Diablo 3 Legendary Items All Stink?

Diablo 3 Legendary Items All Stink?

Look at all the Souls...
Look at all the Souls…
A fan brought up the perennial complaint, got a Blue reply, and then it went deeper. Diablo 3 Legendary Items All Stink?

Legendaries – 95% garbage design

Please Blizz, make all useless Legendaries have a useful stat….afterall, they are legendary.
Tyvalir: We’ve actually been adding special powers to Legendary items that previously didn’t have one, but since we’ve done it gradually, it’s not always immediately obvious.

For instance, Depth Diggers, Leoric’s Crown and Sash of Knives all had new Legendary powers added to them in patch 2.1.0. The same will happen for Wyrmwood and The Band of Untold Secrets (renamed Halo of Arlyse) starting in Season 2.

I’s been a while since it was last brought up, so I can see how it’s nice to have a reminder now and then. Great discussion, PowerCosmic!

I would say that amulets are the one item slot that I’m always eager to identify, regardless of knowing which legendary power it will be.
Tyvalir: I used to feel the same way. Since the recent patch, though, I’m far more likely to get excited about other item types, including Legendary or Set items I already have (since they could be Ancient items). I’ve heard similar comments from community members.

It’s worth noting that one of our long term goals is to make more items competitive with those considered “best in slot.” For rings, that means creating better alternatives to Unity, Ring of Royal Grandeur and Stone of Jordan. For sets, that means better alternatives to existing 6 piece Sets (some of which you’ll see in a future patch).

Ideally, this should mean you’ll get more excited about many different item types, as we gradually introduce more desirable Legendary item powers over time.

and btw.: what about all our ideas from the Legendary Workshop from Blizzcon?! I’m sure something useful is in there as well.
Tyvalir: Ah, great question! John Yang and Julian Love actually discussed some of the Legendary item power ideas submitted for the workshop during our follow-up livestream. Aside from he power picked by the team at BlizzCon, there were several others that John and Julian mentioned wanting to add to the game.

While I don’t have any specifics to share right now, if we were to move forward with any of those Legendary Workshop ideas (or different powers based on said ideas), the earliest players might see them added to the game would be in patch 2.2.0.

I hope this isn’t a trend where every single existing legendary gets a power and then is made seasonal only
Tyvalir: Actually, the majority of items on which we’ve added a new Legendary power (specifically when the item didn’t already have one) have been made available to non-Seasonal characters as soon as they were patched in. For example, Depth Diggers, Kimbo’s Gold, Sash of Knives and Leoric’s Crown all fit into this category.

While some Legendary items that are updated in this way will be introduced through Seasons first (as is the case with Wyrmwood in Season 2, for instance), we don’t currently have plans to make all such items Seasonal.

This issue comes up constantly, and for an obvious reason — it’s true. Most of the legendary items in the game do lack legendary affixes, useful or otherwise, and those without orange bonuses are generally junk, to well-geared characters.

In a weird way the ever-increasing legendary drop rates makes this feeling worse. Back in D3v lots of players had rares in multiple slots, either because they rolled better than legs or because legs were so scarce (or both). Now that legs drop constantly, fans get no thrill from any old *CLANG* and want them to be useful items, and with good rolls, too. But of course that’s a Catch 22, since if more useful items drop, we gear up faster, which makes additional upgrades that much less likely.

I don’t think *every* legendary has to have a special power, since 1) there aren’t that many special powers to create and balance, and 2) there has to be some not-great gear to make the better gear stand out. And 3) the devs are clearly using the legs to extend the play experience, by adding another dozen or so each patch/season.

So is there a solution? If you could wave a magic wand and put a useful legendary affix on every useless orange item, (pretend there’s enough dev time to create and test them all, plus good ideas for 100+ new legendary affixes) is that what you’d do? But wouldn’t that be too much too soon and kill longevity? Is there value to adding just a couple/few new legs for each class, creating more of a focus on each one, rather than having 50 at once, thus making the 48 or 49 of the junk, with only the 1 or 2 that are BiS holding value? Or am I just Stockholm Syndroming here, and looking too hard for the silver lining in the very slow development pace of good new legendary items?

