Diablo® III

2 major design questions from beta



There is no reason why an exception couldn't be made for normal or characters less than level 30. In fact I fully expect some sort of exception will be made because any restriction would be counter to the design philosophy of the early game.


Certainly, but what is the reasoning for causing delays for more experienced players because they changed a skill around? I can certainly see the potential for abuse if you're allowed to swap abilities in combat. But is it really worth forcing long pauses on people because they decided to switch a skill out?

I'm not trying to say there shouldn't be restrictions at all, just that I would rather not be forced to stand around because I changed something. Just seems like a silly reason to halt game play, but it is of course just my personal opinion on the matter.

I can see more justification for restrictions in pvp, but fortunately for us Diablo can't QQ on the forums after you kill him =P


The idea is that we as players are supposed to be making choices for our characters. We must make the hard decision between taking the extra defensive ability versus another AoE or resource efficient ability. Being able to swap skills very easily negates that choice and it nullifies some of the challenge that is being built into the later difficulties. Being stuck with only 6 skills means that the choices we make really matter.
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I say give them a 30 cooldown when they are added to the active bar. You can tweak the timer, but cooldowns would be a logical solution.
Call it "preparing a skill"
Edited by Jisatsu on 9/16/2011 6:09 PM PDT
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09/16/2011 06:08 PMPosted by Kitethis
I'm not a fan of the lower MF CD option because people can stop and wait for the CD to be over, then keep going. If the pull / boss / event is hard enough then they may have saved more time than they lost waiting anyway. If it's an abuse that can affect game balance, it needs to be removed.


Well they said they have no problem with people switching skills, just not mid fight.
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How about something like this... a modified cool down.

1) While in town... you can switch skills as you please... same as it is now no timers nothing. This will allow those who really want to TP back to switch up abilities quickly, but as Blizzard has pointed out that can be a pain. So in addition you do this...

2) While not in town... every time you switch a skill there is an automatic 2 minute cooldown on that slot. Make the mouse buttons un-switchable unless in town, period.

1 + 2 = Enough ability to switch out skills while on the fly, but enough pain to make you not do it in combat unless it is a very long fight. And in which case, you sacrificed 2 minutes on one of your 7 slots (not including auto attack... that's a different subject altogether), so you gave up something for it.
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09/16/2011 06:08 PMPosted by Kitethis
I'm not a fan of the lower MF CD option because people can stop and wait for the CD to be over, then keep going. If the pull / boss / event is hard enough then they may have saved more time than they lost waiting anyway. If it's an abuse that can affect game balance, it needs to be removed.

That would be the idea. You could wait for it to end but doing so is a minor inconvenience so that it doesn't have to stop you if you don't want. The penalty will make people think twice about switching skills regularly which is all we are setting out to do.
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09/16/2011 06:08 PMPosted by Kitethis
I'm not a fan of the lower MF CD option because people can stop and wait for the CD to be over, then keep going. If the pull / boss / event is hard enough then they may have saved more time than they lost waiting anyway. If it's an abuse that can affect game balance, it needs to be removed.


There isn't a single solution, short of changing the entire skill system, to which this argument would not apply.

Working within the confines of the no skill trees, swappability setup...there's not many solutions that don't have workarounds.

At least the MF option would, if they choose to wait it out, still have a consequence (opportunity cost, for example...if they AFK 5 minutes, they get 5 minutes less loot, or less loot from the 5 minutes of pulling before the boss...and the minor inconvenience of waiting).

You could tweak it from 5 minutes of reduced MF, or reduced MF on your next x kills, or similar.
Edited by Cutwolf on 9/16/2011 6:13 PM PDT
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They have to balance 2 things with this, remember. (Trend of 2s must be sign of beta in 2 minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years/decades/centuries/millenia/eons)

1. The forward momentum(I may have confused this in my head for something). Going back to town just ruins it.

2. The ease of checking out new skills and experimenting. There's a reason why there's no penalties right now, and while it's not an effective system, it does have these two points. But still, they want you to be able to try out new things, experiment with different builds, experiment with different runes, and try out a lot of the content that pump all your skill points into one skill does not accomplish.


