Portal Drop Rates - the Why, the How, and the Solution

I guess “the fix” is live? Is this correct information @Saltypatra?
old drop rates screen:

new drop rates screen:


So the faction troop drop rates were not affected by the bug. We have been getting a lot less high rarity treasures because of the bug and the devs chose to keep it this way instead of reverting to the originally intended rates, while showing no signs of making pure faction run without potions more manageable

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Now we know why the devs were happy to leave the actual droprates as they were. It is a massive treasure troop nerf to the old posted droprates!!! I knew as soon as I read they were leaving the actual droprates as they are that it must be to our disadvantage we just assumed we were better off.


I must be missing something, despite @Lyrian 's translations and @Grundulum 's reiteration.

Reminder that the above is what the bugged version was providing. That does not match what the current tables claim to offer.

If the current tables are correct, we have been dealt a substantial nerf to our ability to improve Hoards.


I did a sample of 200 pulls, the current tables are most likely correct. I ended up with 56 treasure troops and 144 faction troops.

So only two possibilities I can see:

  1. You guys DID change the ACTUAL droprates.
  2. The new droprates that were posted today ingame are incorrect still.

I’m guessing it’s #1.

I believe they both changed and didnt change the drop rates.

It looks like they changed the group drop rates to the intended 70/30 but left individual drop rates at what they were.

Regardless it is a significant nerf over both the old drop rates and even the old intended drop rates.

The fix is very easy. Change the 70% and 30% overall odds to 46% troops and 54% treasures. (This is still a very slight nerf, but I am less inclined to quibble over that difference than the current one.)

Edit: this is not the case. Simply changing these numbers would leave us with fewer epic and legendary troops than the previous state of things.

I’ll be using these as the “configured rates” or “stated rates”:

And this calculation as the “true rates”:

Using the stated rates:
Expectation of mythic (1 copy) under (previous) stated rates ~4500 shards +/- a few hundred, with ultra-rare and rare usually hitting mythic last, but it being close across the board at when they hit mythic with still a high degree of variance month to month. Expectation of full mythic +4 faction would thus be bottlenecked by ascending the legendary and getting 4 copies, at a ~7140 avg shard cost, being much higher than the others, meaning if you were going for full mythic and four copies, it is highly likely you’d hit this on the legendary troop last at around the 7140 shard mark plus or minus several hundred.

Using the newly calculated “true rates”:
Expectation of mythic everything (1 copy) is ~7460 shards (plus or minus several hundred), with the average cost of getting the rare to mythic being much higher than the next closest thing and thus the thing that almost always bottlenecks you. For mythic asenscion +4 copies, legendary and rare are thus pretty close, with an average expectation of just under 7700 on the legendary and just over on the 7700 on the rare. Keep in mind that the lower probability events are less likely to land near the midpoint of the expectation.

Your expectation of one copy of all troops is barely impacted at all, with the first legendary coming in at an average of about 720 with “stated rates” and about 780 with “true rates”.

Expectation of treasure xp per portal pull, on average, with the “stated rates” is 20.075. With the new calculated “true rates”, the expectation is 30.225. Last sampled rates had the treasure xp at about 30.35 per portal average - that ended up being very close. Either way, if we are willing to use all low value treasures, we have an average expectation of a bit more than 50% more hoard xp out of any given drop pool. Note that if we omit rings and purses entirely from both calculations, that becomes 18.45 xp/portal with the “stated rates” and 23.375 xp/portal with the “true rates”… or still about 26.7% more hoard xp for any given portal opening run for the “true rates” over the “stated rates”.

Overall, I think going with “true rates” instead of “stated rates” was the best choice if those were the only two options. The people potentially losing out the most by not having the change to the “stated rates” are the ones that would farm more than 5k shards for each faction but less than 8k and don’t care about faction progress at all, only getting their troops up for kingdom progress - they’d need less work to do that. I’m probably in that subset myself (usually < 5k per month, I pick and choose factions I want to mythic the troops in, I’ve only full mythiced a couple factions and I’d have one more faction done probably if we went with “stated rates”), but I’ve already pointed out why I believe it would be harmful to the game to suddenly remove a bunch of potential treasure xp (and thus stat progression for delves and specifically level 500 faction) when a huge part of the last two patches was focused adding more ways to get stats (and even though I doubt the efficacy of “more stats” significantly impacting this without a lot more stats, removing the ability to get stats definitely wont help).

