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Back in Wrath of the Lich King there was a new fad that swept the servers of World of Warcraft and that fad was called GDKP. While it had been around in other games before and even in WoW on select servers it never really took off in WoW until the WotLK expansion and patches. In that time and really any time there is a long wait between raid instance releases, there have always been high level raid guilds that have all the available content on farm status. These guilds used to run raids with several core players, and filling it with other players willing to pay for certain items. This was fairly common on many servers. Think of GDKP as a modified version of that and you will not be far off.

This guide will start off with a brief explanation of what exactly GDKP is and a link to some pretty detailed rules. After that everyone will have a solid foundation on what it is. At that point it will be time to talk about the system in more detail; does it work, is it a good thing, bad thing, should you get involved? These are all questions that I will attempt to answer.

GDKP Basics

GDKP is essentially a bidding system for gear that drops in much the same way as DKP or EP/GP functions. However, instead of players using points to bid on items they bid with gold. The highest bidder gets the item, the rest of the players in the raid split the gold, so everyone gets something. There is a great historical post over on the Elitist Jerk’s page that gives all the details, it can be found here: GDKP Run Discussion: Spread it to your Server.

Straight from Tyrain’s excellent post on the subject of GDKP runs, here are the “in a nutshell” rules for GDKP.

  1. GDKP stands for "Gold-DKP". It can also be known by similar names such as "Gold runs", "GKP runs", or "Cash runs".
  2. It was a Korean concept brought to WoW. It's already established and extremely common in some regions, only recently introduced on some servers, yet still completely unheard of on others.
  3. Items which drop in your run are auctioned off in raid chat. The highest bidder receives the item and the gold they pay is added to "The Pot"
  4. Profession Patterns, BoE's, Crusader Orbs, Disenchanted Shards etc are all auctioned off in this manner as well. Basically everything that drops.
  5. "The Pot" keeps growing in value until the end of the run
  6. "The Pot" is split evenly at the end of the run to all 25 players in the raid present when the final boss dies. Everyone gets an equal share.
  7. There is no mainspec > offspec priority, it’s gold which determines who gets what.

GDKP Theory

The theory behind GDKP is that many players that raid simply get boarded of running content that they can beat easily so never run it again. On the flip side, there are players that really want to run the content and get the gear but don’t have enough gear to allow them to be in there. Something they do have, or can very easily get, is gold. In today’s game it is nothing for players to farm for a day and earn 5-10,000 gold in 8-10 hours of play time.

target="_blank"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 197px;" />Even when you have gold, bidding can get nerve wracking

GDKP tries to team players that are either very over geared, or have lots of gold to spend on gear together. Ideally in a 25 player raid you want to have about 10 that are way over geared for the content and need nothing, 10 that need a lot of gear and have lots of gold, and 5 that are there for just 1 or 2 specific pieces that they never got to drop, but are otherwise geared.


There are several good things that come out of GDKP runs. The first is that it keeps overgeared players running old content, which helps more undergeared players see the content. This is good because if those highly overgeared players were not running the content, many of the runs would fail and more players could not see the content and gear up from it.

The second pro of GDKP is that it helps redistribute wealth and keep the economy moving. Very few players spend money as fast or as frequently as high end raiders. Most other players squirrel it away and spend it only when needed. High end raiders are known to completely re-gem all their gear, or re-enchant it, spending thousands simply to pick up a few DPS or HPS when they get a new piece of gear. They are also the first to pay the big prices for the top end crafting materials or crafted items when new content comes out. Both of these help keep the in game economy moving.

Third on the list is the fact that many players have gold and want items but the items on the auction house are generally way over priced. By running a GDKP run they can potentially get several items for the same cost as a high level BoE or crafted item. In addition to the gear, it also familiarizes them with the content so that they can run in a normal group later.


One big con could be viewed that if GDKP runs start dominating a server then players that just want to run and learn the raid for themselves will not be able to find a group. This could be true, however I do not believe that all runs can convert to GDKP. There simply aren’t enough high level raiders willing to walk lower geared players through at any price.

