Fix the System: Infernal Machines & Hellfire Rings/Amulets


Hellfire Ring proc used to do this.

Hellfire Ring proc used to do this.

Sitting in clan chat the last couple of days, I’ve tried to talk some other players into doing some keywarden farming and then some Ubers. Without success. Plenty of players are geared enough to split farm them quickly in T6, but no one enjoys the process, and the chances of getting a good roll on a Hellfire Amulet remind of the old one-liner about playing the lottery. (It’s a tax on people who are bad at math.)

Arguments against:

  • Key farming is the slowest and least fun thing ever (next to Wave of Trials?), with a long search for each of the four keywardens located somewhere on their huge surface area maps.
  • There’s little exp/item reward in KW farming; much less than the Rift(s) you could do in the same time.
  • There’s only a 50% drop rate for the keys even on T6 (though thankfully the Ubers have a 100% drop rate on T6).
  • The Ubers are very easy for well-geared chars, making the epic portal battles an afterthought.
  • The odds of a DiabloWikiHellfire Amulet rolling with anything approaching BiS stats are incredibly low, and many players feel one of the immunity amulets is mandatory for higher GRs.
  • The odds of an ideal DiabloWikiHellfire Ring is non-existent, since even a perfect roll wouldn’t be BiS in the ring slot in v2.2. At best it’s something you can gear for the exp boost on T6 or mid-GRifts, or put it on your Merc.
  • Etc. Because yucky…
  • Some players will do them anyway, especially people who have hours to play every day, since even the very long odds of a great Hellfire Amulet seem worth it. And/or it’s just something slightly different to do for a chance of pace. Most players don’t even bother, or just do a few early in a season, get all junk items, and lose interest.

    So how could this system be fixed, to become more compelling? Hellfire Rings and Amulets with better odds of rolling well? Quicker key farming? Fewer keys required to make Infernal Machines? All of the above? Here’s a vote with options for improvements. Pick all that you agree with, and of course there’s a “current system is fine,” just in case Jay’s voting.

    Changes to the Infernal Machine system. (Vote all you agree with.)

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    Try my new, less convenient location.

    Try my new, less convenient location.

    I didn’t mention that Portals should close after use so players can do multiple Infernal Machines in the same game, since that’s got to have universal support.

    Note that the system has seen some recent changes. Keys now drop globally, so players can split-farm KWs in multiple acts at once and Uber Maghda’s annoying invulnerability no longer lasts so long. On the other hand, the A4 now takes longer to farm, with Nekarat moved from the smallish Silver Spire Level 1 to larger, longer Gardens of Hope 2nd Tier.

    Hit the comments to explain why your idea for fixing the system is better than any of these, or share in the brainstorming.

    Comments

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    1. Well. in my opinion for the amount of work involved it should be an auto best in slot item, just like in D2 the hellfire torch (rolled at its worst) was still the best charm in the game, so it made all the work worth it. Then you could continue to do the work improved rolls.

      Maybe it should not be an amulet or ring? Charm, or something for your inventory so even if your roll was horrible it would still be some benefit?

      • I agree on all points.
        Brainstorming: They could make it classified as a Cosmetic (maybe after renaming it to be a “Charm” interface, with cosmetic stuff as well as functional items?); that would make it so each character can only have one equipped at a time, and it should also require no new interface or item type coding to implement. It also wouldn’t conflict with BiS items while still leaving choices for players to make – ‘Do I need passive X plus CHC, or Y plus CDR?’…and they could also make more legs later (maybe in expansion pack #2?) that would fight for the Charm slot!

      • Really? Doesn’t that go against many of Diablo’s principles? So what, farm enough and just get BiS? (I understand that obviously by “farming enough” you can get many BiS or close to it, but that’s done via random discoveries and playing the game). So you want to make farming all these keywardens “required”?

        “Ok guys, I just hit 70, well time to farm up all the mats just to get the amulet slot so that I can be on par with everyone else” something like this feels fitting to an MMO, not Diablo.

