Diablo® III

D2 Synergies Do Not = Diversity. What is a good system?

07/03/2013 03:16 AMPosted by Snoodoo
I disagree with this because I felt by adding the synergies it prevented players from being too much of a hybrid.
07/03/2013 09:47 AMPosted by Seeders
I fully disagree. Making one or two skills powerful is character defining. Its should be a puzzle to figure out how to make a skill work. What the game needs is a reason to create more characters so you can try the rest of the skills.

This may somewhat be so, but remember some people's complaints about immunities in D2? That they couldn't progress when they packed a single, supermaxed skill of the resisted element? (That relates to the conundrum with D2's system versus the environment that I mentioned).

In order for the game to accommodate one- or two-skilled builds, but without creating depth-based roadblocks, you have to remove depth from the enemies since your character doesn't have any depth within its arsenal.

That's what they did in D3. There's almost zero damage-type diversity that actually matter (i.e. elements and resist diversity), so every attack's damage type is equally damage-effective.
Furthermore, on the character itself, the next difference is resource costs, which, in D3, are easily derailed but not originally designed to be so, so the fact that, say, Arcane orb costs so much doesn't really matter when you can earn huge amounts of AP on crit.

Since neither of those two factors are very significant (especially at level 60), people simply choose the attack with the most damage and good AoE.

And so, besides single targets, there's just very little reason to use anything else.

I don't think it should be reasonable to expect one attack to be perfectly useable to clear the entire game. It has become more that way, but I wish it hadn't.

If you simply want to try different builds, for fun, you shouldn't need to suffer in-built losses to viability. If you make every skill able to perform with near-equally effectiveness, but in different situations, then, so long as they are somewhat reasonably balanced, no skill is ever overpowered or underpowered, only situational.

I guess it depends if each particular player wants more depth or not. Which, funnily enough, is much of the difference between D2 and D3.

In fact, I'll even add in an example.

Meteorb Sorcs would typically use Fireball, Meteor, and Frozen Orb frequently. That's three attacks, and each attack's role is defined not just in the way they that work and their damage number, but also in their damage type (and in a theoretical modern Diablo game, proper resource costs would be yet another factor, too).

Add in the mercenary that you could, if you so wished, gear for enough physical damage to deal with double immunes, and that's four separate 'main outputs'. Most builds aren't actually as diverse as the Meteorb Sorc, but it's a great example of a build that actually has a bit of depth, especially situational depth, within its arsenal.
(Mercenaries were actually one of the few redeeming factors for a number of single-attack builds when they encountered an immune, that even allowed them to function at all in those situations. But why not allow that sort of diversity within your own character, relatively unpenalized, as opposed to how it has been in the past two games?)

The reason Meteorb was so viable, despite synergies, is because those skills actually had less synergies than others in order to be viable. They could afford a little bit of diversity. That relates back to everything in my original post.

And at the end of all that, was Meteorb too powerful or versatile? No. They were more versatile than most, and that was great. But there was still a good amount of variability in their overall effectiveness depending on the situation.

Hammerdins were overpowered because they could supermax one skill to kill almost everything in the game. Infinity lightning builds, too.
Now every D3 build is like that, and there is no depth.
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Judging by the post, there seems to have been a misunderstanding. Being able to possess four attack skills simultaneously reduces the need to continually respec (I would prefer to see much more permanency, too), and also facilitate the use of a variety of tools amid different situations for more engaging and varied combat.


Agreed. The original post sounds more like telling the reason why build restriction is bad and we should have build "flexibility" which itself has nothing to do with build diversity.
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Who's tried Median XL? It remedies a good number of issues with D2's original system (though in doing so the notion of 'skill points' becomes fairly redundant, due to skill-point-derived damage obligations). It's close, though, and arguably produces a better result than in both D2 and D3. Overall it's pretty cool.

This just isn't very realistic. Probably the best you are going to get is use ability A for single mob and ability B for groups.

