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I posted something similar to this on Reddit a few days ago: http://www.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/10zztc/fixing_crafting_a_tall_order/
My suggestions got mixed (but generally positive) reviews. I am bringing the ideas here to you now.
Crafting is broken. Of that, there should be little doubt. At times, it is less expensive to buy your own high level gems than it is to buy the materials (including gems and tomes) and make it yourself. I believe this should not be the case, but since it is: That means that it is not worth it to level your jeweler; you are better off selling gems you come accross and buying the ones you want.
Fundamentally, I believe the issue comes down to speed. Within a few seconds, a gem can be crafted. I propose that time to craft be greatly expanded, and each jeweler be given 3 crafting slots for simultaneous crafting. They will also have a queue of up to 24 hours: You can put as much gem combining into them as you want, as long as the last gem starts within 24 hours. Cost of crafting is pegged to the time it takes to craft. And leveling the jeweler higher will speed up how quickly he combines gems and removes them.
Furthermore, if you are not using your jeweler's crafting spaces, you can make that crafting time openly available for other players to pay you to use, at a price you specify. In this way the Jeweler economy will become more dynamic and complex, and will bring a new level of complexity to the in-game economy. It will also bring passive income to players willing to make the investment, and should lead to a bit of a trickle-down effect which currently is entirely absent from the game.
In order to facilitate this change, I think 4 new levels of gems should be added, and the first 4 levels of gems should be gradually phased out (no longer drop). I would name the new tier gems: Aetherial, Flawless Aetherial, Perfect Aetherial, and Radiant Aetherial. Plans for these gems and the others currently requiring them should be required, although the drop rate of all jeweler plans should be increased at least 4 fold in order to compensate for the shift in gem strategy.
I will edit this idea based on feedback, but here is the TLDR
Edited by Nidira#1348 on 10/8/2012 8:23 AM PDT
There are certainly some drawbacks. For one, there would be a run on Gems the second a patch with this in plan was announced: Gem prices would soar due to anticipated constrained supply.
I still think this is the way to go, but don't know how to make sure that doesn't happen. Perhaps Blizzard should fix prices for a brief time pre-and post-patch.
I'd actually like to see higher tier of gems using the same formula.
Super Radiant that takes 3 radiants.
Ultra Super Radiant that takes 9 radiants to craft.
Insanely expensive Radiant takes 27 radiants to craft.
Donald Trump Radiant would take 81 radiants to craft.
I realize most people would never be able to get the top level, but chasing it would be the gem sink.
Right now, I have radiants in my manticore, and upgrading gems any level higher for me is inefficent considering the gains I can get for the gold. But for ultra elite gear, it would be a way for them to get a boost and create a near infinite demand for gems.
The entire gemcrafting system is too 1-dimensional. Gem effects are too simple, and some of them are just plain silly. Just adding tiers or constraining gem improvement doesn't change this at all. Gems need more utility. Either make them more useful or create more uses for them.
Here's my list of improvements.
1. Revamp the whole gem combining system. Instead of having discrete tiers, gem progression should be continuous. For example, you should be able to throw a flawless square and a square into the crucible and create a marginally better flawless square.
2. Uncap the ilvl of Radiant Star and allow continuous progression beyond current stats using improvement 1.
3. List gems as items, not commodities and allow people to bid or buyout.
4. Open sockets on all item types. It makes no sense to have a socket on a ring, but no sockets on bracers, shoulders, gloves, boots, and belts.
5. Since individual gems should be more potent, create bonus effects for combinations of different gems equipped. For example Topaz + Emerald = X% cooldown reduction
6. Get rid of Gemcrafting Combining Fees but keep and increase the Removal Fee.
7. Add feature to open new sockets on items and scale fee based on ilvl.
8. Add gem sockets to skill runes to augment skill properties.
9. Enchant white items with gems to roll affixes based on gem level.
Improvement 1 alone will correct the price issues surrounding Radiant Stars. Basically think of it as paragon levels for gems.
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