Last week I played a good amount of the upcoming Patch 2.1.2 on the PTR, with copied characters and then with a new Season Two Demon Hunter. Since it’s just for testing my S2 character was softcore, and with the insane drop rates of the community buff, gearing up (and leveling up) goes very quickly. T1 is easily-handled, legendary items drop like candy, most characters will find their six piece set in an hour or two and with it they can make the jump up to Torment 6… and at that point the legendary drop rate goes from ridiculous to insane.
The progression is weird, especially if you do a Season 2 character, since most players will quickly be decked out in gear of much better quality than they have on the live realm… while still using Imperial quality gems and 2 low level Legendary Gems. With the 200% buff you find legendaries more often than Rare items, but you still have to upgrade gems and Legendary Gems at the normal rate, so they tend to lag well behind gear.
As a result your overall character power balance feels a little weird, but that’s no barrier to rolling through T6 Rifts in just a few minutes, slowing down only to pick up legendaries, and easily filling up you entire inventory by the time you kill the Rift Guardian. And if you’re doing that on T6, about 10% of those legendary items are the new higher tier Ancient Items… which means you get a damn lot of them in a short time.
So how are they? Do Ancient items replace all your normal legendaries at once? Is Ancient the new baseline? Will you feel pathetically under-geared if all your kit doesn’t boast an orange outline?
Not really. Diablo 3 Legendary Ancient Items: Mega-Analysis + Screens
My Demon Hunter has found several hundred Ancient items so far, but Ancients are only the best items in about half my slots. Here are the non-Ancient legendaries I’m using at Paragon 510: Marauder’s Pants and Helm, Unity ring, RoRG ring, Eye of Etlich amulet, Witching Hour belt, Bombadier’s Rucksack quiver, and Reaper’s Wraps bracers. I could benefit from an Ancient version of all those items except for the Unity (which has no affixes that get a boost from being Ancient), and I’ve found Ancient versions of all of them, but not with affixes ideal enough to be an upgrade.
Ancient items, as they are currently implemented on the PTR, are mandatory for weapons, are possibly useful upgrades for armor and off-hand slots, and are mostly irrelevant for jewelry. This wide disparity between the value of Ancient items by slot was debated on the last podcast, and the 3 PTR testers agreed that for Ancient Items to be really useful in all slots, the bonus needs to be boosted on armor, and reworked entirely on jewelry. Of course that assumes that Blizzard wants Ancient Items to be big potential upgrades in every item slot. The idea might be that everyone must find an Ancient weapon, but then all the other slots are just “maybe upgrade, if near-perfect roll.” In that case, the A.I. is working as intended.
Click through for some discussion of what Ancient boosts in every gear slot, ideas for making Ancient items better or more interesting, and several huge image galleries (100+ screenshots) of Ancient items freshly found on the PTR.
Just for a teaser and the sake of comparison, here’s the gear currently on my Season 2 Demon Hunter. He flies effortlessly through T6 and does up to GR40 quite easily. I don’t honestly know his max GR at this point. I’ve done 42 handily, but failed by about 30 seconds on a GR44 when I got a horrible spawn. If I were really trying to push higher I’d regear a bit, at least switching the Unity for an SoJ, since I took several one-shot deaths even using the double Unity trick.
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