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Diablo 3 mechanics that World of Warcraft should steal

Matthew Rossi

It's not like it's a secret that I think the Diablo III barbarian class is chock full of ideas World of Warcraft should steal for warriors. For one thing, I just told you. That's not what you do with secrets. But it's hardly just the one class that I think has ideas worth appropriating. And better yet, when you steal from yourself, no one can complain.

Already, we're seeing in the Mists of Pandaria beta that some of these ideas are finding their way into the game. Warriors, for instance, are going to generate rage via attacks like Shield Slam or Mortal Strike or Bloodthirst rather than just via damage dealt, a change similar to the barbarian's fury gathering attacks like Cleave. Similarly, the new talent system for Mists is a lot closer to the D3 system than any of the previous ones used in World of Warcraft or Diablo II, for that matter. It's also no secret that the D2 system is written all over launch World of Warcraft, especially classes like the paladin.

So what do I think World of Warcraft should steal from Diablo III?

Individual loot

I know we're getting a form of personalized loot in Raid Finder, but I really think we should go all the way and do this for dungeons and raids as well. Frankly, one of the big hassles of a regular raid group is working out a loot distribution system and dealing with loot that no one needs or wants, figuring out who gets the item everyone does want, etc., etc. Whether you use a loot council, DKP, Suicide Kings, or you go out into the woods at night and seek wisdom from the entrails of sheep and birds (people totally did this -- look it up, haruspex), you have to have some form of loot control.

Now imagine if every time you kill a boss, it dropped loot for you. You'd never see spell plate again on your mage, never see agility leather on your priest, never see a polearm on your death knight (except for the strength polearm I hope they itemize). While I wouldn't mind if mobs also erupted in a shower of loot, I would expect the new loot window Blizzard just coded will stay intact.

Now, I expect I'm probably asking for a lot for this system to be implemented everywhere, and I expect it will not make it to 5-mans. But for larger groups, it would be a godsend, and it would completely eliminate the need to compete with anyone else for the gear you're looking for.

Also, take a look at how Diablo 3 does binding of items. It doesn't. Frankly, I would love to be able to hold onto my raiding gear when I get new stuff and pass it on to my alts, give it to a friend leveling up, or put it on the AH. Even just a more widely used bind to account system would please me greatly.

Healing globes and potions

I don't expect WoW to ever go back to the days when you could use potions in chain. In a world with healing classes and no healing globes dropping from mobs, chugging healing potions isn't feasible. However, for scenarios, the healing globe is definitely an idea worth stealing.

Right now, most scenarios seem to be using the "stand in this healing circle" idea for how to get players healed up, and it works fine, but there's no reason not to expand the mechanics for scenarios to keep players invested. Having to look around and run over a healing globe is just another variation, a tool to change up how scenarios work and keep people from getting complacent.

Also, for potions, since we have a wider variety of potions in WoW (which I like and think we should keep), we need categories of potions so we can use a healing potion without being unable to use our active potions. It would be similar to the current elixir split, so that you could use a guardian potion and a battle potion per combat, and it would give us some of the potion-chugging feeling of D3 without crippling the current system.

Environmental interaction

Yeah, I'm mostly talking about things you can smash. I'm also talking about weapon and armor racks you can loot and more chests anyone can open. Think about the upper hallways in Blackwing Lair with all those giant weapons mounted on the walls. We should be able to go right up to those and pull one down. Maybe it's so old and decrepit we wouldn't want to, but that should be an option.

There should be more objects to destroy, more signs of environmental damage (when a boss does a giant AoE ability, if there are objects, they should get wrecked -- you could even make it part of a boss' enrage mechanic that eventually, all cover in the room will be obliterated and you'll take more damage as a result of having nowhere to hide), and more stuff in dungeons, raids, and even the world at large to mess around with.

Item enhancement and crafting

In some ways, I don't want to see WoW lose depth here that Diablo III doesn't have. The enchanting and inscription professions provide levels of modification that D3 simply doesn't have. But in terms of how Diablo III handles its jewels and the breaking down of magical items, I think there's some room for consideration.

Speaking as an enchanter, I don't see why blacksmiths or leatherworkers can't break down a magical item for the raw materials. Why can't you smelt down your armor for the metal or take apart a leather breastplate for some of the hides? I wouldn't expect it to be as good as mining or skinning, but I also don't see why it shouldn't be possible.

I also really like how you can step up jewels in D3 and how they have different effects based on what slot they're placed in, meaning that while a barbarian wouldn't use a green gem in his armor (he doesn't want dex), he might use it in a helmet or weapon. This system intrigues me, and I'd like to see it alongside (or even as an expansion to) meta gems, giving us motivation to use gems of different colors and experiment with the effects.

What would you like to see WoW steal from D3, and what would you hope it never, ever takes?

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