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Blizzard on Item Set Improvements

New item sets for Patch 2.3..
New item sets for Patch 2.3..
The last two days we debated the devs’ philosophy on MP vs. SP experience bonuses and the issue of UI/buff display, based on comments the devs made during this week’s chat.

Moving to another topic that’s (probably) less controversial, here’s a round up of their various comments on item sets. These were mostly crowd pleasing, with promises of more new stuff and rebalances/improvements to under-used sets. The main complaint/request I see about item sets is the issue of six piece sets all being mandatory and not allowing much gear variety.

Most (all?) of the powerful builds in the game require one six piece item set, plus at least one and often 2 or 3 related legendary items. This results in fairly limited gear variety, with only a few paperdoll slots that aren’t basically mandatory for each strong. While it seems fair that the strongest powers only become available when you’ve got multiple items tied up to enable them, lots of players want more variety in gear and don’t want to be tied into 6 or 8 or more items in each build.

This issue was only indirectly addressed in the chat, with Wyatt saying he had some plans for improving 2 and 4 item sets that might make it into the next patch.

[blue]Will there be more builds that work without 6pc sets in the future? I’m playing a shenlong monk at the moment and it’s glorious. I really think this is the direction you should take itemization in.
WyattCheng: Right now a lot of priority has been making sure there are multiple 6-piece sets that are fun to play for every class. We’re making great progress on this front not to mention the supporting legendaries and Kanai’s cube allow for a fair amount of build variation and player creativity.

That said, I am working on a little something something for those who don’t like six-piece sets for 2.4

No promises yet. Things VERY OFTEN get cut during development or internal testing.[/blue]

If anyone in the chat asked about making powerful builds that didn’t require six-piece sets, the question didn’t get a reply. And really, it would have been a wasted question, since it’s pretty clear the devs like the itemization direction we’re heading in, where every top build is enabled by some six-piece set, with another legendary item or three supplementing the play style.

Click through for more chat replies about item sets, including promises of buffs to everything, plus John Yang’s sneak peek of that crazy-sounding melee Demon Hunter Shadow Power set coming next patch. The only fly in the ointment… the issue of where you’ll store all those cool new and improved item sets, without added stash space.

[blue]With so many newer and stronger class sets, some of the old class sets (e.g. Firebird’s Finery, Jade Harvester) became extremely weak. Are there any plans to rework these sets in the near future? (possible 2.4?) I really like Firebird Wizard, but it is just so underwhelming right now.

Stash space: Day two of the season
Stash space: Day two of the season
JohnYang: Yes, 100%, absolutely. Internally, we have already updated, revamped, or redesigned completely many of the 6pc sets that are currently not seeing use. The ones that are already done include Shadow’s Mantle, Might of the Earth, Jade Harvester, Firebird’s, Akkhan’s, Invoker’s, and Marauder’s. Sunwuko and Inna’s is being worked on. The goal is to bring all of these sets up to the power level of the current top 2.3 sets/builds.

You all will see these updates in the near future in patch 2.4.

Now that each class has a couple of decent sets, can we get a small balance pass on them to even them out? I love the playstyle of full 6pc Delsere and Marauders, but I feel like I’m gimping my friends by using them and it’s frustrating.
TravisDay: Set and legendary item tuning continues to be an ongoing effort. Each patch we help bring more playstyles closer in line with each other and this will continue to be our goal moving forward.

Any chance for a “close-quarters” DH build? They have plenty of knife based skills.
KevinMartens: That would be awesome! Geez, John Yang, why don’t you do something about that?

JohnYang: Done! The Shadow’s Mantle set is the redesign that I’m the most excited about for 2.4 so far. The idea of a melee-weapon oriented build that doesn’t involve bows/xbows has always been in the back of my mind. Here’s what it currently looks like:

  • 2pc While equipped with a melee weapon, all damage is increased by 1000%.
  • 4pc Shadow Power gains all runes and lasts forever.
  • 6pc Impale deals 30000% weapon damage to the first enemy it hits.
  • The idea is that the set is extremely strong on single-target damage, but weak on AoE. To help with that, a new dagger will have the power “Every second, the damage of your next Fan of Knives is increased by 250-300%.” To help with movement, a pair of bracers has the power “After using Impale, Vault costs no resource for 2 seconds.” That item will allow you to Vault into position to Impale the high-value targets.

    Additionally, we’re also allowing Demon Hunters to use melee weapons with quivers because the fantasy of this quick-moving assassin build is about speed, not walking around with a shield 😉

    Currently there are a few classes that can mix sets getting 6 pieces of 1 and 4 pieces of another, is this something you want to see more of or is it something that you’d rather not happen more often?
    JohnYang: We gave the 5 legacy class sets a 7th piece because they all included a weapon, which is a very powerful item slot as far as legendary powers go.

    We didn’t feel that adding a 7th piece was needed for the other 6pc sets.

    Are there any plans on changes/additions to the Weight of the Earth set?
    KevinMartens: Yes and John Yang posted a longer answer on a similar set question to list out all of the set being worked on. Thanks! – See more at:

    D2's massive storage space.
    D2’s massive storage space.
    Well, pretty good news if you like item sets and want more of them. How about it? Are you guys eager to see more of the existing sets buffed to give more top end gear choices? Do you like the style of items in D3 now, where it’s all about six piece sets? Or would you like to see more mixing and matching of different gear options and variety between characters? (Or is that even possible, and we’ll always see cookie cutter builds with everyone ultimately using whatever gear provides that .1% better performance?)

    The other item set issue not addressed is finding them, and storing them. It’s not an issue for players who powered to P500 the first weekend, but more casual players report issues assembling whole sets, now that there are so many of them for each class. The [wiki]Skull of Nilfur[/wiki] cube recipe definitely helps with that, but compared to 2 or 3 patches ago where most classes had just 1 or 2 sets worth collecting, there’s a lot more green dropping now, and early seson gearing up it’s very easy to find yourself with 4/4/5 of the 6 or 7 items in the three sets for your class, and no luck finding the last one or farming a RoRG.

    The related issue, and the biggest thing not addressed in the chat, is stash space. The devs have made a lot of mentions about how the [wiki]Archive of Tal Rasha[/wiki] can save some stash space by converting spare legendary items into Cube powers. And that’s true, but the cube does nothing to save space when it comes to item sets, and with each patch adding all new sets and/or making old ones worth saving, the stash space crunch grows every crunchier.

    There were plenty of stash space questions offered in the chat and none were answered with anything more than “we’re working on it.” (Good try, Dave…)

    Whenever the stash space issue comes up comments get vitriolic, but I guess it’s inevitable. So how about it? Do you guys feel stash space is so limited that it takes away some of the joy of new set items, just since there’s just nowhere to store them all?