These People Tried To Figure Out How Destiny’s Loot System Works

These People Tried To Figure Out How Destiny’s Loot System Works

If you’ve been playing Destiny, chances are you’ve been there. A purple orb ceremoniously pops out of a dying enemy, to the delight of every fibre of your being. A legendary item! Surely it’s a legendary item…

But, somehow, it feels like every single time you take it to the Cryptarch to decode it, it’s some blue (aka rare) weapon you didn’t even need. Seriously. Trolls. The lot of them.

So what are the chances of a legendary engram turning into an actual legendary item? Not very high, it seems, according to the number-crunching results of one team of four players.

GrievouzOCE posted their team’s results over on Reddit after farming for engrams since Destiny‘s launch. The statistics pretty much speak to a lot of what players have been saying about the Cryptarch: the man must seriously be colour blind.

After gathering 290 green engrams, 250 blue engrams and 55 purple engrams (they’re far harder to farm), here’s what they found:

Green Engram Rarity

  • White/Basic: 68 (23.45%)
  • Green/Uncommon: 201 (69.31%)
  • Blue/Rare: 21 (7.24%)
  • Purple/Legendary: 0
  • Yellow/Exotic: 0

Blue Engram Rarity

  • White: 0
  • Green: 53 (21.2%)
  • Blue: 186 (74.4%)
  • Purple: 11 (4.4%)
  • Yellow: 0

Purple Engram Rarity

  • White: 0
  • Green: 2 (3.64%)
  • Blue: 33 (60%)
  • Purple: 19 (34.55%)
  • Yellow: 1 (1.82%)

Picture: GoodGameBro


  • This just proves that this aspect of the game needs to be fixed. Not to mention “if a purple item does come out of it you have a 1 in 3 chance that it will suit your class. your much safer to farm marks weekly and buy guarantee purples for your class.

    • I think it is fine as it is – I don’t particularly want purple items to become so common that I regard them like blue items. It is definitely difficult in these types of games to get the balance right – you want to be working towards something and seeing progress but you don’t want to just hand the good loot out for no effort as well.
      Whereas I fine the balance good for me, it’s a tough thing to get right for everyone. I also think it does kind of push people towards doing the missions like you said rather than just clog up areas farming.

      • I disagree. I have played with my 3 Friends since launch. I have seen their pick ups compared to mine. So far i have only picked up ONE compared to all 3 of my friends picking up about 50 of them With each one of them getting 7 Legendaries. I am still covered in all blues. Vang capped. Money Capped. I have over 200 crafting items. And i have my exotic armor. ZERO legendary. So unless something is wrong with my game client side i dont understand how EVERYONE besides myself is getting all this loot. Its pretty sad actually. But yes, “It is fine as it is” is fine for all you people getting all that nice gear. Sucks for me.

        • I have found a good 4 legendary engrams and have only gotten one legendary from it. I have also opened 3 cryptarch legendary packs and have gotten blues but honestly I like it this way because it gives you incentive to play the game. So just don’t expect to always find legends or decrypt them every time.

        • Ok even if your drops are bad and your in blue gear why havent you purchased the class item of your choice so that you make at the least work towards a legwndary of your choice thwy give you more than one way to do things dont blame the rng on your failure its a great gsme the grind is what makes ot worth while because you know that the people beating you are grinding harder “or getting luckier” but either way its an effort a challenge and if you dont like it delete the game because those of us that arebt lazy will put in the work required to be sucessful

    • Yeah exactly, you’re better of actually playing the game than farming orbs, the way it should be. And legendaries can drop from blues, not to mention the purple engrams give you a shitload of crypt rep which in turn produces more purple engrams. It’s perfectly fine the way it is.

    • Isn’t that the whole purpose of an MMO to keep you playing?
      What if you’d get the perfect item each and every time you down a boss? You’d be maxed out within a week or 2 and would have no reason to play.

    • No, get more out of the game and have different classes.

      If you get an item you can’t use, put it in the vault. They’re hard to find but that just makes it more rewarding.

