The Failed Grail

Mar 19, 2020
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467
83
Canada
Thread originally posted by @sirpoopsalot on December 2, 2009


The Failed Grail

Introduction

There's nothing quite like a kick to the seat of the pants. And for me, the DiabloII equivalent is completing the game with a character only to get through to Baal's quest drop and get "rewarded" with:

- a magic Shadow Bow
- an Arctic Binding (set-quality Light Belt)
- a rare Heater
- a rare Clasped Orb
- a magic Claymore
- and a magic Colossus Girdle

Gee, thanks ... :unimpressed:

While recently questing what felt like my 836th character through the game, I got a little frustrated by finding yet another batch of the same old junk from the Act bosses. So I decided to start collecting all of that crap into something more "meaningful".

And once I did start collecting, I actually found it kindof fun to be grabbing and inspecting rare and magic items again after all these years. All of a sudden I didn't care that I found my 195783rd Arctic Binding from a boss... the Clasped Orb and Heater were both 'failed uniques' and therefore much more interesting to me. And the Shadow Bow and Colossus Girdle would be failed set items too.

I've had nothing better to do over the last few days, so I've been tinkering away at a spreadsheet for tracking results, and the first pass seems ready to be released to the public. It's kindof like a Flavie Report, but not automated. And also probably not 100% accurate/reliable yet either, though hopefullly it's pretty close.


The Download
I might as well link it here, to get it out of the way:

http://sirpoopsalot78.webs.com/FailGrail/FailedGrail_Template4.xls

... I'll try to find a more stable, long-term host in the near future (and will update the link at that time).

If you don't have MS Excel, you can use Google Docs or Open Office to access the spreadsheet, but there may be some display 'issues' with the formatting (and probably other things). Let me know if you come across any such issues, and I'll see if I can fix them in the template.


So what is the Failed Grail?
It's a collection of all of the items in the game that would've spawned as Set or Unique quality if they could, but for various reasons (explained below), those items could not actually become Set or Unique quality. In these cases, the game has rules that will downgrade those items to Magic or Rare quality.


How do I determine if an Item is a Failed Set or Failed Unique Item?

Most of the time you can tell by looking at the item's durability. A failed 'set' item will be of magic quality, but it will have double the durability that item normally has. For example, a 'failed' Set Halberd would spawn with 110 durability instead of the 55 durability on a 'regular' magic Halberd.

Likewise, failed unique items will spawn as rare quality items - but they'll have three times as much durability as they usually do.

However, I did say "MOST" of the time. In another case, when you're completing an Act boss quest for the first time, the lowest quality item that they'll drop is 'rare' quality. That means that if you find a magic Shadow Bow the first time you kill a boss (like I did), that bow was a failed Set item (despite it not having any durability).


Item Durability Rules (and how they apply here):
These are a little dry, but I think they could (potentially) be important or helpful, so I'll include them within a spoiler.

- Ethereal items spawn with half durability + 1. So a plain druid pelt will have 20 durability, while an ethereal one will have ((20/2) + 1) = 11 durability.

- In the case of a failed set item, they can spawn ethereal although actual Set items cannot. The 50%-1 penalty will get applied though.

- However, if an item spawns with a +durability mod, this mod does not get penalized on an ethereal item. An example is an Umbral Disk (unique Small Shield) with it's +10-15 durability mod. The base durability gets the ethereal penalty, but the durability mod does not.

- The maximum durability of items is 255. So if you find a failed unique Heater, it will only have 255 durability instead of the 264 (** * 3) that it should.

- If you use the PGems/PSkulls recipe to reroll a failed Set/Unique (S/U) item, the durability will get reset to its normal values and you'll loose proof that the item was a failed Set/Unique.

... I think that's the important ones, but I'll probably remember a couple more at some point, and will edit them in then.


"Failure" rules (and how they apply here):
There are basically 4 different scenarios on when/how a Failed S/U item will drop. These different scenarios are illustrated in the spreadsheet by various color-coding of the cells. The scenarios are:

1. A corresponding S/U item doesn't exist. A lot of the Class-Specific items do not have set or unique items, and will fall into this category. Several armors & weapons also fall into this category. These are represented in the spreadsheet with 'Green' cells.

These are also the 'failed' items that I consider "easy" to find, as you actually have a small chance to find them all without a bunch of rigamarole. Most of the other color categories will be much more difficult to find (let alone complete).

