Diablo® III

Dear Director: returning the depth to Diablo

01/20/2013 02:37 PMPosted by lemalin
If it takes months to balance these numbers then they aren't very good at math or aren't using all of the resources at their disposal. And no, I'm not a software engineer I'm an electrical engineer.


You have absolutely no idea regarding the impact your changes might have, why don't you stop acting like if you knew. This kind of statement makes your credibility suffer.

Just to make it clear, I'm not against any form of idea proposals. But when I see stupidities regarding time and effort estimates on said ideas, it just pisses me off.

Not everything can be predicted but that doesn't mean you should sit on your hands trying to predict everything before implementing an idea. That's just a waste of time and perhaps why you think it'd take so long. A good designer acts on instinct and experience and responds to negative impacts later. Yes, some negative effects should be anticipated but he shouldn't let fear make him hesitate to act. It is this sort of fear that probably locked the devs into the endless cycles of iteration.

Great OP. Any and all of these things would move D3 in the right direction.

I like your term 'depth'- it's better than 'complexity', which I've used in the past. The difference is mostly semantic, but depth is a more appealing concept.

I'd look at the intersection of skills and itemization from other angles as well, particularly in regards to crafting. Lots of depth needed everywhere. Here's what I wrote in a now long-dead thread (don't mean to hijack, so I won't link it.):

IMO, sustained interest in a game like this comes from:

Complexity- there need to be many different options for developing a character. D3 currently has basically one- farming to buy on the AH. Nothing else is remotely competitive in terms of time spent. (Bug or feature? I realize this may be completely intentional. No one needs to post that comment for the 3 millionth time...)

Sense of progress- having paths and strategies available that reward planning and thinking ahead. Being able to control the development path rather than just be herded to the only viable option.

Loot lust- Having interest in items that help along the way, rather than just high-end unobtainables until characters are well into Inferno. There is a huge dead zone for items before level 60, and even after 60, only a small selection of stuff worth getting. Everything else isn't just trash, it's litter on the ground with such vanishingly small chances of not being trash that it may as well not exist.

It's funny you mention depth vs. complexity. I think that is a very relevant point and will take the opportunity to point out a great web series on game design that address this specific point:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/depth-vs.-complexity
This is a great video to watch as it is very relevant to the change in direction the game needs to take.
Edited by steveman0#1968 on 1/20/2013 2:52 PM PST
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You might have noticed that all of my changes have itemization changes in mind ;)


I did notice - and I think you're right on the money with all of them. Itemization is closely tied to skills and stats too, so if they do what you suggest and remove all cooldowns, then suddenly a whole new world of builds will be available, which will in turn make different affixes attractive - the net result would be more interesting item choices even if they don't change the items at all.

There were 3 things that have crossed my mind which I didn't see you mention explicitly though:

1 - More interesting item qualities/affixes - things like ethereal weapons, socketables etc. It was really interesing in D2 weighing up the options you had - "should I put a Cham in my helm for cannot be frozen or should I wear a ravenfrost instead and use a Zod eth helm for the extra defense". The items are just so bland in D3 that a lot of these decisions are non-existent. Even doing things like having cold damage slow the target and having cannot be frozen as an affix - they essentially cancel each other out but the net effect of numerous choices like this is a far more interesting item game.

2 - A functional PVP system - in D2, large parts of the economy were driven by the PVP system, in particular low level dueling. If they could initiate something similar in D3, such as a PVP ladder system for every 10 levels, it would be an enormous boost to the itemisation. Suddenly, levelling a new character wouldn't be a waste of time because you would be getting drops that would have value, it would encourage farming of new areas/acts/difficulties, different affixes would suddenly have value, etc.

3 - Crafting is still a disaster. If they can implement a good crafting system it will make the economy better, and the game more fun. Every perfect amethyst/ral in D2 was a shot at an amulet which could beat anything in the game, and it made the grind much more enjoyable.
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01/20/2013 02:53 PMPosted by Dave
You might have noticed that all of my changes have itemization changes in mind ;)


I did notice - and I think you're right on the money with all of them. Itemization is closely tied to skills and stats too, so if they do what you suggest and remove all cooldowns, then suddenly a whole new world of builds will be available, which will in turn make different affixes attractive - the net result would be more interesting item choices even if they don't change the items at all.

There were 3 things that have crossed my mind which I didn't see you mention explicitly though:

1 - More interesting item qualities/affixes - things like ethereal weapons, socketables etc. It was really interesing in D2 weighing up the options you had - "should I put a Cham in my helm for cannot be frozen or should I wear a ravenfrost instead and use a Zod eth helm for the extra defense". The items are just so bland in D3 that a lot of these decisions are non-existent. Even doing things like having cold damage slow the target and having cannot be frozen as an affix - they essentially cancel each other out but the net effect of numerous choices like this is a far more interesting item game.

2 - A functional PVP system - in D2, large parts of the economy were driven by the PVP system, in particular low level dueling. If they could initiate something similar in D3, such as a PVP ladder system for every 10 levels, it would be an enormous boost to the itemisation. Suddenly, levelling a new character wouldn't be a waste of time because you would be getting drops that would have value, it would encourage farming of new areas/acts/difficulties, different affixes would suddenly have value, etc.

3 - Crafting is still a disaster. If they can implement a good crafting system it will make the economy better, and the game more fun. Every perfect amethyst/ral in D2 was a shot at an amulet which could beat anything in the game, and it made the grind much more enjoyable.

These are all valid points and worth quoting for emphasis. I haven't gone through all of my concerns yet. I was actually just spurred today to write up this post and I'm far from finished. I certainly have other concerns about itemization but things like ethereal items and specialty affixes can be implemented without other core system changes. I wanted to address the core system changes which I feel are of the highest priority as my first points.

I'll take a note to refer to this post when I get to these topics.
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Posts: 2,810
Because I'm not willing to sacrifice my primary career and the paycheck that comes with it to make a temporary diversion fixing their mess. I want to see better from the Diablo series but I won't throw my life away to see it happen. As I said, I can help in my free time but my career comes first.


Then use your free time to create a sample. Show it to them and if you're actually as capable as you think you are, they might take you up on a little consultation in your free time. Maybe even throw some money your way since you're better at Blizzard's job than they are. I bet you could stop posting on the forums for a week and use that time to instead create something tangible other than "Here's what you can fix. I promise it's quick and easy if you have a good leader!". Saying you can do something is easy. Whether you can do it is another story.

Stop making up excuses. You can talk the talk but seem scared to walk the walk. Even in your free time.
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01/20/2013 03:01 PMPosted by Ringo
Because I'm not willing to sacrifice my primary career and the paycheck that comes with it to make a temporary diversion fixing their mess. I want to see better from the Diablo series but I won't throw my life away to see it happen. As I said, I can help in my free time but my career comes first.


Then use your free time to create a sample. Show it to them and if you're actually as capable as you think you are, they might take you up on a little consultation in your free time. Maybe even throw some money your way since you're better at Blizzard's job than they are. I bet you could stop posting on the forums for a week and use that time to instead create something tangible other than "Here's what you can fix. I promise it's quick and easy if you have a good leader!". Saying you can do something is easy. Whether you can do it is another story.

Stop making up excuses. You can talk the talk but seem scared to walk the walk. Even in your free time.

I'm ready to do so as soon as requested. Once Blizzard has demonstrated an interest in taking the community seriously.
Edited by steveman0#1968 on 1/20/2013 3:07 PM PST
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I've been posting this a few times, but a classic mode would really make the most sense at this point. They can finish the skill tree system they were working on :

http://www.diablo3strategyguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/passive-skills.jpg

Just have it separate like Hardcore is, and then those who enjoy the rune system wont be alienated, as well...I, myself, would create a character or two in that mode to play around.

