /roll, and the list is generated based off your roll, with high rollers at the top.

When a piece of loot drops in which multiple people express an interest, the highest player on the list wins it, and “suicides” their spot, dropping down to slot #25 while everyone else moves up.

The system ensures that at some point, you will get a chance at your loot. Those people who really want one particular piece can wait it out, giving others a chance for drops. Eventually, they’ll be at the top of the list  and able to get that one piece they want. I’ve found that those players tend to be the ones that already are pretty well geared, so by waiting at the top of the list they are effectively allowing others in the group to gear up, too.

Alternatively, those people who already are at the bottom of the list can bottom-feed loot that the ones at the top just aren’t willing to suicide for.

You can handle adding in new players to the system a number of ways, but the group I run with adds new players to the bottom of the list. And those players who are absent during a raid will maintain their spots, neither moving up nor down, although others who are participating may be able to jump a spot over them.

I’ve fared pretty well with this system, and I’ve seen both sides of people who were happy to wait out their place until the right item dropped, and those who were able to bottom feed several great items in a single night. In fact, I’ve been in both positions.

Back when my guild was regularly running 25 ToC, for example, my rogue held her place in line until Blood Fury dropped.

And just the other night in 25 ICC, I was on the other side of the coin. Not particularly holding out for any special loot, I suicided for Band of the Bone Colossus. On the next fight, my heart sank when Heartpierce dropped. I was sure it wouldn’t be mine.  And yet, miraculously, no one else suicided for it. Even though I was at the bottom of the list, I was able to get a second worthy piece of loot the same night.

Had that been a DKP system and had I spent my points on the ring, I surely would not have had enough points left for a weapon. What would happen to said piece of loot if no one expressed interest except a rogue who could not afford the DKP price? I’m sure that varies per guild, but it would be a shame to shard it.

Who else is partial to Suicide Kings? I’m also curious what experiences, good or bad, that everyone has had with other loot systems.


  1. This really is an interesting loot system, never heard of it before. I think this is also quite usable in PuG-raids, unlike dkp. Very nice article!

  2. I have been trying to convince my guild to switch over to SK to no avail. I don’t know what it is they don’t like about it since no one elaborates on their hate. Maybe it’s the Suicide in the name?

  3. I do like Suicide Kings, but in our guild we don’t really need those.

    We’ve been raiding since we turned 80 and we all know each other pretty well, so when it comes to loot, we just /roll and the highest one wins.

  4. My guild use SK and I never heard of it before i first PUG with this guild (before joining). I really like this system because the loot is (usually) more freely distributed among players. If you’re present, you get nearer to the top…if you’re absent you just don’t move so you’re not penalized for having an appointment!

    We sometime have to pug 1 or 2 ppl for the 25 run too sometime and the way we handle it is we randomly insert them in the list…sometime it’s bad for them (being at the bottom of the list for only a run won’t let you get the BiS items if someone else want it) sometime it’s pretty good (we had a PUG inserted at position #2 one night…sucks for those who are always there but hey…the pug is probably only there for a run!)

    So yeah, even if we are a small guild and almost everyone knows someone else IRL, the SK system make it so that there is not a lucky guy who get almost all the loot in a run :D

  5. I like the idea behind suicide kings and would probably be happy using it, but it is unable to put a price on loot. What I mean by this is, as a hunter, I have the option to dual wield or use a 2-hander, and with suicide kings getting a set of 2 1-handers costs twice as much as that of a single 2H weapon. With a set price dkp system (not as much, but still so without set prices) I could get my 2 separate 1H for about the same price. I used weapons as an easy example, but it’s like how I would much prefer a chest piece to a neck as a loot upgrade etc.

    The loot system my guild uses is a mix of dkp and attendance for 25m raids (No system in 10ms since sometimes PuG and guild leaders aren’t going to be in each group so can’t handle dkp). We have dkp as our base, so loot is payed for with dkp and being in the raid for a boss kill rewards dkp. We use set prices to prevent tiny bids or extreme bids, and have a dkp cap of 1500 (you get 15dkp per boss kill, and a tier chest costs about 400, 2h weapons about 500, to give you some perspective). Also, if you don’t have enough dkp you can go infinitely into negative dkp, but since there is usually competition or people have earned enough that doesn’t usually happen.
    However since we are a progression guild and don’t want people to slack on attendance, if you are online during raid times and are in the raid/are able to join if someone leaves, you receive attendance, and this gives you a percentage. The people with higher percentage get prio on loot, so that if you have 90-100% you get highest prio followed by 80-90%, 70-80% etc. You also get 1% extra per 50 dkp you have so as to make your dkp more useful. If some loot drops you want and out of the other people who want it, you have them most dkp in your tier, and there is no one in a higher tier the loot is yours.

    Some Advantages:- Prevents people gaining lots of dkp, taking a break before the next tier, then coming back and stealing lots of loot.
    – Also prevents people from slowly getting dkp over time then taking an upgrade off of someone who turns up to every raid.
    – Allows pricing of items.
    – No inflation.

    Some Disadvantages: -Have to get addons for easy running of the system.
    – Rather long winded to explain =P
    – Can’t be used in PuGs.

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