Diablo® III

The Unanswered Question

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Another adjustment being made is increasing both the maximum range and the dead zone of Mortar. Mortar was specifically designed to be an anti-range affix, but many ranged players would just stand even farther away, whereas melee would sometimes get caught in the cross-fire of two Mortars. Increasing the maximum range and the dead zone helps with both of these.


I frequently get koed by mortars from mobs completely out of my vision. This is a stupid idea.

At the very least, show where the mortars will impact when they're fired, like the meteors in act 3.
Nice. Wyatt Cheng sounds like an awesome dude.
14 Gnome Mage
0
06/07/2012 06:12 PMPosted by Skeetqt
Sounds legit Mouthwash, let's let melee take less damage then ranged while putting out higher numbers.
Like every other game ever, yes.

Melee take more damage, but it is reduced. Ranged avoid it entirely.

Melee deal comparable total damage output by having higher damage and lower uptime.
We thought this was a great question, too. Unfortunately, our developers were unable to address it with as much detail and depth as they wanted before the AMAA ended. They thought it was a really relevant concern, though, so when I brought up the topic again to Wyatt Cheng today, he took some time to write up the following response:


I'll state up front that I do think there's a disparity between melee and ranged, and I would like to see that closed. I feel like if I talk a lot about thought processes and design philosophy and don't state this up front people will lose the forest for the trees and conclude we think everything is fine. So I'll say it again: melee vs. ranged disparity is not fine, changes are being made, and even if you disagree with the approach outlined below we can hopefully have the common ground that the current situation needs improvement.

It may not look like it on the surface, but a large number of the changes in 1.0.3 are actually targeted at closing the melee/ranged gap. Let me go through some of them.

Hardcore
I'm going to use Hardcore as a starting point. In Hardcore, there's actually a reasonable distribution of classes, and I don't think the melee vs. ranged disparity is as large. There are a lot of Hardcore players of every class in Inferno without a huge disparity. Why is this important? It's because a significant portion of the melee/ranged disparity is related to a ranged character's ability to progress even while dying. A melee player can throw themselves at a monster and die, doing almost no damage to an elite enemy. A ranged player can do a huge amount of damage to an elite enemy, die, respawn, and basically attrition the enemy down with repeated deaths. In the Hardcore environment where a single bad Mortar, Vortex, Jailer, or Reflects Damage will kill a glass cannon-ranged character, the disparity between ranged and melee is an order of magnitude less.

Repair Costs
One of the more controversial changes in 1.0.3 is the increased repair costs. The design intent of these increased repair costs is to make death more meaningful. One of the top arguments we see against the increased repair costs is "I'm already dying dozens of times to make any progress in Inferno. Don't you see this is going to make this impossible?" This concern is most often brought up by ranged glass cannons. Many melee players respond "increased repair costs seem fine" because they haven't been using death-zerging as a tactic. Melee can't easily death-zerg an enemy down, but ranged can. I don't think the answer is to make death-zerging more attractive for melee; I'd rather make death-zerging a less profitable strategy for ranged.

Enemy Health and Damage
We're also looking to adjust the damage and health of enemies in Inferno Acts II, III, and IV. This is another change that is primarily for melee with secondary benefits for ranged. A lot of ranged are building glass cannon with the mentality "well, I'll just try not to get hit at all." So, reducing incoming damage when they weren't taking any before isn't significant for them, whereas reducing incoming damage for the melee is a big deal. For the ranged classes, I'm hoping that the incoming damage reduction will make some survival stats more appealing to ranged classes. While before the damage was so large it just felt pointless to try and mitigate any of it at all, after the change hopefully ranged classes will think "well, if I just put on a modest amount of survivability, I don't get 1-shot, so that's worth it." There are some ranged players who are already doing this -- stacking survivability so they don’t have to endlessly kite -- and it just feels like the minimum amount of survivability to avoid the 1-shot is so large it's unattainable. That's one of the things 1.0.3 seeks to address.

Damage Reduction in Co-op
Another change which is targeted at improving life for melee is the reduction in co-op damage. Again, since many ranged players just build glass cannon and avoid damage completely, they didn't really care if incoming damage went up as other players entered the game, but the melee characters really noticed. It was very easy for your life-on-hit to have you at a steady equilibrium, but as soon as another player entered the game your life-on-hit was no longer covering the incoming damage and death became imminent.

