Developer Guarantees All Diablo 3 Legendary Items Will Be Awesome

Travis Day promised that every single legendary item you find will be exciting and dramatic, once itemization improvements are made in some future patch.

UNID’s icon should be unrecognizable. This essential for me to be excited about drops again.
Travis Day: That’s an interesting idea. It is unfortunate when you see a legendary crossbow, pick it up, and realize its a Hellrack. I’ve got an alternate idea, what if we make all the legendary items good so that you can Actually get excited even if you know it’s a Hellrack? 😉

Okay, he didn’t exactly say what this post’s headline says, but I thought I’d try twisting a blue quote around like the kewl kidz on the forums do. Can now I am kewl too?

What does Travis really mean, though? Obviously not that every single legendary you find will be awesome, since that would get boring very quickly. After all, if every Legendary was great then soon enough everyone would have an awesome legendary and you remember what Syndrome said about that.

Back in March Travis discussed one improvement to legendary items, in Itemization blog:

When the game first launched, an item’s potential stats were largely indicated by its item level. This made it so you’d know in advance whether or not an item was worth the trouble of identifying. In 1.0.5, we made it so that the stat ranges for affixes were based on the level of the monster or container that dropped the item rather than the item’s level, which created the possibility of more items rolling competitive values.

We’d like to continue with this line of reasoning and use it to make Legendaries more powerful. In the future, we plan to allow Legendary items to also roll their base stats (weapon DPS and armor value) at the level of the monster that dropped them.

We don’t have figures or details about how this will work, but the theory seems viable, at least for lower level legendaries that have some end game desirable mods. Travis mentioned Leoric’s Signet in the itemization blog, which rules thanks to +%exp and pickup, but I don’t see how that will help with the dozens of level 60-63 legendaries that suck.

Hellrack vs. Manticore.

Hellrack vs. Manticore.

Like, say, the Hellrack.

You can see a screenshots of the Hellrack vs. the uber-Xbow, the Manticore, right from Blizzard’s own game guide page, and they’re actually quite similar in DPS. (Which is the part that would be affected by randomizing the DPS roll and stat bonuses to the monster level.)

The reason Manticores are (potentially) awesome while the Hellrack is a punchline has very little to do with the random DPS roll. You could actually switch their DPS and Manticores would still be far better at the high end, since they have inherent bonuses to DiabloWikiIAS, DiabloWikiCritical hit Damage, and potential to roll with a double socket. Thus in this instance, Travis has to be talking about much more changing than just the random damage mod, since that alone would make no difference in quality for 99.999% of Hellracks. The Hellrack, and dozens of other level 60-63 legendaries, need boosts to their inherent mods, not just potentially better random DPS and stat rolls, and while I’m sure Blizzard realizes that, it can’t hurt to state it again.

That said, how about the OP’s suggestion, that unIDed items not show their graphic so you wouldn’t know whether to exult in a Mempo or sob at another Andy’s hat as soon as you opened your inventory to view that orange Helm? I’m not a fan…

I like the current system, which is basically a three stage reveal.

    1) You see the legendary or set item and type when it drops, and maybe get excited or maybe curse at another useless orange Spirit Stone.

    2) You view the item in your inventory and know from the graphic and/or item level which particular set or legendary item it is. (This enables the economic lottery spin of buying or selling an un’id’ed item for a lot more than a junk roll / a lot less than a great roll is worth.)

    3) You ID the item and cross your fingers.

    3.1) You curse at not-Griswold while salvaging another Fiery Brimstone.

I’d like to stop after step 3 more often than proceeding directly to step 3.1, but I quite enjoy the approach to step 2, and the moment of suspense between seeing a green or orange item type, and finding out which one it actually is.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Legendary Items


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  1. This is where I feel the real threat of WoW-creep is coming, and it comes from the players themselves. Fixed stat Legendaries is what WoW raiding is all about. Diablo should be more random than that, including the items. Of course, there needs to be a lot of other work before that is viable, or else a single light-radius mod “ruins” everything. Diablo is the lottery, not government bonds. It’s gambling, not investing. Yes, there needs to be some give, so players aren’t totally road-blocked by consistently bad luck, but right now random is considered a disastrous curse by most players. They want trifecta gloves OR ELSE THE ITEMS ARE A FAILURE RABBLE RABBLE. There are a lot of reasons this all doesn’t work (critical hits out of control, bad defensive stats, class-stat synergy is awful), but I’d rather see them try to make the random item model work better before making Legendaries the only gear people even consider. Rares should be a hell of a lot better, for damn sure.

