FFXIV Wiki Wednesday: Drop Rates!

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Did you see Hiroshi Minagawa’s post about Random Number Generators (“RNG”) and FFXIV? You can read it here… we’ll wait if you want to read it now. Interesting? Sure. But does it tell you what rate Square Enix has assigned to a certain drop? Nope. Not even close. Sure whether or not you roll a 1 out of 100 to get the Oil of Time that dropped from Syrcus Tower might be left up to the almighty RNG – but the odds of the item dropping in the first place? Square Enix picks that. Let’s look at how easy it is to crowd-source that number in the wiki, so we can all determine whether we’re better off in a Syrcus run or a Coil run, or whether once we are in Syrcus we are more likely to get that Unidentified Allagan Tomestone versus the oil.

So while Minagawa’s post could be a bit confusing, the good news is that the information the community really wants is actually pretty easy to acquire. We do not need “2^19937 – 1 and 623 dimensional equidistribution up to 32 bits accuracy” to determine the drop rates in FFXIV. A good sample size for us? A few hundred should suffice. A thousand and we’ll pretty much have it locked down.

So how can we obtain these numbers you ask? Easy. We crowed-source what drops on each run. After a few hundred people do that, we have our numbers. Given that we have tens of thousands of visitors each day, a few hundred edits per dungeon could be done in no time. Once you are editing a page, all that you need to do is add to the numbers on a given chest. Sticking with Syrcus Tower, once you click edit, there will be a number of fields, and a number of chests. By way of example, about one-third of the way down the page you’ll see the chest that spawns on Scylla’s death. Here is what it looks like:

{{ARR Infobox Dutychest
|Name = Scylla
|Color = Blue
|Coordinates =
|Trigger = Slay Scylla
|Total Pops = 2
|Item 1 = Phlegethon’s Gauntlets
|Item 1 Pops = 0
|Item 2 = Scylla’s Gloves of Healing
|Item 2 Pops = 0
|Item 3 = The Guardian’s Tassets of Striking
|Item 3 Pops = 0
|Item 4 = The Guardian’s Greaves of Maiming
|Item 4 Pops = 1
|Item 5 = Scylla’s Boots of Casting
|Item 5 Pops = 0
|Item 6 = The Guardian’s Armguards of Striking
|Item 6 Pops = 0
|Item 7 = Phlegethon’s Plate Belt
|Item 7 Pops = 0
|Item 8 = Scylla’s Belt of Healing
|Item 8 Pops = 0
|Item 9 = Amon’s Boots
|Item 9 Pops = 1
}}

This is a template. If you didn’t read our last Wiki Wednesday post about how they work, you can read it now… we’ll wait (again).

So as of this writing we have two entries. Once The Guardian’s Greaves of Maiming dropped and once Amon’s Boots dropped. The |Total Pops = 2 line is how many reports we have (the denominator, what we want to get to a few hundred), and each item has its own “pop” line (the numerator). So if you were to run Syrcus Tower, all you’d need to do after Scylla dies is add one to the |Total Pops = (here to 3) and add 1 to whichever item dropped. Click save and voila. Rinse and repeat for the other chests. Note that this system is in place on all raids/dungeons.

In order to avoid bias, don’t edit only when you get what you “wanted”. In theory it could all even out, but only if we assume a perfect distribution of “wants” across the community. If nobody wants Phlegethon’s Plate Belt, and nobody edits the loot pool when it drops, it will incorrectly register 0 forever.

That’s it. In no time we can see the depressing news that we have a 1% chance of a drop we’ve been waiting for, and then you can really let your buddy have it when Minagawa’s “alleged” random number generator hits him with a 99 and you with a 2.

Extra Credit:
Mob drop rates are basically the same, but look a bit different. Editing a mob page will have an entry for each mob location, something like:

{{ARR Mob Row
| Coordinates = 15-18
| Location = Upper Paths
| Levels = 20-23
| Drops =
{{Drops|Name=Antelope Shank|31|73}},
{{Drops|Name=Beast Sinew|18|73}}
| Behaviors = P
}}

Each item dropped has its own line. The first number (31 for the Antelope Shank) is the number of items acquired and the second number (73) is the number of kills.