Diablo® III

From a Diablo II VETERAN (Rant it up)

100 Undead Rogue
UE
12265
Posts: 344
Seeing soooo many threads, way too many in fact, from "Diablo II veterans" complaining about the "lack of customization" and the "lack of exploration" blah blah blah I am SO TIRED of hearing this. It's nostalgia, ignorance, denial, or some combination of the three.

I am a true Diablo veteran thank you; I was playing Diablo I long before Diablo II came out, I played Diablo II right when it was released up through every patch it has ever undergone, LoD, everything. I've done it all, I can intelligently discuss it all with you. The one thing I can't fathom is how a true veteran of Diablo II can look at the skill system of Diablo III and tell me that it's worse.

Worse? Excuse me, I love Diablo II, I always have and still do. But if you cannot admit that it is ANTIQUATED at this point, then you're not a very good judge of an RPG game. Every class uses the SAME resource system. 15 seconds after you get your first skill for the barbarian you're out of mana. After that, you get to use Bash once or twice a minute, or you could rock a couple rows of mana pots on your belt. It was a _little_ better when mana leech on items was a level 4 mod, so you could actually have a little regain on your resource bar, but nowadays it's lvl ~28, so you're pretty much %@#%ed for the first 30 levels of most classes. Sound balanced?

Next I'd point out that there's maybe 1-2 useful offensive skills for each class out of the 3 entire trees that they have. Some have more, but then again some others can't even solo hell no matter what spec they use, and even fewer can solo ubers while others can almost breeze through them. Sound balanced?

And did I mention that 90% of those good sklils are acquired at either 24 or 30? The barbarian is basically twiddling his thumbs until frenzy, concentration, or whirlwind (back in classic at least, it blows now). The Sorc's usefulness goes up about 2343294872049823% the moment you get FO, Blizzard, or Chain Lightning. So you're just supposed to trudge through the first 23 levels of the game? Sounds well spread out.

Now let's talk about Diablo III. Every class in the game either starts with a skill, or gets one within the first 5 levels that I can see myself using for their entire existence. Cleave, a skill that actually generates my resource, does good damage and hits multiple targets? Holy !@#$! I could point out dozens upon dozens of other examples that fully flesh out what I'm saying here but it's so obvious that I think I'll just drop the bottom line:

The sophistication and ACTUAL synergy (not just a word that means "dump skills into one skill and you get passive bonuses for another") of skills for the different classes is literally LIGHT YEARS beyond anything Diablo II has or had. And you know what? That's ok, because that game is ten years old and at the time it was made, it was light years beyond its predecessor (did you know that Diablo I was originally planned to be a turn based game?), not to mention most of the other games that were out at the time. They made mistakes, they went in directions that made no sense, like AR and stamina, that added nothing to the game.

Also, it's time to put an end to this whole rant about lack of stat distribution. I'm sorry, but that argument is utter bull%^-*, and here's why: There is only two kinds of Diablo II players - players that know how to distribute stats, and players that don't. And of the players that know how to distribute stats, there's only one thing you need to say about ANY BUILD OF ANY CLASS IN THE GAME -> enough str/dex to wear the gear, the rest into vitality. Period.

The only exception to this is the dexazon, which is pointless because they're no longer viable anyway.

So there you go, there's your "amazing character customization via stats". It's a lie. It's a shadow of a thought of a dream. It's a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there. I.e. it doesn't exist. Pumping strength would not, and will not make your barb a bad !@#. It will give him, at most, a 5-10% increase in damage by the time he's 80, and you'll have sacrificed so much health that you'd be a miserable glass cannon. Even Sorc's don't really need to invest Energy due to the improved mana regeneration and "+ to mana after each kill" items that are available.

I don't see how this is an argument. Throwing stats in every level was not only arduous, it was nerve wracking, and the same is true of skills. For the first 10 years of Diablo II, every time you made a character you went to a website, thoroughly researched the build, and knew, before you EVER set foot on the Blood Moor EXACTLY where EVERY SINGLE POINT OF STATS AND SKILLS WOULD GO. That is NOT customization. And unfortunately the game was tuned so poorly in the upper difficulties after 1.09 that there was only half a dozen viable builds total across all the classes. You can experiment with useless skills if that's your definition of customization, but I can tell you right now that unless you're a Ice/Lighting Sorc, Ice/Fire Sorc, Hammerdin, Smiter, WW/Lightning Trap Sin, Javazon, Frenzy Barb, Conc Barb, Zoomancer with godly gear, or a Bear pet druid, you aren't doing fcking anything in hell, period. And some of those builds don't do much anyway unless you have godly $%^ gear. And some of then aren't that great even then.

