Diablo 3 Drops are Predetermined… Tinfoil Hat Time!


No news this week while we wait for the Patch 2.1 details coming you know when (soon™), so how about that perennial favorite… speculating about if and how and why Diablo 3’s legendary drop rates are so wonky! The issue comes and goes, and we’ve newsed and podcasted about it a few times in the past, but MartyMart offered a much better than average summation of his suspect anecdotal experiences with legendary drop rates, and the forum thread has some good follow ups as well.

Diablo 3 Drops are Predetermined (tinfoil alert!)

indexI’ve gotten 5 stones of jordan. I’ve gotten 6 masks of jeram. I’ve gotten the entire jade set, several times over, even before 2.0.6 drop buffs for sets. All on my WD. I have gotten all set pieces and all offhands and all weapons possible for the WD to drop. Three shards of hate. Literally everything that could drop for my WD based on smart loot, has dropped. Even some Crusader shields and monk helms have dropped. 6 harringtons. 3 RoRG’s from chests just casually farming a1 for rift keys, not even trying for it.

On my Wizard, I have never even seen nor do I have the transmog, for Mirrorball. Not one. I have never had the Firebird chest, offhand or pants drop. I have only gotten the boots and pants for Vyr. I have only gotten the amulet of Tal Rasha. No offhand, and no other set pieces.

The play time for my Wiz far exceeds my WD. But it seems like almost clockwork, that when I swap to playing my Wiz, sure enough, an endless supply of Blackthorne belts and pants drop for him. Back to back. Within just a few minutes of one another. two handeds out the badoonky (which of course are totally useless). ENDLESS Wildwoods and Staffs of Autumn. Endless Crudest Boots.

My friend Jon loads up his monk and I power level him from 60 to 70, and right after he hits 70, he gets three different monk set pieces back to back within two t6 rifts. Our other friend Mike? not one set piece on his monk and he farms on that monk constantly. He hasn’t had ONE set piece drop and also gets an endless supply of blackthorne and Hearts of Iron, and crudest boots.
MartyMart:

So, here is my take on seeded drops. They do not exist. BUT I think the algorithm that Blizz uses is poor or the refresh of such a pool is poor. Everyone has noticed that double drops even across different games IE I get a set piece and someone else in the clan gets that exact same set piece/leg in short order in a completely different game.

I am very sure, given some other very poor design elements, that Blizzard short-cutted the Algorithm or used a cheap bias system to determine drops.
DarkRealm:

news-tinfoil-rngI have no doubt that there are some bugs in the item drop code for Diablo 3, if only because there are bugs in the item generation code for every game of this type. D1 and D2 certainly had plenty. And not necessarily even bugs, just imbalances or inefficiencies or whatever you want to call them. Something like the DiabloWikiTreasure Class organization system in D2, where item scarcity had very little in common with item quality.

That said, almost all of the “my friend found X right away and I’ve never found it” stuff is so anecdotal and psychological. It’s almost like the game is doing a non-stop exercise in cold reading, where it throws out nonstop randomness and the human observers construct meaning and significance from the jumble, like seeing faces in clouds.

For a while during D3v we were heavily into recording our leg finds and trying to understand the system. I wrote down every leg I found for a few months, getting a list up to several hundred, and looking over all that data there were some weird bits of RNG. The thing I noticed most was… how fallible was my memory. Numerous times I logged on, glanced at the list of recently-found legs as the game was loading, and stared in surprise. I had never found that item. Not even once! Someone else must have broken into my apt and written it down, in my handwriting!

The same thing happened each time I added my results to the forum thread. I’d tabulate all the finds and just be shocked that I’d found 6 of item X out of my last 100 legs, when I didn’t remember seeing a single one. Often it was a good item that I’d gotten a shit roll on, and in my memory I *never* found that item. In fact I’d found a bunch, just with bad rolls that I forgot as soon as I salvaged them.
Flux:

So, how about you guys? How fits your tinfoil hat? Do you think there major issues with the item drops that doom or bless certain characters? Does everything go in waves with stealth buffs/nerfs behind the scenes? Do you think the code is just poorly-written with not enough R in the RNG? Or is this just our all-too-human brains doing their pattern recognition thing and trying to see order out of chaos?

