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Blizz want players' feedback: How to fix Magic Find gear swapping

Posted by Radoslav "Nydra" Kolev 1 year, 41 weeks ago
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Players who regularly find themselves in the situation where they carry a whole MF set only to swap it with their regular one just before a boss is about to die are very familiar with the issue. Blizzard are looking for a ways to address this gear swapping that many have found unenjoyable but necessary and are in need of community's suggestions.

In a post on Battle.net, Blizzard have give five suggestions about rooting out the MF gear swapping they're currently considering.

Option 1: Set a Magic Find Cap


We could set an MF cap between something like 100% and 200%. Nephalem Valor provides 75%, so you would need between 25% and 125% to reach the hard cap. Everyone could find ways to hit the cap for MF% on their gear and then stop.

Pros: Creates a gearing-game around trying to hit the "MF% cap" that some
players enjoy. It also solves the swapping issue for people with enough gear to hit the cap. Players who want to min-max and gear swap can do so, and players who think it's stupid but feel "compelled" can try to hit the new cap instead.

Cons: Depending on where the cap is set, it may not actually alleviate gear swapping, and players who wish they didn’t have to will feel compelled to do so. It also devalues a highly valuable stat, and desired stats mean desired gear, which helps diversify the item hunt.



Option 2: Slowly Adjust Magic Find Over Time


When you equip an item with Magic Find, we don't let your MF% change right away. Instead your Magic Find slowly "drifts" towards the target Magic Find -- potentially something like 1% every 3 seconds. If you open up your Character Details sheet, you can see the number change "8%... 9%... 10%." Even though you could in theory switch to Magic Find gear for the killing blow and get a few extra percent, it’s probably not worth it.

Pros: High degree of visibility as your stat sheet updates. Still allows you to swap your gear when you get an upgrade in the world without having to feel bad about putting the item on.

Cons: May not alleviate the problem for players who still feel compelled to get a few extra MF%. Depending on the rate, some players may just swap in an item during the last 20 seconds of a fight even though they don’t want to.



Option 3: Use your average MF% or your lowest MF% of the last 5 minutes


We could sample your MF% every 30 seconds or so and create a moving average, or use the lowest MF% the game has seen on your character in the last few minutes.

Pros: A lot of the same benefits as Solution 2, but harder to game. Still allows you to switch gear when you get an upgrade, which is great.

Cons: Difficult to communicate. We'd have to communicate this on the Details page somehow, but during normal gameplay there could be the sense of not knowing what your "moving average" is and wanting to look at it. Magic Find is already a difficult number to feel at any point in time, so hidden rules that modify Magic Find feel that much worse.



Option 4: Zero-Out Your MF% for 3 Minutes After Swapping Gear


When you swap gear, your Magic Find is disabled for 3 minutes.

Pros: Absolutely effective at discouraging gear swaps. Still allows you to swap gear when you find an upgrade, and the 3 minute duration is probably short enough that if you kill an Elite pack and get an upgrade, you can put that upgrade on and have your Magic Find active again by the time you get to the next pack.

Cons: Players who are unfamiliar with the system may open up their details page and see their Magic Find as 0% and not understand why. We could mitigate this by making the 0% MF colored with a tooltip stating the countdown until your Magic Find would work again, as well as what your Magic Find will be when the time expires.



Option 5: Gear Swapping Interacts with Nephalem Valor


There's a whole class of solutions that interact with Nephalem Valor. For example, we could remove a stack of Nephalem Valor when you swap a piece of gear.

Pros: Stops gear swapping just for the last kill, while still allowing the player the option to do so.

Cons: Some players will lose a stack by accident. We could put a confirmation box in to address accidental loss of a stack, but game-interrupting popups are potentially character-killing. It also causes co-op players to drop out of sync. One person may switch gear and lose a stack or two, and if it happens before a boss they'll want to clear two more packs before hitting the boss, but the other party members may not want to -- causing some tense social situations in co-op play. Finally, it tightly couples two systems together and generally tightly-coupled systems don't function over the long haul as well as loosely-coupled systems. In other words, future changes to the Nephalem Valor system or the Magic Find system (or systems related to those two systems) become harder to make as both systems would be impacted.



You can leave your feedback to Blizzard by going to this topic but also don't forget to DISCUSS in the comments which of the five options you like best.
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