Tuesday 30 July 2013

The grim reality of Diablo III's drop rates. Grind game, you say?

Many people agree that pretty much everything that's left to do in this game is to get better items. Why? Just for the sake of it.

Supposedly, we know that the itemization and drop rates are kinda bad and that you can't really get a good upgrade unless you pay for it.

But just how broken is this thing really?

People still farm hoping for THAT drop.

Realistically, what are the odds of you getting top gear through drops?

Will 1000 hours of play time get you anywhere near the top?

How about 10,000 hours?

I was pretty curious about this so I researched it a bit to get a clearer view.

So here's the background

I'm playing a barbarian so obviously, I'm interested in getting barbarian items.

I went on diabloprogress.com and looked at top barbarians, both in DPS and in Heroscore (considers both offense and defense).

I made a small list with some of the items you would need to find to see your barbarian as being a part of those top characters. I'm not even talking about top 10.

To see the odds of getting that kind of items, I've looked at how many of them are in my region (EU) using the website's item search: http://www.diabloprogress.com/items/eu/

Let's see the items/stats I've chosen and how many of them have been found so far:


  • Mempo of Twilight - 180 STR, 9% IAS, 6% Crit chance – 386 items
  • Vile Ward – 280 STR, 120 VIT – 85 items
  • IK chest armor – 190 STR, 280 VIT – 67 items
  • IK gloves – 170 STR, 8% IAS, 30% Crit Damage – 249 items
  • Witching Hour – 200 STR, 50 VIT, any All Res, 9% IAS – 41 items
  • Inna’s Temperance – 90 STR, 90 VIT, 9% IAS – 67 items
  • Lacuni Prowlers – 150 STR, any VIT, 9% IAS, 5% Crit – 43 items
  • Rare ring – 50 STR, any min-max damage, 8% IAS, 30% Crit Damage, 5% Crit Chance – 58 items

  • Echoing Fury – 1200 DPS, 150 STR, +0.24 atacks per second, 50% crit damage, socket – 237 items
  • Rare 1h Mace – 1000 DPS, 100 STR, 50% crit damage, any life steal, socket – 67 items
  • Rare 1h Axe – 1200 DPS, 100 STR, 50% crit damage, any life steal, socket – 65 items
  • Rare 1h Sword – 1200 DPS, 100 STR, 50% crit damage, any life steal, socket – 38 items

Very important notes:

  • Although these items are out of reach for anyone who doesn't spend tons of money, their rolls are roughly 90-95% perfect.
  • The item that rolled closest to perfection is Mempo of Twilight, because it has only 1 random stat.
  • The amount of 100% perfectly rolled items that correspond to these search criteria is 0.
  • Weapons have inflated DPS because there is no way to filter out socketed Rubies. The actual number of weapons with the above stats and high DPS is smaller.

What do these numbers mean?

There are many ways to calculate the approximate odds for these items to drop. You can consider farming speed, drop chances for each item type, the number of possible rolls and the odds to get the top rolls, etc. but that's pretty complicated and hard to understand.

So let's look at it this way:

According to the official infographic posted at the 1 year anniversary which you can find here people played in total 2.8 billion hours, spread pretty evenly across all regions - see characters created by battlenet region.

Based on that, I consider 1 billion hours (1,000,000,000) played so far in Europe to be an underestimation, but I'll go with that number.

So we have 1 billion hours played and the number of amazing barbarian items found so far can be seen above.

In conclusion

If you want top gear (90-95% perfect) by playing the game as it is right now, you'd better not have any other plans for your next 100 lifetimes.