Additional Changes
And finally, there are always minor polish adjustments designed to help melee -- such as the AI on some monsters (BEES!!!) being tweaked to run away less often, which again helps melee more than ranged. I actually spent some extra time the other day to make sure if a Sand Wasp runs away from you, and you start chasing the wasp, it doesn't turn and shoot 4 bees in your face (hopefully that makes 1.0.3). I'm also working with one of our gameplay engineers to make it so if you sidestep the Dark Berserker’s power hit (where he brings his giant mace down), he doesn’t turn to track you as he swings (though that change probably won't make 1.0.3). These kind of AI adjustments are things ranged players don’t even notice, but are huge for melee.

Another adjustment being made is increasing both the maximum range and the dead zone of Mortar. Mortar was specifically designed to be an anti-range affix, but many ranged players would just stand even farther away, whereas melee would sometimes get caught in the cross-fire of two Mortars. Increasing the maximum range and the dead zone helps with both of these.


We'll be including this response in the AMAA transcript, as well (just in case some players don't find this thread).


very nice and my monk thanks you
06/07/2012 06:25 PMPosted by Rithgor
then use the AH, dont vendor rares, put them on ah even if its for 1000 its more than vendor will give you, i make 250-500k a day just from keeping my ah tab full


The problem is that the AH plays into more disparity between ranged and melee. Demon Hunters and Wizards who got through inferno first because they can rely on skill effects instead of gear get an economic advantage because they can more easily get the higher item level gear to sell to the more gear dependent classes.
06/07/2012 06:30 PMPosted by Vesky
Another adjustment being made is increasing both the maximum range and the dead zone of Mortar. Mortar was specifically designed to be an anti-range affix, but many ranged players would just stand even farther away, whereas melee would sometimes get caught in the cross-fire of two Mortars. Increasing the maximum range and the dead zone helps with both of these.


I frequently get koed by mortars from mobs completely out of my vision. This is a stupid idea.

At the very least, show where the mortars will impact when they're fired, like the meteors in act 3.


I sometimes think blizzard tests stuff like this on 30" monster monitors or something. Becuase I'd say the vast majority of players sit somewhere around the 20" monitor mark and I too get hit by things off screen all the time.

Maybe if you're gonna chamge mortars to be more range you should also slow how fast they travel so ppl with small monitors at least have a chance to dodge.
Repair Costs
One of the more controversial changes in 1.0.3 is the increased repair costs. The design intent of these increased repair costs is to make death more meaningful. One of the top arguments we see against the increased repair costs is "I'm already dying dozens of times to make any progress in Inferno. Don't you see this is going to make this impossible?" This concern is most often brought up by ranged glass cannons. Many melee players respond "increased repair costs seem fine" because they haven't been using death-zerging as a tactic. Melee can't easily death-zerg an enemy down, but ranged can. I don't think the answer is to make death-zerging more attractive for melee; I'd rather make death-zerging a less profitable strategy for ranged.


so are they going to remove "ignores durability loss" on items or am i going to get rich selling the lvl 60 gear that i have that has it on there?
But that's not true at all. While Diablo III may not be for everyone, our goal is to make the game as fun as it possibly can be -- for long-time fans of the franchise, for players just getting started, and for all those people somewhere in the middle -- and criticism lets us know how we can improve.

No one should be advised to "quit" the game simply because they don't play the same way you do. Constructive discussion, good. Mean finger-pointing, bad.


I think thats the problem. Blizzard spent too much time appealing to the casual/non longtime Diablo fan. I get that it is good to make the game appeal to everyone, and I get that you need to make the game in such a way that anyone can pick it up and play it without feeling overwhelmed.

Having said that, there was no reason to dumb it down to the degree it is. Character customization could have been way more diverse without affecting casual gamers at all. There are several ways to do this. Perhaps the easiest would be to start character customization after normal is complete, once people have a grasp of the game mechanics, and start to let people build the character the way they want to build it, not the way Blizzard thinks you should build it.

If there is one thing I have heard Blizzard say over and over, its that they want to get away from cookie cutter builds, and let people play the way they want to play. But what I see in the game, and what I read from developers, (including the reddit amaa), its that blizzard has decided what is good for the players, and blizzard has decided the way you should build your character.

A perfect example of this is when blizzard answered the question about elemental damage on weapons being removed. The reasoning was that most people ignored it anyway, and went for dps. That is all well and good, but what about the people that would have liked to have it in the game. By taking it out, you have taken away one more way to play the way we want. By leaving it in, it would not have affected anyone else who just wanted to go for dps, and nothing else.

IMO, Blizzard has a long way to go with this game if they think there is any chance of it lasting for the long haul.
Edited by kweagle#1932 on 6/7/2012 6:47 PM PDT
Ranged classes make glass cannons because we don't have much in the way of meaningful defense so there is little difference in benefit between taking a skill that increases defense and not taking it but taking a skill that increases damage by 15% or more makes a huge difference.

