[GW2] Magic Find from Salvage

I noted disliking the original implementation of magic find gear because it punished the group to reward the individual. I do not recall praising the luck as the new implementation. Let me do so now.

Luck has several merits as a design feature.

  1. It builds upon and extends the existing mechanic of account-wide bonuses from the achievement system, which is good economy in design.
  2. I am generally in favor of making bonuses like this account-wide rather than character-specific so that players are not locked into one character. There is also no perceived need to switch to a particular character or suit of armor before using the mystic forge.
  3. Luck exhibits further economy in design by making it a gold sink.
  4. That gold sink creates an investment question: what is your break-even point on how many silver pieces you will give up now to get better loot then? Given the high cap on luck, this is an effectively bottomless gold sink for most players.
  5. As a designer, this seems like a good way to reward long-term players and encourage players to stay for the long term. You have the chance to sink some silver now to earn more silver for the rest of the time that you are playing. That pays off big if you are a multi-year player; it potentially takes away from short-term players if the loot tables are built around an assumption of +200% magic find, but they were leaving anyway, and they are not likely to notice a small failure to gain (and most of the failure to gain is in seeking rare endgame items that short-term players will never be pursuing). And if short-term players salvage their items instead of contributing to inflation? All the better for the economy.

But what I really like is that players no longer have the option of getting more reward for contributing less. Now they have the option of potentially getting more reward in the long run for definitely receiving less in the short run. You pay the cost for your benefit rather than imposing it upon others. That is good design.

: Zubon

5 thoughts on “[GW2] Magic Find from Salvage”

  1. And in the short term, players who play less seem to get more lucky drops to entice to them to continue, over those who stay logged in for hours daily.

    That’s just a no-evidence hunch, but given my brushes with diminishing returns when farming mobs/events (what, more whites/greys), I am occasionally suspicious that I’ve been playing with partial DR on most of the time.

    I missed a daily two days ago and only logged in for a short while yesterday – all the Shiverpeaks mobs I killed for the daily were suddenly producing blue tier crafting mats.

    1. My lesser used alts seem to get better drops, even as far as getting a bonus consumable more often if I switch to those alts to do the final ping on the daily.

      Arriving by waypoint into the final stages of the Ulgoth the Modniir fight seems to result in more rares dropped than pushing that event chain all the way from Forward Camp (though the mid tier supply bags seem to help value wise if you are just judging value on gold/time, fortunately it’s a fairly enjoyable PVE event chain, so the value there isn’t just in the virtual monies).

      The mechanic I’ve heard described is that part of diminishing returns (DR) is based on the amount of continuous time in zone (the campaign against the centaur camps dynamic event (DE) chain seems to suggest that). The kids on World Boss Train warping into the final stage of various boss events (popping into a new zone with a fresh diminishing returns timer) are likely boosting their chances of fat lootz, not only pulling the slot machine lever often (4 world bosses in 30 minutes), but also without the DR the folks playing the content (in zone pushing the DE chain forward) have on them by that final event in the chain.

  2. I agree that the luck system is really good and meaningful progression.
    I have around 125% luck these days and my drops are way better than they used to be.

    I’m not sure if players that play less get more or if it happens from one hopping around content more often – that seemed to happen in GW1 as well, although often denied by Anet.

    I played loads of WvW during season 1 but not much since – the other day went in to get the capture the ruins daily and helping my GF with her mapping and I got a rare and an exotic from killing 2 players (the only ones we actually killed that particular run).

  3. In principle I disapprove of salvage being used in this way but that’s because I disapprove of “magic” (i.e. with stats) items being used for anything other than their intended purpose. I do, however, completely agree that this way of doing Magic Find (a Luck stat on the account) is much better than the old way of having the MF stat on worn gear.

    It just seems to me that it would have been far more elegant to remove 90% of the blue and green armor and weapon drops entirely and replace them directly with the Luck consumables we get from salvaging them, which could have a vendor value equivalent to the drops they replace and also be fully tradeable. If Anet were apprehensive about the effect this might have on Gem Store sales of inventory expanders they could even make the Luck consumables non-stackable to match the space allocation of the gear they replaced.

    The strange thing is that I’d almost forgotten that blues and greens even have a value. I automatically salvage them without even thinking about it, just for the space. I was planing on starting to sell them once I hit 100% MF but I’m past that now and I’m still salvaging without really thinking about what I’m doing. It’s become a habit.

    As for losing money in the short term, are you sure? I get a lot of mats, sigils and runes as well as Luck when I salvage. I haven’t bothered to calculate the difference but with prices for mats as high as they have been I’m not sure I’m out of pocket by all that much.

    1. As for losing money in the short term, are you sure?

      For level 80 drops and giving the Luck items a zero gold value, it’s always more cost-effective to sell green and blue medium armor, and you’d need to get a piece of Orichalcum or Ancient Wood from somewhere around 25% of green weapon or heavy armor drops before salvaging is a good option just compared to vendor prices. Light armor you always want to salvage, though: unlike mithril, thick leather, and elder wood, silk is worth a lot per unit.

      Note that these can (and likely will) change dramatically over time : before Ascended armor came out, silk was nearly valueless.

      In theory, the efficient market hypothesis holds that the market will even out any such disparities pretty quickly. That does seem to be the case for very high-value or highly-trafficked goods : you can probably derive Ectoplasm and Crystalline Dust salvage rates just from the cost ratios of the actual goods. Individual green and blue items traffic at low enough rates, at low enough values, and with few actual market-watchers, while the vendors act as an unusual market pressure, though, so in many cases the values are far out of expected equilibrium — it’s not unusual to see 20-60 green items selling for 5+ silver.

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