Yewwo Monstrous :)
I've read your post over on DF and appreciate the effort you went to in order to help jumpstart the flow of ideas. I've got a few thoughts on some of what you wrote as well, and hopefully they'll help with fine tuning some of the ideas.
I like what you've iterated on here. Havint distinctions between rarer items even before we identify them is nice. Part of the reason it's a major psyche-up and let-down right now is that you see a beam and go "yippeeeeeee....wait, is it good or is it ba...CRAP. :sizzle:" Knowing what you have found in terms of rarity or even just power would take away some of that mood swing.
One of the things that occurs in the game right now is that you see the actual item type in the name when it's on the ground, but once in your inventory if you mouse over it you get only the generic item class in the description. That's always bothered me. Like I'll see a rare Shiv on the ground, but in my stash/inventory it shows up as a rare "dagger" and that's it. It's like the developers made the name vs. tooltip only half working.
There is something to consider though with your beams and the particle effects. RIght now Diablo 3's engine is rather...how shall I put it...unoptimized. Between the stutterific asset loading and horrible framerate swings caused by the physics engine in combat, adding more particle effects, especially if they're moving probably isn't the best solution, especially since in this case by the pictures and description each particle would be its own light source. One way to minimize the impact on framerates would be to make the beam pulsate based on rarity. A steady beam with no pulses would be the most common Legendary (or Set item if the devs ever make a decent number of these things for once) while a middle-of-the-road rarity Legendary/Set item would pulsate rhythmically at a moderate pace (about the same pace as the Enterprise-D's warp core pulses at cruise velocity) and a super rare Legendary/Set item would pulse almost spastically. You'd have far fewer elements to render this way while still visually indicating rarity to the player in an "at a glance" fashion.
Set items should also be green beams and names on the ground. Making them brown just hasn't done too well and doesn't do much for "at a glance" effects. And it's so against how they've always been displayed before.
Rewarding the Hunt
I rather like this section. It would solve one of the annoyances where finding an item your currently played class can't use feels lackluster even if you have a class that can use it. The instant gratification coupled with a small "plus" for everyone on your account to share just feels so much better. And it's way more interactive than Paragon Levels are.
This is an unusual take on things, and part of your idea of having NV work for all levels, not just endgame, addresses an issue I've had a beef with since Day 1: Leveling characters just feel royally gimped vs. max level characters no matter what, especially since the rares they find are so...rare that finding one they can use while leveling up is difficult at best and finding Legendary/Set items is nigh impossible.
There are a couple issues I see with the NV scaling method you're iterating though.
The first is the percentage scaling per elite pack kill (granted I know the numbers were just for show to give us the descriptive portion of your idea). Assuming a 500% MF cap, the lowest you'll realistically be able to put that MF/GF% per stack is 10%. There are two reasons for this.
One is that will still take fifty elite packs to reach the cap. If you're in "level appropriate" content, that's going to take a long time. Much longer than today's current play sessions to be sure. Any lower than 10% per stack and you extend the session to being so long nobody will ever reach the cap in a reasonable amount of time. And even at 10% it's going to take an unreasonable amount of time a lot of the time.
The second reason is that in any given act there are only so many elites. Can you find 50 elites in Act 1? Yes. Will you have spent most of the act's monsters on just getting that fifty, thus having few monsters, if any, left for reaping the rewards of reaching that cap? Very likely. In fact almost a certainty. Spending an entire act's worth of elites to reach the cap doesn't feel as rewarding when you think about it that way now, does it?
For this reason, the MF/GF affixes will need to remain a part of the itemization. This isn't necessarily a bad thing when coupled with the revised NV at 10%/stack reaching a hard cap of 500%. You could have gear that will have whatever it has (should you choose to use up a stat slot to hasten your MF capping) and the rest can be covered by the NV stacks. And since they're only 10% you'll still need to get a significant amount of them to fill out the gap to the cap, but not be so much that it just eats up entire acts doing so or takes way too much of your time doing so.
But there is another concern as well that needs to be addressed: Having the stacks increment with MP level like the current MP total does now would make players feel forced into higher MP levels. Sadly there is no silver bullet with this one as making items better as you increase MP levels also has the same effect.
One possible solution would be to increase the drop rates of items proportionately to MP level. So if an item has a 1/1000 chance to drop at MP0, at MP10 it would have a 1/100 chance of dropping (numbers are to show proportions and are not final numbers obviously). This keeps MF/GF level across all MP levels players are capable of while rewarding the item hunt with better hard chances at those coveted items in return for taking on higher MP levels. Care needs to be taken though not to make the base MP0 drop chances too insignificant or else you're back to square one with regard to forcing players into higher MP levels.