Reducing mob damage and hp and/or upping the benefit of defensive skills would make a huge difference.

First of all, I wasn't just talking about gear. Gear is just one of the things adding survivability to your character, and the vitality stat is just one of the stats on gear that helps you survive.

That said, farming is a major part of Diablo. You've got weeks, maybe months before the patch in question. Start gearing yourself differently as you play in the meantime. And start playing around with new skills that increase your survivability so you've got an idea what you're gonna switch to after the patch. It doesn't have to all happen this afternoon.


No !@#$? Gear gives me things I need, vit, resistance, armor, etc. I don't have a way to get better gear, this means I am going to continue with my current gear which is actually pretty decent. Please go read the DH forums and see how impossible it is to gear for not getting 1-shot past act 1 inferno. This isn't a matter of "oh you suck, get better", it is a matter of "look my gear isn't the absolute top tier, but it is still up there, therefore it is going to cost me more".

This isn't a problem of not playing a ranged class as a ranged class, it is a problem with drops and not being able to afford more than what I currently have. I cannot just blow all my money on better gear when I also need it for my other characters. Sure I can play super conservatively, and I have no %^-*ing problem farming gear. I still farm gear for my multiple level 99s in D2 when the servers are down because it is way more fun than the endless torrent of !@#$ that I get farming act 1 of inferno.

To make a point, I am not in favour of the inferno nerfs (1.0.3), I am also not in favour of fluctuation in pricing due to "oh people are not taking advantage of it". The reason why we don't upgrade gems is because we can find better ones by the time we have gold to blow on upgrading the ones we have. We don't use the blacksmith because he funnels us utter %^-* until the last level and even then it is pretty average. The rest of us are blowing the remainder of out money on affording the next marginal upgrade on the AH because nothing drops that we can use.

To be quite frank I cannot wait for some aspects of this patch (1.0.3) because it means I will actually have the promise of an enjoyable game back where I can just spend hours hunting for loot. Right now I get zero loot and a bit of gold, most of which goes to repairs and some gem upgrades. In the mean time all I can do is grind on slowly and get by.


You do realise that Barbarian's need to buy this kind of gear and it's expensive for us too right? But there's a trick to gearing up without having to pay a lot of money - finding the vital statistics that will get you by and allow you to farm depending on your class strengths and weaknesses. I used to think it was impossible for Barbs to do Act 3 without 50 mil worth of gear until I saw a guy do it with only 1 mil worth of AH gear. It'll be difficult until you can afford to get the good stuff, but Inferno isn't supposed to be easy.

If you're not using the AH, then you probably should because it's 50% of the game whether you like it or not. Otherwise don't complain if you don't have gold for repairs, cos D3 is designed this way.

Losers complain. Winners complain too, but they find a way. Which one are you?
Edited by beast1u#1227 on 6/7/2012 6:58 PM PDT
Another adjustment being made is increasing both the maximum range and the dead zone of Mortar. Mortar was specifically designed to be an anti-range affix, but many ranged players would just stand even farther away, whereas melee would sometimes get caught in the cross-fire of two Mortars. Increasing the maximum range and the dead zone helps with both of these.


i like everything i read except this. the dead zone increase is great and while extending the range will certainly make it more anti range it also does this in a terrible way. it is already hard enough to see when mobs in many places are shooting off a mortar even at their current range limit due to the UI/simple screen width limitations. increasing the range makes this even worse. there are already many times where a mob will mortar from the edge of the screen. should we expect them to do it from off screen now?
Edited by Geaux#1476 on 6/7/2012 7:00 PM PDT
One thing that would really improve melee life a lot, is to give melee characters the same hit/miss logic as mobs against players.

It is just frustrating to chase after some mob, the mob runs away just as you swing and you miss. If a player runs away just as a mob swings, the hit will land. So there's absolutely no technical difficulties in implementing something to let melee players hit properly.
They want to penalize range for making glass cannon builds and "death-zerging" through elites, but don't you think if there were other viable builds even available to progress through inferno the majority would already be doing it...

Even with a full defense build on a wiz you will still be killed in 3-4 hits regardless of gear and take 3-4 times as long to take down an elite mob. For some risking "enrage timer".

Raising repair costs just seems like over punishment for the players still trying to progress through the punishing difficulty that is inferno.. I know i sometimes got spawn camped at a rez point before i learned to get through inferno most of the time those hard combo elites just have to be kited to a corner of bypassed in gerenal if possible.