I'm sorry, but that's not "breadth of customization". I can fully imagine there will be some issues with tuning in Diablo III, that's just the way game development works, but I can tell you right now that it's not very debatable that the mere shred of the skills systems we're able to see right now are already way beyond the design quality of the entire scope of Diablo II. There's really no other way to see that, or say it.

I'm not saying Diablo II sucked because it didn't and it doesn't, but I am very tired of nostalgic whining that puts severely dated systems on a pedastal, and tries to bring down the work, GOOD WORK, done on Diablo III. If you think that, and don't play Diablo III because of it, I feel really bad for you, because you're missing out on one hell of a game.

EDIT:
I forgot a couple things, bare with me:

I have also heard how "linear" Diablo III is, and how "lame the quests" are. Seriously? someone said either of those two things? Excuse me, the entirely of the first act of Diablo II has a path that you can follow literally from the moment you exit the Rogue Encampment until you set foot in the Outer Cloister. How is that not the very definition of linear? Yeah, there's other things off the beaten path, but I really don't garner a single iota of fun from running around the map, bouncing in between border lines of endless grey brick walls, while looking for a Waypoint, the Cairn Stones, etc. Yeah, I do them because I want the waypoints for later, etc. but that doesn't put Diablo II over that "linear or not line". I'm sorry, but it doesn't. Every area in the game is contained within some boxed shape area or another. Paths and shapes differ slightly, but it's pretty much the exact same thing as Diablo III. I'm not complaining about either game, I'm simply pointing out just how erroneous that argument is. On the other hand, Diablo III has: multiple alternate areas in each main area, random events that are so diverse that I can almost truthfully say I seem something new every time I play through the beta, random bonus quests, etc. That may not put Diablo III over the "linear or not" line either, but I can say that it does break up the monotony, and areas that you've been in before, you may not recognize again when you're passing through. Considering I didn't see the "Jar of Souls" on my first few playthroughs of the beta, I can easily see myself saying "woah, I've never seen this before" for a long time once I have the full game in my hand. Bottom line is, neither game is a sand box, Skyrim type game, and they never will be. You can split hairs about which is more linear than the other, but I'm pretty sure Diablo III will come out on top of that argument as well.

And as to the lame quests? I'm sorry, but the only quests anyone ever does in Diablo II are the ones that gives rewards. No one cares about the lore, no one goes out of their way to do anything that doesn't specifically give them something that they want... I'm sorry but they're lame, and 9 out of 10 Diablo II players skip the entire 3rd act :\ Tell me that's not lame with a straight face.

Lack of item effect on character look... Are you freaking kidding me? How can you say that with a straight face? It's the first THIRD of the first ACT of the first DIFFICULTY? Not to mention that EVERY piece of gear has a unique look on every character. Not to mention that the armor looks in Diablo II varied so slightly from one step up or down to the next that you could hardly tell one from the other (http://www.mmorpguides.com/forum/Armor-Appearance-Class-t15132.html woohoo!). Not to mention that Diablo III has like 3 times the amount of armor tiers. Not to mention that Diablo II's exceptional and elite armor had the exact same graphics as their identical normal tiers...

Not to mention any of that... it's still act 1 of normal, I think we could find other things to complain about.
Edited by Tavus on 2/2/2012 2:02 AM PST
Posts: 145
The people that are nostalgic about D2 apparently having customization are the same people that are incapable of understanding your argument and valid reasoning. At this point, I think it might be a waste of time to try and convince them, as they are clearly unable to think logically.
90 Night Elf Priest
6675
Posts: 1,895
I'm sure they'll come in here and tell you that you aren't a 'true' Diablo veteran because you are capable of liking something that isn't a decade old. That's easier than trying to refute your points, so it's the path that will be taken.
Posts: 785
I also think that Diablo Veterans really want D3 to feel like a true successor to the series.

