Loot quality / quantity / type
The quantity of loot is random, but is also related to the uniqueness and difficulty of the slain mob.
The average quality of dropped weapons and items follows the same pattern: It starts with about 20% of the max damage/energy/AL for a level 1 foe, and increases linearly to 100% for a level 24 foe, give or take a few random percent. Different monsters drop different types of loot, for example Tengu drop feathers, most Stone Summit drop Stone Summit Badges and most Ettins drop Ettin's Pauldrons.
Axes, hammers, swords, shields and bows are dropped by monsters of all professions in all campaigns, and daggers are dropped by monsters of all professions in the Factions campaign. Profession-specific wands, staves and focus items are generally only dropped by monsters of the same profession. Variable attribute wands and staves dropped by any monster can be linked to the attributes of any caster profession. Variable attribute focus items dropped by Monks, Necromancer, Mesmer, Elementalist and Ritualist monsters are linked to one of the attributes of the monster's profession. It is not currently known if Warriors, Rangers or Assassins can drop variable attribute focus items.
Because of this, Ritualists wands, staves and focus items are quite rare in Guild Wars Nightfall. They can only be obtained from collectors, weaponsmiths, chests, Ritualist bosses and Shiro'ken Ritualists, which are the only non-boss Ritualists in the campaign.
The pattern for gold is a little different: It starts at 3 for a level 1 foe and it increases at geometric rate to reach an average of about 42 for a level 12 foe and 140 for a level 24 foe. However, sometimes foes will drop the double ("uncommon") or even the quadruple ("rare") amount of gold.
The chance of dropping a rare item is greater at higher difficulty levels as well.
See Style and formatting/Bestiary for a list of common drops.
To eliminate bickering or "stealing" another party member's "kill," the game engine assigns loot to each player at random. When an item is dropped, the game automatically assigns it to a specific member of the party, and for a period of time, only that player can pick it up. The next item dropped is again assigned to a random party member. If the assignee doesn't pick up an assigned item within 10 minutes after it dropped, the assignment goes away, and anyone can pick it up.
However it is still possible to have an item "stolen" by another player. If a good item is dropped for a player that happens to be dead, all the party has to do is not resurrect the fallen member and wait for the item to become available to all.
This rigid system makes no distinction between player classes, even if certain items would be better suited for another member of the party. For instance, an Elementalist would be just as likely assigned a dropped Longbow as a Ranger.
If a foe receives most of its damage from other sources than the party - NPCs (not including henchmen), other foes, Edge of Extinction, etc - the party will not gain loot from that foe.
To be eligible for a drop, you must have been in radar range of the monster when it dies.
Dropped gold is automatically divided equally (rounded up) among all members of the party, regardless of distance apart, when someone picks it up.
Note that NPC henchmen and Heroes get "loot turns" as well. Although dropped items assigned to henchmen or heroes do not actually appear, they are taking in their share of loot along with the "real" players.
With loot scaling, players receive a number of normal drops (common and uncommon rarity items, collectable drops, gold, common crafting materials) proportionate to the size of their party as compared to a full party. For example, a solo farmer will on average get the same number of blue weapons as a player in an eight person party. The only items exempt from this rule are:
- Skill Tomes
- Insight and Passage Scrolls
- Rare crafting materials
- All rare (gold) items
- All unique (green) items
- Special event items
Thus, the size of a farming party, with respect to loot, only affects the distribution of the exempt items.
The following is an excerpt from Gaile News 20 April 2007
"Without loot scaling, solo farmers received every loot drop, whereas people who played in a party received only a fraction of loot drops. Thus, solo farmers received up to eight times as much loot for killing the same group of monsters. With loot scaling in place, solo farmers still get more loot than people who play in parties, but the gap is less severe than it was before. It is impossible to quantify precisely how much less because it depends on the type of loot farmed and involves some randomness, but here are some rough guidelines:
- People who play in normal size parties, including parties of heroes and henchman, will see no difference at all from loot scaling. At the same time, they will notice that normal mode is now much easier to farm, and that the introduction of Hard Mode provides a place they can play where the loot is better than ever before. Thus, people who play the game primarily in parties will simply make more money than they previously did.
- People who periodically enjoy farming solo (with no heroes or henchmen) but are casual about it are also likely to see an improvement. They'll find that solo farming is much easier than it was before, because monsters don't have the anti-farming AI that they used to have, and because the game no longer prevents players from repeatedly farming the same monsters over and over. Many types of builds that didn't work in the past, or that haven't been effective since the earliest days of Guild Wars, can now be used for solo farming. Thus, casual farmers will find the game much easier to farm than it was before, and that they can earn more money than before even with loot scaling in place.
- People who were advanced solo farmers and who were earning vastly more money through solo farming than through playing the game normally will see the full effect of loot scaling. They will earn less gold and common loot from solo farming than they did in the past. The loot scaling for gold and common loot is not linear with the number of players in the party, and it includes an element of randomness, so while the difference is not easy to quantify, it is by no means a factor of eight. Advanced solo farmers may now earn about twice as much gold and common loot from farming solo as they would if they farmed in a party. While gold and common loot are thus reduced for these players by loot scaling, certain other types of loot are completely unaffected. For example, Skill Tomes are completely unaffected by loot scaling, so they still drop eight times as frequently for solo farmers than they do for people who play in parties. Thus, advanced solo farmers will find that certain types of farming are still extremely productive for them, but they may have to change what and where they farm if they want to earn as much money as they did before."
- Loot can be picked up as long as it is within range horizontally, there is no vertical range limit for loot pickup. This means that someone standing under a bridge can pick up loot on that bridge, and a character on a bridge can pick up loot on the ground beneath that bridge.