Focused feedback: Affixes and rares

This post is a direct feedback to “System Design in Diablo IV (Part II)”.

1. Affixes

The addition of Angelic, Demonic and Ancestral (I suggest renaming this to Nephalem to avoid the A-A letter duplication with Angelic) power is a concept strengthening the min/maxing in the itemization and I personally like it, but nevertheless I would suggest an improvement to it.

The current association of these three powers with buffs, debuffs and procs should be done in a more elegant way.

It would be optimal to stack only one of these three powers on an item if the power requirements are not bound to specific properties. What I mean is that items having more than one power stat and/or requirement on them would be less valuable from a min/maxing perspective since these would “lock” extra item properties for no expected benefit since experienced players would go heavily in only one direction for a single build.

You could solve this problem by locking particular item stats to particular power requirement, but this would lower the min/maxing effect (I now read this is the case indeed and I personally don’t like this).

What I propose is separating the direct association of the powers with the buffs, debuffs and procs, and introducing a system (like the Talents) that would allow players who sacrificed an item property for one of the three powers to choose how to distribute the buff-debuff-proc weight themselves. Such system could also be extended with more stats.

Removing the affixes-power attunement is also needed so that build diversity is not artificially constraint. I illustrate below why the current way of working is wrong with a simple MMA analogy.

These suggestions would achieve two major things compared to the current way of working:

  • Items will roll with random requirements not attuned to specific affixes, which serves for more variety
  • Players will be free to choose in which direction - buffs, debuffs, procs - to specialize without this being forced due to the power-effect association

Last, having a general proc chance increase mechanic combined with cooldown reduction may potentially create balance problems in the future, so beware about this.


2. Rares

The blog post doesn’t specify whether rares have the same number of properties as legendary items now (or would have such with future crafting) aka whether they would be top tier when upgraded, so I would discuss both options.

2.1. Upgraded rares with less properties than legendary items

In that case I’d suggest making the consumable more common and received by salvaging legendary items too. This way players would wear upgraded rares until a very good rolled legendary is found.

2.2. Upgraded rares with equal properties as legendary items

In this case the consumable should have a very low chance to drop and only in the very late endgame.

In both cases the consumable should not be tradable and traded rare items should be rendered non-upgradable in order 3rd party sellers to not spoil the game.

Overall I like this crafting opportunity since it lowers the variance and makes rares more useful than before. This would surely make the inclusion of in-game item filters necessary so that players could easily filter precious rares without inspecting each of these separately.

Thank you for reading,

I personally love the proposed changes and feel it is much to early to critique them. I’m not sure that I completely understand why you feel that it would be optimal to only stack one of the three powers, given that so much that pertains to this system is incomplete. We don’t have the values or variables to factor with. Can you explain to help me infer what you mean when you write:

As I see it right now it fits with the easy to learn difficult to master guidelines we should expect the team to adhere to.

I’m also having a tough time inferring from your proposed solution as I don’t quite understand the issue you’re suggesting, forgive me if I’m simply not looking at it from the correct angle. Regarding having general proc chance increase mechanics combined with cooldown reduction creating many potential balance problems doesn’t seem all that serious to me, considering all of these things can be finely tuned.

I will leave the second part of the post alone until I have a better understanding of what you’re getting at in the first part, for the same reason in that we don’t have enough information to evaluate these mechanics just yet.

The one legitimate issue I’ve seen so far regarding the consumable is whether it is a randomly assigned affix, thereby potentially rendering your masterpiece blue ruined (a huge gamble if so) or whether you can continually override this if you didn’t get the affix you wanted, or whether or not you know in advance what affix was being imbued.

I am curious though as I’d like to understand where you’re coming from.

Yes, but their plan is to add new heroes each year. This means new items, skills and procs. I am just giving them a warning to not overlook this.

Consumable is just a legendary item with no other properties than the special which you can combine with a rare. You see the special before the combining.

Here are the two items they gave as examples:

What you can see from these is that item properties aren’t bound to particular power requirement - we have two resistances bound to different power requirements. If they are bound this would lower the min/maxing effect and is wrong. If they are not bound - this means you can have cold resistance requiring demonic power on one amulet and angelic on another - players would value more the items which have only one type of power stat or requirement since this is better from a min/maxing perspective.

This would then render many rares “second class” so to speak and would make the item hunt tedious, because if your build is focused on procs you’ll stack only Ancestral power and you’ll want all requirements on your items to depend on Ancestral. When we separate the three effects from the three powers we allow players to stack all three powers and after that choose how they want to weight the effects depending on say the percent distribution of Angelic, Demonic, Ancestral points they have on all items.

Btw, it seems they are indeed bound to stats:
Each of the three Powers will have a list of affixes that are attuned to it, so depending on which stats you care about, you might want to focus on Angelic, Demonic, or Ancestral Power

I would be curious to see what people think if these affixes are RNG additions to items that dont define the item but give power to the character if the endgame item rolls with the right affix. The issue is that items right now have a maximum of 6 affixes on it and makes it limiting. Enigma from D2 with 13 varring stats is the endgame item I would like to see LOOK like (not the item itself) with the angelic/demonic power affix as an extra umph. We went from a wide variety of stats on a single item at endgame in D2 to only 6 stats in D3. These Angelic/Demonic stats taking most of the items affix is not good but it it is an addition to an even greater list then Im all for it.

Okay. I must have missed the part where they specified that the consumable would work this way.

The inevitable eventuality of items becoming second class is inescapable to a degree whenever there is no chance of losing said items, provided a person continues to seek increased power from gear searching. If a player chooses to focus on one of the powers as opposed to any other, and is of the impression that foregoing the other two is optimal, more power to them. They could be wrong, and could have gotten more power from diversity, should the RNG involved have dropped more useful other attributes such as skill increases or, etc.