I know I do. But I have faith in Blizzard to do a good job.
85 Human Priest
3440
Posts: 1,135
Agreed, well written, and /signed.

Finished the beta segment for the first time just now and I can already tell I enjoy the 'customization' far more than I ever did in D2. I even started looking around for where I could spend my 5 attribute points when I first dinged, noticed I couldn't, and was completely overjoyed. Useless illusion of choice was useless and I'm glad to be rid of it.
100 Undead Rogue
UE
12265
Posts: 344
I also think that Diablo Veterans really want D3 to feel like a true successor to the series.

I know I do. But I have faith in Blizzard to do a good job.


What does that even mean? The moment you start running in Diablo II it stops feeling like Diablo I. The moment the glorious alt key reveals the shiny items littered all around you it stops feeling like Diablo I. The moment you can actually leave the town you start in it stops feeling like Diablo I. The moment you open an actual skill tree that doesn't look EXACTLY like every other class (minus the all important class skill, woot staff recharge) it stops feeling like Diablo I.

Can we stop celebrating nostalgia for nostalgia? I mean, Diablo I and Diablo II were so dissimilar in so many ways, it would take ages to list them all. And quite frankly, Diablo II was a better game more for how it was different than for how it was alike. Progress is good, not merely for the sake of progress, but because there is much room to grow and improve.

Diablo III's skills and skill systems are an improvement over Diablo II's.

Diablo III's handling of stats is an improvement over Diablo II's.

Etc.
Edited by Tavus on 2/2/2012 1:39 AM PST
The TRUTH will set you free.

You're just about the first "Old School Diablo player" I've seen on here that actually gets it. You obviously understand how D2 ACTUALLY WAS. Every point is right on. Bashiok, you need to start a "post of the month" and this post needs to be it.

/salute
Posts: 89
Mind = Blown
Posts: 60
The same thing happened with Everquest. The game was new and different and took us to another place. We will never get that feeling again. We can never go back.
90 Night Elf Priest
6675
Posts: 1,895
The same thing happened with Everquest. The game was new and different and took us to another place. We will never get that feeling again. We can never go back.


Indeed. This is the very essence of nostalgia, and gamers are as vulnerable as anyone.

No different than your grandpa claiming things were better in the good ol' days, despite, say, the lack of air conditioning. Or vaccines. Or 401(k) plans. Or fresh fruit/veggies in winter. Or color TV. Or widespread equality. Etc.

Look through any MMO forum with multiple expansions and you'll always, always see claims about how 'the game was better during [this expansion] or [that expansion] or before they added [this feature]' or how MMOs in general were so much better before X date. Doesn't matter which MMO, you'll always find people claiming the same thing, and they'll disagree about which point was the best. There's no consensus, because everyone had that warm, fuzzy, 'good ol days' at a different point in their gaming experience, and it color their perception of what was right or wrong with the design.
DEXAZON4LYFE

>1.06 is for posers
I wanted to read so bad but it is 3 am here and wall of text crit my brain can someone make a TLDR for this or at least cut it down to a couple paragraphs :) thx

Edit: Not trolling, I seriously am tired and am finding this too long to read and I cant sleep.....so a tldr from someone would be much appreciated.
Edited by D3BETA on 2/2/2012 2:14 AM PST
Here's the difference:

IT WAS FUN!!!

We all knew the customization had gross imperfections. All the Sorcs knew they had to trudge through 30 levels until they could finally unlock their pinnacle spell and could finally be that which was the meaning to be a sorceress. It was a reward for all our hard work perhaps. But it was fun.

Currently D3 is not. It needs some work. I think if you gave everyone all of the skills over the first 60 levels it would be more fun. Something to look forward to. None of this only 6 slots business. It would give us something exciting every time we leveled up. Also that's part of leveling up. I want the challenge to say I DID IT. Otherwise why not start me off at level 99 with a 1 button skill that auto kills everything in the entire game.

There, my friend is the difference.
Edited by Elle on 2/2/2012 2:13 AM PST
Posts: 1,505
I really agree with you in every point but...

They made mistakes, they went in directions that made no sense, like AR and stamina, that added nothing to the game.


Stamina = useless

AR added nothing to the game ?
That's not true. AR was not really an important status for everyone ... but it is very important depending on your character's class and purpose.

there's only one thing you need to say about ANY BUILD OF ANY CLASS IN THE GAME -> enough str/dex to wear the gear, the rest into vitality. Period.


