Diablo® III

"Loss of a feeling of a leveling achievement"

Fair warning: this will be a lengthy post so if you don't like reading, this thread isn't for you.

I was digging through some old blue posts on the classic forums looking for a quote I had seen a long time ago when I ran across one of Bashiok's replies to the removal of manual stat attribution all the way back from 2008. It was composed of well-founded and well written arguments justifying Blizzard's design decision, and though I fundamentally disagree with the decision, I can at least appreciate where they are coming from.

The post I'm referring to can be found at:

http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=11296624916&postId=132739552120&sid=3000#111

Now, he breaks down the "auto attribute" haters argument into three main issues, two of which have more or less been hashed out to an endless extent. The third issue, and the one I want to discuss in this thread, is the "loss of a 'leveling achievement'". It's one of those things that people mostly just brush off as not a big deal, because 'you just spammed those 5 attribute points into vitality anyways', but the fact that it was a tangible, instant gratification-esque reward for leveling is undeniable.

Now, the interesting part of Bashiok's post is where he addresses this issue with the following:

The loss of a feeling of a leveling achievement is actually something we recognize and intend to address.


Now, this is actually one of the bigger beefs I have with the new stat / skill systems in D3 - leveling just doesn't seem as awesome to me if you really don't get any tangible rewards (read: clicky clicky) for your character. You could argue that unlocking skills is a tangible reward, and this is certainly true, but that ends at level 30. You could also argue that unlocking additional content and items is the reward, but that to me isn't necessarily a direct function of leveling so much as just playing the game - ie. it's not a level-up specific reward.

Now, what I find interesting is that Blizzard identified this issue way back in 2008 and clearly had concrete plans and design ideas to combat the lack of 'leveling achievements'. What I want to know is what exactly Bashiok was referring to way back then and is it something we have seen to date in the beta content? Was he alluding to achievements and the banner system? The flashy 'level up' graphics and damage dealing explosion upon leveling? Or was it something we haven't seen (yet) that may have been scrapped or is yet to be implemented?

From what I've seen of the beta play this is still an issue in-game and, although they've shifted the focus more towards level cap play, I still think there is a lack of "Wow, I leveled, now I get to do X!" or "Man, I really want to hit that next level so that I can do X!"

Anyways, just thought it was interesting that it was something they specifically identified and targeted, yet (in my opinion) don't appear to have specifically addressed or replaced in the current build. To clarify, I'm not griping or whining or moaning - I'll certainly live if what we see is what we get at release - just thought it might be something interesting to discuss.

TLDR: You were warned in advance, but I suppose if I must - in 2008 Blizz said they knew 'leveling achievements' were lacking and it was something they specifically intended to address. Did they?

Cheers,
- Robes

Edit: to make the link easier to copy.
Edited by Robes on 10/24/2011 2:03 PM PDT
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I think he meant it literally when he said leveling "achievement"
Edited by Joker on 10/24/2011 1:53 PM PDT
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10/24/2011 01:53 PMPosted by Joker
I think he meant it literally when he said leveling "achievement"


He put it in quotations when he first mentioned it, which leads me to believe he specifically didn't mean it literally.

Are there achievements for each level in the beta build? I haven't been watching closely enough, but this seems like a pretty lame reward if you get one each level. No tangible benefit to your character whatsoever.
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No, there aren't achievements for each level. There won't be when it launches either, but currently in beta there aren't achievements at all. The system isn't in, in beta.
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I'm not necessarily arguing about the "deadzone" from 30 to 60, I'm just curious if they have implemented all of the leveling systems or rewards they intend to implement for release. I just find it a little mystifying that they identified this problem so long ago yet I don't really see a specific solution in-game, so I'm wondering if I'm missing something.

What could he have been referring to that is included in the gameplay right now? As far as I can tell, the only level specific 'reward' is the animation and the AOE damage, with the side bonus of unlocking abilities in the early levels. Do you think the animation / AOE effect gets super insane as you move into the higher levels? Like levels an entire screen at level 50+? I mean there has got to be something that really shouts 'BOOM, YOU JUST LEVELED AND THIS IS YOUR COOL REWARD' if Blizzard knew they were taking away some of that achievement feeling...
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I mean no offense, but I feel like what you are asking for is precisely what is wrong with the development of games. Everyone is EXPECTING something for progression. Some kind of reward, incentive, prize...however you call it, people's expectations are clouding the fulfillment of the game itself. Why can't you simply play the game because you enjoy it, not because you have to in order to earn a gold star?

I really hope that didn't sound condescending...though I hope it helps make my point clear.
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There were only a few good questions asked. I truthfully am glad i wasn't a dev on the WoW panel lol.

Nothing but questions about "/cry i deserve a 25m heroic mount, but now people farm it /cry /cry /cry i deserve it they don't"

And questions like "when are you adding lesbian and gay characters!"

