Vote: Diablo 3 Ancient Items


Flux Submitted a news story

Vote: Diablo 3 Ancient Items

The concept for Ancient Items: upgraded Diablo 3 Legendary Items, was revealed at Blizzcon 2014 to what felt like a fairly mixed reception. The idea is simple; about 1.5% on T1 and up to 10% on T6 of legendary items that drop (or gamble, or craft) will be Ancient Items, with considerably higher rolls to most of the primary and secondary affixes.

The stats are boosted by ~1-30%, making any Ancient Item at least a minor and potentially a very major upgrade over the non-Ancient version of that same item. Not all affixes get a boost; currently Critical hit Damage & Chance, Attack Speed, +skill damage, and +elemental damage are not boosted by being Ancient-ized (subject to change during the PTR, of course). Almost every other affix is, though including mainstat, vitality, Res All, and perhaps most impactful of all... weapon damage.

You will see *much* bigger DPS numbers on weapons that roll as Ancient, to the point that a player might ditch their current weapon with a useful Legendary Affix for the Ancient version of a different weapon. Hey, it's an incentive to try a different build! A new, Ancient thing. You like new things, right?

The stated purpose of Ancient Items is to provide another source of item upgrades, even for players who are very well kitted out. The Diablo 3 devs feel the game is most fun for players when they are regularly (or at least irregularly) finding impactful upgrades to their gear, and the AIs are a way to implement that without adding a whole new tier of higher quality items that would obsolete everything your character is now wearing.

Not everyone likes the idea, of course. The main objection I've seen is that the Ancient quality will become the new baseline, making all current items feel like junk. Which is probably true, at least for players at the highest end, but it's odd to focus on the "won't have and will feel left out" instead of the "will find and will feel great to upgrade." Imagine, people on the internet focusing on the negative!

The other complaint is that the odds of finding an Ancient version of the the really uncommon items, especially some of the weapons that take so long to hunt up in any form, will be too long. If you've got a 1/10000 chance of finding a Furnace now, and you've only got a 10% chance of that Furnace being Ancient... you'll be looking for a long time! Of course the whole point of Diablo 3 is to spend a long time looking for perfect item upgrades, but not everyone was temperamentally cut out to hunt The Grail in D2, or the Ancient Grail now that we've got it in D3...

Anyway, here's the vote, and let's measure some opinions on Ancient Items. Vote: Diablo 3 Ancient Items... Newer and Better?

[poll id="183"]​

Click through to see screenshots of the 9 Ancient Item examples so far revealed, Blue quotes on AI, and hit the comments for your specific complaints/praises of the Ancient Items question.

[gallery link="file" ids="381408,381409,381410,381411,381412,381413,381414,381415,381507"]

Travis Day's comments on Ancient Items from our interview with him on Friday afternoon at Blizzcon 2014. (This was before the Satuday panel explained more AI details.)

IncGamers: So do Ancient Items look just the same? Is the clang or drop beam different?
Travis: That’s the idea.

IncGamers: So there’s going to be new excitement when IDing, eh?
Travis: Sure, it’s meant to preserve a little bit of that anticipation. And Ancient Items are really meant to serve the players who want to play the game a considerable amount. We want our game to be as accessible to all of our players as possible. And our drop rates reflect that.

I started my Seasonal Monk and within a week I had surpassed my Crusader from ship of RoS, since drop rates are insanely high now, Kadala is really rewarding. And it’s great that I could do that with a brand new character, but man I really wish there was still something I could want… cause I’ve got everything already. And Ancient Items are really meant for people like me or streamers or players like you who play a lot and want something new to discover.[source][/source]

A couple of recent Blue posts on Ancient Items as well:

When Ancient legendaries were announced at Blizzcon, the first thing that came to my mind along with many others was the fact that another layer of RNG would be added to the many layers that already exist. In terms of end-game progression this would mean that players will have to re-farm already hard-to-get legendaries, have them roll the right stats, and on top of that hope that it rolls as an ancient legendary. This will only drive many of the remaining player base away.

After discussing this matter with many others, I feel that the best way to implement this system would be to add a gift similar to Ramaladni's that will transform the legendary item you use it on into an ancient legendary with increased stats. Of course this item will have to be extremely rare to make the system fair. By implementing the system in this form it will avoid the issue of forcing players to re-farm all of their gear in order to progress through higher level greater rifts and improve their leaderboard rank. Blizzard... for the sake of maintaining the current player base and longevity of this franchise, please reconsider how this ancient legendary system will work its way into the current state of the game.

