Diablo 4 and Diablo 3 --- Lessons Learned

General Discussion
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03/06/2019 05:46 AMPosted by TOPCommander
Despite the AH failure, trading should and must come back, but it must be Item-For-Item. Players must farm items so they can offer items for other items. No more Real Money involvement.


That won't stop 3rd party websites from selling items for real money because they can just have you trade a trash item with them.
Give it up fan bois, quit dwelling on the past and move on.
03/06/2019 09:02 PMPosted by UngivenFame
I went through the game on my own almost all the time. I played bnet back in the day just for the benefit of transferring gear and maybe getting a ladder only runeword. Synergies were NOT cool.

Thing is, when you weren't getting rushed and actually relying on your skills, the sheer imbalance of the actual skills would result in situations where it would be better to just save up points than spend them as you level up. For instance, if you wanted a Frozen orb sorceress, Very few of those initial points would be spent on offense, meaning the first 29 levels would be needlessly tedious because your main skill was placed deep into the skill tree. The problem disappeared past the threshold of your core skill's level, though.

Some builds weren't having these problems, of course. A werewolf Druid, for instance, could start building that werewolf skill right from the beginning, so the extent of this issue was ultimately contingent on the build you wanted to play. This doesn't necessarily mean synergies are a bad thing, but it exposes how inconsistently they impacted the game at different levels, which was only an extension of the fundamentally flawed design of the skill tree system itself.

03/06/2019 09:02 PMPosted by UngivenFame
It took 80 (or 60 or 40) skill points instead of 20 to make it good and thus the game became mainly about spamming one skill for damage which is something I hoped to get away from in D3.

The game was always about spamming a single skill, for the most part. You'd have these "one point wonders" for support in many cases, but not something you were heavily invested into. It's not like you had a kind of rotation or something to develop a kind of rhythm or anything of the sort. Some builds kinda did, though. Stuff like necromancer curses are a good example of it.

03/06/2019 09:02 PMPosted by UngivenFame
Part of the problem was the idea of skill prerequisites and them not scaling well into endgame. A better soultion is to scale the skill different so that it remains relevant late game but you cannot make it at level twenty where is outscales a level 20 skill at one point. You just can't have that where you can put a point in every level and have level one skills maxed before you unlock level thirty skill and have them balanced at end game.

That's essentially what D3's system aimed to mitigate. Once you acquired a skill, it simply grows with your gear. Past that point it's a matter of balance, which unfortunately D3 didn't really get, or at least, not directly since it's hopelessly chained to sets since RoS.

03/06/2019 09:02 PMPosted by UngivenFame
Even synergies didn't quite fix the problem because high level skills still outperformed lower level skills and low level skills are used just in the meantime and to boost via synergy the higher level skills.

That's why I refer to them as barely adequate bandaids, as in many cases they simply turned useless skills into glorified passives for the actually decent ones. In the best cases, it sprouted entirely new builds. An easy example is the ubiquitous hammerdin, which was never a thing prior to 1.10. Some classes actually saw interesting benefits from Synergies, though. Pet necros are a good example, as they still featured skills you'd be using, while providing that symbiotic relationship across them. It's not like hammerdins that just used holy bolt as a passive, while the skill itself was functionally worthless.

03/06/2019 09:02 PMPosted by UngivenFame
03/06/2019 03:03 PMPosted by Blashyrkh

They were actually cool if you took the time to go through the game on your own. It made the leveling process a whole lot more rewarding without having to save points to drop into the skill you actually were planning to base your build on. I actually appreciated that aspect of this feature, although 95%+ of the playerbase just got rushed past everything and leeched baal runs lol.

However, they were just a barely adequate bandaid for a blatantly flawed skill system by turning useless skills into glorified passives. They rendered builds pretty damn rigid in the end, so yeah, they weren't all that compelling.
I went through the game on my own almost all the time. I played bnet back in the day just for the benefit of transferring gear and maybe getting a ladder only runeword. Synergies were NOT cool. It took 80 (or 60 or 40) skill points instead of 20 to make it good and thus the game became mainly about spamming one skill for damage which is something I hoped to get away from in D3. Part of the problem was the idea of skill prerequisites and them not scaling well into endgame. A better soultion is to scale the skill different so that it remains relevant late game but you cannot make it at level twenty where is outscales a level 20 skill at one point. You just can't have that where you can put a point in every level and have level one skills maxed before you unlock level thirty skill and have them balanced at end game. Even synergies didn't quite fix the problem because high level skills still outperformed lower level skills and low level skills are used just in the meantime and to boost via synergy the higher level skills.

