Magic Find Evolution in Diablo III

While updating the DiabloWikiMagic Find article in the DiabloWiki last night, I spent some time reading over a bunch of the older Blizzard posts on Magic Find in Diablo III, as well as reviewing the changes they’ve made to the system, and to item hunting in general. It was an interesting refresher, as it’s easy to forget just how much things have changed over time, and will likely continue to change.

This article covers the entire issue of Magic Find in Diablo III, from the early planning, to a comparison of MF in D2, to the overall game and itemization issues that drove most of the changes to Magic Find.

Magic Find Planning in Diablo III

Pre-release, the Diablo III developers were all about Magic Find incorporating trade offs. Like many fans, they realized that the problems with Magic Find in Diablo II stemmed mostly from the stat being available in large quantities on some of the best items in the game. Thus there was no trade off or sacrifice; you could have huge MF and the best gear. In fact, much of the best gear was the *best* because it had MF (and other great stats) on it. Here’s Bashiok explaining how MF should work in D3 from December 2009.

I think the trick with magic find, or any sort of tertiary stat that doesn’t directly relate to player power, is to make sure that it’s an actual trade off. A lot of times and specifically for certain classes in Diablo II you could stack magic find and still be perfectly able to fight and kill. So what it really comes down to is properly weighting stats on items and ensuring that if you do want to stack something like magic find, that it’s clearly going to limit your power in downing enemies. Auto-stats to a degree also help out in this regard as you can’t effectively stack stats as easily to offset the loss of stats coming from items that might otherwise help keep you alive or kill at an acceptable pace.

If you can find any connection between his words in that post, and the way Magic Find was ultimately handled in Diablo III, feel free to share them in comments. Since I sure don’t see it.

The sentiment was fine, but the execution was nonexistent, and when D3 launched Magic Find was just another stat thrown into the random pool on rares. From their weapons, D3 players wanted damage (from raw DPS, critical hit, attack speed, etc). From their armor, D3 players wanted lots of different modifiers. The most popular/useful, all of which could be had from multiple different item slots, included: resist all, critical hit chance, critical hit damage, attributes, +damage, +attack rate, and Magic Find. How much of each of those properties could be obtained from each gear slot varied, but the general goal for most players was to get as many of those affixes as possible, thus boosting their cumulative total.

This was a functional system, but it was lame; a sort of modifier soup version of itemization, and it’s unfortunate that it still largely defines item hunting in Diablo III. (Though at least the newly-improved sets and legendaries offer some variety in stats and some potential for individual items to stand apart, instead of everything just being a slightly better (or worse) version of everything else.)

That basic approach to MF, of throwing it into the mass of other mods, was a big departure from how the stat was handled in Diablo II.

Click through for much more, including the Paragon system, Monster Power, Magic Find in parties, gear swapping issues, D2’s Magic Find pros and cons, the (nonexistent) future of MF in D3, and much more.

In D2 you *could* get Magic Find here and there in dribs and drabs on rares, but that was not ideal. For the most part in D2, MF was obtained in large amounts on individual set or unique items. For instance, there were a lot of belts with better stats than Goldwrap, but it was the best (and sometimes the only) way to get MF from that item slot. The same went for Chance Guards, Ali Baba or the Gull, Wealth, and numerous other items. (The partial set bonus from Tancred’s amulet was probably the cleverest of them all, in terms of MF with a trade off.)

Furthermore, magical items were made more interesting since they could roll with higher value properties than rares, and thus during much of D2X’s prime years, magical rings and amulets could turn up with much higher MF than any pieces of rare or set or unique jewelry… with the trade off that those magical MF rings boosted nothing but MF, since it spawned in the prefix and the suffix slot. Needless to say, giving up your entire amulet slot purely for (up to) 50% Magic Find was a huge sacrifice to your overall survival and killing power, but it was the sort of interesting item decision you had to make in that game.

I’m simplifying D2’s Magic Find situation a bit for this example, and the D2X expansion and later patches added more MF options to more gear slots, and began the stat creep wherein MF was tacked onto items that would have been great even without it, such as Tal Rasha’s Set and the SHAKO. In general though, D2 did a good job of making Magic Find a great stat, while requiring players to make at least some trade offs to obtain it.

The biggest change/problem from that system to D3’s is that the sets and unique items in D3 were completely boring and lame (and lacking in signature stats, such as big MF) at launch, and the fact that D3’s end game is (or was, pre v1.0.5) quite hard. This meant that players couldn’t really make *any* equipment sacrifices if they hoped to survive Inferno, which had the effect of further restricting item variety in the early going.

It’s ironic, since now that DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.5 is lowering the difficulty of DiabloWikiInferno (at least on DiabloWikiMonster Power 0), and making D3’s end game more comparable to D2’s in terms of “challenge,” it’s the perfect time for Magic Find to start to actually matter and be a more fun stat. Now is the time that players could start to make real item choices, such as loading up on MF while lowering their overall killing/survival stats since Inferno is no longer too hard to survive without optimal gear. And yet there’s going to be very little reason to do that in v1.0.5, since 1) Legendary items are still fairly boring in terms of adding interesting stats (like MF) that you can’t get on Rares, and 2) the Paragon system is explicitly designed to remove the importance of Magic Find from equipment by giving all high level characters a passive MF and GF bonus.

