Diablo® III

Character Development biggest offender, not Drop Rates.

Noxious - Good Post. I agree. I could care less about the top tier items dropping all the time, the problem is that this is all there is to get. Everything else is missing...

Some other thoughts here...

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/11396609550

Even with the "doubling" of legendary items announced today. Big whoopee, still going to be the same game where you look just like your buddy, the skill's will continued to be changed around because it's not possible to balance hundred's of skills when you can switch them on a whim to the one that gives the most power or performance. They might as well all equal each other in total damage output, whether its total damage to a group of enemies or a single target.
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I remember making a charged bolt sorc in D2 just for fun. Between levelling and hunting/trading for gear for her i probably put more hours into that joke character then I did into D3. I did this with a fire ball sorc, ice orb sorc, javazon, bowazon, ww bard, summoning druid, ww druid, zealadin, hammerdin, summoning necro and a bone necro. Each character took tens of hours to build and i did some of the same one multiple times due to ladder.

Now in D3 i made a cm wiz and ww barb. Sure I could make a magic missile wiz build, it would take 5 minutes to set the skills and about half an hour to figure out that my old cm build was better.

There in lies the difference in permanence and character identity. Each and everyone of my D2 characters was 20+ hours of fun, even if they weren't the best just building them was fun. They also offered unique 1 time quests that gave permanent bonus that made me want to complete them or rare runes that made levelling a form of farming and wealth generation as well.
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First, let me say that I agree with OP.

01/23/2014 10:36 AMPosted by Noxious
I have a Witch Doctor, he's like all Witch Doctors.
I have a Barbarian, he's like all Barbarians.
I have a Wizard, he's like all Wizards.


This will be getting much, much better in ROS due to different stat interactions and loot 2.0 legendary effects.

As an example, cooldown reduction builds will look very different from other builds for every class. This includes different active and passive skills, different stacked affixes, and different legendaries.

That said, the game still needs to do more for character customization/individuality. Having more legendaries with tradeoffs would be a big one helping to distinguish builds. Further developing Paragon customization is another. Adding consentual semi-permanence here and there, with strong rewards for committment, would definitely be a welcome change that would make characters feel different.
Edited by Vox#1186 on 1/23/2014 2:03 PM PST
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01/23/2014 01:32 PMPosted by frothylager
01/23/2014 01:00 PMPosted by Shadout

Synergies was a seriously terrible design concept in D2, but even that was years into D2s lifetime.


What was so bad about synergies?

It reduced the spec choices, making it even more about buffing a few main abilities.
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They're heading into more customization with new legendaries, Paragon 2.0, but still aren't there where it's at an "insanely satisfying" point.

Because of the Internet, 99% of the people will copy a build. There goes the "uniqueness".
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01/23/2014 02:04 PMPosted by Shadout
01/23/2014 01:32 PMPosted by frothylager
...

What was so bad about synergies?

It reduced the spec choices, making it even more about buffing a few main abilities.


I don't see the issue with this? You could only use 2 at a time anyway.

Do you like the way D3 is set up where you have access to all skills at max level? Synergies allowed you to focus on a few abilities to over charge them or you could choose a wide variety of skills to get past the pesky immunes, the development was 100% up to you.
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People copied builds in D2 too, and it was just fine.
Even those who copied other peoples builds, still chose a meaningful path for their character, that could not be instantly changed.

Uniqueness is irrelevant tbh.
The only thing that matters is making the choice of what your character is. What is your characters strengths? Its weaknesses? What makes it special? Not in the sense that it is different from everyone else, but in the sense that it picked some abilities instead of other abilities, and now it (and thereby you) has to live with those choices.

Skill choices does not have to be permanent. But they should have enough impact that changing them is not something done on a whim or all the time. Choosing a skill should somewhat be a character defining moment.
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The itemization simply reflects the overall game philosophy and design. They wanted swappable "builds", A.K.A load-outs, allowing easy access to everything available to the classes and in order for that to work as intended the game couldn't have complex mechanics nor a diverse affix pool that created sub-optimal or non-functional scenarios for whatever "build" a player wanted to use. So they did the same thing they do in WoW and dumbed down everything so that there was only one set of stat priorities for everything and scaling all skills essentially the same amount.

