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# Pindleskin and item generation – bad efficiency for uniques?

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by ffs, Oct 3, 2018.

1. ### ffsDiabloii.Net Member

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I am currently working on compiling a resource on certain efficiency aspects, and while doing that came across a question I'd like to ask those of you that are into game mechanics in particular.

I was intrigued by this thread a while ago when @GalaXyHaXz suggested Snapchip Shatter has better unique drop odds than Pindleskin, and wanted to include a small section on Snapchip. @GalaXyHaXz pointed out that Pindle drops are subject to the quality factors of "Act 5 (H) Super Cx" TC: While a lvl 85 bosses and other superuniques have a 800/1024 modifier for unique drops (see below), Pindle only has a 512/1024 factor for uniques.

I'm not that savvy when it comes to item generation, but after a brief discussion with @GalaXyHaXz I found the above information in "superuniques.txt" and "treasureclassex.txt".

Following the algorithm described here (and in other sources I consulted), I was surprised to see how much of a difference this makes. As an example, I ran the numbers for an Unearthed Wand drop with 0% MF:

Pindle:
1. BaseChance = 400 - ((86-86)/1)) = 400
2. *128 = 51200
4. Chance with UniqueFactor: 51200 - (51200*512/1024 [=25600]) = 25600
5. 128/25600 = 0.005 chance of unique
alvl 85 boss:
1. BaseChance = 400 - ((8_8-86)/1)) = 398
2. *128 = 50944
4. Chance with UniqueFactor: 50944 - (50944*800/1024 [=39800]) = 11144
5. 128/11144 = 0.011486... chance of unique
Pindle always chooses 2 picks from the "Act 5 (H) Uitem C" TC, but even after doubling his odds (128:12800), that still means he is slightly worse than a lvl 85 boss kill (0.01 vs. 0.011486).

It is often stated that "one Pindle kill is worth two alvl 85 boss kills" – I've seen several posts even by SPF veterans such as @Gripphon to that end. But this seems to be wrong if the above is correct. In fact, in that case alvl 85 running beats Pindle efficiency basically always when it comes to finding uniques, since it's easy to get a boss kills there faster than a Pindle kill.

Neither any drop calculator nor MF or item generation guides seem to take into account the 512/1024 unique factor for Pindle. Hrus' guide linked above states a 800/1024 factor for super uniques in general, which seems to be incorrect based on the information in "superuniques.txt" and "treasureclassex.txt". GoMule and the German drop calc don't include it either apparently, they deliver the same drop odds for e.g. Pindle and Snapchip (for whom "Act 5 (H) Super C" applies, which has a 800/1024 unique factor as opposed to Pindle's 512/1024).

I'm just scratching my head because I've been led to the firm belief that Pindle > lvl 85 unless you run the latter super efficiently on an amazing map. Almost hoping I'm making a mistake somewhere, Because otherwise that would put Pindle in a very different light (as in: drastically worse) in my book.

Anyone has any further insight or comment on this?

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2. ### DispositionDiabloii.Net Member

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I'm no drop wizard and can't wait to see input from this but due to pindle being able to drop anything, I think that's a big factor IIRC Tals armor being an example.

3. ### LozHinge the UnhingedDiabloii.Net Member

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Pindle is seen as one of the best MF targets simply through speed alone. If a boss has just over twice the odds of dropping a thing, it matters not if Pindle is three times as fast to run. In other words, ease of use is just as important as drop odds.

Historically, it has always been maintained here on the forums that there are three items Pindle cannot drop - my leaky memory doesn't allow me certainty but I believe that they are Mang's, Astreon's and Tyrael's (I think).

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4. ### ffsDiabloii.Net Member

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@LozHinge the Unhinged The items he can't drop are Tyrael's Might, Arachnid Mesh and Azurewrath.

From an efficiency-oriented perspective, it makes quite a big difference. Many players are able to kill alvl 85 bosses at around ~1.5-2 times the rate as Pindle running. So far the consensus was that only if you exceed the 2x rate will alvl 85 running be more efficient than Pindle running (disregarding the 3 items above ofc). If the numbers in my first post are correct, the break even point is not at 2x Pindle rate but much lower at around 1:1.15 in favour of alvl 85. This would mean it's much easier to beat Pindle efficiency than we thought (for unique items).

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Pnidleskin is very good at dropping items from high TCs up to 87, the highest, which evens out the lesser probability of producing uniques in comparison to bosses.

