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Improving Character Customisation & Item Game

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by tony iii, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. tony iii

    tony iii Diabloii.Net Member

    Jul 1, 2008
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    Stay awhile and listen this is will take some time to read

    Diablo is all about the item slot machine for your character pure and simple, pick a character, find items, play some more... the skills and items and under gone a lot of changes during d3’s release but there is no way other than the items to specialise your character say demon hunter from anyone else’s demon hunter and now with seasons and rolling the same character again once they both are max level you can interchange items and they are the same. D2’s character customisation through stat & skill points was flawed and the game is vastly different but it did give some feeling of uniqueness.

    I propose at the character select screen have a few more specialisation options that stay with the character as minor base stat boosts that don’t have a game-changing impact so there isn’t a right or wrong choice so a casual new player can just go with the default options and it will not feel like a mistake (obviously 1 choice will end up 0.1% better) but if you create the same character again you can choose the specialisations that you prefer through experience and intended endgame build goals.

    Firstly d2 character select screen was way cooler with the classes grouped around a campfire and stepped forward to view/select them (just saying).

    Character Select

    Base stat points (default), each class gets slightly different base

    Attack speed 0% - Demon Hunter/Monk +10%

    Critical hit chance 5% - Wizard/Witch Doctor +5%

    Critical hit damage 50% - barbarian/Crusader +50%

    Gender (Choose one)



    Offense (Choose one)

    Attack speed + 5%

    Critical hit chance +2.5%

    Critical cit damage +25%

    Defence (Choose one)

    Life +10%

    Armour +10%

    Resists all +10%

    Skill specialisation – choose one of the characters resource generator skills to be the default skill that happens when do resource available to do anything else. When max level the chosen skill gains +20% damage increase and can select 2 rune effects simultaneously.

    Character trait - choose one of 3 passives that are not part of the passive skill pool. The remaining 2 choices are then available during game to be selected as a passive, when max level choose one of the remaining 2 traits to be permanent and the other one is unavailable for that character. These traits could either be taken from existing passive pool and/or newly created.

    Offensive passive

    Defensive passive

    Resource passive

    The skill and trait choice would give the character an identity while the offence/defence choices a little bit of variation. This will give 9 possible variations (offence, defence, trait) then the 4 or 5 skill options and a gender option, should make creating another demon hunter for season x worthwhile and different to the previous ones on your character select.

    Skill Changes

    The base skill effect is and always has been redundant and serves no use as a skill unlock or selection process and should be reserved for bonus legendary effects or party effects. Each class has about 25 different skills, all with 5 rune effects so the base skill is not even needed for padding out the levelling process. The base skill effect can be used to apply more party benefits so for example wizard armour, monk mantra or even the soloist demon hunter shadow power or companion applies to everyone.

    Now that the base skill has been taken from the unlock process i would lock in the first and last rune effect to a specific character level but when the runes 2,3,4 are available to select give the player the choice on which one unlock. This encourages new players to read the skill rune effect and make a choice and so be more engaging and give a better understanding of the skills rather than just accepting what is given. When rerolling a new character then experience players will choose the rune effects depending on their play style. Interface wise all this needs is to have is the new available runes options flashing like they currently do when unlocked, you can select each rune to view and only if you choose to equip that skill or select an unlock button does the remaining options become unavailable till the next time its unlocked.

    The recent changes to the skills elemental type would be better if where appropriate had 2 elemental types, ie a base elemental type and an additional element type depending on rune effect, this is so you don’t feel limited to a particular skill/rune combination because of elemental specialisation and open up build possibilities. Depending on the skills the breakdown could be 100%, 50%/50%, 60%/40%, the elemental damage increase from items would be additive in this process so a 20% increase would be 120%, 70%/50%, 80%/40%, 60%/60% therefore staying equal regardless if a skill has single or multiple elemental types.

    When passives are available the first time at level 10 the first 2 options are the 2 remaining traits are the only 2 passives that can be chosen for the first passive slot. When max level is reached then the currently equipped passive from this slot is automatically de-selected and when the trait is next chosen for this slot it has to be confirmed as becoming permanent and the other trait unavailable.

    Paragon Points

    I would change the paragon sections slightly, remove gold find from utility as is pointless now, moved cool down reduction and movement speed to utility, area damage to offence and add experience % to core. Movement speed I would rename as agility and 1% adds 0.5% to movement speed and 0.5% to dodge chance since dodge is no longer used. I would also make this change to movement speed for item affixes.

    core - main stat, vitality, resource, experience %

    offence - attack speed, crit hit chance, crit hit damage, area damage

    defence - life %, armour %, resist all %, life regen

    utility – cool down reduction, resource cost red, life on hit, agility (movement speed & dodge chance)

    During the character levelling process 1-70 you get a paragon point to assign to only the core tab, this will help introduce new players to the paragon system and flow seamlessly into the full paragon options at max level. When doing a 2nd character and already have the full paragon system available then this will serve as a reminder to assign points, the points gained from levelling still can only be assigned to the core tab. specifically the offence tab each point should be meaningful and really the minimum value should be 0.5% and in no way will break the item game.

