Smart Loot

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Smart Loot is part of the Loot 2.0 system introduced to Diablo 3 in the D3v2 revision, and also seen in Reaper of Souls.

Smart Loot refers to the game's tendency to roll item types and/or affixes appropriate for the class of the character that finds or crafts or gambles the item. This does not happen with every item, but about 85% of item drops (Smart Drops) or item rolls (via crafting and gambling) will roll with bonuses suited to the class of the character that finds or crafts or gambles the item.

In addition, class-restricted items will never roll with an inappropriate mainstat or +skill bonus for their designed class. This applies no matter what class finds the item, since while smart drops mean you will usually find items suited to your class, there is some randomness in the drops. For instance, no matter which class finds them, items like Monk fist weapons will never roll with Int or Str, Wizard sources will never roll with Str or Dex, etc.

  • This does not mean these items will always roll with the appropriate mainstat and/or skill bonus, since those are random affixes. It just means a class-specific item will never roll with a mainstat or skill bonus that would be useless to its intended class.

Smart Loot Functions[edit | edit source]

The Smart Loot system went live in Diablo 3 version 2 in Patch 2.0.1, in February 2014. The patch notes gave the very basic details on the new system:[1]

The "Smart Drop" system has been implemented
  • All items that drop have a chance to roll as “Smart Loot”
  • Smart Loot items roll intelligently based on the character being played (example: A Wizard is more likely to find items with Intelligence or bonuses to Wizard skills than a Barbarian)
  • Class specific items will no longer roll stats inappropriate to their class (example: Intelligence will no longer appear on Mighty Weapons or Belts)

A more detailed description of the way this system functions, as some changes and modifications went into the game after the initial release:

  1. Item type: (Barbs will tend to find Mighty weapons and mighty belts, Demon Hunters will tend to find hand-xbows and cloaks, etc.)
  2. Mainstat will roll appropriate to your class:
  1. Any +damage% skill bonuses on items will usually be appropriate to the character who finds the item.
  2. Class-specific items will never roll with mainstat or +skill bonuses for any class other than the one that can use the item.

In practice this means that, most items a Crusader finds will have +strength (rather than +dexterity or +intelligence, and if an item can roll with a +skill% damage, the skill selected will be a Crusader skill. Smart Loot does not take this customization further than this basic guideline. It will not target +skill bonuses that your character is actually using, or increase the chances of rolling vitality or all res or other affixes that your character build might benefit from.

The system merely rolls useful item types with the mainstat and skills appropriate for the class of the character that you are playing.

  • Item stats are set upon item creation, *not* when the item is IDed.

Thus if you find a legendary weapon or armor with a Barbarian, there's no point in giving it to your Wizard to ID and hoping to get INT and a Wizard skill bonus.

Horadric Caches and Cross-Class Farming[edit | edit source]

Smart Loot makes it very easy to gear up a new character of a different class, since the majority of gear you find is suited to your class. The other side of that coin is that it's difficult to find gear for other classes, either to twink to other characters on your account, or to friends playing other classes.

Since two classes share each mainstat it's not hard to find armor or jewelry for your class' match; for instance Demon Hunters will find armor and jewelry with +dexterity, which can be easily shared to a Monk. This applies as well to handing down gear; find a boots upgrade for your Wizard and give your old boots to your less-well-geared Witch Doctor. (Specific skill bonuses are the only real stumbling block to this sort of gear exchange, but those can sometimes be enchanted.)

On the other hand, it's quite difficult to find gear across class lines when the mainstat differs. A Barbarian will find items to share to a Crusader, but can play all day and not find items all that useful for a Wizard, Monk, Demon Hunter, or Witch Doctor. Players can overcome this by gaming the system in multiplayer games by partying with another different class and sharing all their legendary drops. e.g., Player 1's Barb gives all her drops to Player 2's Monk, and vice versa, thus enabling each player to find gear for a class they're not playing.

One exception to smart loot comes from the Horadric Cache. While the contents of a cache are set according to the difficulty level a player found it on (change made in Patch 2.0.5, the items in the cache do not roll until the cache is opened.[2] Thus a player can farm up caches with their powerful character, store them in their stash, and open the caches with another character who will get items with the smart loot geared to them. Note that the level of the items is set by the character who earns the stash, so if a level 70 earned the stash and a lvl 40 opens it, all the gear will be lvl 70.

Bear in mind that around 15% of all drops are not Smart Loot targeted, which is why Wizards will occasionally find/gamble/craft/cache Monk Fists, Barbarian mighty belts, etc, or items where the +skills or mainstat are not not suited to the character that finds them.

Official Smart Loot Statements[edit | edit source]

Blizzard made numerous public comments about the Smart Drops and Loot 2.0 system leading up to its reveal in Diablo 3 version 2 in early 2014. Here are some of their major comments, arranged chronologically.