That's almost what we have now in D3, and it's definitely possible to have better.

07/03/2013 05:31 AMPosted by Axeroid
Every fire sorc in D2 was either meteor or firewall before various nerfs and changes, then came synergies. Now people started running meteor with a higher damage output, or fireball builds because it suddenly became an option. Synergies made fireball possible.

The Damage Viability that synergies produced made them viable. Damage can be balanced in other ways, but this example relates to poor scaling of skill-point-derived damage. Refer to Median XL or Diablo 3.

Here's a video link (these guys are awesome, btw) that illustrates what i'm getting at very well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e31OSVZF77w

Heheh, I've linked Extra Credits on these forums several times too. They are indeed awesome.
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You got it exactly right man.

What we need is a game environment that provides incentive to possess and use a variety of attacks depending on the situation, and a skill system that does not punish the player in carrying multiple types of attacks.


Different ways to approach different encounters with the desired outcome. In act 3 towers, I run into a mob of blood clan warriors who berserk after a few seconds ( I don't really know what happens when they turn red, more damage, faster attack or something I'd guess) and some succubus with armor debuff. If I couldn't handle both simultaneously how am I going to handle it.

DS w/ the slow rune to snare the warriors while I hit a succubus with Exploding palm and cyclone strike to keep them close then hit Inner Sanctuary while I take down the warriors with Deadly reach

Or DS right into the middle of all the warriors with blinding speed rune to dodge, hit them with a LTK sweeping armada for massive knockback + snare buying time to pick off a few succubus. When the warriors are back on me I hit them with a BoH pertinent flame to send them running so I can single target the last couple succubus and then drop a Bell on them when they get back
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Good post OP, I agree that D2's road-mapped synergies was not a very compelling system; I much prefer coming up with good synergistic builds on my own in D3. However, what I enjoyed most in D2 was building my Necromancer in such a way that he could deal with any and all mobs in the game. To do this with my poisonmancer, I had to incorporate three different types (champions had two immunities) of attacks into my build while still maxing out all the poison synergies.

Here's what I did:

Poison Damage - Poison Nova/Dagger, Lower Resist

Physical - 1 point in Corpse Explosion, Merc, 1 point in Revive, 1 point in Amp Damage and Decrify

Fire - Corpse Explosion, Fire Wall, Fire Ball, Lower Resist (3 pc Trang for the Fire Skill and CBF)
Edited by RedCell#1728 on 7/4/2013 12:21 AM PDT
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Different ways to approach different encounters with the desired outcome. In act 3 towers, I run into a mob of blood clan warriors who berserk after a few seconds ( I don't really know what happens when they turn red, more damage, faster attack or something I'd guess) and some succubus with armor debuff. If I couldn't handle both simultaneously how am I going to handle it.

DS w/ the slow rune to snare the warriors while I hit a succubus with Exploding palm and cyclone strike to keep them close then hit Inner Sanctuary while I take down the warriors with Deadly reach

Or DS right into the middle of all the warriors with blinding speed rune to dodge, hit them with a LTK sweeping armada for massive knockback + snare buying time to pick off a few succubus. When the warriors are back on me I hit them with a BoH pertinent flame to send them running so I can single target the last couple succubus and then drop a Bell on them when they get back


that's a really good point. Additionally, they should make certain monsters drop certain items only. SO people have the drive to hunt them and then in order to hunt them, they need viable builds. Going around killing elite pack with random generated affixes for NV and then kill random mobs and elites again... while they all have chances to drop the same thing.... seriously, where's the fun?
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We want to avoid just tacking on skill points without adding in depth to the system. Where you do not have points that everyone will spend in only one way, i.e only using them on the skills that you are using. That will just be tacking it on in order to have it which would be a waste of time.
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07/03/2013 10:25 PMPosted by Magna
Who's tried Median XL?

