The Diablo 3 Podcast #128: Economy, Item System, and Binding
Azzure joins Flux for a lively debate over the Reaper of Souls economy and item system. Issues include soul bound legendary items in Reaper of Souls, whether BoE or BoP would be improvements, a possible trading system, a self-found bonus, and gold not retaining value in RoS.
0:30 — Opening disclaimer and is Azzure just jelly since he isn’t in the RoS beta yet? (He is now; but was not when we recorded this before Xmas.)
2:00 — Item binding intro. The supposed benefit of all RoS’ item binding is that it allows greater drop rates. Azzure says that won’t work, and that it’s just a short term fun increase without lasting benefit.
9:00 — Video games are about systems of fun and challenge, and a big part of the fun of a Diablo-style game is finding and perfecting gear. If gear is too easy to find, via drops or an auction house, then it’s quickly no fun since you never upgrade. If gear is too hard to obtain then it’s no fun either. Developers must strive for a balance, which is difficult to obtain. Is “finding” inherently more fun than “buying/trading?”
13:00 — Why not “trading games” to allow some item fluidity? It’s not too easy as the Auction House is. But what about trading forums and item selling sites?
20:00 — Bind on equip would be even worse than BoA, since it would incentivize item hunting and item selling sites.
23:45 — The dirty question: Who is blizzard making the game for: casuals or hardcore players? Streamers and people who play 6 hours a day are bored already with the RoS beta. So is RoS designed for the 98%, while the devs and Blues have to try to sell it to the 2% who make all the noise?
28:00 — Is Blizzard 2.0 targeting casual players? And doing so unsuccessfully with Diablo 3 and now RoS?
33:10 — RoS stat inflation explained and debunked. Even with more affixes added in RoS, the item mod variety is lacking. Why didn’t they do a big item systems overhaul in RoS? To fix the lack of differentiation between gear for different classes?
44:00 — How about a system that adds a bonus to items you find yourself, or a penalty to items once traded?
47:45 — Gold retaining value in Reaper of Souls. Flux was right and more importantly, Azzure was wrong.
54:00 — Loot 1.5 on the Diablo 3 console was just a sort of rare “item density” fix, much as Diablo 3 patched in the “monster density.” Both changes were short term fixes while the devs worked on larger game/system changes to debut in Reaper of Souls. But did it? Or is RoS’ item system just the same thing as loot 1.5, with no impactful differences?