Diablo® III

Unique Item Modifiers

I've been looking over the items and I don't see any unique or very interesting item mods on anything. It's all very meat and potatoes stat boosts.

This is honestly pretty concerning to me since the huge allure of a game like this is the eternal search for the next cool item. Now it is far easier to balance things out by using bland item mods that all give very predictable boosts to core stats. (More damager, faster attacking, more resources, more health, leeching, etc) The tradeoff here is the loot hunt just gets that much less exciting without fun, cool and flashy wildcards out there.

I don't see anything on there that seems to be taking a risk or is remotely flashy. It'd be cool to see more things like "Chance on melee attack to release 3 charged bolts" "Chance to create a spew a slowing sludge when you receive damage" Anything to spice up the predictable stat gains. It's more fun when things add actual visual effects to what you're doing. Unique mods also add the potential to change up how you play the game with what they can do. The charged bolt example? Maybe another mod increases proc rates on items that have them. You can stack that stat with lightning damage for a unique build. The flashy item mods open doors to make the 'basic' stats actually more exciting with how they could potentially interact. ....of course the flipside is this becomes a balance nightmare. But honestly? I'll take an imbalanced game with these possibilities over a balanced game without them.

That is the downside of flashy/unique item mods. They're crazy hard to balance. They suffer in that they're either so worthless compared to a similar item with more basic stat boosts that they are only useful for looking flashy and get benched in favor of more predictable weapons that are outright more powerful. The other issue is a certain unique mod gets to be so powerful that everything else becomes useless compared to it and everyone goes on a singular quest to get an item with it.

...however they're just plain more fun and having them makes hunting for loot that much more exciting everytime you get to identify something that it might have something genuinely cool on it. That anticipation you feel when there's things like that floating in the game goes through the roof. With the more bland stats? You just look for gradually higher numbers and your damage/survivability output go up on a very steady and predictable curve. Yes it's good for balance but it isn't good for just plain fun and an epic feel.

I hope future item design takes some risks like this and even if it means there's some unbalance...I'd rather have something fun and unbalanced than have it perfectly balanced yet devoid of character. The core of the game is a single player experience. There isn't a tight competitive side of things and balance is much more important in any competitive experience. I think some amount of potential imbalance due to items mods is acceptable and might even be fun. It's awesome to have moments in a game like this where you feel like a walking god. I'm sure you can do it with basic mods, but it's just so much more fun to do it with crazier stuff.

WoW already suffers from this a bit. Every item upgrade is a gradual increase in output. Icecrown they shook it up with weapons that had proc effects and honestly those were some of my favorites in the game. However like above, they proved to be extremely hard to balance and some were beyond good while others just sat in the back and rotted to their stat stick counterparts.

Torchlight is another example of a game that got very stale for me because of its itemization. Every item in that game was just basic stat boosts, even the set pieces. I wasn't even really able to finish it since there quickly became zero excitement in finding near gear and I'd gotten all my class's abilities and seen most the locations. I had no desire to keep pushing and getting more and more powerful since it just meant my numbers flying on the screen would slowly get bigger.

Anyway, I have hopes that these are just some initial stats were seeing and as stuff gets fleshed out we'll see cooler items. What I see right now? It isn't exciting me all that much and it worries me since the rest the game looks so incredibly cool.

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I completely agree. I just looked at every single legendary item and there was not one that looked interesting. All items just appear to use the same mods over and over with slightly varying combinations. If you take the already boring WoW items and remove the unique set bonuses and trinkets, this is what you get. It doesn't look like there will be any item that is really wanted because of it's unique purpose, like some items in Diablo II were. I hope the developers didn't take these mods out because they were afraid of the balance implications.

