Diablo® III

Is *Anyone* Happy About Runes on Rails?

Posts: 599
03/30/2012 01:22 AMPosted by Bashiok
1) "Forced" Experimentation while leveling. Basically, you are forced to play with runeskills you may or may not like until something better unlocks. Under the old system, via the AH and with a bit of luck you could play the build you wanted and refine it. Under the new one you have to play for (potentially) a long time to get the build you want.


I don't see that as a negative. Previously you were held to either randomness, or left to your own to pick something with little incentive to jump around. Previously most people would determine what they believe is best and do very little experimentation. With the unlock system there is actually some incentive in the absence of complete choice to try something you otherwise may not have.

But anyway, it was really a symptom of solving worse problems with the item-based rune system. Both systems have their benefits, both have their downsides, but we know that this system has more ups than downs compared to the others.

2) The death of customization and specialization. Runes were initially introduced to offset the loss of 'uniqueness' in character builds due to the skill system. Runes allowed you to craft a build that was *yours* and finding ranks allowed to you continually refine and improve it. Under the new system, you are a few clicks and a cooldown away from being the same build as the guy next to you.


No they weren't. Runes were a part of the Diablo III skill design because we thought it'd be bad !@# to be able to customize skills.

Rune ranks were never customization, it was a gradual power increase dictated by drop chance. And don't be fooled that there is customization with skill trees. I've yet to see any skill tree that offers anything but the illusion of customization.

If you mean skill choice permanence, well, we just fundamentally disagree that you need to be locked into something to make your character choices meaningful. There is still plenty to make your character build meaningful that doesn't require re-rolling, and we believe we've achieved that.

3) Hell is for Heroes, and Inferno is not a place I want to still be 'trying out' new skills. In Diablo 2 stuff would unlock at a reasonable rate, and by the end of normal you had your build and were just getting the extras. Under this system, it's entirely possible that you will be waiting until you have finished Hell to unlock the skill effect you want. I don't know about you, but by the time I hit Hell I really want to have my build down and be working on gear and technique.


It's weird how on one hand we're asked for limitations, add more limitations, we really want to be punished and forced to level new characters and just be beaten about the face and neck with punishing game mechanics... and then it almost feels like there's a fear that you won't have a perfect character to take on the challenging areas of the game.

You won't. You're going to die, a lot, and you're going to have a horrible character for quite a while. You're not going to hit 60 and finish the game on Inferno. You're going to be smashing your face against Act 1 Inferno for weeks. Perfecting your build before then will not matter.

4) Not everyone is going to get to Inferno. I thought Blizzard said a while back that most players will quit after Normal? So...rather than letting everyone play around with rank 1 runes and at least see the various effects you aren't going to let them see them at all?


Totally! Reward for more invested players, and very likely a way to entice players not to just stop at Normal.

To be honest the repetitive difficulty levels in Diablo games is not a very straightforward mechanic. Plenty of games have difficulty levels, but there are only a handful that use them as progression. If we can communicate the intent of the game to people by showing unlocks in future difficulty levels, maybe we can get more people to play beyond Normal.

5) It feels like a deliberate delay to extend Diablo 3's lifespan for casual gamers (who may not have got to 60 otherwise). It's a lot like those fighting games that lock half the roster until you've finished Arcade mode dozens of times. Basically a cheap trick to keep you playing.


I'm not sure why this is a separate point. Maybe this should be 4a. ?

I'd agree with you though if the game wasn't a 1-time price to buy the box. We earn nothing by 'tricking' you into playing more. Is it so crazy that we just want to make a fun game you'll enjoy? Maybe it is these days.

6) Leveling is a huge focus of D3. This isn't WoW. Inferno will be nice, but getting there is going to take a long time and for most characters will be the majority of their lifespan. Not being able to do this as the build I want is rather lame.

However, there are two simple solutions.

1)Allow players, every 10 levels, to unlock a single runeskill of their choice, in addition to the existing system. This means that there is still something to look forward too, those of us with very specific builds in mind can enjoy them pre-Inferno and the newer players/Zarhym's Grandmother won't be affected at all.

2) Like Crafting, once a runeskill has been unlocked it is available at level 6, or when the base skill unlocks on any new characters of that class.

A third really good suggestion, made by InfernoBound is giving some free rune choices as quest rewards. I am a big fan of this idea too.
Thoughts?


Ok, so here it is, we do not have any problem with some kind of 'rune point' system where you could maybe earn points and then spend them wherever you want. But, and everyone loves this answer I know, it's not going to make or break an already well-functional system and thus is not worth delaying the game to design and build out one where this is possible. Contrary to popular belief "when it's done" is not the same as "let's work on it for 7 more years until we've accomplished absolutely everything we can dream of". Our commitment to quality and polish very much is the intent of our design mantras, though.

I realize some people are going to really want to be able to get that rune and MAN! it doesn't unlock until level 58! And honestly that's something we sympathize with to a degree, but the current system works very well, the current limitations absolutely have their benefits, it's actually fun to be forced to try other effects, and immediately giving you what you want is usually not a fun game mechanic in the long term.

