Monday 21 September 2015

The Way Things Were: 10 Forgotten Aspects of Diablo III's Past

10) Rift it Forward - The idea was simple, but brilliant: You let me loot your Rift Guardian, and I pop open the next Rift for you. Back when Rifts were first introduced, it costs FIVE rift keys from a single player to open a rift. RIF allowed the community to cooperate by splitting up the work - you farm rifts, and I farm bounties for rift keys. Today, RIF is still one of the largest communities in Diablo despite the fact that rifts are now free to open.

9) Chest Runs - For a brief time during 2.0, running through Arreat Core in Torment 6 and popping open chests was the most efficient way to find legendaries in the game. Players would stack HP and run pass monsters with skills like Dashing Strike or Vault, finding tons of items without killing a single monster. This quickly prompted Blizzard to nerf drop rates on chests.

8) Swapping into Magic Find gear - putting on MF right before killing a boss or popping a chest increased your chances of getting legendary items. Needless to say, this was extremely tedious and annoying because you needed to have a set of MF gear in your inventory at all times. Eventually, Blizzard decided to nerf Magic Find altogether.

7) Nephalem Valor - Remember when every game began with gathering 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor? Each stack of NV gave you additional gold find and magic find... until you changed skills or left the game. This was Blizzard's way of discouraging players from killing bosses over and over again. NV was eventually replaced by its successor:Nephalem Glory, that yellowy icon that takes up one of your eight buff indicators slots and doesn't do anything.

6) Memorizing Names of Rare Items - In the early days of Diablo III Vanilla, most legendary weapons were lame and rare weapons with %life steal were Best in Slot. There was one problem with this: picking up and inspecting every single rare item consumed way too much time. Players eventually came to recognize the names of certain types of rares- namely one-handed weapons and jewelry - and became more selective when picking up yellow items.

5) Legendary Crafting Mats - No, we're not talking about the Act I-V crafting mats you now get from cache bags. There was a time when every single crafted legendary or set had its own legendary material that dropped from certain unique (purple) monsters. Want to craft Born's Set? Better do some Defiled Crypt runs. Want to craft a decent Reaper's Wraps? Go kill Malthael 1000 times. This was eventually removed in 2.06 for some reason, and players were compensated for their hard work by a measly 50000 gold per mat.

4) Auction House Sniping - For many players, the most efficient way of "farming" in Pre 2.0 was buying items on the AH for cheap, and selling it for profit. Auction House Sniping was the practice of refreshing the screen for new items, hoping to snipe a good item for below market value. (I once bought a 600 damage socketed Horadric Burger for 1M and sold it the next day for 500M!)

3) Greater Rift Trials - In my opinion, removing the GR trial is one of the single most significant QOL improvement in the history of D3. Until the most recent patch, pushing GRs required players to: Farm bounty for Rift Fragments, Farm Rifts for Trial Keys, and then do Trials for Greater Rift tokens. On top of that, GR tokens took up a lot of inventory space because every Tier of GR had its own individual GR token. Yikes!

2) Real Money Auction House - Back in the day, gearing in D3 was far more time consuming than it is now. Some players would play for months and never complete a single class set. Luckily, they had the RMAH! In its hayday, Radiant Star gems were selling for $2 a pop, and decent Echoing Furies fetched anywhere between $50-$250! Blizzard eventually realized that the RMAH was doing more harm than good to the game and removed the Auction House completely. (That, and they were probably doing it to spite the gold farmers who cut into their profits by selling gold for below AH prices)

1) Trading - When the Auction House went, so did item trading. All legendary/set items became account-bound the instant it drops. This upset a lot of people who believed that Diablo was a game about hoarding loot and amassing wealth. Since the removal of trading, Diablo had taken on an entire new direction. Legendary drop rates were greatly increased, allowing players to spend less time farming gear and more time optimizing their build. In hindsight, I think Blizzard's decision to remove trading worked out quite well for the game.

And that's my dose of nostalgia for today. Do you have anything you miss/don't miss from the early days of D3? Feel free to add to the list!