Diablo 3: A Deconstruction

General Discussion
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Torchlight II.
. It's not so much about what they included in the game, it's more about what was left behind.

- Runes (this is the biggest one, IMO)
- Skull and Diamond gems
- Jewels
- Charms
- Powerful Uniques
- Level 99 Cap
- Players 8 System
- Ubers
- Randomized Maps
- Skill Synergies
- Skill Points/Trees
- Allocatable Attribute Points
- Horadric Cube/Recipies
- Mana Potions
- Stamina/Stamina Potions
- Thawing/Antidote Potions
- Permanent Quest Rewards
- Item Imbuing
- Multi-Socket Weapons

now that you have listed all these out for me, I really dont think this game deserves the name "Diablo" at all.

I realized that not having skill trees and manual attribute points were seriously crippling this game, but your list seriously makes this d3 team look like clowns.
Amazing work. I've been thinking of writing a more in-depth analysis of why play Diablo III even though it is incredibly unsatisfying, without degrading myself to the usual flamer comments.

Carry on, OP! Your work is not un-noticed and certainly not uncherised!!!
For me it seems they literally turned the game upside down.. everything is completely a$$ backwards.

- RNG, when items should have some pre-determined affixes, then strive for perfect rolls
- Maps that aren't random, when they should be
- Build diversity, when there isn't any because of the nerfs leaving players with 1-2 options
- Not needing the AH or RMAH, when you actually do if your a casual
- Having an end-game (paragon), when there isn't as it discourages making multiple classes
- New and interesting items, when in fact the items aren't new and anything but interesting


- Saying they read the forums and listen to players, when they dont
- Releasing the game, when they shouldn't have

The only thing they did say they actually did was break new ground with D3. Well they did that, because I don't think a game has ever gone completely backwards as this one. It's like this should have been released in the mid 90's.

Everything has been done completely backwards.. any wonder why MoP sales are in the toilet..
This game is'nt for the hardcore gamer that loves to build his character.
This game is for the casual gamer that does'nt want to think, and would rather throw money at his character than actual thought.
I can't even spend my attribute points the way I want, build = gear, gear = RMaH.
Hero feels rented/generic, as do the gaming sessions.
Treamill game for an army of clones.
This was supposed to be DIABLO!!

A Facebook game for $60.00.

+1 OP. Enjoyable and articulate read. Spot on.
they could fix the diversity on items by adding more sockets on items, with better gems that are not only + crit or + main stat ......... give us life leech, give us knock back, give us resistance.
Give us the chance to make the items better........
As an example:
Tal rasha armor: 120 int and no vit no resist all = 15m.....!@#$ i strived for 500 hours to drop one that rolled bad......but hey i have 3 sockets that i can put..........tadaaaa.....int......
Tal rasha armor: 170 int, no vit, no resist all, but wait...... i can put a diamond on it, thats +75 resist all, and decide if i want to go more dps or more vit.....thats an item that u dont get for less than 40-45m (meaning 2 more weeks of farming ONLY for that).
The only reason it is so easy for the "D3 haters" is because Blizz gave us such garbage.

If this game had any resemblance to its predecessor's half of this wouldn't even be an issue.

I just don't understand how a gaming company can be so naive. They had EVERYTHING right in Diablo II, and it doesn't take a genius to realize all they had to do was BUILD OFF OF what they already had. Instead, like I said, we get this garbage.

How half of you on these forums are still playing this game is beyond me.

Have some self respect, Blizz just shat in your face and you are eating it up.
Great analysis, most of what you say is plausible and much of the community who actually think for themselves would agree.

I disagree with your point about stat distribution as there was always an optimal distribution: put enough points into str/dex to wear your gear and dump the rest into vitality (or energy depending on the class). The illusion of choice does not make it a real choice.
Defensive Auras Offensive Auras Combat Skills
1 - Prayer 1 - Might 1 - Holy Bolt
1 - Cleansing 20 - Blessed Aim 1 - Smite
1 - Defiance 20 - Concentration 1 - Charge
1 - Redemption 12 - Holy Shield
1 - Salvation 20 - Blessed Hammer
20 - Vigor


I see the point you have made here, I understand completely. Regardless of the number of possible builds, most players felt pidgeon-holed into a single build exclusively. The same goes for D3. While there are millions of possible builds, players have the tendency to gravitate to only a small group of skills. D3 changed the problem without fixing it. There was no true progression in this sense. One thing presented by D2, however, is freedom of choice. Even if it seemed like there was only 1 good build for a class (Hammerdin), in fact players could spec with basically anything they wanted and it would still be viable into Hell. They had a choice, and the infinite possibilites of respec/rebuilding classes. Much time spent in D2 was devoted to re-levelling classes to try out a new unique spec.

