When searching item databases for possible unique items for my Wolf Beastmaster I came across the item “Herald of the Scurry”. The item is undoubtedly powerful - MUCH too powerful in my opinion. That got me thinking.
I always thought that unique items that powerful should have a compensating downside or tradeoff, so that there is an actual choice of whether or not a build might use the unique. With Herald of the Scurry existing in its current state there is absolutely no choice involved - it just straight up far more than doubles the dps effectiveness of wolves and on top of that gives the wolves/squirrels AND the player quite a chunk of survivability. There simply is no competition.
I would welcome it if there would be a (possibly thematic) impactful downside to the item stats, so not every Wolf Beastmaster is shoehorned into using that specific item for the simple fact that there is absolutely no better item to choose as a helmet.
I think designing unique items to be a choice instead of a must-have is generally a healthy approach for a game that revolves about creating and finding items. Otherwise (IMO at least) it feels like the game is forcing you to wear one specific item, reducing build complexity and customizability.
(I am too new to the game to know whether or not this problem also applies to other uniques, but HOTS stood out as quite problematic in that way to me.)