Blizzard has posted the first phase of their community involving Design a Diablo 3 Legendary item project. This one declares that the item will be a melee weapon because Joshy-Woshy hates Demon Hunters, and asks you guys to put in your votes on what type of item it will be.
The first reason is that Legendary weapons typically have a very strong visual identity. Unlike other item types—like a ring or a belt, for example—you can see the weapon you’re wielding, often very prominently. This is important because, in addition to discussing the mechanical design of Legendary items (its stats and powers), we also want to talk about their visual design, and that’s much easier to do when you’ve got something that’s bigger and has a lot of visible components.
The second reason is that Legendary weapons are iconic, and there’s a much stronger fantasy behind them than, let’s say, a helm or pair of pants. As a result, players tend to identify with weapons more than any other item type. That doesn’t mean the other types are any less important, but Legendary weapons are certainly more recognizable and carry more street cred (so to speak).
As for why a melee weapon instead of a ranged weapon (or both)? Pretty simple. Of the weapon types available to all classes, melee weapons are used more often.
You need to visit the Blizzard page to vote on which type of melee weapon we’re going to create, and voting is open until October 30th, so have at it. I voted for a polearm and recommend you guys do the same, or at least one of the other two-handers. After all, we know how to make a one-handed legendary viable, but the two-handers in D3 are largely ignored except for Skorn, and it’s only good due to gigantic damage, a socket, huge stats, and CD. Have the devs got any better ideas to make 2H weapons viable in RoS? Let’s find out…
Just for the hell of it, let’s run a similar vote. Not to make a legendary, but to measure the use rate of melee weapons. Vote for as many as you like, but pick ones you’ve actually used on your end game characters.
Did I forget any? I don’t think I forgot any. And yes, technically Wands are ranged weapons, but Wizards use them interchangeably with other melee weapons, so pffft. And yes, this vote pretty well excludes Demon Hunters, but we’re measuring melee weapons, not all weapons, and including bows/xbows would just make it a “who plays demon hunters” question.
Perhaps most used Follower weapons would be a decent vote for some future thing? After all, why else would anyone know that staves exist in Diablo 3?