I've said it before and I will say it again, I am wired differently than most. I do not like the luck based system. I can see it has its place in the game but it is not interesting or compelling design in my opinion. Even when I am lucky, which has happened from time to time like with my shaman last expansion and my monk this expansion, I still do not like the luck design.
Luck works for some things. Luck with mount drops works for example. It gives you something to do, or me something to do at least. Like the mount off horridon in ToT. It only dropped once when we were running it every week but now I will occasionally join in on a pug just for a chance to get it and next expansion, assuming we can solo it, it will be added to my list of things to do when I am bored.
Just like I solo onyxia once in a while now still trying to get that mount, and so many other raids and dungeons I did for years here and there trying to get those mounts. Kara, TK, stonecore, VP, UP, etc. Some took less time, like VP and others took 3 expansions like UP, but it always gave me something to do when I was bored.
So I am not saying luck based drops do not have a place in the game or that they are bad for the game. They do have their place and they are good for the game. But only to some extent. Things that you could argue are "needed" should never be luck based in my opinion. That is when it turns from something fun to do, like going back for a mount, to something frustrating, like killing the same boss 3 times a week (LFR, flex and normal) to try and get that helm you "need" for example.
This post is not about loot luck, or lack of loot luck, it is about everything else in the game that is luck based on when it drops. Such as quest item drops, because we all feel we "need" them too to complete a quest right?
Does anyone remember the old quest in darkshore to collect the moonstalker pelts? I do, I still even have nightmares about it, so to speak. Before the cataclysm came this quest was the bane of my existence when I leveled in that area.
You needed to collect 5 or 6 pelts (don't recall the exact number) for a quest and the moonstalkers, despite the fact they all had pelts, never seemed to have pelts after the died, as if it just disappeared somehow. I remember my first character back in the day doing that quest. I would log in for an hour or two here and there and play and it took me days, not kidding, days to finish that quest.
I would log in and spend the entire time I was online killing moonstalkers and picking herbs. I would every moonstalker I came across it took me a long time to finish that quest and get all the pelts I needed to move on. It was not fun, not in the slightest, it was actually quite the opposite. Now I could have always skipped the quest, but I did not know better, and even when I was new I had the same dedication I do now. I do not give up, if I have a quest, I finish the quest. No questions about it. So I wanted to get it done.
If you had looked up the quest on throttbot or wowhead or whatever you used you would see comments from countless people complaining about the drop rate on this quest. I remember seeing people complain on the forums about it. It actually became one of the prime examples for why drop rate quests suck.
So it is not just me that was complaining about the drop rates, it was a vast majority of the player base. Find me one person that never said "the drop rate for this quest sucks" and I will point out a person that has not quested much.
Luck based drops are just not fun design. I find it amazing how the same people that will complain "the drop rate on this quest sucks" can say they are okay with random drops otherwise. If you do not like bad drop rates, you do not like luck based drops because the only way something could have a bad drop rate is if your luck is bad. Those two go hand in hand. Random is random and random is bad.
If so many people had issues with so many quests with bad drop rates, like myself with the moonstalker pelts, and they have been vocal about it for as many years as they have why is blizzard still dedicated to a horrible system of rewarding players for doing things? You would think by now that they would have heard the calls from the community to fix drop rates.
At the very least they should fix quest drop rates. Like when cataclysm came out they fixed the moonstalker pelt drop rate the best way it could be fixed, by removing the quest as it was.
100% drop rates on quests is not fun either. There needs to be some element of chance but as the game is designed now if I had to choose between a 100% drop rate or a luck based drop rate I would rather "not have fun" with a 100% drop rate than "not have fun" killing 200 moonstalkers for five freaking pelts.
This expansion had a few bad drop rate quests, just to prove it is not a problem they have fixed. The worst drop rate I have found was during a quest, alliance side, where you needed to collect croc eyes, only five of them, but it seems that all crocs that walk around that area are blind because none of them have eyes. When I leveled my first character through there on day one of release I killed so many of those things I had over a stack of meat, which is not even a high drop rate on its own, before I got the 5 eyes I needed for the quest.
Each character that went through there had roughly the same issue, needing to kill countless crocs to get 5 eyes to finish off that quest. One character, my most recent one, to go through there actually had some luck. I got 5 eyes in 8 kills. The odd part is I did not even notice it. I expected to need to kill at least 20 of them like I normally do and I just kept pulling more and more when I noticed in my quest log it showed as done. I was like, really, and just moved along pleasantly surprised to have had finished the quest so quick and easy after my past experiences with it.
