DEVELOPMENT MANIFESTO: TIER CHANGES

In update 2.3.2, we have decided to once again merge the Unique and Legendary tiers. However, this time normal Legendary items will cease to drop, and they will be moved to their appropriate positions as either Iridescent items or Mythic items. This was done due to solve the incredible challenge of balancing old Legendary items against the current endgame tiers (unique, iridescent, and corrupted items).

Numerous legacy variants will be introduced and continue to function. A full list will be shown at the end of this post.

We are also officially declaring Iridescent as the definitive endgame tier. It will no longer be reserved solely for gimmick items, given how incredibly powerful many Iridescent items have become.

THE DANGERS OF POWER CREEP

When 2.0.0 was released, the jump from Exalted to Legendary was scaled around the difference between minecraft Resistance levels. From Resistance III to IV, there was a flat 20% increase in damage reduction.

In order to keep the Trials as a viable actual endgame area, we purposely redesigned every unique legendary item it featured to be around 20% stronger than other legendary items, replicating the jump from Exalted to Legendary. This made Trials-tier items exactly one tier higher than normal Legendary items.

This design choice would carry over to the creation of update 2.2.0. Unique items introduced here were scaled to be yet another 20% stronger than unique items in the Trials in order to create a sense of progression. Along with this scaling change came numerous new item archetypes, such as the introduction of Toxin and Bleed, Chaos damage, and elemental status effects. 2.2.0 was not just a massive increase in power, but also a massive increase in diversity. This made the difference between the new unique items and the original Legendary items over 2 tiers in power.

This was a fatal mistake, since virtually every item released after 2.2.0 in the Corrupted and Iridescent tiers was designed to synergize or compete with the new endgame uniques. Quickly, a power gap emerged where going from the Trials to the Rifts felt less like progression and more like a leap from Common to Exalted in a single go.

All of this occurred while only a small handful of Legendary items were introduced, which left the tier mostly unchanged and thus, completely unviable. By now, no players cared about finding an orange-colored item on the ground unless it was a new unique—which, of course, only happened during the first few weeks of a content update.

Effectively, Legendary was a dead tier.

FINDING A SOLUTION

The original solution was to just release a bunch more new Legendary items in order to fill out its reputation as the defining point of the endgame. But before we did this, it had to be decided how strong they would be.

Our first plan was to cap their power right below that of the 3 current endgame tiers (Unique, Corrupted, and Iridescent). However, this would end up with the same issue as now: players continue to avoid using Legendary items, thus defeating the purpose of the entire rework.

Alternatively, if Legendary items were as strong as the current Unique items, there would be a significantly reduced incentive to fight the endgame bosses and claim their loot. This could be solved by dropping Legendary items exclusively from bosses, but there are already 3 other tiers which do this, making such an idea redundant.

Subsequently, if Legendary items came close to the power of Corrupted items, players would have no reason to use the latter. This is due to the entire tier being built around sacrifices for higher power while Legendary items would obviously have no such drawbacks.

Lastly, Legendary items were always designed with distinct archetypes and new ideas in mind, but doing this now would be incredibly limiting due to how the Iridescent tier already occupies this design space. The only remaining choice was to reduce Legendary items into generic, ordinary items with high overall power, but this is neither a fun nor interesting solution.

These issues, combined with the sheer amount of currently weak/unviable Legendary items proved to be too much of a hassle. We thus decided it was both the easiest and healthiest solution to remove the current Legendary tier entirely, as there was effectively no room for it on the server anymore.

The most powerful Legendary items will be moved to the Iridescent tier while weaker Legendary items will be moved down to the Mythic tier. Finally, we will also rename the current Unique tier back to Legendary as an homage to its original significance.

LIST OF CHANGED ITEMS

The following items will have no functioning legacy variants, meaning all previous versions of the item will cease to function:
- Charm of Infinite Value | Tier reduced to Rare.
- Coronal Ejection:
* Base damage increased to 95.0 (from 70.0).
* Projectile amount increased to 20 (from 12).
* Shots will no longer set enemies on fire.
* Tier reduced to Mythic.
- The Tigris | Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Ratt's Wheelgun:
* Projectile count increased to 3 (from 1).
* Critical multiplier increased to 4.0x (from 2.0x).
* Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Helios Stormbow:
* Base damage increased to 120.0 (from 50.0).
* Headshot damage increased to 4.0 (from 2.0).
* Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Apple of Discord:
* Critical multiplier increased to 8.0x (from 2.0x).
* Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Charm of Leaping:
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
* Now only drops from the Labyrinth.
- The Battle-Born:
* Maximum health reduced to 15.0. (from 20.0).
* Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Realmsplitter | Tier increased to Iridescent.
- The Fortress:
* Maximum health now applies in off-hand instead.
* Maximum health reduced to 20.0 (from 30.0).
* Resistance now refreshes rapidly during skill.
* Skill cooldown increased to 15 seconds (from 10 seconds).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Divine Favor | Tier increased to Iridescent.
- The Hawk's Eye:
* Added damage increased to 250.0 (from 150.0).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Final Eclipse:
* Base item changed to Chestplate (from Helmet).
* Day buff duration increased to 15.0s (from 5.0s).
* Day speed increased to X (from V).
* Night gold hearts increased to 40.0 (from 10.0).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Scythe of the Sands:
* Attack speed increased to 75% (from 50%).
* No longer gives maximum health while held.
* Now has a 30% chance to refresh your gold hearts when you hit an enemy.
* Tier increased to Iridescent
- Last Reckoning:
* Base damage increased to 125.0 (from 40.0).
* Magazine size reduced to 32 (from 64).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Flamethrower:
* Base damage increased to 250.0 (from 40.0).
* Maximum ammo decreased to 64 (from 200).
* Hits now properly inflict Ignite.
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Siege Cannon:
* Now has 50% critical strike chance and deals 3.0x damage on critical hit.
* Maximum ammo increased to 5 (from 1).
* Reload speed increased by 50%.
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- A Salt Rifle:
* Base damage increased to 150.0 (from 28.0).
* Headshot damage increased to 4.0 (from 2.0).
* Now has 40% critical strike chance.
* Now deals 4.0x damage on critical hit.
* Maximum ammunition decreased to 32 (from 64).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Runic Greatsword:
* Base damage decreased to 1000.0 (from 1500.0).
* Damage cooldown reduced to 0.25 seconds (from 2.0 seconds).
* Now has 35% critical strike chance.
* Now deaks 10.0x damage on critical hit.
* No longer stuns enemies on melee hit.
* Tier increased to Iridescent.

The following items' legacy variants will continue to function, meaning previous versions will continue working, but will no longer be obtainable:
- Charm of Plenty | Tier reduced to Rare.
- Reaper Shield | Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Scholar's Shield | Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Blazing Fury | Tier reduced to Mythic.
- Stampede Boots:
* Movement speed reduced to 60% (from 80%).
* Maximum health reduced to 20.0 (from 30.0).
* Tier reduced to Mythic.
- The Headsman:
* Movement speed increased to 30% (from -30%).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- The Hydra:
* Maximum health increased to 40.0 (from 35.0).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- The Unmovable Object | Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Divine Peregrine | Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Sniper Scope:
* Maximum health increased to 20.0 (from 10.0).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.
- Eye of the Void:
* Maximum health increased to 20.0.
* Added chaos damage increased to 25.0 (from 10.0).
* Tier increased to Iridescent.

The following items have been removed from the drop tables indefinitely:
- Hybrid Theory
- Ancient Wings
- Unstoppable Force
- Divine Blessing
- AKStilleto
- Relentless Pursuit