What I'm trying to do here is come up with a way to make MP levels more rewarding without making the scaling so lopsided that players feel like the reward without monster power is just not there. It's a game of balancing the balancing, as it were.
I rather like your ideas here. Differing legendary crafting materials could make for some nice elemental or attribute based additions to crafted items. Here's some ideas for those elemental attributes:
Cold: Unchanged from current effect.
Fire: Attacks ignite nearby enemies for a small percentage of the original attack as a Fire damage over time effect. If no enemies are nearby the primary target takes triple the normal damage from the Fire effect.
Poison: Poisons the primary target with a pool of acid at their location for a percentage of the original hit's value over five seconds. If used with an area of effect ability, the acid pool will form at the location of the first monster hit. Acid pool diameter: 10 yards. Each attack adds an additional pool, stacking to a maximum of three stacks, with each stack delivering damaged based on the amount the triggering attack hit for.
Lightning: Fires chain lightning at random nearby enemies. Primary target hit for X% of damage taken, secondary targets take (X*0.20)% damage.
Arcane: Each monster hit restores X amount of your current resource. For Demon Hunters who use dual resources, Hatred would be restored at X amount, Discipline would be restored at (X*0.3) to keep relative restore rates balanced. This would greatly help with the problem of having to always go PEWPEWPEW Generator Generator Generator Generator Generator Generator Generator Generator Generator Generator Generator PEWPEWPEW all the time. Alternate Version: Doubles resource regeneration of resource generating abilities. Adds 1 Discipline per second for Demon Hunters (does not stack with Natalya's Legacy Set four piece bonus), and 3 Spirit per second for Monks (they have no innate auto-regen and their per-hit regen is subpar vs. Barbarians).
Charged: Enhances an item's elemental effects by 20%. Increases movement slowing debuff from Cold effects by 20%.
Angelic: Increases non-percentage based healing and life regeneration effects by X%. Does not affect Life Steal (LS is percentage based). Alternate Version: Creates an absorption shield on the character for 15 seconds. Amount absorbed equal to X% of damage dealt. Cannot exceed 30% of player's maximum HP. Shield timer is refreshed with each new attack done before the shield's timer expires.
Somatic: Attacks have a chance to disrupt an enemy's concentration and lower their defensive stats by 10% for ten seconds. No internal cooldown. (Chance to proc to be determined later - not tied to proc coefficients of spells/abilities in order to keep certain spells/abilities from never being used like the current proc system has done (ex: Caltrops for Demon Hunters).
Legendary Crafting Materials (Unique Monsters)
This would finally get people to really play in something other than just their normal farming routes if they want that special imbue. Unique monsters could be retuned to have special attacks and the imbues from their dropped materials would relate to that special attack or the attack's physical/elemental properties. Excludes crowd control effects.
I pretty much have to agree here. There are too many gem types to deal with, and having the drops stop at Flawless Square gems means 2187 of those gems is required for one max level gem. Add in the current costs and self-found is ridiculously out of reach for even Radiant Star gems, let alone Marquise. A few more gem types with different atributes wouldn't hurt either. Lacking Resist All? Some Diamonds would be lovely. Need more armor? Obsidian would fit the bill here.
I like your thoughts here, especially how you tried to make sure the skill/ability on an item wouldn't deter that item from ever being considered if its stats were awesome. Thank you for putting effort into trying to find a solution to that dilemma.
One thing that needs to be addressed though is the Unique-Equipped tag. It's on literally every last Legendary and Set item. One of the most awesome feelings in Diablo 2 was when a player found a second Stone of Jordan or The Grandfather. As an example, Diablo 3's Stone of Jordan is indeed powerful, but you give up a lot of potentially valuable stats to use one (VIT, Main Stat, CHC, CHD, IAS). It should be the player's choice whether or not to equip a second of the same item in the ring/weapon slot. usually that comes with the realization your'e going to give up in one area to get ahead in another area. Let that be the choice instead of no choice at all. Having to settle for "second rate" in the other slot because of the Unique-Equipped tag is a major bummer. We're supposed to feel powerful in Diablo games, not gimped.
If you're read this far, then I thank you and hope that what I've said will be of use to you and the developers. Here's hoping for a much better Diablo 3 in the future worthy of the franchise name!
Diablo III and World of Warcraft Technical Support MVP
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Edited by TheTias#1192 on 7/21/2013 11:27 PM PDT