Dec 102015

What's in the box? Update 29 Preview

One of the many (many!) system changes coming to DDO in update 29 involves the way that treasure is randomized. Specifically, the random loot generator is getting another rework.

I am not 100% certain that I understand every nuance of the new system, but the developer, NoWorries, is talking about it in detail. I encourage you to check out NoWorries’ forum threads and correct me on anything I have missed or misunderstood.

Here’s what I do understand:

The random loot generator has four “dimensions”, or aspects, that are being changed.

  1. Effect generation
  2. What kind of effect is allowed on what item slot
  3. The types of effects available
  4. For weapons, armor, and shields only: item construction material

All of these are being revamped in the new system.

Effect Generation

In the existing generation method, an item may have a prefix and/or a suffix. If it has both, the minimum level of the item is the ML of the prefix plus the ML of the suffix. So for example, you could get a minimum level 8 ring that had a minimum level 3 prefix (say for instance Dodge 2%) and an ML5 suffix (such as False Life +15). Or maybe your item would have only a prefix or a suffix, such as a min level 7 ring of Dodge 4%.

Prefix ML + Suffix ML = Item ML

For most uses, a single-effect item was better. If you want Dodge, you probably want 4% Dodge more than you would wantย  2% Dodge plus a smattering of something else that is not Dodge at all.

The generator would have a small chance of creating a Masterful or Wondrous item that would have a minimum level that is one or two levels less than the sum of it’s prefix and suffix. So a minimum level 7 Wondrous ring of Dodge might have Dodge 5%.

In the new system, the item ML will be the same as the current quest level, and both the suffix and the prefix will have the same ML as the item. So our hypothetical level 7 ring of Dodge and False Life would be Dodge 4% and False Life 20. Meaning, the item is actually twice as good. Except it gets even better as now items will have a small chance to generate a third effect, and if so, it will be the same minimum level as the item too. Perhaps a ring of Dodge 4%/False Life 20/Insightful Charisma +2.

As far as I know, there will no longer be any chance of a single-effect item. It has not yet been determined whether Wondrous or Masterful items will continue to be generated.

Effects By Slot

There was a time when effects were tightly regulated by slot. If your item was a necklace, it could only have certain effects. If it was bracers the possible list of effects was different. For instance, Clever was only available on hats and goggles. Ogre Power was only available on bracers and belts. Rings were the exception, any effect could occur on a ring.

Over the years this has changed. The last revamp of the random generator lumped every effect together into every slot. If you could get an effect on clothing, you could get it on any piece of clothing. Same with jewelry; if the effect was available on jewelry it became available in every jewelry slot.

Win this Menace of the Underdark expansion pack!No more. We are returning to a more regulated distribution of effects. Not as restrictive as the original design, but significantly more restrictive than what we have today. Here, take a look. There is a lot of noise in the forum thread about Deadly (it will only be available on weapons) but really the changes are much bigger than that.

Are they good? Bad? I am not sure. Probably good. Having everything on every item seems boring and makes all of the items just seem like so much identical noise. So after consideration … I vote Good. This is a good change.

Effect Types

Another area that has seen many changes over the years (remember Ghostbane?) we are getting yet another pass at the sort of things that items can do. The list of available effects is quite large, so large that it is hard for me to inspect it to see if anything critical is being added or removed.

The biggest and most obvious addition is that Insightful bonuses are becoming much more common and can drop on anything. You could get an Insightful effect and the regular version of the same effect on the same item: my hagglebot Coin Serf is definitely excited about the prospect of a Haggle Helmet of Insightful Haggle.

There will not be any of the compound effects like Sun’s Fury or Mauling. These effects combined two or more smaller effects into one prefix or suffix – for instance, the Cold Mastery suffix combines Efficient Metamagic Maximize and Superior Ice Lore in one. Compound effects have been added and removed several times over the years, and they are pretty rare to begin with. It is hard to say which ones are still in the game today.

But regardless, none of that will continue to exist. If you happen to have … say … an Oceanic weapon of Icy Depths, hold onto it, there won’t be any more.

Also, there will be no clickies. But clickies were actually removed from random loot some time ago so this isn’t a change.

Construction Material

In today’s system, weapons may come in a variety of different construction materials, each of which bypasses specific forms of monster damage resistance. For instance, Adamantine, which bypasses most Construct DR, or Flametouched which adds Good to whatever weapon has it.

What's in the box?
What’s in the box?

