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.