Diablo III lead content designer Kevin Martens recently spoke with PC Gamer about the revamped loot system heading our way in a patch to be released just before the Reaper of Souls launch. He said the goal is to pull players out of the Auction Houses and into the streets and corridors to rob the barrels and dig through entrails for gold and goodies.
He told the magazine that while trading is a perfectly legitimate way to obtain items like weapons and armor, the game was designed for adventuring first. Yet somehow, by the endgame, players are instead heading into the Auction Houses first, and then playing the game. As we've reported in the past, some players spend most of their Diablo III time selling and buying items to make a buck instead of hacking the monsters.
"It is fun to go buy something instantly, the instant gratification feel, that sugar high," he said. "However it’s not the core fantasy, it’s not the most fun and by the endgame, for a variety of reasons, they tend to check the auction house first and play the game second."
Thus the new loot, enchanting and crafting systems have set out to hack "the legs out from the Auction Houses ", to make it unnecessary to enter the Houses to a certain extent. To help keep players out in the field, Loot 2.0 will use a smart drop system that dumps items tuned to the player's character. The team is also loading up the system with more Legendaries with extra effects, and a new artisan called the Mystic that will let players transmute items.
Additionally, the team is working on a new Loot Run mode that will randomly generate a new 15 to 20 minute dungeon for hunting treasure without repeating the same locations. "So we say ‘Oh, you want efficiency? How about efficiency, like Loot Runs, how about you definitely get the best gear from there. Mathematically, that’s the best.’ Then they can stop doing that Alkaizer run in act three that everyone does," Martens added.
Lead writer Brian Kindregan pointed out that fans should be playing the game to have fun and to discover new loot. If they can't find a specific item, then they can craft it. If they can't craft it, then they should head into the Auction Houses. That said, the Diablo III team has no plans to completely eliminate the Auction Houses.
“Trading’s not invalid, it’s just that it's been skewed so if you’re a character who’s spending money maybe you’re getting eighty percent of your gear from the Auction House, and 20 percent in game," Martens said. "It should be the reverse at best. It’s more fun to kill monsters. It’s the same thing I said about Loot Runs. If you want the best gear, let’s put it in a place in-game where you’re killing monsters."
For more information about Reaper of Souls, head here.