Diablo® III

Confused on AH/drop rate interaction

TLDR at bottom

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I've lurked and lurked these forums and I've seen both of these posts from Blizzard thrown around quite a bit. However, I've never seen anyone put them side by side and point out the blatant contradiction. I've seen some people hint at it, but the problem seems to get shut down by blues because people are quoting things out of context. So here's my arguments, my sources, and the relevant portions of those sources quoted for everyone to see.

Let's start with Bashiok's post stating that the auction house does affect drop rates:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5150112701?page=2#33

05/26/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Bashiok
Thanks for the post, Bashiok. Do you think that one area of concern that may get looked at is that people aren't able to gear up for Infernon Act 1, even, without going to the AH and spending a lot of gold. Is this intended (To gear up solely through the AH) or will the drops at the end of Hell be better adjusted to help gear up for Inferno Act 1 and so on.


The auction house obviously provides an incredible service to allow for very easy trades between characters, and essentially blows out the wide range of items you could have available to you at any one time. So, in fact, the AH has to be a factor in how we drop items. On one hand you have a huge benefit because you can buy and sell items very easily, as opposed to having to post up WTS threads in the old USEast trading forums, but on the other end it does impact the item pool economy with the inherent ease at which you can trade items. If the AH existed but wasn't a factor at all into how items dropped/rolled, the economy would be completely tanked within a matter of weeks.


More specifically:

05/26/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Bashiok
So, in fact, the AH has to be a factor in how we drop items.


Bashiok says that the AH affects drop rates. However, on the other hand:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/6317360/6317360#dropratesah

Wyatt Cheng: The auction house has absolutely no effect on drop rates. There are conspiracy theories and misunderstandings, but I do want to re-iterate: there is NO interaction whatsoever. Bashiok mentioned earlier that we took the AH into account, so let me expand a little bit on that.
The drop rates were tuned for a player who would never use the Auction House. For the majority of internal development, we didn't have an Auction House, and we all played using our own drops only. I've personally leveled multiple characters from 1 to 60 internally before the game came out using only drops that I found -- we all did.
When we say we "took the AH into account," that means it's one of many factors -- i.e. some players will choose to play without trading, some players would play in a group of 4 where they share drops among each other, and some (as it turns out, many) players would use the AH.
Three weeks after launch, players' gear is much higher than what we were expecting. When I killed the Butcher on Inferno for the first time, I was using a weapon with 492 DPS. There are also certain passives which are much more powerful than they were during internal development. One With Everything, for example, was basically never used internally because we didn't have an auction House. With the auction house, it feels like a mandatory passive. In retrospect we should have seen it coming. In the game's current state, though, it's a powerful Monk ability that gives Monks a big survivability boost and has some interesting (some would argue fun, others would argue negative) effects on gearing.
I consider playing without the Auction House to be a very fun way to play the game. I'm personally planning on rolling some new characters that I'll set aside to be "no-AH/no-twink" characters. Much like in D2 when I would make a new character with a friend and we'd agree with each other not to twink our characters out.


Giant wall of text. Let's break it down:

(Cheng from AMAA Transcript)

The auction house has absolutely no effect on drop rates. There are conspiracy theories and misunderstandings, but I do want to re-iterate: there is NO interaction whatsoever.


This first part here completely contradicts what Bashiok posted. I assumed Blizzard was aware of this when posting, so I assumed that the rest of the post would say that Bashiok was wrong or his post was worded poorly, and therefore interpreted poorly.

(Cheng from AMAA Transcript)

The drop rates were tuned for a player who would never use the Auction House. For the majority of internal development, we didn't have an Auction House, and we all played using our own drops only. I've personally leveled multiple characters from 1 to 60 internally before the game came out using only drops that I found -- we all did.


Before I go into this, I'd just like to re-quote a section of the first post I quoted:

05/26/2012 03:17 PMPosted by Bombz
Thanks for the post, Bashiok. Do you think that one area of concern that may get looked at is that people aren't able to gear up for Infernon Act 1, even, without going to the AH and spending a lot of gold. Is this intended (To gear up solely through the AH) or will the drops at the end of Hell be better adjusted to help gear up for Inferno Act 1 and so on.


Cheng is trying to support his statement that drop rates are not affected by the auction house, and gives us an example of leveling 1-60 multiple times with no auction house. However, there is no mention of beyond 60. What about after getting past Hell Diablo? Was there any testing done in inferno using only the drops you found? What I'm getting at here is that the issue players are having is in inferno, and the story that Cheng references relates to doesn't mention inferno--only 1-60 leveling (normal to hell).

