A silly "what if" scenario.


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A silly "what if" scenario.

Let's say, for the sake of the argument, that Blizzard has released a new patch which, among things, gives access to an upgrade recipe for set items that is about as expensive as the other upgrade recipes. Let's also assume that they have not made any new sets or uniques and all new runewords are way too expensive for legit SP'ers to even dream of.

When people have decried the percieved weakness of sets over uniques and runewords, the lack of such a recipe has been a common argument.

Well, would it change our usage of sets all that much, if we could?

As I see, it would not matter all that much. It certainly wouldn't disturb (the already horrible) item balance in any way.

Following sets would probably be of interest upgraded.

Arctic Gear:
The Arctic Furs can actually spawn with 325% enchanced defense and with two set items worn it gets 3 defense points per character level as well. Imagine that upgraded to a Dusk Shroud it would have a respectable defense level.
Still, it would really just be a toy for those wishing to be "different" as a Duress, Stone or Fortitude in a good Archon Plate would supply equal or superior defense while giving lots of good mods to go along with it. In case of Duress it would probably even be cheaper, runes wise.

Death's Disguise:
The sash upgraded once for those extra potion slots. The Gloves/Sash combination or just the Sash alone is already popular as twinking gear and with upgrades we might see characters wearing the belt in the endgame more often.

Cleglaws Brace:
While this set can work endgame, even as it is now, I'm sure people wouldn't mind some extra damage on the sword. Still, in expansion there are a lot of (better) sources of Deadly Strike and Crushing blow available and the fact that the shield will never be good at blocking is a serious deterrent.

Iratha's Finery:
The belt for that extra row of potions. Lovers of this set keeps mentioning it as potential end game gear, and we can always use some extra potion rows, just in case.

Aldur's Watchtower:
People have since it's conception moaned how an obvious melee-specific set has such a low-damage weapon. An upgrade could remedy this to an extent, though it will still not compare favourable to the nasty uniques and runewords out there, but it would make Aldur's just a wee bit more popular.

Hwanin's Majesty:
Upgrading the Bill could give it some longevity, though Colossus Voulges has huge strength requirements, so when your'e at it why not give the belt and the armor some loving too. The set would still not be all that hot when compared to the various unique elite polearms and the plethora of runewords that can be made in this weapon group. The mods on the assembled set just aren't that hot.

Griswold's Legacy:
Well, you could upgrade the armour for a potential 200 points of defense (if you are lucky with your roll that is) and the -requirements helps keep the strength req in the "acceptable" range.

Orphan's Call.
You could upgrade Whitstan's Guard if you felt it's block chance weren't already high enough, well it would mean less points in Dex needed which is always nice.

Sir Dante

Diabloii.Net Member
I believe the only item that will be upgraded on a regular basis would be Death's Sash. The Gloves and Belt are end game gear for many melee Single Players and the first upgrade would be cheap and give you double belt space. Other then that all others would be strictly for personal style.

I am a huge fan of Iratha's Set and would have no problem upping all three pieces to exceptional but wouldn't dream of upping to elite.

The problem is when people up they look for enhanced damage, defense, based on percentage mostly, along with decent mods.

Artic's Quilt has useless mods so the defense bonus is wasted.

Aldur's Jagged Star suffers from the fact that it has no enhanced damage based on percentage. So upping it will not give you the huge boost in damage you need because it has straight added damage and damage against Undead and Demons.

You could up all pieces on The Immortal King as it is one of the most used sets and Barbs actually have a use for defense but upping the Belt, Gloves, and Helmet may net you 200 defense (1000-2000 with skills) in return for 3 Mid runes and 3 Low High Runes. Only the super wealthy or perfectionists would do that.

All and all Death's Sash is the only item that really benefits from this.


Diabloii.Net Member
I think we agree, Sir Dante.

The hypothetical twice upped Arctic Furs with once upped Arctic Binding would merely be a "different" what of getting high defense. Beyond the defense the other mods are not all that hot as already stated.

