Vote: Is Diablo 3’s RNG Fair? Fun? Or F*#%ed?


See the original to get the joke.

See the original to get the joke.

We’ve seen a rash of news and rumors about Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls’ RNG and drop rates and odds and legendary item weighting of late, and it’s spurred endless conversation and debate. I didn’t see much of it in the forums or news here, where you guys were mostly like, “These odds are interesting, match my game experience, and are only to be expected since of course the better quality items are less common.”

Unsurprisingly, many of the B.net forum residents are a lot less calm about the weighted legendary drop rates we posted over the weekend, and the Bliz CMs have been busy banning trolls and shutting down threads full of angst and gnashing of teeth. Let’s look at the larger issue, though. How do you guys feel about the RNG and item drop rates and rewards vs. effort, etc, that’s now offered in Reaper of Souls? Is Diablo 3’s RNG fair?


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

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Most of the people I talk to, in our clans, on the forums, via my IM list, on the podcast, etc, are fairly happy with Diablo 3 right now. People (most of them better geared than me) feel they get decent rewards for their play time, that it’s challenging but not too hard to get into Torment, and that you can make decent progress once you’re there. The main complaints I’ve seen are from the super elite .001% fat cats who have already sunk hundreds of hours into RoS, are geared to the 99th percentile, and who think every legendary they find now is junk. (Which it is… to them.)

I don’t think many of us are in that place yet, but that’s what the vote is for. To get a more accurate statistical breakdown of how you guys feel about the loots of Reaper of Souls. We’ll post another vote/survey later this week, since I’m curious how far you guys are advancing through the content, and if that’s to your liking.

Tagged As: | Categories: Controversy, Diabloii.Net Votes, Items, Loot 2.0

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  1. My main issue with the randomness and gear in general in D3 is that either you find something or you dont. You cant find anything that is somewhat ok for your build, its either good or useless, since its all about the base item drop.

    I really enjoyed trading and finding things in D2 since the more you played and knew about the game, the more you would find. If you knew about that weird build with very odd items you also knew exactly what items that person would look for and you could get a healthy amount of runes in return for it. As your knowledgebase would grow the more useful/tradeable drops you would find and that would get you just a bit closer to what you really wanted.

    With trading gone from the game I feel like a system like the one currently in place isnt really what I want. I cant describe what I would rather see but it hasnt been very rewarding in terms of build changing legendarys (Aka: \The <1% items") and its getting very frustrating farming without anything to really show for it.

  2. It’s broken. I had 50th-ish paragon level only when I started playing ROS with my DH and after getting to 215th paragon I dropped ONLY 1 legendary crossbow!!! I’m still running with a yellow one in the other hand. Not to mention that i dropped over 11 parts of Blackthrone set (4 armors, 2 amulets, 2 boots, 3 pants) compared to none of Natalya’s and 1 of Maruder’s.

  3. The drop rates would be fine if there was some sort of trading or “saving up” towards the gear you want. As it is it’s not a gradual progression but pure luck (which btw. means that you can’t “earn” gear in this game. I never found a CC Mempo in vanilla, but I knew I could save up for one and trade for it. So every different item that dropped brought me a step closer. Now each and every item that is not an upgrade is at best a forgotten soul…

    And in addition the current system makes me sad every time I need to salvage some quite good gear I won’t use but which friends could have used… Or that if you find an upgrade you can’t give away your old items.

    • Saving up is a great idea. What is, say, Kadala would allow you to purchase specific legendary or set items (rolls random) for, say, LARGE amounts of Forgotten Souls? I’m thinking 25 for one of the more common legendaries, 50 for a rare legendary or set item, and 100 for a torment only set item.

  4. I don’t think RNG is such a problem. Yes, if you want to find specific gear for your character, it can be frustrating but the same thing can happen in D2 (the best items were super rare – at least for me because I never used trading or hacks). And I am completely fine with that.

    The real problem in D3 is that most (>90% from my experience) of those “cool new 2.0” legendaries are crap. What is the point of legendaries with 6 random properties? And while you are looking for those <10% useful or <1% great legendaries you are constantly spammed with crappy "legendaries".

