Ok Blizz, we need to talk about shrines. As I began playing Diablo III in May after 13 years of Diablo gameplay under my belt, I was quickly disappointed when I saw such a limited amount of shrines, none of which did that did anything particularly "cool." Let's look at past games.
In Diablo I, there were 25 different shrines (not including replenishment). They did odd, dangerous, often permanent, and sometimes negative things. I will not delve too deeply into their functions though, as they are too different from the shrine system in Diablo II and III to make much of a point, but I will make a point that there are 25 unique shrines, some with multiple functions. You can see a list of these shrines and their functions here: http://www.diablowiki.com/Shrines_(Diablo_I)
In Diablo II, there were 16 different shrines (not including replenishment). The majority of them were buff-giving and almost identical to how they are in Diablo III. But let's be honest here. Even in Diablo II, shrines were not that fun. The only two shrines that anyone got excited about was the Experience Shrine when it was inside the Chaos Sanctuary or Worldstone Keep Level 3 and the gem shrine (thanks to those who reminded me of its usefulness). Maybe even the Skill Shrine if it was in the Blood Moor and people wanted to BM pvp. Other than that, the shrines didn't really have a point. You can see a list of these shrines and their functions here: http://www.diablowiki.com/Shrines_(Diablo_II)
Aside from Health Pools, which is the only replenishment shrine in the game, there are only 4 shrines. I feel like the 4 shrines that do exist are just streamlined and consolidated of the buff-giving shrines from Diablo II. Let's go a bit in depth with them.
The Protection Shrine is like the armor, poison res, lightning res, cold res, and fire res shrines all wrapped into one. It's a good shrine for most classes and specs, as most will take some sort of damage at some point.
Probably the best shrine in the game, it is really a more streamlined version of the Combat Shrine, except for giving all classes a damage benefit. However, some specs are actually harmed by attack speed.
From 1-60, this is probably your favorite shrine. However, it is removed from Inferno mode, leaving only 3 shrines for the majority of people's gameplay experience.
This is probably your favorite shrine at 60+. However, once again, it is being made obselete by a magic find cap which over time leaving the game with a total of 2, count them 2, shrines.
The way that shrines are now is just poor design. They are not fun nor are they exciting. When I see a shrine I want to be excited about what it could be and then have fun with its function. The way that it is, I take a shrine when I see it just because there is really no reason not to, but it serves for no real addition to the game. Even though it is a small mechanic, it is nevertheless no excuse to make it a boring one.
The solution is quite simple; add many, many more shrines that have fun functions. Revolutionary, ain't it? I can even get you started! Here are some ideas of shrines that could be added:
Regeneration Shrine: Your character regenerates x amount of resource per second.
Quick Shrine: Your character gains 15% movement speed.
Deadly Shrine: Your character does 25% more damage.
Summoning Shrine (Similar to Diablo II's Monster Shrine): Summons a champion or elite pack at your location.
Healthy Shrine: Your character regenerates x life per second.
Toxic Shrine: Your character emites a cloud of poison around themselves.
Chilling Shrine: Your character emits a frost nova every x seconds.
Fiery Shrine: Your character leaves fire in their wake.
Shocking Shrine: Your character shocks all nearby enemies every second.
Static Shrine: Your character gains +50 gold pickup radius.
Gem Shrine: The shrine drops a gem ranging from chipped (common) to radiant star (extremely, uberly rare).
Powerful Shrine: Your character becomes temporarily invulnerable.
Wealthy Shrine: Drops mass gold.
Lucky Shrine: Drops x amount of items, base rarity being magic.
(These previous two would replace the fortune shrine, which should be removed.)
Elusive Shrine: Increases your dodge chance to 75%
Enigmatic Shrine: Increases a random stat by 200% and reduces the rest by 75%.
Durable Shrine: Repairs all items for free.
Greedy Shrine: Summons a Treasure Goblin at your location.
Colorful Shrine: Drops 6 dyes of the same color.
Knowledgable Shrine: Drops x amount of artisan crafting page/tome depending on your level, with a small chance of dropping a recipe ranging from a 4 property item to legendary item to jewelcrafter recipe.
It goes on...
Edited due to Polaris's suggestions.
Edited by Chris#1235 on 9/7/2012 11:44 PM PDT
Cooperative Only Shrines
An interesting idea that Diablo I embraced were coop only shrines. This is something that should also be considered. Again, some examples to get the ball rolling:
Selfish Shrine: Your character gains (50 * number of allies)% damage and your allies lose 50% damage.
Sacrificial Shrine: Your character loses 75% damage, but each ally gains 50% damage.
Sharing Shrine: Each person in the group temporarily has the magic find of the highest person's magic find in the group.
Hardcore Only Shrines
Similarly to coop only shrines, perhaps a small number of hardcore only shrines could be added. A good one that was spring-boarded from KloneZ post:
Jeopardous Shrine: 99% chance to give the player a 10 minute invulnerability, 1% chance to kill them after a few seconds delay, just to let it sink in a bit :)
Shrines in PvP
Aspyde mentioned PvP Shrines. Since we don't know too much about PvP, I won't talk too much about PvP shrines, but some of the shrines mentioned already or perhaps PvP-only shrines could be introduced. They could be located at choke points in PvP maps or something.
TheSLAP suggested negative shrines in this thread. I think that this is something that should be thought about as well. However, the negative effects would need to be tied to positive shrines, with a chance to have the negative effect. Otherwise, players just wouldn't grab them. As well, the effects could not be debuffs, since players would just stand there and wait for it to run out, which is the opposite of what the Diablo philosophy is. TheSLAP used the examples of the Durable Shrine having a chance to break your items or the Colorful Shrine dying all of your pieces pink.
Blizz, you're better than having such a boring system in your game. Let's see an improvement happen.
P.S. While you're at it, how about having different shrine models and overhead buff indicators ?
Edited to add ideas.
Edited by Chris#1235 on 9/13/2012 12:26 AM PDT
remember the shrines back in d2 where it says "death comes" ? and how the enemy near the shrine will be turned into an elite/unique?Yes, that was the Monster Shrine. I suggested something similar, The Summoning Shrine.
Thanks for the feedback!
We actually talked about introducing additional Shrine types in the future during a meeting we had earlier today. We’re also currently discussing the possibility of adding the Enlightenment Shrine into Inferno mode since the +XP bonus would be particularly appealing to players working towards their Paragon levels.
Thanks for the feedback!
However, that is a bummer shrine for Alkaizer.
Thanks for the feedback!Cheers, Vaelflare. It's always good to know that someone out there is listening.
I'd love to see a gem shrine work the same as it did in Diablo2. For those who did not play D2 clicking such a shrine did the following: Drop a random chipped gem or Upgrade a random gem in your inventory to it's next highest state.
I like the Goblin shrine Idea the OP had too, very cool.
I'd really love to see some perma shrines like in D1, but that will never happen for the same reason we are not allowed to assign skill/stat points.
The gem shrine is easily Doable as is the function of D2's monster shrine. These are no brainers and should already be in the game.
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