Based on my admittedly limited data (but wow, check out Dangruf Wadi!), what was reported at the Alla site and FFXIclopedia entry (both links in Doctor Status), and the below notes, I have become convinced that each Strange Apparatus is more likely to give a certain type of Rune weapon. Notice how there are eight of them? And eight elements? And eight Strange Apparati? And... oh, there's twelve moon phases in the original Japanese client, before they switched to mere precentages for the rest of us. Well, ah... just hear me out. It may be wishful thinking, but it's my wishful thinking.
Besides, there are a total of twelve rune drops. But you can judge moon phase results on your own by looking at this blog.
So anyway, based on what I've seen so far, while you can get any rune weapon from any Strange Apparatus, you're more likely to get:
Dangruf Wadi: Rune Baghnakhs (Rune Axe, Rune Chopper, and Rune Halberd also reported)
Gusgen Mines: Rune Chopper (Rune Axe, Rune Baghnakhs, and Rune Bow also reported)
Crawler's Nest: Rune Axe (Rune Bow, Rune Blade, and Rune Chopper also reported)
Ordelle's Caves: Rune Bow (Rune Blade and Rune Halberd also reported)
The Eldieme Necropolis: Rune Blade (Rune Staff and Rune Halberd also reported)
Outer Horutoto Ruins: Rune Halberd (Rune Rod, Rune Staff, and Rune Bow also reported)
Garlaige Citadel: No Data (Rune Staff and Rune Rod according to FFXIclopedia table)
Maze of Shakhrami: Rune Rod (Rune Chopper and Rune Baghnakhs also reported)
Overall, what I've noticed is that you've got the Rune Axe at three apparati in a row, the Rune Baghnakhs at three apparati in a row, the Rune Blade at three apparati in a row, the Rune Bow at four apparati (three of which are in a row), the Rune Chopper at four apparati in a row, the Rune Halberd at four apparati (three of which are in a row), the Rune Rod at three apparati in a row, the Rune Staff at three apparati in a row and two to four known weapon results at each apparatus.
To me, this says that there are, in fact, four weapon results at each apparatus that you're likely to get (although there's one that's the most common, two more that are less common, and a fourth that you're not very likely to get, and then maybe, maybe a snowball's chance in hell of getting any other rune weapon result) at that particular apparatus.
I think that each rune result is possible at a maximum of four different apparati. We'll need to find one more Rune Axe, one more Rune Baghnakhs, one more Rune Blade, one more Rune Rod, and one more Rune Staff, which is a total of five more slots; notice how there are only five more spaces (if the maximum of four likely results at each apparatus part of my theory is true).
I think that the weapons that you're likely to get are not solely influenced by their position on the list (example: Maze having Dangruf's most likely result, Rune Baghnakhs, as a possibility because the Maze comes right before Dangruf) but also have something to do with their elemental relationships.
Frankly, though, I'm at a loss when it comes to elemental relationships, elemental attributes of weapon skills/magic burst, etc... as a White Mage, I never had to learn any of that. I've looked at the elemental relationship table and compass (for crafting) and while I see definite patterns, there's always an exception to the rule (turning that potential rule into seemingly nothing more than a coincidence).
As you'll note, this list gives absolutely no way to get the specified result, unfortunately! I'd like to further postulate that you're more likely to get a rune weapon result on the matching day, the day to which the apparatus' element is weak, and the day to which the element is strong. So far, though data is limited, we've been more likely to get rune weapons on Lightsday and Darksday at the Maze (associated element: Dark).
About lunar results: I think having a moon close to 50% gives you a 50/50 chance of absolutely any result, from cermet chunks to rune weapons. I think Full and New moons have an obvious influence as well but I'm not sure what it is.
Doctor Ortega's results (see below) are intriguing. Over approx. 200 runs, he's observed each to have four Rune weapon results (including Arrows), which adds up to 3 when you take away the Arrows and that's exactly what I understand from the above table (one common result unique to each Apparatus with two follow ups). Furthermore, he gives Rune Rod at the Maze as an example of each Apparatus having their own "unique" weapon. If only he'd commented further, we might've unlocked what I believe to be the most common result from each Apparatus.
Based on a conversation with Doctor Indigla, who makes regular runs to Gusgen Mines, she has recieved many Rune Choppers, Rune Axes, and Rune Baghnakhs, which holds with my theory of getting the result above it and the one below it. No other weapons reported by her, so I'd suggest not going to Gusgen unless you want one of the three aforementioned weapons.
I can say that the Crawler's Nest Rune Blade result comes from the same source that also listed a "TON" of Rune Axes & Bows at Crawler's Nest (Tatsuko). I've found two more Rune Blade results (Tatsuko's wasn't added because of a lack of Moon Phase), more strongly suggesting that Rune Blade is the common result of Ordelle's (by virtue of the fact that Crawler's is right above Ordelle's in list, which is based on their Codes).