/facepalm I wanted to throw my coffee at that girl through my monitor!


/sips coffee
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I mean no offense, but I feel like what you are asking for is precisely what is wrong with the development of games. Everyone is EXPECTING something for progression. Some kind of reward, incentive, prize...however you call it, people's expectations are clouding the fulfillment of the game itself. Why can't you simply play the game because you enjoy it, not because you have to in order to earn a gold star?

I really hope that didn't sound condescending...though I hope it helps make my point clear.


No offense taken. I don't 'need' a reward so long as the gameplay is compelling enough to keep me playing. But if there are no 'rewards' or improvements upon leveling, then why have a leveling system at all?

Believe me, I'm not the type of person who plays games for 10 minutes and gets bored if there's not a bazillion flashy prizes on the screen every 10 seconds telling me how awesome I am. I grinded out HRs in single player for years just to make one or two cool runewords to play with, and that was reward enough for hundreds of hours of grinding. BUT, 'reward, incentive, prize...progression' is exactly what leveling systems are designed around.
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Edited for spam.
Edited by Jacka on 1/4/2012 1:22 AM PST
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The op brings up a good point. While playing at blizzcon I noticed that leveling up didn't seem as fun or important as I remembered it being in D2, at the time I couldn't put my figure on why but after reading this post I realized that without the stat points to spend or points to put into a specific skill the progression just isn't exciting.
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The solution would be something like my runestone system (http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3430804835) where you basically have 20 levels of runes that you have to upgrade like gems. It would then take over a year to max out all of your skill runes. You would need correct rune color drops to upgrade your rune so it would encourage a lot of trading/buying/selling/farming even at max level.

This way, level is much like stats like str/dex were in D2, basically just requirements to wear better gear. The progression comes from constant progress towards maxing out your rune levels for your skills.
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I am kind of disappointed that after around level 30, you dont get new things you are unlocking on your character. It just becomes a grind then to 60 with no obvious in your face reward.


I guess this depends on how you play, but in D2:LoD whenever I put a point into a skill I would pay attention to the damage increases - now, each level, 6 skills should get better instead of just one. For me, looking through those number improvements will constitute the reward for leveling.
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In the datamined info... I believe there were titles which are handed out every 10 levels. (Like Champion, Guardian, etc...)

This is also a good reason as to why the max level is easily obtainable now.


Hmmmm. So I wonder if they've really moved towards superficial rewards and away from tangible "clicky clicky" incentives. I guess it shouldn't be all that surprising as without any type of points to allocate and no other major character development systems there isn't really a whole lot of wiggle room for tangible benefits, other than items.

I don't think it really addresses the issue for me personally, but maybe working towards a title is a cool perk for others.
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No offense taken. I don't 'need' a reward so long as the gameplay is compelling enough to keep me playing. But if there are no 'rewards' or improvements upon leveling, then why have a leveling system at all?

Believe me, I'm not the type of person who plays games for 10 minutes and gets bored if there's not a bazillion flashy prizes on the screen every 10 seconds telling me how awesome I am. I grinded out HRs in single player for years just to make one or two cool runewords to play with, and that was reward enough for hundreds of hours of grinding. BUT, 'reward, incentive, prize...progression' is exactly what leveling systems are designed around.

I understand your point much better now.

Hmmm...well this does seem like a bit of a problem since the majority appear to be agreeing in a very similar fashion. After artisans are leveled up and followers are maxed out, I can definitely see a decreasing desire to play based on lack of progressive motivation as there is no fulfillment/purpose in doing so.

Good thread, good point made. So unless rare item-finding and random events are plentiful, I see a key element in the game that should be addressed.
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/signed
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10/24/2011 02:40 PMPosted by SeaCucumber
I guess this depends on how you play, but in D2:LoD whenever I put a point into a skill I would pay attention to the damage increases - now, each level, 6 skills should get better instead of just one. For me, looking through those number improvements will constitute the reward for leveling.


I guess I would say that without those skill increases requiring your input, are you really going to stop every level and take a look at your character screen and say "I'm not really 100% sure what my numbers were last level, but they look higher now so I guess that's sweet!". In D2 I think it was easy to distinguish between before adding stat/skill points and after adding stat/skill points because usually when you allocated you had the screen open and you watched those numbers tick up. In D3 it's just going to jump and you're probably not even going to remember to look at your new numbers until you're halfway to the next level (if at all).

I think the point I was trying to get across in my OP is that we have clear and direct evidence that Blizz sat back and said "Hey, we're taking this aspect of leveling up away from the player, and we need to do something to replace that feeling of achievement", but what indication do we have from the current gameplay that they specifically addressed that concern?
Edited by Robes on 10/24/2011 2:50 PM PDT
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But now you will get achievement points for leveling. Doesn't that make you feel special? ;p
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