Blizzard Answers re: Deaths Breaths and Level 61 Items

Blizzard Answers re: Deaths Breaths and Level 61 Items

Blizzard answered two of the most common questions in Reaper of Souls: Why aren’t there more Deaths Breaths and why are all the items Level 61 required?

Deaths Breaths!

Please for the love of god increase the drop rate on these by 10. We need them in EVERYTHING and getting 1 every 2 full clears in adventure mode is horrible.
Lylirra: Just as an FYI, the scaling drop rates for Death’s Breath are the same as Demonic Essence (i.e. they scale the same way as you progress in difficulty). Currently, those drop rates are:

  • Normal – 15%
  • Hard – 18%
  • Expert – 21%
  • Master – 25%
  • Torment 1 – 31%
  • Torment 2 – 37%
  • Torment 3 – 44%
  • Torment 4 – 53%
  • Torment 5 – 64%
  • Torment 6 – 77%
  • We have no plans right now to change the rates, given that we’re only one day into the expansion (we’d like to give things a bit more time to settle before we start pulling levers and adjusting knobs). That said, we are paying attention to your feedback! We’ll be keeping a close eye on your posts, tweets, and in-game chat, as well as our own internal data, and if it looks like things aren’t in a great place, we’ll definitely reevaluate and make changes if needed. 🙂

    Death’s Breaths are definitely very scarce for characters newly into Reaper of Souls, and they are much rarer than they were in the beta, when players had so many they weren’t even bothering to pick them up anymore. You see a 1000 stack from my inventory in the Beta in the screen below.

    RoS beta mats accumulation.
    RoS beta mats accumulation.
    I’m delighted whenever one drops for my newly lvl 70 char, and I could happily blow through about 50 more in one game, to finish leveling my Artisans and get some enchants upgraded. That said, their scarcity is intentional and I think it’s about the long term balance. Players don’t have any now since we’re new to Reaper of Souls and we’re spending Deaths Breaths like mad on Artisan upgrading. Those are one-time costs though, and after the Artisans are leveled and you only need DBs for enchanting and crafting, and you’re geared to play on a higher difficulty level, they won’t feel so scarce.

    That said, it would be nice if their drop rate was a little higher for characters in the lvl 63-69 range, so when you first got to 70 you wouldn’t feel so handcuffed by their slow drop rate. Of course if Bliz did that then you know players would find ways to exploit it, so perhaps one-size-fits-all was the only way to go.

    Speaking of the leveling to 70 issue, what’s with all those lvl 61 items?

    Level 61 items dropping and I am almost level 66.

    Is there a point before 70 where items that drop from monsters start be be higher than level 61? I am almost 66 on my barb and I haven’t gotten a single item higher than level 61. Is this a bug?

    Yes, it’s a bug. I hope. In the Euro forums, a blue said they were looking into it, but we can’t get a blue to comment here. Which I don’t understand, as so many people have already made posts about this. Please, could we get a comment from a blue?
    Nevalistis: It looks like there was a little confusion on this topic, so allow me to clarify – there is not a bug involved here. Required level is not the same thing as an item’s power level, and it definitely does not mean a level 69 character should feel uncomfortable about using an item that specifies “Requires Level 61.” Items saying “Requires Level 61” on them is by design. The item can be at a power level intended for level 68 or 69 characters but we let players use it at Level 61 – this is intentional.

    A primary boon of this approach is you know that items you find early on in your leveling experience (around 61-62) aren’t replaced immediately upon reaching 63. That awesome item you found at 61 should be able to stick with you up through 69. When there are too many tiers of items, you transition through them rapidly and the items start to feel transient.

    Why bother gemming or enchanting an item if you expect to find an upgrade in 30 minutes? The Mystic’s Enchanting is powerful, but it doesn’t feel worth using if you don’t have confidence your item will still be useful in 2 levels. Another benefit of this design choice is that it is alt-friendly. We think it’s really fun to have the option to twink characters. Why not allow items you find at the upper echelons of the 60’s to be passed down to your new characters fairly easily?

    This does have some downsides, including that upgrades can feel a little sparse between the latter levels before cap (66-69). However, in this situation, we felt the benefits outweighed the detriments and it keeps the element of randomness that we feel is core to the Diablo experience. We want to ensure there is a chance to find an amazing top tier item the moment you ding 61 and get to hold on to it for hours if fortune smiles upon you, though that may mean it takes a little longer to find an upgrade for that particular slot.

