8/4/2014 4:57:43 PM PermalinkLoot is purely individual. It only drops for you. Your allies can't see it, and you can't see theirs. When you pick up and engram you can see what type it is based off its picture, ie. helmet, gloves, chest, weapon, etc. Furthermore you can view the engram in your inventory with other items of the same type: helmet engram will be in your inventory with all of your helmets. From my experience I only saw engrams drop in world and from the cryptarch. Chests and crucible match rewards come identified already and so are not technically engrams. Cryptarch rank, as far as I know, may change what engrams are available for purchase (I'm not sure on this) but every few ranks he will send you an engram and some glimmer. People have acquired rare and legendary engrams this way.
I'd love to see a comprehensive explanation of the game mechanics of "loot." Here're some specific observations/questions: 1. Engrams are spawned in 4 (+/-) ways: 1. Upon killing a baddie -- The badness (lvl) of the baddie does not seem to effect the goodness of the loot. What does? Is loot quality totally random? 2. At end of Crucible matches -- The quality of play (points, ranking, or KDR) does not seem to effect the quality of loot. Also random? 3. Occasionally in chests(?) -- I'm pretty sure I've gotten engrams from chests. Sometimes for doing nothing, just found a chest sitting around. This is dumb. Really devalues the reward when you get it without risk. 4. At the Cryptarch -- Is there any relationship between a Guardian's Cryptarch level and the level of loot available? 2. Engrams are visible on the ground after killing baddies. Does every Guardian see the Engram/see the [b]same[/b] Engram? 1. Do randoms who happen by after you kill a baddie see the Engram? 2. Does everyone who did damage to the baddie see the Engram? 3. Does the entire fire team see the Engram? 3. When picking up an Engram, the type/quality of the loot is not known until the Engram is decoded by the Cryptarch. Questions: 1. Is the exact item determined at the time the Engram is [i]spawned[/i], or when it is [i]decoded[/i]? 2. Is the general type and quality of the loot determined on spawn or upon decoding? 3. If it is determined on spawn, then what's the point of the Cryptarch? Why not just drop the item instead of the Engram? Is it just to allow different Guardians to receive different loot? If so, then why not just decrypt upon pickup instead of going to the Cryptarch? That's enuf for now. Hopefully some of the answers are already out there.