My ideas of improvements to Diablo 3 game mechanics, items, gems, crafting, characters and Gold Auction House as never used Real Money. I haven't discussed individual skills has this has been discussed in other posts, recently Diablo 3's Salvation: A Guide by Gosu
I have kept the simplicity that blizzard used as their design goal for the early game (normal/nightmare, while introducing more complex systems for use in hell/inferno, to improve character customisation, give reason to have multiple characters of same class and improvements to multiplayer, items, gems & crafting.
Instead of having the item tiers progress linearly since leveling progresses exponentially, a lot of the item tiers go unused in normal/nightmare as you quickly level pass them. Having the item tiers progress exponentially will give a greater variety of items in hell/inferno to help improve item choice.
level 1-12 - Tier 1
level 13-24 - Tier 1,2
level 25-36 - Tier 2,3
level 37-48 - Tier 3,4
level 49-51 - Tier 4,5,6
level 51-54 - Tier 5,6,7,8
level 55-57 - Tier 7,8,9,10
level 55-60 - Tier 9,10,11,12
level 61,62,63 - Tier 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18
For the inferno only tiers 13-18 you could then have a different affix guaranteed for to roll for any item in that tier.
Tier 13 - vitality
Tier 14 - All Resist
Tier 15 - Main Stat (Dex, Int, Str rolls depending on character being used)
Tier 16 - Attack Speed (Movement Speed for any items that don't roll Attack Speed)
Tier 17 - Crit Damage
Tier 18 - Crit Chance (Pick Up Radius for any items that don't roll Crit Chance)
Currently white items have no use beyond normal act 1 which really makes them a pointless being in the game. The best use of these would be that you need to supply them to blacksmith to craft a new item of the same type. With enhanced white items having 1 prefix - balance, superior, exceptional, etc then this modifier can be used as a guaranteed roll on crafted item. Could then use a magic or rare item in place of white item to then guarantee 2 (magic) or 3 (rare) modifiers but at an increased crafting cost. You would choose which 2 or 3 modifers to keep for crafted item. The value of the modifier would re-roll but the minimum valve would be taken from the supplied item so it can't be worse. Crafted items cannot be used to re-craft new items so that the fixed modifiers are crafted to their maximum value. crafted items can be sold, auctioned (if not account bound) or salvaged. The item supplied to blacksmith for crafting only has yo be off same type ie shoulders and not the same item tier has being crafted.
change current socket attributes to
Helm attributes - Helms, Amulets
Armour attributes - Chest, Pants, rings
Weapon attributes - Weapons, off-hand, shield
increase number of sockets & allow all items to have sockets, number brackets for legendary/set items. I would put a limit that different gems have to be socketed in items with multiple sockets, legendary/set items will raise the limit to allowing to same gems for each item with multiple sockets. Allow blacksmith to add sockets to items up to item limit. if implemented possibly change rings or gloves from armor to weapon attributes.
amulets, rings, belts, 1-hand weapon - 1 (+1)
gloves, bracers, shoulders, off-hand - 2 (+1)
helm, pants, shield, 2-hand weapon - 3 (+1)
chest 4 (+2)
Improve stats of gems above flawless square, as the cost is exponential to a linear improvement in stats, and other than helm & weapon not essential for inferno as item stats are a lot better than the small improvement a gem gives.tier - armor - helm (Amethyst values in brackets)tier 1 chipped - 16 - 5% (5%)
tier 2 flawed - 20 - 7% (6%)
tier 3 regular - 24 - 9% (7%)
tier 4 flawless - 28 - 11% (8%)
tier 5 perfect - 32 - 13% (9%)
tier 6 radiant - 36 - 15% (10%)
tier 7 square - 40 - 17% (11%)
tier 8 flawless square - 44 +1% - 19% (12%)
tier 9 perfect square - 49 +1% - 22% (13%)
tier 10 radiant square - 55 +1% - 25% (15%)
tier 11 star - 62 +2% - 28% (17%)
tier 12 flawless star - 70 +2% - 31% (19%)
tier 13 perfect star - 79 +2% - 34% (21%)
tier 14 radiant star - 89 +3% - 37% (23%)
tier 15 marquise - 100 +3% - 40% (25%)
For weapon attribute I think amethyst, ruby & topaz values need to be boosted by at least 50% and have bigger gains at higher tiers to be an alternative to emeralds.