In my own personal opinion, it's Diablo. If you can't find a workable build without having your own perfect choices being handed to you on a silver platter at the start of the game, good luck in Inferno. Actually, good luck in Nightmare. This game is hard.


Your points, made my day. You sir, have made my YEAR. If the game is as hard as you say it is, then my excitement cannot be contained. I want this game to be so hard with 4 people, that my friends want to give up, but we will push onward.
Posts: 3,282
Not thrilled about that announcement. That's one of the things that sucks the most about World of Warcraft: once you reach the endgame, there's a very limited amount of content that's really practical to actually play through if you want to advance your character in any way. The game has a hundred or so dungeons and a couple dozen raids, but by the end you just run the same three dungeons and one raid because nothing else has anything that you're interested in anymore. Now Diablo has a much more random loot system than World of Warcraft, so there's definitely weight in the idea that you can easily find upgrades in lower-item-level loot, but it still seems like a wasted opportunity.


One key difference is that you can sell everything you find in D3 on the AH. In WoW, most things bind to your character, especially the very best gear. In D3, you can farm all acts and just sell all the less optimal stuff for you and buy up what you really want off the auction house. This is basically how D2 worked as well - you could farm runes in areas that didn't necessarily drop good items, gold in other areas, items from others, and then 'keys' from specific monsters. Then you could trade for whatever you wanted. Except now, we have an AH that should make it all much easier.
Posts: 3,282
03/30/2012 02:24 PMPosted by Eleveneleven
So either harder content for better drop chance of the best gear or easier content for a lower drop chance of the best gear? I think the kill rate will make up for the drop chance loss unless they really perfected the math on it. I have a feeling people who are trying to get the best gear will just beat Act III and IV for the achieves then farm Act I and II forever, giving us less content (with the proper incentive) to farm.


It sounds like they are basically going to copy the end game from current D2. In D2, you can farm good items in the earlier acts and even in Nightmare. But not everything will drop. The top end uniques dropped in hell and only off champions in high level areas.

D2 has been going for 10 years with several patches. It sounds like they are going to start with an end game pretty close to what is present in D2 end game now.
Posts: 2,751

So you read this right? Where Bashiok directly quotes and responds to Starbird's Original Post.

I did, and it does not address rerolling at all. What's more upsetting is that he gives a lame excuse saying that it would delay the game significantly to implement a system that opens up the system to be more flexible which only requires going back to the original rune system (pre-atunement) which as I understand it was more or less ready to ship before they decided to try out a few other ideas. They could even cut down the number of rune levels to 4 or 5 to simplify the system as someone else mentioned in the thread.
Edited by Steveman on 3/30/2012 2:35 PM PDT
Posts: 208
How does this address the suggestion of unlocking runes on the second playthrough? Or unlocking runes by player choice? No, this really doesn't address the core issue in the least.


So you read this right? Where Bashiok directly quotes and responds to Starbird's Original Post.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4254459132?page=24#467


LOL, don't waste your breath Jman5. Bashiok's answers aren't the ones Steveman wanted, therefore, in this crazy land of forums, that means he "hasn't addressed the issue."
Posts: 290
I have to say, I'm a bit disappointed to hear that Blizzard is once again going back on their design philosophy. I was pretty excited to farm any part of the game instead of farming the same area over and over again (a problem of D2 and a problem that Bliz loved to make a scapegoat when saying how great D3 endgame will be).

Now... D3 endgame will be just like D2 endgame. ::sad face::
Edited by DeviousPanda on 3/30/2012 2:40 PM PDT
Posts: 2,751
So you read this right? Where Bashiok directly quotes and responds to Starbird's Original Post.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4254459132?page=24#467


LOL, don't waste your breath Jman5. Bashiok's answers aren't the ones Steveman wanted, therefore, in this crazy land of forums, that means he "hasn't addressed the issue."

Um, he didn't address the key issue. It's not about the right answers, it's about not giving an answer. What do they expect for rerolling characters? Do they care that they lock in players to the same path even if they want to reroll? Is there a problem that I am concerned the game lacks the same longevity that other game's offer?

As it is, I have even less of a reason to create new characters with the new rune system. I think that deserves some kind of mention even if it is "We don't feel a need to support additional play throughs". I'd be satisfied if that was their response. I'd just like a true response and not the constant dancing around the issue pretending that there isn't a problem.
Edited by Steveman on 3/30/2012 2:41 PM PDT
100 Blood Elf Priest
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Posts: 440
yay Bash answered me! xD

Ok, I don't know if I like it yet, was expecting Inferno to be more linear (even if slightly more dificult from act to act). But I don't know if this great gap between act II and act III will be a good thing. I mean, they are just making the gap hit later.
Edited by Caramelo on 3/30/2012 2:41 PM PDT
LOL, don't waste your breath Jman5. Bashiok's answers aren't the ones Steveman wanted, therefore, in this crazy land of forums, that means he "hasn't addressed the issue."