    • The problem you have is that their adoption of how stats and damage work in D3 are similar in respect to WoW more so than d2. I agree with you 100 percent, though the problem remains on how damage is derived from items and the absolute failure by the devs to provide any alternatively good or even decent affixes for the items. The current itemization for d3 makes having that lottery style of loot pure shit.

  2. The hyperbole of the WoW forums overstates things, but I really don’t think the majority of players need Trifecta items or else. The issue is the degree of randomness. There’s no point – no gain in fun – for items to roll with such low minimums in certain affixes. No one is excited to see another level 62 item with 38-50 of each base (str,dex,int,vit) stat on it. There need to be ‘poor’ items to have ‘good’ items, but it’s far too likely to get a poor item than even a useable one, let alone good.

  3. They don’t need to be more powerful in the sense of “more of the numbers people like so we can farm whatever act 2 minutes faster” they need to be more creative… more interesting.

    Where are the items that make players re-evaluate their current cookie cutter builds, encourage co-op play by having a buff aura, or force a player to consider rolling an entirely new character and embrace a new playstyle. They could also do with some “fun” legendaries and sets that radically change the way a player looks.

    In the end they’ll just buff the numbers though because I think that’s all they know. Even the flavor text is horribly boring.

    • You couldn’t say it better. To make things worse, they have made elemental damage completely useless. And instead of finding new or improving the current special items mods, they have removed things like Crushing Blow.

      Legendaries don’t stand a chance, if developers can’t implement a way to move interest from DPS and CC to other mods. Simple as that. This is the number 1 problem of the item system right now. It makes everything so straight forward and boring.

      • * by “current”, I meant the ones D2 had.

      • Lets not forget people that we have heard this all before, almost word for word.

        1.04 brought supposed “item improvements” that became old within a couple of days for most as they realized there was no actual improvement to really anything beyond Skorn.

        That 1.04 item improvement patch, lets not forget, was also done by none other than the brother of the guy who is currently making the changes, and we all know how it turned out, so people do not hold your breath. Travis Day is working on it this time, well he better do a better job about it than his brother Andrew Day did… because I for one have stopped playing this game for the past couple months now, and despite having some truly obscure little hope that they might still actually pull their heads from arses and fix things, I have also learned since this game has been launched that that never actually happens, regardless of what content they put into the patches…

        So heres to hoping

    • Absolutely agree! So far their method of addressing itemization issues is missing the core problem – uniqueness and interesting/niche stat mods that make you want to build an entire character around a particular item. The fact that they did away with monster resistances and homogenized all damage regardless of ‘elemental type’ goes a long way toward illustrating that they are missing the crux of the issue. Items don’t need to just have bigger numbers associated with the stats people want – they need to have more stats the people want. Not only would this allow people to open up new builds and play styles, it would introduce a variability that would allow item drops to still fit into the RNG/Lottery schema and would simultaneously potentially open up more best-in-slot candidates.

      I disagree with the notion of reducing the number of variable stats on a Legendary. The breadth of randomness in item stat rolls is what keeps the item hunt interesting. If every drop had the stats you needed, you would get bored quickly. I don’t mind finding an otherwise great item that is missing one or two great stats, so long as nearly as frequently I find a drop that is both useful and has a unique stat that makes it the perfect item for specific builds.

  4. Sounds like this is how it should have worked from day 1. Good change, but is this the core of their item overhauls? I feel the game needs at least 10 different best in slots for each armor/weapon piece at the bare minimum. At least 9 other legendary 2h that are as good as skorn for example.

    This kind of seems like just a number tweak to me (but a good one at least). Fingers crossed that this is just the tip of the iceberg and they are currently churning out 100+ new legendarys for this 1.09 or whatever it is. Doesn’t need to be completely new art work either, hell – just give em a different glow or something.

    • I agree, but that’s utterly impossible w/ the current system. Nothing will improve until they completely eliminate critical damage, at least.

  5. In short, make legendary items NOT have any +random properties, while having 4 properties that are available on the slot, 1 property that is not (ie IAS on helm) and 1 “special” property (also potentially 1 negative property like Andarials Visage).

    Then take all existing legendary items and scale to ilvl63/mlvl63 when found in Inferno; buff their properties to make sense when doing this, as well as base stats to keep them at the same power level as other items.