For PVP they would just have to do a 50% dmg reduction when on the battlefield then everyone isn't insta-killing each other. Drop """""ears""""", also...

Crafting is also fixable in one of either two ways:

1. Have affixes selectable when crafting (but not guaranteed), so at least you have some sort of thing to shoot for as a result...
2. Make magic items break down into more ingredients for crafting. If the item had Thorns, have it so you can pick that as an ingredient to salvage. If the item had Bleed, then make it where you could salvage an ingredient that causes bleeding. Only one ingredient per salvage could be obtained. 50 Thorns or 50 Bleeding ingredients could be put down on the table to try and create a weapon that has Thorns and Bleeding on it...the % or amount of dmg would be based on RNG or something else...I dont know...I'm not a developer....just an idea...not an easy fix by any means, but its something...
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I've been posting this a few times, but a classic mode would really make the most sense at this point. They can finish the skill tree system they were working on :

A classic mode has always been in the back of my mind. It would be a nice option but I never felt it was the best design approach.

1. Have affixes selectable when crafting (but not guaranteed), so at least you have some sort of thing to shoot for as a result...
2. Make magic items break down into more ingredients for crafting. If the item had Thorns, have it so you can pick that as an ingredient to salvage. If the item had Bleed, then make it where you could salvage an ingredient that causes bleeding. Only one ingredient per salvage could be obtained. 50 Thorns or 50 Bleeding ingredients could be put down on the table to try and create a weapon that has Thorns and Bleeding on it...the % or amount of dmg would be based on RNG or something else...I dont know...I'm not a developer....just an idea...not an easy fix by any means, but its something...

I liked the way D2 did it with crafting. There were a few specially designed affixes and a few random. They do that to some extent with D3 but the higher level rare recipes go away from the approach instead relying entirely on random affixes. I felt that was a mistake.

You second idea here would be really cool. It gives items unique value for the affixes they have but puts a good price on custom crafting certain affixes on items. This is just another example of how many different ways that crafting could be improved because everyone knows how poor of a state it is in.
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Oh, OK. Twist my arm... ;-)

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7004453769

Larger point:

A search of the GD threads brings up incredible amounts of really great, constructive ideas for improvement. Ideas aren't a problem- getting momentum behind them seems to be.
Edited by tommyw85321#1161 on 1/20/2013 3:25 PM PST
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Oh, OK. Twist my arm... ;-)

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7004453769

Larger point:

A search of the GD threads brings up incredible amounts of really great, constructive ideas for improvement. Ideas aren't a problem- getting momentum behind them seems to be.

There are many solutions to many of the problems in the game. I would never claim that any one is the correct one only the one that I find the best or easiest in my opinion. I think what is more important is getting Blizzard to recognize the most significant problems and motivate themselves to fix them. Perhaps they'll use some of the suggestions or perhaps they'll come up with their own. I don't mind how they go about it, I just want to see it happen. All the constructive threads should just be more motivation for doing so.

And thanks for the link. I'll take a look.
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Sorry, wasn't intending the comment as a criticism of this thread- just a general observation. It's funny how the same set of ideas (with occasional new variants) bubble up again and again. Nothing new under the Sun, I guess.

Agreed re. recognition of the problem. Getting Blizz on some kind of 12 step program is exactly what is (has been...) needed. Looks like awareness of the problem may have finally percolated up. Whether or not gamers have any influence on what happens next will be interesting to see.
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Sorry, wasn't intending the comment as a criticism of this thread- just a general observation. It's funny how the same set of ideas (with occasional new variants) bubble up again and again. Nothing new under the Sun, I guess.

Agreed re. recognition of the problem. Getting Blizz on some kind of 12 step program is exactly what is (has been...) needed. Looks like awareness of the problem may have finally percolated up. Whether or not gamers have any influence on what happens next will be interesting to see.

Oh I didn't take it as a criticism so much as an opportunity to express that my primary interest is in fixing the game not enforcing some specific agenda. In short: Inb4 "You just want it to be D2" :P
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First off: Attributes
This is the first major issue. Rather than fixing attributes so that manual stat placement was a meaningful investment in your character and build they stripped it entirely. I'd restore manual placement with leveling

that would be nice ... yeeaaah then I could throw ALL my attributes in to main stat and vit. No more stinking inteligence for the barb! GRONAR DOES NOT NEED NOT THOSE WRITTING STOOPID SORCER SKILLS!11
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First off: Attributes
This is the first major issue. Rather than fixing attributes so that manual stat placement was a meaningful investment in your character and build they stripped it entirely. I'd restore manual placement with leveling

that would be nice ... yeeaaah then I could throw ALL my attributes in to main stat and vit. No more stinking inteligence for the barb! GRONAR DOES NOT NEED NOT THOSE WRITTING STOOPID SORCER SKILLS!11

Haha, that would definitely be an option if you take the RP element that seriously :)
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Wow. There is... a worrying amount of failure in this thread, starting with the original post and going through a lot of the comments.

Last I looked, Diablo 2 was right over there if you wanted to go back to it. Alternatively, Torchlight 2 is like $20 on Steam, so maybe give that a try?

One really fundamental idea that the OP misses, and a lot of the replies miss, is accessibility. Blizzard made it fairly clear during the development phase of Diablo 3 that accessibility was high on their list of priorities, as they wanted as many people as possible to play Diablo 3.

Diablo 2 is not a very accessible game. Even when it came out, it always seemed impenetrable without spending ages reading forum posts or poring over spreadsheets just so you didn't end up with an utterly gimped build.

01/20/2013 11:55 AMPosted by steveman0
This is the first major issue. Rather than fixing attributes so that manual stat placement was a meaningful investment in your character and build they stripped it entirely. I'd restore manual placement with leveling (and quest rewards!!!) and redo attributes so that it would actually work:


Not possible. Manual stat placement was never meaningful. Can never be meaningful. You will never be able to create a system where one stat isn't preferred over others for each class, and in the end, why not just give that class those stats automatically? Worse, every class will end up with a trash stat that they avoid entirely (and you can run into the current situation Torchlight 2 has, where Vitality is a useless stat for all classes).

No matter what you try and do to mitigate it, you will always end up with players minmaxing to the point where one stat is preferred for each class, and in the end, nobody does anything different.

Vit: Increased HP. Honestly, I don't think anything else is needed here. Even in D2 vitality was highly valued and that's all it really did (lol stamina recovery :P)


Nobody will invest in this stat if that's all it does. (Refer to above statement regarding Vitality in Torchlight 2.)

Int: increased elemental damage (weapon/spells), increased all resist, increased crit damage (naturally makes caster/elemental focused characters have larger crits and better resistance to the elements while, again, giving an offensive and defensive bonus to other characters)


This is a terrible idea, because it forces physical damage classes (Barbarians/Monks/Demon Hunters) to invest in Int when they'd rather be investing in Strength/Dex. You'll end up with those classes avoiding Int entirely and then complaining when they get smashed by elemental damage. The end result will be fixes to the game to resolve the issue, rather than the utopian ideal of Barbarians investing in Int.

No physical class wants to invest in Int. Trust me, I used to be a rogue. :)

Additional note: remove "physical resistance" and replace with physical damage reduction (not included in "all resist" - only available on items (rarely)). This change is needed to balance all resist so that it doesn't have the odd stacking issue with armor. The two should be distinct each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Currently there is little choice involved because of how they stack for physical damage.