    66-70 is a really brutal slog though. Honestly, you could probably tone down monsters or speed up leveling in this bit safely. I’ve had a lot of clanmates griping about it already.
    Nevalistis: It is, and that’s also intended. It’s totally fine to drop the difficulty as you climb closer to 70, because the game does get more difficult as you level up (since monsters now level alongside you). Once you reach 70, you’re entering a new environment where you can ascend back up through the difficulties as you acquire additional gear, shift things around with the Mystic or gems, or gain additional Paragon levels.

    Some folks might start at higher difficulties than others at 70, either because they found some pretty amazing items as they level that keep well or because they’re seeking a really tough challenge and it better suits their play style. That’s fine – the difficulty systems are there to tailor your experience and level of challenge as well as to offer a sense of progression.

    Leveling from 60 to 70, or more specifically from about 65 to 70, did feel slower yesterday than when I did it (multiple times with different SC and HC characters) in the Beta. I wasn’t sure how much of that was psychological; my first character in the beta also did the 60-70 grind in Act Five, but the act was totally new and exciting to me back then, so I was focused on the journey rather than the destination.

    Now in live RoS, I just wanted to get to 70 so I could start finding top level gear and doing Adventure Mode and racking up Blood Shards. So getting to 70 was all about the destination, which made it feel slower. But apparently it actually is slower, according to the Blue post here.

    That said… extenuating factors!

    Most players are doing their first RoS char to 70, which makes it slower for several reasons. 1) You don’t have any higher level gear to twink down, 2) you probably don’t have a friend with a well-geared 70 who could rush you along. 3) You don’t know Act Five very well. 4) You can’t do 60-70 in Adventure Mode until one char gets through Act Five and when played correctly, AdMode will yield much more exp per hour than Story Mode.

    How are you guys doing, or how did you do raising your first char to level 70? Was it fun because Act Five is different and new? Or did you feel the grind and just want to get past Malty and into AdMode?

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    43 thoughts on “Blizzard Answers re: Deaths Breaths and Level 61 Items

    1. I finally got ROS yesterday and leveled my main to lvl 70 in 5 hours or so. Stopped playing after finishing the battering ram quest.

      I had to step down T1 to Master around lvl 66 and step it down further to Expert around lvl 68. Certain creatures like the new Demonic Hellflyer and Primordial Scavenger were taking forever to kill. At the end my hands were just getting tired and I was rushing.

      One little quip I have with Act 5: there are too many little monsters. Not sure why this annoys me but there seems too many of them.

    2. «We’ll be keeping a close eye on your» [..] «in-game chat»

      NSA Blizzard for the win!

    3. 60-70 around 5 hours on T1 from start till end on my barb (including all bossess ofc) i expected difficulty will be much harder and force me into master or even expert especially after beta feedback but probably my old mp10 gear with few hundreds paragons lvls help here alot.

    4. Might the slower leveling also be due to the fact that they are no longer running the +50%/100% experience bonus that we had for a couple of weeks/days? I would suspect that a lot of people got used to blowing through levels pretty quickly with that, after losing it the climb will seem a lot slower.

      • Probably, though I was thinking back to doing it in the Beta before we had that exp buff. There’s probably a HC vs. SC difference too. HC players are used to going slower at times and being meticulous and lowering the difficulty if need be, so the lvl 67-07 wasn’t all that unusual

        For a SC player used to going all DPS in a “faceroll or die” style, any sort of slowdown must feel like fingerpainting with honey.

    5. Leoric signet was helpful on reaching 70. Rerolled into a trifecta leoric signet and the plan is to keep it on torment 1. Bought too much brimstones into RoS, but just enough yellow lvl 60 mats. Maybe I’ll have to farm more while levelling crusader to get CC on DH quiver auto exploding bolas/nemesis (“moar deaths breaths”) reroll

      I’ll try to play on “higher than normal”, because “no Deaths Breaths”…

      • Once you’ve got your main to lvl 70, all those lower tier mats (1-60 stuff) becomes pretty irrelevant. You (almost) never find them playing end game and you never need them, so they just sit in your stash and you only remember they exist next time you level a new char.

        It’s handy to have some of them, brimstones included, since it lets you enchant lvl 1-60 gear and speed the reroll process. I’m kind of looking forward to doing a Crusader for that reason, since I was selling every mat possible during the last week of the AH and I have hardly any of the lower tier mats other than common debris, which slowed my 60-70 process a bit, since I couldn’t enchant any of my old lvl 60 legendaries even after I rescued the Mystic (no brimmies, until I churned a few old orange twink items).

