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Dai

Randomized Drops Make No Sense

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So, I'm playing Order of Ecclesia. Fantastic game, sure, it's got problems, but it's still pretty solid. I'm currently doing a quest that requires me to hunt killer fish for their meat. Sounds easy enough.

So...why the hell is it a five-star (MAXIMUM RARITY) drop? Compare the Rock Knight, which has mid-rarity for copper ore. If anything, I'd expect it to be the other way around (rather, I'd expect the killer fish to ALWAYS drop its meat), seeing as I shouldn't expect every single rock a rock knight carries to be chock-full of ore. But the fish meat?

This just reminds me that random drops REALLY don't make any sense. If I've hunted five-hundred fish, I should damn near have that many filets available to cook. If I crack open a hundred boulders, I can reasonably not expect to find GOLD in every one.

Anyone else have random drops in games they find non-sensible?

Edit: And wouldn't you know it, after hours of grinding for half a day, it drops the moment I post this. Figures.

Edited by Dai

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Drops in the Metroidvania games were on the whole generally too low a rate despite how limited in usefulness many of them are. And if you want to talk bad, the Circle of the Moon DSS Cards- they're such a part of the combat system, but all but the first two are randomly dropped by enemies. And CoM doesn't even have a shop, so if you want more potions and other healing items, you just have to repetitively kill enemies.

 

Random drops do make sense to a degree. Perhaps in most cases the Death Fish's body was too badly injured to have safe-to-eat harvestable meat in a lot of cases? If you smash too many internal organs while killing a buffalo or deer IRL, the contents of those ruptured innards will quickly spoil the meat. And maybe that particular purely hypothetical Stone Scorpion didn't emit during its life enough of the excretions to make a Stone Jewel.

Random drops are easy to program, and they can easily be balanced. Guaranteed drops can work as well, but you better make sure the game has an item storage and management system suited for that.

Conditional drops are a neat alternative, Etrian Odyssey has a lot of these, but do it all the time for everything and players will be at a total loss as to what you need to do for what with so many drops to memorize the conditions of. Plus not all conditional drops are bound to be easy, I'm looking at you Curse Damage Kill on the Hollow Queen! EO does have Formaldehydes (guarantees all drops on the turn the Formaldehyde is used) to compensate though- yet these aren't necessarily easy to farm and you better pack several just in case the enemy clings on by like 10 HP on the turn you pop the Formaldehyde (thanks EOU Blizzard King!).

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While we're talking Metroidvania, there's even worse in OoE - just wait until you have to get Mandrake Root and Merman Meat. But yeah, Circle of the Moon was particularly bad about it too.

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1 minute ago, Levant Mir Celestia said:

While we're talking Metroidvania, there's even worse in OoE - just wait until you have to get Mandrake Root and Merman Meat. But yeah, Circle of the Moon was particularly bad about it too.

Yeah, looking at the star-rating for the damn Merman Meat on that one fish-lady. Speaking of...

Mermen don't drop Merman Meat!? WHY?

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5 minutes ago, Dai said:

Yeah, looking at the star-rating for the damn Merman Meat on that one fish-lady. Speaking of...

Mermen don't drop Merman Meat!? WHY?

I would assume it's a translation error.

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11 minutes ago, Levant Mir Celestia said:

I would assume it's a translation error.

Unfortunately, can't confirm, seeing as the wiki doesn't have it.

Three mandragora in, and I got the root.

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That's very much the reason I got sick of these games. If I spent like an hour killing the same enemy over and over again until the RNG finally decides to drop what I need, I don't feel accomplished. I feel like a friggin idiot for having wasted so much time. And these Castlevania games only take like 3 hours to complete in the first place. They are not some kind of massive 50 hours Final Fantasy game or something like that. To waste so much of the player's time in such a short game is absurd.

The sad thing is that Order of Ecclesia actually handles these things better then it's predecessors. In Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow every spell is a random drop. And Portrait of Ruin has the worst sidequest system I've ever seen in a video game. You have to do them all in a row, even if you have already meet the requirements for the next 10 in line. And you are given no direction for these "quests". Most of them will ask you for a specific item and you are not given any clue where they are. They could be a random drop from any of the countless enemies or they could actually be hidden somewhere. And the rewards to include basic abilities like being able to whip diagonally, not just random pieces of gear that get obsolete after 10 minutes anyway.

