On the official Diablo III blog, senior game designer Andrew Chambers took the time out to describe the new improvements coming to the Legendary items. Chambers writes that the team has addressed “biggest complaints we heard from you all, along with some we had from our team.”
First on the docket, Chambers writes about how the team has tried to make the items more memorable, taking the idea of “Uniques” and being true to that original spirit while making these enhancements.
“The rarity of Legendary items combined with their color means that when they drop you should feel like you’re getting something special, something that isn’t just another sword. A truly legendary item should have history behind it, something that you can imagine a powerful wizard imbuing with special magics from within the depths of his musty library,” writes Chambers, continuing,
“Part of that feeling comes when you equip the item, and you see that it has special, custom artwork that sets it apart from every other item in the game. The artists already nailed this part of it, but with 1.0.4 they’ve gone the extra mile to ensure these items show off, visually, how truly epic they are. But we’ll cover that in a bit.”
The post even displays a number of before-and-after photos, noting the differences made for weapons like Skycutter and Maximus.
Next, Chambers writes about promoting “build diversity,” allowing for greater character customization and encouraging people to try new things, writing,
“In 1.0.4 we've added a number of items that really fit into a niche skill kit. This can help people to branch out into less common builds by seeing this item and thinking, heck, why not give it a try? They may not have the highest DPS stats in the game, but they can help you play your class in new and interesting ways.”
Chambers appends to that point the ever-important need to “provide interesting choices,” which is an interesting and example-laden way of saying that items have been better balanced to provide more dynamic gameplay. He also writes about bringing back items from the original Diablo, not just in name but in spirit as well.
The final major point is that the items “feel powerful.” That is, the team has decided to no longer reduce the value of affixes on Legendary items, making them feel as strong as they should be. Chambers writes,
“For example, if an ilvl 50 Legendary item had Strength as one of its fixed affixes, previously it may have rolled a range that you would have seen on a level 45 item, making it seem really underpowered, but now it will always roll within the range of a level 50 affix.”
“In addition, Legendary items used to cap out at ilvl 62, making it near impossible to find a weapon that had strong DPS. No more. We’ve promoted a LOT of the new Legendaries so that they will roll at ilvl 63, giving them access to the highest possible affix rolls that are in the game.”
There are a few more points worth taking a look at, as well as additional details on each of these fixes to be found here.