Diablo® III

Mantra's + Armors

Update- Ability buffs are removed upon taking the spell off of your action bar. This alleviates almost all of my concerns, but I voiced a few other concerns in my second post (barely concerns, more of just thoughts).

I'm wondering what people's thoughts on the current implementation is. Personally, I find it sub-optimal. They make a rather large difference, but they are essentially a "click me every 2 minutes and forget" mechanism. I'm not a fan of this as it makes them basically manditory for hard content (hardcore-inferno comes to mind) because most of them make rather large differences.

Mantras were changed to have a "burst" benefit upon cast. I don't want to place judgement on without playing, but given what I do know it doesn't sound like a good fix to me. All it does is make you dedicate a skill slot to it in what I feel isn't terribly interesting. I would find it much better if the "burst" effect was secondary in nature, and not just a better version of the current effect.

Essentially my concern is with the wizard, and the monk to a much lesser degree since I don't know how "fun" the mantra activation bonuses actually are. However, wizard armors possess no such function. You will never actually put one on your action bar, as it is an enormous waste of your limited hotkey slots. Anyone who is doing something that qualifies as challenging will want all of their slots for abilities they need in combat, not ones they simply need to click every 2 minutes.

Most of us plan on playing for a few hours at a time where real life permits. If not most of us, I'm sure a significant enough portion do. Do you want to have to exchange and exchange-back skills on your bars every 2 minutes because it could mean the loss of your hardcore character? I don't. I find that tedious and annoying. There is nothing fun or interesting about a manditory skill switch every 2 minutes. Yes, you can waste runes to reduce this, but that is still a waste unless there is a serious abundance of runes. Even with the rune, it's still a silly mechanic in general and barely less annoying.

Before this discussion gets underway (if it even does), I'd like to point out a particular point of view that I find has very little merit. It's something that nostalgia has done to both the WoW and diablo communities. This involves such tedious mechanics being regarded as fun, or even adding additional difficulty to the game. There is nothing difficult about opening my skill book every 2 minutes. This relates heavily to the "i wish it was like grinding to 99," there was nothing skill related about hitting 99. It was a timesink, a repetitive, meaningless timesink. That's what I believe this is. You have to do menial tasks to continue to have maximum potential in hard content.

While I don't disagree with all forms of micro-managing (some add great depth), I find this one to be bad game design. Feel free to agree, disagree, and whatever else (except troll, cuties...totally just guaranteed someone will troll). I'm just looking for how people feel about this. Keep in mind that I don't find the armors/mantra's manditory in normal content, so if you play beta and don't use them that is not really appropriate experience. If you're a person who thinks this is a great game mechanic, just make sure you explain what you think it adds to the game. I personally think the mantras are halfway there, and armors need a rework. The other option is a "stance bar" but I don't really like that idea, as it actually takes away from some of the fun since you could exchange armors/mantras on a whim with them all available at all times.

Discuss!
Edited by Absolution on 10/17/2011 3:52 PM PDT
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I agree that a buff replacing one of your active combat skills is boring, and that having it a short duration doesn't make for interesting play, just a nuisance. It would be nice if the buffs came from abilities that actually had a useful combat effect besides the buff itself.
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Essentially my concern is with the wizard, and the monk to a much lesser degree since I don't know how "fun" the mantra activation bonuses actually are. However, wizard armors possess no such function. You will never actually put one on your action bar, as it is an enormous waste of your limited hotkey slots. Anyone who is doing something that qualifies as challenging will want all of their slots for abilities they need in combat, not ones they simply need to click every 2 minutes.


I'm not following your logic on this point. Many of the classes have defensive/offensive buffs that are not exciting to cast -- mantas, Diamond Skin, Barbarian warcries -- but they are all useful.

In fact, if you think about the Wizard gameplay, you have a very limited resource pool. Why would you want 6 offensive spells at once to kill something difficult when you don't have the Arcane Power to use anywhere near that many skills? Would you not be better off putting supporting abilities, like Ice Armor, in the place of spells that you wouldn't be able to use to make yourself more survivable?
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Edited for spam.
Edited by Jacka on 1/3/2012 7:38 PM PST
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10/17/2011 03:27 PMPosted by Volt
Essentially my concern is with the wizard, and the monk to a much lesser degree since I don't know how "fun" the mantra activation bonuses actually are. However, wizard armors possess no such function. You will never actually put one on your action bar, as it is an enormous waste of your limited hotkey slots. Anyone who is doing something that qualifies as challenging will want all of their slots for abilities they need in combat, not ones they simply need to click every 2 minutes.


I'm not following your logic on this point. Many of the classes have defensive/offensive buffs that are not exciting to cast -- mantas, Diamond Skin, Barbarian warcries -- but they are all useful.