Pindleskin's monster level is just 86, however, so he cannot drop Tyrael's Might, Azurewrath and Arachnid Mesh (edit: as ffs pointed out while I wrote this). Once you have found these three, he's an excellent target for completing the collection.

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6. ### Pb_palDiabloii.Net Member

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This is very interesting, and could really change the landscape of future Pindle+ categories for MFOs. Would love to see more work on this.

7. ### maxicekModerator Single Player

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I was curious about this after the MFO, where I was the only Pindle runner who found a 27 pointer, despite a bigger number of runners this time in the category.

8. ### T72on1Diabloii.Net Member

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+1 to being curious about the outcome. I sincerely hope that people who can actually help you with your questions will chime in as well though.

9. ### NanoMistDiabloii.Net Member

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I wonder if selecting "Act 5 (H) Uitem C" TC resets the unique (and set?) modifiers back to 800. If that's the case, the intended 1.10 Nerf never worked at all.

In any case, I would still run Pindle over Snapchip on a Barb, since Snapchip leaves no body to Find Item.

Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
10. ### LozHinge the UnhingedDiabloii.Net Member

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I'd like to claim that Cunningham's Law applied to my post but, in all honesty, it is my increasingly unreliable memory at play

11. ### ffsDiabloii.Net Member

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I only recently started to run Snapchip a bit for testing, but he can easily be run in under 15s with Fire Sorc. Provided the 1.10 nerf works, it would take ~10-11s Pindle runs (before FI) to break even.. not possible. That being said...

...could be actually. Found this thread claiming that is the case and googled this statemet re ATMA drop calc.

Especially this discussion on the Phrozen Keep (hope it's OK to link there) between Jarulf, Ruvanal and Thrugg seems to conclude that the 1.10 "nerf" treasure classes were bypassed by the game.

So from that I gather indeed the 1.10 nerf doesn't work, and things are back in order.
Again, I'm not familiar enough with item generation – if anyone can confirm (or rebut) this, please do.

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12. ### OwlieDiabloii.Net Member

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My experience with item generation is to have calculated (following the linked tutorial) probabilities for the "easiest" (to calculate) items (weap87 and armo87) and compare that to the drop calculators. It seemed to me that going beyond that would involve too much work (ultimately, probably looking at game code). Phrozen Keep is probably the best place for that, and I encourage you to keep digging!

With that caveat in mind, NanoMist has it right. I actually memorised the rule for the U/S/R/M modifiers as "max value of all TCs the process goes through." Since both the "Act 5 (H) Unique C" and "Act 5 (H) Super Cx" TCs drop from "Act 5 (H) Uitem C", which has the unique modifier of 800, they both have the same one (and the same as Snapchip's TC). For the example of Death's Web, Pindle's base drop (Unearthed Wand) probability is exactly 2 times greater than an A85 Unique, due to his two picks; due to the different mlvl, this translates to ~1.99 times greater probability for Death's Web.

The question of comparing the efficiency of Pindle vs. A85 is most easily dealt with by using Fabian's MF Efficiency Spreadsheet, I'm sure you're familiar with. (The download link is broken though.) It takes into account many things: run times, MF, FI, differences between uniques, champions and minions, how many of those one kills, etc. I got into item generation when I made my own version of that spreadsheet. (I wanted to share it, but since it's basically an update of @Fabian's, I asked his permission first. Haven't heard back, though.)

So, it wasn't too much work to compare the average number of hours needed for a Death's Web drop. The number in brackets for Pindle is on the assumption that he was nerfed (512 unique modifier). Category variables taken from the Hall of Records for all but Snapchip, for which ffs provided an estimate. Also includes a guess on the number of minions/regulars/champions killed, but that doesn't change the picture significantly. I don't know what typical numbers for p1 Pindle Sorc look like, it would be helpful to include that as well.
Code:
```| Category                 | Hours for DW   |
|------------------------- |----------------|
| Barb Pit (ffs)           | 128            |
| Barb Pindle (Gripphon)   | 154 (346)      |
| Snapchip Sorc (ffs est.) | 222            |
| AT Sorc (Corrupted)      | 138            |
```
To be honest, on first thought I didn't expect the nerf to make such a big difference. It would definitely be very worthwhile to find the answer to ffs' question.