    I would change the cap from 200 per tab, 50 per option to 225 per tab, 70 per option with main stat & vitality unlimited, this way you have the choice to eventually max out 3 stats or distribute evenly depend on item stats and/or build requirements. This will allow the reintroduction of the most sought after d2 affixes plus to all skills and plus to a skill tree but in this case it would be +2/3 to paragon cap and +4/5/6 to all skills in a paragon tab, either offence, defence or utility. Core is would really not need this since the main stat and utility are unlimited so resource & experience can be maxed out, but can be included if justified. If an expansion raises the max level to 80 than I would change the paragon cap to 250 per tab, 80 per option and 275/90, 300/100 if the max level went to 90 and 100.

    The other change to the paragon system I would change is that instead of the paragon points being assigned to each tab in succession on earning paragon points and therefore with the current system needing to get to paragon 200 to max out an option across 4 tabs would to allow to assigned paragon points to any tab but limited to spending a max of half available paragon point in any one tab. With the current paragon system this means you could max out 2 options by paragon 100, with my suggestion that would be paragon 140 to max out 2 selections as opposed to paragon 340 to max out 4, this excludes the 70 points exclusively assigned to the core tab from levelling process.


    Since d3 is primary a item finding game you are seriously hindered with the saving of said found items for later use. First off I would have a separate storage area/tab for commodities so anything that has a fixed stat goes here in a predefined place be it materials, gems, lgems, gold, shards, keys, ramaladni gift, infernal machine, grift trial token/keys, dyes, etc the only 2 commodities that have variable stats is legendary potions and upgraded legendary gems that are not used. Everything else is just a fixed integer ranging from 0 to a limit say 9,999. If legendary potions and upgraded legendary gems can’t go into the commodities section at least there is more stash space available for items.

    The second change would be to introduce an armoury to store one of each found legendary & set items, this would then leave the 5 tabs of stash space to store duplicate legendary/set items, legendary potions, upgraded legendary gems and any normal/magic/rare items.


    I would make followers same as artisans and have just one set for your account but let them have 2 sets off equipment load outs and you can just tab between them in their inventory and assign a class that the tab is used with via a selection box. Each tab would list the 6 different classes and you can tick each class in one of the tabs, to change a selection just tick the class in the other tab.

    How about the option of having 2 followers running about with you or even all 3?

    Item Changes

    The item system is in a pretty good place, the RNG is still a pain but less reliant on it would be good with crafted/legendaries/set items having more fixed stats then random stats would be a good place to start. The thing in greatest need of changing is the standard gems, sockets and reliance on main stat for dps. D2 item s where more defined in that weapons boosted damage and armour boosted defence and skills, d3 is going more this way with the introduction of +elemental and skill damage to armour.

    Firstly I will mention changes that would not necessitate a complete overhaul/wipe of the current item system.

    The elephant in the room as I see it is having a main stat dexterity, intelligence, strength which main purpose is to give a stupidly high damage multiplier that serves no purpose other than bigger numbers and making every item a damage multiplier over everything else. Currently 100 DEX, INT or STR give 100% damage multiplier and 10,000 gives 10,000% damage multiplier!! There is also a defence bonus 100 DEX/STR gives 100 armour and 100 INT give 10 resist all. Straight away I would reduce the damage multiplier from 100 give 100% increase, to it giving a 0.1% increase and for defence 100 DEX gives 70 armour/30 resist all, 100 INT gives 50 armour/50 all resist & 100 STR gives 90 armour/10 resist all. To offset the reduced damage multiplier the main stat would increase the classes core attack specialty 100 DEX gives 0.2% attack speed, 100 INT gives 0.1% crit hit chance & 100 STR gives 1% crit hit damage. There really is no need for the 3 different stats as they don’t do anything different for each character other than a change in defence attribute and item separation/exclusion which should not be a mechanism need to decide if an item is suitable to equip. Unless you have an exceptional item roll it’s an unnecessary annoyance to enchant the main stat to enable another class to equip and item.


    A few notes emeralds are mandatory for weapons, non main stat gems are obsolete for armour (ie the 2 gems that boost other classes main stat) these are poor design choices which removes choice and variety. Straight away only one gem is required to represent the main stat say topaz and like the core tab on paragon points each character sees the stat it represents, this then frees up two gems to represent something else.

