Diablo® III

To Level-Up... One's Gear

I had briefly mentioned in a General forum post an experience I took away from an otherwise unpleasant encounter with the game Hellgate: London - a friend of mine worked for Flagship Studios during its development, so naturally I couldn't avoid playing it.

The mechanic I found most appealing came from its equivalent to crafting; yes, you could salvage any number of items you didn't want to keep for components (a rather large variety of components, at that) and use them to construct new items, but also you could simply apply said components to leveling up ("augmenting," "reconstructing," or something of the like) already existing items.

The system in place there isn't exactly as we experience Diablo 3, however. D3 has different items fit within tiers of character level requirements, but not alike HG:L's items which were given their own personal levels. Having these levels and scaling them to appropriate values of damage/armor and associated affixes allowed a player to choose between the status quo of ARPGs (settle for certain items until something new and exciting comes out of the mounds of loot) or playing favoritism by leveling their desired items and keeping them from going obsolete.

This could be a game-changer for Diablo 3.
  • It might pose a significant threat to the Auction House and its patrons - after all, why spend so much gold updating your equipment when you can stretch the usefulness of your items with salvaged materials? The Auction House does seem rather crowded with its inflated economy.
  • Players may not find themselves replacing items with their favorite affixes for new items with less interesting characteristics simply because they need to update; just as with finding a character build we enjoy playing, item stats present a similar "build" mentality in themselves. If a reasonable amount of gold and materials can bump up your weapon's DPS and affix values to a relative corresponding level with your character, there's a quandary you can put to rest.
  • If you're tired of the fixation on loot mechanics and the incessant grinding that it encourages, you may calmly remove yourself from that obsession. Which lends itself to the last bullet point...
  • With PVP coming over the horizon, why should you stress yourself with finding (or saving gold/money to purchase) items that might give you an edge? I'd personally rather the focus of the game be shifted to "My signature gear versus yours." There'd be nothing original about players duking it out with the same ol' Legendary items. So instead, let's square off with the labors of love we've built up ourselves.
  • These are really just musings with no vehement call for change. The appropriate mechanics aren't even in place. But if Blizzard were to hem away at just such a system for an expansion, I surely can't imagine myself complaining.
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