Don’t Just Focus on Legendaries in Diablo III

A fan coming from a WoW-centric item system asked about top quality items, and got a useful reply from Bashiok.

What drops TIER armors and LEGENDARIES?

i beat normal and didnt find any of it
Well there’s no such thing as ‘tier’ armor in Diablo III. We use the term ‘tier’ to refer to the visual cohesiveness of the art of items, not their power.

Legendaries have small drop chances. The game is really about killing monsters over and over for a small chance at very rare items, so yeah, you’re very lucky when you get those good drops. I’d recommend not focusing purely on Legendaries, though, as the end-all items. A perfectly rolled Rare, or even well-rolled rare will be better than a Legendary.

To answer your question though: Anything. Absolutely anything can drop any rarity of item, it’s just about drop chance. Rare and Champion packs have the best drops, though.

While Bashny is correct about item quality and scarcity, there’s still something so much more exciting about finding a shiny green set item, or a golden unique. Even if they’re now dull orange and merely “legendary.” It’s hard to get them in D3, though. Act Bosses and the other big mini bosses don’t drop higher quality loot, even on their quest drops, once you’re past Normal difficulty. Even Magic Find is scarce and grants not much of a bonus.

Players are finding and crafting some such goodies though, and if you want to see screenshots or add your own, we’ve got a forum thread dedicated to that purpose. So shiny!

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24 thoughts on “Don’t Just Focus on Legendaries in Diablo III

  1. I’ll try to add the Split Tusk mask that my wife’s WD is wearing.  Found in early normal Act 2 on a trash mob.  As they say, these things drop just about anywhere – it is just highly unlikely.

  2. I think having that one item out there and searching for it madly has a very addicting quality and I could see how people would miss that. The alternative is that it makes the item hunt a bit dull since you know what you want and what it looks like and you’re going to get it, sooner or later. With D3’s system, every time a rare drops, I can still get a bit excited that it might be godly, as opposed to saying, “Darn, it’s not The Occulus!” Which isn’t to say that some of the Legendary items aren’t pretty bad ass… unless you get absolute crap rolls on it. :/

    Half way through NM, still haven’t found a legendary. 🙁

  3. I just found that belt last night! The witching hour.

    I’ve found one legendary and about 30 rares through normal. 80% of rares from champions or bosses. Not finished yet though. 🙂

  4. “It’s hard to get them in D3, though. ”
    I find them in the AH all the time  😆

  5. We got a legendary sash in act 3 normal, was trash though…
    I don’t really like the fact that legendaries are not that good. I haven’t looked at them that much but I hope they have some special properties, otherwise they would be worthless.

    • Most legendary items are tuned for the end-game. Legendary items you find earlier in the game are often kinda bad – just like the case was in D2. If nothing else the legendary you found probably had a relatively low level requirement compared to the (potential) stats it offered – you might have outlevelled it when you found it, but I expect it would be strong for a player who just meets the level required to use it.

  6. I think Blizzard really dropped the ball with Legendaries.  There’s nothing “legendary” about them at all.  They are just average-quality rares that almost never drop.  Why would I buy a Legendary for 300k when I can buy a better Rare for 30k?   

    • Agreed. I still haven’t found one. I did a skim through the auction house last night and the ones I looked at were generally worse than the gear I already had on, and I’m only clvl 33 at the start of nightmare.

      The item stats in general are pretty sucky too. Blatantly missing is any sort of +armor or +%armor bonus for items, which was always very important in both D1 and D2. It seems that the best item stats are ones that simply add to your attributes; I’ve got an amulet with +79 vitality that equates to a massive 790 life on my Wizard. Stuck in a flawless amethyst to take it up to +97. IIRC I’ve got around 3000 life, so that single item is giving me 1/3rd of it. It seems like it’ll be a long time before I can find anything to replace it.

      I’ve also managed to buy simple blue items from vendors that were better than the rare items I was wearing because they had more attribute bonuses and less trash like “attacker takes 4 damage” etc. 