    Finally, balance the items against Rares, allowing rares to be the most powerful in terms of raw stats they can roll, while legendary items are about 80% of the power of the BEST rare a slot can find. Also, reducing direct power (ie primary stats, crit, ias, etc.) when a special mod is on the item makes them attractive as alternates to rares but always a question of pure power or the special effect or the unique effect of IAS on a helm.

  6. A lvl 63 Buriza would be really awesome, with pierce and freeze.

  7. I remember the good old days of D2X when you would start a lightning sorceress because of one legendary (unique) item you found. We don’t have that with D3, instead of making a new char we spend 30 seconds swapping out skills and having no investment. On the plus side they are trying to fix the itemization issues, although at this point I’m not sure how they can fix the problem without a major overhaul to multiple components.

  8. We heard this “we make legendary items more powerful” before. Soon after that, the guy who said it, quit his job. The game isn’t out a year and already 2 major item changes were needed, yet they accomplished nothing. Also the next great legendary item change will chagen nothing as long as the item affixes stay so useless and the skill system stays so stale.

    • Let’s just wait and see how’s the patch going to turn out. I’m trying to be as optimistic as possible about the game.

  9. To be honest I would like quite the opposite approach on unidentified Legendarys/Setitems: The graphicsteam went so far that one can see differences in items even at the moment of dropping and I would like the opportunity to miss Legendarys/Setitems if not paying attention. Thus I would like them to keep their special graphics and the time to identify, but only taking on their green and orange colour AFTER identifying them, beeing displayed as yellow as any other rare until then.

    On the power part: I don’t really like the workaround of having Legendarys/Sets drop with higher basestats/affixstats depending on the monsterlevel. I would rather have many different ways to upgrade the items, at best with different routes/specialisations to take, to make lower level Legendarys/Setitems competitive to higher level drops. They should imho turn out to be BiS for certain builds only then, with higher level drops being the allaround best unspecialised items to get. (Which then would change a bit with released expansion/s, but not before.) But even with the workaround, there’s a desperate need for a better focus on rolled stats: The wide range of stats that can roll on each affix is quite contrary to the concept of Legendarys(/uniques)/setitems from my point of view.

    Just my 2 cents…

  10. The current itemization in the game is VERY BAD, too random, too stupid…Class armor with useless stats, useless stats, etc…It imperative to solve that but…

    …The second half of that problem is called AH. You can put new number, new legendaries, etc…AH will be the better way to get them again. Two “ugly” solutions BoA legendaries or Ironborn mode(you can only wear your own loot).

  11. They will probabyl make most legendaries skil/spec-based to force build diversity. Just look at the examples they gave of Hydra and Call of the ancients. We are going to see decreased cooldowns, increase resource regen, dmg buff on skills etc.
    The main issue is that everything is focused on increasing the DPS number from your character sheet. Wyatt have stated that they dont want to nerf what people have spent money on. So, they will not nerf crit. They need to buff other affixes and do other tricks.
    I want to see a change in the GUI so that my eyes are focused on more things than just the one DPS number. In D2 it was skillbased, wasn’t it?
    I think there also can be done some \catagorization\ of items. Its boring that all items slots shall be used to increase DPS + have all res. Make monsters hit harder and work on defensive affixes that forces players away from DPS-only. If they do that, they dont need to add more MP level either.

    I hope they make a legendary that reduces the cooldown of leap. I want to jump around like Van Halen.

  12. About OP. I am not a fan either.

  13. Unid items should indicate the base item type instead of just ‘helm’ or ‘belt’. Echoing Fury should be a Legendary Crag Hammer, and Lacuni should be Legendary Razorspikes. For class-specific items or items not going up to iLev 63, the base item should also be created.

    About OP: no idea. In my opinion legendary items should be far less random. In D2X finding a shako was good even if you already had it. In D3 you can get a 700 dps Echoing Fury, or a Mempo without Crit Chance, and their value vary wildly. A Legendary weapon which can range from 690 dps up to 1200 because of its affixes is already bad (though necessary for the AH), but it gets worse when it does not have a socket and crit damage.
    The Hellrack example possibly does not address the itemization major problem: that Hellrack will still be inferior to Manticore because of the lack of crit damage mod, not to mention the possible 2nd OS on Manticore, which is a killer especially after the introduction of Marquise Ruby.
    Unless they change future Manticore to only have one socket (thus creating the Legacy problem). Ouch.

