Diablo® III

Will Item variance be tighter in expansion?

One of the things I thought was a massive failure in Diablo 3's legendaries was the insanely wide variance. For example, it's a total travesty that Echoing Fury can roll between 687.5 to 1323.6 dps. Almost all players already had 900 dps weapons before this legendary was even put into the game, which made half of these echoing furies that dropped essentially useless. Why couldn't they have rolled between 1050-1300 instead?

I understand item saturation is a problem, but I think it's more important to first solve the quality of the item hunt and the feelings one gets when legendaries drop and are identified. In Diablo 2, crappy Isenheart's pieces dropped all of the time, but they never pissed me off nearly as much as getting failed level 62/63 legendaries in Diablo 3. When a high level legendary drops, I want it to be good, just as runewords and high-level uniques were in Diablo 2.

I have no problems with a small percentage of legendaries having wider ranges, but this shouldn't be the norm. For example, in Diablo 2, Eschuta's Temper had wide ranges, but because it was only a sorceress-only item, and because it could be found a lot more frequently than ilevel 87 items, finding a good one was still doable and trading for a good one was not difficult.

So I wouldn't mind farming for multiple copies of a less common legendary to get a good roll, but I really don't want to be forced into finding dozens of copies of a very rare legendary. I am constantly infuriated at Diablo 3 for giving me crappy nat's cloaks and helms. The variance is simply too high. These items should have fixed stats and tight ranges.

The rarest items of all in the game should the lowest variance. If a level 70 Grandfather sword drops, it should be unbelievable. I should know it'll be awesome even before I identify it. There's nothing worse to find your first X legendary after 500 or 1000 hours and have it be garbage.

I also think the random modifier idea was taken too far in Diablo 3. Yes, it makes a legendary pool of items very diverse, but it also creates a lot more trash, and makes it far more disappointing when you farm up a crappy roll. I cannot stress enough to find maybe 3 or 4 nat's helms and have all of them be total garbage. When a very good roll can't even compete with a Mempo, I don't think it would have been unreasonable to tighten up this helmet, and that's just one of many examples.

If you want to have a diverse pool of items, instead of having 3 random modifiers on a single legendary, why not just have 5 or 10 different legendaries with fixed modifiers? It essentially accomplishes the same effect, but it avoids the whole "Feel bad" experience of getting useless random modifiers that junk up the item. You can have all these legendaries be reasonably useful for a variety of builds and purposes too, and since they would all be designed by your development team and not by the rng, they wouldn't be total garbage. Leave the arbitrariness to rare items - not legendaries!

The basic premise behind all of these suggestions is to avoid the whole "feel bad", frustrating and unrewarding experience that Diablo 3 is. Once you make the legendary hunt rewarding for players, then it's time to figure out how to deal the item saturation problems after. Game experience should be of paramount importance first.

I feel like Diablo 3 tried to deal with item saturation by creating garbage items for garbage sake, but because supply totally usurped demand anyway, item saturation on the AH became a huge problem. The AH became the place to find upgrades because too much garbage dropped in the game due to insanely high variances and garbage random modifiers.

Instead, why not give players a reason to destroy items - even good ones? The mystic is a step in the right direction for taking items out of the economy, but as I long said on the RTG podcast, why not have a variety of crafting components based on the quality of the item. People will want to craft some of the best items in the game, and they will have to destroy some very good items to get a crack at it. This will further sink gold and items out of the economy. Having just 1 rare and 1 legendary crafting component is too simple. There should have at least 10 in total, all being useful for crafting.

Anyway, keep up the good work. Let's hope you get it right this time Blizz!
Edited by Scala#1900 on 8/27/2013 7:01 AM PDT
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Completely agree. While crafting ilevel 63 gloves yesterday I have quite a few of them roll with the all resist affix, in the range of like +12 to all resist. Really? +12 on the highest level item in the game?

The RNG simply has too much room to work, too much variance to really make sense. Tighten up the ranges on the higher level items, so that the affixes that DO roll actually have a good shot at being useful at the very least. It's so utterly pointless to see 200 dps ilevel 63 weapons in a game where the damage mechanics are BASED off weapon damage.
I mean if the game were like WoW, where your spell and ability damage came from something like spellpower and primary attributes, then 200 dps weapons would be fine. But you made a game where the base damage on a weapon is the most important thing about the weapon, and a huge percentage of the weapons that drop in the game are utterly worthless because the DPS range is so huge.
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08/27/2013 06:52 AMPosted by Scala
it's a total travesty that Echoing Fury can roll between 687.5 to 1323.6 dps.


I understand what your saying, but the reason Legendary gear has such wide variants is because there needs to be good items for use/trade/sale while still providing a good supply of brimstone.