      Edit: Now I just found an amulet with +136 intelligence, giving me +112 damage on top of my current 496. Tough choice :/

    • That price difference is a problem with the market, not necessarily with the system. People are trying to price-gouge because they expect stupid people won’t bother to read an item’s stats, see orange, and assume it’s better. We haven’t really seen endgame legendaries in action yet, so making judgements based on the current AH is pointless.

  7. If legendaries are not better than rares (i.e. – the highest level, hardest to find legendaries from inferno are still worse than rares from inferno  (I can handle pre-inferno legendaries being on par with rares)) then this really is a huge oversight for a game that has been in development this long. Surely they know diablo players would be fired up for finding those sweet unique items. Up until runewords they drove the repeatability of diablo 2, and drove the same thing for D1 (pvp excluded).
    If you make them worse than boring randomly-generated rare items then this will diminish the endgame somewhat; ‘oh I’ve found the grandfather sword!’ I tell my friend.. he replies ‘meh whatever I got a great exhalted rare hammer with random stats that are favourable’. And we are both slightly saddened by his victory.
    It follows that the rarer the item, the greater the reward should be. And if that is not the case then blizzard are shooting themselves in the foot, as the economy from the RMAH will suffer. People would pay for a perfect grandfather sword.. parting with hard-earned cash for some random rare will be a harder sell, even if it is better.

    • Why is a randomly-generated legendary any better (or less boring) than a randomly-generated rare? Legendaries have random properties on them too now. A number of fixed properties, but also a number of random ones. I think the “victory” is in finding good gear, regardless of the name or color of that gear. Since we haven’t seen the drop tables, we don’t actually know if a legendary item is harder to get than a rare with stats capable of beating that legendary item.

      • Well ‘boring’ is obviously a subjective term, and so some may indeed find it more fun to have any class of item be better than the other. For me personally, and I suppose those who I play with as well, the fact that they have bothered to create a unique look for an item, add lore to it,should naturally be complemented by that item – which stands out in every other way from other items – also standing out in terms of effectiveness. It just seems more intuitive.
        I suppose you could go back to the Diablo 1 model of having king’s sword of haste (blue item) and other random combinations of affixes being the most sought after – but I personally don’t see why. And given that legendaries also have random properties, it still adds the ability to build towards a certain tactic that rares offer.

        Each to their own though – I just personally would rather have legendaries (as implied by the name) being legendary in power instead of just artwork.

      • I think it still should be the average high level unique is better than the general rare item.  I should not just pick up a rare in inferno and a unique an know that the rare is going to be better 9 out of 10 times. (Sorry Legendary..)  I love good rares and think yes they should be able to best them, but it should not be that often.

        On a side note, I am more concerned about the lack of set drops.  Still haven’t found any at the end of Act 2 and not sure when they start(haven’t bothered to look it up.)  I enjoyed low level sets and their bonuses.  

  8. I think the move away from legendary items as the one-and-only focus is great. Less focus on cookie-cutter builds (people often seem to forget that itemization played almost as much of a role as skill choice did in D2 cookie cutters), and more focus on intelligent, decision-making gameplay. I expect that legendary items will generally be really strong. Sometimes a rare might beat out a legendary if the properties roll the right way (or the wrong way on the legendary), but I don’t think that destroys the value of legendary gear at all.

    • My issue is not with constricting the number of player choices (now that there’s so many skills and legendaries have random properties attached, this is not much of an issue), simply that I feel it is inconsistent to implement a game whereby items are ranked in this hierarchical system, and yet have the developers saying that ‘a perfect or even a well-rolled rare will be better than a legendary’ – note, not sometimes it might slightly edge it, but even a well-rolled rare WILL be better. Perhaps I’m picking up on the language used too much, but this is what it implies.
      If sometimes a hugely improbably fluke of a rare item happens to beat a decent legendary of the same level then that is ok, especially as different builds will want different stats in different slots. But saying that even a fairly good rare will certainly beat legendaries in the same bracket, as this blizzard post indicates, suggests that legendaries are effectively blue items with added lore. Personally I’d miss legendaries (uniques) meaning something – not for purely logical reasons I know, but there was something special about those golden items dropping back in D2 that a random rare won’t live up to. Could be just me, in which case fine – I’m happy selling rares 😛

