DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is based on experimental research conducted by the community, and may contain inaccuracies and speculation. While we strive for accuracy in these articles, we make no claims of experimental rigor or unbiased conclusions. Caveat lector.
Drop rate is a term defined in this wiki (not by ANet) to refer to the patterns that govern how drops occur. There are two sides to studying drop rates in Guild Wars:
- How often does a certain type of loot drop?
- What kind of drops does a certain creature drop and what is the rate of each?
The main focus of studying drop rates of loot is obviously farming. Successful farming is not just based on having the best build to successfully kill and survive, but also, killing the right monsters that produce the desired loot as quickly as possible.
The specifics of how a drop rate is determined in-game are unknown. ANet has not published any statistics on any item or monster. Still, basic data can be collected on each monster to record the kind of drops that they leave behind. This data compiled in large amounts can show the rough percentages of the different kinds of loot that a monster drops.
Types of Drops
In general, there are several types of loot that a monster can drop:
- Gold: This actually varies based on the level of monster rather than the type of monster. The higher the level, the higher the amount of gold. Data gathered in high-level areas like the Fissure of Woe, show that the gold dropped varies between 98 gold and 130 gold in those areas. The possibility of gold drops varies sometimes according to area (FoW is less than 10% while UW is more than 25%) and sometimes according to creatures (those that drop armor usually drop gold less frequently).
- Equippable Items: This refers to weapons, shields and focus items. For each species or faction in the game, they will usually have a pattern of dropping items specific to their area (like Shadow Bows in the Fissure or Summit Axes in the Shiverpeaks) and items more general. In addition, a creature will drop items in its own profession fairly often. For example, Smite Crawlers drop a lot of Holy Rods and Smiting Staves while Shadow Beasts drop a lot of Grim Cestas and Deadly Cestas. Equippable items have variations in their rarity.
- Salvage Items: There are two different types of Salvage Items that can be dropped.
- Salvage Armor: More technologically advanced creatures will drop pieces of armor that can be salvaged for crafting material or runes. Examples include the White Mantle, the Charr and Ettins. If a creature drops salvage armor, it will actually drop it at a fairly high rate. Notable exceptions include the Shadow Army and the Skeleton Army. Salvage armor does not stack in the inventory. Salvage armor does have variations in its rarity.
- Salvageable Remains: Some races will drop remains that are marked as "salvage items". Unlike Salvage Armor, these remains stack in the inventory like collectable drops. These include hides, spider webs, and half-eaten masses. These remains drop from creatures that drop armor and creatures that do not. For example, the Charr drop Charr Carvings, Stalker Armor and Charr Hides while a Maguuma Spider drops an Ebon Spider Leg and a Maguuma Spider Web.
- Crafting Material: Creatures that do not drop salvage armor will instead drop crafting material (though at a lesser rate). The majority of the materials dropped will be common crafting material but there is a small chance that a creature will drop rare crafting material. This chance apparently increases as the creature's level increases. Some groups drop both crafting materials and salvage armor; such as Avicara and the Undead found in Kryta.
- Trophies: Almost all creatures in the game have a stackable trophy they leave behind at a fairly consistent rate. Examples include Mursaat Tokens, Hardened Humps and Charr Carvings. This rate is found to be around 20% for most creatures that do have collectable drops. Creatures that do not drop collectable drops include Ancient Skales and Doubter's Dryders.
- Keys: Each creature has a very small chance of dropping a key. The key the creature drops is the key of the area that creature is originally from. Thus, Banshees in the Fissure of Woe drop Phantom Keys because they are originally from the Underworld. Creatures in Hard Mode drop Lockpicks instead of keys.
- Dyes: All creatures have a chance of dropping dye. The chance of a specific dye dropping varies depending on color with black being very rare and orange being very common.
- Nothing: There is a chance that a creature will drop nothing. The probability of this happening early on in an outing into an explorable area is high and drops quickly as players delve into the area and kill more monsters. This seems to occur most when repeatedly solo farming the same area, some of the first 5 or so kills each trip will yield no drop.
Party Size and Drop Rate
With the addition of loot scaling (20 April 2007 Update) the party size only affects the drop rate of items exempt from Loot Scaling. The drop rate on all other items is scaled so that a solo farmer will receive approximately the same number of non-exempt items (blue rarity, collectable items, etc.) as a character in a party of eight people.
An arena net employee revealed in an interview that when soloing areas you will have roughly double the number of common item drops (white or blue) and gold drops. (essentially not enough to ruin the gw economy) while multiplying the chances of non loot-scaled loot by up to 8x.
It is currently unknown how Hard Mode affects drop rates.
An Arena Net Employess revealed in an interview that in hard mode the drop rates for rare and unique items roughly triples while common loot and gold will only "slightly increase". He did not reveal by how much in the interview.
- Birthday Present
- To Dye For (quest)
- Gift of the Huntsman
- Gift of the Traveler
- Lunar Fortune
- Paper Wrapped Parcel
- Trick-or-Treat Bag
- Wintersday Gift