    The best example of this is when I was playing Titan Quest (with IT). On higher difficulties enemies were dropping epic and legendary items. Even if those items were mostly not usable due to build diversity (e.g. as a cold oriented mage I was looking for +cold or elemental dmg), the feeling was great because those items were freaking hand-crafted and legendary (even the lowest tier of epic and legendary items were usable). And I never complained (or my friends) about the fact that I was never seeing the top tier legendary items.

    • Exactly. The problem is not RNG itself, the problem is that sets and legendaries are almost completely randomized instead of designed. There is no unique feel or character to them. You’d expect that Cain’s set, named after the wise Horadric sage Deckard Cain, would be designed towards INT classes. But no. In fact, if it wasn’t for the name tag you couldn’t even tell from which set an item was.

      RNG seems to be working fine, from what I can tell, but I would really like to see some more effort put in actual item design.

  5. Drops seem very workable to me when combined with the Mystic. Getting into Torment was trivial with rares alone, and now I can run T3 pretty quickly with no deaths. I don’t care about moving far past that, because I enjoy playing multiple classes more than focusing every second of playtime into one spec for one character trying to find completely perfect rolls for a completely perfect item in every slot. I suppose if that level of utter perfection is your goal, it might be frustrating…

    But it would be more frustrating if the game gave you measured upgrades over time to make sure everyone got perfect items for the perfect build on their class at the same amount of played time.

  6. Answer 1. No complaints.

  7. Hurt the 1hd mace plan ( yes a plan only) from the very beginning…no result

  8. Legendaries are the new yellow drops by now. You find enough of them, but but only a hand full is usable after you put a tat more time in the game.

  9. As far as I’m concerned the ‘3 pools’ theory is still correct – the legendary flow is WAAAAAY too regular to be just RNG.

    I’d be fine with that but efficiency and playing on higher torments need to be rewarded better.

  10. Random is random and as such can not be much of anything but random.

    The weighted drops on the other hand could use adjusting with perhaps a bit higher percentage to stuff on the lower end of the spectrum.

  11. I feel lucky in some ways and not in others..

    In 200 PLs I have earned since the release of the Xpac I have found
    3 -IK pieces – two weapons and one belt – use none of them/gave one away
    2 Tals pieces – Use them both
    2 Vry’s – both lost on a HC Wiz RIP
    3 Firebird’s – 1 Lost on HC wiz and 2 sitting in stash because they rolled just terrible Off-hand and chest.
    One set Ring (Focus) that is super rare, but so poorly rolled I cannot wear it.

    I estimated it has taken me ~250 hours to find a grand total of 11 Torment only items. So about 1 every 22.73 hours of playing. T1-T3

    That said, I have found some rare items non torment. Just nothing game changing.

    The rate could certainly be improved. Especially in HC. There really isn’t much rift running at T4+. TBH T3 is kind of rare for most to find a group.

  12. Guys this is metarox (don’t know under which username this comment will appear) but suffice to say that it says logging you in as “metarox” but the username at the top is Sentarius and I can’t vote on the survey (probably because he already did). Not sure what is wrong with your login process and cookies, but it needs fixin.

  13. Thanks for calling out my thread Flux.

    You don’t need to sink in hundreds of hours into the game before 95% legs become junk. If you play casually, try every class, don’t really check stats, yeah sure, all loot will be good for awhile. Anyone playing a single class and not completely casual will reach a point where they realize how bad loot is very soon.

    My post wasn’t about RNG though. RNG is fine for the most part. The fact that 95% legendaries are absolutely inferior in every way to the other 5% is not fine.

  14. I think for the most part it is relatively random and that’s okay. Yes I have gripes, but mostly because I WANT stuff NOW 🙂 The one thing that bugs me more than anything though, is that I firmly believe weapons should roll with sockets as a standard. Nobody uses weapons that don’t have sockets, and hardly any weapons you find already have a socket. This severely limits your options because you always have to look at the weapon and consider what stat you want to drop for an attempt at a socket in order to be able to use it.

    My wizard is an archon wizard. I really want to roll 10% CDR on my weapon. but since I never get to roll for anything other than a damn socket, I always have to pick that. The rerolls on weapons should be used for changing a mainstat, swapping ias for +% dmg, or trying for a better dmg roll, not used almost exclusively to put a socket on it just to be able to use it.

