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Blizzcon Interview Exclusive: Big Magic Find Nerfs Coming in Reaper of Souls

Posted 13 Nov 2013 by

Here’s a second excerpt/tease from our exclusive Blizzcon 2013 interview with Jason Regier and Travis Day. The full interview and transcript will be posted later today. For my last question I asked about DiabloWikiMagic Find and the big changes it’s getting in Reaper of Souls and the new DiabloWikiParagon 2.0 system. Players have spent months wondering about the apparent removal of the current passive Paragon level bonuses to Magic Find and DiabloWikiGold Find, and the relatively minor role that Magic Find appears to play in the new Paragon Points system. (MF is in the Adventure Tab, and as of the Blizzcon demo, each paragon point would add 2% Magic Find, for a maximum bonus of +100% Magic Find.)

The devs replied to my question with a definitive and fairly surprising answer. There are big magic find nerfs coming in Reaper of Souls, and they don’t mean nerfs to the numbers, they mean nerfs to the value of the property on the whole.

Here’s the full quote.

Flux: Okay, Magic Find and Gold Find via Paragon Points. One of the things you guys said when you were first adding in the Paragon Levels was that you didn’t want Magic Find to be an essential property on equipment, so you were going to give it via passive bonuses. That philosophy appears to be completely gone in the new Paragon system. You can add Magic Find, but it’s in the tab competing with what… Movement Speed, Pickup Radius, and Resource regen, I think? And most of my chars would like all three of those more than Magic Find. So is Magic Find going to become more important on gear? Are you switching how it works on gear?

Travis Day: Actually, we’ve made some changes to how Magic Find works in the game. One of the biggest things we did with that… for example if I have 100% Magic Find from my gear, the cap today is 400%. Or is it 300%?

Flux: It’s 300% from gear and you can add more from…

Travis: *laughing* A year and a half working on the expansion, and I don’t even remember….

So basically Magic Find will provide less and less of a return the higher the quality of the item is. [He means the item being dropped and affected by your character’s Magic Find.]

So you actually only get 10% of your Magic Find applies to the legendary. So, since it isn’t that impactful a stat anymore, we didn’t feel like we needed all the restrictions we had on it. And we no longer needed to automatically just give it to everyone. Like we can’t have two people with like, five times different reward schedule, like on top of your character efficiency and the skills and how familiar you are with the game… we wanted to really diminish that gap. [The gap between the haves with amazing equipment, and the have-nots.]

As a result we’ve made some changes to Magic Find, and we took it out of Paragon since it’s no longer as mandatory as it used to be.

MF Diminishing Returns in D2.

MF Diminishing Returns in D2.

This is a huge nerf to the importance and value of Magic Find, but it’s not an entirely new approach to the modifier. Magic Find in D2X had diminishing returns where your character’s full value of MF applied to finding Blues, but progressively less and less of it worked for higher quality items. That decrease scaled with your total MF though, and even with 1000% MF you still got 200% of that applied to finding Uniques.

I didn’t argue the issue during the interview, but reading it now I disagree with this approach and think it’s the third (and perhaps final) way they’ve screwed up Magic Find in Diablo III. Click through for more debate on that, but first, the vote:


Your opinion on the planned reduction of Magic Find importance in RoS?

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The three (so far) stages of Magic Find in Diablo 3:

  1. MF was a mess at D3V’s launch since it was just another stat on items, appearing randomly on almost all item types with the same potential max value. The lack of specialized MF legendaries and sets (where you would have given up other valuable stats to gain big MF) compounded the failure.

  2. The DiabloWikiParagon system swung the system to the other extreme by giving every character maximum MF once they grinded their way to a high enough level. This retained value for MF, but made it impossible to raise high enough to really help with Legendary finding (+300%) without grinding to high levels, and then gave high level characters maximum MF without them making any effort or equipment sacrifice to obtain it, making the rich richer.
  3. The coming RoS change swings back in the other direction by nerfing the bonus of MF for Legendaries (which is all anyone really wants MF for) almost to nothing. MF is further reduced in importance by the general drop rate buffs of Loot 2.0, and it seems likely to be the least-important bonus in the Adventure Tab.

The ideal purpose of Magic Find seems quite simple to me, and I remain puzzled why it’s never yet been properly utilized in Diablo 3. As I see it, Magic Find is a bonus on items that players can choose if they want to improve their chances of finding great gear, at the cost of other affixes that would boost their killing speed and/or survival. It’s a way to customize your play experience and style, and is optional. It should provide better odds of finding better gear; not so good that you’re guaranteed, or that high MF feels mandatory to make a profit (that’s how D3V works today, for most players), but if you pursue it you should be rewarded for your efforts.

So the whole issue is balancing the reward. Adding MF gear should be something of a sacrifice of DPS/Toughness, and the challenge is to balance the gains players get from MF with the cost of enabling it. And the coolest thing is the possibility of items like DiabloWikiWealth or DiabloWikiChance Guards or DiabloWikiGoldwrap, where players can choose to use gear that’s intentionally much worse (for killing and survival) in order to raise their MF. That’s fun, that’s a trade off, and that’s exactly how the item game is supposed to work in Diablo. It’s boring if everyone just tries to get the best DPS/Toughness, and it’s boring if everyone finds the same quality of items, whether because MF does nothing, or because it does everything.

Boring was Magic Find phase one in D3V, Everything was phase two, and Nothing is coming in phase three. Will we ever see a phase four and Something? Not crossing my fingers…