        I don’t disagree that the amulet/ring is just too sucky – it shouldn’t be best though – it should be an option, it should be competitive. What if we could pick the passive the amulet provides along with one affix? Sort of like forging your own, but picking just 2 out of 5 effects. I’m not sure if this would be too strong, but at least it would make a bit more sense.

        • Just straight-out picking the passive is way too strong. Flux had an option in the poll for a better version of it: when you craft it, you get to choose 1 of 3 randomly rolled passives. That gives you a reasonable chance of getting a passive you’d like to use, but you don’t get complete choice in the matter, and could still end up with a bum roll where you have to pick between 3 crappy options.

    2. For the key drops, instead of being 50% chance of getting nothing (and therefore it’s quite easy to go 3 or 4 kills in a row and not get a key – incredibly annoying), just make the keys into fragments, so you have to get 10 key fragments = 1 key. Then make the key wardens drop a set number of key fragments per difficulty, so on T6 you always get 5 key fragments. This means you’re guaranteed to get 10 key fragments (and hence a key) after killing them twice. It means if you kill them 4 times, you’ll definitely have 2 keys, whereas in the current situation, you could easily have 0.

      This is even more relevant for the lower difficulty drop-rates (whatever they are), so instead of say a 30% chance to get anything, you will now be guaranteed 3 fragments per kill, and so after 4 kills you’ll definitely have a full key (and 2 fragments left over).

      • A great idea, aside from the “adding more piles of junk to our already pile-of-junk-filled stashes…

        • It doesn’t have to be at all.

          If you’re thinking 10 fragments = 1 key, and that you have to keep fragments and also keys in your stash… then you’re on the wrong track.

          Instead of the machines requiring 4 keys, simply make them require 40 key fragments. The ‘key’ item ceases to exist, and is replaced by the key fragment item = no change to the amount of loot you have to store in your stash.

          Or you could just say infernal machines now cost 4 x 10 keys, and have keywardens drop multiple keys each time = exactly the same as my proposal, just using the term ‘key’ instead of ‘key fragment’.

    3. The end result for 4 stacks of each key, with each resultant portal granting an organ from the Ubers, into the hellfire jewelry, is absurdly not worth the toil and trouble doing so. I think you hit this issue right in the head, Flux — and I prominently agree that we should get what the entire thing was worth in the beginning. Even if improving the thing with a guaranteed socket, that would be a start. I’m also going to throw in that the random passive should be able to be rerolled. Even if you get a 2-out-of-3 stat preference, it’s still crap if the third is not a socket, and/or the passive on your amulet sucks.

    4. I highly doubt that they will do anything to improve the current system. Yes, I am a very negative, pessimistic, and cynic person, but also this format was introduced in order to have an unending hunt for something for the ‘end-game’. The ‘slim chances game’ is there by design, not lack of it or due to poorness of it. Additionally, it is not something like Trials that everybody has to do in order to carry on with the next thing. It is something you can do endlessly for a better chance, but you don’t have to. Hence, I doubt that they will do anything at all to change it. I hope they do, but I am not holding my breath for it.

    5. It used to be that 1/2 the Keywarden zones (Fields and Oasis) were the best exp farming zones in the game. So you would basically just do your normal exp runs and the Keywardens were like a bonus. I understand that Blizzard wants to focus people on rifts and bounties (esp rifts/GRs) but I just see a huge missed opportunity for what I previously found to be an enjoyable farming experience. IMO the real problem is that non-bounty/rift farming is pretty useless.

      Easiest fix I see? Have blue/white items drop WAY MORE OFTEN from white mobs that are not in a rift. There is no denying that the Hellfire Ring needs some love, but this simple fix would draw people to farming these runs more often. Is there a more efficient zone people would identify to solely farm blue/white crafting mats? Probably. But farming these zones would kill 2 birds with one stone and make the process of farming keys enjoyable along the way.

      TLDR: Make the PROCESS of getting Hellfire Ring/Ammy more enjoyable. Don’t just increase the rewards or shorten the time it takes to receive them.

      • I like the idea of KWs dropping other useful things. Like big stacks of white/blue mats. Except that’s kind of a band-aide fix that’ll likely become obsolete at some point when blue/white mats get a buff (or costs are decreased) in some other patch.

