Diablo® III

It is STILL all about the AI.

It seems that the focus of the game remains exclusively the loot. Which is surely important, but the gaping hole in this game must certainly be the AI. As of right now, there is exactly one kind of engagement, the 'can they insta-gib me' engagement. Basically, the monsters about are so stupid, and the players so powerful, that if you can't be insta-gibbed, you can't lose. We need a greater focus on the mechanics of every engagement.

There are huge opportunities to do this too. At blizzcon, they appear to have organized the archers to back up and attack. They also allow pathing 'priority' (as where the crusader 'pushes' the scarabs), which means that pathing could take a titanic leap forward. I can see the strategic component of the game making a big come-back.

Beyond even this, Blizz has a big oportunity to make some really compelling mechanics changes between D3 and the expo. Currently, A1-5 normal is exactly the same as A1-5 inferno. This can be completely reversed here, with major changes to game mechanics between the different difficulties and different acts. If this isn't done, I would consider it a major failure.

Overall though, I saw nearly nothing deling with what I consider the bland, uninspired battle mechanics. Lore, itemization, and monster graphics appear well in hand, but that isn't enough to make good GAMEPLAY. In essence, if this is just a 'whirl for the win' expo, I can't really say I could be convinced to proceed.
Edited by coodav#1174 on 11/10/2013 11:20 AM PST
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One for the heck of it.
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11/10/2013 11:14 AMPosted by coodav
Currently, A1-5 normal is exactly the same as A1-5 inferno.


Actually there are some differences.

Enemies react much quicker on higher difficulties once you pull agro and they also recover quicker from CC effects.

I agree though that some more interesting AI would be great. Act V looks to have this absolutely nailed, the new monsters are very interesting in their mechanics and will definitely change up how the player approaches combat.

On the plus side, Nephalem Rifts will contain random variations of all monsters which will definitely shake things up. At the moment the monsters are usually tuned to their environment, in Nephalem Rifts we could face monsters like Woodwraiths and Savage Beasts in tight spaces etc. Not to mention that roster will include all the new monsters in Act V.
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Yeah, I don't think faster agro is even close to enough. And if you do, then let me ask: are you satisfied with the gameplay today?

I personally think the gameplay is completely mindless, and if you think different, I then must ask you the obvious: when were you actually challenged in any particular engagement?

My guess would be never. So finally I would ask you; do you think that them having monsters back up 180 deg. and shoot as opposed to run away 180 deg. and then shoot will change any of that? I don't think so. What it seems like we have are a few great physics mechanisms that will never likely be used to even a fraction of their potential.

Here is what an engagement should look like: Upon engagement, bad guys buff and summon. The biggest bad-guys move forward to engage to protect the weaker units. Range units and casting units take cover behind the 'line' where the melee units create a 'concave' to engage as simultaneously as possible. Spellcasters and archers do what they do behind the lines of the heavy units. When the player gets close enough, whammo, the melee characters rush in, and everyone dogpiles together.

Here is where it currently is: upon engagement, a certain few units buff or summon, always exactly the same. Melee units immediately rush in without thought sometimes running out of the 'buff zone' when they do so, single file. Mages and archers shoot, typically two to three times, then run in exactly the opposite direction of the player, wherever that is, then do it again, three times, rinse repeat. Spellcasters typically don't move, or seemingly have any logic of any kind to their approach, with the exception that when they cast, they typically cast a lot. There is no priority that I can see, and engagement is effectively random one second into the fight. The only monsters that seem to be worth anything are the Act 3 'fatties,' and only in their case because they are the perfect package: extremely fast, extremely tough, do huge damage, buff quickly - including each other, have an AI that keeps them at an 'ideal distance' of close to the edge of your screen, and run away before virtually any other caster. Does this make them or the game feel compelling? Does it challenge you strategically? Is it fun chasing them down? I would say no to everything: they just are made in such a cheap way that it is harder to isolate and kill them than any of the other mindless swarms.

If Blizz focused on strategic combat, and creative engagement, this would be a COMPLETELY different experience, with everything else being the same. What is sad is that I can see Blizz losing this opportunity in slow motion.
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I'm not sure whether some people want faster just to be addicted to speed or because they want everything now and are impatient or simply don't have time to prolongue playing to progress.

Pre-inferno nerf, people had to fight longer and try to think, but we both know how well that went. LOH S&B builds came up. Abusing terrain like Act 3 towers.