Jay Wilson claimed to love it, for what that's worth...
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07/04/2013 03:53 PMPosted by ShadowAegis
We want to avoid just tacking on skill points without adding in depth to the system. Where you do not have points that everyone will spend in only one way, i.e only using them on the skills that you are using. That will just be tacking it on in order to have it which would be a waste of time.

Which is exactly the reason to ensure they aren't outright connected to damage. If skill points are supposed to allow customization, that should be the focus.
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I don't agree completely with what the OP is say here though he makes a very valid point.

I think that the introduction of the skill synergies to D2/LoD was a progression of the game to keep the players interested rather than a nerf or diminishing.

Lets look at the sorceress for example. Prior to the synergies, builds such as the Tri elementalist wizard existed. The common skills of choice where Nova, thunderstorm, firewall and off course Forb.
Then with the synergies, the way we built a soser changed to the skills we neglected such as Charged bolt, Chain lightning, meteor and Blizzard. Forb off course remained.

In some ways this was a revelation. A way to inject some life into the old game. I retired my old sosers) and built new ones using the newly powered up skills. So instead of spamming Nova's, I could now spam charged bolt or chain lightning.
It also allowed for new builds to emerge to replace those builds that fell by the wayside and played differently as well as using different item setup's.

Imho, it helped extend the replayability of D2/LoD.

Off course you could still play the old builds, it's just that they where not as effective but still viable as the newer synergied builds.
Edited by Asmodeous#1189 on 7/4/2013 9:45 PM PDT
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I continue to see multiple threads about things such as skill points, skill trees, immunities, depth... and yet, it's more than just adding them in at a whim, because the whole game around each aspect needs to be conducive to it, too. Where's the consideration of 'why'?

Even at the point D3 is at now... there are many aspects that simply aren't as coherent with everything else as they could or should be. Some cases may even be worse now than at launch.
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What we need is a game environment that provides incentive to possess and use a variety of attacks depending on the situation, and a skill system that does not punish the player in carrying multiple types of attacks.


100% true

They should separate console ver (arcade and pad friendly game) from PC ver (Arpg) and give us some hot keys like we have in d2 or build switches by 1-3 hot keys or both :)
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Synergies were needed in D2 because of the failure of the skill point system. The only way to maximize your damage output required you to put skill points in the same skill.

They added synergies so that you were able to spend points in more than one skill without losing much power.

D3 averts this issue by making all skills go up in level with gear.

which turns out to be even worse, because you have no reason to swap a skill doing 300% weapon damage with one that is doing 100% or even less ... because all skills scale with your damage. If you get a weapon with 2000 DPS replacing your 200 DPS weapon, what reason do you have to change your skills? Because they are % based on your weapon DPS ...

Sure, D2 had its issues and mistakes. Hey? Who ever claimed it was perfect or that it has not seen improvements over time, or that you cant create better system.

But what we have in D3 is so limiting ... its not funny anymore. Either a skill is the jack of all trades or it can be spamed all the time or its useless. Why is the CM wiz and WotB/WW barb so popular and seen as great builds? Think about it for a min. It simply is NOT fun for many people to spam a lot of crap and waiting 1-2min before you can use something else again.

07/04/2013 03:53 PMPosted by ShadowAegis
We want to avoid just tacking on skill points without adding in depth to the system. Where you do not have points that everyone will spend in only one way, i.e only using them on the skills that you are using. That will just be tacking it on in order to have it which would be a waste of time.

well, I see a lot of potential here though and a lot of ways to make it actually more then just "throw points in here for max damage!", which is what you do right now anyway, with your main stat, trifecta and min/max; average damage etc. Thats not reall "deep" either.

But why cant skill points that you gain with your paragorn levels do something ... else? Imagine if you could increase the effect of skills, lower the cooldown time or resource costs, or even giving it completely new aditional abilities.

Ancients for example. Throwing skill points in it would lower the cooldown times for example. Suddenly the skill becomes interesting with enough points in it! The damage would be still pathetic but that can be fixed as well. Its called "specialisation" !

