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Travis Day on the Non-Value of Magic Find in Reaper of Souls

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Hound, Dec 17, 2013. | Replies: 70 | Views: 3770

  1. Hound

    Hound IncGamers News Service

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    As <a href="http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/reaper-of-souls-beta-patch-changes-economy-and-loot-2-1">we discussed recently</a>, the drop rates and general difficulty of Reaper of Souls changed greatly in the recent patch, with a huge reduction in the drop rate of Legendary and Set items. This is part of the overall testing and isn't likely to be the permanent state of things, as Reaper of Souls dev and main item guy Travis Day shared in a couple of long posts about the evolution of Magic Find in Reaper of Souls.

    Rewards per difficulty are still something we are tuning. I'll remind everyone that the purpose of Beta and PTR cycles is for us to test things, that means you will see things that may or may not be final. In the case of difficulty settings being rewarding we are still discussing and making changes to that system so what exists isn't necessarily final. (Nor is anything until the game has actually shipped).

    On the topic of people thinking MF is an awesome way to get loot! Well here's a different way to look at it, getting better gear is going to get you items faster. I would rather you get gear faster because you are more powerful and therefore murdering hordes of strong enemies faster, not because there is a stat that secretly is the most important thing in the game but doesn't feel good because you have to sacrifice real power for it.
    [source]dd[/source]


    Strongly disagree on Travis' "doesn't feel good" opinion there. I remain disappointed that the devs never seem to "get" what Magic Find should be (in my opinion). Magic Find *should* be a choice. A player should be able to choose to gear a bit differently, to give up some potential destructive power or survival ability, in order to boost their MF. It's an option, and needs to be balanced in return rates, but more choices are good, IMHO.

    Currently in RoS there's no choice on how you should play. Now, the only useful goal of gear is to boost survival and destruction, since the rewards (exp, gold, items) come entirely from killing as fast as possible, on higher difficulty levels. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and it's how most RPGs have always worked (Diablo I included), but it removes a lot of potential variety from the play experience.

    [caption id="attachment_373549" align="alignright" width="205"]<a href="http://diablo.incgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/leg-goldskin2.jpg"><img src="http://diablo.incgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/leg-goldskin2-205x300.jpg" alt="Flux wants MagicFindSkin!" width="205" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-373549" /></a> Flux wants MagicFindSkin![/caption]In Reaper of Souls the devs have done a nice job rebalancing the combat engine so that DPS + life steal (plus allres and defense) isn't the only recipe for high end success. You need more varied defensive powers, including regen and various forms of Life per Hit, and you need to use more crowd control skills and tactics. There are more ways to up your killing speed too; it's not purely about DPS anymore. Characters might get more benefit from reducing cooldown, cutting resource costs, <strike>specializing in crushing blow</strike>, upping their splash damage, boosting damage to specific skills, etc, rather than just trying to squeeze out a few more numbers on their DPS.

    Those are all good changes and the gameplay in RoS is much more fun than it's ever been in D3. But I still would like to see a similar reward structure in item finding, with the ability to make choices to improve my item finds. Since the patch, item upgrading feels very difficult and grindy. The only goal now is to try to kill faster and try to survive on a higher difficulty with hope that the tiny improvement in legendary drop rates will RNG you.

    Rares are boring now; they drop very frequently and can also be gambled cheaply, and since there are only a few useful mods for each item type and limited primary affix slots, level 70 characters quickly assemble a kit that's 95% as good as it's ever going to be (from Rares alone). The RoS item excitement comes from finding legendaries, but those now drop very rarely, at a drop rate that's almost impossible to boost via Magic Find. Legs can't be gambled, and they hardly ever fall out of goodie bags anymore (which can no longer be gambled either), and there aren't any bosses with a noticeably improved legendary drop rate. In RoS you can find a lot of legendary crafting recipes, which are fun except that they require insane quantities of materials (which are all BoA), including legendary mats that are as hard to find as legendaries themselves.

    Obviously we're still in beta testing, and I think the devs have done great work improving the overall play experience and combat and game features... I just hope they can put similar improvement into the economy and item game.