2. As mentioned previously, when you quest-kill an act boss, he won't drop magic-quality items. So if you kill a boss for the first time and get a magic item, that's definitely a failed set - and even if that item doesn't have durability you'll know it was a failed set item because of this rule. These first-kill/no-durability items are represented in the spreadsheet with 'Blue' cells on the 'Others' worksheet, and are different because once you've found them and muled them off (or left them on the ground), there's no longer a way to verify that they actually were failed sets.

Since bosses can also drop rare items, there's no way to tell if a boss dropped a rare or a unique when that item doesn't have durability. So only 'set' items without durability can be recognized with this approach, and only if they drop from first-kill of act bosses.

3. Repeat unique drops. The same set-quality items can (and will) drop multiple times in one game, but unique items will always only spawn one time per game. If the game attempts to drop the same unique item a 2nd time in within one game, the 2nd item will be a failed unique (i.e. a triple durability rare). These items are going to be extremely difficult to come across (err... actually, you could potentially cycle through the gamble screen several thousand times and use that to 'spawn' some first unique items, then go questing and get lucky enough to find the 2nd base-type unique from a monster - this surely wouldn't be worth the headache). Repeat drops like this are represented in the spreadsheet with 'purple' cells.

4. The last remaining way to get a failed item is if the base type has a corresponding Set/Unique item, but the quality level of that Set/Unique item is higher than the monster that tried to drop it. The most well known example would be how Pindleskin cannot drop an Arachnid Mesh (unique Spiderweb Sash, quality level of 87) but he can drop Spiderweb Sashes (quality level of 61). So if Pindle tries to create a unique Spiderweb Sash, he will actually drop a triple-durability rare instead of the Arachnid's Mesh.

Within the spreadsheet these items were given yellow, orange and red color codes. Each color represents a "window" of how close you'll need to be to the base items' quality level to get the failed S/U drop. 'Yellow' is comparatively easy to find because there are probably several monsters that are the correct level to provide the failed S/U item. 'Orange' is comparatively more difficult, and 'red' is the most difficult of all.

The numbers that are listed within the yellow/orange/red cells are the quality levels of the Set/Unique versions. In order to find a failed S/U item in these categories, the monster will need to able to drop from that item's treasure class, the monster level will need to be equal to or higher than the base-type's quality level, but the monster will need to be a lower level than the S/U items' quality level.

I'm not 100% certain that all of these are even possible. For example, Serpentskin Armor is quality level (qlvl) 36, and Skin of the Vipermagi is qlvl37... so if a level36 (or lower) monster tries to drop a unique Serpentskin Armor, it will instead drop a failed unique. However, a level 37 (or higher) monster will drop an actual Skin of the Vipermagi the first time it tries to create a unique Serpentskin Armor. I'm not going to bother verifying that there are level36 (or lower) monsters that can actually drop Serpentskin armors in any capacity, but it's possible there are not.

5. The black cells in the spreadsheet are for item types that will never, ever, drop as 'failed'. Ever.


Understanding & Using the Spreadsheet
I tried to make the spreadsheet pretty straightforward but colorful (a little eye-candy never hurt anyone, hopefully it's not assaulting).

There are 4 'entry' worksheets that you'll need to update manually as you find items:

1. Armors
2. Weapons
3. Class Specifics
4. Others (these are items that don't have durability, and correspond to point #2 in the failure rules above).

On each of those pages there are various sections sorted by item type (helms, shields, belts, etc.), and within each section the order should be (mostly) from lowest to highest quality.

If you find a failed Set/Unique item, all you need to do is find it in the appropriate section of the correct worksheet and enter a "y" in the 'Found?' column for either the Set or Unique category. Don't use any other character than "y", or the stats page will probably fail.

There's also a 5th worksheet that contains statistics that you shouldn't have to update manually; for the most part, this page should update itself. I modeled these stats (somewhat) upon Flavie Reports, and hopefully it's all clear what the values represent.


Finally there are at least a couple of disclaimers that you'll need to keep in mind:

1. I used the Arreat Summit, the TC & Qlvl's list, and some of my own finds for the durability data. However, I do know that not all of that data is accurate. The area that seems to be most "off" seems to be the exceptional/elite shields on AS, but I make no promises for any other data either. If you notice an incorrect value here, you can update it in your spreadsheet manually, as the durability values aren't used in any calculations (let me know and I'll update the template file too).

2. I didn't go overboard on putting robust error-protection into the spreadsheet. If you start messing with the cells, formulas, entering bad data into the Found? columns or hacking into the blacked-out or hidden cells, you could easily corrupt the results. There's nothing that qualifies as 'code' in the spreadsheet, but use it at your own risk. Try to only update the "found" columns with "y" as appropriate, and you hopefully won't have any problems.


