[RTC] Rarity

Last modified 5. November 2014, 00:32 | Page exists since 2. March 2013, 13:48

Rarity is subjective.

The Rare Trading Center’s rare list is not any more an objective list of rarity than any other. We know this, which is why we welcome correspondence about it – and why we conversely don’t consider our list particularly horrible, either.

We try to keep the first post up to date with our best guess as to community accepted rarity, but especially owing to the huge amount of species on Dragon Cave and the occasionally unpredictable effects of rarity, this is a difficult task to master.

What is rarity?

Rarity is if a dragon species is difficult to produce.

This is not the same thing as a species being coveted, though the overlap is strong because of the effects of ratios. It is quite possible for a species to be rare but not coveted at all (a rut vampires were in for a long time). We do consider species like that rare, and they can be offered in our thread.

What mechanics do you acknowledge as making a dragon rare?

There are three separate factors that factor into species rarity:

  1. Low inherent ratio: The species is coded to be rarer than others. As far as we’re aware, this applies only to metallics (Gold, Silver, Prize-dragon species).
  2. How much a species is bred: The species is bred a lot, either because it is coveted or because it has a breed-only alt-form (as with blacks and stripes). While this has a limited effect (or no direct effect) on cave drops nowaways, it can result in the species being rarer; it will definitely cause breeding success to drop and it drives up demand for CBs because people want lineage starters.
  3. How quickly a species is picked up: The species might be just as common as a common, but it’s picked up much quicker than the common owing to that it is coveted and so people do not see it in the cave as much as commons.

How do you determine rarity?

The two sources for rarity information for the Rare Trading Center staff are the Trading section on the Dragon Cave forum (as well as Site Discussion for extra evidence on wonky ratio observations) and the cave drops themselves. Since some of the Rare Trading Center staff manage to miss most drops, the Trading section is usually a better hint – specifically what people are asking for, though it certainly also helps to see what people are offering.

When do you determine rarity? What about temporary surges in abundance?

Any change in rarity that lasts little longer than a month or two is mostly ignored by the Rare Trading Center, since as much as it’s true that rarity changes on shorter notice, we do also want to have a certain stability to the rare list, as not to unnecessarily confuse people.

Note that even with that cut-off, sometimes species to-and-fro, which is a little frustrating. Some species lie just on the edge of ‘rarity’ (e.g. CB vines for the years prior to 2013), and if you as much as cough at them, they’d fall off the list for a few months and then be right back on it – we try to keep cases like that off the list, again for the sake of stability.

Terminology and cut-off

Term Can be offered?
Caveblocker No
This is the stuff that just really does not want to go away in the drops, more or less unless someone feels generous and picks one up. In consequence, they are trivial to get as CBs and they are trivial to breed.
Common No
This is the stuff that you can easily find in the cave at any drop, but doesn’t qualify as a blocker.
Lesscommon No
This is the stuff you might miss in one drop but are still easy to get over two drops if you’re attentive. They are not snatched up quickly; but they do drop less.
Uncommon As CB only
This is the inverse to the lesscommon – they drop reasonably frequently, but they are snatched up very quickly (as quickly as a true rare is in the respective same biome) on a consistent basis.
Rare Yes 1
Everything not covered above or below.
Dragons made of unobtainium Yes
The stuff no one seems to be able to get, except for top tier players. CB metallics, ND, low-gen Tinsels, (low-gen) Shimmers, and occasionally bizarrely acting species having a phase of unobtainium, like CB Blusangs once did…

1 sometimes with a generation restriction, depending on their placement within the tier

Neike Taika-Tessaro