High end drop rates were tweaked in v1.0.3 to increase the chances of higher ilvl (61-63) items dropping before Act 3-4 of Inferno. This was a change most fans welcomed, as it seemed designed to mitigate the perceived, “you have to get to Act 3 to find the gear you need to complete Act 2” Inferno issue.
That was the theory. The actuality is that many players are reporting fewer quality item finds, while others are obsessing over the change to the number of “guaranteed” rares from some bosses from NV stacks. Here are the pertinent quotes from Wyatt Cheng’s v1.0.3 design preview, and those figures were repeated in the official v1.0.3 patch notes.
Hell Act III and IV
Inferno Act I
Inferno Act II
Inferno Act III/IV
As you can see, players who would rather murder monsters 4x as fast in Inferno Act I can do so knowing they have a chance at amazing items, and players who want a challenge can kill in Acts III and IV in Inferno and be rewarded with a higher drop rate.
The Nephalem Difference
It’s no secret that our goal for the end-game item hunt is players hunting monsters packs, building to five stacks of Nephalem Valor, and then killing a boss. While we’re seeing a lot of that occurring, what we’re missing is people feeling like it’s worthwhile to continue onward after killing a boss.
To help hit that goal we’re lowering the number of guaranteed Rare items on bosses when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor from two guaranteed Rares to one guaranteed Rare (you still have a very good chance at multiple rares, it’s just no longer guaranteed). In exchange, all champion and rare packs will now drop a bonus guaranteed Rare item when you have your full five stacks of Nephalem Valor. The change benefits players with more overall drops, and a reason to push to continue progressing.
That all sounds reasonable, but in practice it’s leading to tons of whining on the B.net forums (yes, simply a shocking development there) from players with anecdotal “I never find anything good anymore” complaints. The objection seems to be that while the chances for high level gear have been increased earlier, they’re now actually lower in the very end game. But no one knows since Blizzard has never shared the exact item level probability figures (like you see in that table above) for pre-v1.0.3.
These complaints might be stemming largely from perception; we’ve seen plenty of news about human psychology and how it affects our experiences of games, and how one great item find sticks in the mind while 50 okay ones are forgotten, etc. Players who found a couple of useful things in Act 2 pre-v1.0.3 remember that, and might not notice the increased number of high level items they’re finding now, simply because they got luckier on the mods pre-v1.0.3.
In any event, there are several new blue posts saying that the late game lower drop odds will be undone, and that overall high quality item drop rates will be further buffed in a soon-upcoming patch.
Click through for more from that post, and a couple of others on the same topic.
about time :). well thank u although i wish it was more
Bashiok: No problem, we hope they’re helpful to get out a bit earlier, especially when we know a patch is going to hit. I mean, why not? Of course I can’t promise we’ll be able to get them out early every time.
Patches have a longer development and testing process than I believe many expect them to. For instance, 1.0.3a was already in development before 1.0.3 was released, and some ‘room’ on it (which really means time for development, implementation, testing and localization) was left for any extreme bug fixes should they crop up very shortly after 1.0.3’s release. It’s more efficient to not wait for a patch to launch before starting work on the next one. Changing item drop rates was something that took some time to discuss and decide how we were going to address it, and thus it wasn’t something we could make in time for tomorrow’s patch.
We know drop rates are one of the main changes you guys are looking for, and we’re working to get it into the game as soon as possible. It doesn’t mean we chose the changes for 1.0.3a over drop rate changes, it’s just a matter of timing and them lining up with the next release.
With all the said “development and testing” that goes into these patches, how did the development team not identify the current loot table/drop rate issues? Doesn’t make sense.
Bashiok: The drop rates in 1.0.3 are exactly as they’re listed in the 1.0.3 design preview blog, so there were no issues as far as validity/accuracy of the changes. Obviously a reduction in drop rates later on in favor or increased drop rates earlier on (and overall more high end items circulating in the economy) wasn’t very popular. We agree it was a bad change, so we’ll be correcting it, but it wasn’t a quick enough change to get into 1.0.3a.
So what you’re saying is the team working on D3 is actually ran in such a way that the same people who are making commits to the code base are also in charge of making core game play decisions too?
No, are you thinking the drop rate changes were a bug?
Elsewhere, a fan asked how soon is “soon™” and gets some clarification from a ban-hammer fingering Lylirra:
“Fixed a bug that was causing Unique monsters to not drop the appropriate amount of loot when slain.”
Lylirra: Due to the quick turnaround, we were unable to make any adjustments to item drop rates for Hell and Inferno difficulty in 1.0.3a, but we do have some changes planned for 1.0.3b (which isn’t far out).
Great, another week of this crap.
Lylirra: For clarity, we’re currently looking to patch to 1.0.3b some time this week. That may change depending on testing needs, but it’s definitely our goal to get the patch out sooner rather than later.
…And locking this thread up. =/
To reiterate the major points:
We know this is an important change for many players and will provide more updates when they’re available. In the meantime, please be sure to keep your posts and replies as civil as possible — otherwise, threads may be locked.
As no survey of blue posts is complete without mega-whining from someone (intentionally?) misunderstanding one of Bashiok’s posts, here’s a final entry.
“With all the said “development and testing” that goes into these patches, how did the development team not identify the current loot table/drop rate issues? Doesn’t make sense.
The drop rates in 1.0.3 are exactly as they’re listed in the 1.0.3 design preview blog, so there were no issues as far as validity/accuracy of the changes. Obviously a reduction in drop rates later on in favor or increased drop rates earlier on (and overall more high end items circulating in the economy) wasn’t very popular. We agree it was a bad change, so we’ll be correcting it, but it wasn’t a quick enough change to get into 1.0.3a.
Once again Bashiok, and whoever he currently represents, decides to speak to the community in riddles and sarcastic condescension.
For the last WEEK people have been asking to see the old drop rates, or some kind of reference to what actually changed.
So the day before a patch hits, you describe the 1.0.3 patch drop rate adjustment as a bad change? Huh, how long did it take you to figure out nerfing the drops late game and increasing the drops early game was a bad design choice?
Then you decide to go on and state that “More High end items circulating in the economy” which leads ALL of us to believe you are yet AGAIN going to nerf the drops rates. But let me remind you of how people are quitting, selling the top tier gear from their mains and leaving. You say there are more high end items circulating, which could be from many different sources, not the 1.0.3 item drop rate.
If you actually took time to read the constructive complaints about the drop rates, people are complaining that NOTHING is dropping. High end items according to ilvl may be dropping more, but the rolls those items actually have are atrocious. In my own experience I have gone from being able to utilize my 350% mf and play for 5-6 hours before finding something sellable / useable. I have not found anything since the 1.0.3 patch, literally all of it has been trash. Whimsey clears, A1 clears, A3 clears, nothing.
Your post has actually cleared up something for the community, for once. Now we all know why nothing was said about pre-patch drop rates. Now we know why it takes so LONG for your team to actually balance, because you are paying attention to the ECONOMY, and not the PLAYER BASE.
And no, I am not thankful.
Bashiok: Which part was sarcastic or condescending?
I assume I’m getting trolled, but no, we’re not nerfing drops.
So, can you guys provide any feedback or evaluation of drop changes in v1.0.3, and say what adjustments need to be made going forward, without sounding quite as whiny/trolly as most of the B.net forum posters do? Are you seeing more level 61+ stuff earlier? Does it seem more possible to gear up for Acts 2-4 Inferno by playing late Hell and Act 1 Inferno, as the changes attempted?