Ironborn #10: Crafting Legendary/Set Items in RoS

Crafting in D3 has its ups and downs – sometimes you’ll get a good roll and other times you’ll wonder why you bother. Thankfully, crafting in RoS is significantly improved, making it a more reliable way to get gear upgrades. Today, I’ll discuss how craftable set and legendary items serve as an intermediate class of gear in the beta, and how they might benefit self found players in the expansion.

Unique Mat Examples

Crafting Rares Isn’t Really That Important

With Loot 2.0, rare items have gotten a helpful boost to their stats. They now have narrower stat ranges and cool new affixes. If that weren’t enough, enchanting in RoS knocks out one useless stat on each rare – so a slight tweak from the Mystic makes more of your items upgrades.

But you really won’t need to craft rares, since they drop like candy in RoS. Instead, you’ll most likely salvage them to enchant items, or to create craftable legs and sets.

Craftable Leg and Set Items Are Their Own Tier of Gear

You can think of the new craftable leg and set items as falling between rare items and found legendary and set items, both in terms of power and difficulty to acquire. Though they cost a unique crafting material to create, they have special affixes not found on rares. Plus, unique mats are moderately farmable, so it takes less time to get them than to stumble across found-only legendary and set items.

In the beta, the crafting plans for these fall mostly from Horadric Caches you get for completing all bounties in an act in Adventure Mode. For now, the unique stats on these items make them worth pouring mats into the crafting machine (see examples below).

Without obvious special affixes, it's not clear what separates this legendary chest plate from a similar rare - though ideally it should be worth crafting.

Without obvious special affixes, it’s not clear what separates this legendary chest armor from a similar rare (other than its appearance). Ideally, it should be worth gathering the resources together to craft it.

A bit of a glorified stat stick - but still useful until you land a superior found legendary or set item.

A bit of a glorified stat stick, yes – but useful until you land a superior found legendary or set item.

How Hunting Unique Materials Works

The special mats required to use legendary and set recipes drop mostly from unique monsters. In D3C, these purple-text monsters only appeared five to ten percent of the time in their respective spawn location, but in RoS they appear about five times as often or more. At the same time, they only drop their unique crafting material around a quarter of the time or less.

This means in order to craft a legendary or set item, you must 1) find the crafting recipe, 2) go to the location where the monster spawns, 3) hope that it spawns and 4) hope it drops its unique crafting mat when you kill it. From what I’ve played, the drop rates on unique mats seem a tad low. A third chance of dropping sounds about right.

Unique mats usually drop off unique enemies, but they can drop off common mobs...

Special mats drop most often from specific enemies, but they can still drop from common trash mobs.

...or scrolls and books you find on the ground.

Certain unique mats, like Griswold’s Scribblings and Born’s Key, have the best chance of dropping from scrolls and books you find on the ground.

The Big Picture: Crafted Legendary and Set Items As An In-Between Gear Class

One of the frustrations self found players have in the base game is with gear progression. When you max out your rare items, there’s little to do in the game except hope for a legendary or set item to drop. Crafted legendary and set items seem to be Blizzard’s answer to that problem.

  • Crafted legendary and set plans drop less often than rares, but more often than found-only legendaries and set items
  • The unique items required to craft them are somewhat farmable, even if you can’t always depend on a unique monster appearing, or the fact that they’ll drop their unique mat
  • The special affixes on crafted legs and sets are better than those on rares, but not quite as good as those on found-only legendary and set items

Add it together and you can see why the devs took this approach. These items are better than rares, and give you something to work toward while waiting for the best stuff in the game to drop.

I don’t know yet whether crafted legendary and set items will unlock new builds, or what plans you can find when playing on higher difficulties. But the idea behind them seems potentially very cool.

Paired with the corresponding shield from this set, this mighty weapon could be a nice boost over rare gear.

Paired with the corresponding shield from this set, this mighty weapon could be a nice boost over rare gear.

Crafting For Every Player

I hope the devs design crafting to work as well for the guy who pours his mats into one character, as the guy who distributes mats evenly across many characters. The former will hit a gear wall sooner, and he needs a crafting goal beyond just collecting a few unique mats.

It’s possible the devs will create crafted legs and sets that rival their found-only counterparts in terms of power. These items may become long-term goals for people who invest lots of time in one character – but they may require multiple unique crafting mats.

What do you all think of crafted items as a class of gear between rares and found-only legs and sets? Do these recipes sound boring or interesting? And does hunting them down sound like fun or a chore?

Ironborn is a column exploring self-found play and related topics by Waterfiend, who will be crafting like a madman when RoS hits. Got an idea for a column? Share it in the comments!

Tagged As: | Categories: Diabloii.Net Columns, Uncategorized


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  1. “Self found players in the expansion.” Everyone is a self found player in the expansion.

    • A lot of people are griping about binding in the forums, so it’s possible the devs may remove it after they balance the game for self-found. If they nix it, I’ll keep the column theme. Otherwise, I’ll find something else to write about.

      • I sincerely hope they nix it. Trading is a fun and interesting part of what made Diablo 2 so much fun.

        • I can’t believe their sticking with the Bound item strategy. it’s a terrible idea that people will eventually resent

          • ….eventually?? I resent it NOW. I was in the F&F Beta, and i told them and told them in the forums what a bad idea it was, just like the huge majority of us did. I told my friend at Blizzard what a bad idea it was and he agrees, but he is on the WoW team and has no say. Their stance is that it is an enormous blow to the third party gold and item vendors, which I get, but come on. Making happy is far more important than making the vendors or Blizzard management happy.

