As Blizzard continue their plans to move Diablo 3’s focus away from the auction house and back to loot drops within the game, they’ve decided to return to the stat system that drives loot drops. Soon the days where you see a legendary item drop and think “Oh, what variation of dull will this be?” will be over and the days of “I’m glad I’ve got champagne in the house because this deserves a toast!” will be back in.
The key change that game designer Travis Day detailed was their “plan to allow Legendary items to also roll their base stats (weapon DPS and armor value) at the level of the monster that dropped them.” So if you down yourself a level 63 skeleton king and they drop a legendary, all it’s stat ranges will kick off at 63. As Day puts it, “Love Leoric's Signet, but hate wearing a level 17 ring? Me too. Instead of farming Act II Normal to find a Leoric's Signet, let's go farm Inferno and get a level 63 version of the ring!”
What’s potentially game-changing are some of the changes to item diversity Blizzard are planning on introducing, emphasising stats which are a little contra-normal. Currently, Day says, we, as players, “gravitate towards items with Critical Chance, Critical Damage, and Attack Speed" and to change that they want new item powers like “a Voodoo Mask that increases pet damage, a Barbarian set that makes Call of the Ancients last until they die (after we give them full pet survivability), a Wizard Orb that allowed for two Hydras to be active at once”
The change that will potentially cause the most ire, but I think is the best of the bunch, is the plan to reduce the rare item drop rate. At the moment it’s difficult to move for all the items which need to be identified, only to be discarded when revealed to be nigh on useless. The plan would’nt be to just reduce the drop rate but to increase the quality of the stat rolls in line with that reduction, so while fewer items would drop you’d have a greater chance of picking up something lovely.
Lots of the ideas detailed in the blog post are just that at the moment, ideas and potential plans, though it’s great that Blizzard are feeling they’re able to discuss these ideas with the community, especially as a lot of these changes are likely to find vocal supporters and detractors, so getting their voices heard before the change appears in the game is all for the good.