Why Option #4 Is The Best Solution

A couple weeks ago Blizzard wrote a blog post listing 5 options to solve the Magic Find gear swapping issue. The problem is, as stated by Blizzard:

Wyatt Cheng: Since release it has become an increasingly common practice to keep a Magic Find (MF) set in your inventory, and swap it in shortly before a kill. Philosophically we don’t have a problem with the practice. While players getting more Magic Find for their kills isn’t a game breaker for us, many players have said they don’t enjoy doing it but feel the benefit is too large to ignore.

While I don’t think this is as big of any issue as many other things (the extreme randomness of the item roll, the lack of social interaction, the not-so-well designed hit detection, the overwhelming number of reinforcements on elite farming and death, and the intrinsic difficulty of Inferno), I will say that I am very annoyed at the magic find gear swapping, and out of principle, I run in my normal set and do not ever gear swap.

Blizzard’s five solutions are:

  1. Set a Magic Find Cap
  2. Slowly Adjust Magic Find Over Time
  3. Use your average MF% or your lowest MF% of the last 5 minutes
  4. Zero-Out Your MF% for 3 Minutes After Swapping Gear
  5. Gear Swapping Interacts with Nephalem Valor

As far as (1) goes, it defeats the principle of MF in the first place. If you set a limit on MF, you might as well just remove it completely as everyone will obtain max limited MF fairly early on. It also defeats the purpose of perfect rolls on gear.

The second option (2), as Blizzard mentioned, would not alleviate the problem, as players would still gear swap and get some extra MF out of it.

Blizzard is again right on about (3). It would be extremely hard to communicate.

And (5) would be bad too, sometimes people switch gear on purpose in a fight. For example, someone might use tank gear (a shield) for phases 1 and 2 on Belial to help survive against the snakes, and then switch to dps gear (dual-wielding or a 2-hander) to have enough DPS to beat the enrage timer. This would punish people who actually come up with creative strategies.

Now let’s see how Option #4 solves everything:

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.

That’s the best pros of any of the options. It is absolutely effective. So far so good.

The cons may be easily negated, simply by doing exactly what Blizzard just said. Except the character sheet should list your “real” MF value as well as the 0% when colored. For example, I have not switched gear in the last 3 minutes, so my character sheet shows:

MF: 75% (75%)

But when I swap out an item for 10% more MF, it now shows

MF: 0% (85%)

with a timed buff that explains what is happening. When the timer is up, it will go back to saying:

MF: 85% (85%)

However, the duration of 3 minutes might be too long. In the Belial example I showed above, some people do actually use a gear swap as part of a strategy in a fight.

How about you zero the MF value only if the gear you are switching to had MF on it? So if I want to swap into DPS mode for Belial phase 3, and my MF stays exactly the same or drops from the gear swap, then don’t zero-out my MF. This has the added benefit that while you are leveling, your MF won’t be zeroed out every time you find an upgrade.

With this modification, Option #4 would be perfect.

Now, some people on the forums have made the suggestion of adding a gear-swap button. This does not solve the root problem, however, as this option would basically force everyone to obtain a pure MF set with no other stats. Option #4 is much better.

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