Related to this article
  • John Yang Joins World of Warcraft Team
  • Watch all the Diablo 3 Dev Lightning Talks
  • Diablo 3 Podcast #200: Diablo 3 Legendary Item Postmortem

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    21 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Legendary Items All Stink?

    1. I very rarely equip legs w/o leg affixes, but I still find them useful as crafting fodder. For the 360 version, I would like to see more leg affixes, but I'm pretty happy with what I'm seeing as a casual gamer. It does seem that without the multiple equipped items with affixes, my chars would be dead many times over. No hard data, just anecdotal experiences. Big fan of Glad gauntlets and Goldwrap now(esp. compared to D2) and some of the dmg effects are pretty nice. Sebor's Nightmare has saved my butt several times.

      • The crafting fodder thing is a real issue, since you know when you find one of the few BiS legs… you're going to need to enchant it from 5 to 50 times to get the ideal stat. Thus there is a real need for junk legs to turn into Souls… but of course if there weren't so many junk legs, then you'd find more stuff worth using w/o needing 50 Mystics to make it so.

        • TBH, I'm so used to enchanting legs for better stats that I forgot about that aspect of it. I wish every leg was awesome, but I'm not sure I'd still be playing if that were the case. Is is junk for junk's sake, or junk to make decent legs seem better? I do love turning junk into crafting materials, tho. The idea that I can somehow make use of everything that drops is very satisfying to me. Part of why I quit playing WoW is because I got tired of being harassed by players and/or monsters when I was trying to mine ore and stuff. LOL

    2. This is one of the D3 subjects where I feel there is no excuse why the situation is as bad as it is. We know the devs have tons and tons of data on what legendary items are used the most by the player base. They know the relative strength of one legendary to another. Therefore, it should be fairly easy to identify and target the large amount of garbage legendaries. While they have made very small progress on this issue too much still needs to be done. The pace at which this is happening seems too slow and on purpose. When is the last time you seen a Neanderthal or Nailbiter called out in a build guide on the forums? When was the last time you were excited about finding an Deathseeker’s Cowl? Probably never. Now ask yourself how long those Legendaries have been in the game? Why add new Legendaries when so many are still garbage? Why are we being punished finding Ancient Pig Stickers when it could be only one patch away from being somewhat useful instead of a joke? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

      • "ZOMG do these rabid customers even know what they want!? First they start yelling when something in D3 is not like it was in D2, and when you give the angry mob D2-style year-long patch cycles they're still not satisfied. Ungrateful Weirdos."

        Speaking of which, I'd suggest to continue the naming theme from 'seasons' and 'eras' for patch cycles: 'Aeons' has a nice ring to it. You also won't find a better suiting term either. 🙂

    3. I do think there's this strange Double-edged Sword thing going on for the devs. On the one hand are we too hard on the Devs demanding Super Unique Build Changing Legendaries? But at the same time I do think it's a problem of their own creating, and so no I don't think it's actually too much too ask.

      IMO: 1) A lot of other ARPG legendaries are 'just' stat sticks, just like they were in D2 – they didn't alternate your abilities or anything, they just gave you +X STAT. And they did the same in D3, fair enough, but they ALSO give us a few Super Interesting Legendaries that actually alter our abilities. Can't we be happy with these EXTRA awesome legendaries??! Aren't we thankful?!

      On the one hand yes there's surely that element of just "now I've seen how cool a legendary can be I just want more!", But that isn't ALL of the explanation, perhaps not even most of it, even if Blizz would like to think that it is.

      The bigger factor, IMO, is that the the 'stat game' of D3 is so shallow that 'stat stick' legendaries are useless. You CANNOT make interesting builds via stats in this game, you just can't, whereas in other ARPGs you can. For starters in D3 there's only a handful of stats available, and it's basically a given which you'll use. ANY piece of armor: Primary, Socket, and two of Vitality/AR/Ar or sometimes the 4th stat MIGHT have some variation. End of story. So Legendaries HAVE to have a unique legendary effect or they WILL be garbage.