Now this made me laugh, sorry....I've never seen a D2 veteran saying that...Unless you are not a pvp guy! Because max block is VERY important in some pvp builds...even in some pvm ones.

But the rest you're absolutely correct !
100 Undead Rogue
UE
12265
Posts: 344
Here's the difference:

IT WAS FUN!!!

We all knew the customization had gross imperfections. All the Sorcs knew they had to trudge through 30 levels until they could finally unlock their pinnacle spell and could finally be that which was the meaning to be a sorceress. It was a reward for all our hard work perhaps. But it was fun.

Currently D3 is not. It needs some work. I think if you gave everyone all of the skills over the first 60 levels it would be more fun. Something to look forward to. None of this only 6 slots business. It would give us something exciting every time we leveled up. Also that's part of leveling up. I want the challenge to say I DID IT. Otherwise why not start me off at level 99 with a 1 button skill that auto kills everything in the entire game.

There, my friend is the difference.


Reductio ad absurdum for the loss.

You can't take things I'm saying, take them to the extreme, and pretend like you've made some valid point.

Here are some valid points:

There are still good skills in Diablo III that are only gotten later on. However, there are also relevant skills in Diablo III for lower levels, where there are very, very few in Diablo II. Leap? Really? I can put points into a skill that leaps around when I later on get a leap attack skill that does the same thing except with bigger range and it actually does damage? Ice bolt? I get Ice blast at level 6 and it has more damage and hits multiple targets... but both suck and cost way too much mana so I guess it's 6 in one and 1/2 dozen in the other.

Comparing the current skill and stat system to being auto-level 99 in Diablo II is so erroneous I can hardly believe you dared make the analogy.

Just because you don't enjoy Diablo III doesn't make it not fun. That's not a fact in the least, that's your opinion, and one not shared by many others.

Rewards for hard work? If you think Diablo III is going to be easy because the beta is easy, you've got another thing coming, friend. "Hard work" should not include suffering from poorly designed skills. You want to feel like you've accomplished something? How about taking relevant skills and using them to defeat real challenges? Sounds like fun to me.
100 Undead Rogue
UE
12265
Posts: 344
I really agree with you in every point but...

They made mistakes, they went in directions that made no sense, like AR and stamina, that added nothing to the game.


Stamina = useless

AR added nothing to the game ?
That's not true. AR was not really an important status for everyone ... but it is very important depending on your character's class and purpose.

there's only one thing you need to say about ANY BUILD OF ANY CLASS IN THE GAME -> enough str/dex to wear the gear, the rest into vitality. Period.


Now this made me laugh, sorry....I've never seen a D2 veteran saying that...Unless you are not a pvp guy! Because max block is VERY important in some pvp builds...even in some pvm ones.

But the rest you're absolutely correct !


AR was worthless and completely broken. There is no viable way to cope with it that doesn't completely screw you over in other ways. The difficulty of hell was "tuned' by adding ridiculous amounts of armor to enemies so your chance to hit them was somewhere between "!@#$" and "ain't gonna happen". Blizzard realized this too, you might have noticed, as there is now a set 95% hit chance.

No, I don't pvp, and this article was in no way directed at PVP game play. Pumping Vitality is crucial for every single PVM build in the game.
Posts: 43
The OP is full of truth.

Their assessment of D2's stat distribution is spot on except for failing to mention that paladins got dex for max block.

And your skill system analysis is top notch. I still remember vividly D2's release, playing with some mates and three days in, our sorc remade his char because he spent too many points in firebolt and found fireball to be a far superior spell at skill level 1. So there he was spamming charged bolt lvl 1 until getting to 18 for fireball.
Posts: 4,098
Really good post!

Questions:

1. Do you think that rather than throw out a stat/skill choosing system, they could have found a way to keep it and make it less 'cookie cutter' oriented? Or was their decision to remove it entirely the best way to go?

2. By linearity, is Diablo 3 less 'free' in the sense that there's not as much room to wander in the wilds? Ie in Diablo 2 I remember having to run around searching for the 'cave' or 'door' to the next area.
Edited by Onetwo on 2/2/2012 2:27 AM PST
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