Introducing a Proper Chest Loot System: The Theory

Thanks to the major shitstorm on the discussion platform the devs reversed the Dungeon Key Change. So we can finally leave the frustration behind and focus on future changes. Besides some “nerf, nerf, fuck, fuck” rage a lot of very valid points have been raised over the last weeks concerning the system. The devs definitely need to do further changes now.

The issue

Tiamat Treasure Chest
No thanks!

I think Moderator Ironzerg79 nailed it. He stated the peeking was only necessary because the loot is so bad. If nobody felt inclined to decline the loot in the first place, we wouldn’t have run into such a problem. But it doesn’t stop there, because the whole system currently is a lose-lose. It doesn’t create satisfaction for players and no revenue for the developers. Both the Daily Dungeon Chest Key as well as the Legendary Dragon Key from the ZEN market are overpriced and rendered useless without the peeking.

Thanks to the game’s design of repetition and the brutal RNG attached to it, chest loot is essentially reduced to Salvage and a few RPs. Hence players rightfully evaluate it that way. A Daily Dungeon Chest Key is 5,000 AD for non-VIPs, but not even CN or FBI might be able to get equal value back. Why would you buy additional keys and farm dungeons when you’re making a net minus every time? It’s like being a dairy famer in Europe…

Nobody should buy or farm for keys

Sure you generate an additional chance at a huge reward every time. Since those almost never drop however, they shouldn’t be part of the equation for players. Talking about the Legendary Dragon Key it’s getting even worse. At 500 ZAX you throw 25,000 AD into the additional chest every time and merely get ~5,000 back. The free campaign keys run into a similar problem. While you don’t need to buy them, the effort to continuously farm doesn’t match the reward in many cases.

Let’s switch to a dual system

Sorry, but we need a divorce
Sorry, but we need a divorce

To solve the issue, I’d like to propose a dual system in which the daily chest and the additional chest(s) offer distinct loot. The daily chest, now called farm chest, should include some RADs, Salvage and RPs while the additional chest(s), the so called progression chest(s), include the latest gear, main prize or Tokens/Currency to get them. This does two things:

  1. It allows farming one chest with your daily VIP/free keys. With bought additional ones from the Bazaar it’s possible to continue at decreased efficiency.
  2. It takes the pressure off the Legendary Dragon and Campaign Keys to deliver equal value. Gear and BIS progression can’t be directly compared.

In this system the progression chest delivers just that. Little wealth, just the latest stuff. I think it’s important that the attached currency or campaign store also include BtA versions of major RNG prizes like Boon Books or Artifacts. Even at ludicrous price tags player are guaranteed to eventually get what they want from the progression chest. It’s also quite obvious that the average value of the farm chest has to surpass the cost of the Dungeon Key in the Bazaar.

Rework campaign tasks

Additionally old campaign tasks should no longer produce a key limited to one dungeon. Let them produce the same key that can be used with progression chests in all content. I see why the devs want to have specific keys for new content, because it forces the players to play the current module, but the necessity for older modules is just not there. With the release of Sea of Moving Ice you could easily rework all key tasks up to Underdark. This would also help players to work around outdated content or bad game design. The prime example would be Icewind Dale. The areas are empty and acquiring the Kessell’s Retreat Key a pure pain. If you happen to need anything from the skirmish, you can switch to other campaigns for a key.

There’s another idea I personally find quite intriguing. Why not let players interact with the progression chest multiple times until they run out of keys? That’s basically how the Arcane Coffers in the Dread Ring lairs work. Players that really want to buy into the progression could stockpile Legendary Dragon Keys and use them all at once. Free-2-players with limited time meanwhile could farm campaigns all week and use the keys on the weekend. I get though why devs and players could think this might not be a good idea.

That’s it for the theory folks. Browse to the next part to see the reworked loot table of our farm and progression chests. In case you have any questions, don’t hesitate to use the comment function or visit the corresponding thread on our message board.



j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter, he has built up ALTs of all classes and plays on BIS/near-BIS level.

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