Random Catches (News)
Ever wondered exactly how "random" is "random"? Felt like a rare fish is "taking forever" to catch? Well, new analysis of catches for the daily fishing quests, suggests it is theoretically possible that it will take forever to catch a quest fish. Read about Random Catches.
The comments below are out of character.
As you can see in the article, the distribution tails off, apparently to infinity. I cannot prove there isn't a finite point after which the catch automatically occurs, but I suspect there is not: The curve looks like the result of a fairly simple random number generator.
I have never been a fan of "random" loot, because it is too dependant on luck, which does not always reflect player effort. For example, Nihilum famously raided the Black Temple for almost a year before they obtained the twin Warglaives of Azzinoth. Other guilds managed to find several sets in a matter of weeks. This is not equitable, and tends to cause player frustration.
But it can be argued that the current design is flawed, rather than just annoyingly inequitable: It is theoretically possible that quests can never be completed, since a required quest item might never drop. That outcome is highly unlikely, which is why the current approach "works" in practice.
We know (from official postings on forums) that loot is currently generated at the time a mob is created in the game world. The game does not know who is going to kill that mob first, so has no way to offer anything but random loot. An alternative approach might increase the chance of a drop each time the previous mob didn't carry that loot. That would require loot to be generated at the time of the mob's death. Technically that seems possible, but presumably it increases the chance of exploitation.
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