Why not just make Armour work this way? Cleaner, neater and less confusing. Accessiblity wins!

I'll repeat, the damage bonuses would be reduced so that they are not the primary reason for choosing stats as characters tend to overemphasize raw damage. The inclusion of the damage will still tend to make players lean towards one stat type when trying to optimize a particular build but there will still be incentive to balance against other stats.


No there won't be. Players will figure out that avoiding "secondary" stats is optimal, and they'll complain to Blizzard that the game is badly balanced against their class due to the fact they don't want to invest in those stats, and Blizzard will patch the game to avoid the problem, because Blizzard understands that manual stat assignment isn't fun gameplay.

Only people with unkempt grey beards and a box full of D20s think otherwise. Trust me, I know.

Finally, the most important change to make the stat system balanced: diminishing returns. Single stat stacking should not be desirable. There should be trade-offs in stat choice (and by extension gear choice) and adding diminishing returns will aid in this effort. Diminishing returns naturally make it so that all stats are desirable because an individual stat will inevitably face a turning point where others will be more desirable. The diminishing effect doesn't even need to be very strong to have an impact. (This also has the desirable effect of preventing stat stacking by gear from overwhelming the decision to balance against other affixes as turned out to be a problem in TL2).


It bothers me a lot that you seem to have played Torchlight 2 without learning any of the other lessons from it.

If you were working towards a game where characters had infinite stat points to assign, then diminishing returns might make sense. On the other hand, if you are going to limit the amount of stat points available, then it's going to be problematic, as players will feel that they're being forced to put points into secondary stats that they see as non-beneficial to their class. Diminishing returns will not make players feel they need to invest in other stats.

Again, it comes down to the problem that manually assigning stats is not fun gameplay, and can never be fun gameplay.

Changing [the stat ramp] would essentially just increase the relative significance of each individual stat point but smooth out the distribution of the points. You could get 5-10 stat points per level and that would still be meaningful at the end game. All gear attribute affixes would merely require an appropriate scaling reduction to bring it in line with the new system. For example 200 of an attribute now could just be retuned as 10 after my changes. This seems like a lot but all of the numbers (player/monster stats, the values of the individual attributes, etc.) would be scaled accordingly so the current gear would still be useful after the changes.

It would bring the system more in line with the way it was in D2. This is for a good reason: the value of attributes does not diminish significantly over the life of the game. Why do this? This way an item found at level 40 isn't just a pile of scrap when you hit level 45. Items will retain their value for a longer period of time so that players aren't forced to the AH every few levels to replace their gear.


I have to ask: why do you want Diablo 3 to be Diablo 2? Last I checked, Diablo 2 was still there if you wanted to play it. I honestly found that game to be an impenetrable mess when I tried getting into it a few years ago, and much prefer Diablo 3 because Diablo 3 is actually fun to play.

Also, upgrading gear is kind of a significant aspect of Diablo gameplay, I would have thought. The whole point of the game, really is to get the best gear to kill the monsters to get the best gear to kill the monsters to get... etc etc etc.

Holding onto items, especially when levelling, seems counter to that point. I personally love it when I get a new item and the stat comparison is all in the green and I'm like "woohoo, new boots for me!"

Maybe I'm just easily amused, though.

Also, the Auction House is entirely optional. You are not, ever, forced to use it. If you'd prefer, there's an in-game trading mechanism you can use to trade with other players (maybe form a group of players you can trust to trade with and do it that way? I don't know).

That said, I consider the AH to be a part of the game (as it was in WoW), and so I'm happy to use it if I feel I need to. I fully understand that I can get loot from monsters, but the AH is there to supplement that if the Random Number Gods aren't in my favour.

(I mostly use the AH as an alternate source of gold, rather than as a gearing mechanism, however.)

(I know: gasp! Blizzard would never ruin their RMAH profits! The fact of the matter is that the D2 itemization supported insane amounts of outside RM trading so there is no reason why D3 had to move towards this stupid stat ramp to try to force people into it. The reality is that if items are fun/powerful and people want to find them because they are cool there will always be a subset of people who are willing to buy them instead. If you make an entertaining item system that people want to explore then RMAH profits will follow regardless.)


Wait, you'd prefer to go back to the way item trading worked in Diablo 2? Why even...?

The RMAH is really worth a thread of its own, but I just want to point out that I'd rather use it than have to visit some dodgy forum, pre-arrange a trade with another player, then hope that player shows up in-game, do the trade (using gems or whatever because D2 gold has no meaningful value, in-game or otherwise) and hope I don't get scammed.

Yeah, I'll take the RMAH.

I'd also reduce the probability of new gear rolling with attributes as I feel that attributes are simply a boring focus of itemization. Attributes should be more an element of your character than an element of the items you wear. Finding an item with +strength just isn't as fun as finding one with more fun affixes like damage reduction, resistances, %chance to cast X, etc.


While I agree that fun affixes are cooler than "raw stats", they're not necessarily better. Especially at the endgame, where (well, pre-Paragon levels, I suppose) gear is the only meaningful form of character advancement.

I'd consider modifying the numbers behind resists to implement a soft-cap mechanism. Balancing resists around the hard cap in D2 was a fascinating challenge in optimization.


No. No it wasn't. It was tedious and dumb, just like it was in WoW.

I have a better solution: Get rid of elemental resists entirely. They're stupid and only serve to add a fake layer of difficulty in certain pathological circumstances.

(To answer the obvious question, I'd replace them with a magical resist stat or somesuch. It honestly doesn't matter.)

I think I talked about that enough.


Too much, some would say!

The first and most important change in making this work is the removal of weapon DPS as being directly linked with skill damage. This is just a plague upon the game through both how it affects skill balance and how it limits skill choices. However, the link between weapon damage and skills won't be completely removed. Many melee and ranged skills would still be dependent on weapon damage but many nonsensical ones would be disconnected.


No. No no no no no no no no no no. Noooooooooope. Nosiree. No. No.

Up until this point, I was taking your suggestions semi-seriously because I was convinced you might actually have something intelligent to say. After I read this, I honestly realised I was wasting my time, but I'll go through it anyway because I have nothing better to do, apparently.

Fixed-damage skills scale poorly in the endgame. This is something Blizzard learned years ago in WoW, where Rogues ended up stuck with skills that lost power as the tiers progressed because their top damage skills didn't scale with their gear or weapon damage. While it made the class more powerful levelling up, and in the early endgame, once they started moving further along the progression stream, they fell behind in damage because skills didn't scale.

Linking all skill damage to stats/DPS means that you get scaling for free.

Why do this? I would think the answer should be obvious but for one it will allow the reitemization of class specific items for casters to be more unique and meaningful so that we don't have Wizards and WDs running around with immersion-breaking, massive two-handed swords.


This... is your justification for removing damage scaling? Uh... okay then.

I, on the other hand, like the fact that my Wizard can rock a (statistically appropriate) two-handed sword instead of a staff. She looks totally badarse doing it, too.

Immersion is a subjective thing. I don't find it immersion-breaking at all, to be honest. One thing I love about Diablo 3 is that you can have a sword-and-board Wizard, if you really, really want.

Most importantly, it will enable weapons with sub-par DPS to hold some sort of value as not all builds will be as dependent on it as others. For example, Earthquake wouldn't be dependent on weapon damage so an Earthquake barb wouldn't care how strong the weapon itself is because the other affixes would be more important.


Why not just upgrade the weapon? Farm some gold and buy one off the AH, or just farm elites/champs until one drops? Remember, the whole point of this kind of game is to kill mobs to get loot.

