I don't know where to start, I don't usually write post regarding feedback directly to Blizzard and my english is not that good, but I'll give it a shot.
First of all I have never played Diablo 2, but I have read a lot of information and spend hours investigating why it was so replayable, so don't get me wrong when I quote that game.
Let's get started:
Diablo 3 Vanilla
I think if anyone here wants to provide feedback we need to start where the problems began. Diablo 3 showed us an amazing gameplay in within amazing graphics and skills. It was a truly enjoyable game.
But as most games, it had its flaws. The truth is Diablo 3 had poor itemization, which finally forced players to use the Auction House, creating a negative feeling on the community. Not only that, but it also affected the truly engame of Diablo 3, which was inferno mode. Inferno difficulty was good, was made to be extremely hard, either if you liked it or hated it, it was the endgame of D3, it was the goal for all the players, unreacheable for some, challenging for other, boring to hell to the rest. It was made to -theorically- last months and months, but the real wall people had to face wasn't the difficulty itself but the items they got from the game they played... So they ended up nerfing inferno to the ground making the endgame totally trivial, and here the problems started.
From that point, Inferno was a 1 week end-game and people starting to ask themselves... what to do now?. Diablo 3 hasn't had any real challenging end game since then, we are just farming items to become better at farming them, pointless as most of us would say. What about paragons then? aren't those the endgame of Diablo 3? To be fair, paragons were a nice addition, with a lot potential but ended up feeling like a pointless grind.
What made Diablo 2 "better" at longevity than Diablo 3 then? Well in Diablo 2, you had 3 key factors that made people keep playing again and again, 1st was building a character with the skill tree, 2nd was pvp, and 3rd was the ladders.
So people was endlessly grinding in Diablo 2 to make the perfect characters according to its own choice and to perfect that character they needed to get items, and to get better items they needed better levels, and additional to that to become better at pvp they needed bigger levels and better items, PLUS you had a seasons system called ladders which could reset the economy every few months. That was a perfect cycle to keep a long longevity.
Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
Now we have the expansion coming in a couple of months and as far as we all have seen, Blizzard is adressing 2 key flaws of Diablo 3 vanilla: item hunt and leveling.
Even if we know that we are at an early stage of the game we can say that the new items are awesome, are made to change playstyles and to try out new stuff, which is absolutely great, I was never more dissapointed to get a legendary in Diablo 3 just to know beforehand that it was a crappy item and wasn't even worth identifying it.
They are also adding this new 'smart loot' system which would help you progress your character rather than looking at the AH for upgrades... well there is no AH now anyway. Nevertheless this is a great change, as anyone who played D3 vanilla for a long time, you couldn't be more frustrated to play for 3 or 5 hours and get no single upgrade, no nothing, nada.
Getting paragons levels in vanilla was boring, we had to run the exact same route over and over to death just to be optimal, act3 runs, alkaizer runs, scorpion runs, and lately crypts runs. I'm really really glad they addresses this by adding the nephalem rifts and bounties, I think it is a huge step and will make the leveling really fun.
As I said while Blizzard is 'fixing' the way we get loot and get levels but... we still don't have a goal to do so, going back to D2 again, people was getting levels to build different characters and to level faster they were farming items liek crazy and to to pvp better they were getting both, items and levels, plus they had season in ladders.
We have none of this is Vanilla or RoS, so my current pronostic is that D3: RoS will be an amazing game that will last for less than 1 month on hardcore players and less than 3 months for regular ones.
A friend of mine asked me this: "Why do you complain if a game that you payed once last for 3 months when most play station games with the same value last for 1 week." And to be honest, is true, most console games last less than a month and people never complain, so why are we? For me is simple, this is a Blizzard game, and Blizzard gained my respect for making really amazing and long games, I think if anyone else would've been making D3 I wouldn't even matterred to think of feedback.
What to do then?
Over the weeks I've seen numerous post regarding feedback and 'feedback' and as one of the youtubers said (I think it was kripparrian), while people post this feedback with their best intention, most of them lack of the basic or advanced knowledge of how a game or a software is designed/created.
We can dream of every content we want to, but we need to realistic on what can THEY DO rather of what can WE DREAM. For people like me who works in IT stuff is easier to notice what modules of the game's framework can be exploited to make the game more addictively. There one key word that are present within software development and can be used very well in here, and it is reusability.
And with that keyword we can make new content without coding huge amount of lines and wasting too much time. Rifts are a perfect example of reusability, they are making new content using exisiting modules. So with those ideas in mind I will propose mine.
Unless they make a masacre free for all PVP arena, no other form of PVP will be feasible, the reason they haven't released PVP as they announced it at vanilla beta (with rankings and teams, etc) is because the classes balance would be an endless and painful process that won't probably worth the time.