(Cheng from AMAA Transcript)

When we say we "took the AH into account," that means it's one of many factors -- i.e. some players will choose to play without trading, some players would play in a group of 4 where they share drops among each other, and some (as it turns out, many) players would use the AH. Three weeks after launch, players' gear is much higher than what we were expecting.


This is the part that confuses me the most. Cheng said with no room for interpretation that the auction house has absolutely zero effect on the auction house, and then admits that it does play a small role in how drops are calculated. For clarity on this point, I'll put the two quotes right next to each other:

(Cheng from AMAA Transcript)

The auction house has absolutely no effect on drop rates. There are conspiracy theories and misunderstandings, but I do want to re-iterate: there is NO interaction whatsoever.

(Cheng from AMAA Transcript)

When we say we "took the AH into account," that means it's one of many factors


In summary:
Jay Wilson says that the AH does affect drop rates. Wyatt Cheng then makes a post. At the top of this post, he says that the AH does not affect drop rates, but midway through, he admits that there is some connection.

So my question is: which one is it? Does the AH affect drop rates or not?
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bump
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Interesting read. I think the key thing to point out is that Cheng said there is NO interaction . Interaction is reciprocal.. and something that implies present tense.
The AH was certainly a factor in programming drop rates - this is why legendaries and set items are so rare, among other things. The AH is certainly a factor when it comes to nerfing breakables, farming areas, and the like.
It seems to me that Cheng is talking about the contents of the AH dynamically adjusting drop rates in the game. I don't believe that this happens (algorithms to determine the rates would be amazing to behold.. I don't even know where I would begin!). We can't really be sure without being insiders, but it just seems like overkill when they have the low probability for good drops on their side.
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read this, well explained:
http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Report-How-Blizzard-Fixed-Drop-Rates-Affect-RMAH-44163.html


Yeah, I read this. The part that stood out the most for me was this:

Now let's get one thing clear: No one is saying all drops are specifically tied to what's in the auction house, instead all drops are affected by what can appear in the auction house based on Blizzard's preemptive fix of the loot's volume.

Blizzard has both confirmed and denied this statement. I just want to know whether or not we're supposed to be able to beat the game in its entirety without the auction house. Right now, Blizzard has said both yes and no.
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There is no "direct" interaction.

meaning..... the game does not say "hey look, theres 20 chestpieces w/ this and that stat, so we wont drop another chestpiece w/ those epic stats, until they sell"

instead.... it indirectly has forced Blizzard to say "hey, its SUPER FREAKIN EASY, for people to use the AH, and get geared up. so we will lower the drop rates ACROSS THE BOARD, in order to keep the AH from being 100% flooded w/ EPIC gear, causing nobody to have any need to farm, 1 month after the game is released"

Blizzard simply is forced to make drop rates lower, to prevent the AH from being flooded, due to how many people farm and sell on AH nonstop.

The AH does not directly influence specific drops, based on items on the AH.
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read this, well explained:
http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Report-How-Blizzard-Fixed-Drop-Rates-Affect-RMAH-44163.html


is that article supposed to be some sort of subtle satire or is this william usher guy a little special needs?

instead.... it indirectly has forced Blizzard to say "hey, its SUPER FREAKIN EASY, for people to use the AH, and get geared up. so we will lower the drop rates ACROSS THE BOARD, in order to keep the AH from being 100% flooded w/ EPIC gear, causing nobody to have any need to farm, 1 month after the game is released"


basically this
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I love that last paragraph of Cheng's.... Not sure when he said it, but apparently something is being lost in translation here, where the folks who have the power to make changes to this game don't seem to have a clue of the requirements beyond A1 Inferno.
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There is no "direct" interaction.

meaning..... the game does not say "hey look, theres 20 chestpieces w/ this and that stat, so we wont drop another chestpiece w/ those epic stats, until they sell"

instead.... it indirectly has forced Blizzard to say "hey, its SUPER FREAKIN EASY, for people to use the AH, and get geared up. so we will lower the drop rates ACROSS THE BOARD, in order to keep the AH from being 100% flooded w/ EPIC gear, causing nobody to have any need to farm, 1 month after the game is released"

Blizzard simply is forced to make drop rates lower, to prevent the AH from being flooded, due to how many people farm and sell on AH nonstop.

The AH does not directly influence specific drops, based on items on the AH.


