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Great Lakes has a couple of non dropping EM events every month. Oddly the ones with drops are packed with folks. The real answer might be to make these event drops shard only which would take away much of incentive for people to hit as many shards as possible.
Yes, there are non-drop EM events. They exist, And yes people attend them. So I guess the answer is 'yes, EMs seemingly can have non-drop events.'The people who really like the items though seem to be good at guessing the pattern. Having said that sometimes there are drops at unpredictable moments and I always kinda giggle when there's a less-populated event, outside the normal "item drop" pattern, and suddenly that one becomes the drop night.
Can EMs run events without drops? Would you attend your shards events without hope of a drop ?
So for the EM Events, it can do this:1) All participants who do not get a rare drop will get a "Token of Appreciation" for murdering the bad boss. (instant gratification)2) After collecting say 10 or 20 tokens, we can get to exchange or ballot for:a) selected, previous EM event reward from the same shard, orb) selected previous dynamic event reward, orc) new EM rewards, that are only available by exchanging EM appreciation tokens.