Imagine what kind of space we'd need if those stacks of brim in our stash were items we want to use/trade/sell.
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it's a total travesty that Echoing Fury can roll between 687.5 to 1323.6 dps.


I understand what your saying, but the reason Legendary gear has such wide variants is because there needs to be good items for use/trade/sale while still providing a good supply of brimstone.

Imagine what kind of space we'd need if those stacks of brim in our stash were items we want to use/trade/sell.


You'd still have the same number of brimstones either way. Just because the lowest roll on an echoing fury is currently perceived to be good today does not mean it would be economically valuable if that variance was changed. I want the roll to be tighter because it would improve the gameplay experience. But a 1050 roll would essentially have the same value the 700 dps roll does right now.
Edited by Scala#1900 on 8/27/2013 7:09 AM PDT
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It would be more of a stop and think situation, for the average player, if the roll variation were as tight as you're suggesting.
Things would be similar to D2, with all of us hanging on to every mempo/echo/IC...ect that drops instead of shako/dungo/WT...ect. We can't make mules on D3 like we could with D2, so like I said, we just don't have the space, among other things.

Don't get me wrong. There's for sure something wrong with IL63 weapons rolling 180dps and I'm not a fan of seeing strength roll on a crossbow.
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I still don't understand what you mean. If 1100 dps echoing fury is extraordinarily common, then you may as well make it a brimstone because it's not like it's going to be worth millions on the AH anyway. Why would you keep 30 copies of it for?

The whole point of having the variance tight is that you can play the game and enjoy the loot hunt a lot more than you can currently. The 700 dps echoing fury can only really be enjoyed by someone who has just become level 60 and enjoys that as an upgrade to his hell-level gear. Beyond that, the item is just garbage.

Even with the variance change, there's still plenty of variation in the game to allow for good echoing furies, and the good ones that are worth billions now would still worth a ton even with such a change, just as perfectly rolled uniques and runewords were worth a lot in Diablo 2. The bar of value is just being changed.

I didn't keep every low rolled item in D2 just because it was good. My standards of items to keep were always rather high.

I just don't think there should be such a monumental difference in power between good items and the best items like it currently exists today in Diablo 3. Self-found players are lucky to get to 150k dps with many hundreds of hours playing the game, yet 700k dps is possible, meaning they are not even close to max power. Contrast this with Diablo 2, and with a reasonable effort, you could get 80% of the way and be somewhat competitive in anything you set out to do. Getting the final 20% of power was a lot harder and took more time, but I think this is the right approach.
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and for those of us that did not care too much about the last 20%, we could have some fun. Play another character, run others, mf, trade or craft.
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08/27/2013 07:53 AMPosted by Gation
and for those of us that did not care too much about the last 20%, we could have some fun. Play another character, run others, mf, trade or craft.


Exactly.
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08/27/2013 07:42 AMPosted by Scala
Contrast this with Diablo 2, and with a reasonable effort, you could get 80% of the way and be somewhat competitive in anything you set out to do. Getting the final 20% of power was a lot harder and took more time, but I think this is the right approach.


I agree with your original post and this point right here. If DPS ranges spanned from 100-200k rather than 30-600k, the most hardcore players would still push for every little edge in DPS, but the casual players would have a much more enjoyable experience. We don't need to have 10x of other people's DPS to feel like gaining top-end gear is worthwhile.
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08/27/2013 08:13 AMPosted by Dazarath
Contrast this with Diablo 2, and with a reasonable effort, you could get 80% of the way and be somewhat competitive in anything you set out to do. Getting the final 20% of power was a lot harder and took more time, but I think this is the right approach.


I agree with your original post and this point right here. If DPS ranges spanned from 100-200k rather than 30-600k, the most hardcore players would still push for every little edge in DPS, but the casual players would have a much more enjoyable experience. We don't need to have 10x of other people's DPS to feel like gaining top-end gear is worthwhile.


Yep, and it's a good change for all of the players too. One of the problems Blizzard was having with pvp is that the gear balance was completely out of whack, which made it not very fun. But if the item variance was designed as I suggested, it would be far easier to balance pvp correctly and make it more fun.
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The variance on items was actually better in vanilla D3, before they gave the guaranteed 1 rare from elites. At that time if you got, for example, an ilvl 63 gloves, the range for all res started at 40 or higher (guessing from memory). Or the dmg % roll on that ilvl 63 blue weapon could be sick....

Some how they decided players wanted to ID more rares with wider ranges. And loot 2.0 seems to be going back to 'less is more' on stat ranges and re-iterating that design of vanilla D3.

Designers are confused or lost, but we already knew that :)
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08/27/2013 06:52 AMPosted by Scala
Almost all players already had 900 dps weapons before this legendary was even put into the game, which made half of these echoing furies that dropped essentially useless.