Conclusion
If you've read this far and are asking 'why bother', read the intro again. If you stick with this game, I'm guessing at some point you're likely to feel this way too. Or, you can continue to think this is an inane idea (because it pretty much is :D), but if it keeps this old game feeling new, you may find it worth the undertaking.

One obvious plus is it makes you feel like you're actually getting something noteworthy from Baal & Diablo most of the time. Otherwise it often feels like 99 drops out of every 100 aren't worth the bother.


Sorry if this all comes across as more complex than it should be - I was trying to be thorough and hopefully make 99% of the concepts clear up front.
 
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Mar 19, 2020
2,409
467
83
Canada
Re: The Failed Grail

Updates & Corrections History for the Template File:

Code:
2009/12/12 - uploaded a new template file incorporating all previous fixes.
  It would be easiest to re-download & repopulate
  your previous file manually than to manually incorporate
  all of the changes made to the template since it was first
  uploaded.
Re: The Failed Grail

Results Table:

Code:
                   #'s Found                  Color Breakdown:
Player        | Uniques  Sets  Total |  Green   Blue  Purple  Red/Orange/Yellow
--------------+----------------------+-----------------------------------------
poops         |    12     48     60  |    60      0      0     0 / 0 / 0
Re: The Failed Grail

Nice idea, I've always been thinking about something like this. Though I'm not going to start with this right now, I might in the future. I'm already collecting high TC failed uniques, but I'm not yet in the stage where I check magic items and rares when their quality level isn't high enough to spawn as set or unique. In the meanwhile I'll hold on to these (and some others),

[highlight]Skull Song[/highlight]
Vortex Orb
One Hand Damage: 12 - 66
Durability: 120 of 120
Required Level: 63
Fingerprint: 0x34349e69
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Adds 11 - 35 Cold Damage Over 2 Secs (50 Frames)
+1 to Frozen Orb (Sorceress Only)
+17 to Energy
+50 to Mana
Half Freeze Duration

[highlight]Corpse Fringe [/highlight]
Colossus Girdle
Defense: 127
Durability: 72 of 72
Required Level: 67
Required Strength: 185
Fingerprint: 0x29a6bd39
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+77% Enhanced Defense
+33 to Life
Repairs 1 Durability in 33 Seconds
Re: The Failed Grail

DZJB said:
... but I'm not yet in the stage where I check magic items and rares when their quality level isn't high enough to spawn as set or unique...
Yeah, me neither. But I figured it made sense to include the info for anyone that might be that ambitious; hence the color-coding.
Re: The Failed Grail

The file I just downloaded didn't have the .xls (or .xlsx) file, in the archive...

Great idea, as it should definitely lead to more fun when questing and especially MF runs, although Green/Golds will be more rewarding :)
Re: The Failed Grail

Maybe it's been mentioned, I didn't read the whole thread, but could you at least upload an xls file? Those who use Open Office can read xls but not xlsx.
Re: The Failed Grail

SnickerSnack said:
Maybe it's been mentioned, I didn't read the whole thread, but could you at least upload an xls file? Those who use Open Office can read xls but not xlsx.
I've updated the main link, as the .xls file should work better with Google Docs too.

However, Excel did whine that there may be some formatting & display settings that didn't save properly in the new format. Other than background colors in cells and some hidden columns, there really shouldn't be a lot of formatting data, so I'm guessing that's just a generic warning message. Let me know if an obvious issue comes up from this, and I'll see if I can fix it in the template.

Rummski said:
The file I just downloaded didn't have the .xls (or .xlsx) file, in the archive...
??? Archive???

Rummski said:
Great idea, as it should definitely lead to more fun when questing and especially MF runs, although Green/Golds will be more rewarding :)

I'm rich enough now that I'm finding this pursuit more rewarding; it's made my Diablo runs at least feel fruitful, otherwise I'd only have a spare mediocre Vipermagi & Trang's Belt and a few pgems to show for the ~100 runs I've done so far. :p
Re: The Failed Grail
sirpoopsalot said:
I'm rich enough now that I'm finding this pursuit more rewarding; it's made my Diablo runs at least feel fruitful, otherwise I'd only have a spare mediocre Vipermagi & Trang's Belt and a few pgems to show for the ~100 runs I've done so far. :p
And besides, it's fun to collect 'holes' in your grail, even if the items you're collecting aren't uniques. This is what I'm starting to collect for high TCs, and poop's work will be very valuable if I intend to take this further 👍
Re: The Failed Grail

Even though I do collect the "failed elite uniques" grail, those triple-durability rare TC87's still hurt (so far I have Colossus Girdle, Vortex Shield, and Scissors Suwayyah - I actually have more failed TC87 uniques than actual TC87 uniques at this point in time :p)
Re: The Failed Grail

Nice idea, I'm all in favor of collecting things! Baal/Diablo/Meph drops are the easiest to spot the failures without being a durability expert, of course... I've already got a bunch of other grails underway (Ormus', staffmod, ethereal, Cathan's, +3 skill amulets, socketed elite items,...) but somehow I suspect I won't be able to resist this one forever...
Re: The Failed Grail

When I clicked the link the first time I got a .zip file...Maybe something with open office and win 7. I'll check it out now.

