My grinding experiment or why I'm so sick of Viral Marketeer and Sledge's Shotty

Hello everyone!

Recently I’ve noticed that the droprates for shotguns coming from the Grinder are disproportional and so I’ve decided to conduct an experiment proving it and share its results with you.

So, the experiment took place on this weekend (05/08/15 - 05/10/15) while some GBX droprates increase is still active, but my experiment is not about showing you that this increase is so insignificant or whatever, but to show you that GBX messed up the base Grinder droprates.

Preamble: as a Nisha player and active user of Jakobs weaponry, I set myself a task of obtaining 2 shotguns: Doc’s Flayer and Doc’s Striker (with the Punisher Luneshine bonus) consisting of the “perfect parts” (Jakobs grip and Hyperion stock). Since the Flayer is a world drop weapon (which means there is no enemy who has it in their loot pool) and weapons having Luneshine bonuses can come from the Grinder only (yeah, I know one can see some hints on the loading screens which say that Luneshine weapons can also be dropped from bosses, but I’ve never seen it happen and I don’t believe it), I’ve decided to get them using the Grinder and dashboarding (obviously). So, I’ve farmed 7 LV.70 DLC Legendary weapons (5 Thunderfires, 1 Kaneda’s Laser and 1 Luck Cannon), a bunch of LV.70 vanilla Legendary guns and a bunch of LV.70 purple shotguns, finally reached the Nexus and then started this grinding hardcore.

Methodology: each time I enter the game I conduct a “grinding series” (which consists of 6-7 tries to get the Flayer and just 2 to get the Striker) in accordance with the following recipes:

  • Recipe #1: [ Vanilla Legendary Gun ] + [ DLC Legendary Gun ] + [ Purple Shotgun ]
  • Recipe #2: [ Vanilla Legendary Gun ] + [ Vanilla Legendary Gun ] + [ Purple Shotgun ] + [ 240 Moonstones ]

If I don’t get what I want, I quit by Alt + F4 and so on.

Results: this took long, but I still haven’t got what I’m looking for and so I keep grinding, but I’ve had enough tries to show you the results, I guess nobody will grind more to improve the data I’ve got.

However, note that I round repeating decimals (for example, 14.333333…3 = 14.3), and the results on the charts can be slightly different from what I’ve actually got, but it is non-critical and doesn’t affect the whole experiment.

Recipe #1 grinding results:

Total # of tries: 300

Weapons output from the Grinder (weapon = # of times):

Purple Shotgun = 182
Viral Marketeer = 43
Sledge’s Shotty = 21
Flakker = 14
Striker = 26
Flayer = 14

Chances of getting a weapon using Recipe #1 (based on 300 tries):

Purple Shotgun = 60.6%
Viral Marketeer = 14.3%
Sledge’s Shotty = 7%
Flakker = 4.6%
Striker = 8.6%
Flayer = 4.6%

Here is a visual representation of these results:

Recipe #2 grinding results:

Total # of tries: 100

Weapons output from the Grinder (weapon = # of times):

Viral Marketeer = 24
Viral Marketeer with a Luneshine bonus = 22
Sledge’s Shotty = 11
Sledge’s Shotty with a Luneshine bonus = 9
Flakker = 15
Flakker with a Luneshine bonus = 7
Striker = 7
Striker with the Luneshine bonus = 5

Chances of obtaining a specific legendary weapon using Recipe #2 (based on 100 tries):

Viral Marketeer = 24%
Viral Marketeer with a Luneshine bonus = 22%
Sledge’s Shotty = 11%
Sledge’s Shotty with a Luneshine bonus = 9%
Flakker = 15%
Flakker with a Luneshine bonus = 7%
Striker = 7%
Striker with a Luneshine bonus = 5%

Chances of obtaining a specific legendary weapon using Recipe #2, regardless of its having a Luneshine bonus (based on 100 tries):

Viral Marketeer = 46%
Sledge’s Shotty = 20%
Flakker = 22%
Striker = 12%

Another charts to visualize these results:

Summary: as you can see, the droprates for Legendary shotguns coming from the Grinder are heavily disbalanced. A few notes on them in relation to my case:

  • Chance of getting the Flayer is more than 3 times less than the chance of obtaining the Viral Marketeer (using a Recipe #1) - 4.6% against 14.3%;

  • Chance of obtaining a Luneshine Striker is more than 4 times less than the chance of obtaining a Luneshine Viral Marketeer (using Recipe #2) - 5% against 22%;

  • Chance of obtaining a Luneshine Striker is almost 2 times less than the chance of obtaining a Luneshine Sledge’s Shotty (using Recipe #2) - 5% against 9%.

Conclusion: I’ve never seen such a disbalance when grinding other weapon types, so I believe that since it’s impossible to determine what shotgun is the best or worst one, all the Legendary shotguns must have equal chances of being dropped from the Grinder.
Therefore, I believe it’s a huge defect that GBX must fix.

Your thoughts?

I have proof there is no God, if you did this exact experiment
again, you would get completely different results.

Really? Try it and then show me your results.


Keep things cool guys, please.

Because RNG is a fickle master and your sample size is way to small to call any kind of results from them sadly. 100 tries is not enough because RGN is not “TRUE” random.

Your efforts are commendable, and they are a great start, but it would take a sample size closer to 500 or even 1000 to start seeing a pattern.

I could do the same thing and get a disproportionate number of …say, strikers.