    Thats my two cents anyway.

    • Idea I was pitching to some people the other day was about sockets. What if they had % effectiveness? Say each socket on an item was 50-120% effect. So almost every item would have sockets, taking out the binary (yes or no) issue with sockets on items where they are mandatory (weapons and mostly helms). But the % based socket effect would be just another random property.

      You might get a great roll on the socket % or you could try to enchant it up. And other items or maybe even skills or paragon points could boost socket % effectiveness (up to or maybe even exceed the hard cap?). Imagine a set bonus that gave you 25% effectiveness boost to every socket in that set, or all of your gear?

      At any rate, the main point is that weapons and hats wouldn’t always be yes or no depending on one affix. They’d be yes or maybe and is this weapon with great dps and no mainstat worth using with a 74% socket, since now you can enchant for the mainstat?

      • I had a similar-ish idea. What if sockets were a thing you could add to an item on top of what you already had. Say it costs 1 forgotton Soul to add one to a white weapon, 2 FS for a blue, 3 for a Yellow, 5 for a Leg, etc. And maybe double or triple the costs for items that dont usually have a socket, like gloves.

        But also let sockets roll a primary and secondary stat. So say I find a sword with a decent roll of primary stats but one I would enchant and a socket as a secondary stat. In theory, and with enough cash and forgotton souls I could enchant an extra socket into it at the expense of a primary stat, and then burn an extra socket on top of that with enough forgotton souls – say the price/mats cost goes up exponnentially for each socket on an item.

        I’m not sure if this would be balanced with gems as they are now, but it would make forgotton souls from the rubbish legs more useful, introduce more coice into the item hunt/crafting/gear as well as being a resource sink and reason to continue the grind.

        My 2C anyhow.

        • “I’m not sure if this would be balanced with gems as they are now,[…]”

          For itself not. But pulling yours together with ClaytonHs and Fluxs ideas, sounds like a system I would like to experiment with.

  15. I am of the opinion that the RNG in D3 is fine, to the extent that all RNG is fine. To put it bluntly, RNG is a b**ch. The nature of RNG is to troll you by not giving you what you are looking for. This doesn’t just go for Diablo; tons of other RPGs, both Eastern and Western, use random drops, and I find that usually when you are looking for a specific drop, the game will take a perverse joy in denying you. D3 has the same problem, where I farm legendaries and get worthless spears (with the exception of 300th Spear for Barbs, all spears are basically garbage), and use blood shards and get Blackthorne pieces that are worse than what I’m wearing. However, this isn’t because the RNG is broken, or because drops are too low and the game screws you over, it’s just because RNG is nasty.

    Honestly, though, I don’t tend to like games that lock content behind RNG and random drops. Ironically, I’ve always liked the Diablo franchise, even though all the good drops come straight from RNG. Still, I’m always much more fond of systems where good items/abilities come as a reward for skilled play, rather than luck. I’d much rather get a mildly-overpowered legendary item as a reward for killing an intentionally overpowered secret boss, than getting it from a random destructible environment object that rolled a lucky drop. Still, that’s just me, and the Diablo franchise does not, and never has, catered to that kind of gameplay. However, given that knowledge, I don’t think it’s a worthwhile endeavor to complain about RNG being evil and broken in D3. RNG is RNG, and it’s nasty and tends to deny you the drops you want, while showering you in crappy drops you couldn’t care less about. If you are going to play a game like Diablo, where you know that the whole game is based on RNG, and the game can easily screw you on drops, you shouldn’t complain unless something is really, truly broken. To my knowledge, there are no glitches that render the best items unobtainable, or harder to get than reasonably possible; they’re stuck behind high levels of RNG, and while that sucks, that’s the package you bought; more than that, it’s the package you were promised in the first place.

    • “Still, that’s just me, and the Diablo franchise does not, and never has, catered to that kind of gameplay.”

      Imho opinion, catering for it could be achieved (to a degree) by taking the Follower screens design as a model for NPCs. Then let NPCs them roll their slotitems when spawned, with a middle to high probability of dropping one of their slotitems atop the existing drops and just let their stats be affected by the items worn. (In multiplayer games providing each player the chance of receiving one slotitem, but slots distributed among them?)

