Diablo 3 Ask the Devs Round 2: Itemization Starts Today!

Blizzard has posted the official “put your questions here” thread for round two of the developer Q&A. This one is themed around itemization, and if you want to get your question in, you’ll want to add a reply to the official B.net thread later today, once it opens for business.

Welcome to the Diablo III Ask the Devs global Q&A. In this thread we’ll be collecting your questions regarding itemization, having the community vote for their favorites, and then posting the answers we receive from the developers approximately one week later.

COMING SOON! This Q&A will begin on Monday, March 11 at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

The topic for this month is itemization.

To view our latest update on itemization in Diablo III, click here. We also encourage you to check out recent posts made designers Wyatt Cheng and Travis Day for more information.

On the date and time specified in this post, we’ll unlock the thread and you’ll be able to submit your questions regarding itemization (as well as vote for questions you’d like to see answered).After 48 hours, we’ll lock the thread. At this point, you will no longer be able to submit questions or vote.We’ll then look for the posts with the most votes in participating regions and pass them on to the Diablo III development team.The following week, we’ll provide you a list of answers delivered directly from the developers. Depending on how many questions the developers answer, we may break their responses into multiple parts (posted on different days).

Only one question per post.Stay on topic. Questions that don’t relate to the chosen topic (even if highly-rated) won’t be sent to the developers.Discussion posts are not allowed. We ask that you only post questions in the Ask the Devs thread. If you would like to discuss related topics, please do so in another thread.You can vote for questions at any time while the thread is unlocked.A highly-rated post does not mean it will be answered, but we’ll do our best to answer as many questions as possible.”Dislike” votes don’t count.

Please don’t post or vote for questions you know we won’t answer. We’re not going to use these Q&As to announce new projects, expansions, or release dates. By the same token, we’re also not going to answer questions that touch on subjects outside of the game and its design.Keep your question concise. One to three sentences should be plenty to explain background and ask a question.All “Like” votes count. While you can’t see the vote tally, we can. Even if a post is already highly rated, your vote still means something to that question (potentially) being answered.Vote for as many questions as you like, keeping the above tips in mind.

For more information about Ask the Devs, click here.

The recent itemization blog was full of good attitude in a, “they get it” sort of way, but short on specifics. So let’s hope some of the questions can tease our more details on how the item updates and changes will work.

There’s also a debate to be had over whether a patch can make impactful itemization changes. Many players feel that can’t come about until an expansion (which would be optional to play/convert to), since several major game systems need to be reworked and Blizzard can’t do that in a patch since it would destroy the value of current items. Common suggestions for the whole redo include revamping the attributes system, returning elemental damage types to importance, totally reshuffling affixes, reweighting which affixes can occur on which types of items, adding a higher tier (ilvl 64+) base item types, etc.

If you hold to that logic (and I mostly do) then anything the devs do now is just a bandaid meant to make things more fun in the short term. Which is fine — they can add a bunch of new fun/interesting legendaries to the current item pool without upsetting the whole applecart, or tack on some more BoA crafting recipes, etc, purely for short term improvements and diversions. Every change doesn’t need to be major and massive.


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  1. To Blizzard – please upset the whole applecart. The whole applecart deserves upsetting.

  2. Now their answers to this Q&A will be highly anticipated.
    Hopefully they let Travis day answer most of the questions and give us some meaningful info.

    • Because Travis Day’s blog post was nearly the same as the past blog posts?

      This Q/A will be just as bad as the last, except worse, because the topic is something that’s needed discussing since day 1 of release and nearly a year into the game they are finally going to cover it. And it will be a glorious disappointment.

    • Blizzard is a poor excuse for a gaming company now and I’m just here to watch them fail and burn after they made us wait for 10 years and Cleveland Steamere’d our chests. It’s too bad my collector’s edition didn’t come with lipstick because I at least wanted to look pretty when I’m getting fuck3d.

    • I don’t think we can expect much – Itemization and why it sucks in particular in D3 is a huge topic – i don’t see how anyone can get a meaningful conversation started with a 1 question / user limit and Blizzard being particular dodgy about uncomfy topics

  3. I’m REALLY curious about the questions and their answers. The game is in a pretty good state for me, if they deliver the mob density patch, and the revamped legendary system, the only thing I’m going to look forward to is the expansion 🙂

  4. Work on itemization should have started 10 years ago. Instead of making a fuss about what they will MAYBE implement in MAYBE half a year, they should rather give the game the coupe de grace by pulling all the server plugs, and start the game from scratch.

    • Iteration is a word ‘I shall always abhor’ thanks to Blizzard. Diablo III, tha’s iteration for you. They didn’t iterate enough. Shame.

  5. Meh. The examples of new legendaries Travis Day gave aren’t game changing, but just cooler then the past legendary rework. It’s more of the same, just better shifts to being different.