    • I don’t think it needs to be fixed at all. Everybody is complaining about purples not giving purples. The whole engram feature is luck, that’s what it’s supposed to be for a reason. If you’re that desperate, level up your crucibal, buy legendaries.

  • I got a putple one last night turned out to be a lengendary helmet for a hunter which doesnt help my warlock

    • Are you serious? so we might not even get items for our class? I have only had 1 and it turned out to be blue pistol.

      • I’ve gotten 6 purple engrams in the last 3 nights – all turned into blue items and one turned into blue Titan gauntlets unusable by my Warlock so it can happen.

        I’ve gotten roughly 40 blue engrams and not one purple – I think Cryptarch level might play a part in this. At this rate it will take me a few weeks to be fully kitted in purple gear – it’s lucky I’m enjoying the game mechanics so much.

        • I’ve just gone crucible level 1, think almost cryptarch level 2, I’m level 23 with no purple gear yet.

        • Hey, I got Warlock guantlets on my Titan. I think our mail must have been mixed up. =P

          I’ve heard that Cryptarch level is meant to play a part in it, but I haven’t seen any solid proof of that. Although I’m Rank 8 and I don’t think I’m getting many (if any) greens from blue engrams anymore. I’ll put the theory to the test when I level my Warlock up. I’ll use the vault to send over all the engrams he gathers which should pump up my Cryptarch Rank on my main up. Pre-20 gear doesn’t matter too much, if it isn’t bias towards the class decrypting it then post-20 I can just do all my engram decrypting on one character and distribute it through the bank.

          • Nice, typical postal service…
            My Cryptarch level is 5 so some work to do if that does influence the loot drop %.

          • Legendary engrams are the only ones NOT locked to your class so if I find another one I pray its for a gun so I can use it on my warlock

          • I have heard this and it does seem to ring true I’ve seen less crap from engrams since my rep has gone up

          • Decrypted an exotic chest piece this morning on my hunter. It rolled into a titan chestpiece. So its definitely not biased towards classes

    • Put it in your vault. Vault is accessible across your characters. So if you play a new character of that class you can retrieve from vault

  • Hmmm…Destiny is starting to sound a lot like vanilla Diablo 3 at launch, minus the server errors.

    Looking forward to the Reaper of Souls expansion.

  • I think I’ve found about 3 purple engrams during my entire time playing and only one turned out to be a useful legendary item (a really sweet pulse rifle).

    I say “useful” because I believe one was a class item. The only useful class items are the ones you buy from factions to gain rep with them so you can eventually buy their gear.

    I say “eventually” because I see it taking months of normal play to build up enough of that rep.

    • Yeah, that purple Titan Mark I got didn’t even look good. Bit of a letdown after seeing a purple orb.

      Does anyone know if the Class Items from the factions alter Bounty Reward reputation gains? With Vanguard and Crucible Bounties both counting it shouldn’t be too hard of a grind to get Rank 2 with the other factions (thankfully they don’t start at Rank 0 like Vanguard and Cruicible).

      • Yeh they do, but the gear itself can only be bought with crucible marks iirc. Still, it’s a great idea for quick rep grinding, and I think patrols(10-25 rep) would count also.

        • Yep. Pretty much everything reputation based except Vanguard gear is Crucible marks. If I were smart I would have gone out and got a Dead Orbit Titan Mark the second I hit 20. Even with the rep I built up while leveling it would have been faster to focus fire that one down than rank up Vanguard and Crucible independently.
          Right now the only one I know for sure doesn’t switch with Class Items is the Cryptarch. No matter what Class Item you’re wearing Cryptarch rep always goes to Cryptarch faction (otherwise I’d blast through them all buying engrams to decrypt).

          • In my opinion it’s actually best to ignore the factions and continue grind out vanguard rank/marks when you hit 20. The class quartermasters only require vanguard level 2 for armour and level 3 for weapons. I believe the factions start at level 3 (excepting class items, which are a requirement, and maybe emblems at level 2). This way it’s quicker to get legendary gear and raise your level to do the higher level raids and missions, for which you can then equip a faction class item to work on those.

