When traveling through Tamriel, you can’t help but notice many players with shiny Maelstrom weapons. And those weapons are indeed amazing.
If you started playing and/or running Veteran Maelstrom Arena after Dark Brotherhood launch, there is something you should know: From the launch of Orsinium to the launch of Dark Brotherhood, there were only 3 traits in vMA: Sharpened, Precise, Defending. Another factor was that before Thieves Guild there was no round saving option for vMA, so less people were able to practice the tougher rounds. As a result, the leaderboard was relatively empty and required significantly less skill to get on it. While there was indeed a significantly worse drop chance in the last chest, which didn’t guarantee a vMA weapon as it does today, if you would get a weapon, it was Sharpened, Precise or Defending. Two of these traits (Sharpened and Precise) can be considered the best traits for any weapon (Precise > Defending > Sharpened for a Restoration Staff).
So if you ask yourself how those people got their Sharpened Infernos, there is an easy answer: They all ran it before DB (and before TG)!
With DB, ZOS nuked the loot tables by polluting them with many undesirable traits, making it nearly impossible (even in 1000+ runs) to get the weapon of your desire. This was “fixed” now by guaranteeing a vMA weapon after every run. However, the undesirable traits are still there.
Let me give you a numbers perspective:
After Orsinium, I ran the arena exactly 200 times with leaderboard rewards every week and, even though the traits of what I got were good (greatswords, daggers, 1h swords, maces; everything I don’t need), I never got a single of the four weapons I wanted: Sharpened Inferno, Sharpened Maul, Sharpened Bow, Precise Resto.
With DB launch, I ran vMA once, and got a ring in the end, which is what made me quit the game and transfer part of my guild to Black Desert. When I heard the news of ZOS increasing the weapon drop chance in the last chest to 100%, I decided to give ESO another try.
I ran vMA another 50 times, making it 251 runs in total. I still don’t have a single Inferno Staff, I did get, however, a Precise Resto Staff (a Powered one would’ve been even better, but I consider both perfectly viable). It’s nice to have, but as a DD, I will rarely use it. I still don’t have a Sharpened Maul or a Sharpened Bow.
I ran the arena 251 times (~200 flawless runs) since its launch and because of that, I had way better drop chances than you will ever have with these polluted loot tables. By now, I know at least 6 players that haven’t gotten their desired weapon after 1000+ runs. According to current drop chances, every fifth of you will NOT have his desired weapon after 1000 runs!
I’m done with the arena. I am not going in there again. Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to run it another 200 times for a Sharpened Inferno Staff, but I am not ready to run it another 200 times and not get my weapon. I need a guarantee because I am not a masochist, and you shouldn’t be, either, unless you really enjoy it. We need a token system.