    I have seen some of the most amazing ideas for legendares and legendary reworks posted on reddit and the d3 forums with full threads of nearly all positive feedback and support. This idea to let all legendaries roll in inferno is needed, but it’s also just a really lazy fix which seems to be what d3 is all about. Underwhelming lazy fixes that get people already enjoying the game hyped. It doesn’t do much for bringing players that quit back to the game and the changes are honestly pathetic for the time it takes to implement them.

    Lazy fix after lazy fix for this game. I’m sorry, but I can’t see this Q/A as being very useful especially now that everyone is wooing and awing Travis Day and most of the discontented players have pretty much given up voicing concern. Its hilarious because Travis Day’s blog post was nearly the same thing you would get from Jay Wilson or Wyatt… with slightly a little more empathy sprinkled in… and everyone is clamoring how this is some great change in the direction of d3 and communication. Desperate much?
    Scrap this disspointing mess and give us an expansion with real changes instead of lazy fixes.

  6. Buuuut buuuuuut…!!!! they are letting low level legendaries that are also boring get a stat stick in inferno! THAT’S SO GAME CHANGING! Plus wizards might possibly get another horrid hydra with a new legendary orb! and and and a new legendary will let you RUN THROUGH monsters! SO game changing dude. All hail blizzard, d3 is fixed!

    • I’m not playing the game these days, but running thru mobs with an item is actually game changing. Unless they make it so that only int classes use, it will change the game and builds for sure. Think of whirlwind, tempest rush, vault?

      • IIRC you can already run through mobs with those skills. Could be wrong though. It would still be a nice bonus for certain situations, albeit gimmicky. Personally, I wouldn’t use a Legendary just because it makes me ethereal.

  7. I’m not so sure allowing ALL Legendaries to drop in Inferno is a good idea… If every last one of the 100+ Legendaries has a chance to drop, how are you ever supposed to farm for one in particular?

    • They are thinking about certain named bosses/rares having a higher chance to drop X legendary. It’s not like you can farm for specifics now anyway so it wouldnt make a difference.

  8. Ahhhh at last the one we’ve been waiting for! I think that this may be their final opportunity to convert some of the naysayers here myself included and make good on this turning over a new leaf thing. I personally would like to hear something along these lines…

    We’ve been listening and we understand that this is one of several core problems that has been brought to our attention repeatedly since launch. We can prove it. Here is a list of ideas we found workable that you have suggested over the past several months and here is a list of things we have come up with on our own. We have already begun work on x,y, and z and we plan on getting something out BEFORE the release of the expansion pack.

    If I were them I would put particular emphasis on a plan for the next major legendary/set item overhaul just to set a positive mood. Leave the items that work alone. Take ALL of the items that have traditionally been vendor trash and go back to the drawing board with them. Take an interesting and perhaps underused class build that needs a boost to be competitive and give it an item or two or three or an entire set of items.

    I really want to see a spark of creativity from them here. Proof of life! I want to see that their eye is on encouraging replay, new characters, and build variety via working on itemization. It all comes down to this. Continued disappointment or a new hope? Only time will tell but now at least we know it’s coming soon. 🙂

    • I think we’ll get this from them

      “We’ve been listening and we understand that this is one of several core problems that has been brought to our attention repeatedly since launch. We can prove it. Here is a list of ideas we found workable that you have suggested over the past several months and here is a list of things we have come up with on our own. We have already begun work on x,y, and z and we plan on getting something out BEFORE the release of the expansion pack.”

      I don’t think its very useful though since the game has been out nearly a year so saying something like “we can prove we’ve been listening” is a bit redundant and honestly useless at this point. It’s possible current legendaries will get affix re-roll, but certainly something we can expect them not to do with how shitty they have handled most changes.

      I don’t think there is anything they are willing to do to adjust replay-ability, nor do I think it’s even much of a concern for them. It was hinted at that itemization is being worked on to adjust for build/skill choices, but I reserve quite a bit of hesitation on declaring them capable of getting it right.

      • I’m a realist. I admit this may be their same old smoke and mirrors routine in fact I’d say there’s an extremely high probability that they are BSing us with this latest round of hype. I really have nothing to lose at this point though since I’m way past refund… So yeah I’m willing to give them one final chance to turn it around. They screw this up though and I’m jumping ship. Only way I would even consider buying the xpac would be overwhelmingly good USER reviews on metacritic. No more blind preorders from this guy.

  9. Doesnt matter what they do with legendaries, any good/interesting legendary just becomes food for AH speculation and will throw the price to the billion+ tag, thus being impossible to attain for any normal player (since finding one is already astronomically hard).

    The game has barebone mechanics (we dont even have elemental effects) and no character customization, it doesnt matter what they try to do with items there isnt that feeling of “that item would be great for a [buil][name of class]”, the only difference in D3 is if you are playing with a Dex, Int or Str character… in D2 it was so clear how different the items of a Bone necro would be for a Summon or Venom Necro, but here its all so generic you might as well stick with one set of items.

    Ah and there is also critical damage that has already FUBARED the whole itemzation since everyone relies on this affix and that has made the damage numbers just out of control and blizzard doesnt have the balls to put a cap on it after all the money/gold spent by players to throw the percentages up on the sky.

