What does a complex online drop system have anything to do with storing timers and setting a flag. The two are completly dissparate. As for monitoring "individual uses" how else would this system work.
You don't understand, their systems do not flag users, it's a giant dispenser that is based on a distribution heuristic that is already weighted, their systems already made the choice when, and , I would bet you that the the hour period is set to occur on a global scale, 500,000 users are on at x time drop coordinate appears on server x in x formation. Simple, you don't need to check the clients connection time, that is not efficient, and doing those checks constantly = lag, it also enables users to reverse engineer when a packet is incoming to find out when the handshake is going through that establishes a drop flag.
NO, not realistic.
All the drop chance is is a variable.
It drops the piece of gear then rolls a number.
If it's between values x and y it's one thing, if it's between y and z, it's another thing.
Literally all the system has to do is take something like the magic find system and incrementally give you magic find after so many seconds / minutes / hours of the game tracking combat.
All of the logic for this system is already spread out.
Lastly, these servers that they're using aren't some home made computer, they're typically a very expensive 1-3u server that houses sometimes upwards of 256GB of RAM and something like 2 16 core processors.
They are DESIGNED to run billions of concurrent operations at once. I should know, I build / test / repair these types of server setups for a living.
And there's not just one of these in a rack, there's generally like 30 or so in a rack, and dozens of racks. The possible computing power in these data centers would blow your mind.
Adding a few extra variables and a timer in addition to the at least 30 other timers I can think of off the top of my head that the game is using is not going to break these monstrous computing powerhouses.
If the servers can handle something much more complex like a global auction house where it has to parse / mine through THOUSANDS of transactions per second, adding a stupid incrementing magic find mechanic based on combat time is NOT going to tax it in the slightest.
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