The huge buff to legendary drop rate on the PTR ended abruptly earlier this week, leaving some players happy (at the reduced PTR load) and others unhappy; if they hadn’t yet found the gear they wanted to test. Some of the “nubs clogging up my PTR so my l33t testing skills were blocked” types have been gleeful at the end of the buff and point to that and the end of long queues as simultaneous events. That’s not correct; the queues were terrible all weekend, but only for softcore; hardcore had much lower wait times, and the queues were gone for all testers on Monday, while the +2000% buff didn’t end until Tuesday afternoon.
That said, the buff served the purpose of getting full sets of the new gear into tester hands, and many of us submitted detailed feedback. (PTR Item Set podcast part one and part two.) How’s that going on the Blue end?
PTR +2000% Legendary Buff… May Return:
Tyvalir: We’ve received a tremendous volume of feedback on the new and revamped sets on the PTR, and we’re making adjustments to several of them as a result. Ideally, these changes should address many of the concerns players are reporting about them.
Until these changes can be implemented, we’ve disabled the Legendary drop rate buff. We hope to have the new versions out for testing soon, at which point we may reinstate the buff.
As a side note, we’ve heard many players point out that the buff to the Legendary drop rate during recent PTR tests has had the unintended effect of encouraging people to log onto the PTR only to enjoy the drop rate, rather than to test and give feedback on new content. We’re looking at ways to address this in the future.
I’m sure they want feedback on multiple levels. Obviously they want to know how the new items and sets work. But I’m sure they would also love feedback from people who can only test the bare minimum too.
Tyvalir: You’re exactly right. In fact, some of the best feedback weâ€™ve seen in this PTR has not only delved into how individual set bonuses feel, but also how the set feels when it’s partially and fully completed, and when it’s combined with complementary items.
The examples you gave are also good, Jako, and they highlight another area where we’d like to get feedback – that is, how does it feel to use the set while gearing up? For instance, do you feel more powerful as you add more pieces to the set, and does each piece feel worthwhile (compared with other items) for the slot that it takes up?
We’ve already seen lots of good feedback along these lines, and we’d love to see even more, whether in the PTR Feedback forum itself, or (specifically for the new and revamped sets) in our Focused Feedback topic.
I’d imagine we’ll see the buff back when the next PTR patch goes live. After all, they’re adding a new, seventh piece to all the vanilla sets, Sunwuko’s six piece bonus isn’t yet functional, and the new Barb set is also still a WiP. And obviously, the +2000% drop rate buff created a lot of publicity and interest in trying things out on the PTR and gets more players testing out the new stuff, instead of just staying on Live and hoping others dig into the new stuff and help iron out the balance and function issues.
The downside is that sometimes the Legendary Buff rate brings too much interest and the game creation queue becomes intolerable. You guys wanted to or did do some testing? Does the buff rate draw you in more than the rumors of endless game queues repulse you?
Incidentally, an odd side effect of the Legendary Buff rate is that Blue materials become almost impossible to obtain. Unlike yellow mats the blues never drop in large quantity, but on Live most chests spit out a blue item, and players can pick up enough to salvage. When the +2000% buff is in place, all those blue chest items become legendary items. Which is nice, but it’s not like legs are in short supply with every Elite dropping one or more, and the problem comes when you do tons of enchanting, and burn through all your blue mats that way… and have no means to gather more (other than praying for Infernal Hoarders).
I actually ran into that bottleneck last weekend on the PTR, when I’d completely respecced my gear several times to try out multiple different skill builds with Natalya’s and Unhallowed Essence. There was nothing to be done. For the build I wanted to try I needed to redo the +skill bonus on my helm, boots, and shoulders, and you know how enchanting goes. I was looking at probably ~10 rolls on each item, at 8-16 blue mats each, in a game where a full Rift clear would net me maybe 10 blue mats, unless I found a material goblin.
It vexed me enough that I directly emailed a D3 dev, not expecting an immediate fix, but just to make sure they were aware of the problem going forward. He agreed on the issue but said he couldn’t ETA any changes, and it wouldn’t have mattered since I’d copied over my Americas account again. The funny thing is that with the +2000% buff I *knew* it would be much quicker to erase all my PTR progress and farm up all the legendary items again… than to try to find enough blue mats to enchant the new stuff I’d already found.
And then the next day, right before the Legendary Buff ended… all the blue material prices for enchanting armor dropped to 1 or 2, on the PTR only. (Normally they’re in the 8-16 range.) Hopefully that’ll remain in place at least for this testing cycle, to give playes on the PTR as much re-gearing freedom as possible.