As Diablo 3 game designer Travis Day watches streamer ArchonTheWizard play during interview, a pair of legendary bracers fall from a defeated bad. They’re Steady Strikers: a good drop, offering 2-3% extra attack speed. But they’re indicative of a wider problem with legendaries: one that causes Day to “die a little inside”.
“It’s special because it has Attack Speed, which bracers normally can’t have,” notes Day. “It’s technically a good item, but that’s really a boring reason for an item to be good. I really mean it, and I really want every legendary and set item to have something unique about it.”
Day references two well-remembered Diablo 2 items: the max-damage Windforce bow, and the teleportation-enabling Enigma runeword.
“When [players] talk about these legendaries or things they remember from D2, they talk about them and remember them because they did something special,” he explains. “Windforce did a knockback, and Buriza pierced with all your shots. They don’t talk about, ‘Oh man, the 600 Dex that Buriza had, woo’.
“That’s really what I feel is missing from the game, and that’s what I’m getting back to,” he concluded. “I kind of die a little inside when I look at those bracers, and I guess they’re technically good, but those are really boring.”
Day has already talked about the steps Blizzard are taking to make legendary items more exciting. In a blog post in March, he revealed that the dev team is planning to reward players for taking on monsters at higher levels with souped-up versions of otherwise disappointing drops. But will that be enough?