02/20/2012 09:26 AM
Posted by TianZi
In beta it's easy to have the blacksmith outlevel the content. For example you might beat SK at level 8 but you can craft level 12/13 gear. I don't think this will be a problem in the full game.
I actually agree with this.
After the Beta wipe for patch 13 I played 3 characters (DH, Monk, and Wizard), and all 3 of them seemed like a "fair fight" vs skeleton king at level 7-8. So I believe SK is pretty much just a lower level boss then the crafted gear we are getting.
Your point seems to be, "well, when you first start the game, you don't have enough gold or materials to make crafting an overpowering option". I don't think that's a valid claim at all.
Here are the facts as we know them, based on what little we've seen on beta, and not speculating on future changes.
1) Gold is easily obtainable to the point where somebody can fairly realistically unlock crafting tiers commensurate to their level of progression, without backtracking or really even trying to focus on it in any way.
2) Once those tiers are unlocked, the items yielded by the crafting process are *significantly* superior to anything else that drops, and in some cases specialized to your particular class. We seem to have magic items dropping in the game with only one affix, whereas crafted items commonly have three. Player power goes up incredibly fast once these crafted items are pumped out, and anybody who's killed the skeleton king once is almost certainly at a point where they can have powerful items--weapons, even--sitting in their inventory, level locked, just waiting for when they reach a higher level.
3) Magic items for salvage are a dime a dozen. I can run one clear of the last quest chain in the beta and easily have 10+ magic items in my inventory for dusting. As it stands, that's something like three items with pretty good properties, in any slot I choose, that are superior to anything that can possibly drop. And while I didn't want to speculate on the future, we can say with great certainty that the availability of magic find gear will mean that even more magic items will drop down the road.
One other comment was made, "well, it can take a bunch of tries to get the item I really want from crafting". Think about what that's really saying: It can take you multiple tries to get a *perfect* item out of the crafting process, with all the stats you can possibly want. An item that is *much* better than anything else that currently drops in the game. More than likely, the very first item you get out of the crafting gamble is still superior than anything else that drops, and one of the first three you craft is pretty damn good.
Diablo 1 and 2 have always been about killing monsters to get loot. You *could* craft or gamble or shop for items in Diablo 2, but it was never a great path compared to world drops except in a couple of cases. I'm okay with them buffing the crafting options a little bit over where they were in D2, but as it stands right now, it looks like crafting will absolutely dominate itemization options until the highest levels of content. I don't think that's a good thing, and for as long as Diablo 3 has been in development, I expect a more elegant design solution than what we're seeing currently.