If the items were static then I’d understand that mentality. But a player basing the entire build around say chance to proc/ancestral power may find it is actually more tedious of an item hunt to limit their versatility to one power when RNG continues to hand them options that would otherwise still compliment the build in other ways.

I’m on the fence here Skelos. I think I disagree that separating the effects from the powers giving the players the opportunity to assign at will conflicts with the RNG focal point. Correct my mistakenness?

Separating the effects from powers would allow you to do that and still focus on other affixes.

Right now their system forces you to go in one direction:
Each of the three Powers will have a list of affixes that are attuned to it, so depending on which stats you care about, you might want to focus on Angelic, Demonic, or Ancestral Power

This forces you to chose a stat you care about and stack the appropriate power. But this power doesn’t allow you to have a control over its effect, which means if you want to heavily stack procs you’ll end up with non-usable crippled build.

If we separate the effects from the powers and the player could choose the buff-debuff-proc weight depending on his powers distribution he would have much more freedom how to approach such itemization.

So you want to have more control over primary, secondary, tertiary character enhancement through itemization. I get that. But at the cost of sacrifice itself? Because eliminating the requirement to sacrifice other affixes, you’re making the decision easier for the experienced player, not difficult to master. The difficult to master part is important to me. I want it to remain a core principle.

I’m not sure how you can jump to the conclusion that if a person wants to heavily stack ancestral power for the effects it offers (proc%) that they will result in a crippled build given all the factors involved in build making. Giving a person absolute control and the freedom over their approach would also establish meta builds nearly instantaneously. That’s a no from me chief.

No one would sacrifice 7-8 affixes (let’s suppose such a number would probably depend on one power) just to stack proc or whatever. Everyone will focus on these 7-8 affixes and make sure he has them aka everyone ends with almost same amount of Angelic, Demonic and Ancestral power aka buff, debuff, procs enhance.

If you separate the powers from the effects the player would have the freedom to pursue whatever affixes he decides plus whatever effects he aims from the powers.

Imagine blue, yellow and pink stand for Angelic, Demonic and Ancestral power. In the case where we are forced to stack all three of these to get the properties we want the majority of player distribution ends in the black.

If we are free to choose in which direction to push our preference we’ll end up with all kinds of distributions.

This means two major things compared to their current way of working:

  • Items will roll with random requirements not attuned to specific affixes, which serves for more variety
  • Players will be free to choose in which direction - buffs, debuffs, procs - to specialize WITHOUT this being forced due to the attunement mechanic

By not separating them it gives blizzard the option to fine tune how many of what each person is able to acquire. By putting it in the players hands sure, you can have a ‘larger variety’ at first until the meta comes out.

The meta WILL come out. Then it is back to black. That is unless any of this is not presumptuous. All of this is presumptuous.

Now I may be summarizing this falsely, so pardon me if that is true. But essentially what you’re suggesting is that there is a attribute feature on all items that a player can then spend their total allotment of attributes however they deem appropriate (within the confines of the powers attached to the three types)

Now I must be mistaken. But that sounds like combining strength, vitality, energy, and intelligence into 1 category, dividing it into three types of functionalities, and then enabling a player to adjust how they see fit. It would be like stat point accruement minus that instead of earning via experience gain, they gained through item acquisition?

With or without meta their current way delivers always black. With meta mine suggestion changes the color each time, but this is typical for meta, which essentially forces one color, be it at a skill tree, item properties or whatever else.

Yep, exactly. Related to D2 you could stack the needed attribute for the item requirement, but then choose what those points you stacked essentially give your character. For example a skilled player might decide to turn his health buff into damage buff.

I think it should be Celestial, that way you’ll have C for Celestial, D for Demonic, and A for Ancestral :smiley:

It’s valid. I am not familiar with Diablo lore, but as long as those three start with different letters I am fine.

I appreciate the effort. We can agree to disagree. I feel like giving a person this much say in the distribution of power acquired through items gives power from the source of items to much influence. That, and I’d rather just have a competent stat system where the process you depict takes place there. For example, pretty familiar with strength being required to wear or wield heavier items. Endurance(vitality)could be range of health gain per each level. Intelligence(energy) determines rate at which skill resource spending capacity occurs. Wisdom, how far a player can develop a skill in their trees and / or even how soon a person can spend a skill point in the same skill. Dexterity/agility associated with base chance to hit/be hit.

At any rate this is the type of constructive criticism that I feel is most useful for blizzard to develop and release one of the greatest games of all time. Keep it up!

This is better than a stat system since the powers occupy item properties. And one could immediately re-spec his character stats or roll another hero to deliver the needed requirement for an item, but one can’t find immediately a new item with more tuned stats.

Ultimately the system could be extended with all things you wrote like vitality, wisdom etc buffing one’s character stats.

For example, let’s say a player stacked 10 powers on items for a total of 150 points. Then in our system if the player weighted 50% to procs and 50% to wisdom, half of these 150 points would serve for proc buffs and half for wisdom buffs. Then when the player finds and equips a new item without particular power losing 20 Demonic points, the weight would still be 50/50 to procs/wisdom, but these would have with 10 less points each.

Yeah, Diablo 4 looks really promising! They just have to make a longer BETA so these kind of stuff is polished before release.

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Broaden the gap on stat requirement affixes on items that have affixes from multiple stat groups.

So you might have an item with one very powerful demonic affix requiring 100 stat and a less powerful ancestral affix requiring 30 of that stat if you’re running a demonic build with a little bit in ancestral.

If the stat requirements are more or less the same like the item examples they gave you’re just choosing a single stat to build and items that roll multiple different stat affixes are worthless.

Also, please just use strength, dexterity, etc. rather than “demonic power”, “angelic power”, “ancestral power”