Forum Watch: What Happened to Legendary Ring Variety?

Best PTR ring ever.

Best PTR ring ever.

A thread from our Diablo 3 Community Forum asking about ring variety in Season Three brought up an interesting issue. What Happened to Legendary Ring Variety?

I am certainly enjoying the new stuff but in the end I always come back to those 2 rings which are DiabloWikiRORG and Unity. It’s too bad because there is plenty of new jewelry with cool mods but I can hardly fit them in any of my setups.

I’m using Focus and Restraint on a multishot DH. I can’t imagining switching those two out, because of the damage loss.

I’m using Focus/Restrain on one of my barbs using full Wastes set and BK swords.

If I’m running T6 it’s usually F/R for sheer firepower. If it’s speed GRs then it’s usually CoE/RoRg. Pushing high GRs is usually unity/Zodiac (barb) or unity/halo (wiz).

There’s some decent variety, but at the higher end it seems like most builds are now using Focus/Restraint. The bonus damage from spender and generator and the way the double buffs multiply just makes that two-ring set the most damaging of any ring combo, for most builds. (Obviously excluding zDPS builds, and some builds that use two sets and thus require a RoRG.)

The developers made an effort to increase the number of viable rings this season, and on the whole they succeeded. We’re not all using RoRG/SoJ/Unity anymore, at least. But with half a season of data, it does seem like some ring balancing could be done, with many of the creative new rings just not measuring up, and F/R dealing so much damage that almost every DPS-build uses them.

As proof that F/R is too good, I can’t remember the last time we all complained about how it’s much too hard to see which element the awesome Convention of Elements ring is currently buffing. And that was a constant source of conversation during the PTR and early in the season, before we either all gave up on being able to tell when the 4x damage buff was up, or just quit using CoE for F/R.

Click though for some more discussion of how F/R could be changed to balance the overall legendary ring playing field, and add your thoughts about which rings are over/underperforming, and what other sorts of rings you’d like to see added next patch/season.

Focus and Restraint Theory

The design theory of Focus/Restraint seems meant to reward the (formerly unusual) builds that regularly used an underpowered resource Generator. Many, many builds do now (due to F/R and other gear changes) but if you go back just to last season, we had a ton of builds that used spenders almost exclusively, relying on resource regen or Reaper’s Wraps or -RCR buffs to keep functional. The devs wanted to make all-spender builds less comparatively OP, and add variety in skills, so we got F/R… but does that set now work too well? I think so.

Maybe the way F/R works makes the bonus too easy to keep active? Now you get the 50% damage buff for 5s after each successful hit with a Generator or spender, and since the damage is multiplicative with both buffs up that’s a full time +125% damage buff. This is such a big bonus that many builds tack on one generator (or spender) just to keep it active. But what if F/R was nerfed a bit, or even if it carried the same maximum buff, but was tailored to work a bit different?

For instance, what if each ring’s damage buff was a five stack, adding 10% each, and the stacks only lasted 3 seconds, like Taeguk’s does? (Or a 4 stack, with 15% each, for an overall damage buff?) The top stacked damage would be identical to the current system, but it would only be accessible to builds that were constantly mixing spender and generator, rather than just tacking on one extra Spender or Generator every 5s to keep the buff active.

Of course that would just make F/R harder to use for many, but isn’t that the point? Taeguk was one of the best LGems for a lot of builds last season, but with the short 3s stack timer it was really hard to keep active on any build that wasn’t constantly streaming a spender. I struggled to make it work with the Marauder’s set (constant alternating shots and lots of RCR gear was required) in Season Two, but when I got the resource management right, it totally paid off.

Other Legendary Rings

convention-of-elements1Convention of Elements is great, and I used it a lot early in the season, and I miss those occasional 4x damage crits. But as mentioned above, like most players I find it too hard to tell, from the always overwhelmed on-character graphic or the too-tiny and too-not-colorful belt interface buff icon, which element is currently being buffed. That and the build I’m maining this season (Natalya’s DH) constantly dumps out my generator and spenders, so waiting for the right ring element buff isn’t really practical. (Tragically, CoE came a season late for the DH, since it would have been BiS with DiabloWikiM6.)

Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is a topic of debate. The CDR power is a build-maker for some classes, but the generally lame affixes on the ring are often cited as a detriment.

Broken Promises sounded like it would enable some really interesting no-Crit builds, but it’s useless in practice since the proc doesn’t check multiple targets from a single attack. This one I still have hope for, since it just needs to have the math adjusted and it could become very viable and would totally alter gearing for characters who used it.

Arcstone also sounded awesome on the PTR, but the proc didn’t work often enough for players to try to teamwork and use it, and the damage isn’t high enough when you try to use it with a Follower.

Rogar’s Huge Stone gets an honorable mention for briefly enabling an exploit that let players become immortal. Though I’m not sure the players who got banned for abusing it think it’s all that funny.

Oculus Ring is another one that sounds awesome, but the proc isn’t frequent enough to make it top end, and standing still in a ring of power is not a viable option for many builds. It does get some burn on Followers, at least.

Not to kick a green while it’s down, but the set bonus for Legacyof Nightamres was paltry even back in D3v, and it’s been laughable since DiabloWikiD3v2 nerfed Magic Find, back in 2014. And since anyone gambling for rings has found a dozen of each of these rings while cursing Jaydala’s evil RNG, it’s hard to forget. This set doesn’t need to be buffed into end game quality, but why not just throw a 10x increase on the MF/GF buff? +150% to each would at least make the set interesting early season, when everyone’s still broke.