In fact, if you think about the Wizard gameplay, you have a very limited resource pool. Why would you want 6 offensive spells at once to kill something difficult when you don't have the Arcane Power to use anywhere near that many skills? Would you not be better off putting supporting abilities, like Ice Armor, in the place of spells that you wouldn't be able to use to make yourself more survivable?
Supporting abilities can come in the form of powerful cooldowns and utility spells too.
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Think of a Mantra like a Barbarian warcry. There ya go.

Also, this:

10/17/2011 03:27 PMPosted by Volt
if you think about the Wizard gameplay, you have a very limited resource pool. Why would you want 6 offensive spells at once to kill something difficult when you don't have the Arcane Power to use anywhere near that many skills? Would you not be better off putting supporting abilities, like Ice Armor, in the place of spells that you wouldn't be able to use to make yourself more survivable?
Edited by Giraffasaur on 10/17/2011 3:31 PM PDT
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im pretty sure if u put ice armor on ur action bar, cast it, then switch the spell out, you lose your buff. so i dont think thats much of a concern. as for why would u ever need it? well for example say ur in a dungeon with thousand of pigmies, sure u kill them all 1 to 2 hits, so more offense is not needed. but theres thousands of them, and they are quick, extra armor plus a debuff to slow them down would be extremely helpfull and would not be boring in the slightest to me.
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10/17/2011 03:29 PMPosted by Static
Supporting abilities can come in the form of powerful cooldowns and utility spells too.


Sure, that's true. I just find the notion that no one will ever equip a buffing spell because it has no "fun" activation bonus as described in the OP to be fairly shortsighted. I will gladly give up a "fun" slot on my skill bar for Battle Rage so that I do 30% more damage with everything else.
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I think the implementation of the mantras and wizard armor skills are decent, but I would actually like to see their durations taken in the other direction. Personally, I'd rather them behave more like the auras that part of their functionality was derived from and just axe the duration limits altogether.

But, as I understand it, Blizzard wants the 6 skills to all be "active" to some degree. They've got a separate system now for Passive Skills. That actually makes the burst effects on the mantras even more appealing. So you have the ability to get a little more bang for your buck on the dodge or life regen or what-have-you when the 30 sec timer is cooled down.

From your rant, OP, I would assume that you favor more of the spammable abilities, and that's perfectly acceptable for your personal preference. So you might want to eschew the mantras altogether and pick up Blinding Flash (enemy chance to miss) and Breath of Heaven (heal) instead. That's part of the skill choices that we'll all have to make.

One thing that I noticed you did not mention, and that you may not have known is that if you remove a buff skill from one of the 6 slots in your skill list, then you immediately lose the buff itself if it was running. So you can't throw a mantra up, and then switch it out to another skill to spam.
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Idrc, they seem alright I guess.
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Right off the top of my head, I agree with you. As they are now, the Mantras are basically a passive skill with a recurring resource cost. This sounds like the Prayer aura from D2, and the implementation of these skills could be streamlined by taking a look at that skill.

I think that the Mantras at least should be on/off toggles and cost resource over time for their benefit. Removing the one time cost in favor of a balanced out cost/second would make activation and deactivation of the skill feel more substantial, as the player would be rewarded with, effectively, a larger resource pool when they were turned off, and would lose some of their available resources when turned on. With the Monk, this could even be done by lowering their maximum Spirit when the Mantra is active rather than degenerating their spirit over time, and with the Wizard it could be a reduction in Arcane Power regeneration rate.

Among the major principles of game design, "The Elimination of Tedium" applies to this. Blizzard has said that they want you to make meaningful decisions throughout the game. Pressing a hotkey every 120 seconds is not a meaningful decision. Toggling off your Mantras/Armors at just the right time to boost your resources just enough to stomp that boss is exactly the kind of meaningful, twitch based decision that makes the Diablo series fun.
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10/17/2011 03:29 PMPosted by Jacka
you cant do this so your whole argument is invalid?


While I appreciate the condescension... I don't. Thanks Kailihporken for giving the same information in a constructive way. I don't remember being uncivil in any part of my OP, so try to not be a child when you respond, Jacka. Hard to be a regular person on the internet, I know.

Anyway, it's much better news if the buff fades after it is swapped, though it still doesn't remove all of my concerns. I still don't find flat buffs very interesting even with the tedium removed, but I'd be much more willing to actually see how I like it while playing.

I'll address some other posts despite the fact that my main concern dissipated with this information that I was unaware of.

Abilities like diamond skin don't last two minutes. I'll stick to diamond skin since nothing else similar comes to mind atm, but that spell only lasts 5 seconds unruned. That makes it heavily reactionary. You can't just hit it and walk around getting benefit, you have to use it at the right moment. War Cry I agree about and it is a very similar (and rather uninteresting) mechanic due to its duration.

Limited resource pool doesn't change much, as having more spells available just means if something happens that requires a different spell, there's a better change you can fit that sort of spell into your active set. If you could've really used time warp in an emergency but didn't have the room for it on your bar because your other abilities were more reliably useful, then it's a little bit of an issue. This, however, isn't really a problem. As I said above, I'm much less concerned than I was before I posted.