The Paragon System

The DiabloWikiParagon System was revealed in August 2012, and presented as a way to increase the length of the end game and give players more to work towards long term, but chiefly as a way to end the utility of Magic Find on gear. That’s not an opinion on my part; the devs stated that as one of the explicit goals of the system:

We wanted to find a solution that was not only very forgiving of gear swapping, but one that would ultimately help us slowly and gently move Magic Find off of items in the future…

With the Paragon system in place, we’re capping Magic Find and Gold Find to 300% (before Nephalem Valor). This means that without any Magic Find gear at all, you’ll hit the cap when you reach Paragon level 100. This way, you can continue wearing your current Magic Find gear as you slowly but surely work to gain Paragon levels. Eventually, once you hit Paragon level 100, you’ll have the freedom to completely focus every slot on stats that help your character kill stuff faster and stay alive longer. The idea is that if you’re currently swapping gear in and out for the Magic Find bonuses, you can continue to do so… but gain enough Paragon levels, and you won’t need to anymore.

This seems a fairly radical approach when you remember that Magic Find is one of the most popular item modifiers in the game, was one of the most popular features in Diablo II, has been copied by practically every other item-hunting type game since then, and that Diablo-style games are almost entirely about item hunting. In light of that, the developers working to remove the impact of a stat devoted solely to impacting the item hunting experience seems a bit like defenestrating the baby with the bath water.

What’s next; removing skill points, stat points, and any sense of permanent character customization? Oh wait…

Magic Find in Parties

Another big change in post-release Diablo III relates to how Magic Find is handled in multiplayer games. The big innovation to this system in D3 was revealed shortly before release, when the developers announced that Magic Find would be added up and averaged evenly throughout the entire party. If you had 200 MF and another player had 10 MF, you’d both have 105% MF for the duration of your game.

This was a fairly radical change, but a majority of players approved of it (you’ll note my repeated objections in the comments) since it seemed necessary, in conjunction with the individual item drops in Diablo III. Otherwise, conventional wisdom decreed that players with high MF would join public games and then hang out in the back row, contributing little to the overall killing speed with their suboptimal gear, yet still getting a full share of the item drops.

That seemed logical, but it didn’t really scale with the Diablo III itemization. Ironically, it would have been *very* true in Diablo II, if the non-ninja-looting system had been implemented, since in that game it was very possible to optimize for MF while greatly dropping your killing and survival powers.

That wasn’t such an issue in D3 due to the item system, and soon enough the Auction House and MF on Rares created a situation where the richest players had the most powerful characters, whose items had the best offensive stats, AND the best defensive stats, AND Magic Find on top of that. Basically, the way Rares work in D3 means that there are essentially SHAKO-style items for every item slot, with all the best mods and no trade offs, if you can afford to buy them.

D3’s items and the way players played (or refused to play) in party games led the devs to eventually walk back the shared magic find in parties. That change was announced along with everything else coming up in DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.4.

The first change we’re making in 1.0.4 for co-op is to remove averaging in multiplayer games of Magic Find and Gold Find. You’ll benefit from your full Magic Find stat, independent of other players in the game. We originally added Magic Find averaging so optimal play did not involve people stacking what we call “adventure stats” to the detriment of their party. While this may re-emerge as a problem, we think the current solution feels like too much of a penalty, and is doing more harm than good.

Basically, the Paragon system would have made shared Magic Find as irrelevant as the devs want Magic Find on items to become, so they clipped it. It’s funny how MF sharing in parties, which was such a big and controversial feature pre-game, vanished with hardly any attention paid pro or con.

And no one cared.

Weapon Switching in Diablo III

D2X included the DiabloWikiWeapon switch hotkey, which has since become a standard feature in almost every ARPG. The D3 devs felt that a WSH (much less the oft-requested full kit/spec swap option) was an exploit and shouldn’t be included in D3. So they left it out, which is ironic since with their item system, it wouldn’t have really mattered.

Players used the Weapon Switch in D2X to boost their skill levels when casting buffs or summoning minions, and switched from their normal weapon to one with smaller damage but bigger MF before boss kills. You’ll note that neither of those options exist in Diablo III — there aren’t any weapons/shields with big MF, and without skill points there’s very little to be gained by switching weapons before casting buffs or summoning pets.

Just for the sake of the argument, if we had a Weapon Switch Hotkey in Diablo III… how would it be used? I guess the exploit would be to carry a weapon/shield with high life or resource regen, or maybe life on hit, and switch to that for defensive purposes, or to regen very quickly between battles or while running for your life. Would that be a bad thing, though? It sounds pretty fun to me; giving quick-thinking players a way to diversify their play style and experience, without adding such a huge bonus that it’s an exploit. It certainly wouldn’t compare to the way Life on Hit and other Critical Hit procs can be abused while using without any weapon switching at all.

Magic Find System Changes

Weapon switching aside, the bigger issue with was exploits to Magic Find from gear swapping and the just generally lackluster system of item hunting.