Meanwhile in Ecclesia most of the Gylmphs are not gotten from random drops but are hidden somewhere, so the "quests" aren't really important in the first place. You also have several quest givers, so if you get stuck anywhere that doesn't mean you can't progress with someone else's questline. I also recall that the game does give you a certain amount of direction on where you have to go and what you have to kill.

Of course none of this changes the fact that making the player to kill the same monster over and over and over until the RNG lets you win is just artificially padding out the game's length.

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Do the random drops in your game ever have less than a 25% chance of appearing?
Are they distributed from a "randomized bag", or is there no guarantee regardless of how many times you Kill The Thing?

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1 minute ago, Zera said:

Do the random drops in your game ever have less than a 25% chance of appearing?
Are they distributed from a "randomized bag", or is there no guarantee regardless of how many times you Kill The Thing?

Hard to say. Given that it simply gives a star-rating on that enemy's webpage, the closest I have to tell is from the wiki which claims, for example, that merman meat is 1%. So, I can only judge that it's no guarantee.

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1% drops is a sign that the developers actively hate you. I'd DROP the game if I were you. :P

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1 minute ago, Zera said:

1% drops is a sign that the developers actively hate you. I'd DROP the game if I were you. :P

Adam Smith at its finest, I assume?

Personally, the game is really good. Aside of random drops, the combat and music are stellar, and in spite of its linearity compared to other Igavania titles, it's still a good trip through.

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1 hour ago, Dai said:

Unfortunately, can't confirm, seeing as the wiki doesn't have it.

Three mandragora in, and I got the root.

Well, the stuff referred to as “mermen” in the context of Castlevania are actually fishmen, so there’s that.

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30 minutes ago, Glennstavos said:

Randomized drops are just lootboxes you can't monetize.

Yet.

It's sad how accurate this is.

It's especially blatant in some games, the biggest example that comes to mind in recent memory is the very recent Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that literally has a [Hero Summoning] mechanic built into the game. Complete with the obnoxious cutscenes you have to spam skip through and then having to burn the ones you don't want because you cap out how many you have.

WHO APPROVES STUFF LIKE THIS?!

Randomized drops are always stupid. I get why they exist in some games, in some games it's a way of saying "Hey your playthrough is unique now cause you got these items but not those items!" but it's a really shallow way of trying to create unique playthroughs if you ask me.

Edited by Maritisa

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3 minutes ago, Maritisa said:

It's especially blatant in some games, the biggest example that comes to mind in recent memory is the very recent Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that literally has a [Hero Summoning] mechanic built into the game. Complete with the obnoxious cutscenes you have to spam skip through and then having to burn the ones you don't want because you cap out how many you have.

Hold up, you can't have every blade at once after you collect them?

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2 hours ago, Dai said:

Hold up, you can't have every blade at once after you collect them?

Pretty sure she's just talking about getting rid of common (i.e. generic) blades. I haven't played in a while, but from what I remember, there's more than enough space to hold every single rare blade and plenty of common blades.

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Trying to get the Sword of Kings for Poo in Earthbound is taking random drops too far. It has a 1 in 128 chance of being dropped, is the only weapon Poo can equip, and can only be gotten by defeating Starman Super's. I spent six hours of grinding before I finally got it. My brother, however, got it on the fifth Starman Super he fought...

Edited by NinjaMonkey

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One common thread I see in this topic is complaints about extremely rare non-essential drops. Most games are balanced so that you can beat them without any extremely rare weapons/items. Adding rare drops is a great way to spice up gameplay. I beat Shadows of Valentia + Postgame on Classic/Hard without getting Sol, Luna, or Astra and had few problems. If I got one of them, I'd be ecstatic and definitely use them, but I didn't feel like I was missing out. If I remember correctly, there's an achievement for getting them, but that's an entirely different can of worms. Comparing rare, non-essential drops in a single-player RPG to random lootboxes is a gross exaggeration and is missing the point of why lootboxes have drawn ire.

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7 hours ago, Zera said:

1% drops is a sign that the developers actively hate you. I'd DROP the game if I were you. :P

Much too harsh, since while the sidequest rewards can be decent, none are essential at all and all the Metroidvanias can be perfectly completed without them. Well you do need certain souls for the good endings in Aria and Dawn of Sorrow, but fortunately those souls have decent drop rates. 