      Would also allow to hunt for specific items, by selecting areas with lotta NPCs featuring, for example, ring slots.

  16. The fact that leg drops can not be a smart drop is annoying, but the bigger issue is that there aren’t very many build-changing legs. The devs lied.

  17. I think the loot in RoS is much-improved over vanilla. However, my 2 main gripes are with enchanting and crafting. Enchanting needs to have (at least) 3 things changed. 1) Whichever stat I am re-rolling should not be an option if the value equal to or lower what I already have. If I am trying to change 475 Vitality and RNG spits out 413 VIT as an option, it should re-roll that option before appearing. 2) I should never get the same affix listed as both of the new options; re-roll option 3 before displaying it as a choice. 3) If the game rolls Sockets as an option, it should always select the maximum number of sockets available for that item type. These changes would keep the RNG element but make the Enchanting process less frustrating.

    For leg crafting, it either needs to be easier to find the monsters that drop the material I am looking for, or allow me to customize the item more. Spending hours to dig up mats for Aughild’s items, only to go 0 for 4 in useable crafts, is demoralizing. I’m thinking I should be able to re-roll bounties as soon as I enter a game; maybe that would take some of the load off the servers as well since not everybody would be creating a game, checking the bounties, and then immediately exiting.

    And don’t get me started on Captain Crimson mat hunting…

    I just feel like this would make it a bit easier to gear up for higher torments, without completely removing the randomness. I play mostly HC, about 10-12 hours per week, and T2 is still iffy for my chars. Better crafting/enchanting options would help smooth out the climb to the next plateau.

  18. or something else:

    I don’t know why something random has to be fair. I believe people doesn’t understand what Random means.

    My opinion:

    I have played the same SC Monk for something like 800 hours since day 1. Yesterday I migrated to my first ever WD (Still lvling to 70).

    I have no complaints over loot what so ever so far. I think you have to have some incentive to play. Having a BiS char after 1 month will become boring after no time.

    The problem for me is monk it self. I was marveled to see no cooldown spells hitting for 1000% of weapon damage (for the WD). Spirit spenders deal dmg in the range of 500-1200% and the heavier is SSS which is long CD + high spirit cost.

    Until something is fixed with monks, I’m afraid I’ll move on to another char. It’s sad because I like monks and have been playing it exclusively for almost 2 years :/

    • You’ll like the new podcasts, as both guests spend about 20m railing on the poor monk design and monk items in the current game.

  19. In my opinion its not the items and RNG that are the main problems with RoS but the lack of stuff to do when you finally get the gear. People who got the BIS gear need some motivating endgame activity in order to set new goals. Farming rifts over and over with a 0.0001 chance to finding an upgrade is not motivating enough to keep striving.

  20. We are so hyper focused on RNG because this game is basically built around a single item type (Legendaries) and a few powerful set items. There are really only a handful of actual items that everybody wants. When these handful of items we want/need do not drop then it becomes painfully obvious in the lack of choice this game presents in our itemization.

    There needs to be more items in this game to look for, more ways to push and pull our stats around and toy with builds. These items need to be desirable in their own ways, powerful, but in interesting ways as well.

    If we had actual choices, multiple paths we could follow to reach our goals then this RNG thing would not even be on the radar screen, instead we would be making steady progress with our toons and still see some long term goals out there.

    Item depth (numbers and types) needs to go up as well as quality, period.

    This goes double for crafting, (Aahzmadius was right on the mark for the crafting aspect, so I do not have to rant on that at least!).

    Sometimes it feels like Scrooge McDuck did the itemization in this game…

    • “If we had actual choices, multiple paths we could follow to reach our goals then this RNG thing would not even be on the radar screen, instead we would be making steady progress with our toons and still see some long term goals out there.”

      Exactly that. But from my point of view, this would begin on the layer above, thus on deepening the other gamesystems besides itemization, to build up a counterweight to itemization in the first place.

  21. Most legendaries are auto souls to people of any gear level, either because they don’t have the correct stats or they can’t. See: Almost every 2 hander, BT set…

    Having good gear doesn’t significantly raise the number of auto souls (it does make you disregard rares, but those have a 0.00% chance of giving a soul).

