What is EPGP?
EPGP stands for Effort Points/Gear Points. Effort Points (EP) are a measurement of how much individual effort a Raider puts into Vox, while Gear Points (GP) are a measurement of how much loot that individual Raider has received.
By comparing the two values of EP and GP in a simple ratio, an Raider's Priority (PR) can be calculated: EP / GP = PR. All else being equal, the individual with the highest PR will get first dibs on an item.
More information about the specific mechanics of the EPGP system can be found in the EPGP Documentation page, but the remainder of this document focuses on Vox's own usage of the EPGP system.
How will a Raider earn EP?
Online EP is the primary source of a Raider's EP income, and is earned for being online at least one time during the first sixty minutes of the raid (aka the Cutoff Period). The maximum Online EP is 1000 EP for being online at the very beginning of the raid.
If a Raider is tardy, his or her Online EP is reduced based on the percentage of the Cutoff Period the raider was offline for. For example, if Johnny logs in 15 minutes after the raid begins, he missed 25% of the Cutoff Period prior to his initial login, so his Online EP for that raid is reduced 25% down to 750 EP.
This sliding scale allows an individual who is only slightly late to still gain the majority of his or her Online EP bonus.
Punctual EP is the secondary form of EP gain available, and is awarded only to Raiders that are online at the moment the raid begins. At 200 EP, Punctual EP serves as a bonus for Raiders that make a conscious effort to be on time and available for every raid possible.
Similar to the VCP system, once a Raider has been recognized as being online for the first time and credited his or her Online EP, he or she is free to log out or use their time as they wish for the remainder of the evening if they were scheduled to sit for that raid.
As described in the documentation, Decay is the rate that both EP and GP values are reduced at the end of every raid week to prevent hoarding and encourage frequent item purchases. Vox utilizes a Decay rate of 15%, which means that any earnings from 4 weeks prior are worth roughly 50% of their original value.
Minimum EP is set at 6800 EP and is equivalent to two weeks of 100% attendance raiding, as at the beginning of week three, EP will exceed 6800.
This threshold will mean that during the first two weeks of raiding with Vox (generally the Trial period), a Raider will not be eligible to receive Mainspec loot priority over another Raider who is above the Minimum EP threshold.
This does not mean that a new Raider who is under the Minimum EP threshold will never receive loot, but the minimum allows us time to ensure a newer player is a solid fit while we get to know them over time, and allows the Raider in question to "earn" their eligibility for Mainspec loot priority. A Raider below the Minimum EP threshold can (and likely will) win loot when no other Mainspec bids are entered for an item.
Base GP is currently set to 1000 GP.
Base GP never changes and is primarily used to ensure PR calculations won't result in a 'divide by zero' calculation. When calculating PR the actual formula used is PR = EP / (Base GP + GP). So a player that has never purchased an item and thus as zero GP, will still have an equivalent of 1000 GP due to the always-standard Base GP.
How much GP is an item worth?
The GP value of any given item is calculated based on a fairly simple formula using the Item Level, Equipment Slot, and the current raid tier's Heroic Item Level value.
Heroic quality items are worth an average of 1000 GP while Mythic items are worth an average of ~1492 EP.
More information on GP calculations can be found here.
What happens when I win an item?
Once an item is awarded to an individual Raider, that player's current GP value is increased by the amount of GP that particular item was worth (unless discounted; see the Loot Types section below). This increase in GP means the current PR of the Raider will go down slightly, reducing his or her potential loot priority over others.
What Bid Types are available when I bid on an item?
When an item drops in raid, a Raider will be given 4 choices via the EPGPLootMaster addon: Mainspec, Minor Upgrade, Offspec, and Pass.
Mainspec should be selected for any desired item that is from a higher difficulty than the currently equipped item and will be used for your primary specialization. An item that is an item level upgrade of 7 or more levels must be bid as Mainspec.
Minor Upgrade is for an item that is a slight upgrade or "sidegrade," is of equivalent item level (i.e. from the same difficulty) to your existing item), and is also used for your primary specialization. Only items that are within 6 or fewer levels of your currently equipped item qualify for Minor Upgrade bids; anything greater must be a Mainspec. However, a player may choose to bid Mainspec for an item that is within that 6 level difference range, to improve his or her priority on the item.
