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Gear Tiers and Progression

Something a lot of RPGs struggle with is over-abundance of “useless” items, and I think that it’s an inevitability if you don’t make all items useful. Even though this game does this to some degree by making the modifiers on items useful (by shattering items), the items still lack universal usefulness (low level items with high tier modifiers). You still need a natural drop of a higher tier base item, which gets more and more difficult for each new tier of item introduced (through character levelling). Not even yet accounting for new future item types (which now includes idols). Each additional item added dilutes the pool.

Here is the current system:

You are level 65 so you are currently using Mirage Staffs as a base, which have the following stats:

Base attack rate 0.92
+70 Melee Physical Damage
+(311-400)% Base Spell Damage
-3 Spell Mana Cost

But staffs of each tier keep dropping with Melee Physical Damage and Base Spell Damage ranging from 14~61 and (8%-22%)~(231-310%), respectively, across all lower tiers. These items are useless, but their modifiers may be useful. If you had found a good lower tier base with high tier modifiers it isn’t a usable item. So you shatter item upon item gathering modifiers until you get what you need.

Finally you get a new Mirage Staff. You’re already lucky, but if you’re even more lucky, it has modifiers you need on it. If you don’t, you’re probably spending materials just to make it craftable (Rune of Cleansing), possibly leaving you with a degree of instability. It takes a lot of steps to then craft it to get something better than what you have (we still haven’t begun the actual crafting process).

Even though many items were dropped that were used in the crafting of the final result, it feels frustrating because your primary roadblock is the base item and not so much the crafting materials. If you’re actively crafting many item slots worth of base items you’ll be out of Glyphs, but that’s reasonable.

You could even use the gambler, but again it takes longer and longer the higher level you are, because it considers many items to give you. Ironically, getting a unique item may actually be a bad thing if you’re already set on crafting an item in that slot.

Under the suggested system:

You have a staff that scales Melee Physical Damage and Base Spell Damage. Regardless of what drops, if it has modifiers you want you can make the decision to shatter it and upgrade your current item, or you can choose to spend currency to upgrade its base item.

This would be different if you were trying towards staves that improve Base Spell Damage and increase Spell Mana Cost, or Damage Over Time, or Cast Speed, etc. (As implicits, not modifiers).

For example, a level 1 staff could be:

Hermit Staff
Base attack rate 0.92
+14 Melee Physical Damage
+(8-22)% Base Spell Damage
-3 Spell Mana Cost

But scaled to “max level”:

Hermit Staff “+7” (or whatever denomination)
Base attack rate 0.92
+81 Melee Physical Damage
+(401-500)% Base Spell Damage
-3 Spell Mana Cost
Level Requirement 76

This requires less work to make item models and new base item types. It reduces item drop bloat, and increases usability of all items. You can have a larger number of base item types and have them scale through all levels, rather than being incidentally dwarfed when you reach certain levels because certain base items (such as Forest Garb and Noble Raiment) don’t yet have higher tier variants.

Obviously, to not overcomplicate the new player / low level experience, not all items should start at the lowest level requirement. Which means that items may scale at different speeds, but the most important factor here is where they all scale to (at their end).

There is the side-effect of allowing uniques to scale into higher levels. Which is generally “better” because low level “build enabling” items are actually… useful. You still need to actually spend some type of currency to scale them into higher levels, so it’s not “free” either.

An easier suggestion than to make this type of conversion of the system is to reduce the number of “lower tier” items that can drop, but if there are lower tier items with unique implicits, that becomes a problem (such as Jeweled Circlet). It also makes actual item drops far too consistent, without allowing for player interaction in the system.

In summary, I am suggesting that the actual pool of base items is reduced but each item is given the ability to scale to higher degrees of power level. This would simulate items that are the same as current, but allow a lot more items to be useful. It would also allow players to find more avenues to crafting ideal items.


I agree with this. One of the things I loved about GD is that almost every drop was level relevant, which helped to counteract the RNG of actually getting the mods you want. Right now I honestly use the gambler more to farm items than monolith/arena grinding, and that really shouldn’t be the case. Sure, gambler should be good for target farming a specific base with good implicit rolls, but grinding should be the way to most optimally amass a large amount of useful items, and with so many low tiers dropping at high levels, this can’t be accomplished.

EDIT: As a point, I feel I may have a lot less of an issue with all of this when item filters come out, and some low level bases are still useful, so there’d sort of have to be picking and choosing with what drops and doesn’t drop. Maybe just remove the “starter” types of drops from the pool like Refuge Armor and such.

I think it’s a good idea indeed. It will offer more diversity in crafting conception. It could allow to have more different and unique implicits implemented in the game (from lower levels).

I think to some Degree “mediocre/mid-level” item bases should still drop even if you are already in endgame/high-level. So Overall you have some semi-usefull item bases and some other “rare” good/high level item bases.

But having item bases that are super low-level(some that already drop at the beginning of the game) really feels off to me.

Having a good item filters system would also contribute towards this Problem, so you don’t have to check literally every item that drops.

But Overall it’s a real challange for the devs i think to make a system which still has some rng to it(it wouldn’t be fun if literally every item that drops is usefull). I personally still need the thrill of the item hunt and really want feel “excited” if some good item drops.

Currently an item base with a low tier doesn’t necessarily have to be bad. For certain builds low level bases can still be better than the higher level items due to their unique attributes.

But why have bases that are objectively worse drop? If you’re lvl 50, you aren’t going to want to use a Burning Branch wand (+2 adaptive spell damage) when you could be using an Imperial Wand (33-40 adaptive spell damage).

IMO, item bases should be restricted to +/- 15 - 20 levels of the area level. So in a lvl 50 arena, only lvl 30-50 bases would drop. For wands, that would be Arch Mage (18-24 adaptive spell damage), Storm Priest (25-32 adaptive spell damage) & Imperial (33-40 adaptive spell damage). That still gives you a few tiers of bases for variety without inflicting “junk” tiers of bases (like Burning Branch). Then, when you get to the “top tier” of bases, only the top 2-3 bases would drop to maintain the illusion of diversity.

I need to agree the gear progression need rework. Has no reason to get lvl 5 item when you are lvl 60.

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