Another potential downside to GDKP is the issue that some players may resort to purchasing gold from the third party market to have it to buy items. This is obviously a downside as it could push people to participate in the illegal gold market and end up getting banned. I am not sure it is a huge concern though since gold is so simple to farm in game now.

Suggestions on gear price

The objective of GDKP is really to get players that have gold but no gear, to spend it. This does two things, it gets them gear, and it gives the geared players gold. Therefore it is important to set minimums for items so that enough gold is put into the pot to make it worth everyone’s time. It would do no one any good if an item dropped and someone offered 50 gold and no one competed for it. The geared players that carry the undergeared would never come back to your runs.

target="_blank"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 197px;" />Here is a typical price for a item level 359 item on the auction house

A good thing to base your starting bids on is the auction house buyout price on similar level items. Price the items at about 50% of what the item goes for so that if no one competes the player gets a bargain, but enough gold still ends up in the pot.

So for example if a level 359 item goes for 10,000 gold on your server, then starting bids should be about 5,000 gold and go from there. Feel free to adjust the starting prices to fit with normal auction house prices on your server.

Macro to use in Game

As stated earlier it is critical as a participant to get the rules posted in game. To make it simple to post when players have questions you should create a set of macros. These are the four rule macros that I used in a recent test run of the GDKP system. They worked well and we had no issues. Simply copy and paste each of the four sections below into a macro and post all four when starting a GDKP run.

/raid Welcome to my GDKP run of BWD(25).

/raid All items will be auctioned off to the highest bidder

/raid Gold is collected and split between all 25 players evenly.

/raid Players will only receive gold if they stay to the end, no exceptions.

/raid You have 5 minutes to reconnect after a DC or you will be removed

/raid Any AFK for more than 5 minutes, or without notice, or poor performance (1 warning will be given),

/raid will be result in you being removed and forfeit your share of the pot.

/raid All bids will be made in raid chat, no private whispers will be accepted.

/raid Minimum bid on all items is 5,000 gold.

/raid No gear is reserved

/raid The organizers / raid leader are NOT receiving an extra share

/raid If you have questions please ask before we start

/raid Staying in group past the first pull means you accept these terms

/raid Enjoy, have fun, make a profit, get gear!


This system of loot distribution has even become popular enough that there is an addon for it. You can find gdkp here:


There are several things that you need to watch when in a GDKP run, or considering running in one.

A big one is players running up bids but never actually buying the item. This can take a while to catch on to, and very hard to prove, but it could be someone purposely running up the price for the guild organizing the run just so that more gold goes into the pot.

The other important thing to watch for is the organizers running things fairly. You want to make sure that the run is organized fairly and openly. A critical thing here is to make sure that the rules are posted in game and that all bids are op If either one is not done, walk away.

While it has been demonstrated in the past that GMs will step in, be cautious. Learn a bit about the person or guild running the raid. If they have a good rep then you are ok, if they have a history of being shady, it may be better to avoid them. Sure a GM will likely step in and help if things go south, but why take the chance?

Messiah’s Opinion on GDKP

Personally, I love this system of loot distribution. The way I see it, it is good for everyone. When you enter into a GDKP run you know for a fact that you are going to either end up with loot, gold, or both. What more could you want?

As a geared raider, I hate having to PUG players to fill a raid that end up being undergeared, it always works out that they get all the drops, the game just seems to drop what they need. This system still lets them get the items, it just costs them. If there’s something you still need, you can get it too. Either way, the raid runs, it’s content you likely would not run anymore anyway, and you get gold. Better yet, they get loot that they probably wouldn’t anyway as they would not be invited to a raid in their current gear, or they would pay much more in the auction house.

Now, would I suggest it for a guild run? No way, that’s not what its for. However, for your guild’s core raiders that can clear the current 25 man content with ease while carrying 5-10 players, this is a prefect way to get some gold, help some alts in the guild (since they will all be more than willing to pay for items anyway), and get everyone involved some gold while helping others that have no reasonable chance to get the content down in a reasonable timeframe anyway.

I would call that win – win, how about you?

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.


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