Should Current Diablo 3 Items be Upgradeable in RoS?

A fan asks about a system to upgrade the quality of current items and gets his hopes and dreams show down by a rapid blue reply.

I’m still wondering if post-expansion we’ll be able to upgrade the level of the current items (i said “upgrade the level”, not “reroll stats”). We all know they are going to increase the level cap, so, what about the items level 63? Garbage?
Nevalistis: At this time, we don’t have plans for an “item upgrade” system in the manner that you’re describing.

As your character gets more powerful (read: levels up from 60-70), higher level gear will become available to you. That aspect of loot acquisition isn’t really being changed – higher level characters will, naturally, find higher level loot and want to replace their lower level loot. Current gear shouldn’t lose its value. That said, with the changes coming in Loot 2.0, you may find new gear that better compliments your build, and you should find upgrades just as you did when you climbed your way to 60.

I assume Nevalistis means “as your character fights higher level enemies” rather than “levels up for 60-70” since in D3V it’s the area and monster level that matters; not your character’s (except as that builds your own power and allows you to put on better gear). And that’s what I’m actually more curious about. In D3V ilvl 50-59 gear is junk compared to ilvl 60-63, and you can’t find 60+ until you’re in Inferno. Will RoS be the same, with all the best stuff ilvl 70? Or will good rolls on ilvl 64-69 have some potential high end value as well?

As for the upgrade system, there’s some precedent — the Diablo 2 Expansion had cube recipes that let players upgrade Rares and Uniques from Normal to Exceptional, or Exceptional to Elite quality. But that game had a very different item system, with all base item types repeated 3 times in rough overlap with the 3 difficulty levels, so upgrading from one to the next was logical.

That wouldn’t really make sense in Diablo 3 with its steady progression of item types through all difficulty levels, and it would be cheesy to go right from the start in RoS (it was added to D2X in a patch years later). After all, the whole point of adding higher level content in the D3 expansion (and removing the Auction House) is to let players fight tougher monsters to earn better gear; not to just buy it in the AH or craft it in town. And that’s not even mentioning all of the general difficulty changes, shuffling of values for affixes, adding new affixes, implementing hardcaps to some properties, removing leech at lvl 70, etc.

High end gear in RoS is going to be *better* than what we see now in D3V, but it’s also going to be *different* in the stats and values of those stats, and it seems like the devs need to balance that around characters who are all equipped in new RoS gear; not upgraded versions of D3V gear. Whether or not you guys like that change remains to be seen, so how about a vote:

Should Current D3V Gear be Obsolete in Reaper of Souls?

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  1. You say ‘guys’ as if no women play D3, don’t make me call the UN on you flux…. 😉

    • In this particular usage you can refer to a group of guys, girls or a mix as “guys”. It’s common for a group of girls to do so among themselves, i.e. “What do you guys want to do tonight?”. Now whether you consider that part of the patriarchy complex is another issue…

  2. This whole afair is the very reason Diablo 3’s itemization can never hope to reach Diablo 2’s itemization. On all my Diablo 2 characters I had items that were way bellow my character level, just because they benefited my build. And I didn’t do this consciously, it just came naturally. Higher level items (the really good stuff) were so hard to find you were lucky if you had one.

    In Diablo 3, everything you own is the really good stuff… With or without the auction house. It’s nowhere near what Diablo 2 offers.

    So I replied “no” to the question, but just because I think Diablo 3 would be much more fun if items where more than simple numbers. A good level 60 item could last you the whole game in Diablo 2. And items went up to 99! So in Diablo 3, a good level 63 item should last you the whole game too.

    • You are romanticizing D2 waaay too hard.

      • I have clocked hundreds and hundreds of hours in Diablo 2, even as late as early this year. No rose tinted glasses for me here. I stand by everything I said.

        • I don’t think you know what rose-tinted glasses are…

        • No doubt, but lets be honest. There was a handful of builds and most wore the same uniform even across the different classes. Gaze/Shako, Enigma, eBotD, ss, etc, etc. If anything, synergy gave way to some unique/focused type builds but even still. I would agree with you more if you said D3 had too much variety in weapons or even builds. I had waaay better stuff self found in D2 then D3. But to your point that having some “lower level” uniques being viable at endgame I do agree. I never disagreed with your overall point. Sorry if that was missed.

      • Romanticizing D2 too hard? If anything, we are not “romanticizing”, as you put it, Diablo 2 enough. Diablo 3 showed us how much screwed up a game can be and thus highlights Diablo 2 even more.

    • THIS x 100. Basically one of the many many issues with d3 itemization which was pretty apparent from the get-go. They can, and seem to be working on better affixes but the item level=power does not seem to work as well as Diablo2’s way of offering end-game level items from lower difficulty levels and level requirements. This is a WoW-transplanted idea that works well in the mmo genre but hinders gameplay in a ARPG. Take the Shako for instance, req level 62 which is nowhere near the top and could even drop from some nightmare bosses. It was an items that could easily be used for the rest of your character’s in pve or pvp. In Diablo 2, you could pretty much equip any and all items you wanted/needed to play end-game content at around level 75 and you could find end game items way below those levels.