I think a lot of the arguments made about Diablo 3 since the game came out miss this pretty fundamental point. If you want a more structured loot environment, go play WoW or something.

The complete removal of skill cooldowns. These simply don't belong in a fast-paced ARPG. In a game about quickly cutting through hordes of demons I can't afford to wait around for my cooldown to be up. It only serves to reduce the fun of the game. There is no need to balance around cooldowns. Skills have resource costs for a reason. I would make them meaningful. If you want to build a barb that generates insane amounts of fury so that you can spam Earthquake... DO IT!


The counter-argument to this is "how is time not a resource you need to manage?" Putting everything on the character resource system wouldn't be very fun, I don't think. Not to mention you'd end up with "two-button spam builds" that, while incredibly powerful, wouldn't be very fun to play.

One of the big discussions going on in the WoW community right now is over skill rotations for certain classes (particularly hunters) and how a "simple" rotation isn't actually that fun. You might think it's really cool to just be able to spam Earthquake and Frenzy or whatever, but what's your left hand going to do? Chat?

Cooldowns force you to apply some strategy to your fights. Diablo 3 would be a lot less fun if you could just rush into battle and mindlessly click things until they explode/fly into the scenery. (You might think that sounds fun, but after 10 minutes you'll wish you had something more to do.)

Maybe if Diablo 3 had a scoring system like, say, the Dodonpachi games or something it could work, but not in the current game.

(Actually, a "bullet hell" ARPG would be a pretty cool idea now that I think about it. Maybe "monster hell" rather than bullet hell, though, but you get the idea. Have massive scoring combos and infinite levels and crazy-overpowered attacks and... wait, where was I?)

Some powerful skills might require retuning how they work or cutting their damage to balance the loss of the cooldown but there's no reason why there needed to be massively OP skills that you simply couldn't use very often. It's an arbitrary restriction which might have worked if we had enough spamable skills to make up for it but the reality is that the number of build-centric skills is limited so it really limits the number of unique playable options. Nearly every player of a particular class is forced into using a skill form a small selection because of these limits and that really cuts down on diversity.


Blizzard have stated in the past that the current system actually increases diversity, rather than cuts it down. It's far harder to make a useless build in D3 than it was in D2, or in WoW, that's for sure. While I agree that cooldowns can feel arbitrary, I'd rather keep them than get rid of them. Maybe they just need some more tuning to feel right.

Skill points
Yes that's right, I want them back.


Good for you. I don't.

See the thing is skill trees aren't actually required for this to be a meaningful system. In fact, skill points don't even need to be awarded with character levels. It would be entirely possible to implement skill points only through items or as special quest rewards or as a part of the paragon system. But I wouldn't go that far. I think it would still be nice to have as a part of leveling up. My point is that the system doesn't need be complex or difficult to balance to be meaningful. Even something as simple as 5% damage increase per point would still provide players with a way to invest in a certain play style or make a build work that wouldn't otherwise be possible.


I think this shows just how much you've failed to see the interactions between different systems within the game. You want to decouple weapon damage from skills, and then you want to bring back skill points, but you fail to see that the effects of your skill points can be achieved by... coupling weapon damage to skills.

So rather than let me increase my skill damage by gearing up, you'd prefer it if I manually assigned points to the skills I want to power up?

That sounds even less fun than manual stat assignment.

nothankyou.gif

More importantly, skill points bring back incredible depth to itemization.


No it doesn't.

Class specific gear rolling with plus skill points to particular skills adds a lot of variety to items and diversifies the pool from items can be fun even if they aren't an upgrade to you in particular.


Actually, it makes loot hunting frustrating as hell. Suddenly you have even less chance of getting an item you want.

The AH enables such diversity in items without feeling like a lottery. The problem is that characters are all funneled down the same path. Who cares if items can roll with every different affix when you can go to the AH, sell the items with the particular skill boost items you have so that you can buy an item with the skill boost you want. That's the whole goal of trading, to move good items from the hands of those who can't make use of them to the hands that will make use of them. Currently the market is built on moving items below a players gear level to the hands of a player where it is above their current gear level. There needs to be variety not a quality magnitude.


The problem is that it also makes the auction house massively harder to use, as you suddenly need to be able to search for a whole bunch more stats on items than current. The current AH search is broken enough as it is, your proposal would make it completely useless.

I also feel you're confusing diversity with complexity. Adding skill points and skill bonuses to items sure will make things more diverse, but it actually makes things more complex. A new player to Diablo 3 would find this system impenetrable (as it is in Diablo 2), and give up after a week.

I can't see Blizzard changing things to make it harder for players to get into the game. I'm pretty sure they like making money a lot and I don't see how this helps them do that. Again, it comes down to accessibility.

So a basic system for skill points might work out like this:
- 1 skill point awarded every 4 levels
- Skills can have a maximum of 5 skill points as designated from level ups
- This enables a player to invest in maximizing 3 skills or more evenly distributing across all six skills.
- Skill points award by quests/paragon would be bonus points and could be placed anywhere without restriction
- Every 10 Paragon levels awards a skill point
- Every 5 skill points in a skill provides an auxiliary bonus (extra projectile, longer range, reduced resource cost, etc.)

This last point is what enables really unique builds. The Earthquake barb for example might be dependent on getting 5/10 skill points for a resource cost reduction so that the skill is more spamable.


This is kind of what Torchlight 2 has now, and... it doesn't really work as well as it should. (Full disclosure: I love Torchlight 2 as well.)

The problem is that you lose build diversity with this setup. You need to create skill trees with lots of "dummy" skills that seem useful but aren't, just so players can figure out which skills are worth investing points into. Ultimately, you'll end up with cookie-cutter builds and... well, you know the rest.

Remember, Blizzard actually removed this system from WoW because of how poorly it works.

Oh and before anyone asks, yes skill points from level-ups could be respeced but at a gold fee that increases with level/number of points. This serves as an added gold sink and encourages investment in your build. The cost doesn't need to be too high because investment in gear for your build will also serve to limit the FOTM mentality of some cookie-cutters. And it will still allow players to make small tweaks to their build without a hefty price.


Any cost is too high, really. One of the great strengths of Diablo 3 is that it does encourage build diversity by not requiring you to invest in any particular build. The limitation, of course, is that (on Inferno), you lose Nephilim Valour when you do.

Also, what's so bad about "flavour of the month" builds? Keep in mind that, while anyone can just read up on Noxxic about which build is best, that doesn't necessarily mean that alternative builds are significantly weaker. You can still function in Inferno with most skill/rune combinations.

As long as the build works for you, and functions for you, the current system is actually pretty fine.

I'd like to reiterate that skill points appearing as affixes on gear would be a major itemization benefit of the system. It enables further depth in character development through gear and ties your build to your gear than is currently possible. Gear you find might not be good for you but it may fetch a nice price on the AH from someone looking for a particular skill point bonus.


I'd like to reiterate that adding skill bonuses to gear simply increases the number of possible gear combinations and dramatically reduces the chance of you getting the item you want, thus forcing you to go to the AH and eliminating most of the fun of looting a boss.

This is getting quite long


4300 words in my reply so far. :/

Miscellaneous item changes
This is probably more of a summary than additional details. Itemization changes include the removal of physical resistance from the all resistance attribute, the reduced significance of all resist, the increased significance of individual resists in comparison, the soft capping of resistances, the reduced probability of rolling attributes, and the addition of skill points to affix rolls.


Let's just get rid of resistance and call it a day.

The sum total of these effects is to add a lot of variety to gear choices.


No, it adds a lot of complexity to gear choices. Too much complexity, even.

