Diablo III’s next Legendary item has its power designed by 19,000 players

The Design a Legendary process has been going on for months now.

The first Diablo III expansion has been unleashed; read our Reaper of Souls review to find out the verdict.

Excuse me sir, do you have a minute to answer a couple of quick questions? Firstly, would you rather radiate an aura of hatred at all times, or summon an evil pet that only you can see? Would you say you’re better at bringing down loathing on your enemies, or drawing upon powerful reserves of your own resentment when backed into a corner?

Diablo III polls are a bit weird. But they’ve allowed tens of thousands of players to pick over and decide on the specifics of a new Legendary weapon. And they’ve decided to make it hate.

Since mid-October, the Blizzard dev team have opened their usual Legendary design process to the public, from concept through creation to iteration, via a series of polls.

Their playerbase has elected to make a Mephisto-themed one-handed sword, and most recently voted on its key power. From five options, a 29% majority has chosen an ability triggered by elemental attacks, “inspired by the Lord of Hatred himself”.

Lightning damage has a chance of triggering a Charged Bolt; Poison damage can set of Poison Nova; and Cold damage can fire off a Freezing Skull.

“From here, designers Travis Day and John Yang will flesh out the rest of item’s stat budget, including the power itself (adding actual damage values and making slight adjustments as needed),” write Blizzard.

“As with our last vote, thanks to each and every nephalem who’ve participated in some shape, way, or form in this project so far. We hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are, and look forward to revealing the final, complete Legendary soon!”

The vote for the item’s name is ongoing, so weigh in there if you like. Or hang about the official site, where a Day and Yang Q&A will shortly elucidate this part of the design process. Is this exciting? It certainly can’t hurt to let Diablo’s playerbase know what goes into itemisation – and in particular, just how long it takes.