Should “which to pick up” be a real decision?
During Diablo 3’s development the designers spoke about wanting end game characters to wear a variety of qualities of gear, with legendary, crafted, and rare items roughly comparable as the best gear. That aspiration was realized upon release, at least in terms of legendary and rare items (crafted legs and rares were junk, until v1.07 and later patches) and while Rares declined in use as better and better legendary items were found, most players had some Rares (most commonly weapons and jewelry) mixed in with their Legendary items all through Diablo 3 vanilla.
That balance was mostly ended when Diablo 3 version 2 debuted shortly before Reaper of Souls was released, and RoS and the subsequent patches have continued the trend. At this point few characters (past level 70) are wearing any rares, and if they do have Yellows in some slots, it’s just until they find a decent Orange or Green item.
It’s an obvious choice in most cases: many legendary items have special Legendary Affixes, some of them roll with 5 primary affixes, and even without those, all legs roll with at least 4/2, and they have potentially higher numbers to almost every affix. As a result, most characters in the Reaper of Souls end game have legendary items in every slot, whether found or crafted.
That’s “most,” not “all,” as some iconoclasts discuss in this Still Using Rares? thread in our Diablo 3 community forum:
I played quite a few hours (Paragon 388) and have no seasonal character. One rare I am still using is on my WD, I probably could replace it with a legendary but this damn ring is pretty good. Mods are : 392 Intelligence, 6% IAS, 49% CHD, 5.5% CHC.
I also use rare jewelry long after I’ve replaced everything else with legendaries. Usually the progression goes like this for me:
All rares (normal-T1)
Some legendaries (T1-T2)
All legendaries (T3+)
Other players pointed out the economic incentive to use Rares, especially after Patch 2.1 introduced Legendary Gems and made sockets in jewelry such a sought after feature. And an expensive one to obtain, as many a player has burned tens of millions gold and countless gems and Souls trying to get a socket in their ring, or worse, amulet… which is where Rares can come in, since the enchanting costs are a fraction of the gold cost of legendary items, with no gem or soul cost.
That’s why some players are still using Rares… but what about the larger issue? Should Rares be viable, or at least more viable for the end game? Given the changes made to items in D3v2 and Patch 2.1, The D3 devs clearly intended Legendary items to be supreme. Which is fun when you’re first gearing up and almost every leg is an upgrade over the rares you have on… but once you’re well-geared, yellow items become trash, especially since the recent hotfix boosted the drop rate of Veiled Crystals so that it’s no longer necessary to pick up/salvage Rares for the material.
Some players like it like that, but others wish that Rares still had a chance. That conscientious players who like to sift through everything could occasionally find a yellow item that was as good or better than most Legendaries. It wouldn’t be hard to create, either. Legendary items could remain the best in 99% of cases, but imagine if Rares could roll up to 5/2 or 5/1 for affixes, or maybe even flashback to D3v and fully-randomize Rares, with potentially 6 affixes and no hard cap on how many can be primary or secondary.
This would be most impactful with jewelry, but armor could benefit as well. Imagine a legs or a chest piece with mainstat, vitality, armor, res all, sockets, and +skill damage? The numbers would all be smaller so even with a perfect roll most players would probably stick their six-piece class set… but not everyone is wearing a six-piece Set, and most players want more potential gear variety.
Personally, I’m not sure I’d adapt to this. At this point I’m so accustomed to not picking up rares, and insta-salvaging the ones that do find their way into my inventory, that it would be a big change. But every time I gamble 20 or 25 shoulders or bracers or belts and get 15 or 20 rares… I wonder what it would be like to have a reason to eyeball them, and imagine what I’d do when that 1/10,000 rare rolled 5 or 6 ideal primary affixes.
What do you guys think? Whether you favor boosting Rares by increasing their potential primary affixes or some other change… would you like to see Rares with some potential to be comparable to the best legendary items? Would it boost gear variety and play options? Or just annoy you by making you feel compelled to sort through the yellow junk heaps again? Should Rares be End Game Viable in Diablo 3?
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