 

One of the absolute worse instances of random drops in gaming have has to go to the Fiends in the original Shin Megami Tensei- Pale Rider, David, and Daisoujou. Each has a 1/256 chance of appearing in one of handful of forced encounter rooms scattered through the game (so good luck finding this out in the first place). And, each drops the ultimate sword for a given Alignment, at a 1/256 rate. So your chance of encountering one of them and getting their drop is 0.00001525878.

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On 21/06/2018 at 2:13 PM, BrightBow said:

That's very much the reason I got sick of these games. If I spent like an hour killing the same enemy over and over again until the RNG finally decides to drop what I need, I don't feel accomplished. I feel like a friggin idiot for having wasted so much time. And these Castlevania games only take like 3 hours to complete in the first place. They are not some kind of massive 50 hours Final Fantasy game or something like that. To waste so much of the player's time in such a short game is absurd.

The sad thing is that Order of Ecclesia actually handles these things better then it's predecessors. In Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow every spell is a random drop. And Portrait of Ruin has the worst sidequest system I've ever seen in a video game. You have to do them all in a row, even if you have already meet the requirements for the next 10 in line. And you are given no direction for these "quests". Most of them will ask you for a specific item and you are not given any clue where they are. They could be a random drop from any of the countless enemies or they could actually be hidden somewhere. And the rewards to include basic abilities like being able to whip diagonally, not just random pieces of gear that get obsolete after 10 minutes anyway.

Meanwhile in Ecclesia most of the Gylmphs are not gotten from random drops but are hidden somewhere, so the "quests" aren't really important in the first place. You also have several quest givers, so if you get stuck anywhere that doesn't mean you can't progress with someone else's questline. I also recall that the game does give you a certain amount of direction on where you have to go and what you have to kill.

Most spells in Aria/Dawn are gimmicky and it's perfectly possible to play through the game without collecting most spells. Also, they all are randomly dropped, but the most basic, useful ones have a higher drop rate and it's hard to miss them (the skeleton bone is one that comes to mind). Dawn also provides essential spells after you kill bosses.

This has nothing to do with the thread, but what actually made me drop Dawn was the terrible seal system. I'm glad I got a version that took it off for good.

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I'm just gonna mention the absolute BS drops from DB Xenoverse 1.

Mainly transformations and moves.  There's a chance for you to get the Super Saiyan transformation in some side mission, and it takes anywhere between one to a hundred tries to get it.  Way to totally diminish the meaning of that transformation by making it so that the method for obtaining it is the exact same one you'd go through to obtain a frickin' pair of baggy pants, and also making it frustrating to acquire for all the wrong reasons.  And same goes for the moves; only the ones learned from mentors feel like you put effort into learning them, but even then they're just essentially guaranteed drops for specific missions.

What was truly trite about some random drops in the first Xenoverse besides the fact that you don't always know what you have to do to acquire them is that they'd be locked behind the "Ultimate Finishes" which, on top of requiring you to fulfill certain difficult criteria, is an RNG-based proc.  So you have RNG stacked on top of RNG.  Just imagine the frustration players went through for that game just trying to get a complete outfit or transformation that's locked behind a tedious side mission.  Ultra-rare drops is one thing, but RNG barriers keeping you from RNG procs will make you think that the universe hates you.

Xenoverse 2 still has some BS random drops, but it's way better about it than the first game.  Mentors actually teach you ways you can use their moves (thus making it feel like you're actually properly learning the moves), and there's more of a process behind learning transformations than just obtaining a random-ass drop.  And Ultimate Finishes in that game are 100% guaranteed to proc so long as you still fulfill the requirements for it.

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Andd when you pair random drops with random encounters, it gets even worse.

You know, those monsters that are surprisingly tough to defeat, or flees easily, and still have a rare chance of dropping that one item you want. The example that comes to mind right now is Warmech/Death Machine from FF1, which is extremely hard to find (1/64), quite dangerous, and have a rare chance (about 5% apparently) to drop a poerfull armor). Fun time, fun time.

And why not completely related, trying to recruit Liquid Metal Slimes in Dragon Quest 5, or in some DQM games is its own kind of pains (To sum up, you have to kill them last to have a (really rare) chance of capturing them. They are hard to kill, fast and prone to flee, so you genrally want to defeat them first.)

Edited by Tamanoir

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