Blizzard Comments on the Crazy PTR Drop Rate

We’ve been posting about the crazy high legendary drop rate on the PTR since the last patch and Season 4 restarted. In the estimation of most players, drop rates for legendary items have been at least double or triple what they are on the Live realm, on all difficulty levels. I don’t think anyone would mind a bit of a stealth buff, but the drop rates have been so high that many players are worrying about the long term viability.

PTR=4x legendary items

PTR = 4x legendary items

One fan did some actual research, comparing T6 Rift runs on Live vs. PTR and posted his results in handy chart form. (Screenshot of the table to the right.) It was enough to get a Blue reply, albeit not a satisfying one.

Blizzard Comments on the Crazy PTR Drop Rate:

Can we have an official stance on the current greatly inflated drop rate without the 2000% bonus we have on the PTR?

We are currently dropping more than 20 leg per T10 run, and killing a blue goblin with all its duplicates can yield as high as 15 leg. This cannot be intended and go live as it is, because there’s no way GR farming will be able to compete, and any semi casual player will be perfectly geared in a matter of weeks.
Nevalistis: So! There is definitely something wonky going on here, and it’s taken a while for us to track down the issue. RNG can be tricky to test, as it takes a lot of data (and time) to reproduce.

We’re working on resolving this issue, though I don’t have an ETA on the fix. Thank you all for the reports and thorough testing!

Yes, yes, RNG. That said, I noticed legendary drop rates were at least double the Live rate in my very first play session with a brand new char on S4, and nothing I’ve seen in any game since had changed my mind. Everyone playing has noticed it; regular PTR clan chat is full of jokes about how Bliz turned off the +2000% buff since it wasn’t rewarding enough.

Bigger philosophical debates about “how much is too much” in terms of leg drops, the PTR now clearly has a MUCH higher drop rate than you see in live, or than we saw during the first weeks of the v2.3 PTR, when the community buff was turned off. How the leg rate could triple (or more) in the last patch, and that change be unintentional, is the question I’d like to see answered.

Update: Travis Day has confirmed that it was a bug and why it existed.

Thank you all for the feedback and reports on this. We found the bug that was causing this and it is being addressed.

The cause of the issue was the result of a different bug fix we did. The legendary chance of items was being run through the bonus calculations of Greater Rifts, everywhere.

Well, at least now we know that Greater Rift drops get this big of a buff. Obviously they are buffed since only about 10 items drop from a Grift Guardian and above GR30 there are usually at least a few legendaries.


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  1. Tried the PTR for the first time today. Ruins of Secheron, met a goblin, killed him, 2 legs. Goblin opened a portal to the vault, in the vault i got 3 legs, then 3 more from Greed.Fishy no?

  2. The answer to your question is that software is a very complex endeavor, with tiny and seemingly benign changes affecting completely unrelated functionality. Ask any developer: no software is bug free, ever.

  3. according to Travis Day "The cause of the issue was the result of a different bug fix we did. The legendary chance of items was being run through the bonus calculations of Greater Rifts, everywhere."

  4. “RNG can be tricky to test, as it takes a lot of data (and time) to reproduce.”

    As a software developer who works in a complicated system, I call bullshit on this. This particular bug would have been very easy to trace and find. It really is quite puzzling that they didn’t comment on it till now (unless they simply hadn’t spent *any* time at all on it), but even just confirming they knew it was an issue wouldn’t have taken any real time.

  5. In fact PTR only play is much funnier than season only play. I wish they keep the PTR open endlessly. Since season are a fresh start, no real loss when they wipe the PTR.

  6. Dang that kinda stinks… It’s hard playing on the consoles (ps4) for a quick 30-45 min session only to get 1 useless legendary. For those times I do play more than an hour, sometimes 2-3 hours, I still average 1-2 every 45minutes. What I usually do is 1-2 rifts, quick goblin run in act 1 areas with high spawn %, then go into grifts for the remainder, only doing quick goblin runs in that 30 sec wait time. Any legendary drop rate boost is fine by me. It took me 4 IK Boots before I even found anything else, and then it was the IK maul with alright stats.

  7. I’d rather they keep that PTR loot drop bug in there, it would be nice to play for an hour or two over the week and actually end up with something useful rather hope to complete sets all over again per season.

  8. Given the fact that most of us only do rifts and greater rifts and we are used to a certain droprate, doing bounties (with the current droprate) will most certainly be a cause for rage in some players. Maybe it is a bit too much on the current PTR, but I kind of like it.

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