To their credit, the D3 devs recognized that this was a problem only a month after release, and proposed some big changes. Refer to the whole dev update from early July for all the details, but their potential proposed solutions were:

  • Option 1: Set a Magic Find Cap
  • Option 2: Slowly Adjust Magic Find Over Time
  • Option 3: Use your average MF% or your lowest MF% of the last 5 minutes
  • Option 4: Zero-Out Your MF% for 3 Minutes After Swapping Gear
  • Option 5: Gear Swapping Interacts with Nephalem Valor

  • They left these issues open to debate and encouraged player feedback. I’m not about to read over the whole feedback thread on, but we ran a vote with their options as selections and the winner was… none of the above.

    Which of Blizzard’s proposed Magic Find changes do you prefer?

  • 6) None of the above. Retain current system. (29%, 3,059 Votes)
  • 4) Zero-Out Your MF% for 3 Minutes After Swapping Gear (26%, 2,740 Votes)
  • 1) Set a Magic Find Cap (15%, 1,602 Votes)
  • 2) Slowly Adjust Magic Find Over Time (11%, 1,202 Votes)
  • 5) Gear Swapping Interacts with Nephalem Valor (9%, 909 Votes)
  • 3) Use your average MF% or your lowest MF% of the last 5 minutes (5%, 547 Votes)
  • 7) Some other new system I’ll brilliantly explain in comments. (5%, 534 Votes)
  • Total Voters: 10,593

    Blizzard took note of this, and the decided-mixed feedback, and decided to do… something different. They developed the Paragon system, which incorporates a magic find cap, but does nothing to penalize gear swapping and basically sidesteps the entire issue by giving every high level character the option of achieving the maximum magic find all the time. Thus there’s no reason for gear swapping at all.

    The Paragon system was a clever solution in the short term, as it gave players some sense of progress beyond the low max level cap, and basically waved a shiny object in front of our cat-like attention spans. However, Blizzard realized it wasn’t a long term solution since eventually everyone who wanted to would be max level and max MF/GF. Hence the incoming DiabloWikiMonster Power system, which will allow players to select higher difficulty content and will reward them for doing so with the potential for greater item drop/quality. That, plus further boosts to the quality of Legendary items, and another boost to their (still very low) drop rates should go some distance towards improving the overall gameplay experience.

    Magic Find from Monster Power

    I posted this article the afternoon of Thursday, October 11th, and made only a few references to Monster Power, since the details were not available. Naturally, just minutes before I finished the article and posted it, Blizzard revealed all those details, necessitating some revision of this article. (I blame Bashiok.)

    The MP system allows players to set their desired difficulty, from 0-10. As the value increases, monsters gain hit points, deal more damage, are worth more experience, and have a chance to drop additional items. Blizzard released two infographics that itemize the differences.

    The MP system incorporates Magic Find, but does it in a strictly power-based way. The more powerful your character is, the higher the MP level you can survive on and the more items you’ll find. It’s a good system in that it rewards playing against harder enemies, but it completes the removal of Magic Find as any sort of “trade off” in item stats. In that way, MP is exactly the opposite of how MF works in most ARPGs and how the D3 devs said they wanted it to work pre-launch.

    Now with the MP system, rather than Magic Find being a trade off players pursue by wearing less powerful equipment, MP grants more MF the higher quality gear your character has. The danger seems to be that this is a huge “the rich get richer” type of tool, with all the best rewards (experience, items, magic find, etc) going to the players who are already the richest and best equipped.

    We’ll have to see how this system shakes out long term, but it seems to put characters on a definite treadmill, where the best-geared will accelerate more and more rapidly, pulling away from more casual players and those without the time and/or Auction House budget to keep up.

    Magic Find Into the Future

    As best as I can tell, Magic Find has no future in Diablo III. It still exists, but with the Paragon System providing MF/GF as a passive bonus, most characters will eventually Magic Find at or close to the max 300% cap. It remains to be seen just how much a difference the various levels of Monster Power will make — it might turn out to be an amazing and awesome system and we’ll all find ourselves struggling to survive with our MP set just one notch higher, for the improved rewards. It remains to be seen. (The full MP details were released just after I posted this article; see the section above for details.)

    What we can see clearly now is that Magic Find (from equipment) is effectively being removed from Diablo III. And I think that’s a shame.

    Magic Find is one of the most interesting ARPG items features I’ve ever seen. It gives players the ability to customize their own play experience in a variety of ways. If you just want to kill fast, you don’t use MF. If you want to get more rewards, you do. How you move the slider on the MF vs. killing power slider is up to you and your equipment, and it’s a sort of minigame that you can play while working on the larger game project.

    As Bashiok (and other devs) said way back in the 2008 and 2009 days of early D3 development, it’s a good system if the trade offs can be balanced properly. Sadly, D3 did a worse job at that than D2 did, and as a result the devs are basically punting the entire MF system from the game.

    I disapprove, and let me make clear that I am actually arguing against my own interests. Given the limited hours I’ve had to play Diablo III, and my disdain for using the Auction House. (I pay the Iron Price for my gear.), I am not at all benefiting from uber gear with massive stats + MF. I’m at a competitive disadvantage in Diablo III, across the larger player population. My self-made characters are well below the high end of the curve, and thus (unlike in my old D2 days) I am very far from the high end economy. Therefore, I should welcome the flattening of the difficulty, the removal of great gear as a requirement for high Magic Find, etc.