        Talking to Katniss about this he didn’t want changes since he plays 6 hours a day and has time for farm keys, but useful idea he had was for Odious Collectors to occasionally drop a key or machine. Similar to the idea that Ubers could show as Guardians at times, making them a challenge (scaled up to your GR) and sort of extending the Infernal Machine out into the larger game. The theory is if you got a couple of Organs now and then just doing Grifts, you’d be incentivized to do some Key farming as you were already halfway to a HFA.

    6. If they were easier to get they could stay at the current power level and I’d be happy. You could farm up a couple early on and not feel bad about replacing it later. Would be ok to keep farming them to find a perfect roll too.

    7. Other thing I’d forgotten until looking at old pics was that the HFR used to do that awesome fireball nova proc, until it was changed to the irrelevant lava pool thing it has now.

      People often suggest giving the HFR other leg affixes, like RoRG’s buff, or just some random ring leg affix, so it might roll with anything, and be amazing once in a while. Just throw every ring legendary affix into a pool and HFR rolls one at random each time. Smart drop sorted by class, that is. (Along with the +45% exp, of course.)

      But what if the proc was cool and different also? HFR used to be an awesome twink in D3v just for the fireball it shot out on attacking, which did huge damage for a low level char. That would be easy to return, giving HFR random skill procs, like some random % of casting Earthquake or Cluster Arrow or Glacial Spike or any of dozens of other cool offensive skills.

      • Since HFA gives you a random Passive skill, they should make HFR give you a boost to a random Active skill. Like a chunk of increased weapon damage (like Skull Grasp is for WW), or activate a random skill rune, etc.

    8. I really want a Hellfire Amulet for my UE DH as there are five passives I want to run, but the key drop rate kills me. Personally I don’t want the amulets stronger – I like that a Hellfire Amulet isn’t just automatically best in slot for everything – I just want it to not be such a soul-sucking and soul-crushing event to run for one.

      The idea above about making the runs more profitable in terms of crafting mats is interesting, but just upping the drop rate to at least 75% (but I don’t see the problem with 100% given the hoops one has to jump through for this process and it not being actual end-game content anymore) would do wonders for stemming the rage of being at 10/4/6/8 and doing multiple additional round where only Act 1 drops a key.

    9. I’d just make key drop rates better, and make the ring/amulet have better guaranteed stats like sockets. The ring should definitely come with the same stats as convention of elements so that it’s pretty much always good, while the amulet should just have core stat and socket with other random affixes/passive. Rerolling the passive would be way too OP.

    10. One of the big problems is that many builds can’t use a HF ammy because of the need to use a set ammy. Therefore I think HF amulets should have one additional leg effect added to them–they duplicate the RoRG effect (but it doesn’t stack with an RoRG.) It would make even poorly rolled HF ammies useful and good ones usable over set amulets.

    11. Instead of a HF ammy/ring, I’d like to be able craft a HF gem. Then I can socket that into the ammy/ring of my choice. Would you give up BotP or BotT for an extra passive? I don’t know, but it would be an interesting mix.

    12. Maybe this will get too long, but here I go.

      Infernal Machines were introduced with patch what, 1.0.6? At that time, their intention was to give us an end game option. In vanilla. Since RoS, we are playing a different game. End games now revolve around Rifts and Bounties, and go far away from what we did on the days when Infernal Machines were devised. They are relics of the ingame past. For these to become an ideal end game again, they need to be completely overhauled, the kind of thing we only get on expansions. Here’s what I imagined for it:

      -Get rid of Heretic’s Abode;
      -Keywardens drop Hell Key Fragments (each one different, like Hell Key Fragment of Bones, etc., with 100% chance on T6);
      -Join all the Fragments to create a Hellish Key Stone and use it on Nephalem Obelisk to open a Hellish Rift;
      -At the end of the Hellish Rift, you spawn a set of two Hellish Rift Guardians (they are the actual Uber). They work so that there are four possible random outcomes when you reach 100% of the Rift;
      -When killed, they drop like a normal guardian and, depending on Torment level, also have a chance (100% on T6) of dropping a legendary reagent (let’s call it “Hellfire Ember”);
      -Reuniting three Hellfire Embers and taking them to Shen (plus a heavy amount of gold) would let us craft a New legendary gem “Hellfire Torch” (plans can be bought from Act II’s little girl);
      -Hellfire Torch would only be socketable in weapons, would give us cool powers, like Diablo’s fire nova, and be strong enough to give us an option to emeralds.

