Blue on Item Upgrades and Gear Sets


During his late Friday forum activity, DiabloWikiBashiok started off making some joking replies, then turned more serious/informative after some fans called him out for the frivolity. This resulted in 10 blue replies to the same thread, the last 5 or 6 of which are full of interesting item info. Here’s the start of the posts.

Why do you keep replying to the non-important threads Bashiok? Each of your posts gets less and less substantial…

Bashiok: Please point me toward important threads.

Three posts are then required for Bashiok, owing to his unfamiliarity with D2X item upgrade cube recipes, to confirm that unique item type upgrades will not be present in vanilla D3. I’m not quoting those to get right to the good stuff:

Without being able to upgrade the item to the next tier, does that mean the lesser tier item is salvage garbage?

Bashiok: Right, going back to the tier thing which I believe was a misunderstanding of me referring to the visual sets. It doesn’t have to do with item stats at all really, just cohesive armor looks.

There are better and better items as your progress through the difficulties and they can roll out more affixes as they go higher. So to answer your question, yes, worse items would be sold for gold, salvaged for crafting materials, or otherwise ‘traded’ away.

So you cannot spend gold to have a merchant upgrade and stack on a better affixes?

Bashiok: You can certainly make items better, adding extra sockets, upgrading gems, adding enhancements, adding affixes, etc. But the fact of the matter is that you can do all of those same things to higher level items, so they’ll always be better.

if so, why not? If a player thinks a weapon or a piece of armor looks cool and wants to keep it over an uglier yet better weapon isn’t that a kink in the fun factor?

Bashiok: We think upgrading items and changing the look of your character is fun. You could also easily slip into a feedback loop where you’re putting time and gold and effort into these items. You would very likely reach a point where you don’t want to have the same sword anymore, but could you justify swapping it out and starting over on upgrading a new weapon to get it to the same place?

There is, however, something to be said for characters at very end game, and wanting to diversify in their look beyond what’s already available, but that’s not an immediate problem and something we could potentially address if we feel it necessary.

Click through for the rest, because moar.

Something has been bothering me and since you mentioned the visual sets I guess I will just ask: how are the visual sets (18 different looks last he heard I believe) related to ilevel or item power if you prefer? Can any ilevel spawn with any of the 18 looks, or are looks segregated by said ilevel, or even segregated by difficulty? I just feel 18 looks from the beginning of Normal to the end of Hell seem scarce if looks are somehow linked to a tiered progression by power. Any info you can disclose about visual sets distribution throughout the game/difficulties?

Bashiok: They are distributed through difficulties with each difficulty dropping items of a specific number of visual sets. So, for instance, in Normal you may see set looks one through five dropping. In Nightmare you may see the visual sets six through ten. etc. Just an example, I’m not sure how exactly they were decided to be broken out.

This is interesting… hypothetically how could you go about this? Any not-to-be-used-but-good-to-illustrate examples?

Bashiok: Mmm… I dunno, maybe dyes named for each visual set and when applied it makes the dyed piece look like an older set? I’m sure it could be accomplished in better ways, but that seems fairly simple, at least.

So yeah, this was more or less how I thought you guys had made the system… as you have played the game, does 5/6 set visuals per difficulty feel progression enough?

Bashiok: I think it feels really good. You’re not getting whole sets dropping for you so it’s a pretty constant upgrading process. You’re probably not running around with a complete looking set for long unless you’re denying yourself upgrades to make a cohesive look, or just getting bad drops.

Does it not occur that you start to find the looks repetitive? (Honest doubt and trying to get your feelings on this since you have been playing the various builds.)

Bashiok: I’m not sure how they’d be repetitive (?), you’re fairly constantly finding new looking items. Throughout each difficulty. They don’t repeat. Each difficulty has its own group of item looks that only drop in that difficulty.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Gear Sets, Items

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