In other words all the most important mechanics and factors influencing the power of a hero is already set in stone and decided for the player just as it is in WoW.
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01/23/2014 02:13 PMPosted by frothylager
I don't see the issue with this? You could only use 2 at a time anyway.

Do you like the way D3 is set up where you have access to all skills at max level? Synergies allowed you to focus on a few abilities to over charge them or you could choose a wide variety of skills to get past the pesky immunes, the development was 100% up to you.

Considering I'm talking heavily in favor of some sense of character permanency, no, I do not favor having all skills at "max" at all times.

But
Clearly you could have more abilities than 2 at any time. Took no time to switch the two action buttons around.
The issue as I see it, is that it reduced build choices. You were best off picking a pre-determined path of synergies.
Diablo 2 had a fairly open-ended skill system, where the biggest issue was "one point wonders" that skewed the balance between skill choices - getting lot of usability out of a single point - and not much use after the first point.
Then comes synergies, adding even more incentive to only pick 1-2 strong abilities + synergies + one-point wonders.
The skill system was simply more open before the synergies.
If they had just fixed one point wonders instead, that too would have given the benefit you mention; choosing between spreading points vs. focusing them in fewer abilities.

Skill synergy should really come from the mechanics of the skills and using said mechanics in interesting ways, not some passive links.
Edited by Shadout#2849 on 1/23/2014 2:27 PM PST
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This *is* the primary thing. And it's really a shame that we're discussing D3, and not some other flaccid ARPG.
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Fixing drop rates is an easier issue to tackle rather than the core problem of "lack of character uniqueness/customization/progression" hence all the conversation of late. The issue you raise OP is something that could never be resolved without making massive changes to the game's systems.
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Reroll anytime you want to. If a drop can be the difference in the build you will use I prefer not to level another character to 60, soon to be 70, to use it. No one says you can't treat your spec as permanent. Simply never change your skill. I prefer not to delete a character because I didn't fully understand a skill I chose and regretted it later.

Stop taking away choices in this game because you don't have the willpower to simply not touch your skills after you've selected them. That goes for people who want serious death penalties as well. If you know you died from playing above your paygrade and getting owned, delete your character. Don't need to make it so it happens to everyone, so you enjoy the game.

The one thing that will absolutely make this game short-lived is eliminating choices, especially when the things people are asking for they can do on their own. What is the obsession with making everyone have to do it the same way? Play Diablo 3 the way you want and leave everyone else's idea of fun alone.
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I'm with you OP 100%

The so called progression for this game is only farm farm farm farm faster bigger DPS faster farming MOAR DPS and then we doubled the legendary drop rates etc., at the mercy of the RNG, which the the one and only god in this game we are slavery to.

How about progression in line with the amount of time invested? That would be more rewarding than playing a huge slot machine that is now.
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01/23/2014 02:37 PMPosted by Lycinia
Reroll anytime you want to. If a drop can be the difference in the build you will use I prefer not to level another character to 60, soon to be 70, to use it. No one says you can't treat your spec as permanent. Simply never change your skill. I prefer not to delete a character because I didn't fully understand a skill I chose and regretted it later.

Stop taking away choices in this game because you don't have the willpower to simply not touch your skills after you've selected them. That goes for people who want serious death penalties as well. If you know you died from playing above your paygrade and getting owned, delete your character. Don't need to make it so it happens to everyone, so you enjoy the game.

The one thing that will absolutely make this game short-lived is eliminating choices, especially when the things people are asking for they can do on their own. What is the obsession with making everyone have to do it the same way? Play Diablo 3 the way you want and leave everyone else's idea of fun alone.


Your character should define your items not your items define your character. If characters and items were done properly you wouldn't need to reroll unless you wanted to try a new build. The game is so short and levelling is easy, with 100% leg drops from your first boss kill and maybe another insentive like hell forge was, rerolling would be fun.

As it is right now there is zero point to ever make a new character so in a way that ruins a big part of the game i enjoy.
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01/23/2014 02:37 PMPosted by Lycinia
Reroll anytime you want to. If a drop can be the difference in the build you will use I prefer not to level another character to 60, soon to be 70, to use it. No one says you can't treat your spec as permanent. Simply never change your skill. I prefer not to delete a character because I didn't fully understand a skill I chose and regretted it later.

Stop taking away choices in this game because you don't have the willpower to simply not touch your skills after you've selected them. That goes for people who want serious death penalties as well. If you know you died from playing above your paygrade and getting owned, delete your character. Don't need to make it so it happens to everyone, so you enjoy the game.

