[Proposal] Scaled Individual Loot System

Ashes of Creation is a fresh and innovative MMO with many unique and appealing systems and designs. This is a proposal for a looting system to complement the Ashes world and to help underpin the economy and encourage inclusive and immersive gameplay.

Previous MMOs have suffered greatly due to loot toxicity and other problems associated with traditional looting systems. Ashes has the opportunity to avoid these pitfalls and to adapt looting solutions that have been successfully applied in other games.

Because every class and race can use every item of gear in Ashes; and because bind on pickup (BOP) will not be commonplace, legacy group looting systems such as need before greed will simply not work well in Ashes. The party size of eight players will create an additional burden for manual loot distribution and add further susceptibility to ninja looting and other toxic behavior.

To address these concerns I propose a Scaled Individual Loot system with the following goals:
  • Solve loot toxicity by removing the ability to ninja loot. Instead, players will be encouraged to trade their spoils with other players once loot is distributed. This works remarkably well in other games such as World Of Warcraft Legion, which uses a similar but not identical system to this.
  • The average drop chances of any loot rarity will be scaled to be exactly the same rarity as a traditional looting system. Rares, epics and legendaries will continue to feel like rares, epics and legendaries under this system.
  • This system will also generate the same loot drop quantities on average for each rarity, so there will be no additional items flooding the marketplace or other negative impacts on the Ashes economy.
  • Loot distribution will be based on boss loot tables as with a standard looting system. In addition I propose a set of predefined looting modifiers. These modifiers can be set to mirror and improve traditional loot drop mechanics without yielding to the disadvantages of traditional looting systems. 
  • Additional modifiers will provide the ability to customize loot tables per player archetype. This will streamline encounters by allocating individual loot based on recommended class/subclass. Since most gear is tradeable in Ashes this will not lock players into this recommendation.
  • This system will be designed to streamline encounters and reduce friction between group members. Importantly, unlike other looting systems (such as master looter) this will encourage inclusive playstyles such as pugging.

How the scaling works

Standard boss loot tables are used in this system. A loot table is in essence a spreadsheet for each boss or mob that defines the percentage chance of loot items being dropped.



A traditional looting system awards loot to the group according to the drop chance when the boss or mob is defeated. In the above example, an eight player group who defeats Evilcow the Corrupter will have a 1/10 (10%) chance of obtaining the Rare Heroic Helm of Heraldry.
Note that the term "group" does not need to apply to a traditional "party" of predefined members. It may apply to the totality of the player force attacking the boss at the time, regardless of whether they are in a single party or not. This flexible notion of group may be further adjusted by the encounter mechanics based on participation metrics and/or diminishing returns based on performance. Integration with these systems would be optional.
In the scaled individual loot system, the drop chances for each of the 8 group members receiving the same item will be 1/80. Therefore, the average drop chance is exactly the same in both systems 1/10 = 8 x 1/80. This scaling formula applies to groups of any size, whether they are in formal parties or not.

Modifier flags

To make this system work better with the Ashes design, I propose adding modifier flags to the loot tables. These modifiers can be set to mirror traditional loot drop mechanics without the disadvantages of these systems. 