            At least that’s the tactic I’m employing for now. My vanguard level is shooting up just by grinding patrol missions as @k1w1guy mentions above.

            EDIT: Just a note that I was wrong about the factions starting at level 3. But if you do go for them at level 20 you potentially waste your vanguard rep from level 18 onwards. Most of the gear across the vendors is much the same anyway.

            PS. I just had a blue engram turn into a legendary sniper rifle. If only I could trade since I don’t really use them.

    • only one turned out to be a useful legendary item (a really sweet pulse rifle).… … well you need all the help you can get, you fight like a dairy farmer…

  • I’ve seen other people get legendary engrams from crucible matches I’ve been in. Atm, all I can dream about is them encrypting it and getting disappointed

    I did get a Legendary post item thing though which spewed out a couple of blue items. Thanks robot-postman guy

  • I got a purple shotgun. I don’t really use shotguns though but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna not use it

  • Got a purple engram on my hunter a few hours ago. Decrypted it and got an actual purple from it. Unfortunately it was for a titan. The Cryptarch is pure evil.

  • Was destiny the game that was supposed to tie in with that space MMO that doesn’t really have any rules? The name escapes me now.

  • I’m a lvl 24 titan and have been for like 4 days and I’ve gotten like 8 legendary engrave from drops and crytarch 4 have turned in to legendaries 1x warlock armour piece 1x Hunter (got lvl 16 Hunter atm) do not too bad and 2x the same machine gun both with different stats and elemental dmg

    My mate last night on our second last crucible he gets a very nice exotic auto rifle with good impact 33 ammo and very good rate of fire that’s not too high or low so easy recoil

  • Last night I was grinding getting not much. Went back to decrypt some drops with no luck. Then the postmaster has a missed drop for me. Had no idea why. Maybe I missed picking it up whilst in the field. Anyway took it over for decryption and received a nice pair of purple boots. Maybe I will just hang around the tower and wait for stuff to be sent ; )

    • The postmaster gives you that package everytime you level up your Cryptarch rank.
      You can level it up by buying from him (about 10xp) or decoding found engrams (blue is 150xp)

        • No worries – you also may get missed loot if it falls off a cliff or something I believe. Depends if the postmaster has an engram (missed orb in the field) or a package (few engrams for leveling cryptarch) for you.

      • You also get the packages for levelling vanguard/crucible rep -once you hit rank 3+ you get a legendary (weapon only iirc). I got a purple shotgun for hitting rank 3 with Vanguard, now just to wait for the exotic vendor guy to popup this weekend to finish off my gear 🙂

        • Good to know – I’m trying to just get Vanguard Lvl2 so I can spend my 90 vanguard marks on something

          • Cap it to 100 with strikes then push rank 2, that way you can get 1pc this week and 2 pieces next week (assuming you need gloves/chest/boots ofc which are 65 a pop) when you cap it again =D

  • What is worse is that leveling up the Cryptarch seems to have no affect on anything. Yes when he levels up you get a mail item for that happening but he never really sells better random gear nor do the chances of a colour actually being that colour instead of something worse. Mine is now lvl 9 and he is still selling white engrams with the occasional green and almost all my purples are blue.

  • I got a purple hand cannon from a blue engram right after to got to level twenty and a purple chest piece from my first purple drop so I’m just lucky I guess

  • I have 2 exotics/yellows from purple engrams.
    Picked them up somewhere during the course of the game (not from farming or anything. Can’t stand the tedium personally).
    The reason I’m not too excited about it and you shouldn’t be thinking I’m super lucky is; one of them is a helm for a Titan and the other is Warlock robes… I play a Hunter.

    I wonder if they’ll ever introduce some sort of trade system. Or even a drop it on the ground for someone else to pick up system.

    Edit: First post on KAU. Yay!