    Click though for Travis Day's whole lengthy post:

    <!--more-->

    It's been a while, I've been off in Treasure Goblin land trying to get Reaper of Souls into shape. I wanted to stop by to give everyone some insight into what we are doing with Magic Find. For those of you who have heard me talk on the topic before you are probably already aware that MF is something we haven't been thrilled with for quite a while. The idea of MF is great "GET ALL THE THINGS!" the reality of it however is incredibly problematic and leads to more negative effects than positive ones. Getting the reward rate of the game to a place we are happy with is a difficult tuning process and when we try to add MF into the equation is creates a bit of a dilemma, one that was already pointed out in the thread, how do you balance the game to feel good for someone with 0% MF vs someone with 300% MF. Ultimately the answer to that question is "You can't" as such we have been trying to phase MF out of the game as much as possible.

    In addition to changing exactly how MF interacts with finding items we also have dramatically reduced it's existence throughout the game. Having strong characters already equates into finding more items, both by virtue of killing things faster and also by virtue of playing in higher difficulties, which still do have rewards associated with them. Because of all of this we decided to not only remove MF as an affix from gear but also change exactly how MF interacts with different item qualities. MF will apply 100% of its benefit to Blue items, 30% to Yellow items, and 10% to Legendary and Set items. This means someone with 300% MF will end up finding roughly 30% more Legendary and Set items than someone with 0%. The design intent is to make things like Topaz gems in helmets or the Nagel Ring an option without them actually being mandatory.

    I hope this helps clear the air and as the expansion moves further and further into its development cycle I'll start climbing out of this portal more frequently to answer questions.

    ...

    Rewards per difficulty are still something we are tuning. I'll remind everyone that the purpose of Beta and PTR cycles is for us to test things, that means you will see things that may or may not be final. In the case of difficulty settings being rewarding we are still discussing and making changes to that system so what exists isn't necessarily final. (Nor is anything until the game has actually shipped).

    On the topic of people thinking MF is an awesome way to get loot! Well here's a different way to look at it, getting better gear is going to get you items faster. I would rather you get gear faster because you are more powerful and therefore murdering hordes of strong enemies faster, not because there is a stat that secretly is the most important thing in the game but doesn't feel good because you have to sacrifice real power for it.

    As to whether the drop rates for legendary items are right, time and data will tell. We know they were absolutely too high in the previous beta so we brought them down considerably to something that was within the realm of sanity. Again as part of a beta testing cycle we took them down to a place that is probably too low, but to find the right resting place we have to find where the bounds are, we were far too high, if this beta cycle is "far too low" than we have dramatically narrowed in on our ability to find "just right".[source]http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/10895540027?page=2#24[/source]
  2. sneakytails

    sneakytails IncGamers Member

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    Agreed.

    Choice is good.
  3. Mortalo

    Mortalo IncGamers Member

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    Maybe this BIG costs for crafting are intented to see how well can we gear up from loot? After all it\'s testing period and we\'re gonna have more time later to check crafting.
  4. adastra

    adastra IncGamers Member

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    When I look at the results of this vote about MF, it just seems fishy to me. And it occurred to me, perhaps a bunch of blizzard employees hit that vote up hard to skew the results in favor of their changes. I mean, who would actually vote away the choice of MF?
  5. yovargas

    yovargas IncGamers Member

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    Me.
    Death to MF.
  6. Ivan E

    Ivan E IncGamers Member

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    Me too.

    MF is a choice, but it\'s not a very interesting one, because it doesn\'t directly interface with gameplay. Tradeoffs between offense/defense are interesting. Tradeoffs between single target/AoE are interesting. Tradeoffs between flat damage reduction or spike damage reduction (not really available in D3, but would be dodge vs. armor) are interesting. Tradeoffs between \"play the game worse but get a black box amount more of stuff\" versus \"play the game as best you can but get less stuff\" just feel unsatisfying to me.

    Balancing overall difficulty against MF seems like the way to go in terms of risk/reward, rather than having to have an MF set and a non-MF set.
  7. Genocides

    Genocides IncGamers Site Pal

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    difficulty level aside from being harder also includes the ability to see more items via the inherent increases in item finding. Fine with that. Always hated the mf affix on gear.
  8. bloat

    bloat IncGamers Member

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    MF or not, my issue is that often enough, when Blizzard decides what\'s \"best\" for the players and community, they end up backtracking on it. It makes it hard to take them seriously sometimes.
  9. ShadowMatrix

    ShadowMatrix IncGamers Member

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    I\'m just confused because D2 had Magic Find and it seemed to work fine.
  10. TheDestructor

    TheDestructor IncGamers Member

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    Me three.

