That's an interesting idea. It is unfortunate when you see a legendary crossbow, pick it up, and realize its a Hellrack. I've got an alternate idea, what if we make all the legendary items good so that you can Actually get excited even if you know it's a Hellrack?
On Gear Customization and Stats
Grimiku gave a reminder that Blizzard are working not only on itemization, but also visual enhancements for gear.
We’ve seen a number of post letting us know that there are a lot of players who want to be able to customize how a piece of armor appears, and the good news is that we agree. Being able to distinguish yourself from other players can be compelling, and it goes a long way to enrich Diablo III's experience. We don't have an estimate on when this feature will make it into the game, but it's something we're working on. Travis Day is one of the game designers on Diablo III, and this is what he had to say on the subject.
I agree, visual customization has a lot of value, people like to differentiate themselves from each other or sometimes just get bored of looking at the same thing all day every day. In fact we agree SO much that we have plans to add this feature in the future.
Back in March we posted a developer journal focused on itemization, and Travis made a brief reference to customizing the appearance of armor then, too. Here is a link to the entire blog, but the section I quoted below is towards the bottom of the Gold Sinks Should be Exciting section.
"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’re also exploring ways to customize gear that isn’t just aesthetic, like giving players the ability to augment stats and sockets:
Don: 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
All of these systems have their positives and negatives, so we want to make sure we make the right choice and consider all other changes we plan on making before deciding which systems we want to implement.
As far as the Mystic goes, she's a cunning lady. I’m sure we haven't seen the last of her.
Wyatt: 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.
So, to answer your question, it’s something that’s definitely on the table for the future, but it likely won’t be identical to the system that was in Diablo II or the early iterations of Diablo III.
I thought " What if All Legendaries Were Good " was going to be another pseudo-philosophical serving of why it's good that a major part of 0.5% of the drops are useless, even though no argument there never really held any water. It's not hard to make certain browns more interesting choices for followers, certain class builds, maybe even certain areas of the game or certain other legendaries / set bonuses.
Apparently Travis Jay is all over it though. He sure made great progress as far as becoming the new scapegoat/ghostcrawler of D3 since I last checked.
Only the slight possibility that a legendary item COULD be good helps a lot. There are only a few items like that. Even if Vile Ward is not BiS anymore, it's still nice to find since it can be better than many crafted archon spaulders. For a specific build, I guess there will always be a BiS item though. Atm helms for DH are a good example where you can choose between DPS/EHP with Mempo/Natalya's/rare helm, or in my case, since a really good rare helm is hard to find - Tal Rasha's
I'm sorry, but why is this 'What if all Legendaries were good' even a question? That's the whole point of finding a legendary item. They should have been amazing from the release of the game, and it's still taking Blizzard this long to make all of them worth any value other than just vendor trash. /sigh, /facepalm
Because there is no ladder, you will always run into this problem every 2-3 months. That's why Blizzard introduces new items, new crafting, etc. every 3-4 months. The itemization sucks, yes. But we didn't know that until at least 3-4 months into the game, when we started to find the best items and noticed there was no way to find upgrades anymore. Upgrades will become easy to find temporarily, then you'll hit the new ceiling and not be able to find upgrades again.
I really hope they are careful when it comes to transmog, I think legenadary items should be left out of this feature. It shouldn't be just the stats that make the legendary it should also be the aesthetics as well. People should be able to look at a character and be like "wow, that guy is using a GF!" rather then "hmm, I wonder what that sword is he's using that looks like the GF"
What I'm hoping Travis is trying to hint at is that all legendary items will serve their purpose when it comes to different builds. Items that make us want to gear different or aim for stacking different stats.
One year and they haven't even gotten such simple aspects of the game fixed. Take a gander at that PoE update history sometime folks, where is even 1/100th of that for D3? Some of you have successfully been led along by words and empty promises for this long, in expectation of what? The *chance* that you'll get to buy an expansion that MIGHT fix the issues? How about PvP?
But we didn't know that until at least 3-4 months into the game, when we started to find the best items and noticed there was no way to find upgrades anymore.
And really, 3-4 months? Were you not around at release? You know when legendaries had no unique stats, when IAS was suddenly nerfed 2 weeks later. It wasn't a matter of finding them, it was a matter of them existing at all.