Regarding skill synergies, I do recognize that players felt compelled to load out their skill points in a precise manner to maximize efficiency rather than diversity. This is one aspect the developers could improve upon if they had migrated the system into D3. When I discussed Synergy, however, Passive Synergies were only a small part of the discussion. I devoted most of the discussion towards Active Synergy, which is mostly what we are dealing with in D3. True Passive Synergies may not even be possible in this system. The idea behind Active Synergy in Build Diversity was to create more skills that intrinsically work well together. For emxaple, Blizzard/Hydra has innate synergy, it would be nice for the Wizard to have many more useful combinations/synergies of skills like that.

As for Stat distribution, yes I recognize that most players just dumped everything into VIT and enough STR to equip gear, and no more than that. Again, however, players were at least presented with a choice. This is what D2 vets missed the most. Even if a majority of players simply ran with the optimal amount of Attribute Points in each Stat, they had the freedom to build their character in whatever way they pleased.

Many players chose to play the game a certain way, with a certain skill-set and a certain spec. But it wasn't the only way to play. They had a choice.
This thread deserves RESPECT.

Let the Blizzard team see this. F*** Jay Wilson!

If that's all you can find wrong with the OP's post, he must have done a good job.

The fact that you could build a typical Hammerdin in D2 didn't mean you had to. Overall, D2 wins in build diversity hand over fist because you could experiment with attribute/skill points and make a very different and quirky build. Could you prove to me that there are currently more builds with the current skill/rune selection? No. Because they don't exist. If you are worried about being cookie cutter, this is currently the model for every D3 character.

Stack main stat, vit, ar, chc, chd. Real diversity there right? If you want to blame build diversity for sucking in D3, don't blame what made it great in D2.

The only thing that restricts you from being able to use gear in D3 game is class specific items and your level. So this is irrelevant. Not to mention, by the time you got to level 60+ I doubt you had such inferior str that you couldn't wield the weapon you wanted.

Blocking is effected by strength in D3, so this is also irrevelant. The only class that should have +str gear is a barb. Any other class stacking str to just get the the block % chance up would be stupid. So this would be completely eliminated. Str = blocking for barbs, dex = dodge for DH and Monks, it works.

lol the intent of my post flew right over this guys head. It was simply to show that all the whining about diversity was meaningless because D2 had no more. Why he would even try to link it to D3 tells me he has very little reading comprehension skills. All it meant was in D2 you added just enough str to allow you to equip the gear you wanted.

I could not see spending the time to post on every useless piece the op posted.

Then he says
he fact that you could build a typical Hammerdin in D2 didn't mean you had to. Overall, D2 wins in build diversity hand over fist because you could experiment with attribute/skill points and make a very different and quirky build.

LoL I was talking about viable D2 end game builds. If you wanted to make many fail D2 builds you could, but on this forum everyone whines because their build is failing.

Could you prove to me that there are currently more builds with the current skill/rune selection?

Apparently he fell asleep in math class. He missed anything that had to do with permutations.

lets look at the DH.
There are six basic mouse skill categories . Each of these has multiple skills and is is possible to mix and match the categories as you want. Each of these has a choice of 6 runes. Then we get into the passives We have 3 passive skill slots. EACH of these has a choice of 15 passives.
Defensive -3 skills
hunter - 4 skills
primary - 4skills
secondary - 4 skills
Archery- 4 skills
here is a link to what this all means: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4496520712 for those lazy I added most of his text.

In the interview videos online, it's been listed that there are upwards of a trillion possible specs. Out of sheer curiosity, I went ahead and did the math on it.

25 active skills in Wizard. CAN choose 6 (can leave blank for a total of 26 states), and can't choose the same one twice. 5 possible runes for each skill, and can use the skill un-runed for a total of 6 permutations per skill (with the exception of empty skills). 15 passive skills. CAN choose 3, (can leave blank for a total of 16 states for all three spots) can't choose the same one twice.

[(selected spells)(runes)+(unselected)]*[(passive skills & unselected)]


The math is basically the same for the rest of the classes, and this is discounting followers, the totals are below:

2,142,201,620,160 possible specs for Wizard
902,518,872,480 possible specs for Barbarian
1,221,054,932,160 possible specs for Demon Hunter
533,306,608,380 possible specs for Monk
733,296,580,380 possible specs for Witch Doctor

4,872,378,613,560 possible specs for Diablo 3 characters, no followers allowed. Let's read that number...that's

"Four Trillion, eight-hundred seventy-two billion, three-hundred seventy-eight million, six-hundred thirteen thousand, five-hundred and sixty possible specs for a Diablo 3 character to have."

Oh, but you left out the followers...OKAY! You asked for it! this is a simple job of four potential follower states (Templar, Scoundrel, Enchantress, and none). Each tier of skill has three options, (number 1 or 2, or neither.) This comes out to a grand total of 244 possible Follower choices (remember to add the one for no follower chosen).

SO! For thoroughness, let's propose that each of the possible character specs has to choose how to handle followers. (which they do) we have to multiply the number of character specs by the number of follower options. This gives us a total of...drumroll...


One QUADRILLION, one-hundred eighty-eight trillion, eight-hundred sixty billion, three hundred eighty-one million, seven-hundred and eight thousand, six-hundred and forty possible ways to spec your character and followers within Diablo 3 AT LAUNCH.

