Warframe

Mod Drop Chance Booster highlights the need for a drop table re-balance

Warframe11 - Mod Drop Chance Booster highlights the need for a drop table re-balance
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When the Mod Drop Chance booster was announced, I had my fair share of doubts and critiques. After playing around with it for a few days (via prime accessories pack), I've found that it reinforced concerns I had about it (as well as highlighting other issues). I'll break it down in parts as best I can.

  1. For starters, I do think the amount of extra mods and endo is noticeable. I wasn't so sure it would be, but considering that the base mod drop rates on a lot of enemies vary from 3% to 30% (sometimes 40%) doubling that should see a fair increase of common and uncommon mods, as well as smaller endo drops when using the MDC booster. So it's apparent that you're at least getting more mods and endo with it.
  2. The MDC booster works better in full squads. They don't stack, but larger squads means more enemy spawns, meaning more total drops. This also means there's less value for the MDC for single players because of this. You could argue that's the case for all boosters, but because of how the drop tables are, I think it's a lot more relevant for mods (I'll talk about this more in later points).
  3. Even in a full squad, on average, I seem to have gotten about 1 rare mod drop per 20 minutes. This is super hard to gauge for a number of factors (factions, mission type, rerolls on loot). It's also harder to track the rare endo drops, so it's possible it's more like 1.5 every 20 minutes. Either way, it doesn't feel statistically significant at this point (I'll have to do more runs).
  4. I'm still not sure were the value in the MDC booster is. Yes, you're getting more endo and more common and uncommon mods, so at best, the booster can be a good way to passively get more endo as you play endless missions. After 40 minuets of survivals, I'd usually extract with a little more than 1000 endo. But if I want endo, there's plenty of starchart missions that give 400 endo as rotation rewards, and Arbitrations are still way better at farming endo. Likewise, selling the extra mods you get from the MDC booster won't get you the same numbers an Index runs (and the Credit booster out performs it as a way of getting more credits).
  5. The only potential value I can see in it is for new players, as a means to get some useful uncommon mods a little faster and as a way to get a bit more endo and credits early on (via dissolving extras). Even then, it's a pointless shortcut to take. New players are VERY likely to get staple mods by accident when they play missions via mission rewards, or even as rewards from junctions. And keeping the community reputation in mind, most players won't have a problem giving out extras of various mods to new players (even things like Streamline, Flow, Continuity, etc). More importantly, if the new player wasn't gifted the MDC booster, then there's better things to spend their Ducats, Credits and (maybe some day) plat.
  6. The biggest thing that the MDC booster highlights, like I thought, was the awful mod drop tables, and it's more obvious if you're playing solo. One of the things people immediately thought about with the announcement was farming Condition Overload, so I figured I'd see what kind of difference the MDC booster would make in a more casual farming of it on the survival node. Doing this really highlighted spawn issues playing solo, and how poorly the mod drop tables are balanced around that fact.

First run: I stayed 40 mins as Atlas with Ore Gaze (78% drop increase). I got 2 rare mods out of that run, but not Condition Overload. Second Run: Nekros at 45 mins. Another 2 rare mods, but not Condition Overload. Third Run: using Hydroid, at 10 minuets in, I got Condition Overload to drop with a pilfer tentacle. So why was this farm so bad, even with a Mod Drop Chance booster?

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The only enemies that drop CO are the Drekar Butchers, who have a 3% chance to drop a mod (6% with booster). And if they DO drop a mod, there's only a .67% chance it's condition overload. Well that shouldn't be so bad right? After all, they're a mob enemy, so there should be tons of them, even up to an hour later! Well, that's not the case. After 10 minuets, I noticed that they spawned FAR less frequently in the mission compared to the beginning. It went from something like 5 or 6 very minute or so to about 3 maybe every minute and a half. This makes sense though, since the longer you go on, the more you run into tougher enemies like Drekar Heavy Gunners (no rare mod drops or endo), Bombards, and Drekar Eximus units (which only can drop Oberon parts).

It could also be because the spawns for single players produce a smaller amount of enemies than the spawns for a full squad. Either way, it means that the MDC booster is inherently less valuable for solo players because you get less enemies. This isn't as big a deal with resource boosters, because there's plenty of bosses you can farm that have 100% resource drop chances, and the lower end of drop chances is 7%. Plus, you can double the resource that gets dropped, so even if solo players get fewer spawns, they're still doubling what they get.

This is the biggest problem with the MDC booster though; the drop tables for mods are poorly curated, and doubling the drop chance for mods shows this. How many enemies drop Condition Overload? Just 2, and one doesn't seem to be in the game currently (and was a rare enemy). How many enemies drop Flow? 15 different enemies each with a 1.01% chance of dropping it if they drop a mod, (even higher odds if you include Quest Bosses). You can also get Flow from Mission Rewards (and a lot of them). How many enemies drop Jolt? None. How many enemies drop Voltaic Strike? None. Both are far more useful than Condition Overload, but you can only get them from Baro at this point. Why aren't they obtainable in missions or from enemies (especially enemies that don't drop any rares)?

TLDR: This rant isn't about how every mod should be easier to get, or how mods in mission rewards should be able to be dropped from enemies, or vice versa (I'm not advocating any of that). This is a rant about how the drop tables for mods should be re-balanced. They should be updated as the game progresses, in the same way they re-balanced Primary and Secondaries, rework Warframes or re-balance Rivens every quarter. The Mod Drop Booster should serve as a catalyst for auditing the mod drop tables, because right now, the drop tables don't allow the booster to have any real value, especially compared to the other boosters.

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