A guide to the planned Diablo III additions in patch 1.0.9 and beyond
- Future Diablo III Patches: This guide contains information on the upcoming patches for Diablo III. As with any patch development, the specifics can always change; nothing here is set in stone.
- Last Updated: May 7, 2013 for the patch 1.0.8 release date. See other yellow text for the updated sections.
- The Future Patch: Beyond patch 1.0.8, work is being done on a future major content patch for Diablo III, which will likely be titled patch 1.0.9. (It may be given another number, but if it follows the naming sequence so far, the patch after 1.0.8 will be patch 1.0.9, so we will call it that unless it is officially renamed.)
- All About Items: From the details so far, the primary focus of this next major patch will be itemization, the process for how items are crafted or dropped in Diablo III, and the stats on those items.
- Big Plans: The developers have laid out large plans for what they hope to accomplish in the patch, in the Developer's Journal on Itemization and the multiple stages of the ongoing Ask the Devs second session.
- Itemization Changes All At Once: The big itemization changes listed below will not happen in patch 1.0.8, but instead a big group of them will happen out all at once in a future patch. "We don’t have a timeline yet for when our itemization changes will be implemented. Some of the changes are pretty substantial, so we want to make sure that we not only do them the right way, but that we incorporate most of them at the same time, because we know it can be super confusing and frustrating to players to have to constantly readjust to how the item game works."
- Legendary/Set levels and power based on monster level: "We plan to allow Legendary items to also roll their base stats (weapon DPS and armor value) at the level of the monster that dropped them". Low-level legendaries will drop in Inferno, and high level legendaries will drop at lower levels. Legendary and set items across the board will drop at nearly all levels, with their stats and required level based on the level of the monster that dropped it. All legendary and set items will be able to drop in Inferno.
- Scaling Legendary Bonuses: In addition to the standard stats on a legendary item scaling based on the level of the monster that dropped it, the bonus stats that can only be found on legendary items will scale based on the the level of that monster. "How each bonus on a Legendary or Set items scales will ultimately depend on the bonus itself. Some bonuses (such as the +EXP bonus on Leoric’s Signet) scale equally well from level 1 to level 60. On the other hand, some bonuses like procs that generate pets, or procs that deal damage effects, don’t always scale well as you get to the higher levels, but those will be changed wherever possible to scale with the level that they drop at."
Higher level versions of Legendary items such as Leoric's Signet will be available after the itemization revamp patch
- Making powerful, interesting legendary items: Instead of just high raw stats, add legendary items that encourage different specs and play styles. "Potential future Legendary item ideas include a Voodoo Mask that increases pet damage, a Barbarian set that makes Call of the Ancients last until they die (after we give them full pet survivability), a Wizard Orb that allowed for two Hydras to be active at once, or boots that read 'Makes you ethereal, allowing you to freely move through enemies'." Another discussion of item affixes has info on the type of legendary affixes that are less likely to be added: changes like "make proc scalars better with this item" require too much math, where they want them to be affixes that are instantly and viscerally understandable.
- Make Rare items drop less, with better rolls: "We plan to reduce the frequency at which Rare items drop down the road... suppose items currently roll between 1-100 Intelligence. Now, imagine that we dropped 25% as many items, but the Intelligence range was instead somewhere around 75-100. In the end, you'd find fewer items, but more of the items you find would be worth equipping. That's our goal."
- Increased Item Value: When the previous change goes in, the value of drops will likely be increased for both sale to merchants and salvaging. "Reducing the drop rate of items in the future will certainly impact the rate at which players acquire gold and crafting materials and we will adjust values where necessary to compensate for this."
- Add Exciting Gold Sinks: More interesting and useful gold sinks, like the Rare crafting recipes added in Patch 1.0.7. "Other avenues we want to explore include providing players with vanity options or potential ways to differentiate themselves from their friends or other characters (i.e. character customization options in terms of gear). We are also exploring ways to make crafting more exciting by adding not just more ways to make appealing items, but also introducing ways to modify existing items."
- Item Customization: A way to change the look of items will be added, much like the "transmogrification" option available in World of Warcraft. This is still being worked on.
- Farm Monsters, Not the Auction House: "Give players more ways to find items they are excited about:
- One idea that we have discussed is "targeted Legendaries," where named NPCs have an increased chance of dropping specific legendary items. For example, The Butcher could have an increased chance of dropping The Butcher's Carver.
- Another idea is that we introduce a system that will help alleviate some of the bad randomness players encounter by ensuring that at least some of the Rare and Legendary items you find will be something good for your class.
- We've also discussed allowing bosses the first time you kill them in each difficulty to have a guaranteed chance to drop a Legendary."
