Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Problem with Low Drop Rates

I've been playing Marvel Heroes, taking advantage this week of the wonderfully bouncy and powerful redesigned Hulk. I've run a lot of cosmic Taskmaster terminals, then transitioned to cosmic Kurse runs. These runs are useful because Kurse drops one of the pivotal items in the game, the Gem of the Kursed. The Gem is the best kind of loot --- i.e., the kind that automatically increases your DPS almost no matter what your build, requires virtually no decision-making, and offers no options. You get the Gem, you equip it, you have more fun.

So I would like to get a Gem! Hulk wants. The problem is that the Gem is rare. Supposedly, it has a 1/200 drop rate in the Cosmic Kurse instance. Drop rates of 0.005 are an anti-fun mechanic.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Measuring Interest in Warcraft Over Time

Discussions of the artistic success or failure of different expansions/phases of the history of the World of Warcraft usually focus on subscriber counts. This makes a certain kind of sense. In order for subscribers to leave, they probably need some source of dissatisfaction. Thus, major declines in subscriber numbers clearly point to something that people dislike.