Key: BA=Bard, CL=Cleric, FI=Fighter, MA=Mage, RA=Ranger, RO=Rogue, SU=Summoner, TA=Tank
  • M1 "Only one of this item will drop in any one encounter". This modifier will prohibit more than one of the same item from being dropped in one encounter. This will cater for the rare chance that multiple party members get the same personal drop. If this flag is set and the loot item has already been given out, the system will re-roll for that player, giving a chance at other loot items.
  • M2 "Only X of this item will drop in any one period (week)". This modifier ensures that certain items have a suitably "mythic" feeling. This can be set by the economy team to put a safety valve on expensive/desirable drops to protect the economy from being flooded in ungated mob/boss encounters.
  • M3 "Only X of this item will drop for any one character". This restricts loot drops on a per-character basis. This will help to limit the viability of gold farmers.
  • M4 "Only X of this item will drop for any one account". This restricts loot drops on a per-account basis. This will further limit the viability of gold farmers, who will be forced to take out multiple subs.
  • M5 "Only X of this item will ever drop from this mob/boss". This modifier should be reserved for the most illustrious of drops... Perhaps the Golden Sandals of legend!
  • M6 "Recommended class/subclass list". This modifier will allocate this loot item with preference toward the listed class/subclasses to help streamline the loot allocation process. If this flag is not set or if the archetype is not present in the encounter, the item will be allocated randomly. Players are free to negotiate and trade looted items. 
  • M7 (not shown on image) "Recommended artisan class/subclass list". This modifier will allocate crafting mats with preference toward a list of artisan class/subclasses. If this flag is not set or if the artisan class is not present in the encounter, the loot items will be allocated randomly. Again, players are free to negotiate and trade these items. IS may decide to keep gear distribution minimal on bosses/mobs and instead focus on crafting loot drops.
Notes:
  1. BoP items will remain tradeable within the group for a period of time after the encounter ends (similar to WoW).
  2. M6 and M7 modifiers can optionally be weighted by skill progression on player's respective skill trees (master cooks will gain access to better mats than novice cooks).
  3. Configuration settings could be provided for each mob/boss to ensure that loot distribution is uniform across the group. Players receiving multiple loot drops, say one gear drop and one crafting drop could be prompted to choose which drop they prefer. Alternatively the system could automatically redistribute or reroll based on the chosen setting.

Summary

I think Ashes deserves an innovative loot system to match its other exciting new features. This system is just one way it could be done. The viability of this system will not be known until it is able to be playtested, but I hope we as a community can discuss and refine this system to help make our favorite game even better!

Edit 1: Added a modifier to distribute crafting material drops to artisan classes in response to the suggestions of @Ariatras and @freespiryt ;
Edit 2: Added loot distribution notes in response to @Herdo and @Ninja Shadow 
Edit 3: Added concept of diminishing returns suggested by @Whocando

Thank you guys :)
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Comments

  • I think a loot system similar to what wow use would be great for pugs. Then you should have the ability to switch to the more standard ones if you want to, like master loot for guilds etc.
  • I am assuming that everyone will loot the bodies so everyone will get something?

    If so then it looks like what ESO has (although I have no clue how the actual loot plumbing works in ESO).

    Everyone loots and you all have an equal chance at getting something and you can then trade with each other within that group.

    (this topic might also be better served under the 'Game mechanics" section?)
  • @lexmax I would be down with your idea if it were implemented.

  • (this topic might also be better served under the 'Game mechanics" section?)
    I thought of putting it there @PlagueMonk, but this is an opinion piece rather than an discussion about "official" game mechanics, so I decided to put it in general.
  • I like the concept of individual loot but I can't support it simply because I think without a bind on equip it just means once a large majority of players reach the max level equipment; there will be a large amount of high level players obtaining rares that will just circulate around the players. 

    Eventually rares won't be rare anymore. One enemy has an equal chance to drop a rare for every member of any given party. This boosts the numbers greatly from being a 1% chance for a rare to a technical 8% chance.

    Now consider this for world bosses as well. If all players participating that deal damage / provide healing have an equal chance this pretty much guarantees a fair number of players will have a rare.

    Depending on how frequent world bosses appear, especially at endgame stages - the mid level item rares will actually be the ones worth the most money.