      And this is a hole they've completely dug for themselves. You can't create a stat system as bland as the one D3 and then complain when the inevitable repercussions of that blandness come home to roost.

      I do think all Legendaries need legendary effects, and it's kind of annoying to see them trot out only 2 or 3 each season when in some ways it doesn't feel like NEW content but feels like FIXED content that should have always been there. Although, I do understand that if those garbage items just weren't in the game to begin with then I would see them as new items, which honestly probably would have been better had they not been in the game to begin with.

      p.s. Sorry, I could write about this for ages, but seriously, what's just as annoying as many legendaries not having effects but that even A LOT of the legendaries that have effects are so astoundingly underpowered compared to other legendaries that it renders them useless. If they just took a relatively small amount of time to bump the numbers up on these items it would make these items more useful and it's basically 'new' content for relatively little work.

    4. In a perfect world there’d be 1-2 legendaries for each slot that were just stat+ items. Nothing weird or zany, just a mathematical bonus. And then every other Legend in the game is open to do cool stuff. Not even necessarily BiS stuff, I’d settle for anything unique. Anything to let you think outside the box when it comes to designing your character is nice in a world of every DH is M6 and every Wizard is Firebird.

      • In a perfect world, rares would make up those items with higher base stats, and legendary items could have affixes rares could not (AS on belts, etc.). So you have legendary item with 8% AS on belt, but only 500 main stat, while rares could get 750 main stat but no AS, or a belt with 500 main stat + neat affix.

        That way ALL items are interesting.

        However, this only works with hard caps or breakpoints on things like crit, crit damage, AS, resistances, etc.

    5. the drop table is cluttered with too many legendaries that do nothing… all that does is deliberately prolonging the player from finding a legendary worth using.

      we salvage most legendaries that have special affixes anyways because it has unusable stats or we already have a better one.

    6. I sort of agree that not every legendary needs a special property…but there are so many that are just "stat sticks" or have really crappy special affixes (or at least properties that aren't build changing) that it skews the overall quality of items to being pretty poor. All of this is symptomatic of three factors: 1) Blizz designed the runes for the skills to be substitutes for fancy item properties, 2) Blizz purposefully made all the legendaries extremely bland and boring in D3V (at launch) and 3) it takes the devs a few/several months to create/test/balance just a handful of new items…and then get it tested on the PTR before finally getting patched into the game. Realistically, we're going to have a lot of "worthless" legendaries for quite a while.

      On a related note, I'd like to see them create items that allow for a lot more builds and flexibility in builds. My idea for the Legendary Workshop was a crossbow (for DHs) that summoned a succubus ally, but her abilities changed depending upon which Hatred generator you used (for instance with Bola shot, she would summon fallen lunatics; with Evasive Fire, the succubus bolts would have a chance to knock back enemies). I came up with this idea before the M6 changes, so I was trying to create incentive to actively use Hatred generators…and allow for different builds depending upon skills of choice.

      In the end, though, I think the biggest problem for improving item quality is Greater Rifts. I'm not in the population of players that is obsessed with leaderboards, but it's going to be very hard for Blizz to come up with new items/properties that will allow those that want to climb up higher and higher ranks. Adding a special property to the legendary spear Scrimshaw that opens up a new build for farming T6 is great for a lot of players, but it will still prompt a lot of griping from the vocal minority on the forums. Along with stash space, complaints about legendary item quality won't be going away anytime soon.

    7. “I would say that amulets are the one item slot that I’m always eager to identify, regardless of knowing which legendary power it will be.”

      I would say the opposite. Once you get Hellfire Amulet, any legendary amulet drop is waste of legendary drop in your mind.

      • I've never bothered to hunt for a good hellfire amulet. It seems an incredible time sink, with all those warden runs, 4×4 keys just for one pass through the portals, and then maybe 1/20 chance of getting a Hellfire Amulet with a good enough roll to be competitive on cc/cd/sock/eleDmg.

        I guess the passive you get is a real make or break, and probably that varies by class/build, in terms of just how much DPS you'll lose from your amulet to gain that 5th passive.