We need to compete with other human beigns, we are a competitive race, Blizzard is amazing at making competitive games, what are we waiting?
My idea is to Player vs Player competition doesn't come from killing each other, but to kill stuff within the game and compete for who make it faster, better, etc.
Imagine a system, where you get in a queue (similar to starcraft pvp queues) and wait a minute to find an opponent with similar (insert any indicator here like paragon level), once the queue pop you enter a RIFT with let's say 10 floors(can be any), at the top one is your character(or team) and at the bottom one is an 'enemy player' now you both fight to complete the objetives faster. Kill X monster, Kill the boss at the middle of the stage first, Kill X elites, destroy X objects etc. You can see the progression of each team all the time, just to make more preasure.
ITS A TRAP:
Lets make it more funny, lets say that during adventure mode, regular rifts or bounties you found some kind of item that will help you during that new system I mentioned. Let's say during the competition you are able to use an item that will spawn 1 group of elites on the enemy player's foot! so you can delay him or maybe just spawn him some goblins to distrat him from his objetive, anything already created in game can be used to delay the other player making the other modes more replayable.
Did someone say, random?:
Image this, maybe optional, but to make things more challenging, once you get into this PvP the game gives you random skills, it gives you a random primary, random secundary, random, defensive, etc. and then locks down your skills so you have to use what you got, and so you have to know very well your character, and even better, you should be expecting this and thus having some items to boost most of your abilities or to make new strategies on the fly.
Now let's say you gain points or some kind of ranking for participating in this system and this ranking resets every week (just an example) and at the end of the week, the top players get cosmetic rewards or extra paragon points, or extra boosts, etc. and the rest of the players (who didn't win, get lesser rewards, like the new loot bags with a tiny chance to get those cosmetics as well.)
We are farming new items to become more powerful and we want to kill players! but as I said the game will never be balanced to be a fair PvP, then why don't we just make it unbalanced?
My idea here is to reuse Blizzard original arena PvP, but this time you or your team face 1 single player, overpowered by the game. Imagine you and your 3 friends join a queue to face another player who choose to play as the bad guy he receives a boost in paragon levels and in height, now you both have objetives, he needs to kill you all X times and you need to kill just 1 time.
To make it more funny take a huge map for this example, let's say VotA, now you 5 start in random places but remember you and your friends are partying, you will be split up so maybe you need to find yourselves first and play as a team before the other boss player kill you all. My mind even think a strategy being made to kill him, people using ventrilo, etc
The idea of making 4 players face 1 big human challenge is something I will like but I haven't really thought too much for it, my friend said, and why won't you make that single player to play a boss model? interesting indeed...
Again, you can have a variaty of rewards and rankings, etc.
As most players I would like to enter some kind of arena where I face a lot of waves of monsters and elites, the longer I survived the bigger the rewards, it should be so hard to a point where waves only spawn bosses and elites with increasing difficulty. I think you can make this one of the biggest end game, just imagine wave number 100 spawning 3 diablos 2 Malthaels, 3 Butchers along with 10 packs of elites in tormet Vi difficulty, it should be theorically impossible to beat but it should have an end, a goal, not infinite. This could have a ranking as well.
Rifts are somekind similar to Path of exile's maps, however making Rifts exactly like maps wouldn't make much sense, because in PoE maps are the endgame to reach the maximum level, in Diablo there is no cap, so no point getting Rifts upgrades.
I think Diablo 3 needs a ladder, but a really different one from D2, maybe a monthly ladder with another weekly one, with ranking on experience gained and with rewards in form of legendaries.
The only think here im asking to the devs are the legendaries because lets face it, this game will be all about legendaries at some point, and having new set of legendaries every month which you can gain by competing in the ladders will make the game more long lived than ever.
I'm asking for short time ladders because I think gamers are different now, I don't think anyone will commit 6 months to a full old style ladder, but I think lots will jump for the upcoming monthly one or even the weekly one from time to time. You just need to be sure to make idk 3 legendaries every month and show them like rewards for this "season".
Similar to what I proposed for PvP, top players will gain this new legendaries and the other ones will get loot bag with a small chance of the getting them. Of course once the ladder is over, the new legendaries will be able to obtain as regular rare rewards from playing adventure mode.
Similar to D2 "endless" cycle, mine would be like this:
You play adventure to level paragons and get items,
paragons and items help you get better in PvP system
paragons and items help you get better at the PvE arena waves
paragons and items help you get better at the arena 1v4 PvP
Items help you for random build challenge
You play weekly or monthly ladders to get exp for adventure and amazing legendary rewards,
paragons and items help you get better in PvP system
and the cycle repeats...
Thank you for reading such a long post.
Edited by Lagunn#1761 on 12/7/2013 3:59 PM PST