    And yet, even as the devs improve the play experience for the masses, I lament the loss of specialization and variety that largely defined the Diablo II play experience.

    I like a lot of the Paragon and Monster Power system ideas, but the way they negate MF is a shame. Eventually, everyone will have max Magic Find, and that reminds me of Syndrome’s insight from The Incredibles

    “I’ll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be super! And when everyone’s super… no one will be.”

    In the future of D3, everyone has MF… which means that no one does.

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    46 thoughts on “Magic Find Evolution in Diablo III

    1. Evolution my stinking crap…….more like regression on a global scale lol, like going from “now” back to the “Dark Age”

      • Well you do, but so does (practically) everyone else. So I guess it’s open to debate… do you have MF, then? That’s what my silly quote at the end was driving at; if everyone has special powers then no one does, since by definition “special” means unique.

      • I too preferred the lighter concept variant, when Magic Find was a meta game of its own that gave you an extra edge on finding more good stuff. Making it the absolutely required, one and only tool for acquiring high-end gear in reasonable frequency. It should be a bonus again, not a requirement.

        The whole problem is multi-layered though, covering many different individual systems. The very core however should obviously be the item system itself.

        Specifically, I think Blizzard won’t get away with the ‘set-screws approach’ in the long run, but should go into the details when tuning stuff: Challenges awarding higher chances for additional item drops or higher item levels only yield additional magic items (= junk) for the individual player. Instead, the chance for a higher quality/rarity item dropping should be raised in a more direct way.

    2. Of course just as I was finishing this article up Blizzard released all the details about the Monster Power system and the bonuses to MF and exp and everything else you get from it. So now I have to rewrite this article a bit, and add a section on MP.

      I like the idea of MP, but I don’t think it changes my basic argument here, that the way MF is handled in D3 is lame and does little-to-nothing to promote build/equipment diversity. So now we’ll all have max or near-max MF, and Monster Power is a rich-get-richer system where the players with the best survival gear can play on higher MP and get more loot.

      It’s nice that they’re tying the best rewards to the hardest content, but it’s basically the end of item variety, since there’s no reason to ever do anything but gear up in full survival kit now.

      • You and I both know that MF was destined to be a problem stat, particularly in a game like this.

        D2 it sort of worked, but only because of the agressive diminishing returns curve on it and weapon swapping and the amazing legendaries that gave you tons of MF.

        Shako + Ptopaz x2 + Tals Armor, or Skullders Ire, or Enigma, etc. was the reason MF was fine. Or the fact that you could skip everything via teleport to meph (or wp to ESP Runs) and then deal with the easy bosses / superuniques and swap to your gull / rhyme on kill for 125 mf.

        It really wasn’t handled well in Diablo 2 for metagame purposes. There’s just no real way to handle it very well, honestly. And the problems with Diablo 3 in terms of how much of a gearcheck the game is, and how much item variance there is just highlighted the problems of Magic Find.

        Their solution sucks, frankly, but it is undeniably better than we were pre-paragon levels where the best thing to do was gearswap a full set of gear.

    3. Great post, Flux.

      Speaking as someone who dislikes magic find and hated the way it worked in D2, the way Blizzard handled MF in D3 is my biggest disappointment with the game. Not so much the fact that they seemed intent on downplaying its importance before release yet ended up doing very little about it, but the fact that they ultimately went in the completely opposite direction and made it even MORE important than before.

      Instead of limiting the MF stat in such ways that a) you could only have small amounts of it, b) it didn’t encourage gear swapping c) it didn’t give ranged classes an advantage, they did the exact opposite. They made it one of the first magic affixes you encounter, thus establishing its importance, removed the diminishing returns, thus removing the ability to gear around a soft cap and encouraging gear swapping even more than before, and eventually introducing Neph Valor, which – combined with the abysmal drop rates on legendaries/sets – created a scenario where playing without 5x NV feels completely pointless.

      As for your comments on MF being a good and interesting stat, I disagree. I see the benefits it brings to the table, but to me, MF is a stat that ultimately comes down to trading efficiency for fun, and in a game that is all about efficiency, fun is going to lose every single time. Which is why it’s such a shame that Blizzard, when recently presented with the opportunity to do something about switching, never actually did. None of my three 60s are even close to the cap (two level 9s and one level 3), so for all intents and purposes it’s not there.

      Well, that was my negative D3 post for this week. Sorry about that.

      • OMG “trading fun for efficiency” is SUCH a perfect way to describe why MF has always felt like a terrible stat. And now that they’ve started explicitly encouraging “efficient” play I only foresee this getting worse. 😐

      • It’s funny because I can turn it around. MF is all about trading fun for efficiency: it’s more fun to find great items so you trade damage and survival stats for the increased chance for awesome loot. You’ll be less efficient at cutting through things but find more fun loot. That’s why I loved MF in D2.

    4. “What we can see clearly now is that Magic Find is effectively being removed from Diablo III. And I think that’s a shame.

