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!)
I’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.
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.
I 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 Treasure 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.
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?
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.