I'm still not entirely sure I like the idea of something that is basically defined as "passive that takes up a spell hotkey," but I'm willing to see how it feels in real gameplay. I mean, my active slots are for actives, right? Armors and similar abilities are very passive in nature, and are not exactly in line with what I expect. I would like to see some sort of "burst" effect on armors, at least. I feel like mantras are in a pretty good place now, but I don't really like that wizard armors are still 100% 2 minute passives.

I am not claiming they aren't good, I'm merely expressing concern that they aren't interesting. If you gave armors a 30 second duration I honestly think that would make them more interesting. Why? Because it requires some sort of active thought on tracking your buffs. The shorter the buff, the more it matters when you use it.

tl;dr I wouldn't mind a small tweak to armors, but I am not entirely sold on my viewpoint without any gameplay to back it up.

Thanks for the info everyone.
Edited by Absolution on 10/17/2011 3:50 PM PDT
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90 Night Elf Druid
5860
I'd have to agree that a buff that requires periodic maintenance isn't terribly interesting in of itself. The only real way I can see to even make the current way of doing it interesting is if there are creatures capable of stripping your buffs requiring you to actually worry about re-casting it in combat.

I'd still prefer a toggle style skill where you either lower the max on the resource or reduce the regen rate of that resource.

Basically, if a gameplay element can be managed by a drinking bird, I think it could use work.
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I agree. I like the "mantra flashing" effect, and they can go further using runestones. When you activate an mantra, something "big" should happen, depending on the rune. Same goes for Wizard armors and Barbarian shouts. "Fake passives" are lame, always have been. If you make something interesting happen when you push the button on or off, coupled w/ the variety of runestones at your disposal, there is no excuse for boring passive skills.
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Edited for spam.
Edited by Jacka on 1/3/2012 7:41 PM PST
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10/17/2011 03:38 PMPosted by Volt
Supporting abilities can come in the form of powerful cooldowns and utility spells too.


Sure, that's true. I just find the notion that no one will ever equip a buffing spell because it has no "fun" activation bonus as described in the OP to be fairly shortsighted. I will gladly give up a "fun" slot on my skill bar for Battle Rage so that I do 30% more damage with everything else.
It's not that no one will ever use them. It's that they will be so powerful and game changing that people who do not want to use them will feel forced to do so to remain viable.
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10/17/2011 03:59 PMPosted by Static


Sure, that's true. I just find the notion that no one will ever equip a buffing spell because it has no "fun" activation bonus as described in the OP to be fairly shortsighted. I will gladly give up a "fun" slot on my skill bar for Battle Rage so that I do 30% more damage with everything else.
It's not that no one will ever use them. It's that they will be so powerful and game changing that people who do not want to use them will feel forced to do so to remain viable.


Remains to be seen. There are plenty of weird "rune buffs" that come from your regular skills that can buff you so that the "big powerful" buff skill is just overkill. For instance, http://us.battle.net/d3/en/class/wizard/active/teleport , Safe Passage or http://us.battle.net/d3/en/class/monk/active/fists-of-thunder , Lightning Flash. Both provide some of the same benefit as a full blown buff skill, but allow you to do other things w/ them (move around and attack). So if you have good gear and are quick, you can sacrifice some of the power of the pure buffs and instead get that utility from using your other spells (which you were probably using anyway). This frees up a skill slot for something else you may want or need.
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10/17/2011 03:55 PMPosted by Jacka
While I appreciate the condescension... I don't. Thanks Kailihporken for giving the same information in a constructive way. I don't remember being uncivil in any part of my OP, so try to not be a child when you respond, Jacka. Hard to be a regular person on the internet, I know.

so because an answer can be stated in a single sentence... stating it in a single sentence is wrong?
if you take that as condescending, thats your problem. good thing you can tell tone through forums, and jump to such ludicrous conclusions. paranoid much?


Question marks at the end of things that are not questions is a rather easy tone to read. If it was a sentence with a period it would have been fine. It wasn't. If you didn't mean to add such a connotation to your sentence then I suggest periods next time you type a statement. I have been through the bowels of the internet many times and I know what obvious signs of sarcasm, condescension, and all forms of discrete insults are. If you didn't intend it that way, then it was my mistake as well as yours. Apologies.

How many hotkeys did you use in d1?


in d2?



Your not playing a feral druid from world of warcraft, this is a hack and slash.


I'm not sure what number of hotkeys has to do with anything. I used over 50 in WoW on all characters, and if they give me 6 in diablo you bet I'm going to use all 6. I'm not asking for more hotkeys, merely saying the limtation amplifies the problem to some degree.

edit- added the quote because it bleeped his name, lol.
Edited by Absolution on 10/17/2011 4:49 PM PDT
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