Guest Article: Diablo III Loot Source/Type BreakdownPosted 27 March 2012 by Flux
Site reader and contributor Varquynne sent in a very nice piece that must have taken a lot of work to put together. He watched a full beta play through and recorded every item that dropped, what type of item it was, including gold quantities, and what sort of monster or chest dropped it. Not content with just a list, he turned the data into an awesome infographic, with colorful pie charts and stuff.
If you’re wondering how many items dropped… a lot. Click through to see the full chart and a lot more text info, but just to give you an idea of the calculations, there were 107 white, 31 blue, and 2 rare items, nearly 9000 gold, and over 1300 total “loot sources” which includes chests, barrels, urns, monsters, weapon racks, hollow logs, and so on.
Here’s the start of the article; click through to read the whole thing and see the cool infographic. Also, if you’re as surprised as I was to learn that he counted all this from a movie, never fear, we’ve made sure that Varquynne has beta access of his own, now.
Where does all the loot come from?
I was recently inspired by a news post on the official Torchlight 2 website that took a look at the potential loot drops in the game. Erich Schaefer and one of the other team members, Adam, put together a great infographic that showed the breakdown of loot from a play session and the sources of that loot. Usually, those data tend to sit in tables on spreadsheets that, for most of us, aren’t really very interesting to sift through. However, data can be really cool, especially when it’s visualized in the proper way.
There exists a proportion of Diablo players that are data fiends. They strive to maximize the efficiency of their characters’ statistics and/or play style to increase their killing power. They pour over numbers and analyze the geometry of level layouts to give themselves the edge. Consequently, these tasks increase their chances at getting great loot. The net result of that data crunching? Generally, it leads to greater quantities of awesome loot, more character power, and usually a cooler looking hero. So, data gets transformed from numbers to something aesthetically pleasing and fun!
Following the team’s example from Torchlight 2, I decided to package up some loot data from Diablo III into something that I hope is at least somewhat nice to look at and fun for some of you to go through. Since I don’t have access to the beta, I compiled the data from a video of one playthrough with a freshly made character (beta, patch 15). The player takes a witch doctor from level 1 to level 9 in a session that is approximately 1 hour long. The data from the loot drops can be found in the accompanying infographic. It breaks down five main categories of loot: gold, potions, normal gear, magic gear, and rare gear.
Click through for the rest of the article…
Caveat: The comparisons and data analyses presented here are done with one trial comparison from each game. As such, it’s important to keep in mind that there will be substantial variability; not only in fluctuations due to random chance but also in the inherent conditions of each trial (e.g. variance in playstyle). These data should not be taken as rigid evidence for mathematical comparisons one way or the other. Simply stated, they are inconclusive. So, with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy.
Comparing loot variety – Torchlight 2 and Diablo III
Compared to Diablo III, Torchlight 2 seems to throw more loot variety at you (if not more overall loot). The Torchlight 2 loot breakdown graphic includes spells, gems, and scrolls. While gems are indeed in Diablo III, they don’t drop in the beta segment. In addition, Diablo III no longer includes scrolls (at least not in the beta), droppable runes, or presumably other consumables such as elixirs. Another aspect with Diablo III that we aren’t seeing here are the contribution of dyes or droppable crafting components which will be included in the final build. For some of those with the game developer inkling, it might be interesting to see how the two games compare in this regard and which one feels more satisfying loot-wise.
It brings to mind the question of whether more loot variety is necessarily good. I’m not sure. Certainly, I think that way too much can contribute to feeling overwhelmed and can make inventory management more of a chore.
Comparing loot quantity
Unfortunately, comparisons of loot quantity aren’t appropriate with these data seeing as the Torchlight 2 figures come from a character that has advanced fairly far into the game (as well as other factors). Let’s entertain the idea, though. From these figures, we can look at the overall frequency of loot which each game presents you. I’ve measured this as the number of loot items divided by the opportunities for loot. Torchlight 2 (2140 pieces of loot from 7543 sources) gives you some form of item-based loot 28.4% of the time and Diablo III (208 pieces of loot from 1293 sources) gives you some form of item-based loot 16.1% of the time. Overall, Torchlight II tends to throw loot at you more frequently. It’s a trend that I think will hold up for the release versions of each game, especially if the way loot was handled in Torchlight I serves as an accurate example.
Getting the biggest buck for your bang
So, from where does each category of loot tend to come?
Gold: It seems like most gold comes from normal monsters (~32.7%), quests, and clickables/destructibles*. Interestingly, despite showing up only three times, the gold from the treasure goblin account for ~7% of the gold that was found for the playthrough. It would seem to suggest that chasing that mischievous, little guy down will be worth it for the gold payout.
Potions and normal items: Potions (~31.4%)and normal items (~49.3%)come from normal monsters, mostly. Not surprising, I suppose. Runners up for potions include champions and rare/unique monsters*.
Magic items: Together, champions and rare/unique monsters are the greatest source of magic items. As a note, Blizzard denotes both these monster groups as “elites”. While they may represent the source for the greatest quantity of magic items, it’s pretty much a sure bet you’ll get a magic item whenever you do encounter a special chest*, treasure goblin (if you kill it), rare/unique monster, or boss. Something else that is pretty striking is how seldom blue items dropped from normal monsters for this particular playthrough – approximately 0.2% of the time. Was this the monster group the Diablo III team tweaked the most to curtail magic drops? Comparisons with earlier patch versions could help identify where the development team made the biggest adjustments.
Rare items: Two rares were found during this playthrough. One came from a normal monster and one from Leoric (odds boosted since it was a first-time playthrough). The sampling (as is the case for many of these categories) is quite small, but it’s expected from Blizzard’s comments that elite monsters will be the principal source of rare items (statistically speaking, of course).
No legendary or set items are found in the Diablo 3 Beta.
I hope you guys and gals enjoyed the little analysis. If you notice anything else that seems interesting, let us know! It won’t be too much longer until we’re all cranking out data like these (regardless of whether it sees the light of day or not)! At the very least, we’ll see it manifest in the progression of our characters.
*Notes on loot sources:
Clickable/destructible includes everything not classified as a barrel, urn, weapon rack, armor rack, or chest. This would include things like lecterns, logs, loose stones, etc.
Champions include monsters whose names appear blue as well as quest-related monsters whose names also appear in blue (with the exception of King Leoric). For example, The Chancellor is classified as a champion.
The figure for the number of normal monsters slain is likely an underestimate. Monsters that were slain off screen by pets or Kormac the Templar may have been missed. And, of course, counts may have been missed in the chaos of combat… though, I tried to be accurate.
Rare/unique monsters include enemies whose names appear in yellow.
Opinions expressed in guest articles are those of their authors, and are not necessarily the views of Diablo.IncGamers.com. If you’d like to contribute your own article or other original material, we’d be happy to see it. Use the Send News button atop the main page.