Diablo® III

Please Add Randomly Generated Outdoor Geo

Posts: 13
I realize it is probably too late for Blizzard to make any major design refinements; however, the lack of randomly generated over-world areas will hurt this game’s longevity.

Without this refinement, the game’s lifespan will be severely curtailed because running through the same outdoor scenes over and over again will get boring. The outdoor areas in DII had just enough variation to keep things somewhat fresh, but this is lost when the player is forced to run through the same narrow path every time.

A game world that repeatedly shuffles the player along a narrow corridor will not have the same replay value as one that allows him or her to get lost in a large, randomly-generated outdoor environment. These environments help create the illusion of a world that has yet to be fully explored. Sure, it can be frustrating when you take the wrong turn and need to backtrack, but that is a small price to pay for the feeling of existing within an expansive setting. Static outdoor areas only work to predefine and ultimately limit one's conception of the setting. While this may be acceptable in a game that is designed to be played through only once, it will not serve a game that is designed to be played through countless times with friends.

Perhaps outdoor randomization could be implemented on a limited scale. It could be used for special areas of the game where it would make sense for the player to get lost. You could have randomized forests or deserts that would only have to be crossed once to get the waypoint. Since such areas are naturally full of repeated patterns, it shouldn’t be too hard to create random maps for them. Even this small-scale implementation would do much to create an illusion of horizon within the player’s imagination. For many of us, the creation of this illusion is the main appeal of video games.

Last night, I logged into Diablo II and ran around the first act for a while. Although it all looked very familiar, I was still observing combinations on the levels layout that I had never seen before. In a way, I visited a unique dimension within Sanctuary that had never been explored. A decade later, part of what keeps me coming back to DII’s iteration of Sanctuary is the idea that perhaps I haven’t seen everything there is to see, the idea that perhaps there is something new just a screen or two away. Will people be able to have this experience ten years from now when they log into Diablo III’s first act?

Will any beta testers comment on how much variation they have seen on different game sessions? Do the outdoor areas remain exactly the same every time? Blizzard has stated that there will be random events that occur in the otherwise static outdoor environments. How extensive are these “events”? Hopefully, large blocks of the outdoor maps change from game to game.

Random map generation was a defining feature of Diablo II and it should be in the third installment. Without it, the game will not have the same replay value as its predecessor.
Edited by Evocation on 9/12/2011 6:25 PM PDT
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Posts: 1,394
I disagree. The borders of the outdoor geography never change, but what's inside them does. Dynamic randomized outdoor geo is not the way to go. The outdoor world is not where the majority of action takes place. The fact that area's within the pre-defined borders are randomly generated, gives the player a purpose for exploring the entire map on every playthrough.

The randomly generated outdoor maps in Path of Exile are a total pain in the butt. You are forced to constantly explore area's that you don't want to explore anymore, while being completely sick of the "area".

As for me, I HAVE to explore every borderline in every game with a revealing map. PoE made me hate myself for this. With D3, you know where you're going, you just don't know what's there. Blizz doesn't want the only points of recognition to be cities. They want players to be able to say, "lets meet up at this dungeon". If no one knows where the dungeon is, then they're all forced to look for it first.

This game already contains so much randomization, lets keep the most potentially annoying aspect of it static please.
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Posts: 212
I really like your idea, Evocation. I think, perhaps, it would be a little much for the whole world.. I see how that could be neat and at the same time a little annoying. It would make it tough to find places you've already been. But the dungeons are a great place for this so you get that feeling of unique/new exploration every time your there. I feel like it would make me want to come back again and again to find new things. This way you get that feeling of unexplored terrain but you can always find your way to the dungeons.

The idea of some areas in the outdoors being random is intriguing but I still feel it would ultimately be more frustrating than anything. I wouldn't want to always find myself taking forever to find my way from one point to another.

Map generation by users would be really interesting; if users could create their own dungeons for others to play that could bring about some cool things. Exactly how that would fit in the game... I'm not sure. Perhaps it could be an endgame only thing.

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Posts: 330
I always felt that D2 had a little too much going on outside after coming from D1. If specific spots were randomized then we could quickly navigate to those spots and be done with it. But I think searching around outside gets sort of tedious and the distribution of time spent outside to time spent in dungeons is skewed a little too much toward being outside.

