Firstly, let's talk about crafting materials:
Currently, when you break down an item, you receive a magic material and also fairly frequently you receive a rare material. You can also receive brimstone, but that irrelevant to this. In this crafting mechanism, while breaking down items, in addition to the standard materials you receive, you also have a chance (50% chance to get one, even chance split between affixes) to receive "affixed" magic level materials.
Yes, yes, I too have seen proposals with affixed materials, just ignore that repetition and continue on.
Only magic level materials (for each level of magic level materials) will show with affixes, in addition to the standard magic materials. These affixed materials will only represent the 4 stats. That's a grand total of 16 new, and separate materials. Seems like a lot. More on that later.
For example they would be named something like:
- Hearty Subtle Essence: representing Vitality
- Slippery Subtle Essence: representing Dexterity
- Tough Subtle Essence: representing Strength
- Luminous Subtle Essence: representing Intelligence
With just 4 affixes, you get so many new materials to hold onto; with an affix for every or almost every item affix, the number becomes insanely daunting. Having only the 4 stats allows for the player to have a "guided crafting" to help them upgrade in a semi-class specific manner while leaving the randomness for extra things, like CC and AR.
New materials? How to guide your crafting:
In addition to the already given cost of materials and gold, you will be able to select one, and only one, of the affixed material types (level depending on the crafted item's requirements [normal, nightmare, etc.]) to apply to your craft. The number of required affixed materials will scale with the magic materials required. I imagine that about 2/3 of the magic materials required would be fair, including a small increase in gold cost.
In my head, I see the UI as it is with the new affixed materials (the 4 leveled relative to the item's requirement level) lined next to the shown required materials, grayed out and selectable.
Selecting to use some of these materials would provide an increased chance (I think about 50-75%) to craft the item with the selected stat (affix level and type [pure affix or mixed affix] varying for some more randomness and less gimme-gimme-ness).
But so many extra materials!?:
By and large, it is beyond time that we had a dedicated gem/materials stash tab, beyond the 3 that we have. There is not enough room as it is, especially with multiple characters, and gems/materials take up almost a full tab. The extra materials wouldn't be a concern with the dedicated page.
I mean a tab that would only hold gems and materials, but not a system where that tab is the only place they can be stored. That in itself would create more problems.
This system would help direct crafting, so that you can go in with a plan and come out close to what you want without the full crap-shoot that we have now, while also maintaining the randomness for additive affixes.
Also, I'm not sure if allowing these stat materials to be used on the BoA crafts would be balanced, as they are already guided. What do you think?