Got to have a system that forces you to spread skill points around into a few different skills. Its better skill progression, makes all skills relevant and helps facilitate combat 'situational combat' where one skill has advantage over another.

I think Grim Dawn accomplishes this really well. It doesn't feel forced, really. I'd say it feels far more intuitive than what we saw in D2 with some really odd synergy decisions, and the fact you can actually respec makes things so much more flexible, which is great if you like experimenting a bit.

Eventually there will be meta builds, but that's inevitable. However, most of the builds I've tried feel pretty solid on their own right. This system was already pretty damn solid on Titan Quest, and it only got even better in GD.
Very few of those initial points would be spent on offense, meaning the first 29 levels would be needlessly tedious because your main skill was placed deep into the skill tree.


Synergies fixed it in a much better way than make fire orb scales with how big her axe is.

The game was always about spamming a single skill, for the most part.


And D3 is not about spam the same "rotation"?

On D2 most skills are situational. Look to bone necro for eg, some times bone spear is better, some bone spirit, after you got some corpses, corpse explosion, tons of different curses, including IA curses, bone wall/bone prison to controll the battlefield, etc.

Once you acquired a skill, it simply grows with your gear.


That is an awful idea. It killed any sense of skill progression and destroyed the game balance.

You find just one better weapon and suddenly an ultra hard area becomes an cakewalk. You can find an better helm, an better boot, but nothing will be impactfull as your weapon, regardless of your build. Every class starts to gear focusing only on one variable. This type of homogenization is not good.

Look to raise skeleton, you start with just one weak skeleton and gradually becomes better until you have an tough undead army. This is much better than any necro in your fictional world having 7 skeletons scaling with how big and shar their axe is.

03/06/2019 11:11 PMPosted by Blashyrkh
I think Grim Dawn accomplishes this really well. It doesn't feel forced, really. I'd say it feels far more intuitive than what we saw in D2 with some really odd synergy decisions


Good to mention Grim Dawn, GD has Gear progression, attribute progression, devotion and skill progression. D3 has only gear progression.

But GD has the same problem of D2. Why should i use Panetti's Replicating Missile over Albrecht's Aether Ray? And GD or Titan Quest doesn't have interesting skills compared to D2.
Fixing trading:

A dropped item can be given to any player in the game that was in the game when the item dropped.
The item can be transfered to one other player, once, only through the trade screen.
No flipping. No profiting.

Only botters and people actually playing 24/7 can profit from selling items.
When botters are banned, remove all items they botted owned by other players, and return the items they traded with the botter.

---

As for skills;

Tie a part of skill power to character level, so that all skills unlocked are relevant, even if they're not great at skill level 1, forever.

Separate skill unlocks from skill upgrades -- potentially with quests rewards that grants a choice of upgrades, passive stat bonuses, or skill unlocks, so that players get 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 -- possibly 12 -- skills, depending on their choices, or slightly stronger but fewer skills, or more attributes.

Don't allow one upgrade each level; that was the main problem in Diablo 2, how you could save points for level 1-30, and then upgrade three level 30 skills each level until the excess points run out.

Have a development skill tree for each skill;
A skill upgrade isn't just "Moar power" -- but a choice of upgrades, or 'runes' that improve skills in different ways than only and always "moar power", which takes the skill in different directions.
Some runes can cost multiple points -- and skills can have upgrade caps.

Paragon points can allow upgrades to a skill beyond the upgrade cap, in expansions, and expand each skill with more runes.

---

Finally, attributes:
Make gear have far less attribute bonuses.
Have attributes heavily affect your character's speeds and non-armor defense;
Casting speed, attack speed, attack speed with heavy gear, recovery time after casting powerful spells, recovery time after being mauled by a bear, recovery time after being knocked down, recovery time from poison and curses, movement speed, movement speed with heavy gear, resource regeneration, stamina regeneration, health regeneration, poison resistance, unholy resistance...

---

Give different classes different core items slots -- like Diablo 2.
Give druids a charm inventory.

Dare to have far more assymetrical characters.
03/07/2019 02:04 AMPosted by Frostraven
Fixing trading:

A dropped item can be given to any player in the game that was in the game when the item dropped.
The item can be transfered to one other player, once, only through the trade screen.
No flipping. No profiting.