      Magic Find is one of the most interesting ARPG items features I’ve ever seen. It gives players the ability to customize their own play experience in a variety of ways. If you just want to kill fast, you don’t use MF. If you want to get more rewards, you do. How you move the slider on the MF vs. killing power slider is up to you and your equipment, and it’s a sort of minigame that you can play while working on the larger game project.”

      Why complain? It’s exactly how it works now with MP. Either you kill faster and get less rewarded with a lower level of MP, or you kill slower and get more rewards with higher MP.

      The only difference is that you don’t have to gimp yourself by putting on less powerful items to get a better reward, which I could argue is one of the most uninteresting and uninspired game system of all time. Also, you didn’t really have a choice in D2 for that matter. The reward to play with high MF was simply too big.

      I like the fact that you can get a higher reward for playing on a higher difficulty. But to make a game where the strongest items are not the most desirable items is to me fundamentally wrong.

      I glad they removed the need of MF gear.

      • As you wrote we wore best in slot items (shako, enigma etc) which had best MF on them anyway so it was not that we were sacrifacing anything really in the high end game.

        Never liked the idea of finding a powerful item for my char and never wearing it on me only to use some shabby item because it had some MF on it. Goes against what gives you the fun of feeling more powerful. I approve paragon levels. It is not as you will get 300% MF in one hour. It requires some seeeerious grind – its not a free of charge lunch for the masses.
        I think they went with the common sense on this one.

        • Yeah, its the same outcome in difficulty. Only making monsters harder is more fun.

          For example, what is more fun when getting better in Starcraft? Playing in a higher league against better players, or play in the same league and use handicap to gimp yourself?

    5. Are they serious??

      Now, for any consistent farming in inferno you’d have to pick up and identify _even_more_ stuff. It is already ridiculous clicking on every item on one entire inventory and be lucky to find even one item worth selling on the GAH at all.

      How much time are we supposed to sit in town right clicking and wait for a useless progress bar to finish? That’s right about 4 times as much!!

      • To add what needs to be done is MF improving the quality of item rolls instead of the quantity of items. Lets say mf after a certain point shifts the probability distribution to the right, surly they could figure something out.

        DiabloIII already feels like a slot machine where you cannot control the lever, what this does is mf increasing the rate the lever is pulled instead of the chance of winning.

        • No, it absolutely shouldn’t. The last thing MF needs at this point is to become even more important, it’s causing enough problems as it is.

          • That wouldn’t make it more important. As it stands with high MF you don’t increase the overall best item roll you can find, but the quantity of the rolls. What I am proposing is that MF stops increasing this rate and instead shifts the median of the probability distribution to the right to the same extent as the whole distribution is shifted over longer play time.

            The result would be a consistent rate of legendaries/rares/magic items independent of mf and the median quality of those increasing, again for the same amount it would anyway.

            tl;dr simply make less bad stuff drop with the overall droprate being constant.

            • In terms of math I think that would be MF modifying the parameter of a gamma distribution instead of it leaving the probability density function at gaussian and affecting it’s amplitude.
              Surely not to complicated to be implemented and easily explainable as above.

            • MF should only affect the base quality of items (magic, rare, unique), *not* the quality of items within any given quality level (quality of rolls and/or number of affixes).

              The difference between the two is that the former, while annoying, at least gives players a peace of mind knowing that there was nothing they could’ve done to affect the rolls. The latter, on the other hand, just emphasizes the fundamental problem of MF where players are beating themselves up for missing out on potentially good items because they felt they didn’t have enough MF. For those of us who dislike MF because we fall in the latter category, that is a big deal.

              Blizzard already went in the wrong direction by having MF affect the number of affixes on rares, but at least that’s one just one roll. Having an MF affect quality of rolls means there’s up to six potential places where it could kick in; six opportunities for players to curse themselves for not having had more MF. This would give MF even more control of item generation than previously, thus making it more important.

              Either way, there’s always going to be bad (unusable) stuff dropping. That shouldn’t be solved through the use of a flawed mechanic such as magic find, however, but by reworking the itemization system so that there is a smaller discrepancy between good rolls and bad rolls.

            • That would only be a subjective change though. Players would find exactly the same amount of good items. And players with less MF would simply have less chance of finding these good items.
              Just that there would be less crap waiting to be identified.

              For me the sheer mass of items is one of the major bummers in DiabloIII and this would fix it, besides the option of removing mf at all. And even while I agree that the itemstat system is bad, there will always be crap items, and lots of them.

              For all I care they could reduce the range of attribute values and the overall droprate so that finding that good stuff doesn’t feel like a needle in the haystack all the time.

              In d2c when you found a rare about every 10th rare was useable and they dropped maybe a dozen in a good game. Now it’s like every 100th rare is even sellable with hundreds rares on a full act clear.
              And they killed cain >>:-[

            • I don’t think there would be such a big difference, though. Currently, even with 375% MF you still find tons of rares with only 4 or 5 affixes, not to mention blues and whites. The same would happen if the system was changed to affect the quality of the rolls instead – still tons of crap to sift through in order to find the goodies. It’s just that this other system is more likely to annoy players because it gives MF a greater impact on item quality, and thus a bigger reason to be blamed when an item doesn’t turn out as well as it could’ve been.