What I know is that it's been said for at least a couple of years now to some that you can get any result (except specific elemental clusters) from any Apparatus. From what I've seen, however, some are not reported at certain machines.
But don't despair, as I'm sure there's some underlying mechanism that determines what you get -- or, at the very least, what you don't get. I don't think it's completely random and, hopefully, with time, we can uncover some patterns.
It's also been speculated that something special may happen if you set your password for all eight apparati.
Response 1: According to FFXIclopedia, engaging Doctor Status at one Apparatus will remove it from the previous one. Even so, I plan on activating all eight, starting with Dangruf Wadi and ending with the Maze and seeing what happens.
Response 2: Doctor Rustymetal from Bismarck (my server) wrote Sep 4 2005, 01:29 AM in the Killing Ifrit topic "Doctor status only gives you 100% no clusters. Also have tried going to each app. and putting password in, still gave same results in items. Also tried putting the password in elemental day order. Still no change." This would seem to confirm that there's nothing special about putting in your password for all eight apparati.
Notes from Doctor Svak on Aug. 15, 2006:
The Rune Chopper is by far the most common in the Gusgen Mines, but I've also gotten a few Rune Axes, and one Rune Bow. Also I came up with some Rune Arrows and Bangles, but those seem possible for every apparatus. Also, a note about the elemental day, I will soon be recording my data, but the trend seems to be that "common" items come most on the MATCHING elemental day (Earth = Earths day, Fire = Fires day, etc.) where as the day the element is WEAK (Earth < Wind, Fire < Water, etc.) seems to bring a combonation of Rune Weapons and Common Items, about equal. The STRONG elemental day (Earth > Thunder, Fire > Ice, etc.) appears to bring mostly the items in a sort of half-way area, Arrows, Flowerpots, and Bangles.
Notes from Doctor Ortega on Aug. 7, 2006
-The drops off the aparatus's are completely random
-Aalthough some aparatus's have their own unique rune weapon, example a rune rod can be found in maze of shakrami aparatus
-but all of them drop at least 4 different rune weapons including rune arrows
-I have noticed different rates of drops depending on the element day and color chip you use, not affected by the moon phase.
-I seem to get more rune equipment if i trade the chip on same element (Like a red chip, in dangruf wadi, on firesday) and more flowerpots, cermet chunks, adaman nuggets on days that are strong or weak against the element of cooresponding chip.
-Timeframe: Observed over approximately 200 runs
Notes from Doctor Precedia on Mar. 14, 2006:
All based on the Crawler's Nest one:
-When we first started using the device we frequently received rune arrows, with the more rare adaman nuggets/chunks/flower pot.
-When we got the the *middle stage* (unknown how many cores) we received only chunks, adaman nugets and occasional flowerpot.
-Where we are now: the majority of all drops are rune weapons, not arrows.
-While I never kept track of how many we each tradded, we always do this together, we wait until we both have the same number of cores to trade, and these results occured for both of us at the exact same time. All cores/chips were used in CN and passwords were used before all trades.
-Timeframe: we have been doing this since early november, and trade approximetly 1 core/chip per week, each
Notes from Doctor thatdamnelf on Jan. 24, 2006:
All this time, we (my LS) thought chip was supposed to match day and device, not just device. Lol. We always traded on firesday because of this. I think moonphase determine drop% odds of the items, we get far more adaman nuggets and rune weapons on full moon 95% or higher. Tend to get junk when in the low teens waxing or waning.
Further Notes from Doctor thatdamnelf on Dec. 4, 2006:
-More dark element (darksday, new moon), better chance of arcane pot.
-More light element, (lightsday, full moon), or more element of the aperatus is weaker/stronger (watersday, firesday, iceday @ Dangruf wadi, which is fire element) better chance of a rune weapon of some kind.
-Other element may infuelnce odds on specific rune weapon, such as rune arrows on windsday (not that those are in any way rare for me >.<).
Notes from Doctor Aldante on Apr. 10, 2005:
Applies to the Dangruf Wadi Apparatus:
-If you Dare, try this:
-I have a little belief that trading around 30-40% moon phase on watersday give u higher chances of getting Arcane pot. But i am yet to try it out, if you are willing to try this also please do so and report your results, i will do the same, the more data we get the better my analysis can be.
Notes from Doctor criminalz on Mar. 15, 2005:
well i tested out dangruff wadi last night on fire day with 9 red chips and 9 infinity cores.
1. 8 cermet chunks ---> 5k each
2. fire cluster ----> not worth the 21k chip
3. fire cluster ----> not worth the 21k chip
4. 6 rune arrows ----> 1.2k to NPC
5. adaman nuggets ---> 31k each
6. 8 cermet chunks ---> 5k each
7. fire cluster ----> not worth the 21k chip
8. fire cluster ----> not worth the 21k chip
9. 8 cermet chunks ---> 5k each
Althaia's Note: I've included criminalz's notes because it's just one of a few different examples I've seen of trading on the Apparatus' associated elemental day yielding common results.
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