After we found out today that you can only change one of the perks on an item my heart sank a little, because a realization hit me: I will never have my perfect item set in Darktide.
This game has what I would refer to as excessively random loot. The likelihood of every obtaining a specific thing that you are looking for is so infinitesimally small that it borders on winning the lottery.
The culprit here is the effect of multiple layers of randomness multiplying on top of each other.
First, you have the number of items in the loot pool. Generally having more weapons in the game is good, but if you want a specific one having more items that can roll is a negative for you. Classses as they are have access to somewhere around 25-35 weapons, though this will likely go up in the future.
Then you have the base value of the item. A 380 base power weapon is already extremely rare. I have encountered two of them in my entire time playing this game. I have never once encountered a 100 base power curio. I would say the chance of obtaining a weapon like this is 1% tops.
On top of that you have the stat distribution of the weapon. Luckily stats are capped, so the higher the base rating of the weapon the more likely it becomes that no essential stat is too low. Most high rolled weapons will have an OK stat distribution at the least, so I’m not going to factor that in.
Then you have your perks, I don’t have a concrete list of all the perks that a weapon can have. There is this one character builder someone made, but it has stuff like reload speed or ranged crit in the melee weapons for example, which I don’t think belongs there. There are somewhere around 15-20 perks a weapon can actually roll. Since perks can come in 4 power levels that effectively gives you four times as many possible rolls assuming that all power levels are equally likely. So, on the most conservative estimate you have to get one of two perks perfect out of a list of 60. In reality the odds are likely much worse.
So, this is as far as our knowledge of the system goes right now, let’s calculate out the odds that you get a max rolled weapon you want with at least one perk you want:
Let’s say 25 weapons, 1% chance for a max roll, and two out of 60 chances to get the right perk.
That already makes your chance of getting the perfect weapon a 1 out of 75,000.
The real odds are likely worse, but if you can show something to be absurd when giving it every benefit of the doubt then it is most certainly absurd.
So now just think about how many weapons you actually run across in a play session. About 10 of them from the regular store every hour, another 3-4 per day on the commendation store, which doesn’t actually help you get better gear at all, because the items there are no more likely to have the right rolls. Maybe another bonus item every three matches or so as an emperor’s gift.
I would say in a 4 hour play session you will come across around 50 items in total. Statistically it will be several years, and literally thousands of hours before you see a single perfect weapon.
But wait! It’s worse!
We don’t know if the Blessings only get to replace one of them too. If that is the case you can up the chance of getting the right things on an item by about another factor of 10.
And then of course let’s not forget that stats are capped at 80% right now, so that means there is some kind of system in play that we don’t even know about yet that allows even more powerful weapons.
That’s right, if you do manage to acquire a perfect weapon under the current system it will likely become obsolete in the future.
Feeling like grinding for better items in Darktide is pointless yet? Good. Because it is.
The crafting system is BAD. It doesn’t save us from the futility of trying to build a character in spite of an excessively random item system, it just slightly improves the odds, from “utter bedlam” to “complete insanity”.
This is this game’s Achilles heel right now. Every single other problem with this game is a bug or a mistake or delay that will be fixed in time. But the crafting is a full blown bad design that creates the most destructive thing to a game’s longevity: A sense of futility in the players.
I still enjoy playing the game, but if the progression system exists to keep me logging in regularly and for a long period of time it accomplishes the exact opposite. I have no interest in engaging with a system where success is so unlikely that it is simply not made to engage smart and informed players, but only to trick and trap the unaware. Shame.