        • There was a bug (I assume bug?) the whole beta if you salvaged anything with a lvl req below 61, due to a -req affix, it would go to the lower tier mats. Even legendary items. Haven’t tested that in LIVE RoS yet….

    6. I got to 67 and it was like hitting a wall. Probably got from 60-67 in the same time it took to do 67-69 (which I’m not *quite* finished yet).

    7. 5) you read all the lore (why does my DH do not slap all these bad mannered guys) and so you progress slower…

      Btw, achievements list is a spoiler so do not click on the achievements you obtain…

    8. I’m having fun on my 70 barb, which dinged 70 shortly after downing Adria.

      I’ve been leveling on T1, but for every boss mob I’ve had to drop it down to Master which has been somewhat demoralizing. I’ve also noticed that the grind is much slower from 65-66 onwards.

      I started RoS with my xp bar about 60% complete to lvl 61, not sure why that was the case.

      Hopefully I’ll finish Act V tonight so I can try this thing call adventure mode. 🙂

    9. At first I was ready to jump on the bandwagon and complain about Death’s Breath drop rates. But I realized I’ve been playing normal difficulty (waiting for gear to jump to higher levels/Torment) and I’ve found enough Breath to upgrade my jeweler and mystic, and I need 3 more to complete blacksmith upgrades.

      I’ve also spent a few on rerolling a few rares. Once I get the upgrades done and also care more about rerolling legs not rares, I think Breath’s are going to be relegated to things like rerolling leveling rares with -25 level req.

      So I actually think the drop rate is fine.

    10. The balance seems about right to me, especially now that I’m aware of the Death’s Breath drop rates. I started out on T1 and they were dropping at a good clip, then at lvl63 I dropped down to Hard, and they mostly disappeared. At lvl68 I finally shifted down to Normal difficulty, which was a little humbling, but to be expected I suppose. I would think with all my leftover gear and paragon levels I wouldn’t have to bother with Normal ever again. As described though, I figure after lvl70 I’ll quickly climb difficulty again as my gear gets back ahead of the curve. In any case, things have been very enjoyable overall.

      I don’t know what people are complaining about with item drops. The experience the blue mentioned where you feel like an upgrade hits every 30 minutes is actually what I’ve been going through, including one streak where I found 3 legendary weapons in a span of about 5 minutes.

      My one gripe might be the enormity of the levels. Don’t get me wrong, they’re gorgeous and awesome, but I feel like I can’t explore any of Act 5 without about several hours of free time to plant myself at the computer. I think more waypoints and checkpoints would have been nice so we could take more frequent breaks for such nuisances as eating and sleeping…

      • I have to disagree. A big complaint about D3V was how small the areas were compared to D2. Now we have more variety – if Act 5 areas are too big for you, farm in an earlier Act.

        • He does not say that Act5 should have been smaller, he says that “more waypoints and checkpoints would have been nice”.

    11. I’ve leveled 2 characters to 70 so far.

      My DH I played straight through yesterday and even got one full game worth of bounties done on. I started on T1, dropped to Master when I couldn’t kill the first boss (don’t have the names down yet, but the guy with the cannon) and then dropped to Expert when I reached Pandemonium, and stayed there through the end.

      My Monk, I leveled together with my husband’s Wizard over the course of 2 days. She felt like she was terribly weak even at 300k damage and was being carried by the Wizard’s damage. But we were still able to do Master all the way through to Pandemonium, when we had to drop to expert. Couldn’t kill Malth, though and had to drop again to Hard to finish.

      DH and Wiz both seem MUCH more powerful than my Monk, even with a lot lower paperdoll damage numbers.

      I didn’t feel like the leveling progression really slowed down all that much, it was quick all the way from 60 to 70.

      I got enough Death’s Breath to upgrade all 3 vendors completely and do some enchanting as well. So I think the drop rate is all right.

    12. Does anyone else have issues with the amount of gold that quests and other things give? I know they don’t want gold to become worthless, but if you had billions of bold from while the AH was still up, you’re in a pretty good spot right now.

      A lot of my friends sold all their gold because they claimed “it drops all the time in RoS and quests give lots of gold” (they based it off beta I guess?) only to find out they are constantly in a pinch gold-wise… crafting costs a ton of gold, and quests/bounties give a paltry amount.

      • Your friends weren’t paying attention during the beta, when every conversation I had or heard about it was, “I’m broke and there’s no way to ever make more gold than I want to spend without an AH to sell in.”

