"Stay a while, and listen"
I recently made a post about how the drops and general leveling experience from lvls 1-59 needs some attention.
Here I will present some more information on my original post. I will give details on the problem, and suggestions on how to fix them.
I am lvl 54 on mp10 self-found only, currently in Act 1 Hell. I am doing this for the challenge and am really enjoying the experience!
Surprisingly I haven't yet had to farm any single zone to progress, however now that I am in Hell, it is becoming very slow and tedious, and while I can still get to checkpoints, it looks like I will need to start farming areas to be able to continue. That is expected and I am fine with it, however during my leveling experience from 1-54, I have noticed several problems which I think need to be addressed.
1) Not enough loot drops from lvls 1-59 to be able to have a good experience playing D3 without the AH!
2) Salvaging magic and rares does not yield enough magic essences needed for crafting
3) Crafting recipes need to balance material costs better.
4) The conversion rate of crafting materials from one tier to the next is too high! 10 normal = 1 NM essences, 10 NM = 1 Hell essence. etc.
5) Past level 10, you will likely never find an upgrade from vendors, while their prices are too high to make them a good source of salvageable materials.
6) I have found 1 legendary from lvl 1-54 (about 26 hours of game play), back in Act 3 normal. That makes me a sad panda.
7) Crafting should be encouraged! Not something that people choose to do as an optional way to make the game more challenging!
What isn't a problem:
1) Gold drops -
On mp10, not counting the gold I've spent on the ~50 things total I've crafted so far, I have 372,000 gold playing from Act 1 normal to Act 1 Hell. Since mp10 adds 100% gf, I would have collected 186,000 had I done the same run on mp0. That sounds about right to me.
2) Rare crafting materials -
I found that by the time I ended normal and nightmare, I had a surplus of 100 of each of the rare crafting materials. This was not due to me getting an insane number of rare drops, rather that the recipe requirements for rare crafting materials is strongly in favor of magic mats, not rare: For example, http://us.battle.net/d3/en/artisan/blacksmith/recipe/journeyman-arming-cap requires 11 subtle essences and 2 fallen tooths, but will salvage into only 1 essence and 1 tooth, so you can immediately see the imbalance there - see my crafting should be encouraged point #7 above.
1) Allow NV stacks from 1-59. This would add 25% increased mf/gf/xp per stack, and give you additional drops on bosses @ 5 stacks.
2) Add in the item bonus % from mp level to normal-inferno. (currently 100% additional item bonus at mp10 inferno, 0% on mp10 normal-hell)
3) Apply the mf bonus from inferno to normal-hell as well: mp10 normal-hell = 100% mf bonus, while mp10 inferno = 250%. Why the difference?
4) Improve the monster density across all acts (I did notice that in Act 3 NM the amount of drops I was getting drastically increased, which I am assuming is linked to the monster density issue)
4) Reduce the magic crafting material costs from 5-10 essences down to 2-3, but increase the fee (gold) per craft to be more balanced.
5) Allow for whites to be salvaged into partial essences, so that 4 white items salvaged can be combined by the BS to make 1 essence. 8 greys can be salvaged into 1 magic essence.
6) Halve the conversion cost from Normal-NM-Hell-Inferno crafting, so that instead of 10-1, you can convert 5 essences from an inferior tier into 1 essence of the superior tier.
7) Increase the number of craftable items between levels (currently there are major gaps in level with what you can craft, making progression non-linear. For instance, just after getting an upgrade with a few pieces, I am suuuper strong for 2-3 levels and then back to weak again for 8 levels)
8) Reduce the randomness in crafting (ie like BoA items for lvls 1-59), they don't necessarily need to be BoA.
9) Improve quality of vendor items and/or reduce cost of vendor items.
10) Increase the number of essences you get from salvaging a magic and rare item from 1-2 up to 4-7.
I think that with these solutions Blizzard can make the leveling experience from 1-60 a more enjoyable one, and this would also encourage people to play through the game in a more challenging environment, without having to depend on the AH alone to progress.
Thanks for the read!