Patch 2.7.0 has been a real gift to the power gamer type with the upgrade to Followers as well as the new Emanate system. With that system in place, a lot more doors begin to open up that demonstrate future potential improvements to the game, even if the basic idea is the same loop. But this post discusses my own additions so that there’s more ways to use loot and how Diablo 3 can continue to be updated.
From what I’ve read, the chief idea behind the Emanate ability was to grant players a utilitarian approach to itemization, something less powerful than a 4th Kanai Cube slot, but still useful without upsetting the game too much. For the most part, the biggest bang for your Emanate buck is to, at minimal, obtain a Flavor of Time and Nemesis bracers as these two items can be used in any mode of the game (well maybe not Adventure mode for the Flavor of Time but most people end up doing just Rifts and Greater Rifts).
However, there were a few non-utility type of items that could be used offensively (or defensively) like the Dovu Energy Trap, Rakoff’s Glass of Life and Krede’s Flame. While I’m guessing most people end up using just Flavor of Time and Nemesis, these other three items probably see a lot less usage and are probably just there in the Emanate pool because they never see the life of day. Krede’s Flame, in particular, is such a novel use compared to Unity or the Oculus Ring, one has to wonder why bother?
Still, the gesture definitely is appreciated but it makes me think of how the gear within the Emanate pool mostly is worthless beyond the two popular items and the three mentioned above in the context of Greater Rifts. But the fact that Followers now have more slots does provide ample room for growth in trying to get more use cases from Emanate as well as lesser utilized gear.
First, I thoroughly believe that Emanate needs to expand in terms of the basic pool. Class specific items should not be allowed to Emanate such as set items or wands, for instance. However, I would like to see more generic items, including weapons and offhands, to come into play here. For instance, I think a Furnace should be made to Emanate or a Cindercoat.
Also, I think Crafted set items such as the Captain’s Trimming and Aughild’s Authority would be good candidates for the Emanate effect. Even the useless Asheara’s Vestments ought to Emanate just to hopefully bring up solo play closer to group play. That way you don’t have to suffer trying to make it work with a normal set (like I did).
Another aspect I had talked about was adding Legendary Gems to the Emanate pool. Now, it was discovered that both Mutilation Guard and Esoteric Alteration work on followers. However, I still wish to see more gems that not only work on Followers but can be used with the Emanate pool. The most obvious gem is the Boon of the Hoarder (add a Goldwrap just to make this picture complete). How annoying is it to swap between gear for Greater Rifts and everything else? How unsatisfying is it not to be able to use your normal gem (and possibly) belt in non-GR runs?
In addition, many gems have been laid to the wayside because only a few have proven useful in almost all circumstances. Gems like Pain Enhancer or maybe even a Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard could be great in such a slot. But before people complain that adding these into the Emanate pool would be OP, I wanted to add that perhaps the way they should work in this case is to allow Followers to receive the full benefit and the player half or even a quarter of the gem’s ability. And if you include all Legendary gems into this pool, then make it so that they cannot overlap (i.e. Emanating gems will not work with gems already being used by the player).
But imagine here where you had to choose between survival with an Esoteric Alteration on a Crusader using the Valor set (which is admittedly VERY squishy) or more damage from a Bane of the Stricken. Now, you gain a little more defense not just from Esoteric Alteration but Mutilation Guard, etc. too
Currently, I’ve been playing the Typhoon Veil Hydra build. I’ve played it previously and thought that it had potential. However, the chief weakness of the build is speed, especially in Greater Rifts. I know that Firebird’s boost helped it gain a lot of ranks but part of that in my belief is the addition of Teleport being affected from the 4 set bonus.
After losing the 4th Kanai Cube slot from Season 22, certain builds like the Typhoon Veil Hydra build really feel flat. I mean, the Followers Emanate provides us with two additional slots with Nemesis and Flavor of Time. However, you still sacrifice a lot of flexibility from that 4th slot. With a build like the Typhoon Veil set, I would have added an Aether Walker as the 4th slot just to be able to speed through a bit more.
But that made me realize that the 4th Kanai Cube slot really should have been made permanently. While the Followers Emanate is a great addition, it’s still not enough since the bulk of the abilities are utilitarian. So the 4th Kanai Cube slot should make a comeback in a future patch.
Along with that, I’ve been saying that the Ring of the Royal Grandeur effect from one of the previous seasons should somehow also be made into a permanent effect. Of course, the problem there is that for LoD and LoN builds, this ability is worthless. So what should be done instead?
My idea is to make Bounty Caches something like a quest item where you can cube an item from a Bounty Cache that acts like an Emanate ability. Since the drop pool from each Bounty Cache has not expanded (and hard to say if they ever will), one idea is to allow a permanent Bounty Cache effect, similar to the 4th Kanai Cube slot, except limited to one of the items from the Bounty Cache.
