Fans in our Diablo 3 community forum have been comparing legendary drop rates from gambling and Horadric Caches, and the collected info is getting interesting.
The Legendary Gambling Drop Rate thread has a lot of user-reported data which Memster is compiling into a big Legendary Gambling spreadsheet that you can see right there. The only thing holding it back is insufficient data, so do keep track of your gambling trials and hits/misses and add your reports to the thread. FOR SCIENCE.The Horadric Cache data collection thread isn‘t as robust, and no one has turned it into a big multi-colored spreadsheet, and there’s not much point in that now that Blizzard has committed to buffing the legendary drop rates from Goodie Bags… but it’s still worth a look and listen. Most players cite legendary drop rates from Caches of about one in ten, but there are plenty of people with ugly anecdotes of going 50 or 60 or 80 caches in a row without a single legendary item. (At least we know there’s no hidden script running a minimum bag fail-rate algorithm, eh?)
Also note that the vast majority of legendary items found from Caches are the Horadric Cache-only legendaries. It’s not like Caches can pop all legs and sometimes, you’ll get one of the bag-only ones. Those are virtually the only legs you ever get from them, which makes the Ring of Royal Grandeur not so impossible to hunt, since if an Act One cache drops a legendary ring, it’s almost certain to be that one.
Speaking of hidden scripts and odds and drop finds…
Conspiracies Grow Like Mushrooms*
One byproduct of Diablo 3 being online-only and not allowing modding is that the nuts and bolts of the game engine remains out of reach of players. This was not the case with Diablo 1 and Diablo 2, and with the full game data fans were able not only to create some fantastic mods, but to dig through the code and figure out how everything was calculated, including item drops. (Massive tutorial for D2 item generation in the wiki.) With that data, math-savvy fans were able to build bots that could calculate the exact odds of any item in the game being dropped by any target in the game. More to the point, fans found numerous bugs, both large and small, which directly affected item drop odds.
I doubt that many of the RNG conspiracists know this whole back story, but I think the fact that we simply don’t know how the game calculates drops directly fuels a lot of the conspiracies that Xanth documented in a recent article. Does Diablo 3 have secret legendary drop timers that run (correctly or not) from the time you find item X, or that tend to bestow all the best drops in a party game on one character? Probably not, at least not on purpose, but who really knows? The devs? Hopefully, but there were many details (buggy or not) about item drops in Diablo 2 that no one knew until fans found them.
Few of us (I certainly didn’t) realized just how unbalanced and screwy the legendary drop rates were in Diablo 3 vanilla until we compiled info on thousands of legendary drops from dozens of players, and saw just how common and uncommon some of the items were, and how little the frequency of items seemed to have in common with their power or value. (This was, intentionally or otherwise, a direct continuation of Diablo 2’s drop odds, since D2’s wildly-unbalanced positioning of items in the Treasure Classes made some uniques roughly 1/1000th as common as other uniques of equivalent value.)
So when players compile drop results from gambling and we see that some item slots appear to roll legendaries 1/10th as often as others, it’s probably just RNG and and the fallacy of small numbers… but I am not at all ruling out bugs in the code. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to adjust the fit of my tinfoil hat.
* Best in the dark when fed lots of bullshit.