A popular way of earning loot inside World of Warcraft Classic has been banned in the MMORPG’s latest season, with Blizzard listening to player concerns over how the activity may do more harm than good.
The activity in question is called a GDKP, which stands for gold dragon kill points. It’s based on the DKP system of loot distribution that was more popular back in the olden days of Blizzard’s MMO but is still used by some guilds today. It’s a system that doles out loot based on how much DKP players have accumulated, with guilds having different systems on how many points a player can accumulate for attending raids, downing bosses, and participating in various guild activities. Players can then essentially bid on rare items that drop using their DKP. The more DKP a player earns, the more DKP they have to “spend” on items.
GDKP takes that system, and instead of using imaginary points, uses in-game gold instead. This way of earning loot became a popular way for players with more gold than time to earn loot, and an equally popular way for top guilds to earn gold when WoW Classic released in 2019, as the guild hosting the GDKP would pocket all the gold players used to “purchase” items.
Flash forward to 2024, where WoW Classic’s current experimental season, Season of Discovery, is in full swing, and GDKPs are still a popular way for some players to play the game, despite concerns from players that they encourage illegal gold buying from third-party sites and are, in essence, a form of pay-to-win.
But that won’t be the case much longer. In a post outlining all the changes coming as part of Season of Discovery’s second content phase, Blizzard states it will no longer allow GDKPs on the game’s current seasonal servers once Phase 2 releases on February 8.
“While we understand that there are some benefits for those who find this a convenient way to obtain gear, we also recognize that there are concerns surrounding the erosion of traditional guild and social structures that are a part of the spirit of Season of Discovery,” Blizzard writes. “Given the experimental nature of Season of Discovery, we want to try things without this type of transaction taking place in this game mode.”
In a forum post providing more details on the subject, Blizzard states it will be monitoring feedback around the decision closely, and calls the ban “a test,” one that might not work out and will require Blizzard to revisit the policy for later phases of Season of Discovery. In addition to cracking down on GDKP runs, Blizzard will additionally roll out “exciting new tech” with Phase 2 that will look to combat bots and other malicious accounts. According to Blizzard, limited testing of the new technology has seen positive results, but Blizzard is still encouraging players to report bad actors as the team continues to combat the issue.
Phase 2 of WoW Classic: Season of Discovery will convert the game’s Gnomeregan dungeon into a new 10-man raid, while also introducing a new free-for-all PvP event, the Blood Moon, and sweeping class changes in the form of new runes and abilities when it arrives February 8.