Granted these are not all viable but then most of D2 builds in the endgame were not vialble also. Now this does not take into account gems and most likely later runewords. Every one of the things that were stated as missing in D3 can be bought to the table by Blizzard developers, well many I don't see all as relevant. We have seen 2 patches and many hotfixs already, with another patch looming. A patch that Blizzard put up on a ptr yet you still whine.

It is so easy for the D3 haters,doubters and whiners to throw meaningless drivel out there against the game that it's pathetic.

Viable AMAZON endgame builds:
Bowazon (Multishot + Guided arrow); High attack speed, bows
Strafezon (Strafe + Valkyrie); High damage increase, bows or crossbows
Frostmaiden (Cold Arrow + Freezing Arrow + Valkyrie); Cold damage gear
Magezon (Flame Arrow + Exploding Arrow + Cold Arrow + Freezing Arrow); +skills gear and cold and fire damage weapons

ALL OF THEM need different gear.
ALL OF THEM play differently.
ALL OF THEM are end-game viable; Can be used at the highest difficulties.

Could you tell me the number of end-game viable barbarian builds?
Just name the three most important skills in the builds.

Remember that amazons have access to: Penetrate, pierce, critical strike, dodge, avoid, evade, decoy, valkyrie, inner sight and slow missiles which can be used in different ways in all these buids.

With that in mind, there's more MAGIC AND PASSIVE SKILL OPTIONS than there are Diablo 3 builds in total -- if we're going to pull unrealistic numbers out of our arses and not look at what actually works.
Good, well-thought-out post.

I would like to see more solutions for itemization, although I agree it is hard.

There are a few Problems that become clearer when you directly compare D2 loot from D3 loot.

A lvl 81 Unique weapon in D2 vs. a lvl 39 unique
  • For example.... take The Grandfather in D2 with an average dmg of 196.75 when used as a barb 1 hander, and an attack speed of 1.56aps. That makes it a 307dps weapon.
  • Headstriker, a nice lvl 39 1 hander, had an average dmg of 87.5, and an attack speed of 1.66aps which makes it a 145.25 dps weapon.
  • In D3. Lets be fair and use percentage here (42 out of 99 levels would be 25 lvls in a 60 lvl system, so compare a 60 and a 35)
  • Devil Tongue on average will have 853 dps (lvl 60)
  • Wildwood on average will have 72.55 dps (lvl 37)
  • The difference in D2 between top tier and midlevel is a 211% increase in base weapon DPS.
  • The difference in D3 between top tier and midlevel is a 1175%
  • See the issue?

    Second issue: Character vs. Gear.

    This one is pretty simple.
    The base stats for a level 60 barbarian with 100 paragon levels in D3 will be
  • Str: 487
  • dex: 167
  • int: 167
  • vit: 327
  • Tyrael's might in D3 adds up to 200 to a single stat before other rolls (this is true for most stat rolls on set/unique items... they are generally 170-200).
    So ostensibly, you (again on an average roll and assuming no other stat rolls on the item) will get a boost of 14% to your total stats. For ONE item.

    This is a huge departure from D2, where a barb started with
  • Str: 30
  • dex: 20
  • vit: 25
  • en: 10
  • and then received 510 stat points from lvls and quests.
    This totals 595

    Tyrael's Might in D2 added an average of 25 to strength.
    This is a total stat boost of 4.2% for one item.

    Extrapolate this out and you find that the power ratio of character to gear in D3 is more than 3x lower than it was in D2.

    Couple that with the items scaling at a rate that is more than 5x faster, and you will see that this is far more of a gear based game than D2 ever was.

    The problems are evident within the game. The exponential increase in gear power is never checked by an exponential increase in character power. The gear curve is very high, and the character progression is linear and slow.

    The slower gear curve in D2 is what allowed lower level uniques to be useful at high level. This and the fact that most of your power came from your character, and not just his outfit.
    I can tell you why the game was released before it was finishes in one word, (MONEY). After scraping the first version of Diablo 3 they needed to piece what ever they could together and ship it as soon as possible.
    Great post
    10/01/2012 12:53 PMPosted by IMvess
    This thread deserves RESPECT.

    @IMvess, thank you. However, this isn't the type of thread for language and insults. I'm not here to call anyone names or hurl insults. I'm trying to gain insight as to why many players like myself feel the way they do about this game.

    10/01/2012 12:57 PMPosted by Carson
    There are a few Problems that become clearer when you directly compare D2 loot from D3 loot.

    @Carson, excellent point. Characters feel so much weaker in comparison to their gear. There is a tremendous over-emphasis on gear in this game. I can imagine it creates a lot of frustration for players who can't get good gear for themselves. Sub-par or mediocre gear is so limiting to their gameplay experience. It is more profoundly limiting when players make it to Inferno using mostly found gear, when the gear requirements increase exponentially. It must have been frustrating for a lot of players.

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