    8. I think that with the current philosophy of the game, all of the items need a legendary affix, and more importantly most of them need to be skill or playstyle specific. Currently, the only way to make some skills useful (at least above like T1) is to either buff the base skill or create a legendary affix that either directly buffs the skill (wand of Woh for example) or synergizes with it very well, giving it an indirect boost.

      Since *some* of the legendaries already have powerful special affixes, it limits even T6 builds quite a bit, though there is more variety there than some seem to think. For me, it's less about a pure upgrade path in gearing, and more about finding items that'll encourage me to break the monotony. If a couple of legendaries opens a new build that is only a little less effective in T6, then I might change to it just to do something different (and perhaps more fun). Same goes with Grifts. Even if you care about leaderboards, sometimes it's just nice to do something different, and even if it can't go quite as high, it'd be nice if the drop off wasn't so extreme that it's a huge efficiency loss from an item/material gathering perspective.

    9. item design in this game is totally screwed up. A legendary should absolutely have a special property OR have major stat improvements over those that don't. (except for weapons as everyone would end up using them) Weapons should always always have a special property.

      2handers were broken forever. When they fixed it they broke 1handers. ESPECIALLY for the crusader. the interesting one handers for the crusader simply can't match the 2hander dmg output.

      Set items are majorly broken with their current design. They insist on making sets not just build defining but mind boggling overpowered to the point where if you want to do the best dmg you can do, you are forced to a specific set. Forget playing the way you like with the skills you love. If you happen to love the skills currently super buffed, hooray. Otherwise you are shit out of luck.

      With this philosophy, we are forced to wait for them to design a set around new skills. Which of course takes them 6+ months to do which is absurd because Billy Bob is the only one working on the set items.

      I love the game but I disagree soooo much with their current direction.

    10. I think they're going at it at a good pace. Especially when you look at where we've come from. I mean, as much as we complain about D3 vanilla … we did play it forever … I played it straight up till the expansion was released … and there was hardly a decent legendary item.

      Everybody was trying to get:

      Mempo of Twighlight (with crit)
      Echoing Fury (with low fear)
      a Skorn
      or a decent

      But, did you ever notice that 3 out of 4 of those items have been stripped of any chance of decent rolls?

      Last season they removed the small available crit Damage from Manticore entirely; from a possible 35%(or 40% I'm not sure which) to nothing/no CHD.

      Can i ask why? who are they trying to punish? us or the items? Was it that they were just so sick of seeing every class with the a skorn or a Manti that they decided to remove any chance of us wanting to use one?

      Now, every time a Skorn, a Mempo or a Manti drops … I know I'm going to destroy it before I even ID it.

    11. It's not *only* the lack of special legendary mods. It's that 95% of legendaries have a 0% chance of being useful to anyone at all. The mentioned pig sticker is a great example, because there's nothing about it that anyone could need. No properties, no special stat bonus. If at least half the legendaries found at least had a chance of high IAS or a stat that doesn't occur naturally in that slot, there would at least be a chance that some character sometime in the future might want it.

      That's the big difference, knowing ID unseen that the thing you just picked up is guaranteed trash is demoralizing.

    12. It's kinda silly that this is still an issue, after 3 years…

      I get the devs want to make this game unique from D2/LoD. I get that idea in general. But in this case, LoD's Uniques (along w/ various other things in LoD) just sh*t all over D3. Every Unique was useful to some degree.

      It's almost as if D3 devs are unwittingly admitting they cannot design legendaries since they rely on so much randomness and put useful legendary affixes on just maybe 1/7 of them.

      And to make things worse, they keep making minor changes to some legos, some being changes that make the item unique, some being changes that just further homogenize the item to be like all other items.

      I wonder if that joke "D3 is still in beta" is still going around?

      • I'll be fair, some legos are really-well designed (randomness aside). But those seem to be the exception.

        • I should also add, some legos also have useful unique properties which aren't necessarily lego properties (i.e. +elem dmg, or guaranteed general affix rolls, etc)

          (btw, why is there no edit on comments??)

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