Less significant is stacking attributes and all resist and increased thought will go into choosing gear with appropriate resists and skill points that accommodate your desired build. The greater variety of affixes and removal of the overpowered affixes like attributes and all resist will drive a more balanced economy that is no longer focused on a narrow set of affixes that every character of every class chases.


It will also drive more players away from the game due to additional arbitrary complexity.

There are definitely issues with the way gear works at the moment, but I feel your solutions, especially regarding decoupling stats from skills and adding skill points are the wrong way to resolve the problems.

I think the biggest issue here is that you seem to hold Diablo 2 up as the glorious holy standard by which Diablo 3 must be judged. I disagree with this completely. To me, Diablo 2 was an impenetrable mess of a game. I knew going in that, if I didn't make the right stat choices, I'd essentially screwed my character over and would have to re-roll.

That isn't fun. It isn't what I want from a game I paid money for. It's arbitrary and stupid, and I think even Blizzard are willing to admit that there's a huge number of flaws with Diablo 2.

Other additions not mentioned previously include %elemental damage affixes that are currently limited to a few legendary items. These could provide the primary damage boosts for casters or elemental focused non-caster classes. An Earthquake barb might strive for a good deal of %fire damage and would have little need for a high damage weapon. A %fire damage boosting ax would be really nice for him even with low damage. Items like this don't exist currently and even if they did high weapon DPS would still be a requirement for it to hold any value.


World of Warcraft tried this and it didn't end well. Damage bonuses to specific elements are problematic, especially in a game where you can easily switch around your primary elemental attacks. I've geared my Wizard for, say, Fire damage, but now I want to try electrocuting all the things. Suddenly I have to completely re-gear to be effective.

nothankyou.gif.

I think we both come from different perspectives, which is that I love Diablo 3 to bits in its current form and don't want to see it changed. I was never a fan of Diablo 2 (as I said, I tried it and found it to be entirely impenetrable), and so came into D3 with no real preconceptions (well, I was a heavy WoW player (7 years+) and also loved the original Torchlight). For me, Diablo 3 hit all the right notes. Even in its original form, with all the flaws it had, the game was enjoyable enough.

I'm not going to say that there aren't problems with Diablo 3 as it currently stands, because there are. Blizzard know there are and are working to fix them. What's frustrating is watching people on this forum complain about the game by comparing it to Diablo 2. I'm not one to pop any bubbles here, but Diablo 2 has aged poorly and just isn't that fun. If you still like it, then bully for you, but try to stand back and look at it without a decade of nostalgia clouding your vision.

tl;dr: You're wrong, and Diablo 3 is pretty good, currently.

(There's probably a heap of typos and hilarious factual inaccuracies in this post. No guarantees are given that the information is correct, or even that I will agree with it in five minutes.)
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90 Orc Warlock
9130
Posts: 265
How does stacking vit or being terrible in any way increase your ability to roleplay that character. All it does is punish new or casual players. It creates an artificial barrier to entry and makes the people that look it up instead of playing and trying to learn look and feel badass. Congrats on your hammerdin, did you come up with that yourself? Clearly you were the first one afterall right? Guess what those leftover 10 to 20 skillpoints that were left over that you never used the skill they were in did not make your clone actually new and different. They in no way were you playing or building a character. You were the same clone as anyone else.
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Ive read that attribute allocation would not work because in d2 there was the prime build and that was it.
maybe in PVP but in PvM that was not the case. because of the diversity of items, resistances, and other things almost anything was at least viable to pvm.

truthfully i could do without the stat allocation system, BUT i am not okay with the lottery of items in this current game.

I still dont understand why an item SPECIFICALLY built for a certain class (i.e. nats for the DH) would ever have the possibility of rolling a major stat for another class. Its already hard enough to find it. but to never make any REAL use of this supposed GG item is just a heart breaker.

They should at least do that for us. make class specific drops ONLY carry stats designed for that class.
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Last I looked, Diablo 2 was right over there if you wanted to go back to it. Alternatively, Torchlight 2 is like $20 on Steam, so maybe give that a try?

One really fundamental idea that the OP misses, and a lot of the replies miss, is accessibility. Blizzard made it fairly clear during the development phase of Diablo 3 that accessibility was high on their list of priorities, as they wanted as many people as possible to play Diablo 3.

There is no reason why the game can't have depth while remaining accessible. It takes a skilled team to pull it off but that is the expectation from a company with a reputation of Blizzard's.


Diablo 2 is not a very accessible game. Even when it came out, it always seemed impenetrable without spending ages reading forum posts or poring over spreadsheets just so you didn't end up with an utterly gimped build.

I wonder how much you really played D2 because even with a pretty terrible build the game was quite easy. There was incredible potential in building some very powerful characters if you understood the systems really well but such an understanding was not necessary to build a viable character. Just about any cobbled together character could complete the game with gear they found. At worst you might farm a few bosses and collect some uniques that would cover your weaknesses. The game was clearable naked if you knew what you were doing with skill selection and knew how to play well.

Not possible. Manual stat placement was never meaningful. Can never be meaningful. You will never be able to create a system where one stat isn't preferred over others for each class, and in the end, why not just give that class those stats automatically? Worse, every class will end up with a trash stat that they avoid entirely (and you can run into the current situation Torchlight 2 has, where Vitality is a useless stat for all classes).

Such absolutist thinking is a sign of a lack of creativity or design principle. The fact that you mentioned TL2 is a bit ironic since their very stat system manages to accomplish the very thing you say is impossible. (And no, vitality isn't useless in TL2 unless you are playing on a difficulty well below your skill level).


No matter what you try and do to mitigate it, you will always end up with players minmaxing to the point where one stat is preferred for each class, and in the end, nobody does anything different.

Maybe you missed the entire point of my itemization system. It provides choice. There is no real optimal build, only what your prefer for your particular build. Whether it be dodgy with crit, armored with high damage, or resistant with crit damage each suits a different playstyle with a built in emphasis based on whether you are ranged, melee, or a caster. Sure you can try to min-max but that is dependent on the element of choice in your particular build as they are invariably linked through gear with the additional itemization elements. Ultimately, the stat build isn't very critical because unlike the current D3 the attribute points don't make up as significant a portion of your damage.

Nobody will invest in this stat if that's all it does. (Refer to above statement regarding Vitality in Torchlight 2.)

You mean like they didn't in D2?


Int: increased elemental damage (weapon/spells), increased all resist, increased crit damage (naturally makes caster/elemental focused characters have larger crits and better resistance to the elements while, again, giving an offensive and defensive bonus to other characters)


This is a terrible idea, because it forces physical damage classes (Barbarians/Monks/Demon Hunters) to invest in Int when they'd rather be investing in Strength/Dex. You'll end up with those classes avoiding Int entirely and then complaining when they get smashed by elemental damage. The end result will be fixes to the game to resolve the issue, rather than the utopian ideal of Barbarians investing in Int.

Um what? Who says they have to invest in int? You could easily make up the difference on gear. The entire point of the attribute system is to fill in where the RNG of itemization leaves you weakest. If you prefer to be more offensive you can take only str/dex, if you prefer to be more defensive you can invest more in int. You can go to either extreme or you can play conservatively and balance your stats for maximum benefit. Diminishing returns make the optimal choice lay somewhere balanced in the middle, the player decides how much to lean to either side or if they prefer the extremes. Choice. Again, you seem to think that the difference in stat builds will be a 90% swing in a characters survival which is completely absurd.

Additional note: remove "physical resistance" and replace with physical damage reduction (not included in "all resist" - only available on items (rarely)). This change is needed to balance all resist so that it doesn't have the odd stacking issue with armor. The two should be distinct each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Currently there is little choice involved because of how they stack for physical damage.


