If players see the greatest gain in gold profits coming from the need to pick up most anything and return once their inventory is full to purge it for profit- then that is what they will do. Straight up.
White items will not be worth the inventory space. No one will pick them up. If people start picking them up we’ll reduce the meaningless amounts of gold they already sell for even further. We can address these things if they happen.
Being perfectly honest about the cauldron and cube, they were removed for very ‘designery’ reasons which makes it difficult to explain to people playing the game. Players want more freedom, more choice, almost limitlessly, but a game is defined by its limitations. It’s our job to define those limitations, and enforce them to create the type and feel of the game we’re attempting to produce. There are a lot of good reasons, such as breaking up combat, giving very solid and safe stopping points for groups (especially strangers), as well as ensuring players are staying acquainted with the town, its inhabitants, features, and what it offers.
A player may say, well that should be my choice, I should just be able to kill demons without a break for as long as I want. It’s our job to make those limitations for the betterment of the enjoyment of the game, even if it’s an intangible and almost psychological improvement that on the surface appears to be a nonsensical remove of freedom. I expect this response to further confuse and enrage, unfortunately.
In another related post, typical crafting recipe, if they can’t be salvaged, and sell for so little gold that they’re not worth picking up.
Diablo is about loot explosions. We can’t realistically have loot explosions without a bunch of confetti and glitter that makes it all look exciting, but has no value except to make the explosions more satisfying. Gold still did this to a degree, but we were missing the “arrows and bolts” of yesteryear. White items were worth something and we really didn’t have any junk we could just throw out with no limit. Now we do.
Blizzard hasn’t commented on it, but they’ve either changed the ratio of return from salvaging, or greatly rebalanced all of the crafting costs. (Or both.) Currently in the beta, a typical crafting recipe is something like 11 Common Scraps and 4 Subtle Essence. More expensive rare crafts cost like 15 white/8 blue/3 yellow materials. This requires players to pick up and salvage most of the whites they find, since you need a lot more white materials than blue, and only need yellow for rare recipes. (There are no recipes that use orange mats in the beta, though you get them 1% of the time from blue salvaging and 5% from rare salvaging.)
With these big changes though, we’ll have far fewer white mats. Thus recipes need to cost fewer white, or else salvaging a blue item needs to pop 2 or 3 whites, rather than just 1 as in the current system. In the current patch, a player who salvages most everything that drops winds up with considerable surpluses of white mats, so it seems like the design is (was) meant to require salvaging every blue and at least half of the whites you find, to maintain the proper materials to cost ratio. If you don’t salvage most of the whites, then you wind up with a surplus of blues and not enough whites.
The real chokepoint in the current system are the yellow mats. They are supposed to spawn about 5% of the time from salvaging a blue, but but either I’ve had terrible luck or that 5% yellow is more like 1.5%. (You get a rare mat every time from salvaging a rare, but since those almost never drop, other than from the Skeleton King quest drop, you don’t have them to feed into the grinder.) My current Clvl 13 Wizard, who has done quite a few Leoric runs, salvaged every blue ever, and spent quite a few of them on crafting to pimp her out, had 4 rare mats and 6 orange over her entire career, with literally hundreds of blue mats. Thus she was only able to do one rare craft ever, while capable of doing hundreds of blue crafts.
That said, we don’t know how Blizzard means the system to work over the course of the game and into the end game. There are a lot of rare crafting recipes, but it’s quite possible that they mean those to be uncommon indulgences, and that players winding up with tons of white and blue mats, but only enough yellow/orange to try those recipes rarely, is a feature, not a bug. Or maybe it’s all due to the fact that (virtually) nothing drops rares in the early game, but we’ll see those much more commonly later on, leading to more yellow and orange mats.