Although I did start collecting some of these yesterday during some Trav/Pindles.

Thanks for putting this together.

Edit - Must have been the .xlsx format, works great now as .xls - Thanks again!

Oh and nice Avatar...I think
Re: The Failed Grail

purplelocust said:
Baal/Diablo/Meph drops are the easiest to spot the failures without being a durability expert, of course...
I'm finding it easier than I expected. I'd estimate about 85% of the items in the game have between 20 & 50 durability, and assassin claws and polearms cover about half of the exceptions to that. So you can often tell at a glance, especially with uniques.

There definitely are a few exceptions that are tough to remember though (I've been burned by 72 durability rare Morningstars enough times that I think I'll now remember 72 (not 24) is their base durability :D).


I just started questing a new character last night and I'm surprised at how many of these that I've found so far. 9 total through the first 2 acts, and that's with no MF and only 2 coming from Andariel. I'd guess that's 4-5 more than the actual S/U items I've found

But the best part is that low-level drops are actually (a little) interesting again. When was the last time a rare Large Axe dropped in Act1 for you and you thought "oooh, I wonder if it's something I want..." and it actually was? :p

Eagle Reaver
Large Axe
Two-Hand Damage: 8 to 15
Durability: 63 of 90
Required Strength: 35
Required Level: 3
Axe Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 7
Fingerprint: 0x5adaa6e7
+14% Enhanced Damage
+10 to Attack Rating
+2 to Minimum Damage
+1 to Maximum Damage
Adds 1-7 lightning damage
Re: The Failed Grail

You can't beat this rare helm I got off an Armor Stand in Nihi's Halls of Vaught :crazyeyes:

Doom Brow
Avenger Guard
Defense: 68
Durability: 165 of 165
(Barbarian Only)
Required Strength: 65
Required Level: 21
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 63
Fingerprint: 0x7a3e4de3
+26 to Life
+35% Enhanced Defense
Poison Resist +13%
+1 to Battle Cry (Barbarian Only)
+1 to Spear Mastery (Barbarian Only)
+1 to Warcry Skills (Barbarian Only)
12% Chance to cast Level 4 Nova when struck
Re: The Failed Grail

krizalllid said:
You can't beat this rare helm I got off an Armor Stand in Nihi's Halls of Vaught :crazyeyes:
Actually, I think I just did. ;)

The odds for a rack dropping a unique are 1:1000 or 1:2000 (I can't remember which, but they're not that low). On the other hand, the odds for finding the same "unique" Partizan twice from the same monster (within the same game) are going to be much, much lower.

FYI, both "unique" Partizan's dropped from Hell Andariel at the same time. This was the one that I kept:

Code:
Brimstone Bite
Partizan
Two-Hand Damage: 41 to 90
[B]Durability: 183 of 195[/B]
Required Dexterity: 67
Required Strength: 113
Required Level: 23
Polearm Class - Normal Attack Speed
Unidentified
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
[B]Item Level: 75[/B] 
Fingerprint: 0xa34faa27
+21% Enhanced Damage
+27 to Attack Rating
Poison Resist +8%
10% Increased Attack Speed

The fact that the item level is higher than the quality level of the 'regular'
unique Partizan (Pierre Tombale Couant) proves that this was the 2nd
"unique" Partizan to drop within the same game.

You'll need to take my word for it that the first also came from Hell Andy ;)
I'm still hoping to pull this trick with an Unearthed Wand at Hell Baal someday. :D
Re: The Failed Grail

Results Table:

Code:
                   #'s Found                  Color Breakdown:
Player        | Uniques  Sets  Total |  Green   Blue  Purple  Red/Orange/Yellow
--------------+----------------------+-----------------------------------------
poops         |    43    106    149  |   134      4      0      2 / 5 / 4


I've updated and uploaded a new template file incorporating any previous changes/fixes/additions - if anyone has already downloaded the original and started storing their info, it would probably be easier to re-download and repopulate the new template manually than to manually incorporate all of the fixes & additions to the old file. Sorry for any inconvenience around this.
 
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