              As for reducing the sheer amount of items dropping, absolutely. I think D2’s distribution of quality levels worked great in the sense that there was a good variety in item drops, and most quality levels had their use, be it for crafting or simply equipping. You found gold and greens every so often and even if they weren’t always keepers, they still served as an important motivator, encouraging you to keep farming.

              The problem is that D3’s item system is different, mostly in the sense that lower level items don’t drop. These are an important source of drop variety because they allow variety without necessarily increasing character power (i.e. being useful). This makes it difficult to use D2’s drop rates in D3, because even if you had the same chance of finding a high level unique off a champ pack in D3 as you did in D2, you’d be losing tons of drop variety due to lower level items not dropping… which is exactly what’s happening now in D3.

              To compensate for the lack of gold and greens dropping less often, they obviously made rares drop more often. However, in order to keep rares common while at the same time preventing GOOD rares from being common, they gave them tons of variance, to the point where rares drop like candy but most of them are trash. The discrepancy is simply too big.

              Sadly, the game is already at a stage where the item system cannot be reworked without destroying the game’s economy and nullifying people’s gear, so the best we can hope for is band-aid systems such as NV and Paragon levels that aim to minimize the damage. We’ll have to wait until the first expansion to see an item system rework, but I remain fairly optimistic. 1.0.5 seems promising, and I imagine we’ll see similar patches in the future.

    6. You say that In D2 you can choose between killing fast with no MF or killing slowly with MF because you make sacrafices.

      But…thats exactly what monster power system is….you want to kill fast and have worse drops-low MP level. Do you want to increase your MF and decrease your killing speed? High MP level.

      Your last quote with \everyone will be super\ is not true at all because farming high MP levels efficently will not be for everyone thats for sure (especially with the recent significant demage buff comapred to initial version of 1.05).

      With that said…i really like your articles because they go quite deep and when you talk about D3 you tend to give credit where credit is due and similarly point out that some systems were not good in D2 (which is very rare here as D2 is treated as perfection which it was not at all) but this article has the same vibe as many comments about D3 which is \x is not in d3 and it was in D2 so it sucks\ while probably X is still there just in a different form or will be added in expansion!

    7. The game is surely in need of more interesting stats to choose between.

      MF is not such a stat in my opinion.

      If they really wanted to have MF-type stats on gear – where you could up the drops and challenge through gear – it would be more interesting with stuff like “Split” (Sacred 1) where every hit on an enemy had a chance to spawn a copy of said enemy. Obviously giving you 2x drop chance, but also 2x challenge (or more).

      Or what about a stat that “provoked” enemies to hunt you down, resulting in more mobs everywhere – with the added benefit of pleasing the people who think there aren’t enough mobs on the screen in D3.
      Such a stat would directly lead to higher drop chances over time as well, as Bashiok correctly stated in their recent MP blog; the largest reason for inefficiency in kill speed with good gear, is the time spent running between mobs.

    8. Classic! Incredibly well written article Flux. The new Paragon system is one of the most mediocre additions to a game ever.

      It is so vastly shoehorned that it looks forced upon players in a kind of childish, gamey manner, so suddenly ignoring everything about the story of Diablo, and not explaing ANYTHING about why they created those new changes….

      It just says how confused Blizzard are, how they lack ideas and how they destroyed Diablo after Diablo 3 -like a friend would say, Diablo 3 disappeared with Diablo 3-.

      If this isn’t enough, the new MF system is completely rushed!!!!

      Good things need time -sometimes a pinch of talent too-. It was created following the Kripp guidelines, a single user not all people care about.

      And the idea is SO bad, leveling up within a level (60) of your character…. :/ Worst idea ever! Is that the best they could come up with? Oh come one Blizzard.

      This extraordinary article explains what made MF so fun in the first place.

      [b]For most people it was so fun trying to find the right balance between survival and MF using your gear, while the items were coming along[/b] -although the system was very variable some people could also go crazy with either survival or MF-.

      Once a flexible system, right now it’s just a laughable and rigid, boring implementation.

      Even an expansion couldn’t change that easily because the game lacks other things like the special charm of Diablo 2 and its characters, world, etc, which isn’t the case of Diablo 3, and that’s something you can’t simply change in an expansion. Either you have it or you don’t.

      I was curious and interested on it a bit months ago, but as time goes on, I am not sure I would buy an expansion of this game.

    9. I guess I must be a casual user since I enjoy most of blizzard choices for D3. Removing MF is one of them. D3 is difficult for people who do not play 3h a day and the trade off that I’m busy with is vitality vs dps and not MF vs something else…
      Btw, I was not able to kill Rakanoth (stupid boss, no one likes him) so I jumped into publiv MP. This IS fun, every one should try it… However, if they want to encourage players to MP, they’d better put Jordan cauldron and salvage cube back since, at the pace with did in Diablo, we had no time to go back to town and I dropped tons of rares. If they could remove rare identification time also…

      • Absolutely, right here. MF on gear is still a stat that you only focus heavily on once you’ve satisfied your other stat requirements and the truth is most players don’t have the money to obtain gear to play at the top ends of inferno, with or without MF, and don’t have the time to level paragon to come anywhere near the MF cap. Anybody arguing otherwise has lost sight of that out of thinking their experiences are closer to the average than they actually are.

        tl;dr unless you are already in the top end of players and often are fairly rich, MF is still not only difficult to obtain high amounts of but has real drawbacks in taking up a stat that could otherwise be used for progression.