How functions the RNG in Reaper of Souls?

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Related to this topic, a vote we ran in early May, just over a month ago, saw most of you guys displeased with the game’s drop rates and fairness.

What do you think of Diablo 3’s RNG in terms of item drops and rewards?

  • 4) RNG is broken. It’s too random and not fun. Rewards do not match efforts. (57%, 1,261 Votes)
  • 1) RNG is basically fair and rewards play appropriately. (18%, 399 Votes)
  • 2) RNG is too stingy and should pop lots more shinies. (12%, 259 Votes)
  • RNG is a lie. There is no cake. Bugs and cheats abound. (8%, 174 Votes)
  • 6) No opinion or something else. (3%, 67 Votes)
  • 3) RNG is too generous. It should be harder to assemble quality gear. (2%, 46 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 2,208

    Blizzard seemed to agree with that opinion, as we’ve seen multiple buffs to legendary drop rates, especially of the best set items, since then.

    Tagged As: | Categories: Controversy, Diabloii.Net Votes, Legendary Items

    Comments

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    1. I'm not the aggressive neanderthal with my barb like I used to be. I'm stupid with ARPGs, but they're the only kind of game I'll play. I was so ignorant thinking you had to use real money in the AH that I didn't even use it until a player told me you could use your gold via the game. That was a month or two before RoS was released. Before that the grind was so awful. I'd pump the monster power level as high as I could. Constantly dying and spending 30 minutes on a pack of elites all for leveling up and in hopes of getting a legendary drop. As tedious and awful as it was I still loved Diablo and the fix it gave me with it's great combat. 1,000+ hours and I'm just not feeling so ambitious to climb the top of my lvls and increase the difficulty given I haven't found much useful gear. I do try to switch things up with skills, paragon points, etc. I guess the hype of RoS made me hopeful only to fall back on my old lumberjack ways of feeling as if I'm chopping down a tree with a butter knife or being a glass cannon. I either have blisters or I'm shattered in pieces. Diablo, you have broken my heart, but I still love you somewhere in my heart. Haha.

    2. Human beings see patterns because some human beings are pre-determined to see pre-determined patterns in pre-determined patterns. Occasionally.

    3. ‘RNG works mostly, but there are some bugs and non-random weirdness.’

      one time I got 3 Empyrean Messengers (legendary spear) within 15 minutes. all with the same stats, just different values. same thing with some other leg I can’t remember – 2 within 10 minutes or so, same stats.

      there’s something buggy there but mostly it’s just RNG being a bitch.

    4. TINFOIL HAT ALERT.

      the only legendaries i get are from chests. period.

    5. 'RNG works mostly, but there are some bugs and non-random weirdness.'

      one time I got 3 Empyrean Messengers (legendary spear) within 15 minutes. all with the same stats, just different values. same thing with some other leg I can't remember – 2 within 10 minutes or so, same stats.

      there's something buggy there but mostly it's just RNG being a bitch.

    6. "Everyone has noticed that double drops even across different games IE I get a set piece and someone else in the clan gets that exact same set piece/leg in short order in a completely different game.

      I am very sure, given some other very poor design elements, that Blizzard short-cutted the Algorithm or used a cheap bias system to determine drops."

      Being sure about something you only have anecdotal evidence about is something you should refrain from. If one of your friends would get a jackpot minutes after you in a different casino would you jump to the same conclusion?

      "But it seems like almost clockwork, that when I swap to playing my Wiz, sure enough, an endless supply of Blackthorne belts and pants drop for him. Back to back. Within just a few minutes of one another. two handeds out the badoonky (which of course are totally useless). ENDLESS Wildwoods and Staffs of Autumn. Endless Crudest Boots."

      Like clockwork you say? Would you care recording or streaming a long play session for us where you switch between your classes and get those drops reliably?

    7. It was a lot easier to see drops as pure RNG before they introduced their Smart Loot system and told us about guaranteed drops after long amounts of time without a legendary.