    What does highly discourage anyone that plays remotely seriously is a combination of no targeting farming, communist drop system making efficiency not matter (even though farm faster is the only thing you can do in this game), and massive RNG on RNG, aka every item is a CoA.

  22. Based on the 500 or so votes thus far, it would appear that most players feel that itemization / RNG is broken and you are not rewarded proportionally.

    I’m going to keep an eye on this though, really glad someone made a poll for it!

    • I’m surprised at how many “broken” votes have been registered so far. But that’s what’s interesting about votes that function as surveys. We see what the wider community is thinking, which often runs counter to the impression we get from just reading forum posts where only the most vocal are heard.

      • Really the results are unbelievable to me. Are this many people really whining because their progression is “fast enough”?

      • I vote No.4. No surprise at all. As blizzard took ” trade ” away, players expect a good “drop rate” to compensate . However your information do suggest Gody gear doesn’t exist ( 1.52% and what 0.98%) to most player base. No matter how long they play…

  23. I stay with \RNG is broken. It’s too random and not fun. Rewards do not match efforts.\ aslong as all of that quote is taken into consideration.

    The problem for me with rng is that rng is layered and every item can come from every enemy.
    rng legdrop > rng type of leg > rng item of said type > rng stats.

    This does not make my diablo experience better in anyway when it effectively forces me to run in a group of four times the same class seeing mostly the same spells only to have a CHANCE at MAYBE trading an item.

    The fact that the only difficulty increase the game offers is making the enmies more bulletspongey coupled with this nice piece of work (http://i.imgur.com/h6OUS.jpg) makes it so that only very very lucky people feel their effort is matched by rng.

  24. Diablo is suppose to be a item nirvana type game. Unfortunately the items are just not there. I’m one of the guys who played d2 forever, i loved that game because there where millions of items to find and make new toons around. I would find a new orange or green item and go OMG a windforce yaaaaaa time to make a new amazon. I havent felt that in this game. I guess what i really wanted was d2 with modern graphics. I waited a long long time for d3 and am very disappointed, Honestly I doubt that I will buy the next expansion or d4 and that makes me very sad. I am basically done for the most part, oh I will still log on once or twice a week and do a rift or a set of bounties but thats all I can bring myself to do now. After that i;m just bored so I go back to titans quest, oh well all good thing must come to an end and so has my love for blizzard

  25. This is why I’m actually glad someone is doing this so a full complete picture can be drawn of the current situation with the reward model.

    Me personally, I voted for number 4 but I’m very curious to see where the vote goes. I think this is probably the only site that does consistent opinion polls and I think they’re absolutely vital to the development of the game so keep on doing them, Flux!

  26. I’m convinced Activision intended for players to burn out and hit this brick wall in order to cut bandwidth and server costs.

    I had a blast playing 2.0 and ROS for about a month, worth every penny for the enjoyment I got. I just slowly started logging in less frequently, and felt less and less compelled to play, mainly because of the bad loot.

    There is no financial benefit to Activision having their entire player base addicted and playing for hours every night. Buy ROS, enjoy it for what it is, burn out and then leave until the next expansion please.

    I think the developers aren’t making bad decisions, they are just doing what the upper management dictates. Gaming isn’t what it used to be in the 1990’s, it’s now big business unfortunately.

  27. I am risking sounding elitist with this unpopular opinion: As RNG stands now, there is not difference between playing casually few hours a week or hardcore every day 6 hour grind. In the end of the day, RNG and RNG timer makes sure you get about the same results, no matter which group you are. And I think that is wrong. There should be bigger disparity between casual players and more hardcore ones. If I invest time into something, I expect greater results than Joe who plays only once in a while.

  28. I voted broken, first because any item can drop from any monster. You could farm for hundreds of hours looking for X item, only to never find it and instead find 40 wailing hosts. In that respect, I feel it is too random.

    I understand why they went to dynamic monster scaling, and I believe the overall difficulties and such are in a good place. However, I still miss treasure classes. You could target specific areas or monster types to increase your chance of finding item X or become aware of areas in which it cannot drop it at all.

    The other reason it is broken is because crafting. Why would I spend hours and hours trying to farm rare materials from rare elites to craft a POS with 6 random properties. That’s full retard.