- Removing "Bad Stats" on Class-Specific Items: "Class specific items can roll non class appropriate primary stats, we have plans to change this down the road. While random really is at the core of Diablo in so many ways this is certainly one of the areas where it has no potential to benefit players. Wizards don't use Strength, Demon Hunters don't use Intelligence so let's just remove those as potential random attributes on Orbs and Quivers respectively."
A Quiver with the primary stat of Strength
Quivers rolling their primary stat as Strength doesn't really play any role here; however, we don’t want to remove randomness completely and have it be a forgone conclusion that every quiver you pick up will roll with the exact stats you want. While we are changing it so that class specific items can't roll the primary value of a different class's stat, that doesn't mean you will never see +Strength on a quiver. What it does mean is you will only see +Strength on a quiver if it came as part of a Dex/Str affix or a Str/Vit affix, which is providing some benefit (even if not ideal) to the class the item is intended for."
- Fixing Undesired Stats: "Some of the future changes involve making item affixes that aren’t currently good into something that at least some players are really excited to see. A good example of this is Pickup Radius and Witch Doctors. Sure not everyone wants a lot of Pickup Radius on their gear but there are some specs of WD that love it and want as much as possible and we want to expand that idea further. Thorns is a good example of a stat that, at its core has potential, but in reality falls short. While we plan to improve thorns by allowing a players primary stat to increase its damage, we have other plans that help further embrace thorns for specific classes and specs."
- Reworking "Thorns": Another post on the topic: Making Thorns more useful, perhaps by scaling from primary stats, or other changes. Possibly the addition of another similar affix that works as well for ranged as melee damage.
- Witch Doctor skills: Possible improvements, including to Haunt and potentially other damage-over-time skills.
- UI Improvements: The developers are working on ideas for a better active buff display. "We think that it would be great to be able to view more than five of your active buffs, and we’re looking into solutions that would ensure players are able to view buffs that are important to them, while also keeping UI clutter to a minimum. Ideally, we’d like to avoid situations where a portion of your screen is overwhelmed by buff icons (for example, just having your buffs stack across the bottom of your bar) and we’re still experimenting with different ways to present that information in a format that works well for Diablo III." Since patch 1.0.8 increased the number of buffs that can display from 5 to 8, it is unknown whether there will be any other immediate changes to that display.
- Gambling in Crafting: The developers aren't looking to add UnIDs to the Auction House. They have thought about adding other gambling type of activities for items in the game, though, like Gheed in Diablo II; "crafting is certainly a good place to introduce mechanics of this nature. Crafters didn't really end up fulfilling their intended role so we frequently discuss ways to improve them and rerolling the stats of an item is one of the ideas that has come up before."
- Customizing Item Stats: "Giving players more control and customization of their item stats is something we talk about a lot in our office. There have been a lot of ideas thrown around here and some great suggestions from the community, but we have not finalized any systems yet. To give you an idea of what direction we're heading toward, though, here are just a few ideas that we're considering right now:
- The ability to change a portion of a particular stat on an item to another stat of your choice
- The ability to augment an existing item with a stat bonus of your choice
- The ability to create an item with one or several fixed affixes—similar to the Rare recipes introduced in 1.0.7
- We've also discussed adding other types of "socketables" with a wide variety of possible affixes that you can put in your socketed items instead of gems
- Improving Items Over Time: "When the game was in development, the Blacksmith had the ability to add a socket to an item. Adding a socket makes the item better, so you pretty much always wanted to do it, and we found adding the socket felt like a small chore that didn’t actually increase the gameplay depth. You already need to insert gems to a socketed item, and felt having to add a socket as well would be a step too many.
With that in mind, there are still some gameplay benefits to adding a socket that we’d still like to capture. Although having to add a socket every time can feel like a chore, if there was a mechanic that made it a legitimate decision, that is something we could explore. Additionally, there’s something to be said for feeling more invested in an item—taking steps to improve an item increases your emotional bond with it, which is something we could definitely do better at."
- Fixing Elemental Weapon Damage vs. "Black" Weapons: There are two bugs that go into the issue with elemental weapons versus "black" weapons. Those will both be fixed: "Part of the itemization revamp will include moving to fixed versions of the elemental damage increasing attribute, as well as the MinMaxDamage affix—put simply, we'd fix the bugs for new items. "Legacy" items will continue to use the current (bugged) version. The new versions will likely bear different language such as "Fire damage you deal is increased by 5%" to differentiate from the old mechanics."
- Adding More Recipes Like 1.0.7: "It's hard to say for sure, but I don't see any reason why not. As we revisit items in general, we'll be looking at how crafting fits into the big picture, and it's certainly possible that we'll add more recipes at that time."
- Endless Dungeons: "Replayability and ideas like Endless Dungeons come up a lot around the office. We definitely have plans to expand the game in these areas. Adding more monster power levels is also something that we have discussed. I personally love the idea of an endless dungeon, don't take that as a quote that I promised we are adding them though! At the heart of that idea is something really compelling, wave events, endless dungeons, hold out missions etc."
