Were you surprised by the price of the dreamweaving dimension items on the auction house? The small lights were going as cheap as 99 silver and fancy, red cushions for 3 gold. That is way below the price of the materials used to make them. (I’ve bought a lot of these items up for future use or resale for profit, once the first wave of dreamweaving levellers have finished.) The market overload isn’t driven by dimensioneers but by players looking to maximise their gear for experts and raids or crafters looking to maximise their profit.
Dream orbs are the one sour note in patch 2.6. I feel for the endgamers looking to maximise their stats with the random stat generation offered by dream orbs. The pressure on raiders to perfect their gear can be seriously high. Any raider who’s indulged in the sport at a competitive level knows that having the best stats can mean another rung up on the shard placements or a world or shard first. It can mean the difference between raiding with a top notch guild and second best.
Getting serious about gear is part of the fun of competitive raiding except when the odds are stacked against you. I investigated the odds of getting the dream orb of your choice to see how unfair this system can be. There are 20 different stat possibilities from dream orbs, I took the worst case scenario of trying to chase the best-in-slot stats first. These were the results.
|Number of Orbs||1||5||10||15||20||40||60|
|Probability of getting the best in slot stats after applying a set number of dream orbs to gear.|
If, throughout all of the European and North American shards, there are 1,000 serious raiders looking to maximise their gear, 5% or 50 players will get best-in-slot on the first try. At the other end of the scale, 5% or 50 players will still be trying to get best-in-slot after applying 60 orbs to their gear and that’s for just one piece of gear, not for all 4 available slots. Currently on Greybriar, greater dream orbs are going for 51.88 platinum each. In our hypothetical situation, 50 players paid 51.88 platinum for their best-in-slot and 50 players paid 2594 platinum or more while chasing down their best-in-slot.
What did those players paying 2.5k platinum do to deserve that? Nothing, they were just unlucky, like the players who got their best-in-slot on the first try were lucky. The random nature of the statistics generated means there’s a few poor souls out there applying the 60th, 80th or 100th orb to their neck looking for that perfect stat combination. There will be at least one poor soul that does this, replaces the neck, only to apply another 60, 80 or 100 orbs seeking the best stats. Some players will never feel the weight of RNG, some will be crushed by it.
Most players won’t worry about getting that one combination of stats that is best-in-slot, they will accept the top 3 or 5 and call it quits for that piece of gear. Here’s the probability of getting one of the top 5 stats.
|Top 5 Stats (2)
|Number of Orbs||1||5||10||15||20||40||60|
|Probability of getting one of the top 5 stats after applying a set number of dream orbs to gear. Note, a probability of 1 at 20 orbs and onwards does not mean your chances are guaranteed, it’s caused by rounding the probability to 2 decimal places.|
That’s not so bad, 25% of players, looking for their top 5, will pay 51.88 plat and only 1% will pay more than 777 platinum. Bit of a pain, though, if you’re in that one percent. The probability for 20, 40 and 60 orbs is not really one, just very very small. Of our hypothetical 1000 people, 3 would need 20 or more orbs to get the top 5, and hopefully nobody is unlucky enough for 40 or 60 orbs.
What drives this random number generator for gear enhancement? Storm Legion has been out for over a year now, a lot of players have empyreal slayer’s marks and have bought the gear they need. Dream orbs provide an extra market for coruscating ethereal shards, purchased with 1,500 empyreal slayer’s marks or, for those players without empyreal slayer’s marks, 618 credits. The randomness associated with dream orbs means a lot of coruscating ethereal shards sold, a lot of artifacts turned into dream ribbon and players out hunting artifacts or running experts to support their dream orb habit. Platinum moves around the economy, some players become poorer and some become rich – business as usual. Except…
It’s very unfair. You might think it unfair because of the randomness, specially if you’re the unlucky few paying hundreds or thousands of plat for your orbs while others get away with paying far, far less and I’d agree with you.
I remember my serious raiding days when I kept my gear the best I could, it was quite a chore but I loved it at the time. I’d be very unhappy about a system like the random nature of the orbs for three reasons. First, that something so important as stat improvement was so random and beyond my control, would frustrate me no end. Second, I’d rage about the unfairness of some players getting their best stats so easily whereas I’d still be struggling to earn the platinum to pay for my orbs (or out harvesting artifacts and slayer’s marks till the cows came home). I’m glad I’m not raiding in Rift.
Oh, the third reason, the one I think downright evil? I dislike dream orbs because the risks inherent in the system are not born by the people making the platinum. All the risks are taken by the people paying for dream orbs and the burden is unevenly spread at that. Dreamweavers make the same amount of platinum from every orb. Where’s the fun in that? Where’s the reward for risk taken, for work done, that is the mainstay of fair play?
It’s an odd thing that the people making the platinum take none of the risk. One simple change to dream orbs could change the assumption of risk back to the crafters, where I think it belongs. Generate the stats for dream orbs at the point of creation, rather than at the point of application. Let the crafters take the risk of good or poor stats and let the buyers choose which stats they want.
Dream orbs will be priced according to their stats and the best will be very expensive but the cost will be paid by the buyers equally. Crafters will be rewarded by the work they do, the more dream orbs they make, the greater their chance of a jackpot and a platinum windfall. Yes, it does transfer the RNG to crafters and is as unfair as RNG can be, but at least crafters can do as little or as much work as they want and only affect their profit. Indeed, taking the uncertainty away from the buyers might result in more profit, as buyers invest in the best-in-slot. I know I’d consider paying hundreds if I knew I’d get what I want.
I am curious as to the whys of dream orbs. I wonder how Trion will balance the next set of raids released. Will they make the assumption that raiders have the best-in-slot, the worst or somewhere in the middle? Why are the risks associated with dream orbs placed on the buyer not the seller? Perhaps I’ll ask them.
I’ve used simple random sampling with replacement for calculating the probability of receiving the desired set of stats from dream orbs.
P = 1 – (1-1/N)n where n = the size of the sample and N = the size of the population.
(1) n=1, N=20
(2) n=5, N=20