In addition to adding new Legendary Items (mostly Seasonal) and adding new Legendary Affixes to existing Legendary Items (mostly non-Seasonal), they’ve been tweaking Item Set bonuses. The biggest difference between those changes is that the new legendary properties on orange items require players to find that new item, but the changes to Sets (greens) are retroactive.

    Some players appreciate this, since the changes to sets can be used right away, but others don’t like their existing gear/builds being affected retroactively, so there’s been debate over the issue. Today a Blue leapt in to offer an official verdict. Here’s Blizzard’s Philosophy on Retroactive Item Changes:

    We’re very careful about retroactive changes. We try our utmost to avoid them, especially because we know some folks get attached to their build. However, in cases where the gameplay can be genuinely improved, there are exceptions we’re willing to make.

    Her "pre-coffee form."

    Neva’s “pre-coffee form.”

    Set items are one of those exceptions, particularly because of their “sticking power.” Once you get a full set, you’re very reluctant to move away from it, because it did take time to acquire and put together. On the flip side of that is putting in a new version of the set, which then requires players to reacquire it all over again. It also doesn’t solve issues that are created by sets with unhealthy gameplay. When defining unhealthy gameplay as something that’s either unengaging or legitimately painful (emotionally or physically) to play, it’s something we need to address.

    Both the Sunwuko and Marauder’s changes fall under that category of unhealthiness, though for different reasons. We want gameplay to be engaging (which Marauder’s wasn’t accomplishing) and enjoyable to play (which Sunwuko’s offered, but in a way that was physically painful to execute).

    These changes are both quality of life fixes, though it may be hard to discern that at a glance. Marauder’s still revolves around Sentries, but now in how they make you better and more powerful. Sunwuko’s is still the set where you generate clones, but now they make your spenders more powerful. The path on how we accomplish those goals has changed, but the intent is to make sure that the level of power is the same (or better), even if the journey there is a little different.

    The OP in that thread goes on about how Marauder’s is ruined… and then updates after he tried it on the PTR to admit that it’s actually much improved. But still…!

    The Blue alludes to it, but along with discouraging hoarding, I think there’s a pretty obvious issue with logistics that ties into the way they’re making new single item Legendaries require finding, vs. Item Sets getting retroactively changed. When it’s just one item, it’s not hard to find the new one, and in (almost) every case the legendary items getting a new Legendary Affix didn’t have one before. So it’s not like someone was using Gungdo Gear bracers for their old affix, and will be put out by the new buff to Exploding Palm on them. Those bracers were just a stat stick before.

    That’s very different with Item Sets. They all had existing bonuses (some of them admittedly not very special), so while the changes thus far are all buffs, they’re also changes that require lots of items to unlock. It would suck for players to have to re-find all 4 or 5 or 6 pieces of a set to get the new bonus, and it would be confusing with two different versions of the same set floating around. How would players tell them apart? Different names? Would sets provide both bonuses at once, if you had 3 of the old and 3 of the new, plus a DiabloWikiRoRG?

    So what do you guys think of the way Blizzard is implementing the legendary item changes/improvements? I’m all for retroactive changes on Sets, since all the changes so far have been tweaks and improvements. If Blizzard ever totally changed how a set worked and it was a mandatory benefit via retroactive, that would obviously be much more open to debate/complaint. Agree or disagree?

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