Tyvalir: Thanks for taking the time to post, Verdrix! We sincerely appreciate all the thoughtful threads the community is putting forward on Ancient Items. We're reading through each and every one we come across, and we'll continue to pass your ideas on to our dev team. Similarly, once the PTR for patch 2.1.2 arrives, we'll be sure your hands-on feedback is relayed just as thoroughly.

For clarity, Ancient items are Legendary or Set items which have up to 30% higher stats than their non-Ancient counterparts (as well as being much rarer). They can drop from monsters starting in Torment difficulty, with an increasing chance to drop as you move up in difficulty level. They also have a chance to be obtained by crafting or from Kadala. As with all other changes and features included in patch 2.1.2, this particular design for Ancient items is subject to change based on testing and player feedback during the PTR. We hope to see some of you who are posting so passionately now putting these items through their paces once the public test realm is live. [source][/source]

Crafted Sets/Legendaries + Ancient legendaries

How will this work? It takes a lot of mats to craft Legs/sets. Is one supposed to keep crafting the same items over and over and hope one turns out to be a ancient item? does anyone know?

Tyvalir: Great question!

While we can't say for sure how rare they'll be just yet (since they haven't been tested on the PTR), I can confirm that crafted Legendary and Set items will have a chance to roll as Ancient items, regardless of the difficulty in which you're crafting. [source][/source]

Continue reading the Original Story
Last edited:


Diabloii.Net Member
They're a shiny "new" toy to farm for, that alone is something positive. That said, something that's actually new might be nice. I would have been happier with some new system instead of ancient legendaries, like a new charm or rune system of some kind.


Diabloii.Net Member
My main gripe is that there are so many current legendaries in the game right now that need improving first, a full pass should have been made on them AND THEN bring in the ancient versions.


Diabloii.Net Member
Agreed. We need more things to look for to make farming more interesting and allow for more tweaking of stats through items.

This game needs a fully fleshed out smaller item system and it needed it one year ago at least.


Diabloii.Net Member
The only thing I'm concerned about is that AIs further kill any potential competitive scene (adding more RNG layers always does). But I guess it's becoming more and more apparent that Blizz doesn't really care about that.


Diabloii.Net Member
Horrible idea, more RNG on top of RNG? Why anyone plays D3 anymore is beyond me, the developers obviously have no clue what they are doing.

They are so lazy they cannot implement a runeword system or make rares not completely worthless but instead throw a 0-30% buff on random drops? They should be fired, and the industry should never hire them again.


Diabloii.Net Member
I agree, but to be fair here, all Ancient Legendary items are are stat buffed Legendary items. They'll be nice as an additional item to farm and it likely took almost zero effort to actually implement. It gives people more stuff to hunt for, if nothing else, and since they were likely very easy to set up I doubt it really took any real development time from more important things. One would hope, anyway.


Diabloii.Net Member
My concern is simply one of statistics...

It can take a LOT of farming or crafting to get a weapon with the right stats, as it is. The venerable perfect 10-7 weapon (10% Dmg, 7% Atk speed, dex, and therefore re-rollable weapon dmg) can literally take forever to get, and now we're talking about a 10% chance of that weapon being ancient... That means somewhere around one in 100,000 per legendary weapon.

I fear this could actually have the opposite effect of locking players into ancient weapons instead of branching out simply because nothing that drops will ever be as good unless it is also ancient... We'll see.


Diabloii.Net Member
"Oh, Inferno and Legendaries are only for the most hardcore people, who want to constantly push themselves."

Sound familiar? We all know how that worked out.

Ancient items are an extremely lazy effort to keep people playing for longer. Not just well geared people, everyone. Diablo is about items and until you don't have the best you'll keep slaughtering demons. Also, it goes directly against their current, supposed design goal of making GR Leaderboards less about randomness. Finding an Ancient weapon will be a ridiculous boost to our performance.

I firmly believe that if they want to go ahead with this idea then increasing the base damage on weapons is a really really bad idea, but I'd prefer if they would scrap Ancient items altogether and concentrate on adding affixes to old Legendaries. That's a much better way to keep people playing, as it would open up new options, unlike Ancient items.


Diabloii.Net Member
"The main objection I’ve seen is that the Ancient quality will become the new baseline, making all current items feel like junk."