In one interview, it was pointed out that keeping the outside world fairly static (except for the random "squares") allowed players to more easily communicate with each other about their location. D1 had a ton of randomness to it, but it was always easy to tell someone in your game, e.g., "Cave lvl 11" and they'd be able to reach you very quickly.
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Posts: 356
Chunks of the outdoor areas are randomly generated.

I know wall o' text is critting but I'm not going to point-by-point refute. Blizzard actually had very good reasoning for this change at one of the blizzcon panels.
And no, beta testers can't really comment on the tutorial levels. :p

But ask a blizzcon attendee who played part of Act II and I wouldn't worry too much about it.


Exactly.

You're jumping the gun, Evocation.

See this thread with its Blue response:

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/2624975896?page=2#37

In short, there are some fixed bits and some random bits, like it was in D2.
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Posts: 13

I am having a hard time understanding what the random outdoor events are. Will they include outdoor areas in the game that have randomly placed pieces of terrain?

In Diablo II, the player progressed from the Cold Plains, a random outdoor environment, to the Burial Grounds. This graveyard contained the game’s first boss and was the same on every play through. The equivalent area in Diablo III is the connection between “The Weeping Hollow” and the “Cemetery of the Forsaken.”

If DIII has the same level of randomization as DII, we could expect the geography of the former area to change every time a new game is started, while the latter area would remain the same from game to game. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. From what I have seen of the beta footage, the “Weeping Hollow” remains geographically identical in every video.

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Posts: 1,274
Random events can include monster waves spawning where there would otherwise be a regular tree, certain dungeons only opening 30% of the time, mass graveyards sometimes bursting to life with skeletons. Searching for these and the extra loot they can get you is the reason to explain all of the weeping hollow.

Beside, the outdoor maps aren't narrow corridors. They're fairly wide, with nooks and cranny at every corner for you to explore. Plus, the outdoor is mostly there to lead you from dungeon to dungeon, to keep the walk from an area to another more entertaining than just ... walking.



Diablo 2's level of randomization is very hard to translate to Diablo 3 because of the art detail. Dungeons can have a set of randomized "rooms" that connect to each other at certain parts or through other randomized "corridors", but making the whole geography change for an outdoor map would really complicate art assets.
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Posts: 468
Chunks of the outdoor areas are randomly generated.

I know wall o' text is critting but I'm not going to point-by-point refute. Blizzard actually had very good reasoning for this change at one of the blizzcon panels.
And no, beta testers can't really comment on the tutorial levels. :p

But ask a blizzcon attendee who played part of Act II and I wouldn't worry too much about it.


I'm a Blizzcon Attendee who played part of Act II (2009 woohoo!). And I can confirm that your fears are unfounded.

Functionally, the only thing that is the same from playthrough to playthrough on the overworld are the walls. There are walls in the same places every time. And that's only on the overworld, dungeons are still random. The first 1/3 of Act 1 seems all linear and boring because the areas are small to help ease new players into the game. I can speak from experience that the Act 2 areas are very expansive and you can still get lost exploring them. I posted this in a similar thread before, and I'll say it again - in the 5 playthroughs I did that blizzcon, I feel like i explored 5 different maps. The same map, because of the random events and such, feels different every time
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90 Draenei Shaman
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Posts: 136
09/15/2011 01:20 PMPosted by Evocation
I am having a hard time understanding what the random outdoor events are. Will they include outdoor areas in the game that have randomly placed pieces of terrain?


The random outdoor events (from what I seen in beta streaming) include areas of large monster spawns (a ton of zombies pop out of the ground) and various holes and mini-dungeons that may be generated.

I like the quasi randomness of the areas and "chunk" layout of the dungeons I've seen so far. It mixes things up enough that you can't just run straight through an area, but familiar enough that you still know where you're going. I hated having to run around and around in DII's open areas looking for the maggot lair or the little gap in the stone wall that lead to the next area; it was just a waste of time.
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Posts: 4,968
Edited for spam.
Edited by Jacka on 1/2/2012 11:16 PM PST
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Posts: 13
I wonder if they will listen to David Brevick’s latest comments about random maps. I agree with him that these games are a lot more repayable when they have randomly generated outdoor areas.

Diablo III was fun for a while, but the game-world feels too confined for me to want to return to it over and over again. The item-hunt means less when the world feels small; there is no point in building a stronger character after you have already seen everything there is to see. Random map generation helps to maintain the illusion that there is something new to explore. Without it, Diablo III will never live up to its predecessors.

Hopefully, Blizzard has the technology and the talent required to implement this critical feature.
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