Did they fix the drop rate or did I actually get lucky and for the first character of the 15 alliance side characters I have bought through there, one finally had some luck? Either way, the drop rates should have never been that bad for those eyes, not so bad that it got to the point where I felt finishing a quest in under 10 minutes was lucky. It should never be something I would feel lucky about, it should be the standard, luck should not play a part, at least not like that.
How could the game be designed to fix the luck rate when it comes to drops like that? Well, I have an idea actually. Don't I always?
Lets play pretend for a moment and explain why things are luck based now with a make believe example.
You are given a quest to collect 10 monkey brains and you need to kill local hozen and then scoop out their brains, should they have them, until you have gathered all 10.
The game is designed, as it is now, that hozen have a 10% chance of actually having a brain. If you leveled a horde character and talked to them, you would understand that this is actually a pretty decent percentage because I would have figured even fewer had brains, but that is beside the point.
The coding looks at every single drop as a one time event and does a roll for loot, so to speak, to see if it drops for you. Think of it as you doing /roll and a 10% drop rate means that you need to roll a 91 to 100 to get it to drop. If it rolls anything else then your quest item did not drop.
Every single time you kill a mob the same thing happens, it does a /roll, if you do not get a 91-100, it does not drop. That is a very simplified way to explain it, but you should get the idea, in case you did not already understand, how the random system worked from the inside.
This means luck plays a huge role in if you get your quest items fast or if you need to kill 200 moonstalkers to get 5 moonstalker pelts.
That is the problem with a luck based system, there is always a 10% change to get the drop. Bad luck means you can go forever without seeing it. How many times have you done a /roll in raid after a wipe while waiting for others to get back or joking around and did not see a 91 or better in 10 or 20 or even 30 rolls? That is how many mobs you would have needed to kill before you saw a drop.
There is a way to fix that however. By having each kill count toward progress on the quest. If you kill one mob and it does not drop the next mob does not have a 10% chance, it now has a 20% chance. 10% from the one you did not get it from and 10% because that is the base drop change. So the second mob you kill would have a 20% chance to drop it and rolling an 81 or better gets it. If you do not get it the third mob would have the previous 20% and an additional 10% to now equal 30% and rolling a 71 or better will get you the quest item. Basically this would mean that something with a 10% drop rate would see you get 1 out of every 10 you killed even if you had the worst luck in the history of the game because the 10% mob would effectively be a 100% drop chance.
If it keeps adding up then while luck would indeed remain a factor each kill you make is also making progress toward you getting the quest item. You would still be upset you did not get the item but at least you would know that kill was making your chances for the next kill better. It would make all kills important because all kills would be working together toward making the drop chances better.
Once you do get one it would then reset the drop rate back to 10% and you start the process all over again. This would greatly smooth out the bad luck of drop rates for items. It could be adapted to basically anything luck based in game.
Have you ever read anything on those low drop rate mounts where some guy would inevitably make the post that said something like "there is no way to make the crop chance 100% but if you kill 9,800 of those mobs you would have a 99.9% chance."?
Well, he is wrong. If something has a 0.1% drop chance every single time you kill it it has a 0.1% drop chance. Killing it 9800 times does not increase your chances at all. Not even in the slightest. It does however mean you would be more likely to get it within that time because of the sheer amount of kills. Luck based of course.
If something in game is currently a 0.1% drop rate it would be like doing a /roll (1000) where you needed to get 1000 to actually win it. That is how it works in game when you kill something to decide if you will get it. You effectively have a 1 in 1000 chance of getting it, or 0.1% drop chance.
Even for mounts this design of progress kills could work wonders for solo content, would not really work well for group content, unless you add the combined luck chances for the group together. Every time a kill is made the chances of the drop rate go up. For a group it increases the chances for all, inspiring people to work together. So if it was the first time for everyone in a dungeon, and there are 5 people with a 0.1% drop rate that would mean it was 0.5%, as it would add +0.1% for each kill, and each persons first attempt.
This would inspire people to team up but that is not what this post is about, this post is about smoothing out luck based drops. So lets go back to thinking about it as a solo endeavor for now.
If the mount in UP has a 0.1% drop rate, effectively meaning that it will drop 1 in 1000 times, each time you kill it your chances should go up by 0.1%. So kill it 10 times and that makes it 0.1% x 10, now you have a 1% drop chance. The more you do it, the more your chances are increased, so even failures count as progress toward getting the mount you desire.
This would effectively remove the luck factor while still keeping the luck factor in play. If you will it 1000 times and it is a 0.1% drop rate on your 1000th kill you would be guaranteed a drop. You would have earned it. But if you get it sooner, luck was on your side.
So why is blizzard so intent in keeping everything pure luck based? Wouldn't better design be progressive luck based where each kill gets you closer to your desired results?
Group Quest S02E10: Cackling in evil glee
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