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    If you’ve been following the news out of BlizzCon, you’ll notice the D3 devs have been talking a lot about how they plan to improve the endgame. With Adventure Mode, Nephalem Rifts, and more set to arrive with Reaper of Souls (along with Loot 2.0), the game’s future is looking ever brighter.

    While we didn’t hear any concrete details about how trade will be handled (or an SF mode), the dev team dropped strong hints during the event about their thoughts on Bind-on-Account, how it will apply to different items, and their focus on the item hunt as the best way to get the best gear.

    High-Level Legendaries, Gems and Crafting Components Might Be BoA

    Off the bat, we know enchanting will make items BoA. Kevin Martens, one of the game’s lead designers, also suggested during the final Q&A panel that the very best items in the game will also (likely) be automatically BoA, along with gems and crafting components. The issue arose when a fan raised the question of how BoA will work on legendaries, earning the following response.

    I think that when we had the Auction House live trading was a valid way to get items but the scale had gotten way out of whack so the trading became the easiest, fastest, best way to get items as far as efficiency point of view goes. So we want to rebalance that essentially, as such we still do see the value of trading and we want there to be a good social aspect to trading so we are trying to keep the rules as wide as possible. Quite likely, and this could change by the time we ship, probably the very top tier of items, the top tier of legendaries will remain account bound and probably commodities as well. We probably want to avoid having another Stone of Jordan situation where we get an alternate economy going because we didn’t think this through. So we are working on all of this stuff and it’s still being locked down.

    It’s not a for-sure thing yet. And even if some legendaries are BoA, that leaves plenty of wiggle room for trading well-rolled rare items. Still, if the devs stick with their current plan, maybe high-level legendaries will become more of a status symbol? Meanwhile, those who want to help friends gear could still share rare items – providing a helpful hand when it’s needed.

    (Update: It seems you’ll be able to trade sets and legendaries with friends who are in the same game when the items drops, for a limited amount of time. You can hear Travis Day’s explanation and reasoning for BoA in the vid linked above from 0:33 to 2:49)

    High-Level Gems Might Also Start Dropping

    During Saturday’s Q&A panel, a fan referred to the feeling of finding a Zod rune in D2, and asked the devs if they might allow players to experience the same feeling by allowing high-level gems to start dropping in D3 (something self-found players would certainly appreciate).

    Wyatt Cheng responded that it might be in the works, now that the Auction Houses are closing.

    There are some changes we are going to have to evaluate, particularly with the removal of the DiabloWikiAuction House.

    I think that the way that gems were experienced by the player is really changed in the presence of an Auction House. If you play through the game self-found you are actually happy to combine a few gems and you never actually reach DiabloWikiRadiant Star or DiabloWikiMarquise. We are looking at what the removal of the Auction House allow us to do, or should we do for gems ….

    From Cheng’s comments, it sounds like self-found players might finally start to see those elusive rare gems drop from enemies now and then. (I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start seeing something other than “Flawless Square” the next time an enemy drops a gem.)

    Item Hunt First, Trading Second

    As mentioned earlier, the devs still aren’t sure exactly how to handle trading yet. Even so, their focus is on making the game fun to play without players ever feeling like they have to trade to get the best gear.

    A fan asked during Saturday’s Open Q&A what sort of “sanctioned trading model” the devs would provide in order to prevent people from getting swindled on third-party sites. One of the devs answered that it was still being sorted out.

    Right now we are still in the process in figuring out what trading means for Diablo. There is a
    social component that we still but want to retain, but at the end of the day it’s kind of fundamental to our Loot 2.0 philosophy. We feel that finding items in-game by killing monsters should be the most rewarding, most satisfying and the best way to gets your hands on those items.

    In other words, whatever form trading takes, the devs won’t allow it to become the game breaking machine that the Auction Houses were. Trading will be allowed, but the item hunt comes first.

    The Future Is Bright For Self-Found

    We may not have a true self-found mode – or at least a way to enforce BoA in guilds – but I can’t complain. Honestly, seeing all the cool new stuff coming in RoS and Loot 2.0, I’m excited. Blizzard has done a great job of wowing us with new content for the game, and I’m ready to try it out.

    I know this is supposed to be a self-found column, but I’d like to ask a different sort of question. Since I know a lot of people like to swap items with their friends in D3, I want to get all of your thoughts on how much freedom players should have with regards to trading.

    What do you all think is the best solution to D3 not having the AH? Is some BoA good? Bad? Should some items be hard to get – even to the point where you can’t trade for them?

    I wish I knew the answer. Regardless, as an SF player, Loot 2.0 and RoS can’t get here soon enough.


    Waterfiend is a writer and avid gamer who follows Diablo 3 news religiously. Say hello at his forum profile.

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