Diablo® III

Please reward us for skill, not time...

First off I would like to say that I do really enjoy D3 and have been playing the franchise for over a decade now. There are a lot of things about D3 that frustrate me to no end, but at the same time over coming those frustrations is a lot of the joy of playing the game.

The one frustration that really bothers me is the way Blizzard essentially made skill at actually playing the game a background mechanic and turned the rest of the game directly into a gear check. I understand this was deliberate and served the higher purposes of making a game that is truly "difficult" and bolstering the economy of the AH (which I honestly have serious problems with, but this isn't the time or place for that.) I just wish that players with skill and timing were rewarded for the efforts in trying to master the mechanics of the game rather than having to be the person who farmed the longest for the most gold or found the best items early on and got super rich off of them by using now nerfed exploits.

Now I say this in direct relation to two issues, one being damage detection and the other being latency. Both absolutely destroy any chances of playing based on skill and force you to out equip the game just to survive; ultimately this is the least satisfying aspect of D3 as a whole.

I am sure anyone who's found themselves being killed by a melee attack that simply was no where near them, or taking damage from an AoE that they are obviously not standing on (I'm talking to you Molten and Plagued) can tell you just how annoying the hit detection in the game truly is. Being quick enough to move out of the way of damage should in fact move you out of the way of damage, reserve dodge for when you are in the direct line of attack; that's really how it should work. I mean the Diablo series has always been considered an "action RPG" allowing you to move where you want, attack where you want, and avoid attacks as you can; when an enemy or effect hits you when it is obviously no where near your character it is enraging. I don't know about all of you, but it makes playing the game seem less worth it to me; I mean if the only way to win is by equipping the best equipment and button mashing till everything is dead where is the real challenge/fun?

Beyond that, would we actually accept this poor level of hit detection in any other game or series? If Mario died when a goomba got within 3 feet of him, or bullets to somewhere near but not quite your head gave head shots in BF3, or Scorpion's sweep kick could hit you from anywhere on the screen in MK wouldn't we as the players be appalled by their horrendous oversights in game design?

What makes it all worse though is the fact that it's one sided... Monsters never take damage when they are outside the visual range of our attacks or when they are standing near but not ontop of AoE's. It seems like such a cruel double standard that they can deliver attacks outside of the limitations of their animations but we are forced to make sure we are hitting them 100% accurately from ours; if you are going to make a game mechanic work one way for the enemies it should honestly work the same way for the player.

Secondly we have latency, which throws timing out the window entirely. So, you are in the middle of a heated fight and are down to a sliver of life and you click your emergency skill that should save you; does it? Hell no, of course it doesn't because you have to use your life saving skill before you are endanger of losing your life thanks to D3 being constantly online and the servers never dropping below a latency of 100 and some times seeing upwards of 200-500 during a normal play session... This is truly unacceptable in my opinion. It might be fine in a game like WoW where everything has a cool down timer and you aren't being constantly attacked; but Diablo has enemies that are attacking you multiple times per second. Having that split second timing be the difference between life and death should be a big element of the game play; especially when you take into account that many skills have extended cool downs that if you use too early can be a waste. Latency destroys that split second timing unfortunately killing with it the need to play skillfully...

On some levels I respect what Blizzard did with D3; it was a large undertaking and you can't please all the people all the time, but it's hard to imagine that so many of the game mechanics they put into play are really pleasing anyone but themselves. Turning a series that took skill with gear into a strict gear check just to create an economy to extort more profits from your players was a low move; and one that makes Diablo 3's actual gameplay suffer greatly for it.

I'm not quitting, but at the same time I'll be hesitant to support the franchise moving forward unless the skilled players start being rewarded just as highly as those with the shear volume of time to play and farm...
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