        I recommended to everyone that they bring as much gold as possible into RoS, after converting all mats and gems and old gear into gold, since gold would have some utility while all the rest of that stuff was going to be junk.

        I started the last round of the beta with 80m and was broke for the last month of it, with every penny I picked up going to enchants. I had hundreds of every gem I couldn’t afford to upgrade (except for endless Flawless Imperial gems which enchanting legendary jewerly consumes).

        • Yeah, which is why I went into beta with about 180m. My friends went into beta with a few million (they sold theirs on RMAH) and they are constantly broke.

          Regarding gems, it seems pointless to even upgrade them since it’s so expensive, and the cost does not justify the benefit you get out of the higher quality ones. Not to mention unsocketing them… In many cases, you’re better of salvaging the entire item with gems still inside, simply because the cost to unsocket them isn’t worth it.

          Seems to me that puts people with lots of gold from D3V in a significantly better position. Gold definitely has value now, that’s for sure. And I don’t know what efficient way to come by it other than grinding the hell out of the game. Quests and bounties might as well give no gold at all. I guess it’s better than gold being completely worthless.

          • Disagree on Gems upgrading value.

            I don’t think the cost/benefit is real worth it via Diamonds in armor, since upping those only adds a few more AR (ironically, Diamonds are what most people seem keenest to upgrade) and you can get as much benefit from a single Paragon Point as the next higher level of Diamond. Emeralds in weapons and most things in helms helms are also debatable, since the relative increases are fairly small.

            Mainstat/vit bonuses in armor are huge, though. Marquise is 60, Flawless Royal is 280. The difference costs you 9.9m at current gem upgrade prices, for 220 more stat x 4-6 sockets? The value of gold is harder to quantify w/o an Auction House, but you pick it up all the time and you’ve got to spend it on something, and adding 1000 to your mainstat for 40-50m in gem upgrade fees is a huge ROI.

            Of course if you brought a lot of gold into RoS, then naturally you’ll upgrade all your gems. Especially if you’re in Hardcore where every point matters. I’m down about 20m so far in RoS, on my US Hardcore account, almost all from gem upgrades and enchanting, and I feel it’s all gold well-spent. But I’ve got enough that 20m isn’t even a dent in the total, and spending on upgrades now 1) keeps me alive, and 2) helps me progress towards Torment, where the gold drops and quest rewards are considerably larger.

    13. I think the drop rates are alright. As to leveling, I don’t think it’s too hard to level to 70 now, but I will agree that the items are a little sparse before lvl 70. That said, I’ve worked up a lot of stuff to twink now, so I think after you hit lvl 70, it will be fine.

    14. I really enjoy rifts on my 70, especially for the (sometimes) high number of champions that show up, depending on which zones you get. I’ve felt the experience was similar to bounties, but when I played my low level Crusader, rifts were terrible for experience. I thought it would be cool to save up rifts on a high level character than use them to level my Crusader faster, but it seems like the opposite is a better strategy. Rifts for items, bounties for exp. Can anyone confirm this?

    15. I must be really unlucky, then – I’m level 69 and I’ve only found 2 death’s breaths so far despite having killed lots of elites/champs/quest mobs on T1 & master difficulty.

      I can’t tell if I’m supposed to level (and use) my artisans as I level up or if Blizzard meant it as a level 70 thing. In retrospect, I would’ve much prefered being rewarded with a death’s breath upon completing a quest than getting some random vendor trash blue item.

    16. I managed to get my blacksmith maxed at 12 and my jeweler to 11. The drop rates seem okay to me. I also didn’t have much problems leveling up to 70. I had a marquis ruby in helm, leoric’s signet equipped on me and my follower.

    17. The step up in difficulty around level 67 is quite noticeable. I was playing Act V on normal for my first run, because I wanted to get that out of the way ASAP, but still it took me good 6 minutes to wear Malthael down and he was condirably chippin away at my HP too.

    18. Originally I thought the drop rate on Death’s Breath was bad, but I have found once you start doing Torment 1 and 2 on Adventure Mode that Death’s Breath drop a lot more often. I have a bunch of them now.

      Also, the ramp up rate in difficulty to 70 is noticeable, but as you gear up it gets better.

    19. Well that explains that. I dropped down to Normal just to steamroll and grab enough Dead Bread for leveling up, and was wondering why they weren’t dropping. Clever, Blizzard. Clever.