    • Exactly. Suppose they hit the nail on the head with the introduction of new affixes for itemization and changed/new legendaries that really are game changing. It honestly is only a part of the solution. The game is so simplistic and missing so much depth that ultimately it doesn’t addresses the greater problems that exist. All we are seeing here is a repeat of the old legendary revamp. The discussion is a mirror and the people hyping, looking forward to, coming back for the new changes mirror the same situation back then.

      Within a month of the changes most people that came back will quit saying the game is still broken, too simplistic, the itemization is still not very good, the farm is boring blah blah blah. Those currently enjoying will gladly welcome the new changes and continue to like the game. I don’t see anything yet that even promises the capability of turning this game around. Same old pony trick.

      Sure, I would love to be wrong about this, but hey… Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

  10. I am wondering if Blizz will be reducing the numbers side of things, it feels similar to what is going on with WoW and the number inflation. I hope somehow that they can.

  11. Has anyone ever considered that Blizzard has no intention of bring the players that quit back? Maybe Blizzard is just trying to create things for the fans still playing the game and dont really care about the nay-sayers.

    We don’t know the numbers on who is playing the game still but if there are enough people still playing that would make a expansion sell well, then Blizzard has no reason to please the minority, if that is the case.

  12. Well it certainly is a number low enough to shame them into not allowing full population display as it was planed on 1.07. Their arrogant tone has changed considerably after the first 3 months of play.

    And for a franchise heralded for its replayability, its not a sign of success, unless it was their intent to have D3 to be such a discardable experience all along.

  13. If I had 200MF and farmed 90% of act 3 in 1 hour at mp0 how many hours of play till I am expected to find a stone of jordon. This is a mathematical theoretical expectation. Does this make sense for self found non-ah players?

    Page 4 of europe.

  14. I’d wager the minority are the current players playing the game. Given all the posts from head honchos at blizzard, and the insane number of times they have tried to reassure the community they want the game to be good and are committed to making it better its pretty clear from that alone that they have lost a massive amount of players even beyond what they expected for the estimated drop off.

    I think either way, its clear that so far nothing is being done to make this game a lasting legacy like d2 and honestly I doubt those changes are going to take place outside of an expansion anyway.

  15. I want to like this game, but there’s so many reasons not to. Too little, too late. So many other games to play, and most (all?) of my friends have moved onto other games as well.

    I wouldn’t continue lurking on a D3 site if I wasn’t still mildly interested in where things are going, though. Every time I kinda feel like playing D3 again, I just end up not logging in, however.

  16. You call it “just a bandaid” but that’s the wrong way to look at it. This is an iterative process, they’re using these patches to figure out the ideal solutions to these problems. Better that they use base D3 as a test bed to get it right, and then when the expansion comes they’ll have finalized these design philosophies. No doubt they’ll increase the level cap, effectively invalidating all the old gear and replacing it with new gear at the new level 70 Inferno. After that they can do whatever they want to clean up the game and make it as if it was built that way from the start. All the old gear can just be marked Account Bound, clean up all that junk from the AH.

  17. I liked their ideas about

    “a Barbarian set that makes Call of the Ancients last until they die (after we give them full pet survivability), a Wizard Orb that allowed for two Hydras to be active at once”

    If this is their new design approach they take on items modifying skills like this then this is a good start, I mean hell its better than what there is so far. They would need to come up with hundreds of ideas like these though.

    Why not make a set for wizards instead of just an orb where that orb be part of the set that every piece increases the amount of hydras that can be active 4 piece set = 4hydras.

    Sets or items that completely modify skills for a class sounds interesting.

  18. Skyrim is very good though.

  19. My previous post was meant as a reply to Portakal, obviously. Sorry, I have to say that this comment section, with it’s lacking edit button, threaded view (which makes it really hard to see when new comments are posted) and temperamental reply button really *bleep* *bleep*.

    As for the new patch, this is the one I’m most excited about. I played D2 because of the items and if they can finally make Legendaries and Sets exciting and more common (they need to up their drop chance even more), then I’ll be happy.

    Dropping less trash, I mean Rares, but making them generally better would also help a lot by making the game less tedious, even with the new identify all (FINALLY!).

    The way I see it, balancing monster density throughout all the acts is just icing on the cake, although I’m really sick of Act 3. It’s easily my least favorite part of the game. I hope Act 4 will become worthwile to play. They really should up the drop chance of monsters there in MP0. Making it the same as Act 3 is ridiculous, since the enemies are much more dangerous.

  20. Am I the only one who’s not all that thrilled w/ “game changing gear?” I remember Enigma, and how it completely warped everything around it, build wise, expectation wise, PvP wise, and certainly economy wise. Also, if they are going to bring out these uber-legendaries, MAKE THEM ACCOUNT/CHARACTER BOUND. Otherwise, they’re just another mandatory expense in some elitist build guide.

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