They have to consider more than that: Forward momentum, the ease of experimentation, balance, negative liberty.

Here are some problems with the 2 you didn't mention:

Balance: How do they balance the difficult parts of the game? If they don't balance it around having the best skills for the situation then doesn't it become too easy for the player who chooses to change their skills to optimize for every encounter they run into? If they do balance it around someone who has the optimum build for a given situation, doesn't that then make on the fly skill swaps mandatory. And if they cant be performed in combat (cast time, out of combat req, cooldown), then doesn't that then FORCE the player to interrupt the flow of the game by forcing skill swaps?

Negative Liberty:
I call it negative liberty because it's the idea that yes, you want the freedom (liberty) to swap whenever, but at some point (see above) swapping becomes something players are forced to do. If the game is balanced around having the best build for any given situation, then what if a player doesn't want to swap their skills on the fly? Why should they be punished, just for not wanting to have to go through the UI hassle of changing their skills every time the setting changes demand it?

We talk a lot about "freedom to experiment" which is very nice, and most people can get behind that. But really after the game moves on it becomes "freedom to switch to the most optimum build whenever you want" which is a little less easy for a lot of people to get behind.
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I like the idea of giving a cooldown for the abilities. It is simple, intuituitive (considering there will be an animation for the cooldown in the UI) and does the job pretty well.
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09/16/2011 06:13 PMPosted by Farmore
I like the idea of giving a cooldown for the abilities. It is simple, intuituitive (considering there will be an animation for the cooldown in the UI) and does the job pretty well.


But it violates the combat flow rule.
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It's nice to have a high level of customization, but at the same time players will more than likely run into brick walls because they chose skills that will not work for a certain aspect of the game.

The decision to let players change skills freely at any time didn't quite address the problem, but rather allowed players to work around it via changing at a whim. At the end of the day giving the players a choice of purely situational skills without always having a set of broadly useful skills is unwise.

My suggestion is perhaps giving all classes various skills that are necessary for them to function in most situations. Giving players the skills they will always need will decrease players from swapping skills whenever their current skill set is inappropriate.

Then give players a choice between many skills that would have special purposes and add customization.

The idea here is to create a hybrid of customization and skills blizzard chooses.
Edited by Malevo on 9/16/2011 6:20 PM PDT
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09/16/2011 06:14 PMPosted by Cutwolf
I like the idea of giving a cooldown for the abilities. It is simple, intuituitive (considering there will be an animation for the cooldown in the UI) and does the job pretty well.


But it violates the combat flow rule.


It doesn't need to be a long cooldown, just something that makes keeping your skill pane open and swapping skills constantly less advantageous.

Having skills swap in with a 10-20 second cooldown doesn't stop gameplay but is long enough so that players don't want to swap skills in and out all the time.
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09/16/2011 05:30 PMPosted by defenestrato
Per the website run section There is already a limit of 7 (6 now?) on amount skills that can be runed, which will prevent skill swapping from being exploited much because skills that are swapped out will not be runed and therefore be much less useful/powerful. Runes can only be changed in town, which will effectively give us our specific builds later into the game.


Where is this stated exactly? All I see is:

"In Diablo III, you can socket runestones into any skill you've chosen. Runestones give you unprecedented control over your skills and powers, changing elemental damage types, accuracy, and area of effect; adding new debilitating effects like slows and stuns; and even altering the nature and appearance of your abilities."

It doesn't say anything about how many skills you can socket or if you can remove a socketed skill from your active skills.


It says here, 7 skills.

On the Runestones page: http://us.blizzard.com/diablo3/world/systems/runestones.xml

"You’ll be able to place a runestone in each of your seven skills by opening the Skills screen. A rune’s specific effect on a skill is explained through a tooltip."