  • I’m half way through level 23 and only found two Legendary engrams. Both we class items – fuck me dead

  • My first purple engram turned into exotic gloves for my warlock. I was super stoked. My second purple engram turned into legendary gloves. Not so stoked. Luckier than others though it seems!

  • Okay their stats on green engrams don’t tally with my experience at all, my results for green vs white are a lot closer to 50/50, out of all the greens I’ve decrypted, I’ve seen a blue item exactly once and strangely enough that was from the cryptarch lucky dip

  • Got a legendary engram for gloves, turned into exotic gloves for a titan. My Hunter wanted to punch that Cryptark. Who needs to point in destiny, where is the frustration emote?

    • It needs a ‘give the finger’ emote I can aim at gear and vendors, and an Archer style woooo! emote for when I leap into a swarm of enemies and start punching my way out.

  • i just started last night and am level 2. guess ill see what you guys are talking about after the weekend. also, is anyone joining random teams? i need a random team to join cos all my mates too busy playing fifa the bloody wankers!

  • Gotten 10 legendary engrams so far. 9 were blues, 1 was a hunter helm (Ghost Angel) which worked out brilliantly!

  • Got my first purple last night and guess what it was………. A legendary chest piece that was for my class!!! Lol so lucky

  • 10 legendary engrams later i have gotten 9 blue items off them and 1 exotic but still have never acquired a legendary off them hahaha

  • There’s hope. I’ve had about 20 legendary engrams so far (including mail from leveing up reputation). Mostly blues, but have gotten 3 legendary weapons, and and Monte Carlo exotic. Also have gotten rare coins from them, and got purple warlock boots off a blue engram (not my class). Additionally I’ve seen people get exotic engrams from PvP, and a guy last night got Gjallahorn (exotic rocket launcher) by placing second to last. My advice is level your various reps, try to get all your vanguard and crucible marks weekly, do all your daily bounties, and do patrol missions in your downtime to gain additional rep. You’ll be guaranteed to be fully geared in a week or two. What I’m driving at is if you play the game to maximize your rewards, the legendaries/exotics come on their own…. And in force.

  • My cryptarch level is 18 he still only sells green and white engrams.and I still get blues from him.I dont think he works like bungie wanted.I probably get 10 legendarys a day maybe 2 turn I to actually turn in to a piece of legendary gear.I have so much hate for that guy.

  • Really important. Pay attention to your cryptarch lvl when decoding legendary engrams. My chance to decode a legendary engram into a legendary item seemed to go up based on my cryptarch rank. Farm blue engrams and lvl up your cryptarch rank to above lvl 8. I decode legendary items way more consistently now. I do understand farming can be a boring grind how ever. If you get a strange coin, don’t get depressed, your just that much closer to be able to buy an exotic on the weekends. Same goes for motes of light even though you won’t be able to choose your exotic piece. My titan got exotic warlock armor. When I lvl up that class I’ll have an exotic waiting for him. I think people are pissed because they are impatient.

  • People are saying that making purples strop only purples would make them too common, which is probably true at this point, but what they fail to realise is that they can just alter the drop rate to reflect the new rarity. Just make them drop a lot less if purples are the only things that come out of purple engrams. If this was diablo 3 or any other game with in identified items I would be livid if I identified what I thought was a legendary to find its a rare. Also they really need to add some kind of smart loot system. (The only items that drop for you are neutral or for your class.)

  • The whole reason they are LEGENDARIES is because they are LEGENDARY. If it was easy to get them people would max out quickly and not return to the game. And when you get an item for another class you are supposed to put it in your vault until your other two characters can use it. I got an exotic chest piece for a titan on my first legendary engram and I was playing hunter. Solution? Play Titan. Its part of Bungie’s long term strategy to keep players around with new content and more gear.

  • I’m level 24, I haven’t seen one purple or yellow engrams. I have half a dozen ships. What the hell are they good for. Can’t sell them for anything…

  • I haven’t got any purple engrams but I’m a lvl 29 titan all I’ve gotten was blue and green and all of my blue heavy has turned into legendary so what’s up, no armor?

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