October 29, 2013[edit | edit source]

Lylirra gave an overview of the Loot 2.0 system and included details about Smart Drops.[3]

Better replayability, greater build diversity and balance, and a (more) meaningful item hunt are all core pillars for both the expansion and pre-expansion patch. Those three goals are guiding nearly every decision and change we're making, which includes but is certainly not limited to: smart drops, enchanting, Paragon improvements, loot runs, and the yet-to-be-officially-announced Adventure Mode (which you'll hear more about at BlizzCon).

There's also changes like:

  • Reducing the number of items that drop, but improving their overall quality
  • Narrowing stat ranges on items (example: instead of rolling 1-100 an item might now roll 80-100)
  • Breaking item stats into two separate categories -- Primary (stats that directly improve your character's power) and Secondary (stats that provide utility) -- that can roll independently of one another to help avoid scenarios where a stat like Pick-Up Radius is having to compete with stats like Attack Speed or +%damage
  • Creating Legendary powers that are aimed at not only being mathematically powerful, but also have the opportunity to spawn meaningful and potentially interesting build choices
  • Plus a boatload of skill tuning that's still very much in-progress.

November 3, 2013[edit | edit source]

Clarifications from Lylirra.[4]

I hope that at a minimum there will no longer be items with skills enhancement for a particular class that that class can not use (e.g.: WD skill bonuses on a bow).

That’s the spirit of smart drops. In addition, smart drops won’t occur with every single item that drops for you, but when one happens, it will be generally suited for your character (such as getting a larger amount of Intelligence based items on a Witch Doctor or Wizard).

Hopefully that doesnt mean though that DH will see mighty weapons with dexterity.
Smart drops will also affect the types of items that drop for your hero, not just the stats on them. So, basically: if you’re getting a smart drop, both the item type and the stats on the item itself will be tailored towards your class.

As Neva noted, though, items only have a chance to be a smart drop, so you may still see some one-off mighty belts and voodoo masks here and there. Significantly less than before, though.

so are u saying nats gaze will drop again or did u error on saying legacy legendaries
In this case, legacy Legendaries = Legendaries that drop before the pre-expansion patch goes live. So, no.

Kind of like what console has right now?
Correct. Smart drops on console were actually pulled directly from early Reaper of Souls development plans (those sneaksy designers).

Will the new legendary items have an obvious distinction from the “Legacy ones”? If they are completely similar, I can already foresee people stacking up some “bad” level 63 legendary items and re-selling them UNID when the patch hits. It could be the color, the shape of the “? or X” or something.
Great question. I honestly have no idea off-hand; will have to check.

is that means I cannot farm with my barb and hoping to find gear to gear my DH ? I like this idea. But did you consider that at some point the only gear you will find is going to be for my barb. Sometimes I liked to farm with my barb to gear our heroes I have.

As noted, not all drops will be smart drops. There’s only a chance that an item will be a smart drop (and thus tailored for your Barbarian), which means that you will still be able to farm upgrades for other characters on your account.

November 5, 2013[edit | edit source]

Comments from Nevalistis.[5]

Are we going to know when we get a “Smart” drop (visual/sound/etc.)? …The question I have is: will there be some icon or other notification that tells us that the dropped item is a smart drop?

Nevalistis: Smart drops are an internal mechanic, and there really isn’t a need for an outward notification that one has occurred. An item that seems more tailored for your class, though, should send off the tip that it was probably (but not always) a DiabloWikismart drop.

At the end of the day, knowing whether or not an item “dropped smartly” is unlikely to impact whether or not you decide to use it. You’ll still be assessing gear based on what stats or procs it ended up with and how that fits into your play-style.

Will this affect Crafted legendary items?
I learned a bit more about the current design for crafting, and wanted to take a moment to share. =) Bear in mind, of course, that this is subject to change as development continues.

At this time, “smart drops” apply to all items crafted by a character. If it’s a general item (like a chest or bracers, for example), the stats on it will be tailored to the character who crafted it. However, there is an exception: if the item in question can only be used by a particular class, the stats will instead roll for the appropriate class. If you craft a mighty belt, for instance, you can expect to see Strength and other Barbarian friendly affixes on it.

So in other words, can a class specific item which is not a smart drop, still roll a (main) stat for another class?
Nope! Class-specific items will only roll stats for the appropriate class, regardless of whether or not the item in question is a smart drop or which character acquires it. No more INT-tastic Mighty Belts or the like.

Similarly.. If I get a “smart drop” for my WD,will it be a 2 hand Bow with a WD skill? This is sooo absurd 8) If it’s an item that you can actually equip and it is a “smart drop,” the stats will be prioritized for your class. If you can’t use it at all though, don’t expect it to roll stats that aren’t tailored to your class.

Again, I feel it necessary to mention that we’re still iterating on a lot of these details, but this is how smart drops are working as it currently stands.