And just as I’m proofing and wrapping up that, this happens…

My best guess is that they still haven’t worked out the kinks yet. As in, maybe they “fixed” the way the back end deals with drops, but they haven’t updated the tables themselves yet. Theres enough evidence already to heavily support that these “new” displayed drop tables also can’t be used to describe any of the samples previously pulled, and Salty repeatedly stated that the drops themselves weren’t going to change.

And then I see this…

Ugh, so much for the benefit of the doubt. Welp, back to the drawing board. @Saltypatra - even a 200 sample set with this distribution (144 troops, 56 treasures, ) would be basically impossible to describe the rates obtained through both sampling (thousands of samples, shown in the bug report thread) and using math to determine the distribution after the bug was described, which is a treasure rate of around 54.2%. Everything else is screwed up too, but that alone shows that the rates can’t be correct if they were intended to be “kept the same”.

Also, as noted, the new stated rates would be a substantial nerf to treasure xp… to below even what the stated rates was previously to an average of 16.77 xp per portal pull (down from ~20 with stated rates and ~30 with true rates).

Expecting some kind of fix (hopefully very soon) and advising those that pulled shards to test this to put in a support ticket for them to be refunded, because this is not even close to what was stated was going to happen multiple times.


They didn’t nerf… So much as reveal that their numbers can’t be trusted. So if it says you have a 1% chance of getting a Mythic troop… It’s probably actually .05%.

Since these drop rate tables for loot boxes aren’t officially governed by any state or country in regards to gems of war. They are able to make up any numbers they want and will face zero penalty if those numbers are a complete lie.

Why lean towards the theory of them inflating their numbers?
Because they decided to take the easy and cheaper route of basing the drop rate on a “bug” that they choose not to fix. And instead make it a “feature”. Sounds familiar?

Devs, your best interest should align with your player base. If there’s a “bug” and you choose to let it be as is. It should benefit the player. Your history… Tells the community that you only allow bugs to stick around that hurt your player base.

Keep abusing your whales and they will eventually swim away to other waters. Let that serve as a final warning to you.


Enough sampling was done before the rates changed to show that the rates derived through math and from an explanation of the bug were the rates that we have be getting up to this point, with treasures at about 54% of the total drop pool. The single sample set of 200 reporting just treasure distribution showing 28% after the change enough to refute any assertion that they remained the same with a > 99.9999% confidence. But hey, at least they are (probably) accurate what is dropping at the moment?

I’m pissed too, but it is very likely we got a partial fix. The treasure rarity distribution looks roughly what it was before the change (I’m just calling what it should be the “true rate” from here on out, theres plenty of evidence to support it), but the treasure overall rate is not. The troop total rate and rarity distribution are both off of the “true rate”, meaning so far they appear to have pushed a fix for the underlying “troop versus treasures both being considered troops and therefore sharing a drop table” issue and they fixed the RarityChance table for treasure, but did not fix the RarityChance for troops nor the “type chance” for “troop” or “treasure” (which would all look exactly the same as before, if I were to write them out like I did in the coded section of my first post in this thread). Those three fields still need to be fixed to give us the rates we were at before with the fixed code.

But like ugh, seriously. Even with this much scrutiny given? Over a million samples taken, gone backward and forward with a fine tooth comb, multiple assurances the rates would stay the same before, really?


You should be commended for your ongoing efforts :pray:

…and for your ability to give them the benefit of the doubt despite historical data of how they handle ‘truth’, transparency, and the playerbase.

Faction Portals for you are what Faction Delves Difficulty is for me.

There’s a difference between being blind and closing your eyes. One doesn’t see by choice. The other can’t see without a choice. I honestly don’t know which one the devs are.
They could absolutely agree with both our frustrations.
But 505 may be telling them to keep things as is.

In fact… I’d put a devs 100% drop rate math on the likelihood that 505 is telling them to keep their eyes closed while also “doing stuff” to their water in hopes to make them blind.

Considering how happy they are with GoW perfomance, and how occupied they are with getting into AAA release market on PC(publishing Control and getting rights to Death Stranding within a year is a big push), it doesn’t make much sense for them to micro-manage a game that provides noticably less than 10% of their revenue to the degree of dictating drop rates in loot boxes, in my opinion.
Could be wrong tho, just my 2 cents

Any changes in resources to the game requires publisher approval. Is all of 505 in charge of GoW? Absolutely not. But they have at least one individual in charge of GoW and that individual most likely works in the IP2 office even. Or travels back and forth between Italy and Australia a lot like a Regional Manager would in the states.

I don’t assume you have a lot or a little knowledge about business. I come from a HR background…90% of our decisions had to have regional HR approval…70% of that 90% had to also have corporate approval.
Anything with clear financial stakes… Needed corporate approval.

