On Rarity, Rares, Item Drops, Drop Rates, and Sellback Values - An FAQ (Full Version)

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westward_ho! -> On Rarity, Rares, Item Drops, Drop Rates, and Sellback Values - An FAQ (1/7/2007 15:00:29)

On Rarity, Rares, Item Drops, Drop Rates, and Sellback Values

What does rarity do?

Rarity in DF is a rather disappointing thing. You know, that number on every item, the one that gets you excited when it's really high, like 99 or something? Rarity in DF is just a number arbitrarily chosen by the staff - it has absolutely nothing to do with do with the actual chance to get an item, the item's power, or its sellback value.

Not what you expected...

Ok... but I hear people talk about the Rare Pet Wyvern, and I looked it up in the Encyclopedia - it is wicked! I've searched everywhere, and I still can't find one? Why?!

When people say that an item in DF is "rare," that means it is no longer obtainable. Again, it has nothing to do with the chance of finding said item.

So if rarity doesn't affect my chance to get an item, what does?

Apart from fixed-drop-rate items, the chance to receive any item upon the completion of any quest is as follows:

1/# items in the loot table

For example: there are 24 items in the loot table for the "It's a Dirty Job" quest. Therefore, your chance of getting any one item from this quest is 1/24.

The following are items with a fixed drop rate:
1. The Cordemi Codex ( Basic, Advanced, and Master) --> UNKNOWN
2. The Battle Core (from both the Regular and Mega Junkyard Driller) --> 2% Confirmed in Design Notes
3. The Royal Penguin Shrink Ray --> 0.27% Confirmed via game staff (geopetal) 21feb07

What if no one told us what the drop rate is? / What's the drop rate for "X" fixed rate item?

This is important:
If no one from game staff has told us EXACTLY what the drop rate of a certain item is, it is completely unknown!

Furthermore, as much speculation that goes on, it's rather pointless. All speculating that a drop rate is 1%, or .1%, or .01% does is create more frustration than already exists. The best response is always, "It's low. Beyond that, we don't know. Good luck, and happy hunting!"

Doesn't that mean that if, like you said, I've got a 1/24 chance of getting Item X in "It's a Dirty Job," that I should get Item X every 24 runs of this quest?

NO! Every drop chance, fixed or not, is non-cumulative. This is best explained with the following example:

I am the DF game engine, and I am holding a bag of marbles. The bag represents the "It's a Dirty Job" quest, and the marbles represent each item that is on the loot table. The items I don't want are represented by 23 red marbles, and Item X, the item that I am searching for, is represented by a single green marble.

When you complete "It's a Dirty Job," you can reach into the bag and draw a marble that represents your item drop for that particular completion. The Kicker: Once you take a marble and receive that item drop, you must return the marble to the bag!

This particular system means that you can, conceivably, draw red marbles (unwanted items) for all eternity, because you're never removing a red marble or increasing your chance of drawing the green one.

Percentages work the same way: instead of varying with the number of items in the loot table of a particular quest, think of it as a seperate bag of marbles, filled with 98 red marbles and 2 green ones, in the case of a 2% drop rate. First, you draw from this bag to see if you get the fixed drop rate item. Draw a green marble, and yes! your search is over and you can skip past the loot table with joy. Draw a red marble, and you've missed the item once again, and you move on to the loot table and draw from its bag to determine your more mundane item drop.

Make sense?

(Note that the above example is in no way an actual representation of how the DF game engine actually works, but rather an illustration to explain the term "non-cumulative.")

I guess... but if rarity doesn't affect my sellback either, what does?

The sellback of an item is 10% of its value or selling price. Item drops that you gained for nothing sell at 10% of the perceived value - for example, the blade The Golden Falcon sells for 200 gold - this means that if you could buy it in a shop, it would cost 2000 gold (that's 200*10=2000).


Items that you purchase in a shop simply sell for 10% of the price you paid - the Doom Weapons sell for 28,000 gold, so they can be sold back for 2800 (again, that's 28000/10=2800).

I got this item from the X War Loot Chest, and it sells for 0 gold. Why?


Only the staff know the exact reason, but it is generally accepted as 1 of these 2:

1. War loot generally costs nothing. The zero gold sellback is 10% of zero!
2. War loot sometimes has a gold price, but it can also be obtained numerous times quite easily. The zero sellback is to keep people from abusing the system.

AQ rares sell for loads, and in DF, rare sellback never increases! Will I ever get to sell back my rare items for massive amounts of gold?!

No one knows! It may be that we will never be able to do this, but it may also be (since DF is the prologue to AQ, after all) that we see the rise of the Rare Item Hunter as a class in DF, and for this reason, begin to see the high sellback of rare items. We will all just have to wait and see... :)

I bought this cool item from Cysero's Dragon Coin Shop, but it won't let me sell it back! I can sell Z-Token Items in AQ, why can't I do the same here in DF?

This feature is not yet implemented into the game, but will eventually, as far as we know. Not allowing people to sell DC items was originally instituted as a protection against mistakes and hackers - DCs cost real-world money, and so if you can't sell them back, you can't lose the money you spent on them. You can, however, if you wish, destroy DC items (throw them away permanently).

A sellback feature has now been implemented in-game:

Effective February 1, 2008, any item bought from Cysero's shop (Cysero's Superstore of Savings) can be sold back for 90% of the Dragon Coin purchase price for 24 hours after the time of purchase. After these 24 hours have passed, your item will then sell for 25% of its purchase price.
Things to remember:
1) Items purchased before February 1, 2008 are not able to be sold back for Dragon Coins. Zhoom has issued us a wonderful DC refund! Thanks!
2) Drop items that can also be purchased with Dragon Coins (for example, the Shrink Ray) will not sell back for Dragon Coins. (Their names have been changed to designate dropped items versus bought items.)

As always, the destroy button is a way to get rid of Dragon Coin items.

Should I press it?

Ok, I got that. But all the AQ rares are powerful! I got *rare item here* from *war name here*, and it stinks! It only does *low damage* and its stat bonuses are worthless!

When the average player enters the DF world, they have a definition of the word “rare” that they carry from other RPGs and the like – that is, an item that is extremely valuable, powerful, and difficult to find. However, in DF, as you now know, the word rare means nothing of the sort; it simply designates an item that can no longer be obtained. Even the rarity number displayed on every item in DF is an arbitrary number chosen by the staff – it has nothing at all to do with drop rate, sellback, or power. The “Merge Ingredient,” for example, is a rare in DF. However, it was not valuable – it cost 5 gold, and sold for 0. It was not powerful – in fact, it did nothing except cause bugs. It was not difficult to find – it was readily purchased in the Inn Shop. The only thing that makes it rare is the fact that it is no longer obtainable.

All that being said, we have no reason to expect that rares will be anything except cute. When powerful rares pop up, it should be viewed as an anomaly, not a due.

Many thanks to Alac. for reviewing this and moving it. :)

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