Legendary Gems Have Changed Greatly: Blizzard Explains

news-legendary-gem-upgradeLegendary Gems have changed greatly: Blizzard explains. First, let’s restate the basic facts about these items, since people who aren’t on the PTR have zero experience with them:

Legendary gems are dropped only (randomly) by Greater Rift Guardians. There are (currently) 14 types of DiabloWikiLegendary Gems, (all are listed in the DiabloWiki.net article) and all grant a powerful legendary bonus that improves as the gem is upgraded in level with a second legendary power that only unlocks at the max gem rank (currently 25). These gems can *only* be socketed into rings and amulets, and work only for characters (not Followers).

Those basic functions haven’t changed much during development, but the details have:

  • In the initial design LeGems had 50 upgrade ranks with moderate improvements per rank and a special second legendary property that only unlocked at rank 50.
  • That was reworked to give them 200 ranks, with much smaller improvements per rank but better odds for each upgrade, and the special secondary legendary property at rank 200.
  • The current system has 25 gem ranks, big improvements per rank, lower odds for the upgrade, and the secondary legendary property kicking in at rank 25.
  • The method for upgrading the LeGems with DiabloWikiUrshi has been tweaked as well, and that’s what a fan asked for more details about in our first Blue post.

    To upgrade a gem I need to skip the next rift level and start the trial over again?? Or am I missing something
    You will not see +4 rank upgrades in the new system.

    You will not see +4 upgrades in the new system.

    Tyvalir: Yes, you will need to start over again.

    After you defeat the Rift Guardian in a Greater Rift, you can choose to attempt to upgrade your Legendary Gem(s), or receive a higher level Greater Rift Keystone. However, you’ll only get the second option if you cleared the Rift within the time limit.

    Generally speaking, it’s better to opt for a higher level Greater Rift Keystone over gem upgrade attempts — if you can handle the increase in difficulty. This is because your odds of successfully upgrading your gems will increase with each Greater Rift level you complete (and because attempting to upgrade your Legendary Gems always ends your current run).

    Regardless of when you try upgrading your Legendary Gems, you’ll have three attempts per Greater Rift run. The chance for an upgrade attempt to succeed depends on both the level of the Greater Rift you completed and the rank of the Legendary Gem you’re trying to upgrade. Here’s a quick call-out from our patch notes for an upcoming PTR build:

  • Urshi will grant you three attempts to upgrade your Legendary Gems
  • The chance for an upgrade attempt to succeed is based on a combination of the rank of the Legendary Gem you’re attempting to upgrade and the level of Greater Rift you reached
  • As a Legendary Gem’s rank gets closer to the level of Greater Rift you’ve completed, the chance of success decreases
  • Finally, once the rank of a Legendary Gem exceeds the level of Greater Rift you’re able to complete the chance to upgrade is cut in half for each rank above the Greater Rift level you completed
  • For example: If you attempt to upgrade a rank 1 Legendary Gem in a level 30 Greater Rift the chance for success is 100%; however a rank 31 Legendary Gem will only have a 30% chance for success in a level 30 Greater Rift and a level 32 Legendary Gem will have a 15% chance of success.

    Each Legendary Gem’s secondary power will now also unlock at 25 (down from 200).

    I need to carry around rift keys to put in the slot? It can’t figure out I have 200 in my stash?
    Correct. The goal is for players to be able to pull normal Rift Fragments from their inventory or stash. We will be fixing this issue at some point, which will once again allow you to pull fragments from your stash.

    This system puts a huge premium on advancing to higher GRift levels, and even with 3 tries and just 25 gem levels it’s going to take a long time to upgrade gems, since you’ve got to clear all the GRifts on your way up. But it’s not an infinite amount of time, which is upsetting to some players.

    Legendary Gems no longer infinite means stale game

    The only exciting part of finishing grifts is the reward of drops and being able to upgrade your gem. The prospect of another infinitely scaling aspect of your character other than paragon is exciting. It was a guarantee of turning time into power.

    Now the only guarantee we have is that Grifts will get to a point where the time investment is impossibly long (or impossible) to upgrade a gem. I have only played on the ptr for a few days, but in those few days gems and blood thirst have been ruined. Does Blizzard care about the longevity of it’s game? Why does do they keep putting barriers to fun in a game where the whole point is to be strong and kill monsters.

    Nevalistis: The short reason Legendary Gems are no longer infinite is because our design philosophy behind them has changed over the course of the PTR.

    The long version is we wanted to change the upgrade mechanic to incentivize and reward players for reaching higher Greater Rift tiers and really pushing themselves to the limit. The current tuning wound up sacrificing the infinite scaling in favor such a system, though this could change down the line and we’ll continue to keep an eye on Legendary Gems and their upgrade values. Overall, we feel these changes make for a more engaging and interesting goal.

    If you’re struggling to upgrade your gems, you might need to further optimize your gear or build. Maybe the gear you have available works better with a slightly different build. Or maybe you’ve missed an enchant or can squeeze out a little more Toughness or DPS by upgrading some non-Legendary gems. If you’ve hit a wall, you’ve likely reached a calibration point of sorts. This is your base to build on – it’s the perfect time to ask yourself “What can I tweak or change to push a little bit farther?”