      • The Rare ID time is just 1s in v1.05 which makes a difference. I played normal realm yesterday for the first time in a while and having to wait 3s again for rares seemed like torture. When it’s 1s you can do a bunch of them very quickly in town, or just do them as you find them without feeling like it’s a waste of time.

    10. If MF is going away (and I agree, it looks like it is) then that is a very good thing.

      While it is true that MF in D2 represented a trade off it wasn’t a good one. You would run your character with MF gear to find uber gear that you would never wear. Because the only thing you do in diablo is go kill things to find stuff. And you want MF to find the most stuff. So you never put on this uber gear you find.

      An interesting trade off would be something like offense versus defense, passive defense boosting vs oh sh!t button boosting, etc.

    11. Not to derail the thread, but wondering if anyone else experienced that higher MF does little to increase the drop rate of legendary/set items. I know it has been discussed quite a bit, but the small group of players I farm with daily are finding MF gear is doing little to increase the drop rate. Currently I sit around 330% MF with 5 NV, and so does one of the other regular farmers I play with. The 3rd person has no MF gear. Over the course of many weeks, several full act 3 clears a day, the two of us sitting at over 300% MF have not noticed a significant number of legendary drops over the other group members that run with no MF gear.

      I understand RNG, I know it’s possible to have 375% mf and go days without a legendary drop. But over the course of several weeks, one would think you would see a noticeable difference in drops between a MF geared player and a non MF geared player.

      I finally started a spreadsheet to keep track of things last night, so hopefully after another month I can accumulate some data. My inclination is that MF gear isn’t helping that much, and that legendary/set drop rate isn’t effected by MF at all, it just applies to rares. If this were the case, there would be major outrage from the community if Blizzard were to say that MF doesn’t actually work for set/legendarys. I’m wondering if this might be why Blizz wanted to “move away” from MF importance. Is it possible it simply isn’t working right, and the easiest/best solution for them was paragon mf and trying to ultimately “move away” from MF altogether.

      If anyone could point me to a thread where players have collected data on drop rates of set/legendary items in relation to MF I would be most grateful.

      • Higher MF does boost legendary finds, at least anecdotally. I’ve talked about it on the podcast a few times, and Wolfpaq and other guests who had been playing with 300% or more MF in the early going had found considerably more legendaries than others (like me) who had 200% or less. I think it’s hard to measure just since legendaries are so uncommon that any random chance luck drop is going to skew your results measurably.

        I’ve found maybe 8 legendaries total in D3, and 4 or 5 were from normal monsters. Does that mean normal monsters are better odds than bosses? No, not from what I’ve heard from other players. I’ve just had weird luck and gotten fewer than I should have from bosses and more from non-bosses. More testing in v1.05 will be instructive, as my MF (and everyone else’s) continues to grow from paragon levels.

      • For me, 1.0.4 was the big shift where they really killed drop rates. Prior to that, I was farming act1 and found a set or legendary once in roughly every six hours of gameplay.

        After 1.0.4, with a lot more magic find, I would go 40 hours+ with no sets or legendaries. I mean I understand rng all to well. Having a MBA I’m well aware of statistics. But this is ridiculous. And it’s continued. Now two months after patch I generally find a set or legendary in about every 20-25 hours of gameplay.

        You might be tempted to say that the reason is because I run act3 slower than I ran act1 previously, but that’s not true. Due to the drastically decrease in difficulty, I run act3 about the same as I ran act1 prior. Perhaps a little bit slower, but not by much. Definately not slow enough to encounter this big of a shift in magic find.

    12. Great post !

      Now I wonder, if B wanted to go back on the steps they took and improve itemization, it would require something like a ladder reset. Oh but with the fact that some people have been investing money in gear this is not possible, unlesss… Well I see something like a reset announced a year or so in advance, so everybody is warned. In fact it could be done through the expansion.
      In order to match what was announced at some point (and what I think is how mf should work) : wearing mf should be a compromise with dps or EHP, there should be some rule for items like if mf is rolled on the item, the item can’t have any base stat (int, str, dex, vit). Then you would be really obliged to sacrifice something to get mf on your gear.

    13. Basically, the D3 dev team were nubs in D2… they took everything that made the end game enjoyable and completely changed it. i feel like none of them really played D2 anywhere near as much as i did/do and that is really sad. i know more about what makes the series good then the people making it… lots of people probably feel the same way. they ruined my favorite series of all time wholeheartedly…

      the gameplay is sluggish as all hell compared to D2, reduced the number of people in games, it feels like playing a mmo without the endgame raids and crap. it just isn’t diablo. they have the chance to fix the gameplay but the damage they have done to this series is great. the story was so bad and then finally getting to diablo and seeing he has tits was a punch to the nuts. at this point i might not buy any of the expansion because i was let down so hard by this game.

      i’ve made several lv99 characters in D2 and honestly… the pve was perfect… it was fast, easy, and enjoyable. the social aspect of D2 was amazing too! chat rooms with trivia bots, good ingame chat because it was balls-to-the-wall hard for the average player, trading even… yes, i miss trading… the AH is just so WoWish.

      i really hope they are able to make this game even on par with D2 or they would just release a HD D2 with enigma removed. i hate to see my favorite series in this state because some idiots had this bright idea to change a bunch of things in a surefire formula for success.