Offspec is for any item not used by your primary specialization (including secondary specialization items, transmogrification items, or general toys).
Pass is to indicate you have no desire in the item.
Following these basic Bid Type guidelines will allow you to properly bid in 95% of scenarios, but your personal desires may sometimes change your Bid Type selection, especially based on the Bid Priorities.
The Bid Priority is a hierarchy of Bid Types and raider Ranks.
Each Bid Type within the Bid Priority chain "trumps" all the Bid Types below it, such that no "lesser" Bid Type can ever win an item bid over a "greater" Bid Type in the hierarchy.
Similarly after following the Bid Type priority, we then also prioritize by Rank within the guild as follows: Raider > Trial Raider > Friend/Family Raider.
Therefore, by going through the Bid Type priority list and then subsequently through the Rank priorities within each of those, we get the following full list of Bid Priorities we currently utilize:
|Mainspec||Trial Raider (below Minimum EP)|
|Minor Upgrade||Trial Raider (below Minimum EP)|
|Minor Upgrade||F&F Raider|
|Offspec||Trial Raider (below Minimum EP)|
As discussed above in the Minimum EP section, Mainspec items can never be won by a player who is below the Minimum EP value over another Mainspec bidder who is at or above Minimum EP. Similarly, a F&F Raider cannot win a Mainspec item over a Trial Raider, even if that Trial Raider is below the Minimum EP value.
In essence, the Bid Priorities ensure that only bidders of the same Bid Type will compete with one another, and if no bidders with that Bid Type exist, the next rung down is checked for bidders and so on until a winner based on highest PR is found.
Item Awarding and GP Discounts
In order to encourage frequent item bids by everyone involved, all non-Mainspec items are awarded at a significantly reduced GP value.
Mainspec items are awarded to the Mainspec bidder with the highest PR and increase the winner's GP by 100% of the GP value of the item. An item providing an upgrade of 7 levels or greater must be bid using Main Spec.
Minor Upgrade items are awarded to the Minor Upgrade bidder with the highest PR (assuming no higher Bid Priority bids exist) and increase the winner's GP by 10% of the GP value of the item. A Minor Upgrade bid can only be used on items that are within a maximum of 6 levels of the player's existing item.
In some cases, an item within 6 item levels of the currently equipped item may be available that a Raider considers to be a large enough upgrade to warrant a Mainspec bid rather than a Minor Upgrade bid. This decision is always up to the discretion of the individual Raider, allowing the individual to decide if risking the competition of a lesser Minor Upgrade bid is worth the 90% GP discount, or if the added security of a Mainspec bid at the full GP value is better.
The reverse situation is not allowed, however. If a item for a Raider's primary specialization is available that is 7 levels or greater than the currently equipped item, a Raider must enter a Mainspec bid and cannot opt for a Minor Upgrade bid in an attempt to get a GP discount.
Caveat: Tier Tokens: Unlike all other loot, set piece tokens/tier tokens do not fall into these Bid Type categories based on item level, and instead must always be bid using Mainspec.
Unlike Mainspec and Minor Upgrade items, Offspec items are not awarded based on highest PR, but instead are awarded randomly among the group of highest Offspec bidders via a /random roll.
Offspec items are awarded to the Offspec bidder with the highest /random roll (assuming no higher Bid Priority bids exist) and increase the winner's GP by 10% of the GP value of the item. (Note: Exceptions may be necessary due to the Offspec Priority Roster).
Offspec Priority Roster
To improve our chances for success given the relatively small roster size Vox maintains, we utilize a special system to handle Offspec loot on occasion that bypasses the standard method outlined above.
The Offspec Priority Roster is a small group of Raiders who have been selected to be the primary substitutes for specialty roles in the raid when the need arises (such as swapping to a substitute Tanking or Healing role). When an upgrade drops that a member of the Offspec Priority Roster can use in their appropriate Offspec, those bidding members of the Offspec Priority Roster will receive automatic loot priority over other Offspec bidders that are not a part of the Offspec Priority Roster.
By implementing this priority for a handful of people, we can be confident that when a primary Raider in one of these roles is absent or scheduled to sit, we will have an appropriately well-geared Offspec player available to substitute into that position.
While we have done our best to make our use of the EPGP system as fair as possible, the needs of our raid must occasionally trump the needs of the individual Raiders, and the use of the Offspec Priority Roster is one example.