The thing is that skull drops very few dead bows, compared to other drops (such as sephis axes). I've got a crapload of sephis axes (highes I got was 5-11dmg at 7g unid) and only a handful of dead bows.
lvl 1 warriors drop martial weapons and shields. If a shield is to drop, they will always drop what is displayed on them. They will not always drop the same displayed weapon, even if it is a sephis axe. They do not drop caster gear. lvl 3 raging cadavers drop necro wands/staves/foci, martial weapons and shields. If an offhand is to drop, they will always drop that displayed offhand. lvl 5 skullreaver drops martial weapons and shields. He is very likely to drop displayed mainhand and will drop the displayed offhand if it rolls as a drop. all undead in the catacombs have a fair chance to drop dead bows and sephis axe.
is there a correlation between unid gold value and ided gold value? like any patterns of note? always wondered if anyone knew or ever thought about it
Simply IDing an item adds better merchant value. And obviously IDing items with modifiers will add better merchant value in general. So to see it at its base we want to see what it is unidentified.
I am not positive but I think the reason base merchant value is relevant is people believe that monster drops are either based on that or happen stance the merchant values reveal those thresholds.
Its likely anet has drop tables for categories of monsters so they can easily assign any level of foe a table. Its likely anet has some formula to assign a tier of gear ( weapon damage, energy, armor rating and other stuff) for any given foe level. This is because when you create a game with thousands of foes you want an easy way to assign each one drops without having to sit there and assign each individual one their drops.
A crude way to do that could be,
Skeleton Martial Weapon Drops: * Common Sword Drop (a drop table inside a drop table) * Common Hammer Drop (same) * Common Shield Drop (same) * Skeleton Trophy (a drop table for x lvl relevant trophies) * Skeleton Crafting Material Drop ( a table to give material drops based on level) * Sephis Axe ( notice how the skeletons don't drop any other axe skin?) * Dead Bow ( notice how the skeletons don't drop any other bow skin?)
A not so fancy formula to calculate potential drop based on merchant value: (X foe level) * 2 = Mechant Value
Merchant Value Table for example 10g value (random made up numbers): * Bow: 7-10 damage to 8-12 damage * Axe: 4-8 damage to 5-11 damage
Blahblahblah and so on.
The reason its likely Anet used drop tables is because some of them were ex-blizzard employees who just so happened to have worked on Diablo 2 which has extensive drop tables to determine what foe could drop what.
tl;dr the merchant value is either the determiner of what a monster can drop or it is the fortunate byproduct of what a monster can drop and is a way for us to observe thresholds of a monster's gear drops.