Welcome to the world of melee.
06/07/2012 04:21 PMPosted by Lylirra
Increasing the maximum range and the dead zone helps with both of these.


This is fine and all, until a waller pins you and their mortars just falls right in front of your face in melee range...

The mortars need a "hard" deadzone, or else waller + mortars will still cause issues for melee. I hope this gets addressed as well!
06/07/2012 05:26 PMPosted by Gjorind
As a demon hunter, I would rather avoid dying than zerging enemies to bring them down but sometimes it is just impossible. Reflect damage and such is a pretty big issue for IMO, but I can play against it by dealing damage slowly trough clutch smoke screens


Not a bash against Demon Hunters at all and especially not against the person whose post I took this from--the story below is to(hopefully) help show the ranged players that haven't played a D3 melee what the disparity is that is being spoken of here:

I play a barbarian, and I thought the Reflect Damage affix was broken. No, seriously, until reading a little on my Witch Doctor alt, I seriously thought the affix didn't do a thing. It had never done enough damage to me for me to attribute said damage to the monster ability.

Demon Hunters are worried that reflect will kill them outright and must DPS slowly to overcome it. My barbarian thought reflect was broken and didn't do a thing(which basically means whatever pitiful heal per second I'm fielding is enough to completely negate it). THAT is the size of the damage disparity we're looking at here:P


That's an embarrassing disparity... My God. Do Demon Hunters REALLY reflect damage implode? How much DPS are they DOING... I would have to do, like, 20 times as much damage as I'm doing before that would even begin to become an issue.
Edited by Bip#1388 on 6/7/2012 7:11 PM PDT
06/07/2012 04:34 PMPosted by Reboot
Nightmare mode .... I die a lot


I didn't know it was possible to die in Nightmare mode.

06/07/2012 04:33 PMPosted by Opellia
If this goes through I will be forced to stop playing because all the enjoyment of this game will collapse and I will quiit, and yeah I know my voice don't count because if I quit you don't care..


and nothing of value was lost. It will really suck losing a player that dies in nightmare.


Though the poster there is rather excessively declaring the sky is falling it is INCREDIBLY possible to die a lot in nightmare as a demon hunter. It just requires the bad luck to run into lots of any form of elite ripper pack.

Please, take a moment to imagine the weakest affix combo you can come up with, now imagine that it doesn't matter because a pack of three soul rippers will almost instantly kill a DH in reasonable gear, on nightmare, with the tongue lash alone.

I'm 52 now, and still like to go back and farm the deeps when I'm bored, and every single elite mob in there, even mortar jailers is pretty much a joke at this point. Unless it's a soul ripper pack, in which case I can often expect to instantly drop to half life, and go into full on survival mode like I'm fighting Diablo or something. Hell with increased damage from group play, a wizard and I once died eight times each just trying to take out one gold soul ripper pack at level. (Again...on nightmare.)

That said DH are just the most hosed of the range classes when it comes to mechanics ment to abuse range classes. Wizards can wheather the damage with diamond skin, and lock mobs down completely with nova. Withcdoctor pets do a great job distracting. Eh. It got possible to fight the damn things once I got the hate refund from marked for death, and learned to spam the hell out of screaming skull on them - but I would still rather fight mortar jailers of almost any other type...

On a side note I welcome the mortar changes actually, because a larger dead zone means you can actually counter them the way they should be - by dancing around inside it.
Edited by StormWalker#1657 on 6/7/2012 7:14 PM PDT
Sounds legit Mouthwash, let's let melee take less damage then ranged while putting out higher numbers. Point of rolling a ranged would be? Less risk of death? Oh that's right, if anything sneezes on ranged in A3 Inferno or higher, they get 1 shot..
Ps, Barbs can go a full dps build and simply cooldown zerg eliet packs in Inferno. Yes, you'll probably die a few times.. But that's the price you pay. We all die in Inferno.


Have you played a Barb because I do not think you have one in Inferno, it is the same thing for Barbs as well.........
I already thought most of the changes were decent, but put in perspective it does look even better, except repair cost, while it does hurt zerging an elite, melee take regular punishment and die regularly outside of being cheap, regular combat engagement will cost them money.

Beyond that, projectile classes advantage goes beyond simply kiting, their resources replenish naturally so their skills are always available, while melee can only use their skills if they engage. If for some reason they can't engage and have to kite and wait for cooldowns (another inadequate disparity since they have to engage and wait for cooldowns to use skills) before scrapping again, they woln't have any resources built up because they couldn't engage. They certainly don't have the luxury of using skills and passive just to get a little resource recovery. They should have at least a minimum resource recovery naturally, than if they spec for recovery, they can have a lot, allowing them an almost caster like build designed to play keep away, or engage for even higher resources. Lower cooldown and or cost on many skills, or at least a lot more power, I'm seriously wondering where the damage is on wave of light. And more value out of defensive options, its really irritating to have to sub most of my build for defensive skills just to survive and stall opponents.