    The excitement of my first set plan drop quickly fizzled upon discovering that, plus the paltry 2 pc bonuses of +250 stat. By the time I find the crafting materials and get a decent roll, my main stat will probably be over 9000 already.

    The drop chance, IMO, is the thing that is not broken as shinies are dropping regularly – a far cry from D3V.

  29. I voted option 4. I have no problem with a RNG so long as it’s tuned realistically to a hack&slash game. In that respect I think the devs got it right as far as the rate at which I myself have found legendary items.

    Where they got it wrong was loot tables. Once I read that thread a few days ago revealing their existence and the “weighting” of items, I uninstalled the game. It confirmed and explained my play experience and erased any desire I had to continue playing.

    I’d rather D3 be made so you have to grind some sort of currency to spend it on what items you want instead of the current system in place.

    This is all leaving out other issues like shitty crafting and legendaries without legendary properties or at least enough stat bonuses to be worth using.

  30. In 230 hours solid grinding (no xp leveling bs) on my barb

    I have found the following:

    1xRaekor Helm
    1xRaekor Gloves
    1xRaekor Shoulders (crap roll)
    3xRaekor Pants

    2xIK Gloves
    1xIK 2Hander
    1xIK Boots

    1xEarthquake Helm

    So.. that translates into 1 set item every 23Hours, lets call it 24.
    One full day of gametime PER set item and of course I got 3times pants and 2times gloves already.

    IMHO the game should ATLEAST implement a system where you fill a set before the game drops the same set item twice.

    Also have only seen one SoJ in 230 hours, fitted in nicely with my lightning build but now running fire so its pretty much useless.

  31. Dear zef, thank you for sharing those numbers with us. I would like to request you to tell us also the difficulty you plaied on. It would also be nice to know if you plaied in a group or not.

    This would allow one person to gauge an estimate of what difficulty to strife for to have a chance of 1 setitem in 24hours going by your average.

  32. RE: Zheren

    Yes sorry I neglected to say that.
    Unfortuantely that would have to be based on guesstimates BUT i only played T1 the first week, from then on it was mostly T2 and T3/T4. SO I would have to guess that I played
    T1 15%
    T2 25%
    T3 40%
    T4 20%
    T5 neglible (even tho 1xRaekor shoulder dropped)

    Even though I always ran my rift keys dry, I only got 2 Barbarian set piece items from rifts… draw what conclusions u may

    Group/Solo play was about a 75/25 split I would say.

  33. I, Clavdivs, The God, declared RNG broken from D3 release day, also proving it theoretically. Practice confirmed divine wisdom.

    This is a simple contradiction:
    Clavdivs, The God: “You can’t have efficient and remotely fair loot system based entirely on RNG”
    Blizzard: “We want the loot system to be based entirely on RNG, which will somehow start working fair by random changes we introduce randomly”

    The God wishes good RNG to Blizzard claim above!

    The God reminds of his band-aid, published several times in the early days of D3, which was having semi-random items. Well, Blizzard done it, but (of course) with their own ‘touch’, proven to work far worse than the divine one should have.

    [For a reminder, divine system consisted of less-than-current randomness, especially for set/legendaries, whose randomness factor was severely reduced – to 1 or two affixes only in all the cases. Rare randomness was also handled far better. And it was just a quick band-aid solution to apparent itemization problems, but it was adopted by Blizzard as a complete solution, but shaped far worse]

    Divine wisdom knows and has (of course!) a mathematical proof of its RNG claims – it’s a sum of the cold equations that comes so easily to a mind divine, and not at all to an uneducated plebeian bunch which rely on wishful thinking and blind luck (and, unfortunately, creates games).

    The God witnessed empires far greater than one company’s current RNG-fixation crumbling to dust – and it will, because nobody likes it. There isn’t even privileged class (like AH-botters were previously) which profits from the current system, so it’s free to say that Blizzard will have to renounce whole thing – it’s doing justice to no one.

    The God can wait… and RNG will be reduced to a rightful measure (perhaps through several ‘revolutionary’ iterations, since the current developers junta tends to learn slowly, and often understands things wrongly, such frail their minds are, softened by lack of work and thinking and blinded by too many flashlights… next to the ladders and so on… the man who invented ladders… we just need man who will invent a static numbers well balanced and attach them to the items)

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