    Weapon gem attribute and would change the current system completely and let each gem represent an element damage to boost, this would require bringing in sapphires from d2 as there are 6 elements

    Amethyst – Arcane/Holy

    Diamond - Lightning

    Emerald – Poison

    Sapphire – Cold

    Ruby – Physical

    Topaz - Fire

    I would say the top tier gem would give a 50/60% damage increase but that is just a guess without a lot of analysis. This would make all the gems desirable for weapons and pretty equal usability.

    For armour this would require changes with the following suggestions



    Diamond........elite damage...........resists all

    Emerald.........critical hit on hit down reduction..resource increase

    Topaz...........damage.....................main stat

    This is just putting affixes to the different gems and will need more analysis on which affixes to assign to the gem and socket type as it could just be moving crit hit damage issue from weapons to helms even though there is a lot more desirable completion but may just be best dropping critical hit damage altogether from gems. Another change would be that offhand items gain weapon attributes and amulets gain helm attributes.

    Items - weapons

    Weapon 1h v 2h has been debated forever, d2 had both weapon speed and weapon range but in d3 there is only weapon speed so 2h loses out massively, the way I would address this is by give 2h weapons some default block chance & area damage to make up for range not being a factor and doubling the number of sockets, for bows/xbows could possibly substitute area damage for chance to pierce. I would also allow all characters to offhand there unique 1h weapons with a 2h weapon:

    Barbarian – mighty 2h & any 1h or any 2h & mighty 1h

    Crusader - shield/flail & any 2h

    Demon Hunter – 1h xbow/quiver & 2h bow/xbow

    Monk – daiblo & any 1h or fist & any 2h

    Witch Doctor – ceremonial knife/mojo & any 2h

    Wizard – wand/source & any 2h

    Items – Enchanting

    The enchanting system has gone a long way to easing the RNG of Diablo and standing some chance on acquiring items and a build you want to achieve. There are 2 changes I would make to the enchanting system first is to allow to enchant both a primary affix and a secondary affix. Secondly is to have at least 3 enchant options to select from instead of 2 and maybe add in a fourth and possibly fifth for a huge gold cost to act as a gold sink.

    I would also add in a spate mechanism possibly via blacksmith since he is only good for garbage disposal and to not confuse with mystic enchanting is an affix swap facility, cannot think of a cool name for this but what it essentially allows is to swap elemental or skill damage for another valid element or skill but keeping the value the same. Affixes I would apply this to would be:

    Elemental damage

    Skill damage

    Elemental resistance

    For example and item has these 3 stats included (don’t think it is actually a possible combination) :

    Primary stats

    12% Cold damage or cold weapon damage

    13% sentry damage

    Another affix

    Another affix

    Secondary stat

    86 physical/fire resist

    Another affix

    You can reroll the cold damage & physical resist to any element valid for the item and the skill sentry to any other skill valid for that item. You could change any/all off the affixes and as many times as you like. If you wanted to say improve the cold damage from 12% to a higher value then you would have to enchant with mystic first to gain a higher a value on any elemental damage type. This would carry a high gold cost to act as a gold sink but you are able to choose the outcome, I would go for a cost in the region of 1 million or 1% of total wealth (whichever is higher) to 5 million or 5% of total wealth (whichever is higher) plus material costs. This would make a worthwhile gold sink as the outcome is predictable so you are not gambling on the outcome and you can change you element damage/skill build without spending weeks reacquiring new items. This is to help out the long term but casual players where with boon of hoarder gold isn’t a restraint and can be achieved in a fairly reliable timeframe but getting specific item rolls involves too much time patience. It will also benefit full time 100 hours a week players but they would keep playing the game regardless of this and can do 10 level 45 greater rifts in an hour to find the items they need. Not sure if elemental damage is limited to different elements for different item slots but if not then each slot needs to be limited to a maximum of 4 elements. Individual resists on secondary stats would also roll in pairs from a maximum of 4 available per item slot and the value to be at least 50% higher than the maximum possible resist all value to make the affix a viable replacement for resist all if get good rolls on all resistances across multiple items. For the rerolling mechanism only 1 resistance can be changed either through choice or limited to only first or second by default.

    Items – Epic Ones Please

    This is a simple concept and similar to ancient items but applies to them as well as magic /rares and standard legendaries/set items. If and items stats all roll with the 90th percentile of their maximum then the item is EPIC plain and simple, the affixes may not be desirable but at least it is instantly obvious that the affix values are good. Enchanting an epic item means that it can lose its epic status and on items that don’t have a full complement of epic rolls on its affixes any affixes rolls that are can be highlighted by maybe bold text or a gold star. For anyone that doesn’t know 90th percentile means the value is with 10% of the possible maximum. Some affix value ranges may need to be adjusted slightly so on the lower value ranges, at least 2 values are epic status but just the maximum value being epic could be ok though. Pick up radius and attack speed is 2 that come to mind.

