Thursday 2 May 2013

Itemization and item customization, how will they change Diablo 3? Your thoughts!

So it appears the next big changes coming to Diablo 3 will be both itemization and the ability to customize items. I think both of these ideas are going to really improve peoples desire to play this game, and I think it will bring back a lot of players. Actually being able to find gear for your player while playing the game, rather than spending time in the AH trying to find an upgrade, is what we have all been waiting for. This all sounds great, but what will it change?

First off, if item drops are going to be better and more geared towards the character you are playing, isn't that going to be enough for to get people moving in the right direction? Anyone who has spent hundreds of hours playing this game knows that actually getting an upgrade from a drop is very rare. More often, we are hoping to get an upgrade for someone else that will sell for a significant amount of gold. We then head to the AH with our new found riches and hope someone else has found an upgrade for us. That doesn't seem right, so should be thankful for the AH? No. The AH is the reason top tier items are only available to the top 5% of the Diablo 3 population, and most of them are bought out by bots then placed on the RMAH.

So now legendary items will roll stats based on the monster it dropped from. This is another great idea. This opens up the possibility for more items being useable, and gets away from the cookie cutter item builds that have developed. Hopefully it will also allow more skills to come into play. My concern here is that they will reduce the drop rate of the legendary items to not flood the market.

Item customization might be the biggest game changer of them all. The general feeling is that any customization to an item will automatically bind it to your account. This is going to make those items one step away from being OP, to being completely OP. For example, let's say you have an Echoing Fury that is 1250+ DPS, 150+ main stat, .24+ AS, 2.7%+ LS and 90+ CD, how much more valuable does that item become with a socket? This is just one example. And since these customizations become account bound, how valuable do these items become prior to customizing? I have a feeling more items will be sold via third party sites (d2jsp) to exceed the 2B cap placed on the AH. This brings up the question: what will it cost/take to customize an item? Obviously gold, Demonic Essence, gems and possibly brimstones will all be required. Does it scale with item level, or maybe some sort of item score (think diablo progress)?

And with all that being said, how does the game get rebalanced after all these changes? Everything mentioned above is going to make gearing up your character go from several months to a couple of weeks, once the AH has been restocked. Will it be possible to gear up a character that one shots everything in MP10? Does an endless dungeon that gets more difficult the further you go down become the new end game? If so, that essentially creates a ladder system for Diablo 3, something that a lot of players want to see.

These are just some of my thoughts and ideas based on the information I have read in blue posts and what not. Let me know what you think!