    I really do appreciate the constructive feedback being provided in here regarding the scaling of upgrading and reward scheme – I’m taking notes and bringing it to the attention of the appropriate folks. 🙂 As I stated in the original post and bolded for emphasis:

    The current tuning wound up sacrificing the infinite scaling in favor such a system, though this could change down the line and we’ll continue to keep an eye on Legendary Gems and their upgrade values.

    We’re keeping an eye on these things. Even if 2.1 launched tomorrow (which it isn’t), it wouldn’t be the end all, be all. Iteration has continued after major patches in the past, and utilizing minor patches to provide additional tuning is one of the many tools at our disposal.

    Legendary gem upgrade interface via Urshi.

    Legendary gem upgrade interface via Urshi.

    The difficulty tuning of GRifts hasn’t changed much in recent patches, so it seems like it’s pretty well set at this point. The GRift levels don’t translate directly into the Torment system because reasons, but the general consensus on difficulty is:

  • Greater Rift Level 1 = Normal
  • Greater Rift Level 3 = Hard
  • Greater Rift Level 4 = Expert
  • Greater Rift Level 6 = Master
  • Greater Rift Level 8 = Torment 1
  • Greater Rift Level 12 = Torment 2
  • Greater Rift Level 15 = Torment 3
  • Greater Rift Level 17 = Torment 4
  • Greater Rift Level 20 = Torment 5
  • Greater Rift Level 25 = Torment 6
  • Greater Rift Level 25+ = Harder and harder.
  • Some players have focused on the GR30 thing for the best odds to upgrade, but that’s misleading, since that’s just the best odds to upgrade a level 1 Legendary Gem. If you’re playing actively, your gem(s) aren’t going to be level 1 for long, even if you’re maxing out at GR20. Three tries with ~15% chance per upgrade isn’t great odds, but if you try that once a day, it’ll happen.

    It seems like the design goal is for players to have little trouble upgrading their LGems to 8 or 10 or 12, but for ranks above that to require a lot of rolls, or else super great gear/tactics. Any objections to that design/system? Other questions or observations about Legendary Gems? I’m a little surprised we haven’t seen more chatter about obtaining great legendary jewelry with sockets; the socket-adding DiabloWikiGift of Ramaladni seemed the ideal way for that… but it only works on weapons. Perhaps some of the rings/amulets getting 5 primary affixes in Patch 2.1 is a concession to Legendary Gems and the upcoming need for sockets in jewelry?


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    1. You state:
      “So before long, an active player will have a level 10 LeGem, and that would require you to clear a level 40 Greater Rift to get good odds for an upgrade.”
      Blue post:
      “however a rank 31 Legendary Gem will only have a 30% chance for success in a level 30 Greater Rift”

      Am I missing something?

      • I wrote the commentary quickly while doing some other updates, and misread the Blue part with the odds. I deleted that paragraph from the post, since it was misleading. The upgrade odds are actually a lot better than I was thinking.

        Even if you could only clear GR20, you'd have 3 shots with better than 50% odds each until your gem was lvl 15+, and even when the gem was lvl 21, you'd still have 30% odds, then 15% at level 22, then 7% at level 23… so basically it'll be really hard to upgrade a gem more than 2 or 3 levels above the GR you can do. So if you want that lvl 25 gem bonus active, you'll need to be able to clear GR23 or so, and GR25 to do it without a bunch of missed upgrades.

        As GR25 is roughly equivalent to T6, I don't think that's a coincidence…

    2. Yeah, I thought it's pretty easy to level up gems to level 25 (assuming you can clear tier 30 rifts), so you can unlock the secondary power.

    3. Can you make a poll to know how many people can handle which torment difficulty? Reading the forums here, it seems that all are steamrolling T6 and will instantly get all their gems at level 25. I can't believe this is the case for that many players, even for IncGamers community.

    4. This is stupid. Each Greater Guardian should drop the Greater Rift keystone, this is just addind meaningless grind for the sake of “longetivity”.

    5. \”Three tries with ~15% chance per upgrade isn’t great odds, but if you try that one a day, it’ll happen.”\

      No, that’s NOT guaranteed. You just failed Statistics 101. This is what really peeves me about using static RNG systems. Developers need to either add a cumulative attempt modifier or admit that they don’t care whether some poor sods end up on the wrong side of the graph.

      • To be fair, “it’ll happen” is much more accurate than “it won’t happen”. At 15% chance per attempt, 3 attempts per day, the odds of upgrading a gem at least once over a 30 day month is 99.999955567…% (i.e. 1-(.85^(3*30))). Those are pretty good odds. Admittedly, on average you’d expect 4-5 people in every 10,000,000 not to succeed in a month of one attempt a day. But since eventually is a pretty undemanding timeline, if you’re one of the 4-5 in 10,000,000 after one month, you can keep on trying. In a year you’d have 99.[76 9’s]5… chance of succeeding at least once. That is, only about 5 in 10^78 people would fail in a years worth of daily attempts. Given that that number happens to be the lower bound of the common estimate of number of atoms in the universe, I’d say you are fairly guaranteed not to be one of those five in 10^78 people. And if you are, there are always more years worth of attempts in “eventually”!

    6. Ugh, let's carry more goddamn trash in our bags/stash at all times. STOP MAKING RIFT STONES PHYSICAL ITEMS. They are a goddamn currency. Enough of this crap.

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