The one thing that will absolutely make this game short-lived is eliminating choices, especially when the things people are asking for they can do on their own. What is the obsession with making everyone have to do it the same way? Play Diablo 3 the way you want and leave everyone else's idea of fun alone.

Penalties and limitations can increase the amount of meaningful choices, by making more choices viable and balanced.
So no, we will keep asking for death penalties/survival bonuses, respec costs etc. Fighting the good fight.
Edited by Shadout#2849 on 1/23/2014 3:26 PM PST
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01/23/2014 02:24 PMPosted by Shadout
01/23/2014 02:13 PMPosted by frothylager
I don't see the issue with this? You could only use 2 at a time anyway.

Do you like the way D3 is set up where you have access to all skills at max level? Synergies allowed you to focus on a few abilities to over charge them or you could choose a wide variety of skills to get past the pesky immunes, the development was 100% up to you.

Considering I'm talking heavily in favor of some sense of character permanency, no, I do not favor having all skills at "max" at all times.

But
Clearly you could have more abilities than 2 at any time. Took no time to switch the two action buttons around.
The issue as I see it, is that it reduced build choices. You were best off picking a pre-determined path of synergies.
Diablo 2 had a fairly open-ended skill system, where the biggest issue was "one point wonders" that skewed the balance between skill choices - getting lot of usability out of a single point - and not much use after the first point.
Then comes synergies, adding even more incentive to only pick 1-2 strong abilities + synergies + one-point wonders.
The skill system was simply more open before the synergies.
If they had just fixed one point wonders instead, that too would have given the benefit you mention; choosing between spreading points vs. focusing them in fewer abilities.

Skill synergy should really come from the mechanics of the skills and using said mechanics in interesting ways, not some passive links.


I disagree, synergies didn't come with a challenge increase so your bliz/hydra/lightning sorc was still just as viable. For ironman modes a well rounded champ was probably better then one spec'd into a couple skills.

Synergies did create builds like charge bolt and fire ball sorc by allowing the end game damage to be competitive with things like blizzard and lightning.

I see no reason synergies can't come from in game mechanics as well such as the passive cold blooded where damage to frozen enemies is increased. If your talking about a rotation style of use skill 1-2-3 in that order so skill 3 procs a special then no thank you this is diablo not wow not to mention that pigeon holes skill and build selection even worse.
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Your character should define the items you want, not your items define your character. If characters and items were done properly you wouldn't need to reroll unless you wanted to try a new build. The game is so short and levelling is easy, with 100% leg drops from your first boss kill and maybe another insentive like hell forge was, rerolling would be fun.


I agree with this, and this was more or less what I wanted to convey. Sheesh, this sparked a lot more discussion than I expected o_O
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100% agree with OP.

This latest hot topic of legendary drop timers in my opinion highlights the issue. It seems that "fun" is being explicitly equated to "average periodicity of legendary drops" by both the player base and now the devs (to the extent that such timers are being implemented). There's not much else to the game because once you've made your generic barb, or WD, or DH, or whatever, that's it.
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Posted by DeadRu
This permanence thing about D2 is a joke. All it took is a token of absolution in lod.


01/23/2014 01:09 PMPosted by VinnyI
Funny story. The current Blizzard instituted the tokens, not the original dev team. Nice try though you troll.


Thank you for pointing that out before I did.

I like seeing how the attempt to troll backfired so bad he ended up supporting the argument he though he was against.

Deadru. Thanks for supporting the idea that this current team is bad news for the franchise.

I was not against the synergy system or the token. Tokens don't just drop. They take work to get, and were/are a trade-able currency. Tokens IIRC came AFTER the synergy patch, and since the synergy patch pretty much ruined my 8 chars I had to delete most of them. I kept 4 of the 90-99 chars for mules......When that token came out, I instantly restored my lvl99 Paladin back to his .08 charge-a-din days.

Synergies in a way increased abilities based on the idea that

"if you are good at casting X spell, you must have an inherent ability with that element."

BUT This did not force anyone to follow any of the synergy trees at all. Some very qualified builds make little use at all of the synergies.

It had its pros and cons sure. Certainly was not the original team that developed that though. I liked what it did.

All your d3 characters are the same. The only thing that makes them different is the amount of time you spent playing.
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