- Keeping 'Wrath of the Berserker' and 'Archon' From Unlimited Duration: "There is no fundamental flaw with having a 2 minute cooldown ability that transforms your character and is really powerful, the problem is when it becomes a forgone conclusion that these AWESOME abilities are up 100% of the time and instead of being excited that they are up you are annoyed when they fall off. We have talked about what if anything we want to do with these abilities in the long term. I will say we have no short term plans to change them but we don't like that they aren't fulfilling their original purpose which is to provide a really awesome button that mixes up the tempo of combat for a small window of time... Any future change that we would consider making to either this or Archon would be focused on making these not a 100% uptime abilities. Wrath isn't the problem, Wrath of the Berserker - Thrive on Chaos and the assist duration extending mechanic of Archon are the problems."
We can only make educated guesses at this point, but a patch 1.0.9 schedule might look like this:
Patch 1.0.8 - Patch 1.0.8 is complete, and went live on May 7.
Ask the Devs - The second session of the Ask the Devs event is currently running. This ongoing developer Q&A session is all about Itemization, which appears to be the prime focus for patch 1.0.9. There were two rounds of answers so far, and at least one more round is coming, as the developers work through the changes they want to make for items in Diablo III.
Developer Announcements - Beyond the Ask the Devs event, we may see a big overview of the changes that will be going into patch 1.0.9. We'll know better at that time which of the many ideas listed to the left, will actually end up in the patch. The community managers and developers have been very communicative lately as well, so we can expect a lot of blue posts as well.
Landing on the PTR - Just like patch 1.0.8, a major patch that involves large changes in items like patch 1.0.9 will need to be tested on the PTR. Once it arrives there, it will likely need the standard 3-4 weeks of testing.
Patch 1.0.9 Release - This is all very speculative, since patch 1.0.8 was just released. The standard development time for major patches in Diablo III has been right around 3 months. If the same schedule continues for patch 1.0.9, we will likely see it arrive on the PTR in July, and the patch 1.0.9 release date will be in August.
- Monk Active Skills: Big meaningful changes to Monk skills: changes to runes and mobility for Dashing Strike and Lashing Tail Kick. This was mentioned before Patch 1.0.7, which gave Monks straight damage increases, not the ideas mentioned in that old blue post. Those sort of changes may happen in the future, or the developers may have decided they aren't needed.
- Monk Passives: Eventually an overhaul to the One With Everything passive, once the developers figure out how best to do it, without devaluing the gear Monks currently use. The most recent post on the subject, right before patch 1.0.7 was released:
- Wizard Skills: Increasing Wizard skill synergy. This was also mentioned back before so many Wizard skills were buffed in damage, in Patch 1.0.7. There weren't any synergistic skill changes made in that patch, so this may still be something the developers plan on looking at in a future patch.
- Adjusting the Nephalem Valor system, to make it easier to run games that are 5-10 minutes long, and still have them be rewarding.
- Adding commas or spaces to break up long gold numbers in the Auction House and trading UI.
- Fixing the Auction House search to be able to search by total block %, instead of just the +block amount.
- Making banners more interesting in some fashion. Patch 1.0.8 brought a start to this, with the icons over banners when a character is busy fighting an Elite or Treasure Goblin.
- Looking into some possibilities that would make using set items on Followers a more appealing choice.
- Updates for the Similar Items search option in the Auction House UI.
- Making the drops in chests and other environment objects once again affected by Magic Find and Gold Find.
- Make dyes work on Legendary items. Patch 1.0.7 made it so that Vanishing Dye and All-Soap's Miraculous Dye Remover work on legendary items, but there is a lot of technical art work to be done, before legendary items can be dyed like other items. This will not be arriving in patch 1.0.8.
- Adding an option to "Appear Offline" when playing Diablo III.
- Adjusting "Life on Kill" type mechanics to not be as punishing in co-op play. In patch 1.0.8 kills by other players will extend the duration of Archon, and Life on Kill and other similar mechanics will be fixed in a future patch.
- Changing the salvage result from a Hellfire Ring. This was changed in patch 1.0.7 to regularly provide a Fiery Brimstone. In a future patch down the road, it may be changed again to provide a Key or Organ used in crafting of a Hellfire Ring.
- No Web Auction House: Since Blizzard is trying to lower the power of the AH in Diablo III, they will not be adding a web based interface to the Auction House.
- No Health Reduction for Goblins: There had been talk of reducing Treasure Goblin health at high Monster Power levels. The developers eventually decided not to do this:
- Daily Quests or Rewards are unlikely in Diablo III because of the extra pressure they put on players, making playing the game feel mandatory.
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