Improving the Blacksmith and Crafting

  • Here are some ideas that I’ve collected from different sources along with some of my own.

    Crafting is not a broken system as it is, but there’s a lot of work to be done there. I know it’s not all set in stone yet (I’m looking at the legendary crafts), but here goes.

    <code>Tiers of Power:</code>
    While there are tiers in terms of level ranges, I think even max level crafts need tiers. Take a look at MOBA games. You can use/buy certain Tier-1 items to combine into a single Tier-2 item. You can then combine different Tier-2 items and/or Tier-1 items into another Tier-2 item or a Tier-3 item. So on and so forth.

    I think it’d be pretty cool if you can:

      Step 1: Craft a one-handed legendary sword with unique property X

      Step 2: Craft another one-handed legendary sword with unique property Y

      Step 3: Using different materials and gold, along with the two legendary swords, craft a higher tier one-handed legendary sword with either A. both unique properties X and Y or B. a brand new unique property

    It’s still based on the recipe system, where you have to find the plans to start crafting. You still have to grind out the materials. In a way, think of the item components like gems you use to combine into a higher tier gem.

    As a real example, I’ll go to the old-school DotA All-stars mod from WarCraft III.
    Buriza-do Kyanon (Tier-3)
    Cost: X Gold
    Requirements: Demon Edge, Crystalys, Recipe

    Crystalys (Tier-2)
    Cost: X Gold
    Requirements: Broadsword, Claws of Attack, Recipe

    Demon Edge (Tier-2)
    Cost: X Gold
    Requirements: None

    Broadsword (Tier-1)
    Cost: X Gold
    Requirements: None

    Claws of Attack (Tier-1)
    Cost: X Gold
    Requirements: None

    As seen, it takes work grinding your way up. However, the final product should be really, really awesome and you know it’s going to be awesome. That’s why you will strive for it.

    <code>Legendary Plans</code>
    There will always be instances when a duplicate legendary plan will drop for your character. Since they are account bound and your Blacksmith is accessible across all your characters, I feel there should be a use for duplicate plans. While the game can always just “check” to see if the player already has a plan, thereby preventing the duplicate plan from dropping at all, I think it’s better to make these duplicate plans exciting for the player.

    Let the player use the legendary plan as a voucher to craft that item at the Blacksmith with no further cost. In a way, it’s like you’re finding a legendary item drop, not a plan. Yes, this includes working with the previously mentioned higher tier legendary craftable items. Skip the prerequisites and directly craft the higher tier weapon… if you can find the rare legendary plan for the second time. If it’s hard enough the first time to track down the plan, then the second time it comes around shouldn’t be, “Damn, I already have this.” It should be, “Oh, cool, let’s see what I can get from this!”

    <code>Basic Crafts</code>
    So all that awesome stuff listed before sounds like it’ll make crafting basic rares an obsolete task, right?

    There are a couple of ways to improve these. One is to use crafted rares as a type of Tier-1 item to use as ingredients in higher tier legendary crafts. You may or may not still be using these rares on your character while you’re grinding away, but once you find the other components of the legendary craft you’re striving for, you can progress by converting the rare you’re using to legendary quality.

    Another way is to add even more gambling elements into Blacksmith crafting. Perhaps add a certain quality gem to enhance certain stats on a craft so that it can roll higher than in-game dropped items. For example:

    A standard rare pair of gloves that drop in-game at level 70 can reach 615 primary stats. If you try crafting a pair of level 70 rare gloves, perhaps throw in an Imperial Ruby and allow the gloves to potentially reach 715 strength instead of 615. Of course, the Mystic will have to be adjusted to consider pre-modified crafted stats. This also gives gems another purpose, especially lower ones if you happen to be “gemmed out” with Flawless Royal types (yes, I know gems are also part of jewelry crafting).

    That’s it for now. Thoughts on improving the Blacksmith? I find myself spending a lot more time between crafting gems and enchanting items, but I really only use the Blacksmith for salvaging unwanted items.
    Diablo III MVP | Forever a Wizard
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    Twitter: @Jaetch
  • Thanks for the excellently formatted and thoughtful feedback, Jaetch!

    I'd like to hear from other participants as well - for those of you who have toyed with crafting in the current Beta patch, what new aspects do you most enjoy? Which areas do you think we can improve upon?