In a new design preview post, Blizzard said: "We're shifting to a philosophy where the best items in the game can drop from many different places, so a wider variety of play styles are viable."
The Diablo 3 maker cited two problems that led to the increased drop rates. First, "players who find an Act too difficult feel compelled to use the auction house in order to progress" and second, "certain classes, skills, and play styles are less gear dependent than others, so although great items are making their way into the game economy, people feel pigeonholed into a handful of viable strategies."
As a solution, Blizzard plans to expand the iLevel 61-63 drop rates, according to the chart below:
Patch 1.0.3 which will go live later this month.
Power Enhancements to Legendary Items
While the best iLevel gear are headed for a price squeeze, Legendary items seem bound for even pricier heights. Blizzard is actively working on buffing the power level of Legendary items and, once that's done, their value could push up even more.
"When we're done, high level Legendaries should be flat out better than blue items, they'll carry a good amount of power with them, and they should also be distinctive or memorable in the benefits they provide. We'll be able to share more information on the specific changes we're making after 1.0.3 launches," said Blizzard.
Even without this planned power increase, we're seeing an insane pricing scheme for Legendary items. Diabloeconomics.com reported late last month that the legendary sword Azurewrath is selling for a bid of 10 million Gold and a buyout price of 15 million Gold.
Given the exchange rate of $7 per 100k Gold used by the website, this amounts to a staggering $700 bid and $1,050 buyout price. But if using our own Diablo 3 currency tracker, which pegs the exchange rate at $312.30 per 5 million Gold, then this amounts to lower but still impressive $624.60 bid and a $936.90 buyout.
No doubt once the stat bumps for Legendary items take effect, and their drop rates remain excruciatingly low, the prices will skyrocket and make them a lucrative sink for Diablo 3 Gold.