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About Me: My Observation / Gameplay Experience -
I played D2 Hardcore quite religiously, and as recently as 2010 - so definitely got my money's worth out of that game. Unfortunately, much to my chagrin, I did not adopt Diablo III as early as many others -- I played the starter edition and then purchased my copy mid 1.0.4.
I play hardcore exclusively -- and my main is now in inferno. I've been farming Act 1 for about a month - maybe 6weeks, and I'm now farming Act 2 regularly (on the constant edge of death).
Honestly though, I feel I'm only in Act 2 do to the recent 1.0.5 changes; which I feel was a terrific update, but otherwise if this was 1.0.4 I would still be farming Act1 -- as Act2 was too precarious. (Regular mobs were hitting me too hard, and I wasn't hitting hard enough).
Act 3 is still too tough - they hit hard, but mainly I don't hit hard enough. I would need to increase my damage another 50% (38K or so).
Act 1 MP1 - honestly I was very lucky to to live from that experience.
So here's the issue: In regards to gear and available upgrades, I feel I have plateaued. After 6 weeks of farming - and several hundred drops (if not a thousand) I found 2 quasi upgrades. I say quasi upgrades -- because at this point in the game, a piece of gear may increase 2 stats -- but I have to sacrifice something else. It may increase my damage and my health, but I lose defenses. I may gain defenses and damage but I lose significant health.
The majority of my gear (90%) was purchased off of the auction, and now when I do find a clear upgrade -- they want tens of millions - generally 20 to 40 million. (Which will take me 2.5 weeks of farming). That is assuming they have a clear upgrade -- many nights there isn't one.
The uncertainty is what plague me. I don't see a clear path to upgrades. How long am I going to be stuck in Act 2? Will I ever even see Act 3 - Act 4? It's not an issue of 'working' for it. I'll gather the gold, I'll save it up -- but that doesn't guarantee that a clear upgrade will be available.
I can deal with finding the needle in the haystack, but I feel this game is more of finding the slightly shinier needle in the haystack of needles.
I feel the D3 system is much improved / enjoyable over the D2 item engine -- but at it's heart, it's still a giant random number generator. Somehow out of all that randomness -- all that chaos, the player is supposed to forest gump their way into some small piece of order.
Due to the randomness of the item engine -- I would guesstimate that only .1% of equipment drops are worthwhile. Despite whatever features an item may have; generally, there is something that always makes it worthless. Conversely, many equipment drops have at least 1 desirable attribute.
Summary of my Proposal: I propose a system that allows a player to extract the magical properties from equipment, that can then be used to customize their desired equipment. Players will utilize crafting components to create a new crafting item (component) - I call it a Nephalem Crystal. With the Nephalem Crystals, players will be able to extract a single magical attribute from a blue / rare item - however the attribute they siphon from the item will be random. (So if there is a single attribute from a rare item that has 4 affixes, they may use upto 4 Nephalem Crystals to extract it.)
Once a Nephalem Crystal has siphoned an attribute - it becomes a BoA item and is no longer stackable, and it's name / tooltip will just be the attribute it contains and the equipment slot it originated from. For example: Glove +150 Strength.
Players can then use their collected attributes to create customized gear!
Edited by ManinBlaq#1662 on 10/25/2012 5:52 PM PDT
Pros: Rather than evaluating each piece of gear as a whole -- we evaluate per affix, which makes every potential drop worthwhile, rather than worthless. By limiting the system, and making the collected affixes BoA -- we make item drops and player item crafting more valuable and as a result add value to the auction house. Additionally, items that were previously unsellable, will now become worthwhile do to having an excellent attribute.
Players are given more control over their equipment, rather than being victims of fortune -- which in turns adds value to their experience.
People stop complaining on the forums about how much loot sucks.
Cons: Players having more control over the properties of their equipment will cause power levels to increase - faster. Due the randomness of the engine -- over a long enough time line, the end result is the same, but by allowing the players to tweak their gear they will be able to obtain this sooner. This can be curbed by limiting and controlling the system to provide a more constant rate of growth.
I don't think this system will affect 'perfect' drops -- equipment that naturally has exceptional stats, however with players creating their 'ideal' gear we may see the value of legendaries drop moderately. I think legendaries will still be viable / desirable -- as many of them have stats that are unique, and/or combinations of stats unique to their slot.
Trolls never stop complaining.
1. Once the player advances their jeweler's skill to Exalted - they unlock the recipe for crafting Nephalem Crystals.
Nephalem Crystals require: 3 Perfect Amethysts, 3 Perfect Rubies, 3 Perfect Emeralds, 3 Perfect Topazes, 3 Tomes of Secrets, 3 Iridescent Tears
Notes: By utilizing the lower grade gems, it gives low level players the ability to generate more gold in preparation to getting into end game content. Additionally it makes Iridescent Tears more desirable. Overall I think the cost to create a Nephalem Crystal should be relatively cheap but noticeable. (About 20kish)
Nephalem Crystals are stackable, tradeable and auctionable.
2. With an Exalted blacksmith, the player has a new tab - a screen similiar to the salvage. They place a blue or rare item into the slot and if they have a Nephalem Crystal in their inventory a button to "Siphon Magic" will be active.
Pressing the "Siphon Magic" button:
Rare Blanks retain the value of how many affixes they had. So a rare item with 4 affixes may only be charged with 4 attributes by the player. Rare Blanks are tradeable & auctionable.
3. Placing a Rare Blank into the blacksmith's new equipment screen, the "Siphon Magic" button will now become "Imbue Magic".
Edited by ManinBlaq#1662 on 10/26/2012 3:05 PM PDT
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