      If they're already messing with the drops, is it that hard to imagine they've adjusted drops based on some other criteria, like how casual a player is? Say based on how many hours they've logged in the last week. Anyone that takes a week off will notice they get a legendary almost immediately when they return.

    8. I almost voted for the "people just see patterns" option, because that is totally true. But I do believe there are some bugs. For example, wizards do seem to get an inordinate number of 2 handers. My husband mains on a wizard, and he cries a little inside whenever yet another two handed sword drops. I would estimate that, overall, at least 25% of his drops have been 2 handed weapons. My results have been similar on my 2 wizards, although I don't have as many RoS hours on them.

      Anecdotal, I know, but I've seen other wizards complain about the same thing, but never any other class. I suspect either a bug or bad programming is at work there.

      There was a known bug for a while where barb belts and quivers were dropping far too often. So I voted for the "some bugs" option.

    9. Got 3 nemesis bracers in the same game, but different rifts. *Ahem* Game-wise loot table *Ahem*.

    10. I have many of the same issues described in the article on my wizard (my primary character). I can't find Tal Rasha's items, but I do find tons of two-handed weapons and legendary (not set) belts, often in the same game. I found a single Mirrorball some time ago before I reached level 70 (before 2.0), but not since then. I haven't found a single Stone of Jordan but I do find plenty of other (useless) rings. I have many hundreds of hours logged on him.

      It feels to me as if the random numbers used to select legendaries/set items aren't random enough, or a narrow range causes the same table slots to be selected over and over–in other words, a bad algorithm.

      I haven't played my other characters nearly as much, so I don't have a good basis of comparison on them.

    11. "The thing I noticed most was… how fallible was my memory."

      A keen insight, immediately applicable to folk not as sharp as Flux. I call this a troll-post, ftw.

    12. The RNG in my game is too streaky. Last night I crafted 5 aughild's in a row that were %lightning/int/stam/armor. 5 T4 rifts in a row with 2 souls and nothing else. Gambling for WD stuff has yielded all rares for 2000 shards… then 5 legs over the next 1000… followed by another 2000 shards of rares only.

      Yes, I know it's a random dry spell, but that doesn't make it any less irritating to toss all that time into vendor trash (rares are meaningless after you get 3000 crystals saved up).

    13. I've only ever found three set items. Period. Zunimassa's Vision twice, Blackthorne's Notched Belt twice, and Blackthorne's Jousting Mail three damn times. Twice in the past month. I've found many many more legendaries and only gotten two or three doubles. I've only gotten a legendary from a treasure goblin once. The disparity between legendaries and sets definitely bugged me. Back in the days of magic find, I had convinced myself that I had an amount that was decent for legednaries but terrible for sets.

    14. Two things are simultaneously true.

      1. Human beings are extremely good at looking at truly random data and seeing patterns which don't exist, and

      2. There is no such thing as bug-free code, and there is especially no such thing as bug-free code which is not open source.

      There were bugs all over the D1 and D2 loot drop code. Many were found because the game was not online-only, which allowed more testing. It's harder to test D3, but I see no reason why the frequency of bugs should be any smaller.

      But as to which non-drops are the bugs and which are the pattern that don't exist… that's the hard part.

    15. I've taken daysoff and not noticed the increase. I am a firm believer that using Kadala is by far the easiest way to obtain whatever non-weapon/jewelry you are looking for. The sets are easily gotten.

      Each game is seeded to what unique types your going to get (I have yet to figure out a pattern with weapons/jewelry to randomly gamble). Save 500 shards, gamble 100-125 and you'll get two uniques if its seeded, easiest way to do this is to actually play prior and get drops. I've completed Akkhan's gambling 3 pieces in about 1000 shards as well as Inna's getting the pants and belt I needed to finish my 4 piece.

    16. That was actually a phenomenon in D2. If you had too much magic find, sets would drop less because uniques were checked on the table first. I believe blizzard kept the same table for D3, so… you might be right.

    17. I like Flux's opinion. I'm writing down all my legs and there is no way you could make any predetermininunum whingy out of it.

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