07/03/2013 10:02 AMAll this would do would give you the illusion of customization.
Posted by Ender
This phrase seems to be thrown around quite a bit. I believe it to be a false truth, while for efficiency's sake stat points or a similar system may be obsolete, it isn't the case for fun engaging gameplay.
Without the feature of stat allocation or skill trees there isn't much to invest in with your character. RPG itself is an investment in the character or role you choose to play. What we currently have is merely a shell, and as such you detach yourself, consciously or unconsciously from the character. When you are not invested, you do not become immersed, when you are not immersed within the game's world you do not enjoy the game.
Again, this would all be a useless argument when it comes to pure efficiency, games should never be designed around complete efficiency (unless of course for educational purposes). Its the developers job to create a fun, engaging experience first and foremost. It is the player's (the ones who choose to do so) job to sift through everything to find the most efficient way to play the game; This in and of itself is a viable and healthy mechanic for an aRPG.
Blizzard has developed the game (post release) around the idea of efficiency as that is what the community clamored for initially, and yet people still don't enjoy the game. It's simply too concise and efficient, its a rigid design that has little room for player creativity. There needs to be a flexibility so players can have the freedom to express their creativity.
Sure, there are other aspects that have fallen short, aesthetics being one, but making items more diverse will only extend the game's life a little bit longer. There needs to be character building outside of items and the various stats they can roll. This can easily be achieved through the following steps:
-Paragon Levels now let you apply points into stats and skills.
-Redesigned Skill Rune System
As I previously suggested here http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9377489179#17
Should they implement an iteration of their original rune system enhancing current runes through dropped items that you may socket, it allows for flexibility of builds and lets the player creatively invest in his/her character.
-Paragon milestone unlocks
ex: Reaching paragon level 50 unlocks a secondary skill set to switch to, allowing you to have 12 abilities, 6 passives total with a short cooldown between swaps.
You may ask, why would there be a need for stat point allocation when everyone would dump them into their main stat and / or vitality? That is where the new rune system comes in, while you also gain points for skills to make them viable, you will have items that drop that can alter these runes in various ways.
Increases the damage of your imminent doom bola shot by 150% of your armor.
What this means is that you can now (or wait until you find another drop that alters a rune that gives bonuses based on your armor) stack gear with strength and + armor, or place your stat points into strength to squeeze as much armor out as possible. This could also be possible with intelligence and all resist or any other various current and future stats (If enemy is bleeding, chance for additional wounds to rupture per hit rune variant? Or perhaps bleeding target's blood catches on fire which may spread to other enemies).
Less rigid gameplay and an emphasis on rewarding player creativity is what makes a game enjoyable and gives high replay value. There is and always will be the most efficient build that people will strive for, sure. The hunt for that build doesn't have to be unenjoyable though.