Why not just make Armour work this way? Cleaner, neater and less confusing. Accessiblity wins!

That's true, physical resist could be removed entirely. In fact that probably is the simplest solution.

I'll repeat, the damage bonuses would be reduced so that they are not the primary reason for choosing stats as characters tend to overemphasize raw damage. The inclusion of the damage will still tend to make players lean towards one stat type when trying to optimize a particular build but there will still be incentive to balance against other stats.


No there won't be. Players will figure out that avoiding "secondary" stats is optimal, and they'll complain to Blizzard that the game is badly balanced against their class due to the fact they don't want to invest in those stats, and Blizzard will patch the game to avoid the problem, because Blizzard understands that manual stat assignment isn't fun gameplay.

Avoiding defensive measures entirely is not optimal. If you choose to be squishy target then that is your decision. Your death count will teach you to learn to accept the defensive measures. The game shouldn't treat all players like children. If the player refuses to accept the defensive measures provided for them then it is their own fault. Let's not go and remove the holes in Mario because the player refuses to jump.

Only people with unkempt grey beards and a box full of D20s think otherwise. Trust me, I know.

Seeing as this game is the sequel to a game rooted in a more traditional RPG experience I think driving the experience away from its roots is the very reason why so many people have been driven from the game so soon. It is the core RPG experience that kept people around D2 as long as it did.


If you were working towards a game where characters had infinite stat points to assign, then diminishing returns might make sense. On the other hand, if you are going to limit the amount of stat points available, then it's going to be problematic, as players will feel that they're being forced to put points into secondary stats that they see as non-beneficial to their class. Diminishing returns will not make players feel they need to invest in other stats.

Diminishing returns don't have to affect core (level earned) stats. Secondly, the diminishing effect doesn't even need to be that strong. Thirdly, players don't need to play optimally to enjoy the experience. The idea is to keep the stats in balance so that players aren't depressed to find an item to find a non-primary attribute. You are free to stack your primary stat with your earned stat points if you don't care to min-max but you won't feel bad when you see that item with your wizard gets a huge defensive boost from an item with strength.


Again, it comes down to the problem that manually assigning stats is not fun gameplay, and can never be fun gameplay.

So you don't think making choices is fun? Should the game just play itself? I don't think you have enough RPG experience to be commenting on RPG matters. The entire core RPG experience is the decisions you make and investment into your character. The removal of these features strips the core RPG experience from the game. It are these elements that qualifies the game as an ARPG in the first place. Without them the game is little more than a brawler which is one of the primary reasons why the game is dying so quickly.


I have to ask: why do you want Diablo 3 to be Diablo 2? Last I checked, Diablo 2 was still there if you wanted to play it. I honestly found that game to be an impenetrable mess when I tried getting into it a few years ago, and much prefer Diablo 3 because Diablo 3 is actually fun to play.

It's not about making D3 become D2, it's about carrying over the features that made D2 the great ARPG legend that it was. There is no need to make them the same but D3 should still aim to be a sequel and not a different game from another genre.


Also, upgrading gear is kind of a significant aspect of Diablo gameplay, I would have thought. The whole point of the game, really is to get the best gear to kill the monsters to get the best gear to kill the monsters to get... etc etc etc.

Agreed, that is the very reason I'd like to see deeper itemization and greater flexibility in gearing. The shallowness of the item system is part of reason why the game goes stale so quickly.


Holding onto items, especially when levelling, seems counter to that point. I personally love it when I get a new item and the stat comparison is all in the green and I'm like "woohoo, new boots for me!"

Well of course players want to find new awesome items. What they don't want is to feel as though they are being handicapped by old outdated items that are far weaker than what they can find at their current level. The positive feedback of an item is also diminished when the player knows that it will be drastically outdated in just an hour or two of further play. Finding an item they know will be useful for another 10 hours of play produces a far greater rush of excitement that keeps the player enthralled for far longer.


Also, the Auction House is entirely optional. You are not, ever, forced to use it. If you'd prefer, there's an in-game trading mechanism you can use to trade with other players (maybe form a group of players you can trust to trade with and do it that way? I don't know).

It's true you aren't forced to use it but the constantly, quickly scaling of item stats makes old out of date items feel like an anchor slowing you down and it is hard to resist the temptation of the AH. There are plenty of players who've expressed their inability to resist that temptation. Why should the game temp us in the first place? Shouldn't the game be designed for maximum enjoyment without such a detrimental temptation?


Wait, you'd prefer to go back to the way item trading worked in Diablo 2? Why even...?

What? Where did I say that?


The RMAH is really worth a thread of its own, but I just want to point out that I'd rather use it than have to visit some dodgy forum, pre-arrange a trade with another player, then hope that player shows up in-game, do the trade (using gems or whatever because D2 gold has no meaningful value, in-game or otherwise) and hope I don't get scammed.


Yeah, I'll take the RMAH.[/quote]
Well sure, I'm not calling for its removal. I'm just saying the game shouldn't be designed around feeding players through it for profit and its existence should not in any way dictate design decisions.


While I agree that fun affixes are cooler than "raw stats", they're not necessarily better. Especially at the endgame, where (well, pre-Paragon levels, I suppose) gear is the only meaningful form of character advancement.

Isn't the fun/cool factor supposed to be the very thing to maximize in a game designed for entertainment?

I'd consider modifying the numbers behind resists to implement a soft-cap mechanism. Balancing resists around the hard cap in D2 was a fascinating challenge in optimization.


No. No it wasn't. It was tedious and dumb, just like it was in WoW.

So don't worry about it, you can gear resists just as you do now and still be better off. That's the very point in making it a soft cap. You only benefit from this change. The min-maxers can have their fun optimizing if they choose.


I have a better solution: Get rid of elemental resists entirely. They're stupid and only serve to add a fake layer of difficulty in certain pathological circumstances.

One less element of complexity, another less element of itemization depth. If there were enough alternative and fun affixes to fill the gap then sure it would be a great idea. I just don't see what fun alternatives would fill the gap.


The first and most important change in making this work is the removal of weapon DPS as being directly linked with skill damage. This is just a plague upon the game through both how it affects skill balance and how it limits skill choices. However, the link between weapon damage and skills won't be completely removed. Many melee and ranged skills would still be dependent on weapon damage but many nonsensical ones would be disconnected.


No. No no no no no no no no no no. Noooooooooope. Nosiree. No. No.

Up until this point, I was taking your suggestions semi-seriously because I was convinced you might actually have something intelligent to say. After I read this, I honestly realised I was wasting my time, but I'll go through it anyway because I have nothing better to do, apparently.

Fixed-damage skills scale poorly in the endgame. This is something Blizzard learned years ago in WoW, where Rogues ended up stuck with skills that lost power as the tiers progressed because their top damage skills didn't scale with their gear or weapon damage. While it made the class more powerful levelling up, and in the early endgame, once they started moving further along the progression stream, they fell behind in damage because skills didn't scale.


Linking all skill damage to stats/DPS means that you get scaling for free.[/quote]
Scaling for free also comes with the cost of no element of player control or build flexibility. It also funnels all players down an infinitesimally narrow path of itemization that guarantees an entire subset of items are completely and utterly worthless. This is an absolutely terrible design principle in an ARPG and it's even worse in one that tries to maintain an active economy.