    • I remember Flux mentioning this thing about base items names never display after ID or never display at all. Pretty amazing developers didn’t change this shit. What is their reason, I wonder. I guess they try to make the game more user-friendly, and they don’t realize they have made it so much worse. Removing this mandatory feature, makes it just more confusing, nothing more.

      • Yes indeed, and I still think that every item should show its full base name, along with its quality and iLev. When you see a legendary ‘mace’ it can be an Echoing Fury or a Sledge of Athskeleng. Where’s the advantage of that ? Also instant ID could allow us to brimstone the crappy legendaries faster.
        On a side note: I read the post on the US forum, and I am amazed at the positive feedback it received, while I think it is a design mistake. I guess people change and they get a thrill out of a progress bar that slowly advances in order to reveal… a Fiery Brimstone.

        Why not make every Leg unrecognisable and call it “Potential Brimstone” with the following flavour text:”You know it’s going to happen”.

      • Yep; I remember reading that as well, and couldn’t agree more. It took me a very long time (compared to D2 and what should be considered reasonable) to learn which item types corresponded to which ilevel and which ones were the ones I wanted to look out for, simply because as soon as I grabbed any item off the ground I never again saw the item type name. It’s a real shame too as some of them have some pretty funny/clever names. Why do I want to see that I’m carrying a ‘rare mojo’ and not a ‘muttering head’?? Boring.

  14. “and while I’m sure Blizzard realizes that, it can’t hurt to state it again.” QFT.
    Also why don’t remove the ID waiting time altogether ? Both from Cain’s book and inventory IDing ?

  15. Flux! I thought I landed on the wrong gaming fansite when I read “Developer Guarantees” in that headline … =/

    • I just want to be cool like the kidz on

      Can’t I be cool like the kids on bnet? I spelled it with a “Z” and everything… 🙁

      • Yes, yes. That’s the same excuse as stated in the article.
        “Guarantee”, “items” and “Diablo 3” are still a recipe for disaster to use within the same sentence though, especially in a headline. Definitely had more wtf-momentum at the first glance than the auction house related news on the very beginning of this month, as well.

  16. Make them non tradeable on the AH, and ill go out and find some.
    Currently, all the best gear is on the AH, so nobody wants to go out and hunt.

  17. I think they have to limit Crit Damage, put a cap on it and then compensate with other improvements to affixes and new affixes. I think crafting should get unique affixes, and yes would be cool to have items that transformed you. heart of the wolverine turns you into a druid werewolf and you get d2 abilities!

  18. The new unique items need to be gameplay changing, that’s the keyword here.

  19. If its too random, its not static enough. If its too static, its not random enough.

    Welcome to Diablo itemization discussion.

    • From where they are with their itemization, it’s still very, very, very … very faaaa…aaaaar to anywhere near ‘too static’. Rocket fuel wouldn’t do the trick for that shot. 😉

  20. Flux you’re always kewl like cartman lol.

  21. Make it like D2 and remove the use of weapon DPS for spells…

  22. Personally, I think the problem with this topic is that the direction of end game is stagnant. Our only end game is farming, farming farming. There is no good PVP system and no other end game for us to do, which influences on how they further patch these items. Because end game is only farming, the only simple solution for them is to make items better and roll higher dps, so that people already farming mp 10 in 10 minutes can do it in 9. They are thinking very narrow-mindedly, and are not widening what could make d3 more versatile and fun. They should focus more of skills or items that change your appearance asthetically, incentive-skills to play in a group, special leg to be able to muck around a bit instead of just farming and farming by yourself in act 3, because that is the most efficient. It’s going to be a year soon, and so far at the moment, this is what my $60 should be worth after so many patches, pvp not out yet. Also, i think they are not huge changes because they want to wait till they release the ps3 version first, so they can make the major changes in line with both systems.

  23. Another false promise 🙂

  24. **YAWN**

    More auction house bait. Nice try Blizzard. I don’t care if there’s a legendary where a hand comes out of your computer screen, and hands you a beer. Buffing Legendaries, without doing anything about the uninspired mess that is magic/rare affix pool, is just AH bait, and we should all treat it as such.

    • Working as intended. I have 4 bots all in the 80’s right now working their way to P100 for some fat AH lootz. Blizzard got another 4 copies of d3 sold for their itemization patch that probably won’t be ready for a couple months still.

      • Seriously chimpomon? Not sure if sarcastic….

        If D3 turned out to have a little more longevity and end game, I might have been angry at botters. I truly don’t care at this point though.

        4 more copies of d3 at $60 a pop, how long does it take your bots to earn back that much gold rmah sales?

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