Strip back the story and the inter-personal relationships, and really, World of Warcraft's all about the loot. Killing things in return for things. But what's the science behind those loot drops?
In a talk today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Blizzard have revealed that, when WoW expansion Wrath of the Lich King shipped earlier this year, it quietly introduced a new system for determining how often players would receive quest items from downed enemies.
Blizzard's Jeffrey Kaplan explains:
We found that [originally we] had a lot of problems where players would run into streaks, and they only remembered the shitty streaks. So what we decided to do was we took a page out of Warcraft 3, which had a very elegant design which they referred to as 'progressive percentages.
So what we did recently with Wrath of the Lich King, and it's something we've never really talked about before, but in Lich King, every creature that is part of the collection quest has the item 100% of the time. But we do a progressive system where we up the chance the player [gets the item] each time he kills it.
In other words, the percentages will eventually work in your favour. Just kill and kill again, and no matter how bad your luck is, eventually you'll get it. Whatever "it" is.