Change topaz to magic & gold find, and emerald to increase all resist on same scale as amethyst. From flawless square to marquise gems in armor sockets gives a percentage bonus to total stat which gem improves and all gems socketed in armor, helm or weapon gives the same percentage bonus to another stat, for example attack speed (amethyst), movement speed (topaz), pick up radius (ruby), crit chance (emerald). May have to limit the total bonus to these additional stats gained from gems.
Combine gems off different types to make dual stat gems, so a regular gem can be combines with a flawless, perfect, radiant or square gem of another gem type. A square gem can be combines with a flawless square, perfect square, radiant square or star gem of another gem type and a star gem can be combines with a flawless star, perfect star, radiant star or marquise gem of another gem type. This would give the stat of the main gem plus the stats of the regular, square or star gem combined with it. when upgrading a square gem combined with another regular gem to a flawless square than a square gem the same type as the regular gem will also be required. the regular, square or star gem can be uncombined from the other gem by jeweler at a cost.
Character specific items
Demon Hunter - can off-hand 1-hand xbows with 2-hand weapons, bows & 2-hand xbows. New Demon Hunter specific bows (like Amazon from D2) and Demon Hunter specific gloves.
Monk - can off-hand fist weapons with 2-hand weapons. New Monk weapon weapon 1-hand/2-hand single edge blade ala samurai swords, All 1-hand/2-hand swords made double edge blades so for example oni blade would become monk specfic single edge blade. Monk specific boots.
Wizard - can off-hand wand with 2-hand or 1-hand weapons or dual weld 2 wands. Make staffs wizard only and can off-hand with source or wand. New Wizard weapon 1-hand & 2-hand swords (same usage requirements as wands & staffs) and Wizard specific cloaks.
Witch Doctor - can off-hand ceremonial daggers with 2-hand or 1-hand weapons or dual weld 2 ceremonial daggers. New Witch Doctor weapon blow pipe (1-hand, same usage requirements as ceremonial daggers) and Witch Doctors specific bracers (maybe called bracelets)
Barbarian - can off-hand 1-hand mighty weapons with 2-hand weapons and off-hand 1-hand weapons with 2-hand mighty weapons. New barbarian weapon mighty 1 hand & 2-hand axe and Barbarian Specific mighty shoulders
This should give more of a reason to use 2-hand weapons, they would also get a 100% attack speed boost when used without any off-hand weapon or item.
Characters & skills
Remove basic skills from selection so only runed skill choices are available and all skills (and passives) are unlocked by the end of nightmare character level 50. This allows you to try different skill builds in hell ready for inferno. basic skills only available as an item bonuses from item modifiers. Nephlam valor starts available from hell level 51. Remove magic find from items (except some legendary/set items), existing items magic find affixes changed to gold find, so magic find only available from nephlam valor, monster power, gems and some legendary/set items. This should allow magic find to be a known value & allow drop rates to be set and not adversely effected by specialised magic find builds.
character level 51-53 2 nephlam stacks
character level 54-57 4 nephlam stacks
character level 58-60 6 nephlam stacks
character inferno 8 nephlam stacks
Multiplayer games allow the nephlam stacks to increase by 4 per additional player, giving a max possible 20 nephlam valor stacks. this should help promote more reason to play multiplayer as its a significant boost to magic find. Changing a rune option for a selected skill doesn't cost nephlam stacks but is free with a 5 min cool down, any other rune changes within the 5 minutes cost 1 nephlam, changing a skill costs 2 nephlam stacks.When gaining a paragon level have the option to have stats auto-assigned or have 2 points to main stat, 1 point to vitality then the remaining ones manually assigned. Maybe have these assigned points also boost some other stat along with the vit, str, int, dex stat chosen to promote using in something other than main stat & vitality. For example strength reduces cc effects, emerald increase crit damage, topaz increases resource regen and vitality increases health regen. Only points gained from paragon levels effect these other stats and not total points gained from leveling to 60 & items so all classes have same baseline. For existing characters they can either stay on the auto-assign option up to there current paragon level (giving another incentive to re-roll the same class) or have a 1 time option to re-assign paragon level stats on existing characters.
I would also change the way the main stat works for damage. Instead of damage multiplier = main stat, you use all the stats so for example damage multiplier = (main stat x0.7) + (vitality x0.4) + (both secondary stats x0.3). This would reduce the dependency for main stat items for damage and give some viability to items & gems with secondary stats.
