The biggest part of PTR testing is ensuring the drop rates are correct, and there is not some hidden issues.
Tyvalir: While it’s not necessarily the biggest part of a PTR, testing the drop rates for different items is certainly important. It’s one of the reasons we don’t have a special vendor or adjusted drop rates for patch testing purposes.
As much as we like feedback on how it feels to finally wield powerful new items, it’s just as important that we get feedback on whether an item feels too rare or too common. That said, we appreciate you all taking the time to find items on the PTR, take them for a spin, and tell us what you think!
I don’t necessarily agree with Tyvalir here, despite his heritage and the fact that I had several nice conversations (via text or lip-reading, alas) with him at the Community Corner during Blizzcon 2014.
Sure, drop rate testing is an important part of the PTR for a new patch, but unless Patch 2.12 greatly changes the drop rate, the devs have endless data on that from the Live realms. Adding one or two new items of a given item type won’t make any real difference to Diablo 3’s very simple drop odds tables. (Though bugs might happen and testing is the best way to discover them.)
That said, what do you guys think of some kind of item merchant on the PTR, whether it’s Kadala with 100% legendary gambling returns or something else? Players often say they don’t want to PTR since it’ll take too long to gear up and they could spend that play time on the live realm. Or players actually fear finding something great on the PTR since it’s not theirs for real. If the great gear could just be loaded up like candy from a vending machine, would that increase PTR participation on the whole?