Only botters and people actually playing 24/7 can profit from selling items.
When botters are banned, remove all items they botted owned by other players, and return the items they traded with the botter.


The last paragraph sounds like a lot of tracing and backtracking, also, botters get the items but they can't give it to someone else (technically, they have only a chance for a maximum of 3 customers but it won't happen in reality), so why take the time to 'delete' their ill gotten goods? In any case, terminate the account (and ban the associated credit card for good, or the gov' ID but that's just me dreaming).

I prefer original poster's idea for trade: TIERED item-for-item.
It goes something like this: Item 'power' determines drop chance (like it's always been), said rarity determines the tier for the item, only items belonging to the same tier can be traded one for another.

IMO it's a perfect mix of 'self found' and 'trade mode'. No 3rd parties involved (they can bot all they want but only equal 'tier' items are accepted as payment so their whole operation is pointless bc of lack of paying customers).
You gotta loot something good in order to trade it for something good, nobody can bypass RNG by any means and you need to play the GAME and not just the market. I think that's what a loot hunting game should be about. I dislike 'smart drops' and 'deterministic' (get X materials for a 100% chance to get exactly what you want) gear progression.
03/06/2019 09:02 PMPosted by UngivenFame
I went through the game on my own almost all the time. I played bnet back in the day just for the benefit of transferring gear and maybe getting a ladder only runeword. Synergies were NOT cool.

Thing is, when you weren't getting rushed and actually relying on your skills, the sheer imbalance of the actual skills would result in situations where it would be better to just save up points than spend them as you level up. For instance, if you wanted a Frozen orb sorceress, Very few of those initial points would be spent on offense, meaning the first 29 levels would be needlessly tedious because your main skill was placed deep into the skill tree. The problem disappeared past the threshold of your core skill's level, though.

[/quote]I understand what you are saying and I think we mostly agree on everything so I'm just going to respond to this one point. In this case synergy worked good by letting you get a level 1 skill to do damage early but not having those points 'wasted' when you get to level thirty and start using frozen orb. I think it would have been much better design to make both skills functional in the endgame. If ice bolt had gone into a negative mana costs and frozen orb had higher mana cost to prevent spam then they would have been complimentary skills with both being relevant. Spam bolt and use FO situationally. And if you weren't going to invest in mastery then you might pick a different skill to start with.

What I think a good skill system needs is better scaling for low level skills at the higher end but then don't let those skills be leveled up so fast. In D2 you max a level 1 skill and its basically outperformed by a level 30 skill with one point. I'm saying scale it differently so that a level 1 skill with 10 points is equal to a level 30 skill with one point but restrict the skill investment so that you cannot get skill level 10 until player level 30. At that point, each point in level 1 skill is equal to 2 skill points in the level 30 skill until they are both maxed so that they perform equally well at max level (but are situationally used differently) and are able to be maxed at both (one or the other) around level 50.

That's what Grim Dawn gets wrong in my opinion, you can pump so many points in a skill you don't intend to use just to get through early game and then respec. Making a primal strike druid/elementalist/warder but leveling it with devouring swarm... I don't like that but its the fastest way.

Synergies fixed it in a much better way than make fire orb scales with how big her axe is.

On D2 most skills are situational. Look to bone necro for eg, some times bone spear is better, some bone spirit, after you got some corpses, corpse explosion, tons of different curses, including IA curses, bone wall/bone prison to controll the battlefield, etc.

But GD has the same problem of D2. Why should i use Panetti's Replicating Missile over Albrecht's Aether Ray? And GD or Titan Quest doesn't have interesting skills compared to D2.
Yeah synergies are better than d3 weapon damage scaling but they have their own problems which have been outlined in my and blash's posts.

D2 skills are situational for necromancer only. That is basically the only class with any kind of situational skill usage which is why that is the example you always use. There are some other smaller examples you could use I guess if you count things like berzerk, or lightning versus chain lightning but I'm talking about making it more situational and synergies are not going to help that case at all.