The poor scaling element is linked with the faulty high stat ramp that I addressed previously. The exponential scaling only works if skills scale exponentially as well. Although that can be done, it often isn't due to the inherent complexity of balancing the math. I would propose to eliminate the stat ramp and the linear scaling is no longer a problem. See just about any other ARPG ever made. WoW is a terrible reference because it uses the same exponential scaling. What you fail to understand is that WoW is a progression based MMO and the exponential scaling is necessary to accomplish the goals they strive for. It is a terrible choice for an ARPG that is to retain a fair pace over the entire level range. If you are honestly trying to approach this from the perspective of WoW (an MMO) it would explain why you fail to understand the significance of my suggestions. If this is the case you need to completely re-evaluate from an ARPG perspective.

Why do this? I would think the answer should be obvious but for one it will allow the reitemization of class specific items for casters to be more unique and meaningful so that we don't have Wizards and WDs running around with immersion-breaking, massive two-handed swords.


This... is your justification for removing damage scaling? Uh... okay then.

I, on the other hand, like the fact that my Wizard can rock a (statistically appropriate) two-handed sword instead of a staff. She looks totally badarse doing it, too.

Immersion is a subjective thing. I don't find it immersion-breaking at all, to be honest. One thing I love about Diablo 3 is that you can have a sword-and-board Wizard, if you really, really want.

I guess if you don't come from an RPG background this might seem fine to you. To me it is incredibly out of place and misses out on a great opportunity to distinguish class design and a unique approach on itemization. It adds variety in a fascinating, organic way.

Why not just upgrade the weapon? Farm some gold and buy one off the AH, or just farm elites/champs until one drops? Remember, the whole point of this kind of game is to kill mobs to get loot.

Because this alone doesn't solve the problem of garbage items. Loot that serves no purpose is not fun to find. These changes make it so that all loot can have a purpose and value. It means even the worst of items might be valuable to someone so your time isn't wasted on items that can only ever earn you money by vendoring. It adds depth in case you forgot the purpose of these suggestions.


I think a lot of the arguments made about Diablo 3 since the game came out miss this pretty fundamental point. If you want a more structured loot environment, go play WoW or something.

Um what? The very things I'm arguing against is a structured loot environment. I want greater variety and greater opportunities for emergent gameplay. WoW itemization is the polar opposite of that.


The counter-argument to this is "how is time not a resource you need to manage?" Putting everything on the character resource system wouldn't be very fun, I don't think. Not to mention you'd end up with "two-button spam builds" that, while incredibly powerful, wouldn't be very fun to play.

Time is a resource to manage but it is an absolutely boring one. In a fast paced game where speed is key, time is not an ideal resource.

You again seem to think that limiting player choice is the better option. If a player wants to do a two-button spam build then that is their choice. If they'd prefer more options then the system should allow it. Removing cooldowns does not funnel people into two-button spam builds. If anything it moves them away from them By removing cooldowns players have even more options of skills to choose because they aren't funneled into skills with low cooldowns (if that is how they prefer to play).

Additionally, the added buffs and control spells in the game virtually guarantee that two-button spam spells would never be optimal, at least not without an extensive investment in specialize (read: expensive) gear.


One of the big discussions going on in the WoW community right now is over skill rotations for certain classes (particularly hunters) and how a "simple" rotation isn't actually that fun. You might think it's really cool to just be able to spam Earthquake and Frenzy or whatever, but what's your left hand going to do? Chat?

More irrelevant WoW talk. Why do you keep referencing an entirely irrelevant genre? Rotations have nothing to do with D3 nor were they a major element (or one at all) of D2. How is this relevant to the discussion?


Cooldowns force you to apply some strategy to your fights. Diablo 3 would be a lot less fun if you could just rush into battle and mindlessly click things until they explode/fly into the scenery. (You might think that sounds fun, but after 10 minutes you'll wish you had something more to do.)

You seem to have missed the entire point of Diablo and Diablo 2. This statement makes me question the value of your opinion on the topic at hand.


Blizzard have stated in the past that the current system actually increases diversity, rather than cuts it down. It's far harder to make a useless build in D3 than it was in D2, or in WoW, that's for sure. While I agree that cooldowns can feel arbitrary, I'd rather keep them than get rid of them. Maybe they just need some more tuning to feel right.

I still don't buy any of that. It was impossible to make a useless build in D2 as any skill combination could get your through the game. The game could be completed naked with good skill builds and it could be completed with decent gear with just a melee attack. Diversity is only harmed by funneling characters into a certain limited skill set due to strict cooldown limitations.


I think this shows just how much you've failed to see the interactions between different systems within the game. You want to decouple weapon damage from skills, and then you want to bring back skill points, but you fail to see that the effects of your skill points can be achieved by... coupling weapon damage to skills.

Actually miss the point. Skill points tie into more than just weapons. They tie into all gearing decisions as a whole as well as the character investment itself. It enables character customization options that simply aren't possible in the current game and it enables a greater variety of weapon choices as opposed to funneling all players into only the very narrow subset of weapons with high DPS. You are trying to limit options and depth and I am expanding it. I don't want a shallow game yet all you seem to do is try to make it shallower and shallower with each statement you make. You are providing only a single logical choice while I'm trying to enable many viable and fun alternatives.


So rather than let me increase my skill damage by gearing up, you'd prefer it if I manually assigned points to the skills I want to power up?

How do you not understand that adding skill points enables both. You can increase your skill damage by gear in my proposal just as done now but with even greater flexibility. Why take only one or the other when you can have both?

More importantly, skill points bring back incredible depth to itemization.


No it doesn't.[/quote]
Trolling? More choices in increasing character power is shallower than fewer choices?


Actually, it makes loot hunting frustrating as hell. Suddenly you have even less chance of getting an item you want.

If you are looking for very precise values for a very precise built maybe. But if you are looking for an item that just makes you stronger than you are now, no it only makes it easier to find items you want. It is easy to become stronger but the road to perfection does become longer but it is this very drive to perfection that kept players around in D2 as well. Perfect gear will take a very long time to find in any item system. The idea is to provide a greater opportunity to find good gear.


The AH enables such diversity in items without feeling like a lottery. The problem is that characters are all funneled down the same path. Who cares if items can roll with every different affix when you can go to the AH, sell the items with the particular skill boost items you have so that you can buy an item with the skill boost you want. That's the whole goal of trading, to move good items from the hands of those who can't make use of them to the hands that will make use of them. Currently the market is built on moving items below a players gear level to the hands of a player where it is above their current gear level. There needs to be variety not a quality magnitude.


The problem is that it also makes the auction house massively harder to use, as you suddenly need to be able to search for a whole bunch more stats on items than current. The current AH search is broken enough as it is, your proposal would make it completely useless.

It's true the AH is in a pretty sad state but such a poor UI shouldn't limit the experience provided by the core game play.


I also feel you're confusing diversity with complexity. Adding skill points and skill bonuses to items sure will make things more diverse, but it actually makes things more complex. A new player to Diablo 3 would find this system impenetrable (as it is in Diablo 2), and give up after a week.

Complexity is a necessity for depth. You can't have depth without at least some measure of complexity. If you simplify your game to the complexity of tic-tac-toe then you will have the depth to match. The goal is to add only enough complexity to add a great deal of depth and skill points accomplish that very well. It isn't hard to comprehend the idea that more skill points makes a skill stronger. A child could understand that the bigger the number the better the result. It is a major reason why +skills did manage to take the focus of so many players of D2 even when there were alternatives to improving character power.

The beauty of the system is that those who prefer simplicity only need to invest as much effort as they desire while those who'd like to dive further into the system to become even more powerful can take advantage of the finer details.


I can't see Blizzard changing things to make it harder for players to get into the game. I'm pretty sure they like making money a lot and I don't see how this helps them do that. Again, it comes down to accessibility.

