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Item Drops for Low-Level Characters are Abysmal

So far, I have taken 4 characters through the main story-line (or at least, the old story-line. Great job with Chapter 6, dev team!) and the underlying theme for leveling is just how terrible item drops are when leveling up through the game. I explore the map, I open the treasure chests scattered on the remote parts of the map, and I commonly see 2 or more white items devoid of any affixes while the rest are 1-2 affix items where the affixes are completely useless. I’d like to raise a discussion at another time as to which item bases and affixes are worth keeping and which are not, but let’s just say that when you are in dire need of protections, a blue item with miniscule added damage percent and low dodge rating is not what you’re seeking. Even looking at the market with low-level characters doesn’t help in getting things that they need. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve taken characters through level 30 and have not had a single item drop that gives me necrotic or poison resistance; they hit a wall and fast when it came to fighting tough enemies that use that damage type.

As it stands now, the best way to ensure that low-level characters get the items they need is to have a high-level character find items in the market that are 30-40 levels below them (that’s a topic for another time) and put the items in the stash. Playing Solo with no shared stashes or playing Hardcore? Hope you like spamming the market option.

At the very least, I’d like to see protection affixes pop up more often in loot drops, period. Protections are absolutely necessary in all stages of the game, but they’re vital for low-level characters that don’t have their skills developed enough to lay on crowd-clearing damage. Trying to craft these items yourself takes up valuable shards that don’t drop that often, and you can easily find yourself bricking an item that you’ve only given 2-3 crafts. Hitting a wall because you’re facing a tough enemy where you weren’t blessed by RNG to get protections from their predominate damage type isn’t a problem skill can solve, but an artificial limit that has no place in this game.

Valid Point IMHO.
Possible Solutions I can think of:

  1. Targeted Loot:
    Basically “Loot 2.0” from D3, just much less weighted. Basically an increase of drop Chance of for example physical, cold and lightning damage Affixes when playing Primalist, while fire, necrotic, void Drops less. Knights get more melee, less minion Affixes etc. And once weighting is added in, defense stats can be weighted more by Default, even if there is no actual targeted loot.
  2. Reduction of possible stats:
    As Tree already pointed out, there are quite some stats where I’d be surprised if anyone ever deliberately put them on their gear. +Mana for example. The less useless stats, the more likely that useful stats drop, thus more defensive stats as well.
  3. Shard Merchant:
    NPCs that sell a limited amount of certain shards. Could be limited to defensive shards, could be limited to +health, +armor, +%armor, +single element protection or something, to not make it too simple to max out your defensive stats on your gear.
  4. More runes of shattering:
    Either at merchants or as Drops. My SSF chars all have chests full of gear to shatter, but not enough runes of shattering, and they are too expensive to even reset-buy stocks of them. It’s okay that they aren’t dirt cheap and in abundance, but IMHO their Price should scale with the character Level (in non-solo mode the Level of your highest character), because 2000 is prohibitively expensive for the amount you Need, while later on Money doesn’t really matter much either way. Furthermore, shattering low-level Items has an Overall lesser amount of shards gained, making the curve even more slanted towards endgame.

All that said, I didn’t have Problems leveling, it was decently fast and apart from the odd Soul spear one-hit I felt decently tough as well. What I desperately Need though is a loot-filter, as I found myself just skipping through most loot as it was too tedious to read what stats they have. Too many stats that aren’t useful to scour through the few that contain useful stuff.

I only had issues on my first toon when I started to sort things out. Outside of those 10 minutes gear was a non issue for me. On top of it shattering starts to be intresting if an item has 3 possible benefical stats on the item. If not you it’s a waste of runes of shattering in my eyes. So far I’m happy with the state of loot right now and think your first point would result in making the game far to easy because crafting is there to get you the gear of your choice. If this starts with drops already things will be to easy.

I’m fine with how loot is in endgame systems, but the more I try different types of characters, the more tedious early-game is. There is no reason for a low-level character to read a remote end of the map to find a treasure chest only for it to contain 3 White items and 2 1-affix blues that give no protections to the player. Skill progression is fine, but getting one-shot by Soul Spears because you never found a protection drop is discouraging.

Crafting a decent item out of a white item requires multiple Glyphs of Stability (assuming that bug that just ate numerous Glyphs was fixed by now) and multiple Glyphs of Refinement, and that assumes you even have the Protection shards in the first place. Combine that with multiple useless bases and the RNG chance of the item fracturing on the second or third craft and it can be frustrating really early. A player just starting out a character doesn’t need this frustration.

This is like in every other game. Starting gear suxx stat wise and the gear gets better later on. LE has a ton of possible stat rolls and yes this makes it even harder to obtain worthwhile starter gear but this is no issue. To use your soul spear example… if you are hit by those it’s the inability of the player to dodge an obvious skillshot. It happend to me once when I first met this skeletons… poof dead, clicked respawn and respawnd in the flight path of the spear… poof dead again ^^. Since then I found my ways arround said skillshots. Far more frustrating are random unforseeable melee auto hits that kill you with 700hp and 70%+ resis and this is and endgame issue.
Sure with bad luck in starting gear you have a bit of a harder time but it’s far from frustrating. The starting part of LE is borderline easy and mindnumbing.

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