      Also, when you think about it, there were items from pre expansion diablo that were actually some of the most desired/expensive items in the game, specifically rare boots/rings/ammys that could not spawn certain amounts of affix combination amounts anymore. Then there were some .08 uniques that changed but weren’t made obsolete like the d3 system.

      Now that I am starting to remember things a little, even Blue/Magic items were end game worthy in diablo2, I was constantly picking up monarchs, circlets-diadems-tiaras, javelins, amulets, great helms and armors in hopes of getting some of the best items (mostly pvp-related but the point stands). Not to mention whites/grays being useful (that is another issue though).

      I suppose diablo 3 is just a different game, meant to be enjoyed differently and of course there is some \nostalgia\ involved when comparing d2 to anything but the at the end of the day Diablo2 truly was lightning in a bottle that somehow through design, sheer luck and even the fact that it was hacked (duped runes, ethereal zod bug, legit bugged items dropping*) combined into something amazing that worked on so many levels that almost every single person you talk to who played it has tons of positive things to say about their experience with it and almost uniformly found themselves fairly disappointed with it’s successor.

      • I think the itemization issue you describe is what Blizzard are working on and failing at for about two years now. As mentioned many times before though, this is a core issue that would require rebuilding the whole item (and affix and rarity and drop chance and crafting and …) system instead of adding more and more makeshifts on top of its current, quintessentially faulty incarnation.

        With the auction house gone (and nothing even worse announced to take its place – so far), there is at least an opportunity for the developers to massively cut back on the numeric randomization (copious value ranges, hypersegmented affixes, …) with their next item overhaul. Imagine legendary quality item drops to actually inspire a feeling of sensation once again instead of preprogrammed disappointment over a .0001% chance for that piece of loot to turn out decent.

        Beyond that, of course, there is still lots of room for improvement as you suggest, such as making common quality items the original state for crafting, balancing affix quantity vs. quality on magic/rare items etc. This however, would again require the developers to spend even a lot more effort on the itemization system, which their budget may or may not cover (considering it doesn’t translate into AH micro-transaction fees any more).

    • Just curious if you played D2 during it’s pre-expansion days? You could convert your character to expansion once it was released and could upgrade your items via cube recipes, but the stat caps in D2C were so low it was hardly worthwhile to do so. Just wondering if you gave that some thought in your reply.

  3. Well, yes, current gear should be “obsolete”, because it’s all trash right now. Post 2.0 is a different scenario, but I don’t think I’d call that D3C loot anyways.

    The changes to the game and loot in general should *hopefully* make everything now obsolete.

  4. I imagine that gear of the current level will still be fine for current level play, but will be obsolete for lvl 70 play. The difference between monster lvl 50 and 60 now is huge, and I imagine that it will not be too different between lvl 60 and 70. That having been said, it now may depend more on what the weapon does than on the level of power; a lot of things are changing, and most of the large methods of stacking DPS (AS, CC and CD) are all getting capped. On top of that, all of the legendaries are getting new and, potentially, powerful abilities. I could believe a scenario in which a Monk with the legendary that makes Dashing Strike free would keep it even if it was lower level and lower power than an item found later, simply because it worked better for the build. At the same time, I greatly doubt any of the legendaries we have now will hold to that ideal, simply because none of what we have now offers that level of build customization; you can’t really build off of legendaries now the way we might be able to in RoS, so as far as I can see, there should be no reason not to upgrade our current gear for higher level RoS play.

  5. Can we please use D3C instead of D3V? Or at least poll it.

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  8. In d2 like tiago said a lower level item could still benefit specific builds greatly. I liked that system more then the current one.

    As for how you will be upgrading, I kind of like the feel of the upgrade path with world of warcraft after an expansion. At least the early expansions. A hardcore player in all the best epics his gear could last him easely till the next level cap. To me it felt somewhat like a reward that my gear was good enough to last me another 10 levels. So for hardcore players it should be tough to find upgrades. In that way your good gear still retains value in the expansion. For poor geared characters they should quickly find better stuff.

    In terms of ilvl I think that a well rolled ilvl63 should be about as good as your average ilvl70

    I would love to see build specific gear. lets say you have a lvl63 with a superb roll for your build. it should surpass a random stat stick at 70. Currently if you see a ilvl59 drop I don’t even bother picking it up. It’s kind of sad

  9. Definitely the jump between 59-60 is way too vast, especially for weapons, but if you can faceroll normal mode and get key pieces for your build, that doesn’t sound very fun, either. Personally, I’d add more iLevels at the end, and make iLevel 74+ only drop in higher Monster Power. Gives better granularity, and means you don’t need such a steep curve from 59-63.

    • please no. You can not make any one part of the game be the only place to find good items. It makes it to where everyone feels like they HAVE to play there.

  10. Just as an item of clarification, you can find level 60+ gear in late hell. I believe it caps at ilvl 62 in act IV and ilvl 61 in act III. Too lazy to do the research, but thought you might want to correct the article.

  11. If they added upgrade recipes, they would probably make the upgraded gear all account bound. Blizzard sucks.

  12. You can’t have any benefit from AH!

  13. If they do that, they’ll reward AH players!

  14. Diablo 3 Vanilla. — no expansion.

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