The hot topics for D3 these days seem to be RNG dictates everything so luck outweighs skill. I agree to a point. The point of the game is to farm though. It got me thinking that done right, we could make this cake and eat it too.
Area Farming - Make item types more prevalent in certain acts and zones. This makes players looking for certain gear more likely to seek out certain zones rather than rift forever and ever creating repetitive gameplay. Chest become the jack of all trades however: Normal chests allow players to gain access to ANY item in the act while resplendent chests allow players to gain any item from all acts. We keep the absolute RNG factor through chest, but constrain it while actually hunting zones.
Undead related gear in act 1.
Demon slaying gear in act 3.
Poison related gear in the blood marsh. Etc.
Difficulty farming - Legendaries are limited to difficulties: Normal to Torment 6. This creates layers that progresses players from point A to B. Farm your character up to master and get a few legendaries. Now move into T2. It's hard yes, but now new gear opens up and you can farm this difficulty and hunt for gear here to help you progress to the next stage. This also alows scaling to be fixed. People don't fight bosses unless it's for a bounty at this point, and because of RNG, players could have gotten lucky on stats and will just plow through them in 10-30 seconds. Boring. By creating tiers and knowing what players have access to, the game will become interesting to play at all levels as every new difficulty will pose a new challenge and grant you the next step in evolving your characters gear.
"I heard there was an enemy in Act 3/Torment 1 that dropped the rare marauder's helm!"
"Whoa! I love that set. I'm off to do some act 3 bounties then and see if I can get it."
Tempering - Getting the item you wanted since you started is really disappointing when it's got the lowest stats you can get. It's actually a slap to the face. You were basically punished for being unlucky. Tempering is the idea that a player can spend crafting resources to max out his stats on gear. Changing stat affixes is for the enchantress, so you can still be unlucky on WHICH stats you get but once you do get them, you'll be able to start capping them... at a price of course. Every point raised in this item will raise the cost of the next point you raise. Depending on how rare the gear is, you might actually consider farming it again for better stats as paying 450 million gold just doesn't sound worth it. This will also bring value back to gold again. This will provide huge value to farming and salvaging in general. Depending on how ridiculous the Devs wanted to be, it could be quite extravagant:
1 Veil Crystal + x gold = +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity, or +1 Intelligence.
1 Veil Crystal + x gold = +1 Vitality
1 Veil Crystal + x gold = +1 Armor
10 Lizard Eye + x gold = +0.1% Critical Hit Chance
TL;DR - I think Diablo 3 will be better when RNG is constrained without taking it away. You can hunt for specific items, but chests will serve as RNG like in D3's current state. Blood shards and Kadala are just alternative ways to play with RNG as well. Tempering.
Not bad... i like the "tempering" concept... like Leg. gems... other items could follow a similar upgradable path. Tieing items to zones SUCKS... sooo bad ... instead of farming Grifts over and over with "randomness" i get to farm the same Fields of misery ... over and over and over... yea.... cant wait to do the blood marshes for 100 hrs.... NO... same reason they removed the legendary crafting unique materials.... the concepts sounds good on paper... but in practice, it sucked. I do not want to farm the butcher, or any zone / boss to get a drop... Ubers suck not because the Hellfire gear isn't great, but farming the keys is sooooooo boring. (Hence why they made t6 100% drop and made keys a group drop)
But that issue could be easily fixed with drop rate changes. I'd rather play different zones to make each experience fresh than just doing rifts over and over. If I get frustrated, I can go to a new zone instead of having to do another rift because, right now, that's really all I can do for efficiency's sake. Hell, if they actually worked on magic find, it may not be terrible. No matter how you look at it, farming for 1 out of 5-10 items is better than 1 out of 250+.
I also wouldn't mind, with them being conscious of zone farming, for them to take the time to revisit some old zones and tinker with them for a better dungeon crawl experience.