Beyond that, projectile classes are operating 2 more forms of effective defense. Not only do locational damage effects make it impossible for melee to engage opponents, even ranged ones like desecrator and arcane can be moved around since projectile classes have so much positioning freedom, while melee have to suffer those even more, as well as face more affixes which make their role impossible like plague and molten. These are Elites, they already have ramped normal attacks which melee have to face directly, why you would also make Elites the feature of a wider variety of impossibly damning affixes on top of the naturally increased threat is just beyond me, there should have been at least the same amount of ranged only affixes as melee ones, like, um, desecrator can't be cast anywhere near themself and has longer reach, larger area of effect and does damage to themself if it is cast near them so they only target distant foes or pay for it, or an arcane ring which only effects targets outside a wide radius, or reflect damage on only ranged attackers... I understand that kite and avoid is a proper defensive technique for ranged, but there could at least be some extremely dangerous affixes which only affect them, maybe their bad enough for them to choose to fight point blank to reduce the damage, unlike melee, projectile units have a choice of strike locations, melee don't...

The other huge disparity between ranged and melee is that they use their glass cannon builds and reach to perform the ultimate form of defense, offense, they can just hammer so hard that opponents are dead before they can reach them, melee can't really operate this technique because they have to be in reach and will get hit, they will be punished for this build, ranged are only taking a risk while operating this ultimate defense, "if it's dead it can't hurt you". This isn't something has has a specific solution except more of the same, more justification for improving melee. I don't know why return damage favors ranged when they already can't be reached by many foes, yet most return damage only affects melee, WTH happen to that monk skill that was suppose to reflect projectiles?, why does his aura of retribution require a rune just to affect ranged attacks? Why don't shields work better vs projectiles naturally?, why don't certain melee attacks smack at least some projectiles out of the air?, why don't more long ranged projectile attacks lose potency over distance or at least have a near ranged dead zone or near range damage reduction?

There should be some fundamental tradeoffs between ranged and melee, fundamental and not kit and build oriented, because these projectile classes are not sacrificing much or building kits to use most of their range, projectile weapons have reach, melee WEAPONS (not shields) should have bonus defensive aspects, like block% and amount on melee weapons or just barbarian and monk exclusive weapons, or just more natural projectile countering in their skills, like crippling wave swatting projectiles or bees out of the air, you should be able to break projectiles to reduce or cancel damage, whatever it is, there should be more fundamental advantages to melee, I'm concerned about how all this will carry over into PvP, I don't wanna see a dual balance system, serenity already seems a bit one sided if a monk can dash a mage and than just be invulnerable while he crushes their face, than uses 7 sided strike, so I'd like to see simple, fundamental advantages and disadvantages which could reduce the disparity without being one sided in dueling.

PS, I don't know how this attack works, but how is it that DH can shoot a machine gun of bolts which I presume will proc on hit effects like stun and life on hit super fast, but monk combos don't execute super fast or proc multiple hits on WotHF? Maybe it doesn't operate as it appears, but um, still looks Ridic... The least they could do is make melee attacks or combos in specific proc IAS rather more so than increased damage, so it will generate spirit faster and land the final hit modifier frequently rather than just hit harder... OK, I'm done...
Edited by Bahamut#1488 on 6/7/2012 7:29 PM PDT
Is it just me that expects melee to take more damage than ranged? It's a fact of war is it not? If you're going to roll a melee character, expect to take more damage than a ranged. You CANNOT balance ranged and melee. Ranged classes always sacrifice armor/health for damage, that is the philosophy behind that play style. A melee will invest in an armory of HP and defense because, well, the enemy's swords are swinging at their neck.

If you roll a melee class don't expect to be less of a target. Don't expect that a glass cannon melee build is a build that will survive.

I see barbarians all the time with only 20k health and low damage reduction who think they can just charge in and win. Not gonna happen.
06/07/2012 07:10 PMPosted by Volphy
Increasing the maximum range and the dead zone helps with both of these.


This is fine and all, until a waller pins you and their mortars just falls right in front of your face in melee range...

The mortars need a "hard" deadzone, or else waller + mortars will still cause issues for melee. I hope this gets addressed as well!


Perhaps Waller needs a dead-zone. This would avoid it putting down useless walls that obstruct itself rather than the player.
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