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Discussion > WoWApr 3, 2024 8:00 am CT

How would you balance rare item drop rates during limited time events like Noblegarden? (In which it’s all about the ducks. No, really.)

World of Warcraft‘s yearly Noblegarden event is back for limited time and players have until April 8 to earn as many Easter-themed items as they can stomach. Usually, most Noblegarden rewards are earned by collecting Noblegarden Chocolates as currency to use with an event vendor but this year is a little different. What is likely going to be the most sought after item this year, the Noble Flying Carpet, can only be earned by defeating a tanky new boss. Now, this isn’t a new formula at all for WoW holiday events and their themed items but it is still just as punitive, if not more so, because this mount has an (alleged) 0.4% drop chance during an event that lasts one week instead of two. Combined with players really only getting one chance per day per character, and the likelihood you still need a group to beat Daetan, it becomes difficult to justify the chase.

I’ve played loot-filled RPGs long enough to know that I’ll always be at the mercy of RNG to some degree but at some point the question should become, “How do we make items desirable without their acquisition being borderline painful?” Don’t get me wrong, I think desirable items should be earned but there needs to be some level of parity in earning these items that isn’t focused on having a small (or large) alt-army and an abundance of free time.

When it comes to rare items like this, I think they should either have a low drop rate or only earnable (through reasonable means) during the event. Having both in effect feels like overkill, especially for events that have been around for years with minimal changes to how they work. Another way I can see this problem being mitigated is by having the drop rate steadily increase for players as an event reaches its end. This way, players have some incentive for attempting to grind out these items and in the event the item is locked behind an open-world boss like Daetan, it lessens the burden on players to find a group at the same time.

I always want to be careful when it comes to something like loot tuning because I know game dev isn’t easy and it can very easily become a hyper-literal genie situation i.e., I wish for a million bucks and am immediately run over by a million deer. I’d like to hear what you think about holiday item drop rates and what changes you’d like to see in the future to make it more (or less with good reason!) attainable.

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