Blizzard introduced rifts and loot spread over all the game so that people dont grind the same spot again and again. Your idea of distributing certain items on certain spots would totally work against that design idea.
difficulty : d3 was much much more difficult in the beginning. People did not like it. Also, you had to play trough the game once on each difficulty, people did not like that either.
tempering : no matter how expensive, the nolifers will just max out every stat on every item they have. It's just a resources sink IMO. If you are worried about items dropping with bad stats, we could always change the range in which stats can roll.
I hate the ideas. As said before, making items farmable in a zone/difficulty goes against what they have done with rifts, and would make the game boring (From what I read, set items are not an issue, everyone has them. It's furnace, tasker, smk, ... that are hard. So everyone would be farming 1 zone over and over and over...).
As for your "tempering", I think most stat ranges are to small already (426-500 mainstat on a chest, difference between a good and bad roll are so small), the option to reroll 1 stat on every item makes it easy to turn most items into above average items. Being able to "temper" every roll on every item to max would take away any difference in items. Might as well put a "tailor" in town where you pick what item you want, what 6 stats (including secondaries) are on it, and how high they roll.
Everyone his opinion, but if you really want options to get any item you want without farming for it (multiple times to get best rolls) for days, just bring the AH and RMAH back (I do love this idea, I loved building sets on stream for viewers, would be a huge community boost again).
In the end, whatever "solution" you come up with, it will always be the same people that have an advantage: those who play a lot. Back in the day with AH, those who played a lot found more items to sell and had more gold, could snipe items and flip, and have the best gear (not talking about RMAH, but was actually a good alternative for people without time to play), now people that play a lot will have the best gear, because they get way more drops and can pick the best one, instead of going with that 1 single drop (talking about entire gear, you can be lucky and get a perfect piece after 2 minutes, but your other pieces are far from perfect). Your "tempering" solution will require gold and mats. Either it's so cheap that everyone has max stats within a few hours, or the advantage for people playing a lot is even bigger (better rolls so lower cost to upgrade to max, and resources to upgrade to max). People will complain about it anyway.
You know whats really funny is when you play a game like this and a guy starts saying you suck when you may have gotten the worst rolls from the broken RNG that so many people are willing to defend because they don't like the idea of zone specific farming or other things that persist you have a specific playstyle to get an item and to be honest, what you're saying is that you would much rather mindlessly do stupid amounts of rifts over and over and over to get screwed over by the same stupid RNG nightmare that Diablo 2 and 1 NEVER had that made -that- game so good because there was GUARANTEED rolls of 10-20% on things and it -always- had those rolls whereas in -this- pile of shit if you roll an item you get 3-4 stats out of 12 with rolls anywhere from 25-100 and 629-750 on an each stat, per item NOT including secondaries which is where all monks get a majority of their toughness (which is what I play), that you really need, that you've been farming since you were Paragon 100 since you took that long to figure out what you needed to do only to be now paragon level 400 which implies you've played at least 4-12 weeks of playtime if you have a normal life (subjective). Tell me, what crack do you smoke, people who are willing to argue with this vicious circle of rift, rift, rift, Grift, rift, rift, bounty, rift, bounty, grift. INSTEAD, why not do, Rift, act boss, bounty, special event, upgrade, try new items, tinker with builds BECAUSE YOU ACTUALLY GET USEFUL GEAR, fun game. End. Try a new char. Instead of Rift, rift, rift, rift, Unfinished character, try a new character, rift, rift, rift, repeat. Never finish a character, never get the gear you need, never have real fun, can't actually enjoy the reason the game's mechanics work the way they do, My guess is the IDEA behind the bad design which is broken was to encourage players to experiment with skills, (then paragon points) and items so that you could figure out if particular things worked or didn't, make builds for specific tasks, such as a certain boss, or rift running. That doesn't happen because, the time it takes to get one set of items you would like to try takes weeks and weeks. This is a CLEARLY broken game mechanic, STOP SUPPORTING THIS. People who bring this up are actually sane. People who support RNG, are probably botting or have had good luck unlike some people. Having an NPC that gives you hope of getting items only to cruely punish you with bad rolls is a terrible mechanic. Consider the mindset, If I farm this item, I could get enough shards and finally get it, Rebuttal to your thought: I could just get a bad roll defeating 7 days of farming? How is that not broken, Whether you group farmed or not, Maybe you can't do T6 and you get kicked from T6s cause your gear is bad, Fun community. I've had that happen. It enrages me to see people defend RNG, It's what has made this game the laughing stock of RPGs, Cause it is no more an RPG than a gambling game, A gambling game that requires you to smash your face into your keyboard for 10-20 minutes about 5 times then cash in, repeat. Etc.