Um, he didn't address the key issue. It's not about the right answers, it's about not giving an answer. What do they expect for rerolling characters? Do they care that they lock in players to the same path even if they want to reroll? Is there a problem that I am concerned the game lacks the same longevity that other game's offer?

As it is, I have even less of a reason to create new characters with the new rune system. I think that deserves some kind of mention even if it is "We don't feel a need to support additional play throughs". I'd be satisfied if that was their response. I'd just like a true response and not the constant dancing around the issue pretending that there isn't a problem.


If you want a reason to create new characters that are the exact same class, play HC.
Edited by D3BETA on 3/30/2012 2:42 PM PDT
100 Blood Elf Priest
7680
Posts: 440
03/30/2012 02:42 PMPosted by D3BETA

Um, he didn't address the key issue. It's not about the right answers, it's about not giving an answer. What do they expect for rerolling characters? Do they care that they lock in players to the same path even if they want to reroll? Is there a problem that I am concerned the game lacks the same longevity that other game's offer?

As it is, I have even less of a reason to create new characters with the new rune system. I think that deserves some kind of mention even if it is "We don't feel a need to support additional play throughs". I'd be satisfied if that was their response. I'd just like a true response and not the constant dancing around the issue pretending that there isn't a problem.


If you want a reason to create new characters that are the exact same class, play HC.
humm, that's true, we will no longer have different toons of the same class with different specs, like an Ice Sorceress and then a Fire Sorceress, I don't know much people that had such things tho.

Maybe their intention is that you should play another class instead of 2~3 chars of the same class. Sounds more logical to me too.

And also, they are planning for at least 2 expacs. Maybe with more classes the game can live longer.
Posts: 2,244


D2 has been going for 10 years with several patches. It sounds like they are going to start with an end game pretty close to what is present in D2 end game now.


D2 has a lot of other things that's different from D3 that could be the factor as to why it lasted so long (that and other competent attempts to the genre haven't really occurred since TQ and Torchlight). With little incentive to roll new characters there may not be a reason to play as long this time (unless you're making bank in the RMAH).


If you need a reason (use different skills) to roll a new character, you really did not want to make a new character in the first place
Posts: 2,751

If you want a reason to create new characters that are the exact same class, play HC.

But the main thing I'm looking for is a different experience in terms of the skills I use. I tend to play carefully anyway so HC won't really change anything since I'll still be locked to the same limited skill set in the early game. Restarting a sorc in D2 and going down the ice tree played very differently in the early game than going down either the lightning or fire tree.

In D3 I can't do that since I can't even get my ice comet until level 50. That's a pretty big let down. The same is true for many other abilities. A lot of options are lost because of this. You can't fully experiment with new characters, only high level ones. There's just something fun about building fresh with a different approach that is lost now. I guess I don't have any fears about only 10 character slots any more though...


If you need a reason (use different skills) to roll a new character, you really did not want to make a new character in the first place

Um, wut? Why would anyone make a new character without a reason? Is there supposed to be a point behind this?
Edited by Steveman on 3/30/2012 2:57 PM PDT
Posts: 80
03/30/2012 02:52 PMPosted by Steveman
But the main thing I'm looking for is a different experience in terms of the skills I use


Then use different skills? I don't see whats stopping you from setting up self limits if you really want to playthrough again with different skills.

I get what you're saying about having the same options. But that doesn't mean you have to make the same choices within those options every time if you truly want variety.
Edited by CarloRossi on 3/30/2012 2:56 PM PDT
[quote="42534720558"]
How does this address the suggestion of unlocking runes on the second playthrough? Or unlocking runes by player choice? No, this really doesn't address the core issue in the least.


That's because they don't find it to be an issue, and there's not going to be any more discussion on it. They've made clear where they stand. Take it or leave it.
Posts: 2,751
But the main thing I'm looking for is a different experience in terms of the skills I use


Then use different skills? I don't see whats stopping you from setting up self limits if you really want to playthrough again with different skills.

I get what you're saying about having the same options. But that doesn't mean you have to make the same choices within those options every time if you truly want variety.

How can I use different skills that I don't have? If the skill doesn't become available until level 50 then it's off limits to me during my playthrough since it won't be available for 2/3 of it.

[quote]

How does this address the suggestion of unlocking runes on the second playthrough? Or unlocking runes by player choice? No, this really doesn't address the core issue in the least.


That's because they don't find it to be an issue, and there's not going to be any more discussion on it. They've made clear where they stand. Take it or leave it.

It would be nice to see them admit it and make it clear that they will accept that as opposed to constantly put a spin on everything.
Edited by Steveman on 3/30/2012 3:00 PM PDT
hes complaining about when a rune unlocks... given the old way, he might not even see that rune drop forever anyways... its an odd thing to complain about when you at least can look forward to reaching your unlock goal level.
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