Also in the case of the hypothetical Aldur's Rhythm Devil Star I kinda assumed some equally hypothetical Ruby Jewels (of Fervor) that no one ever actually finds.

If you read my introductory remarks you can see that I meant that this potential feature would mean diddly squat.


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I like the idea for untwinked. Twinked you're using "godlike" equipment to begin with so nothing you do really matters. Untwinked, you can never have enough options.


Diabloii.Net Member
I also see this as a perfectionist's game, but I can see the (limited) benefits in untwinked play.


That piddly bow in the Arctic Set does 10-22.

Once upped, it would do 21-54, more than double.

It's still wimpy damage, but come on. For the price of two low runes available from a half hour at Normal Countess, you've more than doubled your character's damage output, and without compromising any set bonuses you might have accrued. That is not a terribly bad set for a beginning archer, upping the bow could only help things. I imagine this will only help the game.



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Some of the IK set would be cool up'd. Upping the maul would be possible, yes? Req's would be high though... And the helm would get a lot cooler too.


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I stand by my previous idea about upgrading set items. Introduce new set bonuses for sets once all items have been upgraded to the same level. For instance take Cleglaw's Set. You have a small shield, chain gloves and long sword (I believe). The bonus' for equipping all of those are quite dull. Equip all those items and you get all the set bonus'. Upgrade the small shield to a round shield and you will only get the set bonus' from the chain gloves and long sword until they are upgraded to heavy bracers and a rune sword. Of course there would also be partial set bonus' for partially upgraded sets as well (for instance if you did upgrade just the long sword and the gloves then wore them, there'd be improved bonus' for equipping them).

My reasoning for this is that nearly all of the old set items and particularly sets are outdated and practically useless considering the amount of runewords that feature now. Which brings me to another thought. Perhaps Blizzard introduced a lack of low level runewords in order for us to take note of the older sets and their (somewhat) improved bonus' in D2X?


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If you have read the thread about Penny the Impalazon, you know that she is just starting out in NM and that she wears Arctic gloves + belt. After the next level-up (when she will no longer depend on the +5 STR partial set bonus to be able to use her main weapon), she will switch to other belt + gloves because she really wants 16 potion slots when she is going down in the Forgotten Tower and the Pit level 2. If I could have upgraded the belt, this combo would have stayed on much longer (it´s pretty nice at this stage, with IAS, cold resist and lots of MF).


Diabloii.Net Member
Everyone is already missing the big picture here.

So I'll sum it all up in two words.


Thread over. I win. kthxbai.


Diabloii.Net Member
One set item which is really common in use and has good mods is Guillaume's Face.
Im sure if upgrading sets was available there would be a lot of spired helm Guill's faces around.


Diabloii.Net Member
bg1256 said:
Some of the IK set would be cool up'd. Upping the maul would be possible, yes? Req's would be high though... And the helm would get a lot cooler too.
Yes, there are actually four classes of items in the game.

Normal -> Exceptional -> Elite -> Uber

Although this is not widely acknowledged.


lagalot said:
One set item which is really common in use and has good mods is Guillaume's Face.
Im sure if upgrading sets was available there would be a lot of spired helm Guill's faces around.
Um, why?


Diabloii.Net Member
lol @ upping the ogre maul.

id up Hsarus' Iron Stay. my zealer used that belt with teh boots for a very long time. very long. into hell actually. then i found goreriders :)

also, upping parts of the angelic set, so you can actually hit stuff with that sword, to make it a better MFing set.


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Deaddave said:
@topo for the high cb, ds and fhr and very high defence
You mean it would have more CB, DS & FHR when upped? I must confess I really didn't know that.

Weeeeee! I'm a lollercopter :prop:


I would rather have a CoA in a grand crown actually. I woul also rather have leviathan in an exceptional armor.

Why would you waste runes for minimal + defense on a PvM helm?

PvM barbs never up their Arreat's Face. Waste of runes and often health. PvP barbs may up their arreat's faces but thats a different story.

Edit: just checked Arreat's Summit. You gain anywhere from 50-120 def on the Guillame's face for a loss of 220ish life + one lem + one fal.