Itemization Revamp is Undergoing Testing

Xbox 360 D3 gameplay, and Blizzard Blues about the long process towards the items overhaul

Diablo III Xbox 360 Multiplayer Demo
The Diablo III itemization revamp work continues, with some ideas being prototyped and tried out in a test environment. Recent posts from the Blizzard Blues cover that info, along with changes to items for the console version of Diablo III, and other topics.

Diablo III Xbox 360 Gameplay Demo with Josh Mosqueira
A video from E3 shows off the Diablo III console game, but this time on the Xbox 360. Game Director Josh Mosqueira runs the demo, and one feature he talks about is new to the console: the Nephalem Globes which have a chance to drop instead of a health globe. The globes give a short speed and damage buff, that you can extend and change by picking up more health globes. The Nephalem Globe buff can be seen for both characters in the screenshot above, from the video. Those buffs were mentioned by the developers as possibly being ported from the console to the PC version of Diablo III, at some point after the release of the console versions.

There is a report in the Xbox 360 Official Magazine that also previews the game on that console, providing another perspective.

Itemization Revamp Work
Vaeflare replied to a post that asked about the availability of patch 1.0.9 for the PC Diablo III; as usual, Blizzard doesn't give out dates for patches ahead of time. The discussion then turned to the itemization revamp, which won't be arriving until "post-BlizzCon" many months from now, as mentioned in our recent developer interview. The ideas for that entire overhaul are now in testing, as the developers work out all the new items to be added, and changes made to many systems within Diablo III.
Hi, am just wondering if we have an ETA on the 1.0.9 patch that will mostly address Itemization. Reason I ask is because its way to out of hand already and prices/availability are insane. It seems some times that I spend way more time looking/searching in AH than I do playing the game itself!

An ETA would be Awesome, thanks in advance!
Just as with our other patches, we don’t really share when future patches will land ahead of time, so we don’t have an ETA to share with you at the moment for when the next patch will be.

It takes time for to develop, test, implement, and then refine each change and feature, and when we say we’re working on it, we truly are. As Wyatt points out in this interview, we've been doing more than just “talking about” it, too. We’ve already started to prototype some ideas (which we’ve called out in blogs, posts, and chats), and are now putting them into action in test environments to see what works and what doesn’t. In many cases, those ideas can be improved further, so they’ll likely have to go through a lot of iteration before they'll bring a lot of value to the game and are ready for primetime -- especially since itemization touches a lot of other areas of the game like skills, passives, drop rates, combat pacing, and overall difficulty. Any time you’re looking to make notable changes to a core feature of a game (e.g. itemization), you have to keep in mind that it’s probably also going to deeply affect other systems too. So, making changes to itemization, at least to the extent that we’re looking at, will not only take some time, but it’ll likely occur around the same time that we make changes to those other systems as well.

TL;DR: Issues like itemization are incredibly important to us, but it’s a particularly complex issue, and not one that is easy to address. As developers recently stated, it’ll be awhile yet until the itemization revamp is complete (think post-BlizzCon), but we’ll be sure to share detailed more information about how everything is coming along as soon as there are any new developments. In the meantime, you can find out a bit more about our vision for it in a developer interview that was recently posted over on Diablo Somepage.

White or Grey Items Converting to Gold
Another post about the itemization changes talks about some currently console-specific item changes. There is a chance that grey or white item drops on the console versions will instead be converted into gold.
No need to worry: The itemization changes Travis introduced in the Developer Journal were intended for the PC version all along, and that hasn't changed. It is true that itemization on the console has been adjusted, too, but these adjustments are made to better tailor the experience to the platform.

For example, you'll see less items drop on console and those that drop will typically be of higher quality overall. Also, when a white or grey item drops, there is a chance it gets automatically converted into gold. These changes are made to manage the flow of gameplay and give console players the opportunity to focus on combat as much as possible, and spend less time managing their inventory.

Again, these are console-specific adjustments, not to be confused with the itemization revamp that is in the works for the PC version.

Self-Found Playstyle
There have been a lot of discussions recently about the self-found mode of play in Diablo III, which is a way for players to infuse more of a challenge in the game instead of just buying items off the Auction House.
Look. Stop with all the self found crap already. What does it matter if your character is "self found" or not. There are too many variations and arguments about what it truly means. Also do you REALLY thing that Bliz is going to give you some kind of recognition for being too broke to use the RMAH to either get gold or buy items? No they're not because they will get nothing for it. FACT companies only recognize those that spend money. Do you get anything cool for Para 100? No but do you get something cool if you buy the collectors edition and sit at level 1 forever.. YES.. Same with heart of the swarm.. You won't receive anything special for finding your own gear.