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It’s a bit maths-heavy, but I think this is an appropriate time to reference this:

Might be nothing, but I noticed that, when doing a 2 orange 1 purple grind, the manufacturer of the purple gun will have a heavy influence on the outcome of the orange. When I was grinding for a good Torrent, I was using a Hyperion SMG as the purple, and I got a large amount of Fatales compared to every other gun.

I don’t know if this has been brought up already. Apologies if it has.

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Only a very interested person will get this number to 500 or even 1000… who knows, maybe I will :smile:

And about the same thing - prove it, do it and show the results! :stuck_out_tongue:

To read this one is a heavy burden, but I’ll give it a try later. Thanks anyway :wink:

I’ve also found (in my more casual grindings) a disproportionate amount of certain weapons (e.g., Marketeer, S.Shotty) dropping than others. It’s made me suspect that there might be some probabilities assigned to what gets output from the grinder (e.g., chance of a Marketeer > chance of a Flayer).

In my recent experience I’ve been doing a lot of purple pistol grindings trying to produce some nice Anarchists. Haven’t been keeping track but I see tons more Hyperion & Maliwan pistols (e.g.) than Valdof & I’ve seen only a couple of Anarchists in over 100 purple pistol grinds?

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All of these points are possible, but a agree with Chuck. 1000 or even more would be need just to get an idea of weapon rates. I will also point out that perception plays a factor in how people see the grinder. If you do not favor a particular outcome (ie getting a fatale when you wanted a torrent) could cause you to think a weapon is more common. Case in point: the very title of this thread, yes the finding make that suggestion, but the op must not like marketers or sledges a whole lot.

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Because I was paying attention. 5 Fatale’s (F) in a row, then 1 IVF (I), then 6 more Fs, then 3 Is, then 1 Torrent (T), then 7 more Fs, then 2 Hellfires, 6 Fs, ect. That’s pretty disproportionate, and I think that it has to do with the fact that the purple gun was Hyperion. I tried to test it with a different SMG, but RNG didn’t want to give me a purple Dahl, Maliwan, or Tediore SMG.

I get that this game is based pretty heavily in math and probabilities, but I think most of use who have used the grinder frequently have probably come to similar conclusions as the OP, even without hard evidence.

I know that for me, I’ve grinded far more marketers and Sledges than any other shotgun. Pistols seem to favor the Zim a bit. SMGs are a bit of a toss up, but fatales are the most common ones I’ve gotten. Snipers rifles seem to favor the Magma and invader. Etc…

No numbers for these, but after grinding dozens of times, you notice what you get the most. And I’m sure if we all post what we’ve observed to be the most frequent legendaries out of the grinder, it can serve as a base for future experiments. I have a feeling most numbers will fall in line with the OP’s observations, even if the exact numbers are different.


It looks to me like it’s possible that the flayer won’t even drop from Recipe #2. But I’d like to see 900 more tests. Maybe the community can help? Once I manage to reach level 70, I might contribute.

The grind to 70 is long. I’m at level 68.7 now. With Jack. I think next time I’ll just play the main story, then the dlc, reset, repeat until 70 with all characters. Before maxxing others I’d probably play for 6 to 10 hours at max level to find some excellent level 70 gear.

I’ve also seen disproportionate grinds in favor of one or 2 specific possible outcome, but that’s the nature of RNG.

RNG is not true random, so a much bigger sample size is required to draw conclusions.

I was testing elemental process chances, which has only 2 outcomes. And even with a sample size of 400 for each scenario, I’m still getting inconsistent results.

If you really wanted a flayer the best way is to farm shadow trap because for some reason he seems to have a better chance of dropping one and i don’t actually agree with you on some things cause i get the strikker out of the grinder more than anything else

Yes, the Flayer cannot be dropped from the Grinder if you use Recipe #2 since Luneshine bonuses cannot be applied to the Legendary weapons coming from the Claptastic Voyage DLC.

Question to all who care: should I continue the data collection and further development of this experiment?

[quote=“Aite, post:1, topic:345268”]
Conclusion: I’ve never seen such a disbalance when grinding other weapon types, so I believe that since it’s impossible to determine what shotgun is the best or worst one, all the Legendary shotguns must have equal chances of being dropped from the Grinder.Therefore, I believe it’s a huge defect that GBX must fix.[/quote]

Well, of course there’s is a definitive answer to the question: people at Gearbox know the formulas! Some of us posting agree with the OP that there seems an imbalance, others would want more data. A short while back (~week after Clappy DLC came out) I noticed & posted that grinding three legendary mods only gave Celestials & not Chroniclers or Eridians. Could’ve been a bad run I had but ‘problem’ seems ‘fixed’ now

To @Aite – I wouldn’t bother with additional grinding. If there’s a problem here hopefully someone at Gearbox sees this thread and addresses it; could be they intended to output more Marketeers than more desirable Shotties? Wouldn’t be the first instance of seemingly unfair outcomes in the game!

Grinding 3 Celestial COMs may result in Vanquisher or even Chronicler?

I know that it’s possible to get a Chronicler when mixing 2 Celestials and 1 Chronicler.

Great OP, Congrats . . .
Question: Have you tried this combination to see if it improves the chances of getting a “Flayer SG”:
[ DLC Gun #1 ] + [ DLC Gun #2 ] + [ Doc’s Coach Gun ]
The first time I got my Flayer I was using this combination. Got the first Flayer in the 11th attempt. Got two more like in the next 25 attempts. For the DLC Guns I was using two different Omni-Cannon Snipers. I haven’t gotten any more Doc’s Coach Guns, so haven’t try this again.