Maybe this strategy isn't for diablo games.
I'd like a bit more strategy out there, but the same time spent on killing monsters. Not sure if you get my drift.
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I just want to see if Blizz can make me use my brain. I currently fall asleep playing, and the changes that I have seen seem to be complete band-aids. Core gameplay mechanics need to change.
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You're playing the wrong game.
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The AI isn't horrible. The mobs all act differently and stuff. Could be more ofcourse and I'm sure there will be.
The actual horror is the dps/lifesteal situation, that's primarly what's making all encounters binary.

Pre-inferno nerf, people had to fight longer and try to think, but we both know how well that went. LOH S&B builds came up. Abusing terrain like Act 3 towers.

It's good when we have to think, be cautious and tactical.
But it's bad when we're forced to cheese.

Here is what an engagement should look like: Upon engagement, bad guys buff and summon. The biggest bad-guys move forward to engage to protect the weaker units. Range units and casting units take cover behind the 'line' where the melee units create a 'concave' to engage as simultaneously as possible. Spellcasters and archers do what they do behind the lines of the heavy units. When the player gets close enough, whammo, the melee characters rush in, and everyone dogpiles together.

Yea I think so too. More formations and tactics from mobs, more support and tanking.
That goes for players too.
I'd like an aggro system as well, something simple but still enough to enable melee to control the mobs and protect the ranged so they can do their heavyduty dps.

And instead of simply mashing at whatever mobs closest, it should be better to select exposed targets. Not that mashing should ever be obsoleted ofcourse! xD
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Yea I think so too. More formations and tactics from mobs, more support and tanking.That goes for players too.

Well, if they implement this, it would be a 1st time to see monsters microing players lol
It would provide better PVP training than currently, since the current elite affixes are far from simulating all class skills.
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It may not specifically be an upgrade to AI, but Nephalem Rifts offer random monsters in random dungeons. This creates situations you're not used to, and sometimes the results are very unexpected. Players who tried out Reaper of Souls at Blizzcon gave us feedback about how cool it was to be put in new situations, and how they had to adapt their tactics accordingly. You can take a look at this Adventure Mode blog if you want to read a little more about Nephalem Rifts, and how they're randomized.
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This looks very good!
I'm gonna be happy to preorder the exp!
My regrets I didn't get the blizzcon ticket though :( No stylish banner for me.
I had to choose between the helm and the ticket. My gf don't really acknowledge the existence of virtual items :|

11/11/2013 03:54 PMPosted by Tornado
Yea I think so too. More formations and tactics from mobs, more support and tanking.That goes for players too.

Well, if they implement this, it would be a 1st time to see monsters microing players lol
It would provide better PVP training than currently, since the current elite affixes are far from simulating all class skills.

Some mobs do troll hard :P
Got hit by a waller/arcane/frozen/vortex.
I broke down the door, knew they were there, frozen started and I tried to run, but the wall popped up and I couldn't go back as they'd kill me. I could only follow the wall and get frozen. They caught up to me and just wasted me. My teammates got away from the frozen at the other side, but they got vortexed in just a bit later for some frozen lazor.

But it's not really what we're looking for :|
Should be more structure to how all mobs behave. Like smaller mobs hiding behing the tanks and when you engage the tank they all rush you. Or ranged continously moving away with melee always trying to place themselves between you and the ranged (need sweet slows for that one).
Healers, buffers, mages... Wizards with long slow casts that you need to interrupt or they'll seriously hurt! Like the summoners, only that the summons are really badass! And that melee will try and stop you from reaching those casters as well as quicker spellcasters who debuff, slow or attack you while you try and get through.
Kinda like act4, but with a recognizable pattern instead of the complete and utter humiliation that is the chaotic carnage of the fourth act.
Edited by Bombus#2506 on 11/11/2013 6:36 PM PST
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It may not specifically be an upgrade to AI, but Nephalem Rifts offer random monsters in random dungeons. This creates situations you're not used to, and sometimes the results are very unexpected. Players who tried out Reaper of Souls at Blizzcon gave us feedback about how cool it was to be put in new situations, and how they had to adapt their tactics accordingly. You can take a look at this Adventure Mode blog if you want to read a little more about Nephalem Rifts, and how they're randomized.