AAR sucks but I think PRM does too. But grim dawn makes low level skills relevant, fire strike, savagry cadence, DEE, ABB all level 1 skills, all useful endgame. Grim dawn skills are designed totally different then D2 skills which basically replace lower level skills with a beefed up version higher (or lower) in the tree.
03/07/2019 02:04 AMPosted by Frostraven
Separate skill unlocks from skill upgrades -- potentially with quests rewards that grants a choice of upgrades, passive stat bonuses, or skill unlocks, so that players get 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 -- possibly 12 -- skills


You're asking to get higher server lag often. There are better ways to get rewarded than asking 4 players spamming 12 different kinds of firewalls, lasers, beams, projectiles, area of effect trails and lingering vapors.

03/07/2019 02:04 AMPosted by Frostraven
The item can be transfered to one other player, once, only through the trade screen.
No flipping. No profiting.


Inflation will be the bane of such model with once traded rule. Also Kanai's Cube rare to legendary upgrade recipes, simply negate any sort of attempt you try to bring trade in.

03/07/2019 08:30 AMPosted by UngivenFame
Yeah synergies are better than d3 weapon damage scaling but they have their own problems which have been outlined in my and blash's posts.


I haven't been paying attention, didn't read you guys' posts, but I'll drop you this; synergies only made sense with immunities or any sort of defensive ability that monsters can possess. Otherwise synergies are an empty attempt of powergrind just like everything scaling with weapon damage in D3. There's a feedback and integrity to it. With paper maché quadrillion health monsters of D3, I doubt synergy would work alone.
03/07/2019 12:02 AMPosted by L0rdV1ct0r
Very few of those initial points would be spent on offense, meaning the first 29 levels would be needlessly tedious because your main skill was placed deep into the skill tree.


Synergies fixed it in a much better way than make fire orb scales with how big her axe is.

The game was always about spamming a single skill, for the most part.


And D3 is not about spam the same "rotation"?

On D2 most skills are situational. Look to bone necro for eg, some times bone spear is better, some bone spirit, after you got some corpses, corpse explosion, tons of different curses, including IA curses, bone wall/bone prison to controll the battlefield, etc.

Once you acquired a skill, it simply grows with your gear.


That is an awful idea. It killed any sense of skill progression and destroyed the game balance.

You find just one better weapon and suddenly an ultra hard area becomes an cakewalk. You can find an better helm, an better boot, but nothing will be impactfull as your weapon, regardless of your build. Every class starts to gear focusing only on one variable. This type of homogenization is not good.

Look to raise skeleton, you start with just one weak skeleton and gradually becomes better until you have an tough undead army. This is much better than any necro in your fictional world having 7 skeletons scaling with how big and shar their axe is.


And here you are talking about weapon scaling again several times.

03/06/2019 11:11 PMPosted by Blashyrkh
I think Grim Dawn accomplishes this really well. It doesn't feel forced, really. I'd say it feels far more intuitive than what we saw in D2 with some really odd synergy decisions


Good to mention Grim Dawn, GD has Gear progression, attribute progression, devotion and skill progression. D3 has only gear progression.

But GD has the same problem of D2. Why should i use Panetti's Replicating Missile over Albrecht's Aether Ray? And GD or Titan Quest doesn't have interesting skills compared to D2.


Why shouldn’t you use Panetti’s? The awesome thing about GD is you can pretty much build around whatever skill you want.

There are Panetti builds, and that actually IS an example of a more interesting spell because not only does it split (and can add or change missile types) but the missiles themselves have multiple elements for damage.

Hell, you can build around nothing but basic attacks if you want - and your dual wield guns will toss out about 10 different effects from talents and Devotions. That by itself is far more entertaining than D2 AND most other games that render basic attacks useless.
03/07/2019 06:05 AMPosted by TobiasPeste
03/07/2019 02:04 AMPosted by Frostraven
Fixing trading:

A dropped item can be given to any player in the game that was in the game when the item dropped.
The item can be transfered to one other player, once, only through the trade screen.
No flipping. No profiting.

Only botters and people actually playing 24/7 can profit from selling items.
When botters are banned, remove all items they botted owned by other players, and return the items they traded with the botter.


The last paragraph sounds like a lot of tracing and backtracking, also, botters get the items but they can't give it to someone else (technically, they have only a chance for a maximum of 3 customers but it won't happen in reality), so why take the time to 'delete' their ill gotten goods? In any case, terminate the account (and ban the associated credit card for good, or the gov' ID but that's just me dreaming).

