First off, I like Diablo 3, I enjoy playing it, and I have played it consistently since release. I loved Diablo 2, and played entirely too much of it and really love a lot of the things that Blizzard changed in Diablo 3.
However, this game still has some obvious flaws that I would love to see addressed in future patches and/or expansions, in order to make this game better and keep people playing it.
I work at a video game company currently as a designer, and decided to sit back and think about all the things in Diablo 2 that I loved, that I hated, and all the things that I think really work in Diablo 3, and really need a massive overhaul. I’ve listed my points out, so you can jump about this post and read or skip the portions that interest you. There’s going to be 1 key thing that this post will revolve around, what’s fun, and what isn’t. Below are the things that I thought of and other things that some other people have brought up within the community that I think should be looked into a bit further:
1. White Items need to be used during the crafting Process
Why is this?
Currently, white items are useless. They’re currently not even worth picking up to vendor, as they really don’t sell for very much, and with the frequency that blues currently drop, it really makes no sense to collect regular white and grey items. These need to have a purpose, a reason to be picked up, and they also need to be FUN to search for.
In Diablo 2, a white socketed item could still turn quite a profit as you could use them to create rune words. While Diablo 3 doesn’t have Rune words, we do still have the crafting system.
How White items could be used:
Like Rune words, when they were constructed the base value of the item being used was then used in the construction and stat “roll” for that item. This should also happen during item crafting.
What this means for example is during the crafting of a pair of rare boots, you will need a pair of white non magical boots as part of the materials needed to create those boots. The stats then that the rare will roll will be consistent with the Item level of the non magical item being used. So if you use a pair of non magical boots from normal act 1, they will be vastly different from the quality of an item level 63 pair of non magical boots etc.
The boots will also not be able to roll any armor value UNDER what is currently already on the pair of boots.
This goes the same for the DPS on weapons. If a item level 63 weapon has a base 400dps then the rare will use that as a base, and can only roll 400 or higher.
What this will accomplish:
It will add another level of fun to the game, as you’ll have more things to search for. Diablo 3 and Diablo 2 were always about the search for more loot, and giving white items a purpose will give another level of items to search for and be sought after. This will also allow people to have yet another thing that they can sell on the AH or RMAH as well, as certain tiers of White items will be greatly sought after, just like 3 socketed Archon plates were in Diablo 2.
Gems could also be included in this process as well, to guarantee a certain specific stat. A flawless Square Ruby could be needed to guarantee that rare will roll with Strength (the only variable, being exactly how much Strength it will have)
2. Class Specific Items need to roll class specific stats GUARENTEED.
Rare for the most part can stay the way they are currently, when it comes to random number generation, however class specific items like Wizard Hats, Barb Belts, Barb Weapons, Monk weapons, wands etc need to roll guaranteed stats that will benefit the class that uses them. Then it doesn’t become a question of IF the item will roll the stat you need, but how MUCH of that stat it will roll, which makes it more fun, and a bit more exciting.
All other rare items can stay the same, but class specific items need to change, period.
Seeing strength and fury on a Wizard hat isn’t good game design, it’s just stupid and seems rather lazy and does nothing but frustrate the person playing. Seeing a class specific item drop for the class we currently play should EXCITE us, and not turn into another moment of “Let’s hope this rolls with something I can actually use”. Wizard specific items should roll with Intelligence, Barb items with Strength etc.
3. Certain set item drop rates need to change
People have been complaining about Set and Legendary drop rates since the game was released and people started realizing they wouldn’t fall from the sky like they did in Diablo 2, and I do have to agree with them to a certain extent.
With a Wiz in Inferno and almost 200 hours played I’ve found 1 set piece for a Monk, and that’s after consistently farming.
One thing I loved about Diablo 2 was set drops. There was certain items from certain sets that you would find all the time. With Immortal Kings you could consistently find every other item for the set, aside from the Soul Cage chest piece and I can’t tell you how many Tal Rasha chest pieces and Griswolds I’ve found through the years of playing Diablo 2. Diablo 3 should be no different in this respect.
While drop rates for specific Set items may not be changed (or could even be decreased to make them even more rare) finding certain set items at a consistent rate should be common place and will help make things a bit more exciting there as well.
Not only that, it will also affect the current in game economy, as certain set pieces will become of lesser value as they will be more easily found by the hardcore and casual players alike.
This will also make completing the set a worthwhile and endeavor and will be that much more exciting and fun to do.
Legendary Item issues:
Drop rates currently are extremely low given the quality of the items that we’re given when we finally do come upon our first Legendary. Since release I’ve found a few, and I’ve salvaged all of them, aside from 1, which I kept for my MF set (otherwise useless).