    MF isn\'t a choice. It\'s a requirement for getting good loot.
  11. FlyBoyG

    FlyBoyG IncGamers Member

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    Travis Day on Magic Find

    “we were far too highâ€Â
  12. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    I dont mind MF being "removed". While it might be interesting in theory, I dont think it adds much to a game in practice.

    MF is a good reward mechanism for higher difficulties, player behaviour incentives (death penalty goddammit Blizzard) etc. So I wonder if MF from such things (or thing, since it would only be the difficulty slider currently) will also be affected.
  13. adastra

    adastra IncGamers Member

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    you guys need to get off the rock and come back to earth.
  14. xManiaCCCx

    xManiaCCCx IncGamers Member

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    I was against MF since Diablo 2 .. I always thought it\'s stupid system..I always hated it in every game.. I always saw it more as penalty than reward..there is nothing to choose from..

    I for one Love removing MF altogether from the gear..
  15. stonerdoom

    stonerdoom IncGamers Member

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    You mean like whether or not to use the AH? I thought it would take at least until a month after release for the other shoe to drop. Its like xmas came early.
  16. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Add me to the list who voted for the removal of MF. By choosing MF you are sacrificing killing speed for bigger rewards (over time) per kill. As Manu said above, the same is accomplished by the difficulty system. The choice was simply shifted from the itemization, we lost nothing.
  17. trocadero

    trocadero IncGamers Member

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    Good freaking riddance, MF. You will not be missed. Monster Power was the death knell, the point where you realized just how stupid the MF system really was. Of course, they need to change Topazes; there is NO reason to use them in helms now. Of course, they need to overhaul the gems, anyway.
  18. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    I don\'t think Bliz is that bored as to sock puppet votes on individual game features. It\'s not like much else in D3 is discernibly designed purely to appeal to popular sentiment, authentic or not.

    As the other replies demonstrate, there are many players who agree with Travis\' \"doesn’t feel good\" opinion about making gear choices re: Magic Find.

    While there were admittedly plenty of people from D2 who weren\'t big fans of MF (I heard from lots of them after writing several huge strat guides about MF), it seems more disliked in D3. The problem, I think, is that D3 implemented MF so poorly. Draft version of this post I went into a whole breakdown of it and I\'m not going to recreate it, but basically D3 failed at the \"it\'s a choice/added complexity/trade off.\" D3\'s MF was just another property tacked onto rares and legendary items that did nothing but add a bit more AH cost. There was no trade off and there were no Chance Guards/Goldwrap/Wealth type items that had huge MF at the obvious cost of DPS type stats, as D2\'s best-designed MF gear did.

    I can easily understand arguments against MF as D3 did it, and if that makes you want it out of the game since you feel the current RoS devs would **** it up again, then that\'s a fair argument. That said, I am unsympathetic to most anti-MF arguments, as they seem to come from a PoV of \"don\'t want to think about gear.\" I like the item game, the jigsaw puzzle of assembling gear. Some players don\'t, or only like it when the goal is bigger DPS. And I find that boring and a removal of complexity and variety.
  19. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    That was largely true of D2 and is much more true about D3 in the current game, with MF all important and all-provided by Paragon levels. But at the risk of falling into the \"perfect the enemy of the good\" trap, I think ditching MF entirely just because the potentially great system had some issues in D2, and has been horribly-implemented thus far in D3, is a disappointing decision.
  20. Flux

    Flux Administrator

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    I alluded to this in the OP, with a mention of rewards/returns needing to be balanced. If you choose to go all DPS, then you\'re going to rack up much more exp and gain whatever benefits you get from higher difficulty levels.

    If you go MF you\'re choosing to get less exp and to miss out on the higher difficulty rewards, and you\'re probably playing a more strategic game by finding ways to kill effectively even with lower quality gear.

    It\'s obviously a complicated issue where rewards need to be balanced, party-game leechers need to be addressed, etc. But again, I don\'t see dropping the whole variety-boosting system just because it\'s hard to balance as a win. Don\'t most fans spend most of their time criticizing D3 devs for simplifying the game and dropping features?

    e.g.: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/10786718998

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