The core tenants of the VCP system are:
- Simplicity -- VCP is nearly fully automated, allowing for simple Officer management, and more importantly, is also extremely easy to understand for all Raiders involved.
- Fairness -- VCP is designed to fairly reward all Raiders equally with zero bias or priority based on typical qualifiers, such as guild rank, seniority, previous attendance, gear, etc.
- Minimalistic Roster -- Since early WotLK, Vox has found a great deal of benefit -- both socially and within gameplay itself -- to keeping the active roster size small. VCP is designed to preserve a relatively small active roster size while also eliminating the volatility experienced with a static roster size.
VCP is not a DKP system nor does it attempt to be -- it has no effect on or relation to loot distribution. VCP is purely a method to manage raid roster invitations.
How does VCP work?
When a raid is forming for the evening, the top 20 Raiders with the highest VCP will receive an invitation to that raid, and those invited Raiders will have an Attendance Loss of approximately -15 VCP deducted from their VCP total, essentially "buying" a ticket into the raid.
Any Raider that was online at least once during the first hour of raid time (known as the Cutoff Period), but was not invited to the raid, will earn an Attendance Gain of 100 VCP for sitting out during this raid.
Since Raiders earn an Attendance Gain for being available but not invited into a raid, and an Attendance Loss when actually invited into a raid, the system will naturally create a roster "rotation" as VCP values rise and fall between raids.
What does a zero-sum system mean and how does it relate to VCP?
A zero-sum system is a term from economics and game theory that describes a system whereby the gains and losses of any given individual within the system are conversely balanced by the gains and losses of all other participants. The VCP system is zero-sum in that the sum of all VCP for all Raiders is equal to zero.
The choice to use a zero-sum system for VCP is to prevent VCP hoarding and exploitation, which is very common in non-zero-sum point systems. In a non-zero-sum system, a long-time Raider might earn a sizable chunk of saved up VCP, such that any newly recruited Raider would have to wait weeks or even months to earn enough VCP to actually pass the long-time Raider and earn an invitation to a raid. This, of course, would greatly harm the Guild and Raid progress as a whole and moreover, be very detrimental to recruitment and general fairness within the system.
Instead, by utilizing a zero-sum system, VCP earnings for a long-term Raider will never be so high that a newly recruited Raider cannot bypass those earnings within a handful of raids.
How many Raiders are active within VCP?
While we don't have a specific active roster size, one of the design tenants of the VCP system is to maintain the fewest active Raiders possible while also accounting for the variance in attendance and availability for any given individual Raider.
How are new Raiders added to the system?
When a single Raider enters the system, he or she starts with zero VCP.
When multiple Raiders enter the system at the same time, each is randomly assigned a slightly different starting VCP value near zero to prevent exact VCP ties.
How are Attendance Gains distributed?
Approximately 5 minutes prior to the start of an Official Raid, an automated warning message will appear in Guild chat that indicates a raid is about to begin and attendance will be taken.
Once the raid officially begins, the VCP addon will automatically scan all online players to determine which Raiders are online but not invited into the raid. Every individual Raider will be informed when he or she has been detected by the VCP addon.
Once a Raider has received confirmation of his or her Attendance Gain, that individual does not need to remain online. If necessary, an Officer will contact an offline Raider via IM or SMS if we need that player to login at a later time.
How does VCP handle tardiness or absence?
If a Raider is not online when an Official Raid begins, he or she may still login at anytime during the Cutoff Period (the first sixty minutes of the raid) to receive standard Attendance Gain (if sitting out this raid) or to get into the raid (if scheduled to attend). However, due to the individual's tardiness, a Delinquency Penalty is applied to the Raider's VCP total.
The amount of a Delinquency Penalty is based on the percentage of Cutoff Period time that the individual was offline before first logging in, up to a maximum of -100 VCP for being offline for the entirety of the Cutoff Period (or not logging in at all).
For example, if Johnny logs in after 30 minutes of the raid have passed, Johnny missed 50% of the Cutoff Period time before his initial login, and thus his Delinquency Penalty is 50% of the maximum, or -50 VCP.
Delinquency Penalties apply to both those Raiders who are scheduled to sit for the evening or those who are invited into the raid.
How does VCP handle unexcused absence?
In order to discourage such behavior and keep a stable roster, any Raider that has an unannounced/unexcused absence will receive an Infraction Penalty of -50 VCP, on top of the standard Delinquency Penalty of -100 VCP.
What is Seeding?
Any Raider who was invited into the first raid of the week will be Seeded for the rest of the week and eligible to ignore VCP values and guarantee a spot for the remainder of that raid week.
By enforcing Seeding, we completely eliminate the chance for any individual Raider to exploit the system by attending only certain raids within the week.
Seeding does not in anyway reduce the VCP earnings or spending for Raiders, nor the actual ratio of raids a given Raider can attend over time. Instead, Seeding allows a set of Raiders to lock in for the week and thereby get all the benefits of both early and late week raids (e.g. farm status/loot stuff early and progression later, as is the normal trend).
How often does a typical Raider get to raid?
Two factors determine raid opportunities: The total roster size and the attendance rate of Raiders.
As a simple example, if the current roster was 25 Raiders, each of whom maintained 100% attendance, an individual Raider will over time be able to participate in about 80% of all raids, or more specifically, 20 out of every 25 Mythic raids.
Each Raider who attends a raid will pay VCP to attend (a value know as Attendance Loss), an amount that will vary slightly depending on roster size (the full formula can be found here).
A Raider that is present but must sit out for a raid will earn Attendance Gain of 100 VCP, or an equivalent average of ~6.67 future raids.
Because VCP is zero-sum based, the actual raid attendance possibility for a high attendance Raider is dramatically increased when another Raider is absent or tardy, bringing the raid percentage for the high attendance Raiders much higher than in the theoretical 100% attendance example. Each tardiness or absence for a Raider penalizes that player by an amount up to -150 VCP, which gives a high attendance Raider those penalized points in earnings over that absent/tardy Raider.
What is Officer Override?
An Officer Override is a calculated decision by the Officers to temporarily override the current VCP standings by forcing one or more individual Raiders that were scheduled to attend the raid to instead sit out, ensuring a stable raid roster.
In some instances -- especially early in a content patch cycle where offspec gear is weaker -- an Officer Override may be necessary for Tank or Healer roles primarily, in a situation where the current VCP values dictate that a primary tank or a primary healer should sit out during the raid, yet doing so would greatly detriment the raid. In such a case, an Officer Override will be decided (either manually or via picking the highest of the two VCP values if the specific class makeup is irrelevant) such that the Raider who would've been sitting out is instead allowed into the raid over the next lowest VCP Raider of a non-essential role/class.
All point-based VCP rules apply in Officer Override situations. For example, a Raider who is forced to sit during an Officer Override will receive standard Attendance Credit as if it was his or her normal scheduled period to sit out.