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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