Specialized Class Rings:

A bit of a disappointment, on the whole. Halo of Arlyse is top end for some hardcore Wizard builds, but Skull Grasp’s WW damage being arithmetic instead of multiplicative let down the Barbs, and Short Man’s Finger is more novelty than anything else. Band of the Rue Chambers, Rechel’s Ring of Larceny, Eternal Union… anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

And at any rate, all these would have to compete with F/R and would probably come up wanting.


moar1There’s definitely a lot more ring variety in Diablo 3 now than there was in the past, but as with most things, more just makes us want MOAR. And now that we’ve got some variety in rings, we want lots more interesting rings that would give us variety in play style or gearing options.

My main request for a new legendary ring is one that does for resource costs what the Ob/Zod does for CDR. I don’t have any specific build that it would work with (now that M6 is a thing of the past), but there’s a clear void in the “what Legendary Rings do” for an item that really reduces resource costs. It could be basically an SoJ crossed with a Cindercoat; big reduction in resource costs + damage buff, but for just one type of element, so you’d have to endlessly search for the one of your element with a good roll, but when you found it… success!

Any of the existing legendary rings you guys really like and wish worked better? Any specific sorts of bonuses or buffs you’d like to see from rings that we don’t have now? Any of the existing rings that you think is a hidden gem that other players just don’t know how to use properly?


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  1. It's just the beginning of ring balance. I love F&R and will continue to use it forever even when it's not the best, but last patch it was all RoRG and Unity/SoJ. There IS more variety now, for sure, but there will be more when the next patch comes out I'm sure.

  2. Well, The Bastion's of Will are a SET. That's the problem… Set items dominate Legs, & they have to with how the current game plays. In D3v Sets were pretty useless because the bonuses weren't great. It didn't make sense to give up multiple slots just to get a little more main stat, or some worthless effect.They really need to buff some of the Legs though. They're not just underperforming when it comes to a set, they're being destroyed by set bonuses. CoE only boosts a single element at a time for example, is annoying to track, and only boosts a little. BoW set boosts everything & is very easy to trigger and maintain. The legs just need a bit more buff. But Blizzard doesn't like that style. We saw it with the Barbarian Bracers. It was OP, but they didn't even bother to nerf it. They outright removed it. I'm hoping the Traveller's Pledge set will at least receive a major buff next patch/season. I think a powerful ring/Amulet set option would open a lot more gearing choices since it frees up the RoRG/Unity spot again.Another set I was toying around with the idea for a buff is Blackthornes. It's such a despised set, but what if the full set bonus made you immune to ALL Elite affixes instead of just a few of them? Would people be willing to eat the drop in DPS for the buff in Survival? You'd have to pretty much give up on the BoW set to put in a RoRG since so many of the class sets use Blackthorne slots.

  3. Don't worry, next patch they'll just make some other ring do even more damage than F/R, and that'll 'fix' F/R being too strong. But seriously, that's the problem – I completely agree that F/R is just a little bit too strong. Do I expect them to adjust the numbers? No. Unity was too strong, and still IS too strong, but rather than tone it down and sensibly adjust things, they'd rather make everything ridiculously OP. There's not an inherent problem with that, I guess, but it just makes everything more difficult to balance in the long run. Having said that, I must agree that there's more diversity in rings now. Many of the old rings still obviously need reworks, and even some of the new rings need adjustments. Also, can they remove stupid goddamn auto-bad-rolls on items?? Seriously?? Wasn't this an issue they identified several patches ago??? I might actually try and use Oculus if it didn't always roll with All Resist and Elite DR, ffs.

  4. Comments are being worked on at the moment. Working on quite a few things right now to improve user experience.

  5. Sadly I think this is all by design. If Blizzard has real plans for build/item diversity they saving it for the xpac. For now they are happy with one thing being king, then the next, then the next.Last season SOJ/unity was the thing. Wizards used Firebirds. This season it is F/R. Wizards use Tal's. Next season it will some new ring combo and wizards will be using the updated Vyr set. It is the same for other classes. I think in Blizzard's opinion this keeps the game fresh and people coming back for the next new thing.Personally I'd prefer if there was more choice but I think they fear it would make the item game too easy. If 12+ different leg rings were all useful to me then no matter what ring dropped it would be a "hit". Right now 99 ring drops are a miss for me and that's the design they seems to prefer.

  6. Bad of Rue Chambers has some uses. I will say the problem is two-fold. One is the now mandatory reliance on sets, and the other is the lack of defense for melee characters still. Focus and Restraint have great qualities, but if you have a build that can't use them you are pretty much going to be using RoRG and Unity. Spirit Guards for monks is nice at removing the reliance of Unity, but it's based on generator use and that means you'd want F/R for most builds. The effects on most of these rings just isn't there. I'd love to use my band of rue chambers, because the effect is actually pretty nice, but you lose out on damage or defense when you do.

  7. The gear variety is a lie. There is really 1 viable build per class, at least if you want to play at the high end.

  8. I certainly do like F/R but my main problem with that set, for me at least, is survivability. The damage bonus is impressive but what good does it do if you don’t live long enough to dispense that damage? The problem is particularly acute when running higher greater rift. Shelling out major damage is all very well but it won’t save your skin if get one shot kill by any trash mob that can get its hands on you. I guess you can’t have it all, defense and survivability vs damage. I’d like legs items or jewelry that would have debilitating effect. Something in the same line as bane of the powerful.

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