A Few Thoughts
Leading over the very unofficial, likely inaccurate, and ponder-able ?leak? from Blizzard last week, a few thoughts came to mind that I thought might be worth setting down here. I have no inside information on any of this, so please keep in mind that any speculation is merely that, speculation.
One of the first things that struck me was the runes used in the new rune words. Two Zods? In one word? Two? Last I checked, Zod was the rarest of rare runes, hard to find (at least legitimately) and with the singular power to make any item indestructible. And now two of them appear in a recipe for an item. Granted, the suit of armor they appear in is a very nice suit of armor, but I am not quite sure it is so powerful as to justify two items that are currently among the rarest in the game. According to the figures for 1.08 hosted at the very site, roughly 144,000 Els fall for every Zod. At the rate I see Els, I should be due for a Zod somewhere around the arrival of Diablo 5. No one, unless he is an uber-trader, super lucky, or a cheater, will ever see two Zods on the same character under the current system.
The obvious conclusion… the system must be changing. Or the leaked data is totally loony, something we must keep in mind as a possibility. But pretending the information is decently accurate, and that there is indeed a rune word that contains two Zods, then I think Zods are going to become more common. That does not mean that Zods will drop more often, though it is not out of the question that the 1:144,000 ratio will be adjusted. More likely, I hope, is that the current system of combining runes to make higher runes will be extended through the tree. I do not think this would make the higher runes, such as Zod, too easily attainable at all. Suppose, for instance, you only found Els. Three Els make a Eld. Three Elds transmute into a Tir, and so on. Or, to phrase it differently, 3 El = 1 Eld : 3 Eld = 1 Tir or : 9 El = 1 Tir. Thus to equal one Zod, you need to find the equivalent of 1,853,020,188,851,841 Els. For those without the patience to count commas, that is roughly 1.85 Quadrillion Els, also knows as a lot. Everyone who has found 1.85 Quadrillion Els, raise your hand. Gee… even the hackers are sitting quietly.
Now, in reality, the number of runes it would take would be substantially less. Every Thul, for instance, would drop the needed rune number by over 19,000, and every Lum by over 43,000,000. That adds up over time. But that is still a lot of runes that would need to be collected, transmuted, and, most importantly, not used. Imagine the dedication it would take to transmute all the way to a Zod, without using any of the awesome runes created on the way. Also, despite the vast number of Els needed, the actually figure or runes collected would be much smaller, given that no one finds only Els. Probably several of us reading this could have attained a single Zod by now. Again, I do not think such a system would break the game at all. Amn, Sol, Shael, and Dol would be much more common, but I am not sure this is a bad thing. I think this could work.
Another thing I noticed was the number of elite uniques with variable stats, sometimes widely variable. I like this move. Not only does Blizzard add more rewards for high level characters, but they add diversity to those rewards. Item hunters who find a nice set of Tyreal?s Might with merely a +61% Damage to Demons will keep looking, because there is that mythical perfect suit of armor is still out there. Likewise, someone with the greatest set of elite gear in the world, running about player killing like a madman might still run across that one rare player with a set of equipment better than what he has. Imagine the shock of the dueling gamer when his Flamebellow equipped barbarian falls to another barbarian with the same sword, only the victor?s copy has an additional 33% enhanced damage. Should dueling ever become widely organized on the realms, such a thing could happen, and regularly. Translated into conventional gaming jargon, this move adds a great deal of replay value to an already very replay-able game.
One final thought before I leave you to drool some more over the leaked information. Who here actually believes that accidental posting of dated information was truly an accident? Blizzard has had a bit of a record of semi-intentional leaks in the past. I am not saying this was a planned move by Blizzard, but it could have been. Judging by the response in the forums, these accidental web pages have caused quite a stir and have quite a few people pulling out that dusty play disc and sharpening their skills for the arrival of the patch. Apparently, the patch will not arrive at E3, and may be some weeks yet before it gets here. I should warn you though, in the few days after each of my last two Fires were published, I was informed that the patch had been delayed a few more weeks. Not that my article is bad luck or anything…
Let?s just hope it gets here before May 26th
Disclaimer: Salem’s Fire was written by Luke Blaize and hosted by diabloii.net. The opinions expressed in these columns are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Diii.net.