    I personally think rares should not be achievable for everyone without a significant amount of time and effort. This is what makes them rare and makes them interesting to collect.
  • Fanzhon said:
    Eventually rares won't be rare anymore. One enemy has an equal chance to drop a rare for every member of any given party. 
    That is why I proposed the modifiers to place limits on the drops. Without these modifiers, even the traditional group loot system will have exactly the same problems you metion.
    This boosts the numbers greatly from being a 1% chance for a rare to a technical 8% chance. 
    The scaling system keeps the drop chance at 1%, exactly the same as the traditional drop chance. There is no extra loot here.
  • Your system with the modifiers in it looks really good imo
  • I just hope Intrepid takes a look and considers this suggestion. 
  • Uhhh, I want a loot system I can understand XD
  • Gothix said:
    Uhhh, I want a loot system I can understand XD
    Open up your own little individual box that no one else can open for loot. Stinker!!!   :p
  • Sintu said:
    Gothix said:
    Uhhh, I want a loot system I can understand XD
    Open up your own little individual box that no one else can open for loot. Stinker!!!   :p
    It's just done in a way that no extra loot is generated because of more people
  • That was an excellent read @lexmax, and a superbly delivered variant on the proposed looting system for Ashes.  I like it a lot, and would fully endorse it!  Anything that helps to stave of community toxicity, is a plus!  

    Bravo!   :)


  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited July 2017
    Image result for i approve gif
    The eyes! Why do they move back and forth?
    Edit: never mind the floating candles they are completely normal
  • I approve.
  • That was an excellent read @lexmax, and a superbly delivered variant on the proposed looting system for Ashes.  I like it a lot, and would fully endorse it!  Anything that helps to stave of community toxicity, is a plus!  

    Bravo!   :)


    I second this! 
    Meaningful Conflict = Okay
    Toxicity = Not Okay

    @GMSteven ;

    I hope you take the great Lexmax's thread into consideration ❤️ :)
  • 5% for uncommon? Pretty savage o_o! So technically better craft your green gears xD
  • Bumping up for the developers. Going to do so every day.  :)
  • Waysm said:
    5% for uncommon? Pretty savage o_o! So technically better craft your green gears xD
    The percentages in the example are pretty arbitrary. I've messed with them again just to make it easier to understand.

    I've also added a modifier to allocated individual loot based on class/subclass recommendation list. This should help further streamline loot distribution :)
  • How a game deals with looting is almost as important as the loot itself. EverQuest developed a decent loot system over the years. Raids (usually done by guilds) had raid leaders assigning loot. You could set up loot the same way as a group leader. You picked friends wisely in EQ, Bad players were legendary and loot whores were quick to be solo players. 

    Game mechanics alone will never weed out con artists and assholes, but a good game mechanic might be able to minimize their overall impact. I am glad to see good ideas already, I hope the seeds grow and the loot system is a mechanic that is just as epic as the game. Great job @lexmax I am seriously glad you got an early key, this game can only get better with people like you helping mold it!
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited July 2017
    First of all, I would like to say that I think you did an amazing, well thought out job.

    However, my ideal looting system would be different, though it could be used in conjunction with yours. Considering the monster's we've seen. Take for example the big spider demon. Just imagine that's a group dungeon boss. We kill it as a group. And it somehow drops a robe that perfectly fits your beautiful Elven physique, yet, somehow also manages to fit the Dwarf in your group. This never sat right with me. I mean, if you kill humanoids, yea, sure, I can understand. But I would much prefer a boss to drop a unique item. Or multiple of it. For example. Scale of the Spider Demon, which can then be used by a Blacksmith. Example. Blacksmith creates Steel armour. However, when he also uses the scale. The armour would upgrade and gain certain stats. Like more defence, lighter weight, etc.

    This would involve even more people, and make crafters really useful, throughout a game, not just to get "raid ready"

    As for the ninja looting and other forms of toxicity. I can only call upon past experiences. So, forgive me. 

    In the early days in WoW, servers were not connected. Each server, whilst the exact same as any other, it was a self contained world. Throughout your adventures you come across the same people, forge bonds, we all know this, I'm sure. The point I am trying to make is. From everything I heard the dev team say. They want this feeling of community in mmo's again. Which, is one of the primary reasons I am so interested in this. Bring the Massive Multiplayer back in my RPG. One of the side-effects of this was. That, because it was basically a small, self contained village. You knew people. And if someone gets known to have a name as a "ninja looter" they often had to leave the server, or abandon that character altogether. They didn't find a group.

