UPDATED: A Beginner's Guide to GDKP

Posted Mon, Feb 28, 2011 by Messiah

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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.

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.

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