That is more of a problem with the skill system and the fact that only DPS matters. A lower dps but better other affixes would be fine in a better game with a better skill and stat system.
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Almost all players already had 900 dps weapons before this legendary was even put into the game, which made half of these echoing furies that dropped essentially useless.


That is more of a problem with the skill system and the fact that only DPS matters. A lower dps but better other affixes would be fine in a better game with a better skill and stat system.


Either way, dps is just one of the many affixes that have these wild variances. The echoing fury's dps range was just 1 example. You can find thousands of them in this game. If DPS wasn't as important, it would have just been something else given their item design philosophy.
Edited by Scala#1900 on 8/27/2013 10:25 AM PDT
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The variance on items was actually better in vanilla D3, before they gave the guaranteed 1 rare from elites. At that time if you got, for example, an ilvl 63 gloves, the range for all res started at 40 or higher (guessing from memory). Or the dmg % roll on that ilvl 63 blue weapon could be sick....

Some how they decided players wanted to ID more rares with wider ranges. And loot 2.0 seems to be going back to 'less is more' on stat ranges and re-iterating that design of vanilla D3.

Designers are confused or lost, but we already knew that :)


I had no idea they increased the ranges during that patch. So they purposefully gave us more junk to identify, only to come out with loot 2.0 and go in the other direction? wow. I will see if that was really the case.
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08/27/2013 08:13 AMPosted by Dazarath
Contrast this with Diablo 2, and with a reasonable effort, you could get 80% of the way and be somewhat competitive in anything you set out to do. Getting the final 20% of power was a lot harder and took more time, but I think this is the right approach.


I agree with your original post and this point right here. If DPS ranges spanned from 100-200k rather than 30-600k, the most hardcore players would still push for every little edge in DPS, but the casual players would have a much more enjoyable experience. We don't need to have 10x of other people's DPS to feel like gaining top-end gear is worthwhile.


Which is why Blizz is nerfing crit big time for exactly this reason. Not stacking crit makes your dps a tenth of those who stack trifecta. My dps is a third of elite players because I refuse to pay2win for broken OP crit. At least I have three times their ehp because most people undervalue ehp in favor of crit. Loot 2.0 should significantly increase the value of ehp and make crit optional except to elite players who want that small dps boost.
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I can only hope crit damage numbers only range from 20-35 in the expansion, but I don't think they nerf critical hit chance that much, unless they drastically change how the skills work. The fact that so many skills and passives require crit activations makes it mandatory on gear.
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I believe they are reducing the roll variance as part of reducing legendary drop rates to make getting a legendary rarer but more rewarding.

However current prefixes are still completely unbalanced (80 RA vs 60 Fire resist) so unless they also fix that, we will still see too many duds. (Aka brimstone fodder rolls)
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Posts: 1,419
One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that Legendary/Set items will be able to roll at several, even dozens of item levels once the loot patch comes. If you didn't see variance before, you're sure to see it now. Farming the most difficult content will naturally subdue much of that variation but it's still going to be there. I think optimization on rolls so that items don't roll with stats that are completely useless to the item in question is more than likely with the patch. Also, I'd definitely speculate that they'll be doing something with hard or soft caps on CD at the very minimum. Let them put out some more information on the product before you get too far ahead of yourself. =)
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I believe they are reducing the roll variance as part of reducing legendary drop rates to make getting a legendary rarer but more rewarding.

However current prefixes are still completely unbalanced (80 RA vs 60 Fire resist) so unless they also fix that, we will still see too many duds. (Aka brimstone fodder rolls)


I thought they were dropping more legendaries, not less? I think you're confused it with rares.
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08/28/2013 10:06 PMPosted by Alexandros
One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that Legendary/Set items will be able to roll at several, even dozens of item levels once the loot patch comes. If you didn't see variance before, you're sure to see it now. Farming the most difficult content will naturally subdue much of that variation but it's still going to be there. I think optimization on rolls so that items don't roll with stats that are completely useless to the item in question is more than likely with the patch. Also, I'd definitely speculate that they'll be doing something with hard or soft caps on CD at the very minimum. Let them put out some more information on the product before you get too far ahead of yourself. =)


Well, I don't have 100% confidence in blizzard on designing this game correctly. When Josh spoke at gamescon, I found parts of his talk that made me question things. For example, the items that were "build changers" weren't build changers at all. If he really wanted to show some examples of build changers, surely there was better examples he could have selected for demonstration.

For example, why not allow the wizard to put out 3 hydras instead of 1? Why not have an item to make your arcane hydra give you arcane power back? I dunno, there's probably 100 different things you could do with hydras alone that would actually change your build as opposed to being some kind of gimmick that we have now.

Anyway, when it comes to end-game, I would hope that the legendaries are all rolling at max level. I hope those multi-level legendaries were to make the leveling process more fun and not to add more variance.
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