Questions about drop rates on story missions

I have been trying to get a vow of zealous fury. I have successfully completed the Heliophage 19 times on a mix of normal and advanced difficulty. I’ve got 4 heliophage goggles but no vow of zealous fury.

Now to my questions:

(1) If a piece of gear drops on normal difficulty (like the Vow of Zealous Fury), can it also drop on Advanced difficulty?

(2) If 1 is correct, does anyone have any sense of relative drop probability of a piece of gear (that can drop on normal difficulty) when difficulty is set to normal vs. advanced?

Thanks for your help

i’d imagine the drop would be more likely on normal, fewer legendary options means better chances of you getting the one you want. and it can drop on advance yes i’m just not sure of the drop rate

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Thanks for your answer. So it sounds like I"m doing the right thing (just doing normal difficulty). The grind is real…I guess I haven’t been praying enough to the RNG gods recently…

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I know your pain, I ended up getting it with a group of friends helping me complete it quickly

so I recommend partying up with some friends who’re willing to do a story run.

Thanks. I can solo normal in 24-25 minutes. Can teams do it non-trivially faster than that?

note this is purely anecdotal evidence, purely my experience.

partying up seems to have been where I’ve gotten my legendaries that I’ve been grinding for.

It’s terribly unpredictable. I’m currently on a dry spell for The Archive trying to get the Codex Fragment… 15 runs with no legendary drop at all.

Yet just before that I had a streak of 8 or so legendary drops, one every run. No variable besides the character I used each time and my end score.

Feels like I swing from one extreme to another.

I can’t make up my mind if doing only normal runs would help me narrow down what I need because I don’t know for sure if Advanced truly affects legendary drop rate or not. There are some great resources about the boss drops but even they don’t have a firm answer on anything other than ‘Hardcore doesn’t do squat for gear drops’.

Might be best to hold onto the hope of another lootpocalypse. I’ve resolved to try and get the best possible rolls I can on everything I’m missing the next time one comes around.

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What character do you use?

I’ve been using Montana with a hot, firestorm build

Yes it does. Advance drops all the gear possible. It also just plain has a higher rate at dropping them to.

I imagine it more like the drops rates on saboteur where boots of the brute are extremely hard to get compared to the rest of the drops. You also only have one boss that drops and he can drop like 8 items.

…Not sure about this, it is unclear until Gbox actually tells us.
I’ll post my career below just so you can see I seem to know.
btw Many runs on Advanced have the random luck to drop nothing legendary at times.
Sentinel on normal and advanced seem to drop three legendaries on a lot of runs.

have you not played pvp yet? i don’t see the other counter for pvp which is weird.

Also, to OP, as you probably already gathered you can get normal mode drops on advanced.

But the drop rate is a bit of a mystery. From personal experience I’d say maybe it’s 25-25% per boss kill but I have no actual evidence.

as for whether it’s better to play normal or advanced, I don’t know. There could be a higher drop rate on advanced, thus guaranteeing you more legendaries but when you get one you will have less of a chance at the one you want. i.e.

normal mode drop rate is 15%, once you get a legendary you have a 50% chance to get the one you want
Advanced drop rate is 30%, but once you get a drop you have a 25% chance to get the one you want.
(those numbers are complete bs and I just pulled them from thin air)

Or if the drop rate is the same on all difficulties then normal mode is better.

or there could be a little mini claptrap unit inside the game that decides what you get, but again I’m not sure. i think @lowlines tried to explain how the drops work between difficulties in a post but I forgot what exactly was said and also where the post is.


  • Play Advanced mode if you want to collect them all or you are chasing an Advanced only drop.
  • Play Normal if you are specifically after a Normal mode drop.
  • Hardcore mode plays no part in the drop rate.
  • Play with friends because it makes it more fun!



^^^he has the right idea

From my experience advance have a chance to drop the same boss 2 legendaries but also the chances to get the one you are looking for is lower.

Also drop rate used to be 7% now is something like 1/8 why dont you get stolen arc of w.e? Sentinel run it gives x2 att speed and muvment speed

Generally speaking, since Advanced has higher drop rates it tends to be better to farm advanced missions even if you’re looking for a normal mode only drop, simply because you’ll get more legendaries and thus more credits to turn into epic loot packs. For example, I’ve often gotten 5 legendaries in a single Algorithm run (even outside of Loot Events,) because all the bosses (including EACH Henchman) can drop a legendary, sometimes two.

That said, the Heliophage is definitely an exception because you fight two bosses at a time in the end stage, so it takes far longer than normal mode. This is also causes failure to be common in advanced, and thus you’re risking a lot more because success (and thus a chance at a drop) is very much NOT guaranteed in advanced, as opposed to normal mode.

For anything but Heliophage, I’d say advanced is better (even Saboteur after the recent updates to it,) but Heliophage is definitely only worth running in advanced if you want the Doomsday Key or the Heliophagic Goggles.

He has only 4 items.

It happens on Normal too.

If you run it solo, it’s no risk. How do you spend all your lives being alone?

Isn’t it the heliophasic goggles & vow of zealous fury that drop on normal, not the doomsday key?

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yes those are the normal drops IIRC, I use the lowlidev app to hunt gear

Mental Mars’ website has you covered on what can drop on both normal and advanced for every mission