I prefer original poster's idea for trade: TIERED item-for-item.
It goes something like this: Item 'power' determines drop chance (like it's always been), said rarity determines the tier for the item, only items belonging to the same tier can be traded one for another.

IMO it's a perfect mix of 'self found' and 'trade mode'. No 3rd parties involved (they can bot all they want but only equal 'tier' items are accepted as payment so their whole operation is pointless bc of lack of paying customers).
You gotta loot something good in order to trade it for something good, nobody can bypass RNG by any means and you need to play the GAME and not just the market. I think that's what a loot hunting game should be about. I dislike 'smart drops' and 'deterministic' (get X materials for a 100% chance to get exactly what you want) gear progression.


That last part is my problem with trading.

“You gotta fins something good to trade for something good.

Why can’t I have a system where I can just find something good for me? Why do I have to find something good someone else wants first?
03/06/2019 09:15 AMPosted by Chetanji
We all loved Vanilla D3 when it was released.


No we didn't.
90%+ people quit in first 3-6 months after release.
03/07/2019 10:09 AMPosted by LocknLoad
03/06/2019 09:15 AMPosted by Chetanji
We all loved Vanilla D3 when it was released.


No we didn't.
90%+ people quit in first 3-6 months after release.


I had a love-hate relationship with it. Only after 1.0.4 or so game became a solid piece. I admit release date D3 was a total mess; broken hit register, monsters ignoring resistances, weak damage output on characters, flowing textures, perma smoke screen hunters, invulnerable wizards, elites chain casting abilities, desynced skill casts, lag spikes that send you outta map bounds and kill you in an instant...

It took me a while to wrap my head around CC mechanics in D3 and use them as a note of debuff just like in D2. AH trading was nice and I got myself pretty nice deals here and there, made friends by tossing items around for free. It was a nice journey for me. Shame most of people got frustrated and quit it early. After RoS came out and flipped the game upside down I lost 90% of my friendlist anyway.
Stopped reading at "9. Lack of Spell Synergies"

D2 Synergies were a band aid to fix a flawed skill system.

Synergies made it so putting points into Fire Bolt during the early levels wasn't a build debilitating decision. However, synergies also forced players to spend points on specfic skills road-mapped by the devs, which is exactly the same thing Sets did to D3.

A good skill system shouldn't need forced synergies or sets to make certain skills somewhat functional.
03/07/2019 10:37 AMPosted by RedCell
A good skill system shouldn't need forced synergies or sets to make certain skills somewhat functional.


You don't have to and no one forces you. Difficulty scaling in D2 is limited thanks to immunities and you can complete the game in most circumstances. If you feel like you should scatter your points all over the skill tree or only pick 3 out of 30, you only suffer from fear of missing out. That's the only explanation above all.

Regarding synergies, immunities simply prevent you from massing them without getting counter-measures and fitting debuffs for combat anyway. Even if you stacked them, you'd still get torn to pieces out there, or be forced to run on your heels without possessing specific debuffs.
Only top builds who reached the high end equipment can farm players 8 scale in Hell difficulty solo with synergies; other specs have to go for players 4 or lower at average by scattering their profession. You can not scale how well you can do out there with your raw dps output only like, in D3 either.

Sets in D3 RoS dictated answers with vertical progress, D2 LoD skill tree work in conjunction with many other mechanics which D3 lacked and allowed horizontal progress towards utility. D3 lost its horizontal progress the moment it simplified items with main stat vitality only and over nerfed crowd control effects on RoS.

If a game is still relevant after decades also accept it has its own integrity that you completely missed.
I dislike 'smart drops' and 'deterministic' (get X materials for a 100% chance to get exactly what you want) gear progression.


That last part is my problem with trading.

“You gotta fins something good to trade for something good.

Why can’t I have a system where I can just find something good for me? Why do I have to find something good someone else wants first?
I don't like smart drops either but I think a bit of deterministic loot system is good to mitigate any long strings of bad RNG. Deterministic loot can be quest rewards, faction items (Grim dawn), various different crafting or gambling systems - haven't had a chest piece upgrade in forever; gamble chest pieces - trying to stack a particular affix on every available piece of gear but can't get it on chest piece; be able to disenchant other gear for crafting material that can be used to craft a chest piece with a particular affix. I like that. I do not like smart drops but more importantly I do not like the entire itemization/RPG system to be designed in such a way that vast portion of all gear is irrelevant for a given class, either because its class specific (GD kinda has this problem but its like D3 because of the daul class system) or because it has the wrong primary stat.