    14. disappointed, amazing post. A lot of my thoughts are totally reflected in yours.

      I wonder how it is possible that people play this game. There are examples like that of a friend who mentioned that only ONE out of his 45 D3 friends is playing the game nowadays. Everyone else left the game, maybe forever….

      This game isn’t guide worthy, it’s not strategic, it’s not interesting, it has nothing special aside from the name Diablo.

      I remember Flux at his best, when he wrote his Diablo 2 MF guides. I can recall having translated them into a different language, because of my fascination, both for the game and his style.

      In contrast, nothing fascinates me about Diablo 3, and I am disappointed I didn’t buy the disc version so I could resell it cheap to get some kind of refund.

      Patch 1.0.4 was the last straw. After they followed the crappy Kripp guidelines and when, after having leveled up already to 60!, (SIGH) they made us level up again to level 100, within a single level (level 60), definitely killed the little hope I had for this game.

      It was then when I realized how messy the new system is, how talentless the current Blizzard and J. Wilson are, how the utter lack of ideas is their trademark, and how ignorant they were with the lore of this game.

      Putting all nostalgia aside, let’s face it, Diablo 3 by the new Blizzard, just doesn’t replace that fantastic masterpiece called Diablo 2.

      A HUGE percentage of the changes, decisions made for Diablo 3 are total shit, and I mean TOTAL shit. Some games suffer from having loads of bad design decisions and mediocre features but this thing called Diablo 3 just takes that to a whole new level. Lowers appeal.

      Goodbye Blizzard. You have until tomorrow morning to fix the game. Remember me fondly. 😀

    15. “Sadly, D3 did a worse job at that than D2 did, and as a result the devs are basically punting the entire MF system from the game.”

      Well, that pretty much says it all. The simple reality is that this dev team has no business working on this game. They consistently show that they either have no comprehension about what made D2 a successful game, or are so hard-headed in doing something different that they refuse to learn from D2’s example. Either way, Blizzard needs to clean house and get rid of these devs. They have literally destroyed the francise. Admit it, if it wasn’t for the rmah, how many of us would still be here playing?

      “I am not at all benefiting from uber gear with massive stats + MF.”

      This has far less to do with your limitations on playing time, than it has to do with the extensive exploitation and botting that occurred (and is still occurring) during the first three months of this game. The cheaters were given carte blanche to do whatever the heck they wanted, and all of us legit players are left behind in the dust, solely due to our unwillingness to cheat.

      I’d love to see Blizzard slapped with a racketeering class-action lawsuit, because that’s what this all amounts to. Not because I dislike the rmah (in fact it’s my favorite feature of the game), but because of Blizzard’s complete and utter ineptitude.

    16. Oh one more thing. You state that in D2, magic find was somewhat flawed because you reached the point where you no longer had to trade-off good stats for magic find, with say shako, tals set, etc. This is both true and not true.

      For example, as a lightning sorc, I would have much preferred to wear a griffon’s, or use eschuta’s, or use magefists. Sure, I could kill everything with shako, occy, and chance guards; but not nearly as quickly. So you still did have that decision to make if you wanted to decrease your killing speed for a marginal increase in uniques/rares/etc.

      The problem was that you didn’t need to have the high end gear. The game itself was easy enough that you could faceroll with the magic find gear. Now imagine if we had monster power in D2 with the same type of itemization. Now that would be glorious.

      The key is benchmarking and balancing. For example, at mp10 with the best darn gear available without magic find, the game shoud be somewhat easy. At mp10 with the best magic find gear, the game should be quite challenging. Not unbeatable, but challenging. Once that baseline is set, all other lower mlvls can be set, and no matter how great you get at this game you will never encounter face-roll content when playing at max mlvls.

      Whatever it’s all a moot point anyways. Sick of trying to tell these D3 devs how to do their darn job.

    17. you are upset that blizzard is giving you free mf to make your gaming experience better flux?

      btw, any mf = mf, saying cause everyone has it doesnt mean they have it.

      just cause everyone has a tv, and i have a tv, does not mean i do not have a tv, i still have a tv, as does everyone else, not having the tv, would be not having the tv,

      not everyone will play with the same % of mf all the time.

    18. I am not sure magic find really even makes sense from an attribute stand point.

      If they could just make the items have real cool affixes and suffixes that are novel and whatnot, everyone could easily forget about magic find.

      It was a cool affix in D2, and became popular so I guess they foolishly put it in D3. They should have just left it out to begin with, and focused on using making new/novel affixes/suffixes that make people happy.


    19. Frankly, I think the current setup is brilliant. Paragon levels reward continued gameplay VERY SLOWLY with better items, and Monster Power is exactly the same thing as making Magic Find an opportunity cost: you find more gear, at the cost of playing a harder and slower game. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this.

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