    Now, ten thousand people per server (Something I read somewhere, correct me if I am wrong) is what they were aiming for? Spread over several large cities/metropolises. And your actual community is a lot smaller. Which means, that a lot of the anonymity of other mmo's is not there. And thus, people won't be toxic, as there are certain player enforced consequences. "Oh look, Ariatras is looking for a group, but he's a known ninja looter."

    What this does is make people think twice before being an asshole. 
  • Ariatras said:
    However, my ideal looting system would be different, though it could be used in conjunction with yours. Considering the monster's we've seen. Take for example the big spider demon. Just imagine that's a group dungeon boss. We kill it as a group. And it somehow drops a robe that perfectly fits your beautiful Elven physique, yet, somehow also manages to fit the Dwarf in your group. This never sat right with me. I mean, if you kill humanoids, yea, sure, I can understand. But I would much prefer a boss to drop a unique item. Or multiple of it. For example. Scale of the Spider Demon, which can then be used by a Blacksmith. Example. Blacksmith creates Steel armour. However, when he also uses the scale. The armour would upgrade and gain certain stats. Like more defence, lighter weight, etc.

    This would involve even more people, and make crafters really useful, throughout a game, not just to get "raid ready"
    I really like the idea of dropping mats instead of full gear sets. The boss loot tables in my proposal would accommodate this with the addition of an artisan class modifier.
    As for the ninja looting and other forms of toxicity. I can only call upon past experiences. So, forgive me. 
    In the early days in WoW, servers were not connected. Each server, whilst the exact same as any other, it was a self contained world. Throughout your adventures you come across the same people, forge bonds, we all know this, I'm sure. The point I am trying to make is. From everything I heard the dev team say. They want this feeling of community in mmo's again. Which, is one of the primary reasons I am so interested in this. Bring the Massive Multiplayer back in my RPG. One of the side-effects of this was. That, because it was basically a small, self contained village. You knew people. And if someone gets known to have a name as a "ninja looter" they often had to leave the server, or abandon that character altogether. They didn't find a group.
    In games like WoW gear is designed for a specific class (and spec in some cases) so it's fairly easy to tell who is needing on gear they are not entitled to, or have no use for. Yes, a vigilant and close knit community could eventually ostracise such individuals, but there will always be alts, and each metro ZOI will likely have over a thousand people in it (based on a 10K server with 5 metros). I might be wrong, but placing the burden on players to police something the game could easily prevent from happening in the first place to me seems unnecessary.

    Also, in Ashes there will be no clear way to tell if someone really is ninja looting, since there are no class or race limitations on gear. On top of that, Ashes gear will not usually be BOP, so the question of whether this guy is needing to resell will be on the tip of everyone's tongue. All of this together, in my opinion this will generate friction and toxicity, even when there are no malicious intentions at play. This is just my own opinion though based on my experiences, and I'm not trying to diminish of dismiss yours :)
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited July 2017

    In games like WoW gear is designed for a specific class (and spec in some cases) so it's fairly easy to tell who is needing on gear they are not entitled to, or have no use for. Yes, a vigilant and close knit community could eventually ostracise such individuals, but there will always be alts, and each metro ZOI will likely have over a thousand people in it (based on a 10K server with 5 metros). I might be wrong, but placing the burden on players to police something the game could easily prevent from happening in the first place to me seems unnecessary.

    Also, in Ashes there will be no clear way to tell if someone really is ninja looting, since there are no class or race limitations on gear. On top of that, Ashes gear will not usually be BOP, so the question of whether this guy is needing to resell will be on the tip of everyone's tongue. All of this together, in my opinion this will generate friction and toxicity, even when there are no malicious intentions at play. This is just my own opinion though based on my experiences, and I'm not trying to diminish of dismiss yours :)
    This is true, but tier sets only came with raids like molten core. Before that, the gear was usable by everyone, provided you could wear/equip it. Even then, you could still need. You based your proper choice on the actual stat allocation. As a Warlock, I would most likely not need on str/agi stuff. And I usually passed spirit onto mages and healers. As I had life tap. The point is, people still could ninja everything, but didn't because of the actual social consequences of being in a tight knit community. And I'd prefer a system that accommodates that, rather than an actual mechanic system. Because the thing that I mentioned, is sort of an indicator that the community aspect is working. 