I don’t see any reason why that would be different between Developer and Publisher.

Also, games with service is what the industry is pushing towards. So as much blasphemy as this may sound like… Gems of War is way more important to 505 right now. I’m sure that will change for a 3-4 month window during crunch time for the PC port of Death Stranding and after initial release.

While we’re on the subject of 505 and IP.
505 does an amazing job of making deals with some of the best video game creators in the industry…Kojima, Igarashi and Fawkner. The difference between the 3 are the involvement. With Kojima and Igarashi their games were basically formed and all 505 had to do was release them. With Fawkner, I truly believe the first 3 years of GoW 505 they let him do whatever he wanted to do. During that 3rd year 505 decided to have more involvement and we are now in the 5th year of 505’s restraint on Fawkners vision.

Whether it’s professional courtesy or non-disclosure agreements are in place. We can only form theories since both sides are very hush hush about who’s the captain of the ship. Steve Fawkner aka Sirrian is 100% in charge of IP2. But who is in charge of GoW…:man_shrugging:.

And to be honest…I only continue to play GoW in hopes of one day 505 no longer seeing it worth their time to have involvement. I started playing a Fawkner game and want to one day play a Fawkner game again. The current build is a Fawkner-ish game.


That’s not true statement after the update. All my concerns that I had after “EDIT: I spoke too soon!” are now real. Treasure drop rates are heavily nerfed. I should have opened all my chaos shards… but I believed you that you won’t change drop rates. :frowning:
I have minor hope that it’s not intended behaviour and it will be fixed…

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Big fan of Fawkner too: regrettably it would seem that paying bills may be having an effect on the Integrity of his Legacy indeed.


If the currently displayed in-game drop rates are accurate, then this is a nerf. 30% treasures is significantly less than what we were getting before. Not only that, but it’s a nerf from the intended drop rates (the ones that were displayed until now), because the true distribution is weighted more towards rares, and there are lower rates of everything ultra-rare and up. Legendary and mythic treasures will almost never show up with these rates.

This is at odds with what Salty has said, that they “will be leaving the drop rates as they currently are”. Hopefully this was unintended and can be fixed soon. I’m gonna be hanging on to my chaos shards for now.

The devs seem frustrated lately that players repeat questions even if the devs have answered. This is why. It is not the first time that the players have asked for A, some dev representative has announced that some compromise B will happen instead, then the game releases and some not-compromise C is released.

How can you expect players to trust your word if you are not committed to ensuring you speak the truth? It’s not hard to make a statement but set our expectations at a “not a commitment” level:

  • “I am not sure how the drop rates will change.” That’s not a thing we wanted to hear, but it’s not a commitment thus it has a 0% chance of becoming a lie.
  • “The devs don’t want to change the drop rates but are not finished with their fix.” This covers that maybe you spoke with a dev and they said the rates weren’t changing, but you’ve been made a liar in the past so you don’t want to treat a hallway conversation as a commitment.
  • “There is a bug, and I don’t fully understand what is being done to fix it, so please don’t ask me to verify the new drop rates yet.” This communicates that you lack enough details to tell us something firm, but also prepares us to expect things we don’t want.

I normally would reject the idea of a “how to do your job” post, but I don’t think “avoid making firm statements if you don’t have certainty” is a general “being a person” thing. Sometimes I have to tell my friends or my coworkers, “I don’t know”. When they don’t like it, they tell me to find out. Sometimes I have to tell them I can’t find out. That always works out better for me than if I make the wrong guess.

I can think of at least two other reported issues with the RNG that are still up in the air. How am I supposed to trust the flippant “confirmation bias” dismissals after this? Now I just feel more and more convinced I am being intentionally misled.

F2P games are kind of like casinos, and casinos are kind of like pro wrestling. We all know the game is rigged and The House always wins. But we trust The House to put on a good show and make us want to believe. This isn’t a good show. I quit watching WWE at some point when a wrestler who’d taken 10+ chairs to the face without flinching suddenly went down for 2 minutes after a single hit. Right now, the story you’re telling doesn’t match the game I’m playing. It’s getting harder to suspend my disbelief.

I almost bought a flash offer this weekend, and this thread was why I hesitated. Now I see I made the right choice in renewing my “Path to Glory” analogue in a different game instead. The House has lost my attention.

This isn’t a problem “apologems” will fix. This is a problem that will be fixed by providing the consistent, clear, correct communication that has been promised every New Year post since I started in 2017. 2019 has been a really bad year for that promise.