Just from memory, these are some of the things from D2 I really missed: Cannot be frozen, Freeze target, Prevent monster heal, Crushing blow, Chance to cast x on hit/when struck, +Attack against specific monster types, Lowers enemy resistance, +Skill levels (could still work in D3 by raising effective caster level), Open wounds, Hit blinds target, Ignore target defense, Knockback, etc.
These were the type of stats that really defined items. Where did they go?
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31 Worgen Druid
170
What I would like to see is a list of possible random properties.... not necessarily by item but the full range of possibilities.... that would make me one happy puppy
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i wonder about this too but I have seen blue post long ago by Bashiok that they will have many crazy modifiers
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09/23/2011 12:48 PMPosted by Loccjaw
What I would like to see is a list of possible random properties.... not necessarily by item but the full range of possibilities.... that would make me one happy puppy


Agreed. I demand 100% complete affix list naow! :P

This won't happen for a while unfortunately.

I definitely got the exact same feeling about "meat and potatoes" properties on all legendary items. I sincerely hope that the random affixes will spice things up.
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I think items need to be spiced up for sure. For those of you who played Median, you know that the variety in item mods was tremendous, allowing for crazy builds like a pounce (oskill) assassin or a proc-based melee sorc.

I'm hoping with time, more items with more variety will come out. It seems like right now they have just quickly thrown together some items in order to be able to legitimately test the entire game, but I would be highly disappointed if we don't see the item selection and modifiers triple or quadruple by release.

Edit: I know they said they they want to remove oskills from D3, but I think a great idea would be to have skills that can only be granted by items. This would help add diversity to builds, letting people incorporate different skills into their gameplay and requiring people to actually make decisions about which items to wear. (Right now, it's not really a decision at all - Item A increases my DPS by 100, Item B increases my DPS by 120, I guess I'll go with Item B.)
Edited by Entity on 9/23/2011 3:09 PM PDT
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I agree with OP. The Legendary items we have seen so far are totally boring and lackluster compared to those of D1 and D2.
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Edit: I know they said they they want to remove oskills from D3, but I think a great idea would be to have skills that can only be granted by items. This would help add diversity to builds, letting people incorporate different skills into their gameplay and requiring people to actually make decisions about which items to wear. (Right now, it's not really a decision at all - Item A increases my DPS by 100, Item B increases my DPS by 120, I guess I'll go with Item B.)


EXACTLY. They could even add old D1 and D2 spells as chance to casts, that anyone would be able to use regardless of class. It doesn't even have to be about cross-class skills.
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I wasn't very impressed with the showcase of items either. Where's the list of all the possible random properties?
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AGREE 100% . I was about to make a thread about this. Every unique items are pretty much the same stats recycled.. where's the creativity?

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09/23/2011 04:19 PMPosted by Useless
I wasn't very impressed with the showcase of items either. Where's the list of all the possible random properties?


Doesn't exist yet.
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Saying that they are just placeholders is one thing, but going on about runes as an excuse for the boring itemization is another thing entirely.....

Most of us are very familiar with that giddy feeling you got in D2 when you were about to identify a high level Unique item.....because you knew it was most likely going to have real flavor to it, and stats that are hard to come by, stats that were...wait for it..... Unique! I think a big part of that appeal will go right out the window without a little more work on making the items more "legendary".

Finding cool items is what Diablo is all about! It is a kill-fest-gear-hunt. Take away exciting, flavorful items, and you take away the fun.

I mean, heck! Even if you added an occasional murlock sound to that silly murlock Legendary it would be a step in the right direction. Add some cool spell effects to specifically elementally attuned Legendaries, beyond just the normal cold/lightning/fire graphics and effects you find on a normal magic item. Make a crossbow that has a chance to cause a corpse explosion for AoE on a kill, add light AoE lightning damage to Thunderfury, anything! They don't have to be super powerful, just different than your run-of-the-mill items.
Edited by Grundlemung on 9/23/2011 9:20 PM PDT
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09/23/2011 09:14 PMPosted by Grundlemung
I mean, heck! Even if you added an occasional murlock sound to that silly murlock Legendary it would be a step in the right direction. Add some cool spell effects to specifically elementally attuned Legendaries, beyond just the normal cold/lightning/fire graphics and effects you find on a normal magic item. Make a crossbow that has a chance to cause a corpse explosion for AoE on a kill, add light AoE lightning damage to Thunderfury, anything! They don't have to be super powerful, just different than your run-of-the-mill items.