    Items – Overhaul

    This next suggestion could not be done easily without wiping all current items or making all current items obsolete like d3:ros did with d3:vanilla items.

    Firstly I would remove main stat from items entirely, I have alluded to his earlier but it is a game changer that the game was built on so would not be an easy change to make. I would go as far as removed DEX, INT & STR attributes as they serve no real purpose even as a differentiator. You still need a main stat in the game and gems would be the main source of changing it followed by paragon points, levelling points, set item bonuses and unique legendary affixes (the unique/set item to restrict the main stat increase to a specific class ie 500 EXP (wizard only)). The name of the main stat could be Intelligence which would be the most appropriate of the existing main stats but is not really fitting. Experience is the most appropriate and fits in the current game mechanics where the constant goal is to gained experience. The only point that will need clarifying that increased experience & values relates to gaining experience not to the acquired experience but since there no % increase to main stats it should not be an issue. Failing that the main stat could be called power or energy or something else.

    Now that’s the core item system changed what else would I change?

    Not much other than a few tweaks and refocusing.

    Weapons to be the source of offence dps, Armour to be source of defence and build changing possibilities. First off sockets will be taken out of the affix pool and treated separately, socketing gems needs to be the next way of customising a character since the character creation process, there needs to be more items with sockets and plenty of completion to which gems to put into the sockets. One possible way of doing this is by restricting an item with multiple sockets to only allow 1 of each gem type, this would be especially be necessary if weapons had multiple sockets or 2 1h weapons being equipped had to have different gems socketed. With the proposed changes to gem attributes for weapons and multiple elemental types for skill damage 2 different gems to synergise would be desirable rather than maxing out 1 element but what you envisage and what the player base does is often never even thought about!

    All items that can have a socket will always have a socket as default, the socket affix will still remain to increase the number of sockets available for the item or if only 1 is permitted (jewellery doesn’t make sense having more) then the socket affixes increases the socket power instead like leorics crown legendary. Another possibility for jewellery as there are so many legendary gems now is to allow them to have both a legendary and standard gem but you can’t remove the legendary gem without it reverting back to its default unlevelled form so it will need re-levelling again if you want to combine the legendary gem with the ring/amulet so that you can also socket a standard gem. Please could you break the rules and allow characters to equip more than 2 rings so many to chose from 4 would be good now.

    Item affixes

    Enhanced normals – 1 primary affix (fine, superior, balanced, etc)

    Magic – 2 primary, 1 secondary (limited pool of affixes mainly pure offence or defence based but can roll higher legendary but not ancient values.).

    Rare – 4 primary, 2 secondary (same affix pool as legendaries but max values lower)

    Legendary/set – 5 primary, 2 secondary, 1 special legendary power (5th primary affix unique for that item slot)

    I don’t see a way for rares to compete with legendaries as with each season the improving legendaries will constantly outshine rares, but a really good (epic) rare will be good during levelling and into max level until legendaries are found. For crafted items at least half the affixes should be fixed or chosen when crafted otherwise there is no point to using it as why would you invest resources into getting garbage when you can play the game and find the same quality garbage or better for free? Other than levelling a 2nd character and a few legendaries worth never use the blacksmith for crafting. Surely since you are giving this guy a reason for living and paying all his training & upgrade costs the first example of any new item he can make he would have the decently to give you for free to test out and you may go back and buy some more!

    Weapons are pretty good stat affix wise and with removing main stat frees up stat slot for some off the overlooked affixes, life on hit, area damage and crit hit damage could make a come back.

    For armour items the main focus of the stats should be defence - armour value, plus armour, resist all, vitality, life %, life regen and build defining stats element damage, skill damage, cool down reduction, resource cost reduction, paragon cap & paragon tab points. The damage increase stats attack speed, crit hit chance, crit damage & area damage still need to be present but competing for one or 2 affix. Something like gloves could still be a trifecta but most items should only have 1 or at most 2 of these affixes possible. Legendary/set item use the affix method explained above, the 5th primary stat is reserved for an affix that would not normally roll on the item type with can either be defined or from a selection of affixes. The remaining 4 primary affixes 2 would be fixed and 2 would be random, for secondary attributes undecided if fixing one would be good or not so left random as testing would be needed as RNG is still required for a Diablo game.

    D3 has constantly improved since launch and more so since the d3:ros, this is my thoughts on improvements that can be made hopefully developers are reading and that the next expansion carries on making a great game better.

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