Explaining the Quality Math

Beacon makes some unexpected decisions about the config files it produces. Since questions about quality values come up frequently, here's a detailed explanation.

Every loot source in Ark has built-in min and max quality multiplier. Here's some actual numbers:

Beacon Min Multiplier Max Multiplier
Island White 1.00 1.00
Island White Bonus 2.00 2.50
Swamp Red 3.25 4.00

This means that an entry quality of 2.0 produces a different result for each beacon. Speaking of qualities, that's another thing Beacon does differently.

The numeric values for each quality use statistics gathered by the community by spawning thousands of items and recording the results. It is time consuming, but gives us the best idea we can possibly get. Ark introduces a random quality multiplier which we cannot control, so the best we can do is use statistics. The quality values Beacon uses are the most statistically likely to produce the desired result. Unfortunately, this still isn't great, as some qualities like Mastercraft have a statistically low chance of producing the desired outcome. So even if you choose Mastercraft-Mastercraft quality, only about 50% of the time will it actually be Mastercraft. The rest is roughly 25% Ascendant and 25% Journeyman. Unfortunately, this is just the way Ark is.

With that in mind, here are the quality values Beacon uses:

Quality Value
Primitive 0.00
Ramshackle 4.80
Apprentice 7.68
Journeyman 14.40
Mastercraft 21.12
Ascendant 26.88
Epic 34.24
Legendary 42.24
Pearlescent 53.76

As you can see, Pearlescent items are significantly overpowered. They are not recommended for PvP.

Beacon's goal is always to craft a config that most closely matches your intentions. Therefore, the loot source multipliers are taken into account when crafting the config. Here's a chart of some example results:

Desired Min Quality Desired Max Quality Beacon Min Multiplier Beacon Max Multiplier Computed Min Quality Computed Max Quality
1.25 3.75 1.00 1.00 1.2500 3.7500
1.25 3.75 2.00 2.00 0.6250 1.8750
1.25 3.75 3.25 4.00 0.3330 0.9375
3.75 3.75 3.25 4.00 1.1540 0.9375

The last entry in that chart brings us back to the point. In that case, the item is defined as a minimum and maximum quality of Journeyman. The loot source's multiplier affects how that is computed, so the minimum quality that Beacon outputs is actually higher than the maximum quality.

Unfortunately, it is unknown at this time what Ark actually does in this scenario. Does it reverse the values and select a number in the range 0.9375-1.154? Is it capped to the lower value? Is it capped to the higher value? Wildcard has not responded to my request for information, so this is the way Beacon works for now. Testing appears to produce good results, but some confirmation would be nice.

This is why Beacon uses quality names instead of allowing users to input values. These numbers can change. The loot source multipliers can change. How we understand the configuration can change. Beacon works on the user's intentions and attempts to craft a config file to match. As the game changes, Beacon can adapt without anything more than a reexport from the user.

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