That's a typical issue with Blizzard's game design. As soon as the 'new' 130%-items are introduced, high-end content difficulty (or generic interpolation thereof, e.g. rifts) is (automatically) raised to that level as well. You won't find an obvious entry in the patch notes about it, but their item/skill/enemy balancing is usually done with the maximum 'player power' in mind.

It just seems like Blizzard doesn't have the heart to give the highest level of player progress an advantage over the highest level of content difficulty. That's fair for the reason of having challenging content available for everyone at any progression, but never allows a slight amount of imbalance which could give you the somewhat rewarding feeling of having mastered the game.

With the auction house gone, what's the justification for barring the last few percents of maximum player power behind thousands of hours of additional playtime? With legendaries as ultimate rewards in the game still having randomized stats, is another high-end objective really neccessary just for the sake of endless re-re-re-re-re-...replayability of the existing, rather limited content? Especially if that new high-end objective is just a loveless numeric upgrade with a golden border around its visualization? In my opinion, quality (!) playtime worth thousands of hours can't really be achieved by a system coded in five minutes.


Diabloii.Net Member
The only thing I can see annoying on an ancient item, is if it rolls with only 1 desirable stat -- usually the mainstat. Now if it had at least two desirable stats (mainstat and either CHD or CHC) then I'd be comfortable even though CHD/CHC will not scale along with ancient boost (along with all other percentage-based stats). What I would like to see, though, is that ancient legendaries that grant a boost to element damage have their range bumped up by ~3% (turning 15-20% to 18-23%). That would make thematic builds squeal.


Diabloii.Net Member
Honestly , Ancient items should be super rare , not something so common and 10% is really really common for something that will make all the future drops from the same legendary almost salvage material except for perfect rolls or another ancient.

I think the 5-10% is fine for super rare legendaries because they almost never drop anyways but for the more common ones it should be much lower than 5%. I think they should be something you are very happy to see but not disappointed when it doesn't drop because it is crap in comparison to your badly rolled ancient legendary.


Diabloii.Net Member
lol , anything to keep you grinding away . I wonder how much bonus the developer got in his pay packet with this one .

Another 3 months are they going to slightly up it again and everyone again think it's a positive move ?

Only in Diablo .


Diabloii.Net Member
I think you misunderstand. It's 1-10% of the *original* drop chance, depending on difficulty / GR level. So let's say the game decides to drop a Legendary bow for you. IIRC you have 1.5% chance of it being Kridershot and 0.015-0.15% chance of it being Ancient Kridershot.

Steven Hazani

Diabloii.Net Member
We need something NEW.

This is not new, it's the same old items with higher numbers.

If this category of items were a set of new items that blatantly broke 4/2 rules with around 12 affixes, several of which were higher and unique abilities not found anywhere else? Yes it'd be even more RNG BS barricading builds themselves, but at least you'd have different capabilities when (or more likely, if) you got one.

Instead it's just a Furnace that makes your current one (and you've only found 1, in 500 hours) a rare. Actually no. The difference between rare > leg is SMALLER than the difference between leg > ancient. Rares are auto salvaged by all except the 2 hour (total) hyper casuals that actually support this idea.

Google Van Helsing 2 Godlike items, that is a starting point infinitely better than what Blizzard offered after months of derping about. And all they really did was throw on some rare affixes and then double the number of affixes. That and give items preset affixes with variable ranges, so when you do find an ultra rare you don't soul it because it has prime stat vit life regen life on hit.


Diabloii.Net Member
I think that's what HardRock meant and just overlooked mixing the two layers of probability in his expression:

1,5% chance of a bow being Kridershot
1/66,667 to 1/10 chance of dropped Kridershot being of Ancient Item type (HardRock took 1/100 to simplify expressing himself here)

The stone you seem to stumble upon is, that he hadn't made it clear enough that the 0.015-0.15% chance was a part inside the 1.5% chance of the bow dropping as a Kridershot. Thus you've took it as another multiplier reducing the chances instead.


Diabloii.Net Member
I like the idea of adding some sort of flavor to the item hunt. However, I think this is just a lazy fix. In my opinion I'd rather see something more intuitive to this system than just turning existing legendaries into garbage.

What if instead of pushing numbers Ancient Legendaries would modify the existing legendary affix of the item? Or maybe add a second legendary affix?

This would require adding legendary affixes to all legendaries though... But still.