Legendary items need to have certain set stats guaranteed (dependant on their item level obviously), period. When it came to Diablo 2 Uniques (which is about the closest thing that this game has in terms of “Legendary” items) Uniques were sometimes great, sometimes amazing, but still useful at least for a small amount of time.
You knew a Harlequin Crest Shako would add +2 to all skills (a now dead stat, which I will talk about later on), with Life and Mana and give you more MF, it was guaranteed. While some stats may have a slight degree of difference (Perfect Magic Find on War Travelers anyone?) You still knew that stat would be in place, and it was guaranteed to have it. While this meant that sometimes you would find a Unique item that was better set for a different class, it was still useful in the fact that it was then available for you to trade (or in Diablo 3’s case sell).
Legendary items at least in terms of Weapons, also need a huge DPS increase (also giving a DPS increase to lower level legendaries which would be considered “amazing” given its item level to make lower level legendaries useful for leveling and creating new characters).
It’s not very hard to understand that given the current structure that Blizzard is currently using, that since our overall Damage comes from a weapons Damage, if a Legendary has amazing stats, but the Damage is so low that it drops our DPS by 5k (just as an example) we’re simply not going to use it. Instead, we’re going to opt for the Magic or Rare item with little to no stats, but gives us that overall damage boost.
If the Legendaries were fantastic when we found them, no one I think would be that hurt from the low drop rates. But instead as things are currently, you wait a very long time to get a item that rarely drops, only to then become frustrated and disappointed by your find.
I hope this comes into play with the changes that Blizzard will make in the future to Legendaries.
Other Small Changes
Add a Secondary Gear Swap for MF gear.
Just like it sounds, like in Diablo 2, when you had a secondary switch for your weapons (usually a Ist’d Ali Baba/Gull and a Ist’d Monarch) Diablo 3 should have a switch, for your entire gear set.
This will level the playing field for everyone, and allow anyone and everyone that wants to use a secondary Magic Find set to do so. The Penalty for using this obviously, will be that you will also have to keep this set of items in your Inventory, and thus reducing your Inventory space as a full Magic Find set will take up almost a full row of space in your Inventory.
Now, everyone will have the ability to hit a button and switch their gear near the end of a fight, and those that don’t want to use it, won’t have to. It’s a solution that is available to everyone, and makes it so switching MF gear isn’t for only the “hardcore” people that want to go through the tedious task of switching all their gear mid fight.
End Game Related Stuff:
End game for this game seems to be largely based around PvP currently (which we obviously also don’t have yet) and it seems that a lot of Blizzards eggs are currently in the PvP “Basket”. However, I also know that there are some people that don’t entirely care for doing PVP related content, and so for those people we need to have a PvE alternative.
What I propose is a 10 round “dungeon” or Gauntlet style area which you can both solo, or team up with friends to do as well. In this 10 round dungeon, it would basically be waves or randomly generated packs of monsters Elites and normal alike, that would increase in difficulty as you move up in rounds. Monsters in act 4 will be more difficult than act 1, act 5 more difficult than 4 etc.
Deaths will not be allowed in this 10 round gauntlet, so once you’re dead, you’re out. This means if you’re playing solo, you will have to start all over again. However, if you’re playing in a team, they can still complete the gauntlet without you, and you can still acquire the reward at the end should they finish the gauntlet.
So, what is the reward?
The reward at the end of the gauntlet could be a randomly chosen, skill upgrade. I think this has been mentioned before, but almost in passing so I thought I'd try and put a bit more thought into it. For offensive skills it could be an increase of 2% damage to that skill, for defensive skills it could be an extra 2% armor, etc. Obviously this would have to be decided by Blizzard, as I’m just speaking in general math right now. Also, a skill would be able to be upgraded multiple times causing the skills to now have “tiers” almost like they did in Diablo 2 (kind of how you were able to put skill points into the skills you wanted to use).
Because these would be a randomly chosen skill at the end of the Gauntlet, you would obviously need to do it repeatedly in order to really upgrade any of your chosen skills.
This will give people something to farm, as well as making other lower damage builds more viable, and open up newer play styles, as well as giving people a new way to experiment with their given skills.
This will also open up a long lost, but well loved item Affix, the amazing “+1 to *insert skill here*.” This could be a new affix for armor and weapons and when added to certain legendaries (with an added DPS increase) things that we would actually want to use!
The randomly generated skill upgrade would also give avid PvPers something to farm in order to get an advantage during PVP.