The Dice Don’t Hate You! (Aka: Why it won't drop.)

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The Dice Don’t Hate You! (Aka: Why it won't drop.)

Post by Aingealwroth » October 2nd, 2013, 7:37 pm

Introduction =

It’s come to my attention that many people farming items (or simply playing the game) are unaware of the real meaning behind RNG and how this works with Drop Rate % of certain items. When asked, many seem to think they have to do something a certain number of times, or just parrot back the statement ‘my rolls suck’ and do not seem to genuinely know how this affects the more enjoyable aspects of gameplay. (Like PETS!)

So, I thought I would let my Nerd show and do my best to explain exactly what is going on, without getting into the really complicated math stuff!


Terms, Examples, and Simplifications =

Term – Random Number Generator: RNG is a very commonly used game mechanic, no matter what kind of game you are talking about. If you have used the ‘/roll’ command at any time in WoW, clicked on the dice image for loot, or even just crafted a ‘random enchant’ piece of gear, these things all use the RNG mechanic. Some of you have used, or seen used, the ‘/roll ___’ (where the blank is a number chosen by you), though this alternates the RNG 'pool' in the roll, RNG is still used. (“RNG ‘pool’” is the term I will use for the ‘pool’ of numbers RNG will pull from, or the outlying numbers involved in the roll.)

Example: Inputs command ‘/roll 10’ in game three times. Receives the numbers 4, 2, 9. OR rolls a physical pair of dice (6d or six sided, for this example, because it is the most commonly used) and receives a 5.

Simplification: The easiest way to talk about RNG in its most basic format, is to think about rolling a dice. While it may seem like certain people get one number more often than another, it really is just chance and luck… which means random, lol.

((Note: Your ‘Roll’ for Loot does not occur in most cases until you complete the act of opening the Loot Window. While some encounters now spawn said window at death instead of the Looting action, the principle still stands; until you ‘Loot’ your ‘Dice’ don’t get cast, in which case your Loot hasn’t been decided at all. Probably something you never wanted to know, but many people seem to think that Killing the Creature in Question is what decides everything, when it simply isn’t so!))


Term – Average: Average is not the middle number, as some have been led to believe, but rather the sum of all the numbers in question, which is then divided by how many numbers there are there are.

Example: Taking (our previous example’s) numbers 4, 2, 9 we come up with the average of (our other previous example) 5. 4+2+9=15, 15/3=5.

Simplification: Confusing? Think of it as the most commonly found number, if that helps you work out the problem at hand, as it is usually close to it.


Term – Drop Rate: Drop Rate is more selective to MMORPGs, but the basic idea is not so far away from the D&D concept of ‘crit’, where you roll a 20d (twenty-sided dice) and receive a 20 for your trouble. In WoW, this functions as the RNG number that your ‘roll’ that you must get to receive the item in question. The higher the Drop Rate, the more numbers function as ‘crit’s, or the lower the number pool for the RNG to pull from in general. Almost all Drop Rate %s are an Average of all reported Drop Rates from users, or intended Average of all Drop Rates in programming the loot itself. (All items that have a chance to be Looted have a Drop Rate, but we only tend to use the term for those very special items that are nearest and dearest to our hearts.)

((Note: Keep in mind that a Drop Rate % is not necessarily the intended ‘crit’ amount per RNG number ‘pool’. This is simply the average percent of ‘crit’s out of attempted Rolls.))

Example and Simplification: Some people have issues with the dice analogy, and that is alright, we can use a color wheel instead. Imagine that when you ‘/roll’ or Loot, you spin a color wheel. The ideal Drop Rate is a nice, albeit small, slice of the wheel that is colored… oh, let’s say Red. The rest of the wheel is colored Black, and Black then means you don’t get your ‘crit’ or desired color. As we all know from carnival games (and Twister) spinning the wheel/spinner softer or harder can influence how many times it goes around, but it can never control where it ends up.


Team Work =

Now, how do these things work together? Let’s say that you are farming… oh… Garnia for the Ruby Droplet. Averages state that the Drop Rate is 4% (at least last I knew). For a Drop Rate that low, we know that the RNG pool must be pretty high, and the Drop Rate ‘crit’ must be very selective. Guesstimate that the RNG pool is 10 (as this is a good ‘pool’ to work from), that the Drop Rate ‘crit’ is 10, and that this is you first kill. Since RNG is intended (and fine tuned, thank you) to be completely random, you may receive a virtual 10 RNG ‘crit’ roll on your very first looting of Garnia. If so, congradulations!, and if not, try again. Keeping in mind that there is no way to force or change your roll on RNG you may get it next time… or 457 kills from now.


Exasperation and Explainations =

How come you keep getting Gold on your Loot Roll AND Bonus Roll? Because Drop Rate % for Gold on almost every boss, encounter, and special loot container is about 50-85%, depending (even if you are talking about Bonus Rolls, as those are a completely separate RNG roll, and the numbers are independent of your first roll). Some Loot Chance for things other than Gold have been increased substantially, like LFR from past patches, upping the Drop Rate of things other than Gold by 5-20%, depending. Which means when you Roll for Loot, unless you ‘crit’ for a specific piece of Loot, it’s going to be Gold. (But, hey, Gold is good. It’s shiny and you can buy things with it... like PETS!)

Why do your ‘goodie bags’ keep giving you the wrong gear type/wrong enchant stats/the same thing it gave you last time? Because RNG can’t always have the best Drop Rate options for you available. If an item is programmed to have only mail or leather Drop Rates, but you wear plate, then your ideal Drop Rate is just not going to happen. And the more options for Drop Rates there are, the more likely you’re going to be frustrated by getting the wrong thing… on the other hand, the less options there are, the more often you get to groan “Just Gold, again”. It’s all about preference there, imo.


Ta Da!

Please just try to keep in mind that RNG takes no prisoners, it may begin to feel completely personal, but I promise it’s just random being… well… random!

Thank you for reading and I hope this helps y’all… if not in the understanding of ‘Loot’, then at least of the fact that The Dice Don’t Hate You!
Last edited by Aingealwroth on November 30th, 2013, 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Dice Don’t Hate You! (Aka: Why it won't drop.)

Post by Aviectus » November 28th, 2013, 7:25 am

RNG sometimes KILLS you. if you have played any other mmo from Mythic you will understand what i mean.
and sometimes is intended to frustrate you, ( a friend returned from a long break ( 2 years )) and after he hits 90 he tries onyxia...and the mount dropped. on the other hand my luck on that mount is rubbish.

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Re: The Dice Don’t Hate You! (Aka: Why it won't drop.)

Post by Pigeon » November 29th, 2013, 1:49 pm

I think a lot of people get confused when people use Probability as a way of explaining.

So and so drops X Item 2% of the theoretically if you kill something 100 times probability dictates the item should have dropped 2 times for you. While correct, probability is not 100% itself. You may get stuck in the 98% no drop rate margin for 42356453 runs. Which sorta sucks.

I use probability to dictate how unlucky I am...


Took me 14 something months of several runs a day to get Baron's Mount. Yet less than 2 months (once a day heroic) to get the White Hawkstrider. And about 6 months to get Raven mount (one run a day due to heroic limitations).

Persistence pays off.
"My hotel is haunted. I saw a sheet on the floor, it must have been a ghost that had passed out…so I kicked it!"

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