Besides the end-game content and other related changes patch 1.0.5 is bringing, it is also changing the fundamentals of how end-game loot is dropped. One small line tucked away in the PTR patch notes will mean a lot for the players:
Affixes on items will now roll their level based on the level of the monster killed (rather than the item’s level)
In order to fully understand how this change will impact the game, you first need to understand how items pick their affixes currently. Affixes are broken down into "tiers" with each tier having a level requirement. Let us take the "Gold Find" affix that can appear on rings as an example:
Note: Data was taken from DiabloNut.
When an item is dropped, its internal level (iLevel) is used to pick the affix range. For example if a ring is dropped with an iLvl of 61, the maximum it can have is 18% Gold Find. Since at the moment the maximum ilvl a ring can have is 62, the maximum Gold Find you will can find on a ring is 20%.
Note: Just because a ring is iLvl 62 does not mean it will always pick the 16-20% range. It can pick that one or any lower one.
As of patch 1.0.5, the item level is no longer used to determine the affix range but instead it used the monster level of the monster that dropped the item. What this mean is that any ring dropped in Act 1 (be it iLvl 60,61,62) will have a maximum Gold Find of 18%. When you go to Act 3, things start to get interesting. Before patch 1.0.5 rings did not have access to their level 63 affix, but now they do. It has been speculated a lot whether rings and other items that have a max iLvl of 62 will use their 63 affixes or not, but proof was found during Mordon's stream when he dropped a ring with a level 63 affix.
Now if this was the only change Blizzard did, Act 1 and Act 2 would be useless. I mean, who would want to farm Act 1 when all dropped items will be capped at the level 61 affix?
Never fear! Monster Power to the rescue!
With monster power set to 0, it is highly UN-reccomended to farm Act 1 or Act 2 due to the max affix level cap*, but as soon as you turn it up to at least 1 things become a whole lot different. According to this Jay Wilson interview:
*Read edit at bottom of the post.
The moment you go into Inferno with any kind of Monster Power, all monsters become level 63, and they can now all drop item level 63 stuff the same way that Act III and Act IV Inferno do now.
What this means is that ANY item dropped in ANY act will now have a maximum affix level of 63! The drop rates also become improved, with all acts having the following numbers (data taken from the patch 1.0.3 patch notes):
- iLvl 61: 24.1%
- iLvl 62: 16.1%
- iLvl 63: 8.0%
Edit: It seems the drop rates were changed in a hotfix I was not aware about. Here are the actual values:
- iLvl 61: 27.1%
- iLvl 62: 21.7%
- iLvl 63: 16.3%
Here are 2 examples taken from the previously linked Reddit post:
iLvl 60 item with 10% cirt (level 63 affix) found in Act 2 with monster power set to 2
iLvl 58 item (not sure where it was dropped) with +80 Resist All (level 63 affix)
They also seem to have changed the level requirement of all Inferno items to level 60. Not sure why this was done but it's probably to stop low level character from using Inferno tier items.
Note: Don't worry about setting the monster power value to 1 or 2. According to the same Jay Wilson interview, 1-3 is pretty much the same as the current Inferno difficulty considering all the nerfs.
Of course, Act 3 might still be better to farm due to the sheer amount of monsters and elites found there, but the point is that there is no "statistical" disadvantage when doing Acts 1 and 2.
To close this post off, here are some things to keep in mind:
- iLvl 63 items still have the potential to be the best in the game. This is due to the fact that iLvl 63 items still have the best "base" value ranges in the game.
- The "maximum stats" an iLvl 63 item can have will be unchanged as of patch 1.0.5.
- Do not buy any items from the Auction House until the patch comes! As soon as the new patch comes a lot more items will start to show up on the AH with good stats, making the current ones loose value. Remember that the higher the quantity of something, the less its value will be.
- Legendary items and items crafted by the Blacksmith are not effected by this change (source).
I just stumbled upon this forum thread that revealed some interesting information. Previously I mentioned how any item dropped in Act 1 will be capped at the level 61 affixes when monster power is set to 0, but this is wrong. Here is a quote taken from the forum post, written by Lylirra:
If an item's level is higher than the monster's level, the affixes will roll at the item's level instead. We felt this was an important exception to make, because players farming Act I of Inferno without any Monster Power may still get ilevel 62 and 63 items from sub-63 monsters, and we want to make sure that those items are still good.
What this means is that items dropped in Act 1 (with monster power set to 0) that have an iLvl of 58-61 will have a maximum affix cap of 61, but items with an iLvl of 62/63 will use the 62/63 affix cap respectively. This means that it is still viable for people to farm Act 1 and Act 2 without any monster power, but remember that there is a big advantage when setting monster power to at least 1. Like I mentioned before, this will not only make all of the monsters level 63 (thus any iLvl 62 item will use the level 63 affixes) but also increase the drop rates of all acts to those previously exclusive to Acts 3 and 4.
To recap, here are some examples:
With monster power set to 0:
- An iLvl 58 item drops in Act 1. This will have a maximum affix cap of 61.
- An iLvl 59 item drops in Act 1. This will have a maximum affix cap of 61.
- An iLvl 62 item drops in Act 1. This will have a maximum affix cap of 62.
- An iLvl 63 item drops in Act 1. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
- An iLvl 58 item drops in Act 2. This will have a maximum affix cap of 62.
- An iLvl 59 item drops in Act 2. This will have a maximum affix cap of 62.
- An iLvl 62 item drops in Act 2. This will have a maximum affix cap of 62.
- An iLvl 63 item drops in Act 2. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
- An iLvl 58 item drops in Act 3/4. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
- An iLvl 59 item drops in Act 3/4. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
- An iLvl 62 item drops in Act 3/4. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
- An iLvl 63 item drops in Act 3/4. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
With monster power set to at least 1:
- An iLvl 59 item drops in Act 1/2/3/4. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
- an iLvl 62 item drops in Act 1/2/3/4. This will have a maximum affix cap of 63.
Sorry for the confusion! Lots of details are still being released so it is bound to happen that something gets contradicted. If you are still uncertain about something leave us a comment and we will answer you.