Leap could get increased area effects, so that you actually hit more enemies when you land.

For the DH, using skill points on Vault for example could grant you a buff to defences (like more armor/restiance) each time you use it.

The posibilities are endless.
Edited by CrniVuk#2227 on 10/19/2013 8:41 AM PDT
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You're right. Synergies =/= diversity. However, people gravatate toward the most powerful spec, so whatever the most powerful spec is, that's what people will pick. It doesn't matter what system you have, if people have choices and one is more powerful than the rest, there is no choice.

The only way to create diversity is to make every ability capable of 1-shotting a large groups of opponents.
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I wish I could put points into skills, similar to classic D2. I could say "hey, I'm a locust swarm WD" instead of "I'm a WD". I felt attached to my character, not just another WD.
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I think the OP is a little misled on what most people mean by they want more synergy in the skill system.

Synergy != picking one skill because it gives a bonus to the damage from another skill. It is a tiny example of synergy, but calling it 'synergy' is a little misleading. They should have called it 'boosting' to be more accurate.

Synergy == having most of your skills feeding off each other. Good examples of this are CM wizard and the WW/WotB barb builds (self explanatory). All the skills they use feed off each other to make a really powerful build. D3 needs more of this as it's fairly limited in the game.

Picking skills willy nilly is just that, picking skills. There's no true build behind it.
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D2's synergies did two things:

-In early game they made pumping earlier skills more fun as you didn't have to wait 24-30 levels before putting skill points in the kind of skill you wanted to use. You could make chain lightning better by putting points in charged bolt and still have a powerful skill to use in the meantime.

-In late game allowed you to take a WEAKNESS to make something more powerful.
If you pump points into charged bolt, nova and lightning to max out chain lightning you do not have those points to dump into fire or cold skills and thus lightning resistant or immune mobs will be harder.

There was no one with a gun to your head to max out chain lightning. It worked just fine without putting more points than necessary. You were free to dabble in fire or cold as you desired and could choose just how much you wanted. Most of the time, you took at least a few points in another tree and let +skills items take it the rest of the way for immune mobs.

Note please the interaction of character and items. You made choices about your character. You made choices about your equipment. The fact that the equipment was somewhat more random, and the character was not was the blend which made D2 what it was.

Truthfully, it doesn't HAVE to be synergies... it just has to be choices which matter.
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D3's rune/skill system has easily been the best diversity build system I've experience in an ARPG. Given that it's a new thing in the ARPG genre I think it just needs further refinement.

Currently:
- Runes are poorly balanced against one another. There is no skill in the game where it's actually tough to choose amongst 3 or more options. Almost no skill makes it difficult to choose between two.
- Skills are poorly balanced against one another. Rapid Fire clearly excels vs Impale. All of these imbalances need to be corrected for all classes whether they be defensive or offensive.
- We have 9 slots but are forced to use 3 for passives and 6 for skills. I'd open this up so we have 9 slots period. You choose how many of them are passives and how many are skills.

Fix that and you have the greatest build system in an ARPG in my opinion.
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What diversity? While I realize they are working on it, right now every single character is extremely similar and every single character of a class is exactly the same.

Everyone freely and quickly gravitates towards the easiest and most broken build with not even a gold cost involved. Every single wizard is exactly the same and there is no customization. You even use the same gear for pretty much every build.

At this point there is absolutely no commitment to anything. Characters have no weaknesses and besides damage and hp numbers the mobs offer no strategy challenge whatsoever. There really is no need for even six skill slots as truthfully, people only use one or two.

Worse, even weaknesses you would think a class should have they don't. Ranged classes face-tank and people stand in fire. D3 players are not encouraged to even pay attention at all in any aspect of gameplay. As it stands now, the game is ideal for bots as no thought process or reaction to anything is even remotely encouraged.

Frankly there is a LOT of work to do and D3's system is the worst I have ever played.

This is not to say it cannot be improved (indeed it is saying it is kind of impossible to not improve it).
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