    20. About the droprate on Death`s Breath I think its poor you need them badly to train artisans I get 4 of them in 5 hours bad move Blizzard

    21. I think it was better to go lower rather than people having so many Deaths Breath they did not bother to pick them up. As peoples gear improve and they move up the Torments people will be seeing a lot more of them.

    22. I don’t know if it is me being lucky but I have no trouble finding deaths breath farming T1.

      I got 8 breaths in one Rift one time and was up to 78 breaths in total, before I enchanted a rare 15 times without getting what i wanted :(.

      I think it really makes a difference once you have trained all your artisans to lvl 12 and when you can farm more efficiently, since everything you get before that will have to go directly into training.

      I think I am in a better position than most though since i was lucky to get my hands on a stone of jordan during 2.0.1. So I have around 1.6m dps against elites farming T1.

      Gold is more of a problem for me. I’m down 2 million since release, from 122m to 120m. I will farm myself back up before I spend more I think. I want to have a buffer so that I can spend it on important stuff later.

      • Wow, first world problems. You went down from 122 mil to 120 mil… I’ve got about 6 mil…

    23. Correct, in the start of RoS this death mat was really hard to get. But now, I got so many that Im not picking em all up anymore.

      The thing i really need, is forgotten souls 🙂 Been rerolling this stupid sword 14-15 times now, without getting socket :/

    24. I found 2 but I only played for 2 hours.

      I just wonder what to do with my 4000 demonic essences…

      I also find death breath a bad chosen name: If death is Malthael, how can daemons carry death breaths?

    25. So, I found a total of 3 Death’s Breaths in my journey from 60 to 70 in the Act V story, and that was probably 8 hours of play over 3 days. Within the two hours of playing adventure mode right after, I cleared about 8 bounties and had 9 total death’s breaths in my inventory.

      I think the drop rate is just fine in adventure mode.

    26. Did they increase the drop rate? I thought it was ok before, but I played this morning for 2 hours on Expert and got 13 while doing bounties.

      I see people reporting they are getting 1 in 4 hours of play on T1. I have to wonder if they are just missing them among other yellow spam and not picking them up.

    27. Something happened while playing this evening, I’d like to be checked by others:

      While playing a rift I went back to fully clear the area. Where I’ve previously killed a boss mob, which I remembered hadn’t dropped a Deaths Breaths, there lay exactly that. That made me thinking, if it sometimes just takes time for a Deaths Breath to appear after a kill. On further occasions I tested this by waiting a while after each Breathsless boss mob kill. And of ten times without one initially dropping, there were three to four times, when it took between ten seconds and about two and a half minutes and a Deaths Breath suddenly appeared. (Hadn’t noted the exact rates, as I’ve just tested the case, not it’s frequence.) Thus, although not reliable, my assumption proved correct and could be “reproduced”.

      So can somebody take a look at his game and try to confirm this?

      ’til then


    28. Now I need a good advice,I have played for 3 days now 5-6 hours a day with my lvl 70 para 196 DH and my crusader lvl 46 in adventure mode normal mode,and try from, normal up to T1 and guess what not one singel death
      breath ???????????????? all other kind of crafting materials legendaries gems you named but not death breaths?? and yes i have bein playing Act 1-5

      any suggestions ????

    29. Your Crusader won’t find any; they only drop from level 61 up. The chance of drop increases at higher difficulty. I’d suggest taking your DH into the highest difficulty you can reasonably handle and do rifts, since they have lots of elites.

      • Thanks dude I forgot to write yesterday that I do rifts also and I can do

        T3 without big problems, but still no Death of Breath, only on the first night I got a few, really wish they was possible to trade but they are account bound 🙁 anyway thanx will do some more rifts got loads of these stones to open rift 🙂

    30. wow only lousy 31% for torment 1 when it feels like torment 1 is super hard.. i have like 3mil toughness on my barb and itfeels i can take 3 hits max from elite pack and 250k life is gone just like that.. i feel the rewards and drop is a big letdown really.. its not worth it….

    31. some times when a deaths breath is dropped and I go to pick it up it disappears and doesn’t show up in my stash am I doing something wrong some one help

    32. QUOTE

      wow only lousy 31% for torment 1 when it feels like torment 1 is super hard.. i have like 3mil toughness on my barb and itfeels i can take 3 hits max from elite pack and 250k life is gone just like that.. i feel the rewards and drop is a big letdown really.. its not worth it....

      Risk vs reward is busted, but this is a PBKAC. Take your toughness and then double it. If you can’t manage that yourself ask a heavyweight dev for assistance.

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