TL;DR: Skip to The idea of the new Legendaries System
First of all, this idea is nothing new. This is implemented in other games and imo this is the best way to make Legendaries valuable.
Sidenote: This is probably not easy to implement due to the static structure of how Items are created in D3 atm but i could see this rework of items being implemented in the first D3 Expansion.
Autor note: This is no place for discussion of how bad i am at english. It is not my motherlanguage so deal with it.
Table of contents
Variety in terms of Player Items at the beginning of D3
Blizzard implemented rare (yellow) Items in a way that they could be better than Legendaries. In fact most rare items were better than Legendaries at the release of D3 because they could roll better combinations of affixes.
Let's take a look at one of the todays most popular items.
Skorn [Legacy]: http://d3db.com/item/i/skorn
Sidenote: I do not know how accurate that site is but unfortunately the legacy version of Skorn does not exist on the D3 battle.net Item Guide.
For a 2h Weapon the damage was pretty low and it could only roll 1 random property.
So why would you get that item if you could have a 2h weapon with higher base Damage, Socket, Crit Dmg, Life Steal and even more enhanced Damage?
The complaints of the community
People got upset about those old Legendaries. They were nothing special, worse than Rare items. In Diablo 2 Legendary Items really were legendary. I have not played much D2 on the battle.net. Only single player and in LAN with friends and i had a full set of Tal Rasha Set on my Lvl87 Sorceress. That set was amazing.
People even complained that some magic (blue) items could be stronger than Legendary Items due to the lack of damage. At that time magic items could even be better than rare items.
The reworked Legendaries
So Blizzard did some rework on the existing Legendaries to make them more powerful. The old Legendaries became marked as "Legacy" and were weaker than their new versions. Today, most Legacy Items are worth nothing with a couple of exceptions due to some nice bonus affixes.
Remember the Skorn that we checked earlier. Now take a look at its new version:
The damage has risen alot. You could get a high value on one of the primary stats, guaranteed Crit Damage and a Socket. How amazing is that?
Todays item builds are kind of boring
With the more powerful Legendary Items, Diablo 3 has become just like Diablo 2 was in terms of item builds. As i said, i did not play D2 on the bnet alot but i visited a friend quite often who was a quite active closed battle.net player. He always talked about how everyone wants to get a good Grandfather for their Barbarian.
In D3 you see almost all of the good players that are running around with a 2h weapon, having a Skorn on their character.
I got some other examples here:
- Vile Ward for Shoulder (everyone uses that one right?)
- Witching Hour for Belt (BiS Item i guess for EVERY class)
- Dex classes usually get Natalyas Boots and Ring for the extra 7% crit chance
- Every Monk wants to get their Hands on a nice set of Inna
Those are just some examples. The list goes on and on.
While Legendaries are nice, i think it's bad that so many Legendary Items are left behind due to their Level.
For example i checked Earthshatter ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/earthshatter ) couple of days ago. The bonuses amazed me. Chane to Stun, Chance to Immobilize and a Chance to cause an Earthquake. I thought if i would couple this with an Echoing Fury, that would be a really nice crowd control build with AoE damage but sadly the item is Level 61 and lacks alot of damage.
Another item that probably everyone knows of is Gladiator Gauntles ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/gladiator-gauntlets ). Guaranteed critical chance, Armor, Life on Hit and Life %. Sounds pretty good but unfortunately the values of those affixes are not the best and also you can only have 1 random affix. So even if you get a nice pair with additional Attack Speed or Crit Damage, you are missing a high main stat (str/int/dex).
The idea of the new Legendaries System
Let's imagine there would exists multiple Levels of certain Legendaries which roll values on the guaranteed and random properties according to that item Level.
Let's take the nice Gladiator Gauntles as an example.
Say there would be some Gauntles with the Level 34 and they would roll the following:
Crit Chance: 1.5%-3%
+0 Random Properties
Those would be a nice challenger to the currently existing Pendergrasps ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/artisan/blacksmith/recipe/pendergrasps )
Now let's say they got also a Level 42 and 54 Version with values according to their Level that also roll roll +1 Random Property
The really exciting part begins, when you get the iLvl 63 version of the Gauntlets. They could have the following values:
Crit Chance: 7.5%-8%
+2 Random Properties
Those gauntlets would probably not make the player think "ahh darn it another Gladiators..." but more like "@#%!%#%@! iLvl 63 version... gimme good rolls!".
The thing is i do not want every Legendary Ttem to have an uber version of that item but more like balancing those Legendary Items. I do not want my character to be in need of exactly one item in a specific slot but rather to have a selection of items. Sure i could just go for a rare item but in the example of Earthshatter, which melee class would not want the ground to crack while hitting your enemy and still deal as good damage as with a different weapon?
I also do not ask to make the items all equal but rather to make them all viable. Using an Earthshatter would change the playstyle compared to using a Butchers Sickle. Or think about combining Butchers Sickle with Echoing Fury, you could make the enemy run away and drag them towards you all the time while still keeping up one of the best damage.
This is just a suggestion. I noticed that system in a different game and that game always made me like "cool i got a legendary item for Level X" and when i reached a higher level i was like "man i want that legendary item again but for my current Level".
In that game nearly every legendary item can be viable for endgame due to a top level version of it. I could imagine having a top level version of every legendary in D3 too. Level 63 Version of Odyn Son ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/odyn-son )? That would be awesome.
Version History: 1.0 (2012-11-30)
Likewise, in D2 some low level gear was fairly BiS, unless you somehow got a GG crafted/rare item.
Bloodfist, Trang glvs, and Angelic Jewerly comes to mind.
I think before you kill the monster, it will rage quit for being play like a "yo-yo".
Reading all this reminds me of the recipes in D2 where you can upgrade the armor of items by cubing it with whatever the recipe entails. Example Mage Fist had pretty awesome stats but low armor due to it being a low level legendary. Cube it and boom you upped its to the next base level gloves.
Incorporating this into your idea perhaps we can blacksmith this. Perhaps the cost would be 2 pairs of gladiator gauntlets, some gems and gold and boom it rerolls it to the next level. Mind you once you reach ilvl 63 it cannot be rerolled any further. Would be an item sink, gem sink and gold sink all in one and make the legendarys you find that are normally brimstonedl into something useful. Of course the recipes can be more detailed or better than what I had described but you get the point.
Nice idea man.
Cheers and Happy Holidays-
The idea of the new Legendaries System
This is a crafty thought but based on your example it doesn't work with the current model.
The best way to make Legendarys viable - is to give us a possibility to add sockets to them, so we could correct their stats a bit the way we want it to be. We have to stack healing and DPS, so items that don`t have main stat\crit damage\ls or loh are useless, even when they have very special effects that are funny to use. But what if we could make a socket for 20kk in gold or in materials? And another for 60 kk? And third for 200?
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