  2. Legendary (crafted) items probably have higher affix rolls than rares. So it might be worth crafting legendaries over rares for min/maxing, assuming you’re swimming in required mats.

  3. Lemme get this right, so in D3X the order, generaly, will be:
    You start picking Whites, move on to blues and than rares, after that you’ll be finding craftable legs/sets and building them untill you find the droppable ones ?

    So power wise: Dropped lege/set > Crafted Leg/set > Rare > Blue > White ?

    If thats the case, i’m find with it, its feels that gap when you cant find a legendary nor an rare upgrade, its almost like a new item color, a new tier, making the dropped legendaries even more epic.

  4. Good summary of where crafted Legendaries stand in terms of power. I hope eventually these will receive the same treatment as dropped Legendaries and we’ll unique affixes on them.

    For info on the enemies that may drop these materials and what they’re used for check out my thread:

    If anyone has additional info about these materials then please write a post in my thread and let me know.

    • “I hope eventually these will receive the same treatment as dropped Legendaries and we’ll unique affixes on them.”

      I hope NOT, having the droppable ones being stronger is exactly the reason this is good, if you cant find an upgrade for your rare, here, craft this ‘ok’ legendary untill you can find a amazing one…I really like this ideal, closes the gap without hammering us with high legendary drop rate, killing the end game in 2 weeks…this way dropable legs can be amazingly strong and hard to find.

      • Except that technically crafted Legendaries are drops as well if you think about it, only they come from specific monster or object types. The Legendary crafting materials that you need to make them are about as rare right now as dropped Legendaries, and while what you get for them is about the same from a pure power standpoint, they pale in comparison when you want to use specific builds.

        In RoS specialized items are generally better when you can utilize them. An old trifecta gives you a good all around DPS, but when you specialize on a few specific skills with items then your DPS will be better with those skills.

    • Oooh, cool thread. I’ll take a look at this. I’m curious to know what we’re able to craft. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Ultimately, you’re crafting Set and Legendary items, so Crafted items shouldn’t really have their own text color (it’s the rarity budget that has lasting effects on the item’s quality, not the source from where it came). If Crafted items had their own mechanics that made them different from Set and Legendary items in some way, then a different text color might have been justified (D2 had that, but D2 also had largely static Unique items in contrast to half-static/half-random Crafted items).

    That said, I’d support the concept of all Set items being Crafted items (meaning Set items wouldn’t drop as loot anymore but could only be crafted). That’s a far better solution than having a maximum set bonus for 3 of 7 of components, in my opinion. I understand why there are no longer full-set-bonuses but 3/7 as a maximum requirement waters down the original concept of Set items too much. In this particular example, they could have 5 or 6 of 7 as a maximum bonus requirement and make the crafting plans for the 6th and 7th drop randomly as loot.

    • Most Sets still require 4 or 5 items to get the final set bonus. The Hallowed Set seems like an exception only because it’s essentially a two piece set. You can craft various types of Hallowed weapons + a shield.

  6. Looks super bland to me.

  7. Nice article. Is there somewhere showing all craft info yet? This feature will prob be the determining factor for my getting expo. I can already play 5/6 classes and play with new builds at 60. I have not been impressed with the build enabling legendaries I have seen for two reasons: subject to total rng (must be self found and i may never get them) and effects are weak, you realy need 2 or more special items to make them impactful.

    • “you realy need 2 or more special items to make them impactful.”

      This really depends on the item. Combinations of Legendaries are always better of course, but some of them are powerful on their own as well and I don’t mean huge stat bonuses.

    • Good question. Since the new ones are still in testing, we probably won’t have an official list till they’re about to go live.

      All I could find on the official forums was this ongoing list of recipes and their unique mat locations. No actual item info though. Hope it helps.

      • To be clear, I’m watching that thread as well and got many item names and drop locations from there. In the credits part of my post I even provided a link that leads to that thread.

      • Oh and thanks for posting a link to my thread on the forums. Since I don’t have access to RoS I can’t post there.

        • Lol, you’re way ahead of me. Didn’t realize non-beta peeps couldn’t post. I even logged out of my Bnet account to see if it was still visible and it was. Anyway, sorry about that. :/

          • Why are you sorry? It’s not your fault. 🙂

            Thanks to the link you posted hopefully more people will learn about who drops what. I’ve seen a guy there the was looking for Born’s Key and I couldn’t tell him where to find it.

            I understand why Blizzard limited our access to the forums like this, but I think it was still a mistake. For example, even though I don’t have access to RoS I know enough about some of its game systems to provide feedback. For example, I could learn everything about Transmogrification from streams, but I was forced to write feedback about it on the PTR forums.

  8. I am so excited for this new crafting system. Thanks for spot-lighting something that’s been relatively overlooked by players.

    I hope these crafted items get a bit more flavor (beyond just STATS) in the future though, only because that’s the new standard they’ve created in RoS.

  9. After removing the GAH, this game DESERVES the BOA. You don’t like BOA? Start griping in the bnet forums for the return of the GAH.

  10. The problem with the craftable non-set Legendaries is that they require Forgotten Souls as well, which, well…you need Legendaries for. It can be quite a pain to gather enough!

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