      So, I think that’s a good way of translating a Vanilla system into the “Rift Play and Hunt of Legendary Gems” system that is live.

      Note: As I said up there, I imagine this would be too big for just a patch, so I am compensating the removal of the Hellfire Amulet with the condition that on next expansion we get a 5th passive skill slot when level 80 is reached. I don’t bore about Hellfire Ring, cause as it is, it’s just crap compared to 2.2 new rings.

      Thoughts on my wall of text would be welcome. =]

    13. higher key drop rate is all that is really needed. Leave the rest alone. The random factor is what makes the item system work.

      Honestly, if you can just get a 4player group and each get 4keys for each machine…thats 4 amulets you can make in a fairly minimal amount of time. 2 hours tops even with the shitty drop rate it is now. No other item exists in the game that you can get guaranteed this way. It should definitely stay fully random.

      Just increase the key drop rate. It will shorten the pain just enough.

    14. Amulets don’t need to be stronger, but the key drop rate should be increased. 50% on T6 is just too small, especially since 50 Blizzard-% is about 25 Normal-Human-Beings-%.

    15. What I think is a good option is for the passive to bubble to your character if the amulet is worn by your follower. This makes the normally crappy crafted amulets somewhat useful if their passive roll is good.

      It also tackles part of the issue where solo play is much crappier than group play. This gives solo players the possibility for a sixth passive.

    16. I like the 7th option “Make Ubers rarely/randomly appear as GRift Guardians and drop Organs”.
      To tell the truth I would like to see some random bosses in Rifts outside of Guardians to spice things up. But that’s offtop.

    17. OMG flux. On your post “keys now drop globally” people pointed out that they have dropped globally since patch 2.1, and you responded, so I know you read it, so why are you once again saying it is a recent change?

    18. I dont know what r u talking about. HF ring never was that easy. Yes, it’s painfull to solo-search act one/two KW and get nothing 5-10 times in a row, but thats the only \effort\ you put into proccess. And for that \effort\ we get appropriate reward. HF ring is lame, but amulet is fine. Not BiS, but way better then average, and it shouldn’t be more then that since u did nothing heroic to get it.

      The only thing blizz may consider is to add more HF items or update current ring affix.

    19. Off the top of my head:
      -Hellfire amulet and ring always have a socket
      -Hellfire amulet passive can be rerolled with the mystic
      -Salvaging amulet and ring has a small chance to recover some of the organs
      -Keys no longer used to make machine but instead open special rifts with uber guardians.
      -Beating the rift within 15 minutes guarantees the guardian will drop another key. (Drop chance based on clear time.)
      -Uber rift is one (possibly two?) torment levels above current (allows for a T7/T8 rift.)

    20. a short comment I think if dudes are gonna to kill uberbosses the reward must be better just as one wrote here like the hellfire torch or the blue charm in d2 it was awsome and worth die for even with bad stats

    21. well i rather use my maras on grifst then hellfire since that wont help me anyway and having a perm immunity is ten times better if u ask me..

    22. I’d say eather make the range for the amu smaller so the difference between worst and best isn’t as large or make it easier to farm.
      Spending ages farming mats to get a bad amu feels rather silly.
      Give it garanteed mainstat+socket+elemental damage or something.

    23. sorry but you can’t make the hellfire ammy guaranteed BiS. Some of the suggestions here would pretty much do that.

      It has to remain fully random. This keeps it such that the hellfire ammy has a “chance” to be amazing. If it was always amazing, it would make all other ammy’s obsolete. Luckily I suspect the D3 team is well aware of this.

      No to re rolling the passive. That too would take it way too close to guaranteed BiS.

    24. – always socket.
      – random passive from 4 current passive.

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