In the past, armor and shields could be made of various things too, and these construction materials affected the item properties. Adamantine shields were more damage resistance. Mithril armor was less restrictive. The different armor materials were lost when armor was revamped for Menace of the Underdark.

None of that in the new system. Not as far as I can tell. No darkwood armor, no byeshk weapons, no anything. If you want something that bypasses Construct DR you are going to need an augment slot.

Compatibility With Existing Systems

Random loot has to be compatible with lots of non-loot systems. Today, it all is. I’ve asked if it will be in the future but received no answer. I asked directly in DDOChat but the developer that answered was not NoWorries and didn’t know the answer.

Here are the things that work with random loot today:

  • Stone of change eldritch recipes
  • Risia Ice Festival recipes
  • Night Revels potions and the Solar recipe
  • Artificer imbuements
  • Item Augments
  • Cannith deconstruction/disjuncting

Will all of these continue to work tomorrow? Will any of them? No one knows.

And so. New loot. My take?

I think that every generated item will have a much greater chance to be useful.

I think that the overall power of random loot is going up, a lot. Doubling! More than doubling when all the Insightful effects kick in.

I think that much of what made random loot interesting is going away. Or that it went away in previous passes and is not coming back.

  • Armor has been hopeless for a long time. Armor is getting better.
  • Weapons used to be way more interesting than they are now. They are not getting better. They are getting worse.
  • Items are getting … different. More likely to be useful, but at the same time more restrictive. A wash.


Twice as powerful
but half as interesting
New loot system. Yay?


Regardless, it is like the weather. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is coming. Soon. To a treasure chest near you.

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚

  11 Responses to “What’s In the Box? Update 29 Preview – Random Loot Changes.”

Comments (11)
  1. That ML stuff sounds like Power Creep…

    I still regularly check the AH for those composed affixes (mostly I forget the names…), and clickies, and armour materials that are hard to come by and … and … lol, and buy many strange and wonderful things ๐Ÿ˜€
    It is no wonder Bob is so poor.
    (I avoid the Shard Exchange, for reasons.)

    By the sounds of it, I need to collect a stash of various metal flavoured weapons now, too, I guess Cannith Crafting will need my attention again (remember to grab ones with augment slots, Bob.)

  2. I, for one, am 100% against the new changes. Accessories weren’t the problem; lootgen weapons and armor, currently, are hopeless. This “solution” is instead to invalidate the work we’ve put in over years of play time and inflate player power via complete B.S.

    Under the new system, level 11 lootgen accessories (when one can get the heroic cap of +6 enhancement value to any bonus) is now the penultimate loot, as one has the potential to get THREE +6 effects on a single slot. No. Just no.

    This expansion of Insightful bonuses, again, just invalidated all our hard earned bonuses. No.

    Lootgen needed work, yes. But this is going about it in entirely the wrong fashion. No first life F2P player should be better kitted out than a veteran multi lifer due to a few lucky rolls from RNGesus.

    Nerd-raging seal of approval here.


  3. Is the same loot gen RNG also used to determine what falls from breakables? If so I may find myself doing alot more smashing…

  4. No clickies is a bummer. Maybe the Cannith crafting pass will let us make some.
    I’m none too swift analyzing mathematics changes and the like so, I’ll have to wait and see how the lootgen turns out to form an opinion. In general though, it’s always preferable to have named stuff, so I don’t see it affecting me all that much.

    • I’m just glad I still have a few Shield and Detect Secret Door clickies (etc) lying around ๐Ÿ˜€

      Cannith Crafting was handy still, it had clickies, including some of the spell power ones that were removed, although it’s weird that because spell power got the revamp, it seems like it doesn’t matter which level of say Ardor I craft, they’re all the same ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Note: John Rove of DDOChat points out (correctly) that the current formula for item minimum level also includes the item enchantment, which I failed to include.

    He also indicates that metals and construction material may still apply to weapons, Turbine has not said yet one way or the other.

    Thank you John Rove!

    • Concerns aside, loot changes are always interesting, more loot == good!

      (Even if I covet too many of the old items, and don’t have any bank space…)

  6. I haven’t really saved much lower leveled gear in the first place. Usually because I have little space for it in my inventory. I therefore am interested in the outcome of this. I am going to tr in a few days, and I will be needing some “newer gear” after I do!

  7. Leveling my wizard, I see all these plain scepters in end reward lists that I’m pretty sure would have been caster weapons before the loot pass. They make me sad.

What do you think?

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