I also thought I read that runes could only be swapped out in town.
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90 Worgen Druid
17270


The idea is that we as players are supposed to be making choices for our characters. We must make the hard decision between taking the extra defensive ability versus another AoE or resource efficient ability. Being able to swap skills very easily negates that choice and it nullifies some of the challenge that is being built into the later difficulties. Being stuck with only 6 skills means that the choices we make really matter.


Yea, I'm just not sure there is a elegant solution. If people need to switch skills they are going to do so, all these restrictions are simply going to force delays and unneeded trips back to town etc. Is it ultimately worth the hassle? People will switch skills regardless, why force long periods of downtime on them? Will changing one ability around make farming monsters 100x easier? Probably not... it's possible, but less likely. Just ultimately seems like more harm then good will come from the restrictions.

Just for the record... I'm fine with the restrictions in combat. I don't think we should be able to cycle through our abilities mid boss fight, but I don't think it's ultimately worth forcing long pauses in the action to prevent it either.
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09/16/2011 06:19 PMPosted by Theron


Where is this stated exactly? All I see is:

"In Diablo III, you can socket runestones into any skill you've chosen. Runestones give you unprecedented control over your skills and powers, changing elemental damage types, accuracy, and area of effect; adding new debilitating effects like slows and stuns; and even altering the nature and appearance of your abilities."

It doesn't say anything about how many skills you can socket or if you can remove a socketed skill from your active skills.


It says here, 7 skills.

On the Runestones page: http://us.blizzard.com/diablo3/world/systems/runestones.xml

"You’ll be able to place a runestone in each of your seven skills by opening the Skills screen. A rune’s specific effect on a skill is explained through a tooltip."

I also thought I read that runes could only be swapped out in town.


[X] = Auto Attack = 8th that's where they get 8 immediate
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It says here, 7 skills.

On the Runestones page: http://us.blizzard.com/diablo3/world/systems/runestones.xml

"You’ll be able to place a runestone in each of your seven skills by opening the Skills screen. A rune’s specific effect on a skill is explained through a tooltip."

I also thought I read that runes could only be swapped out in town.


I believe it's only referring back to the previous statement that you will be able to choose seven skills to use at one time.

I don't think it means you can only rune seven skills total.
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The way the UI is set up both in that picture and currently in the beta, it does seem to mean that, the 7 (now 6) skill slots are the only places to put a rune, so you would be limited to those 7/6 slots for runed skills.



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Certainly, but what is the reasoning for causing delays for more experienced players because they changed a skill around? I can certainly see the potential for abuse if you're allowed to swap abilities in combat. But is it really worth forcing long pauses on people because they decided to switch a skill out?

I'm not trying to say there shouldn't be restrictions at all, just that I would rather not be forced to stand around because I changed something. Just seems like a silly reason to halt game play, but it is of course just my personal opinion on the matter.

I can see more justification for restrictions in pvp, but fortunately for us Diablo can't QQ on the forums after you kill him =P


The idea is that we as players are supposed to be making choices for our characters. We must make the hard decision between taking the extra defensive ability versus another AoE or resource efficient ability. Being able to swap skills very easily negates that choice and it nullifies some of the challenge that is being built into the later difficulties. Being stuck with only 6 skills means that the choices we make really matter.


Agree 100%. This to me is one of the most important points that alot of people seem to be missing.

I think it is because the game is new, and people like the idea of playing around freely with skills. But if you stop and imagine yourself 6 months down the road... You've tried every skill and rune combo. You're in Inferno mode. You have one of each character maxed at level 60. You log in and are able to flippantly decide which skills to use. But it doesn't really matter because you can change them on the fly and you have all the runes you need.

Diablo just wouldn't be the same to me in later difficulties without there being consequences to skill choice.

Again... I understand the need to try out skills and experiment early in the game (say... through Normal and Nightmare?). But someone please explain to me the cons of having skill choices become more permanent for experienced players in later difficulties? Have an NPC be required + an escalating fee.

Skill choice needs to matter. There needs to be a consequence.
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