Beyond efficiency, Pindle has some things going for it: you can run him with starter gear (or very high MF), he's good for leveling up to ~90, etc. Personally, I find A85 running preferable because there is more variety and because the runs last longer. Unlike, say, rune finding in LK/Trav where one "has" to come to terms with this, running Pindle and doing the exact same thing tens of thousands of times in ~20s bursts can be avoided. Also, as I think @pharphis said: time running Pindle is time not finding a Tyrael's But, for variety, fun, availability, shopping at Anya on the way, etc. why not

Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
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13. ### srrwDiabloii.Net Member

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I did find Mang's just before the MFO and DWeb just after. Lucky me

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14. ### OwlieDiabloii.Net Member

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Duuude, don't remind him about Death's Web...

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15. ### GalaXyHaXzDiabloii.Net Member

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For Snapchip
- Better unique odds
- It takes less time to use Telekinesis on the waypoint than it does to walk all the way to Anya's portal.
- With the right map it only takes 3-5 teleports to get to Snapchip.
- The entrance to the Icy Cellar always has a champion pack, and since the Ancient Tunnels are level 85 this pack can drop anything in the game.
- The Icy Cellar is really small and filled with unique/champion mobs.
- There is a level 85 gold chest behind Snapchip.
- More varied runs, less boring

Against Snapchip
- The Icy Cellar can spawn with nasty mobs such as Dolls and Wisps
- Can take awhile to roll a good map
- The Icy Cellar is only level 83, so only unique monsters can drop those high end uniques (except the big 3)
- Snapchip is always Cold Immune, where as Pindle is Poison. More builds use cold and this is a problem for Blizz Sorcs, since it can't be broken without a Paladin.

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16. ### DispositionDiabloii.Net Member

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I'm so confused, 20 years and I've never heard of "Snapchip" runs.. In what instance would this be better than a pindle run?"

17. ### OwlieDiabloii.Net Member

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Isn't that great, though?

From a purely efficiency standpoint, Snapchip could be comparable (or even better) for any non-Barb character that can run him fast enough. Since you can use FI on Pindle but not Snapchip, Pindle would win there. I would be worried about those "nasty mobs" influencing MF you can carry, but ffs did runs with ~680 MF on a Sorc, and differences at that level of MF don't translate into huge efficiency differences.

It would be really better if the Pindle nerf worked as it was supposed to.

Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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18. ### FabianDiabloii.Net Member

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Owlie,

I do remember your PM, and I'm really sorry I didn't respond. It was at a time when I wasn't much involved in the SPF community, and it slipped my mind at the time.

You of course have my full permission to do whatever you think seems right in regards to your "updated" (more like new and improved, it sounds like) spreadsheet. Mine was really only ever intended for self-use, and it most certainly wasn't intended to be user friendly to others, who hadn't developed it. A better tool would be most welcomed.

Sorry for not responding.

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19. ### ffsDiabloii.Net Member

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Thanks for the replies, so I guess Pindle remains OP.

@GalaXyHaXz Ancient's Way is not lvl 85 unless every available source has it wrong? That's why I skipped the mobs spawning there.

@Owlie I think we should add a Snapchip category to the Hall of Records to be honest. I'm curious as to how fast Sorc can run him when really pushed to her limits.

I wouldn't be surprised if he can be run in ~12 seconds (~6s/pack in AT) and maybe even less with some practice, a good map and a finely tuned character. As stated above, I'm going to include a section in the build overview I'm currently compiling. But if anyone wants to try him with Fire Sorc, these are my initial takeaways:
• Meteor minimum damage of 13,512 will one-shot 0% FR Snapchip (24,997 HP) on P1 with -85 EFR from Infinity Merc if it hits
• Unless Fana/Might: Teleport directly behind him and cast the Meteor in front of your feet – these are the fastest runs
• Wisp Projector FTW – has up to 20 MF as well, and with decent LR pretty much eliminates danger from Gloams, which is the ugliest spawn down there...
• ...leaving that honor to "Cursed + Witches" – this may require some dodging while the Meteor drops
• I'll TK the chest while Meteor drops if it's not obstructed by monsters, otherwise I don't bother
• Haven't tested 63 vs 105 FCR properly yet. Chances are, same as for AT 63 is probably slightly better but remains a matter of preference
• It's quite possible Lightning Sorc can run him faster, but will not be able to carry as much MF – at least I couldn't come up with a high MF setup yet that also has the required defensive stats to run him.

Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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20. ### T72on1Diabloii.Net Member

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I'm pretty sure that @GalaXyHaXz was mixing up Ancient Tunnels and Ancient's Way. Ancient's Way is not lvl 85.

I'm sure you have extensively tested this, but wouldn't just spamming Fireball be faster than dropping a Meteor?

This is definitely one of the things I plan to do with my Fire Sorc when she hits 99.

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