I was going to say that I don't see what the big deal is but after reading this, I think I have to agree with you. I definitely don't want to see game breaking attributes and maybe certain things don't work well with some of the classes (such as knock-back and monk combination melee attacks) but having little minor things that make these uniques stand out makes perfect sense. I can get behind this. After reading Bashiok's post, I believe we should still look forward to some significant changes to items.

All that being said, I don't really want something like this to hold up the release of the game. I guess it's not important for me to see this at launch. I'm willing to wait for these changes to be added with patches. On the other hand, I do not want to run into a situation where we have versions of items like we did in D2, where people were trading pre-patch items and post-patch items. It was a little confusing. As such, taking the RMAH into consideration, I think Blizzard would rather have these nailed down prior to release... or they would have to be careful to make sure that any changes they do make would make the items equal or just slightly better than they were before the change.
Edited by teflon on 9/23/2011 10:15 PM PDT
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90 Human Mage
10140
Wholeheartedly agree with this post, the lack of item character is incredibly disappointing.
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They didn't put them in yet get over yourself.
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Judging form Bashiok's tone, I feel that the items will be pretty much like what we have seen. He's saying many mods are not implemented and they are trying to close out the development in preparation for a release, and now we are in beta testing, I hate to believe this, but how much do you expect to change between now and the release?
Edited by Zephyr on 9/24/2011 2:17 PM PDT
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90 Tauren Shaman
2565
Quote from a blue on D3 forums when commenting on why we shouldnt be concerned about the lack of cool random item mods:

"I don't expect to change your mind. You've been playing Diablo II for 10 years, and so it seems like a step backward because the direct comparisons of a 10 year old game with an expansion don't match up with one currently in beta. I can yell runestones! until I'm hoarse and that doesn't change the fact that it's difficult to convince anyone that design complexity isn't being removed, just shifted.

Another thing to keep in mind (runestoooooones!) is that a lot of the proactive affix effects are now runestone effects for various skills, and so we do have to be careful how affixes interact with them. It's just going to be smarter on our part to be more cautious to start when we can't know how those kinds of overlaps could play out pre-release.

In some cases though we are purposefully avoiding affixes we just don't think promote good gameplay, like +damage to X. We want people to play the game and have fun, not feel crappy because they're in an area full of 'beasts' and are stacking +damage to demons. It also encourages a whole host of other divergent gameplay like holding sets for specific types of enemies, or building sets to run specific areas at end-game. Lastly it's just not that compelling. Either it's powerful enough where people do all those crazy things to use specific items in specific areas, or the affix is just de-emphasized to the point of meaninglessness."


IMO Divergent game play is what defined Diablo 2. So many games within the game, you could play it however you chose to. You could easily play each class in 20 different ways. In a vast majority of the cases, item mods made these builds viable. New character builds based on item mod combinations to more efficiently run a particular area was the spice of the game, of the Diablo "franchise."

If they are truly out to kill divergent game play and herd everyone down the same deterministic path of BiS itemization based on boring base stats (a la WoW and every other MMO out there - Diablo is not an MMO!), they do not understand the keys to the success of their own proven franchise and are gambling on something totally different.
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09/24/2011 11:58 PMPosted by Hastelloy
If they are truly out to kill divergent game play and herd everyone down the same deterministic path of BiS itemization based on boring base stats (a la WoW and every other MMO out there - Diablo is not an MMO!), they do not understand the keys to the success of their own proven franchise and are gambling on something totally different.


Agreed. Runes are great, but this can't be just about runes. One of the things that turned me off of WoW was the itemization. I didn't care about the items I found at all. Builds based around specific items and unique mods (and even weak flavor mods) are what make Diablo what it is. Random mods are fine, but not the amount they are adding.

Honestly, if anyone played Torchlight, the legendaries felt like that. Boring enhanced rares.
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