There is no such thing as farming when there is no idea of limit to how long something might take to get what you're looking for.
There is a big difference between farming and playing this time vampire.
It's the "gambling" part that makes it fun. It's the randomness that keeps people that play a lot going, to get that good item. And "weeks and weeks" for a set? I levelled a barb by hand and completed his raekor set in 12 hours of playtime on him. Yes I do miss a furnace on him. Yes I had 600+ paragon to get him started. No I don't care he's not "complete", bet I can finish him after 2 weeks or so. And that makes me play.
Having all the items, on any char, within 12 hours (I'm pretty close, did same thing several times by now), just like everyone else, would push me away from the game.
I started playing WOW at some point. You know what pushed me away? A friend telling me that item x always comes with stats y,z,... It's the randomness that keeps me in D3, as the more time you play, the more you can stand out the group because of your gear. I even think the rolls are too narrow because of this. Nobody really cares if you have a high or low roll anymore, since they are too close anyway...
The idea isn't to remove the gambling. You can still gamble. There would be rifts, Kadala and greater rifts (and technically there is no guarantee you would get exactly what you wanted just like before, so in every zone you are infact gambling.) All that I'm suggesting is to limit everything else outside of rifts to zone specific farming. As for tiered farming, I fail to see the issue since everyone has been doing it since RoS. Certain items do not drop, period, until you hit a specific level. This is a form of tiered drop rate, just tiered off your level not difficulty. There are also a large number of items that do not drop until you are on Torment 1 or higher. This is exactly what I'm referring to. The only difference is that I suggest they spread it out more so people can focus on gear choices with higher success and in turn, create different adventures with every playthrough. My demon hunter may not care for act 1 drops as much as act 3 while my undead charming witchdoctor might be the exact opposite. Paired with my friends, we can create adventures to go on. When we feel we've put in our duty in those acts, we can round out the adventure with a rift run and maybe a greater rift if so lucky. I honestly cannot believe some people are satisfied with running rifts to play the game. There is SO much in the game to do but being funneled into a streamline of repeated randomly generated dungeons is asinine. The only reason we do it is it's the most efficient way to get items. I think by making different zones the place to hunt for specific gear while keeping rifts as the "everything drops here" place to farm, it will give a nice balance so players can take a break from the same thing, over... and over... and over... and over again.
As for the tempering, I explained that nothing changed except that you can eventually max out stats; regardless of the cost, that is the point. This enforces skill play. If two people walk in with the "exact same gear," they will know who is the better player after gaming together. This will make players seek good gameplay habits if they want to progress in the game because the farming game is no longer their motivation (provided they have the exact gear they want.)
In the OP, I understand the frustration of the loot pool, but I don't think restricting items to acts will fix it. They would simply modify drop rates accordingly and you still would have the same chances for the items you do now. They LIKE where the drop rates effectively are right now.
As to tempering, neat idea. I can take it or leave it. Most of these items, however, you will gladly use with bad rolls. Furnace still gives you the crazy bonus even at the low end...but you are still left with the hope of finding one even better later, for example. I don't consider this broken.
As to those who have jumped in with the anti-rifts comments:
D2 was exactly that; farm x for the only/best chance for y. It was one of the biggest complaints about the game. Now, some seem to want it back. Guess the saying is true; "the grass is always greener on the other side".
Rifts ARE variety, yet the argument of this thread is they want "variety" by farming one act for what they want...