Right, but it appears that Blizzard is trying to say that they designed drop rates as if the auction house didn't exist at all. If that's the case, then they're lying right to our faces.

edit: I base this on the quote from Cheng that the game is built around the assumption that a player would never use the auction house.
Edited by Ward#1742 on 7/18/2012 7:04 PM PDT
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There is no "direct" interaction.

meaning..... the game does not say "hey look, theres 20 chestpieces w/ this and that stat, so we wont drop another chestpiece w/ those epic stats, until they sell"

instead.... it indirectly has forced Blizzard to say "hey, its SUPER FREAKIN EASY, for people to use the AH, and get geared up. so we will lower the drop rates ACROSS THE BOARD, in order to keep the AH from being 100% flooded w/ EPIC gear, causing nobody to have any need to farm, 1 month after the game is released"

Blizzard simply is forced to make drop rates lower, to prevent the AH from being flooded, due to how many people farm and sell on AH nonstop.

The AH does not directly influence specific drops, based on items on the AH.


Right, but it appears that Blizzard is trying to say that they designed drop rates as if the auction house didn't exist at all. If that's the case, then they're lying right to our faces.

edit: I base this on the quote from Cheng that the game is built around the assumption that a player would never use the auction house.


The way I interpret it is that

A) they developed, tested and designed the game without the AH. It just wasn't live so when they played and tested it, they were doing it with their own drops between a very small # of players.

B) during that time, they took into consideration that there would be more gear available at the AH. However they grossly underestimated how fast gear would flood into the AH market (because apparently they had a mental malfunction and forgot why it was that WoW gear is BoP or BoE).

C) the big take away isn't that they're lying. It's that we're all playing inferno on easy mode. We were supposed to walk into act 2 with a 500 dps dagger and attempt to kill stuff. We were supposed to skip packs, die and rage at our computer to progress through inferno. It was supposed to be very very hard. Masochistic for people who want that kinda thing and found hell too easy. Eventually we'd find better and better loot and killing stuff would get that much easier. You weren't "supposed" to steam roll anything until a good 6 or so months after the game. This didn't happen ... see B

EDIT: however, now that they're playing with the drop rates because people don't like C ... they are very mindful of the rate at which the AH is becoming oversaturated with faceroll gear. So that has an effect on what they set the drop rates to.

Really, they should up the drop rates so people are happier about what they find, but implement some sort of account binding on gear so it can be removed from the market. If they boost the drop rate but don't do this then the AH becomes even more flooded with crazy gear and people are still unhappy because they can't find "upgrades" to whatever they just bought for cheap off the AH.
Edited by Redundancy#1137 on 7/18/2012 7:22 PM PDT
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The best way to describe this is the AH does not dynamically affect drop rates. This means that a Skorn has the same chance of dropping if there is one on the AH or 1000.

However, when the game was built they designed it knowing the AH would be there and make it easier to gear up, so drop rates were adjusted accordingly.

In other words, the existence of the AH was taken into account when determining base drop rates, but the AH itself does not affect drops.
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Necromancers are not in game yet, but they sure as hell work the forums.
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AH and forums directly affect your drops. This post serves as solid, factual proof of that. Now excuse me while I tighten my tinfoil.
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More specifically:

So, in fact, the AH has to be a factor in how we drop items.


Bashiok says that the AH affects drop rates. However, on the other hand:


The sentance before that he talks about the availability of items because of the AH

When I read this I understand it as the AH's were a factor in drop rates during development, not dynamically or anything like some suggest.

What he basically said is items couldnt drop as frequently in D3 as they did in D2 because of either AH making items so available.
Edited by iwonsch#1358 on 12/10/2012 9:34 AM PST
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There is no "direct" interaction.

meaning..... the game does not say "hey look, theres 20 chestpieces w/ this and that stat, so we wont drop another chestpiece w/ those epic stats, until they sell"

instead.... it indirectly has forced Blizzard to say "hey, its SUPER FREAKIN EASY, for people to use the AH, and get geared up. so we will lower the drop rates ACROSS THE BOARD, in order to keep the AH from being 100% flooded w/ EPIC gear, causing nobody to have any need to farm, 1 month after the game is released"

Blizzard simply is forced to make drop rates lower, to prevent the AH from being flooded, due to how many people farm and sell on AH nonstop.

The AH does not directly influence specific drops, based on items on the AH.


There you go.

There's no real time interaction, but the drop rates are low (and the loot system rpobably so random) because the AH exists. It's there from the start.
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12/10/2012 09:23 AMPosted by Drayven
Necromancers are not in game yet, but they sure as hell work the forums.


Ahh...he got me :(.
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