    But I see your point with the BoP part. Back before the massive inflation of gold. Selling BoP blues to NPCs was a good way to make gold. It's not as viable nowadays. 
  • @lexmax
    Another way that you may use to get your ideal directly to the devs, is through Discord, and providing them a link to this thread.  Just a thought.
  • @lexmax
    Another way that you may use to get your ideal directly to the devs, is through Discord, and providing them a link to this thread.  Just a thought.
    Great plan @freespiryt :) Maybe I'll wait a couple more days to get more feedback then do that. 
  • lexmax said:
    @lexmax
    Another way that you may use to get your ideal directly to the devs, is through Discord, and providing them a link to this thread.  Just a thought.
    Great plan @freespiryt :) Maybe I'll wait a couple more days to get more feedback then do that. 
    Oh, and you may want to also include the link to your previous thread, "Looting Rules Just Announced".  Just to give your following looting model, some context.  Especially given how some people seem to view IS's initial loot rules with marked trepidation.  Good luck!
  • @lexmax the ideas you have generated for the loot system are well thought out and provide a basis for an interesting system.  It also solves some of my issues with the loot systems proposed by IS.

    The only issue I have is with some of your modifications.  The limit of only one item dropping per event can significantly lower the over all drop rate for that item.  This mechanic might have to be allowed for in the overall drop rate.  Such as this item has a percentage chance to drop for an event and then if it is dropped determine the recipient.  This actually works better with the crafting material idea mentioned before.  The other method is to raise the drop rate slightly to account for the reduction created by the limit.  When I am slightly more awake I will try to do some math to see how significant this is.

    The limitation of one item per character punishes players with alts who are already dividing their efforts.  I may have a Rogue/Fighter character and a Ranger/Mage character.  These characters seemingly require similar gear.  With this modification my division of effort has been further punished in that I can not acquire gear for an alt while on a character that may have acquired that item.  If crafting materials are dropped then this becomes unduly onerous.

    The limitation of one item per account would mean that alts with similar gear needs are simply not feasible.  And with crafting materials I hope you understand this is not feasible.

    The limitation for total number of drops from a boss in total is already part of the loot drop mechanics.  The rarity of the item is ensured by the low drop rate.  The absolute limit of the total drops just means that once the number has been reached then future groups will receive less reward for the same effort.  That seems arbitrary.

    The recommended list also punishes players with alts.  I accept that I am limiting my advancement by playing alts.  That is part of the deal but the additional punishment of having lower overall drops because I am on the wrong alt at the time that a drop finally hits is not part of the deal.

    Most if not all of these can be solved with a little additional math to adjust the drop rates so that the desired rarity of items can be maintained.

    TLDR:  A brilliant beginning and with some additional math the desired rarity of items could be maintained.
  • I support this. I won't add much to all these walls of text, but you do have my vote @lexmax
  • Make drops rare and let crafters fuel the economy xD
  • lexmax said:
    Waysm said:
    5% for uncommon? Pretty savage o_o! So technically better craft your green gears xD
    The percentages in the example are pretty arbitrary. I've messed with them again just to make it easier to understand.

    I've also added a modifier to allocated individual loot based on class/subclass recommendation list. This should help further streamline loot distribution :)
    Making the drops rare is not necessarly a bad thing since it'd give a reason to players to think about gathering materials and look for a crafter or upgrade their crafting professions and look for materials instead of bashing mobs 24/7.
    But yeah 20% is better than 5% xD.

    Anyway those who lives depending on the drops are mostly casuals snce they don't have that much time to play and upgrade their professions as they level up, so they like the fact that they can get some good gears while leveling up. (Insert quests necessity here)

    Anyway, your system is good and I don't see that many abuses with it unless some poeple create 70 accounts and have time to play them all = bots.
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