In Diablo 3, items remained almost the same as in the previous installment of the game. We have the same item classification but the generation algorithm is a bit different. This time around, most of the stats are generated automatically but they do have some margins for Legendary items. We have 3 main categories worth talking about, excluding standard non-magical items.
The 3 main categories of items:
The Magic items have their names in blue. They come with a maximum of four magic properties that include stat bonuses such as either strength, intelligence, dexterity or vitality and some other bonuses. Some might only have stat bonuses while others have a mix of the two groups of properties. In general, they are inferior to the other item categories.
Rare Items are seen as yellow. They usually drop from Rare and Legendary monsters that have a higher drop chance. In terms of stats they have a minimum of four magical properties. The drop rate for this class of items is also conditioned by the players “Magical Find” percentage that can be enhanced through specific gear and other means of incrementing this stat. Blacksmithing has some Rare Item recipes that can be found either as drops from monsters and bosses or as standard when training.
In the category of the Legendary Items we can find two types of items. The standard Legendary items are written with a dark gold color. They have decent stats but until the release of patch 1.0.3, many Rare Items seem a bit more powerful. As of now, they are not the most sought after items in the game even if their drop rate is the lowest. In the same category we find the set items. Unlike with the Rare Items, there are no trainer provided recipes. Instead, there are some recipes that are dropped by various endgame monsters.
Item Optimization Based On Character Class
Each class has its own signature stat. Wizards and Witch Doctors have Intelligence, Barbarians have Strenght while Monks and Demon Hunters have Dexterity. All these different stats have a common trait that applies to every character but they also increase the damage for the designated class. However, they do not roll each other out if they are used on a class that does not mainly use a particular stat. For example, all characters should have around 100 Dexterity except for the Monk and Demon Hunter whom should have much more of it.
Simply explained, 100 Dexterity is the breaking point of this stat. It gives a certain percentage of Dodge to every character. Any value over that begins to make it a waste of stat (except for the above mentioned classes. After 100 Dexterity points, we hit the great brick wall of diminishing returns. The Dodge bonus decreases so much that it seems useless to add any more Dexterity.
Vitality is a general stat that all characters should get as much as possible. The larger the HP pool, the higher the chances are to survive when surrounded by a big pack of mobs.
Another stat that needs to be closely looked at is resist to all. In Inferno, this stat is essential. Wizards should not have any issues with resistances as 10 points of intelligence give 1 resistance point. However, here is a “resistances formula” to calculate how much should be used in order to avoid diminishing returns:
Armor is also calculated based on this formula. Each character should have 10 times more armor than resistance points.
Last but not least, helms should always have a socket. A helm without a socket is almost useless. Until level 60, compromises can be made but at level 60 there is no excuse not to get one and insert a gem into it. If you want to know how to reach level 60 as soon as possible, read this tutorial.
Enhancing Drop Rates
Drop rates can be increased with Magic Find bonuses. They come in the form of shrines, on gear as a stat or from the Nehalem Valor buff. At level 60, whenever the character kills a Rare or Legendary monster he gains the buff for 30 minutes. It can stack for up to 5 times and it can be refreshed each time another pack of superior monsters gets killed.
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