When choosing a character class as well as choosing gender have a choice off 1 from a possible 2 passive traits that cannot be changed for character, these 2 passive traits would not available as a passive that is unlocked in the game. I have not specified what these 'baked' passives would be as they could utilize existing passives or create new ones, I would see the choice be either between 2 offensive passive traits or a choice between an offensive and defensive passive trait. This idea stems from the developers considering making the Monks One With Everything passive a default character trait. This will give some character identity and a reason to have 2 characters of each class. I would also change the number of available skill & passive slots to
normal - 5 skills & 1 passive slots
nightmare - 6 skills & 2 passive slots
hell - 7 skills & 3 passive slots
inferno - 8 skill & 4 passive slots
once completed nightmare then Hell with a character, can create level 33 nightmare then level 50 hell characters of same class, new character of same class can be either nightmare or hell if both options unlocked. Once completed inferno (on any monster power level) can make 2 skills and a passive permanent to character to further give character identity & promote having multiple characters of same class. The permanent skills can't be changed but can change assigned slot, these skills are allowed to have to rune effects active at once (rune choices can be freely changed) and the permanent passive is given a boost to its function. For existing characters they would get to choose their passive trait at character select screen and would have to kill diablo (again if had already done it) in inferno to to make 2 skills and passive permanent.
Auction House (GAH)
My greatest issue with the auction house is the 'this is what you could of won' syndrome which highlights how unlucky your drops have been and that you are too poor to buy improvements which is the only way to reliably progress. Only major changes to crafting and the itemisation changes recently discussed may improve this situation.
The other major issue with the GAH is the inflation of prices due to perceived value rather than prices dictated by demand. This is caused by being able to put high buyouts on items based on the worth of other items but with no idea if those items are actually selling and in demand at those prices. The way to fix this is to limit the initial price and the buyout prices to reasonable amounts, and the only way to sell an item for more than the buyout cap is by not having a buyout set and the item being bidded above the buyout cap by demand. The caps I would be set using game difficulty as an example but item tier level or character requirement level could be used instead.
Normal (character level 1-33) initial price limit 8,000 - buyout limit 40,000
Nightmare (character level 34-50) initial price limit 80,000 - buyout limit 400,000
Hell (character level 51-59) initial price limit 800,000 - buyout limit 4 million
Inferno (character level 60) initial price limit 8 million - buyout limit 40 million
Legendary/set items would raise the buyout limit by 25%. This way if an item is going for more than 40 million then it is because of actual demand and all items are initially within the realms of affordability to most if not all players.
Another change I would make is that when someone puts a bid of 150 million on an item that they win for say 57 million, the seller gets their 57 million (minus tax) but it costs the buyer his full bid of 150 million as that is there perceived worth of the item with the difference (93 million in this example) is taken out of the economy. Finally change the tax system to take exponentially more money out of the economy on higher sale prices to curb inflation and reduce the desire for things to be bought & sold at crazy prices. This should also help reduce the profitability of botting as they would have to make crazy bid amounts to win auctions which would instantly take most of that money out of the economy that the botters had farmed and reduce other people profiteering from botters.
An example of different tax bands
band 1) 50,001 - 500,000 - 5% tax .5
band 2) 500,001 - 5,000,000 - 15% tax 4.5
band 3) 5,000,001 - 30,000,000 - 30% tax 25
band 4) 30,000,000 - 80,000,000 - 55% tax 45
band 5) 0ver 80,000,001 - 90% tax
If you sell an item for 120 Million it would cost you in tax
25,000 tax from band 1 (5% tax on 500,000)
675,000 tax from band 2 (15% tax on 4,500,000)
7,500,000 tax from band 3 (30% tax on 25,000,000)
27,500,000 tax from band 4 (55% tax on 50,000,000)
36,000,000 tax from band 5 (90% tax 40,000,000)
71,700,000 total tax paid (therefore 48,300,000 earnt from sale)
which is not paying a straight 90% tax on the 120,000,000 sale that it may initially seem.
All these changes mentioned should be able to be patched into diablo 3 without requiring to wait for an expansion to make them.
Diablo 3 is still a tremendously enjoyable game and there will always be scope for improvements. It just seems the developers are slow to make major improvements and make some of the same faults which originally occurred in diablo 2. Any comments/suggestions welcome.