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Ask the Devs #2: Diablo 3 Itemization

Posted 20 March 2013by Elly

The Secound round of “Ask the Devs” question and answer session has been posted, well part one at least. It seems the Itemization round is going to be split into multiple parts which will be posted over the coming weeks. It’s no surprise considering Items is the area most of the community have concerns about.

The answers were supplied by Wyatt Cheng, Senior Technical Game Designer, Travis Day, Game Designer and Don Vu, Associate Game Designer. That’s a new name to me.

Q. Will all legendaries found on Inferno roll level 63 base stat values (armor and dps values) and level 63 “non-base” (affixes) stat values?

Travis: Yes, our plan is to handle DiabloWikiLegendary items in a similar fashion to how we handle Rare items. Legendary items will roll at a level equal to the creature that dropped it. This means that, in addition to a Legendary’s stats rolling at the monster level, the base item stats will also roll at the monster’s level. Right now, Rares don’t work this way. Instead, their affixes roll at the level of the monster, but their base armor and weapon damage remain unchanged.

Q. “Love Leoric’s Signet, but hate wearing a level 17 ring? Me too. Instead of farming Act II Normal to find a Leoric’s Signet, let’s go farm Inferno and get a level 63 version of the ring!

Does this mean that every set and legendary item will have a chance of dropping in Inferno?

Travis: Yes, Legendary and Set items will be valid drops from monsters at whatever point in the level range they are first introduced.

I have seen some people speculate over whether or not this means the experience bonus on Leoric’s Signet will increase, and the answer to that specific question is “yes,” but how each bonus on a Legendary or Set items scales will ultimately depend on the bonus itself. Some bonuses (such as the +EXP bonus on Leoric’s Signet) scale equally well from level 1 to level 60. On the other hand, some bonuses like procs that generate pets, or procs that deal damage effects, don’t always scale well as you get to the higher levels, but those will be changed wherever possible to scale with the level that they drop at.

Ultimately, we want to make sure the things that make Legendary and set items interesting continue to make them interesting at the end game, and in some cases they already do, so we just need to fix the other stats on the item.

diablo3_mysticQ. Will there be any way for the players to have some control over the item stats. Such as implementing the DiabloWikiMystic?

Don: Giving players more control and customization of their item stats is something we talk about a lot in our office. There have been a lot of ideas thrown around here and some great suggestions from the community, but we have not finalized any systems yet.

To give you an idea of what direction we’re heading toward, though, here are just a few ideas that we’re considering right now:

  • The ability to change a portion of a particular stat on an item to another stat of your choice.
  • The ability to augment an existing item with a stat bonus of your choice.
  • The ability to create an item with one or several fixed affixes—similar to the Rare recipes introduced in 1.0.7.
  • We’ve also discussed adding other types of “socketables” with a wide variety of possible affixes that you can put in your socketed items instead of gems.

All of these systems have their positives and negatives, so we want to make sure we make the right choice and consider all other changes we plan on making before deciding which systems we want to implement.

As far as the Mystic goes, she’s a cunning lady. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her.

Q. Where is my add socket?

Wyatt: When the game was in development, we actually the DiabloWikiBlacksmith had the ability to add a DiabloWikisocket to an item. Adding a socket makes the item better, so you pretty much always wanted to do it, and we found adding the socket felt like a small chore that didn’t actually increase the gameplay depth. You already need to insert gems to a socketed item, and felt having to add a socket as well would be a step too many.

With that in mind, there are still some gameplay benefits to adding a socket that we’d still like to capture. Although having to add a socket every time can feel like a chore, if there was a mechanic that made it a legitimate decision, that is something we could explore. Additionally, there’s something to be said for feeling more invested in an item—taking steps to improve an item increases your emotional bond with that it, which is something we could definitely do better at.

So, to answer your question, it’s something that’s definitely on the table for the future, but it likely won’t be identical to the system that was in Diablo II or the early iterations of Diablo III.

Q. Will there be new craft-able items added in the future? I’m thinking weapons and/or legendary items…

Wyatt: It’s hard to say for sure, but I don’t see any reason why not. As we revisit items in general, we’ll be looking at how crafting fits into the big picture, and it’s certainly possible that we’ll add more recipes at that time.

Q. So you have a plan to reduce the number of dropping items but increasing their quality. This will result in a smaller amount of items that can be salvaged into crafting materials for the DiabloWikiBlacksmith, With this in mind – do you plan to balance the amount of crafting materials gained from DiabloWikisalvaging against the material requirements of blacksmith’s formulas?

Don: Yes, we plan to take all of our future changes into consideration when balancing the amount of reagents needed for DiabloWikicrafting recipes. We haven’t decided on a number to reduce the number of drops by yet, so we can’t go into specifics on how or if existing and future crafting recipes are going to change.

Along those same lines, we’ll also be looking at the cost at which items sell back to vendors, since the reducing the drop rate of items can/will impact a player’s revenue of gold.

To be continued in part 2. . .

 

Short. But sweet? As a big fan of crafting I was hoping for something a little more encouraging than “It’s hard to say…” whether more craftable items would be added, I mean outside of the expansion pack but the ability to have some access to customisation of items is absolutely a positive piece of news.


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