Every stat needs to be benficial even if it isn't the most desirable. To that end, everything needs to be abstracted. In stead of + 15% fists of thunder, we need +15% to primary skills (which all classes have) or +15% to skills generating resource etc... just for example in the context of D3.

That isn't to say that + to a particular skill cannot exist on say a legendary item or even a RNG rare item but the focus shouldn't be so much so that not having the affix for your skill makes the item completely irrelevant despite its other stats.
03/06/2019 05:13 AMPosted by TOPCommander
Here is a great article that illustrates D3's catastrophic flaws.

10 things that need to be fixed so D4 has a chance to be good in the eyes of long term Diablo Enthusiasts. We the fans of Diablo 1 and 2 are biased because we know how good DIABLO really is, but D3's designers did not have this deep knowledge and passion for Diablo. This needs to change.

http://whatculture.com/gaming/diablo-4-10-huge-things-it-must-fix-from-iii


D4? are you st*pid or something? downvoting... booo!
03/07/2019 09:47 AMPosted by Orrion
Why can’t I have a system where I can just find something good for me? Why do I have to find something good someone else wants first?


You can, it's called D3. It's a system where you get everything handed to you with minimal effort because in a pure RNG system you either get everything too easily or you never find it at all.

Enjoy your garbage loot hunt, D3 is everything you have ever wanted.


That last part is my problem with trading.

“You gotta fins something good to trade for something good.

Why can’t I have a system where I can just find something good for me? Why do I have to find something good someone else wants first?
I don't like smart drops either but I think a bit of deterministic loot system is good to mitigate any long strings of bad RNG. Deterministic loot can be quest rewards, faction items (Grim dawn), various different crafting or gambling systems - haven't had a chest piece upgrade in forever; gamble chest pieces - trying to stack a particular affix on every available piece of gear but can't get it on chest piece; be able to disenchant other gear for crafting material that can be used to craft a chest piece with a particular affix. I like that. I do not like smart drops but more importantly I do not like the entire itemization/RPG system to be designed in such a way that vast portion of all gear is irrelevant for a given class, either because its class specific (GD kinda has this problem but its like D3 because of the daul class system) or because it has the wrong primary stat.

Every stat needs to be benficial even if it isn't the most desirable. To that end, everything needs to be abstracted. In stead of + 15% fists of thunder, we need +15% to primary skills (which all classes have) or +15% to skills generating resource etc... just for example in the context of D3.

That isn't to say that + to a particular skill cannot exist on say a legendary item or even a RNG rare item but the focus shouldn't be so much so that not having the affix for your skill makes the item completely irrelevant despite its other stats.


People completely misunderstand RNG and where/when deterministic systems should be used.

D3 doesn't have heavy RNG. Even before smart loot, the leg/set overhauls, the higher drop rates, etc... going back all the way to the AH/RMAH days the RNG was never the problem. The problem has always been that the itemization and affix design resulted in massively skewed differences in item power along the range of possible outcomes that made an unnaturally tiny fraction of the items even remotely viable mathematically.

For example, let's say a hypothetical item is made up of two rolls of a six-sided dice, which we will call A and B. There is no difference in the amount of RNG between A+B, AxB, and A^B, but the relative power scaling across the outcomes is significantly different. If A is 6 and B is 4 then for A+B its the 3rd best outcome, AxB is above average, but A^B isn't even 3% of the best outcome. In other words it all comes down to how the things that are randomized interact.

A properly designed itemization doesn't need deterministic systems to generate "good" items. Deterministic systems should be there as an alternative or supplementary path to trading letting players solo target specific "good" items. One of the simplest and oldest methods in this genre is something like a loot table for bosses or areas. There are also reward based systems like the ones PoE uses with divination cards, essences, and fossils. Everything still organically drops and isn't forced, which keeps that sense of loot hunt.
03/07/2019 09:47 AMPosted by Orrion
Why can’t I have a system where I can just find something good for me? Why do I have to find something good someone else wants first?


That's not how it works. It's obvious that you CAN find the thing you wanted by yourself. But if you find a top tier item but not the specific one you want, you have the trading option. I don't know where you got your 'reverse smart loot' idea.

Top tier items: A B C D.
You need A.
You can randomly get A B C or D.
B C or D can be traded for A.
Simple.

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