It's nice that the Nephalem Rifts are randomized, but there really does need to be AI tiers for the difficulties. MP10 is no harder than MP1 from a tactical standpoint since the AI remains the same across all difficulty levels. You simply need the appropriate gear at each level. But had the monster AI been altered at different levels and difficulty increased that way, MP levels could have been about tactics instead of attrition.

Attrition is fun on occasion. It is not fun when it is the norm. Diablo 2's monsters had better AI than the ones in Diablo 3. I was actually more concerned with them than anything in this game outside of the gimmick/brute force monsters peppered throughout each act of Diablo 3.

I really hope the devs seriously consider revisiting the monster AI. Fighting hordes of enemies is fun. Fighting hordes of enemies that know how to work together is something that never gets old. Ever.
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11/11/2013 07:11 PMPosted by TheTias
It may not specifically be an upgrade to AI, but Nephalem Rifts offer random monsters in random dungeons. This creates situations you're not used to, and sometimes the results are very unexpected. Players who tried out Reaper of Souls at Blizzcon gave us feedback about how cool it was to be put in new situations, and how they had to adapt their tactics accordingly. You can take a look at this Adventure Mode blog if you want to read a little more about Nephalem Rifts, and how they're randomized.


It's nice that the Nephalem Rifts are randomized, but there really does need to be AI tiers for the difficulties. MP10 is no harder than MP1 from a tactical standpoint since the AI remains the same across all difficulty levels. You simply need the appropriate gear at each level. But had the monster AI been altered at different levels and difficulty increased that way, MP levels could have been about tactics instead of attrition.

Attrition is fun on occasion. It is not fun when it is the norm. Diablo 2's monsters had better AI than the ones in Diablo 3. I was actually more concerned with them than anything in this game outside of the gimmick/brute force monsters peppered throughout each act of Diablo 3.

I really hope the devs seriously consider revisiting the monster AI. Fighting hordes of enemies is fun. Fighting hordes of enemies that know how to work together is something that never gets old. Ever.
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I would say that "smart" unit combination would do the trick. Also, if units had synergy between them, it would be good as well. I remember back in Diablo 2, we could get the following combo: Oblivion Knight & Doom Knight + Mummies that revive undead + Souls + Dolls (something like that). The game instantly became hard. Higher difficulty could increase the likeliness of having deadly combo.
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11/11/2013 07:11 PMPosted by TheTias
Fighting hordes of enemies that know how to work together is something that never gets old. Ever.
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11/11/2013 07:16 PMPosted by DoomBringer


It's nice that the Nephalem Rifts are randomized, but there really does need to be AI tiers for the difficulties. MP10 is no harder than MP1 from a tactical standpoint since the AI remains the same across all difficulty levels. You simply need the appropriate gear at each level. But had the monster AI been altered at different levels and difficulty increased that way, MP levels could have been about tactics instead of attrition.

Attrition is fun on occasion. It is not fun when it is the norm. Diablo 2's monsters had better AI than the ones in Diablo 3. I was actually more concerned with them than anything in this game outside of the gimmick/brute force monsters peppered throughout each act of Diablo 3.

I really hope the devs seriously consider revisiting the monster AI. Fighting hordes of enemies is fun. Fighting hordes of enemies that know how to work together is something that never gets old. Ever.
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I would say that "smart" unit combination would do the trick. Also, if units had synergy between them, it would be good as well. I remember back in Diablo 2, we could get the following combo: Oblivion Knight & Doom Knight + Mummies that revive undead + Souls + Dolls (something like that). The game instantly became hard. Higher difficulty could increase the likeliness of having deadly combo.


Fully agree. They need to focus on monster synergy big time. Would make the game far more exciting.
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yea agreed, i hate how some monsters continually run away making melee players feel like theyre chasing a chicken with its head cut off
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They are already changing the "if i dont die instantly i can win" by removing lifesteal. You won't be able to fill your health bar up to full from one hit.

But I do agree there needs to be more mechanics that hurt, but don't kill instantly, but can be avoided.

I do feel without lifesteal, and with the new affixes and monster combinations, that you will not feel quite as safe as you used to.
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11/11/2013 07:40 PMPosted by DethAxe
Fighting hordes of enemies that know how to work together is something that never gets old. Ever.
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Very good thread, thanks OP
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+1, please make monsters more STRATEGICALLY intelligent with greater cohesion amongst themselves, instead of simply ramping up their stats and calling it a day.
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