To truly be "Self found" you must literally FIND EVERYTHING.. Get your own gold for crafting (NO AH) find your own gems, recipes, armor, and weapons... and even after you do all that .. All of my SELF FOUND ON THE AH gear is going to make my toons stronger than yours. Stop trying to be snobs over not having the money to invest in the game.. Just play and move on. Flip items in the AH if you can't afford to buy gold. Buy the best gear you can.. enjoy high end MP difficulties.
People play Diablo III in different ways, and that’s entirely fine by us. Some players prefer the additional challenge of Hardcore mode, and some don’t. In a similar vein, some players have a lot of fun playing Diablo III using only the gear their heroes have uncovered in game, while other players prefer to utilize the Auction House. There’s nothing wrong with either, and in fact many of our developers enjoy playing self-found characters. If you don’t enjoy playing those sorts of characters, that’s totally fine, but please be respectful of players who do.

Self-found mode is something we still debate internally, in terms of if we want to try to support it as an official gameplay style. In concept, it sounds cool to recognize that your character is self-found, but there are a lot of different ways to play Diablo III, and we can’t support every niche gameplay style as a full playstyle within the game. That said, it’s still a topic we’re discussing.

You can read a bit more about what Wyatt Cheng and Travis Day had to say about self-found mode on Archon the Wizard’s recent stream here and here, or you can watch the streams for yourself here.

Dealing with Death in Hardcore Mode
Playing hardcore increases the risks dramatically in Diablo III, but that is what makes it so interesting. Vaeflare talks about the extra thrill that can be found in hardcore, knowing that death is only one misstep away.
Sometimes I get interested in trying out HC but I always shy away because I know I would be too frustrated if my toon, which I invested maybe dozens if not more hours in it would die.

What's your mindset about it? I really would like to hear your mental strategies becaus I cannot imagine anybody could just shrug it off (for a toon that has dozens of hours and at least decent gear).

I don't think most Hardcore players "just shrug it off" if their character dies, but I can only attest to the attitude I see from my circle of friends. Most of us feel at least some level of bitterness when a hero is lost, but we also feel the added value is well worth the genuine risk. Personally, I feel like the best way to tackle Hardcore is by placing a higher value on the immediate experience rather than long term character progression. In short, have fun killing demons right here, right now. When I look at Diablo III like that, Hardcore is a lot of fun.

Don't get me wrong, I play both modes, and I think that's the best choice. Sometimes you want to play without a steep penalty for making a mistake, or just be where your friends are.
to die?

Honestly, I wonder about this question a lot. Sometimes I get interested in trying out HC but I always shy away because I know I would be too frustrated if my toon, which I invested maybe dozens if not more hours in it would die.

What's your mindset about it? I really would like to hear your mental strategies becaus I cannot imagine anybody could just shrug it off (for a toon that has dozens of hours and at least decent gear).
I think that for me, part of the enjoyment comes from the excitement that death can be right around the next corner at any time, and that sense of anticipation keeps me on my toes.

When I was growing up, a lot of the games I enjoyed the most had that sense of finality to them, where if you died (or ran out of a limited number of lives), you simply had to start over. Because of that very real risk, I found that how I approached fights fundamentally changed when I was aware that my last fight could be my last. It's for that reason that I tend to change it up and play both regular mode and Hardcore in Diablo III.

Dying is never fun, but I don't find that the sting of losing a hero lasts too long. (My most recent Hardcore hero actually met her demise due to the fact that a renegade cat hair had unceremoniously lodged itself under a section of my mouse. Bah!) My recommendation would be to just try it out, particularly if you have a friend or two that is willing to accompany you in Sanctuary and watch your back.

Just remember that while your hero may not live forever, their deeds will indeed be remembered.
Some experiences you just can't get in SC, like this one I posted about a week or two ago...

You can NEVER experience anything like that in SC.

I just read that post, and that sounded like one hell of a fight. Great read!

Getting Gold in Hardcore
Grimiku talked about how he gets gold on the hardcore side of things, and the extra difficulty goal of playing self-found in hardcore mode!
I never had a lot of gold in HC, but most of my funds came early on from selling a nice Unity that enabled a few upgrades to my Witch Doctor. The remainder of that gold is just sitting in my bank, though, since I swapped to self found. I tend to avoid flipping (even when I'm on a character that uses the auction house), because I prefer the kind of progression that stems from grinding upgrades.
Posted by: WordMaster

How many self-found characters do you have, and how many use the auction house?

I have three self found characters. One is a SC DH, but is using an "account found" style. I don't know if that counts. The main character I'm focusing on now is a purely self found HC Barbarian who mostly plays solo. I'm still pretty low level (Act III Normal), but I've been strict with ensuring he doesn't use ill-begotten items or gold. The rest of my characters all use the gold auction house.
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