      • Well going back to D1, one thing that made uniques ‘special’ was the combination of modifiers that normally you just couldn’t get on that particular item type at all, like Dreamflange having +30 magic, +50 mana, +50 magic resistance and +1 to all skills: no other way to get these on a 1-handed item. There are lots of examples from D2 as well, and of course the more generic D2 uniques that are just ‘strong’ items of that type.

        In D3 the lengendaries don’t seem to have any particularly interesting or unique modifiers at all. 

  9. I’m level 50 and about to start hell and still haven’t seen 1 legendary drop. I wouldn’t be surprised if I hit 60 and still haven’t seen one. Plenty of rares though, so I have little to complain about.

  10. Just want to say I am loving this game I am still in normal act 2 (got a late start  :P) and have almost all rates on my barb but no legendaries I also bought a topaz gem for my helm that adds 15% mf my overall mf is at like 54% 

  11. Sometime back I was talking to a guy about Diablo 1 and D2. He reminded me that in D1 you always knew you had the best item in the game. Just recently that thought has popped back into my mind while playing D3, maybe that’s the intent. It was good knowing what to actually aim for rather than working it out for yourself. Will we eventually end up with screenshots of the best of the best gear possible to the point that you can’t do better? If that’s going to be the case then jobs like working out how far you need to go until you can’t be better will probably appear as webpage calculators soon enough.
    Although that does have a negative tone to it, one thing is for sure. The expansion can really revolutionize this game. Atm I’ll call that an opinion though since I’ve only just got my first Legendary mid nightmare. Still lots to see, well I hope anyhow. The gems seem to be the kicker to me, it’ll be what makes characters unique at least for a few months anyhow. In fact I’d go so far as to say that gems are everything at this point of the game.

    • Another thing you have to consider is that D2 and D1 especially had many fewer item slots, which made picking each individual item much more important.

      In D3 we have so many extra slots that it’s not uncommon to say “well this chest armor is weaker than what I’m wearing, but these pants I just found are better than the other ones I had, so if I combine them together I’ll come out ahead of what I’m wearing now”.

      Also because it seems the main item modifiers to go after are simply attribute boosters, and it appears all attribute boosters can appear on all item types, it’s very easy to make up for a particularly weak item in 1 slot with a much better on in another slot. Ultimately it means there won’t be a single set of ‘best items’ for slots, but more “best aggregate stat bonuses from items possible”. 

  12. The gold AH is flooded with these “ultra rare” legendary items. Most of them are collectables only. With limited stash space nobody wants to keep them. It’s disappointing realy.

    The auction house has major issues. And its such a big impact on the game, I never fully realized how much it effects gameplay. The game is about item hunting. But you would expect the hunt to be while killing monsters, not with browsing the AH. With 10 million items on the AH…

    Maybe the listing limit should be only 3 instead of 10, keep the no canceling your posts, maybe then some of the trading will be done between players directly. The supply is to high.

    I also got serious doubts about the RMAH now. I doubt anyone will buy things from it. Maybe the extreme level 60 items… but even those will be common in time.

    I’m thinking about drastic things to solve the problem. Like not being able to list items that have a lvl requirement below lvl30. Those ruin the normal difficulty playthrough anyways.

  13. I got a strange kick from playing endgame characters running around with low level unique items that truly brought something unique to your itemization. Barbas using Iceblink in D2C when cold damage was highly sought after. Or like Silks of the victor. High lvl zons were still using it way past it’s shelf-life simply because it had mana leech on it,  freeing up rings/amulets/weapons for other stats.    

    I haven’t seen all the legendary items in D3, but I’m hoping there are some timeless classics you can pick up in A3 normal and still wear in Act4 Inferno.

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