In doing so, you have a better expanded list of abilities to choose from that would benefit LoD and LoN builds besides just set builds. For instance, Pride’s Fall, Illusory Boots, Pauldrons of the Skeleton King and the Envious Blade could prove useful. Like if you wanted to take a Templar and use their resource regeneration ability, you could use the Pauldrons to gain back a cheat death ability.
I’m not sure if every ability should be included since a few now Emanate. But my thought is that you simply have more diversity in how you want to gear your followers. For instance, if you want Gloves of Worship being the Bounty Cache ability, you can use Gladiator Gauntlets instead.
Perhaps, the way this can be implemented is like a 5th slot in the Kanai’s Cube. That way, you still have that flexibility of using a 4th slot for any item in the list of extracted powers but you gain a few more abilities that you probably normally would not use (outside of the Ring of Royal Grandeur). And I really like this idea since then it makes Bounty farming worthwhile as well as meaningful.
Another idea I’ve talked about in the past is ability stripping. This one might be a tough one to implement and I’m not sure how I exactly would want it done. But the essence is to take a property from one item and displace it onto another. So in that sense, it will be a crafting feature. However, the UI might be complex.
I think Kanai’s Cube would be the obvious choice to implement this idea but the Enchantress would be another spot since it’s similar to rerolling properties. In my original idea, I wanted to be able to strip non-set item properties from legendaries that went beyond the primary properties like Critical Hit Chance or ELemental Resistance. So take a Cindercoat as a good example where I could remove the fire damage or resource reduction cost onto a chest piece.
This method would be similar to using a Gift to add a socket to a weapon, only here we could remove a property. With Emanate now available, I’m less tempted to take away special properties and just keep them with Followers. However, your normal properties like Armor or Cooldown Reduction would be where I’d start.
Like a Gift, you would only be able to add/copy a single property. And that property might be exclusive to the item type. For instance, you would not be able to add Cooldown Reduction to a chest piece from a shoulder piece. Right now, I’m thinking it should be item type-to-item type in terms of transferring the property.
But how would it work in terms of materials, items, etc. ? My idea is that you still would require a certain number of raw materials. It could be your standard Death Breaths or any re-rollable material. The interface would be similar to the Enchantress re-roll one except there would be a source -> target type of placement where your target item would be say a Hydra chest piece.
Now, where it gets interesting to me is the materials used to add the ability. Besides, Death Breaths, one idea is to provide another special Gift type of item for crafting. That way, you can’t pump up the stats in a single day. And here’s the catch: you would need a similar item with the property you want copied.
So here’s where the implementation can be very grindy (outside of the proposed new Gift type of crafting item). You could have an item of the same type (e.g. shoulders) or perhaps the exact same item (meaning Hydra shoulders for another Hydra shoulders). That would make all those spare items that are probably tossed into Forgotten Souls somewhat useful. Now, the kicker is that you would only be able to copy either a small amount or random amount at a time.
The amount might be only say 1% if the property is based on percentages or a tiny amount if say you have something like Thorns. Main stat type of properties would be disallowed here since you can already improve those via augments. But secondary stats such as the aforementioned Thorns or Gold Pickup Radius would be possible up to whatever the normal threshold is.
My reasoning for this idea is that in the past, I would find an ancient item like a Yang’s Recurve. But it might lack Discipline or Cooldown Reduction (or both). With a Gift, I can at least at a socket but then I would have to choose between re-rolling a property for one of those properties. In general though, the item ends up going into the trash.
This property copying idea is good in that it allows you to effectively salvage ancients (or even Primals that just suck). Like my Typhoon Veil hydra wizard would benefit a lot from Cooldown Reduction and Resource Cost Reduction. But I can’t have both in many cases. One would help my Teleport slightly and the other would make Blizzard and Hydra not eat up my arcane power. Same thing with some Ancient Akkhan’s armor I have that lacks thorns for my hybrid bombardment build.
Now, this idea can be employed as a random amount of just in small steps. I think both can be done which might allow someone to get really lucky. If not, they can continue finding this crafting material and similar items to push this copied ability up as much as they want. The small step idea is much nicer because it just gives a player a new goal and more reasons to grind. I don’t think adding this will unbalance things that drastically and diversifies the item hunt a little.
At any rate, yes, this is more power creep but I honestly don’t believe any of this is completely unreasonable. I simply want to see more expanded uses of items that don’t get the light of day as well as add a few more ways to grind power. Also, for stuff like including Legendary gems in the Emanate pool, the vision I am seeking is opening up the game a little more where currently, it exist but is being wasted. I want to see how much more I can exploit different combinations of things now that we have a better foundation to work from. The game loop will always remain the same; but it’s how we interact with that loop which will continue to make the game interesting.