Do you hold so low regard for the playerbase that you feel skill points are too complex for the 17+ mature audience that the game is directed towards? I think better of gamers than that.


This is kind of what Torchlight 2 has now, and... it doesn't really work as well as it should. (Full disclosure: I love Torchlight 2 as well.)

The problem is that you lose build diversity with this setup. You need to create skill trees with lots of "dummy" skills that seem useful but aren't, just so players can figure out which skills are worth investing points into. Ultimately, you'll end up with cookie-cutter builds and... well, you know the rest.

What doesn't work about it? I love TL2's skill system and would happily love to see a copy+paste job of it as a lazy solution. Don't forget that respecs are still on the table in my plan. If you find you don't like a particular skill you have the option to change.

Cookie cutter builds are never an excuse. There is no such thing as a skill system without cookie cutting. The only way to eliminate cooking cutting is to eliminate skill selection entirely but then you don't have an RPG any more.


Any cost is too high, really. One of the great strengths of Diablo 3 is that it does encourage build diversity by not requiring you to invest in any particular build. The limitation, of course, is that (on Inferno), you lose Nephilim Valour when you do.

Skill choice without investment isn't really choice at all. I want to return D3 to its RPG roots.


Also, what's so bad about "flavour of the month" builds? Keep in mind that, while anyone can just read up on Noxxic about which build is best, that doesn't necessarily mean that alternative builds are significantly weaker. You can still function in Inferno with most skill/rune combinations.

There's nothing inherently bad about flavor of the month builds. Ultimately though there should be enough fun, balanced variety of builds accessible in a clear fashion that does not lead to FOTM becoming popular. D2 had a lot of variety because it was rare for one particular build to far outweigh another (until the hammerdin at least).


As long as the build works for you, and functions for you, the current system is actually pretty fine.
Except that it doesn't allow for customization or uniqueness through enhancement by gearing. Otherwise yes it is okay, it just isn't spectacular nor what I expected of Blizzard quality.

I'd like to reiterate that adding skill bonuses to gear simply increases the number of possible gear combinations and dramatically reduces the chance of you getting the item you want, thus forcing you to go to the AH and eliminating most of the fun of looting a boss.

Fun in looting the boss isn't just in finding a gear upgrade for you specifically. Fun mostly just comes from finding awesome treasure. Whether it's treasure you'll wear or something valuable in a trade or for an alt doesn't matter much. A WF or GF was awesome to find even when playing as a Sorc.


Let's just get rid of resistance and call it a day.

With a sufficient replacement I'd agree to the idea. I just feel that itemization is lacking so much right now we can't afford to throw away much of anything.

The sum total of these effects is to add a lot of variety to gear choices.


No, it adds a lot of complexity to gear choices. Too much complexity, even.

Complexity is a requirement for depth. Remove the complexity and all depth disappears with it. Complexity is not inherently bad.


Less significant is stacking attributes and all resist and increased thought will go into choosing gear with appropriate resists and skill points that accommodate your desired build. The greater variety of affixes and removal of the overpowered affixes like attributes and all resist will drive a more balanced economy that is no longer focused on a narrow set of affixes that every character of every class chases.


It will also drive more players away from the game due to additional arbitrary complexity.

If complexity is such a threat to their gaming enjoyment then they probably weren't cut out for RPGs in the first place so an ARPG would have been a bad genre to try to enter. I don't see why it is necessary (or even a good idea) to casualize in inherently hardcore genre.


I think the biggest issue here is that you seem to hold Diablo 2 up as the glorious holy standard by which Diablo 3 must be judged. I disagree with this completely. To me, Diablo 2 was an impenetrable mess of a game. I knew going in that, if I didn't make the right stat choices, I'd essentially screwed my character over and would have to re-roll.

This doesn't sound like someone who understands or enjoys RPGs. I could understand that you'd resist these changes because my goal is to return the game to its RPG roots. If you can't appreciate the RPG experience then naturally my recommendations wouldn't sit well with you. I don't appreciate the move away from the roots because it is these roots that made D2 such a legend.

World of Warcraft tried this and it didn't end well. Damage bonuses to specific elements are problematic, especially in a game where you can easily switch around your primary elemental attacks. I've geared my Wizard for, say, Fire damage, but now I want to try electrocuting all the things. Suddenly I have to completely re-gear to be effective.

WoW references are still irrelevant. This is the choice made in designing your character. You can specialize and be incredibly powerful or take the route of "jack of all trades and master of none". Choice. This is inherent in RPG character building.


I was never a fan of Diablo 2

Well that may be for the reasons I stated. D2 hit the core RPG experience really well. If you don't like RPGs then it's understandable that you won't like the changes. Why you would have bought D3 after not liking D2 I can't understand, but you shouldn't be surprised if it changes so that you don't like it and I find it rather selfish that you'd want to deprive the old fans of the sequel they waited 12 years for when you didn't care for it's predecessor and like the casualized experience that we have today.
Edited by steveman0#1968 on 1/20/2013 8:28 PM PST
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01/20/2013 06:38 PMPosted by Galo
How does stacking vit or being terrible in any way increase your ability to roleplay that character. All it does is punish new or casual players. It creates an artificial barrier to entry and makes the people that look it up instead of playing and trying to learn look and feel badass. Congrats on your hammerdin, did you come up with that yourself? Clearly you were the first one afterall right? Guess what those leftover 10 to 20 skillpoints that were left over that you never used the skill they were in did not make your clone actually new and different. They in no way were you playing or building a character. You were the same clone as anyone else.

Well if you cheat and look up a build then you are subverting the very RPG experience that makes up the heart of the game. At that point I'd question why you are playing the game to begin with. There aren't really right or wrong answers in a well built system, only different ones. That's what I'm aiming for.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what everyone else does or whether you end up as a clone of everyone else or turn out to be completely unique. The value in the experience is the act of doing it yourself. That is the fun of role playing. That is the reason for the experience.

I still dont understand why an item SPECIFICALLY built for a certain class (i.e. nats for the DH) would ever have the possibility of rolling a major stat for another class. Its already hard enough to find it. but to never make any REAL use of this supposed GG item is just a heart breaker.

They should at least do that for us. make class specific drops ONLY carry stats designed for that class.

I suspect it is because they expected all stats to be viable and at least partially desirable for all classes. They didn't realize how drastically the main stat overpowers the off stats in the mind of the player. As the system is now, I agree that the off stats should be removed from class specific items.

My stat changes are specifically intended to remove the mindset that only the main stat counts. The secondary effects should be diminish the value of the damage boost so that it is viewed as an added perk as opposed to the driving reason to obtain attribute points on items. Players should view strength as a mix of armor and attack speed; dex as a mix of dodge and crit; int as a mix of resists and crit damage and the damage bonus is just a small perk that they keep in the back of their mind that places the slightest bit of emphasis. TL2 does this well. Any attribute is desired by any class. None are viewed unfavorably but you get that extra special feeling when you get the attribute that your class specializes in.
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The complete removal of skill cooldowns. These simply don't belong in a fast-paced ARPG. In a game about quickly cutting through hordes of demons I can't afford to wait around for my cooldown to be up. It only serves to reduce the fun of the game. There is no need to balance around cooldowns. Skills have resource costs for a reason. I would make them meaningful. If you want to build a barb that generates insane amounts of fury so that you can spam Earthquake... DO IT!


You lost me there. Cooldowns are fun, because they add diversity to skills. Managing cooldowns is another way to play some builds, removing them would make the game simpler. The mechanics lack complexity already, so...
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