Dear Director: returning the depth to Diablo

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Again, let me reiterate, these ideas are based on moving away from the sole importance of a primary stat and gear-centric "customisation".


There is no reason to move away from gear-centric customization. The entire point of the game is obtaining gear to make you stronger to kill stuff faster. So your core concept is just flawed. I think moving away from a primary stat is a fine idea. I think the biggest flaw with the itemization is that items don't link into your skills enough. To be honest I'd like it if every item I wore had some sort of skill modifier on it. One might have -1 sec cooldown, one might have -10 spirit cost on WoL, one maybe +5% damage to WoL etc. I think they need to significantly increase the number of useful items and spread it out so more items are useful and the best items have a smaller demand so are worth less.

I recently went from a dual wield sweeping wind build to a 2h using wave of light and the only gear I had to change was my weapon. To me that is a failed itemization model. The skill system itself is working fine. My gameplay experience is completely different between the two builds.
Excelente post
Hmm damn, that was a great initial post. I don't have anything else to add.
what about add differemt effects for different type of damage? Like:

-poison= dot
-cold=freeze
-lightining=chain
-arcane= i dunno

But this would surely make the game more deep and more particular and make the specific resistance worth something
what about add differemt effects for different type of damage? Like:

-poison= dot
-cold=freeze
-lightining=chain
-arcane= i dunno

But this would surely make the game more deep and more particular and make the specific resistance worth something


This seems so obvious it is hard to believe they didn't do it.
01/23/2013 10:22 AMPosted by Ender
This seems so obvious it is hard to believe they didn't do it.
They did and then scrapped it.
Suddenly it occurs to me that removing attributes did not resolve that issue that attributes were posing. The problem with attributes were that players would just dump all of their points into one basket to achieve the greatest output of damage to health. This problem still exsists in diablo 3. The difference between the no attribute system and the attribute system is that when you remove attribute points the only gear you are looking for is gear that once again puts all of your attributes into one basket to achieve the greatest output of damage to health.

Instead of the diablo 2 attribute system with players dumping all of their points in one spot, there is now a diablo 3 system where players seek items to do that for us. That then makes the game far more gear dependent, gold dependent, and time dependent.

This is a truly excellent point! This is exactly the thing we need to get away from. At least D2 had the advantage that gear was still special.

01/23/2013 08:49 AMPosted by Scorch
Except that they removed manual stat allocation because it had been worked out so that everyone used cookie cutter allocation in D2 and if you didn't then you failed, and none of the changes you proposed would change that. Everyone would always find the best combination of stats for their class or build. Ideally you would pick the stat points that favored your style, but there would always be a best way of doing things just as there is now and people would probably figure out what those new cookie cutter stat builds should be within days. Manual stat allocation will always have this inherent flaw no matter how balanced you try to make it.

You seem to have some sort of inherent disbelief that you can mathematically build a system that retains balance between stats. I can assure you that it is possible. Such mathematical balances occur in nature and the economy everywhere you look. The key is to develop a system of this sort that there really is no right choice, only different choices that ultimately result in comparable strengths but with different paths to success. There is no reason why a player who builds for attack speed couldn't be just as optimal as one who built for crit or another who built for raw damage. The numbers just need to scale so that one doesn't trump another.

01/23/2013 08:49 AMPosted by Scorch
So basically you want rune ranks back but as clickable buttons instead of items... And what makes your think that won't have the same problem as the stat allocation (i.e. everyone maxing out certain skills first and ignoring others completely depending on what's best for min/maxing)? And flavor of the month builds will still happen as balancing changes are made, no matter what sort of respec cost you put on it.

It's simple, this wouldn't be the first game that had a skill system that gave the player true choices. You could build a frozen orb sorc, a chain lightning sorc, or a firewall sorc. None was appreciably better than the other so they were all viable options that made each unique.

I will repeat what I expressed in a past post. Players copy and pasting builds will happen in any system. Not all players do copy builds. Many if not most enjoy creating their own fun builds as this is the very heart of RPGs. Removing the system for fear of copy cats is a foolish way to design.
01/23/2013 10:28 AMPosted by Elexar
This seems so obvious it is hard to believe they didn't do it.
They did and then scrapped it.

That's a real shame too. I still don't understand what possibly made them think it was a good idea to throw out such an important concept. Without it elemental damage is meaningless.

01/23/2013 08:57 AMPosted by Ender
There is no reason to move away from gear-centric customization.

Yes there absolutely is! Gear alone will not make an RPG. You cannot role play in a game when you cannot make a role to play! Character customization is among the core principles of RPGs. Without character customization the game qualifies as nothing more than a brawler action game. This is completely contrary to the very foundation of the series which brought the rogue and tabletop RPG experience to a more action oriented gaming environment.
poe?!
They did and then scrapped it.

That's a real shame too. I still don't understand what possibly made them think it was a good idea to throw out such an important concept. Without it elemental damage is meaningless.
It's quite simple, really. What they said is that with almost the same base damage for all elemental types testers would eventually end up using the one with the best CC effect and ignore the others. When they changed it so that CC potential was outweighed by damage loss, testers ended up using only weapons with the highest all around damage ignoring added effects. Because it was a binary choice they were unable to fix, they scrapped the idea.

It is hard to judge if they scrapped the idea prematurely. I think elemental weapons should be revisited some time in the future and maybe they should think of a way to have elemental damage interact with skills in a less simplistic manner. Nonetheless, this is really unlikely to be done as a part of a patch; an expansion is much better suited for this.
01/23/2013 10:56 AMPosted by Elexar

That's a real shame too. I still don't understand what possibly made them think it was a good idea to throw out such an important concept. Without it elemental damage is meaningless.
It's quite simple, really. What they said is that with almost the same base damage for all elemental types testers would eventually end up using the one with the best CC effect and ignore the others. When they changed it so that CC potential was outweighed by damage loss, testers ended up using only weapons with the highest all around damage ignoring added effects. Because it was a binary choice they were unable to fix, they scrapped the idea.

It is hard to judge if they scrapped the idea prematurely. I think elemental weapons should be revisited some time in the future and maybe they should think of a way to have elemental damage interact with skills in a less simplistic manner. Nonetheless, this is really unlikely to be done as a part of a patch; an expansion is much better suited for this.

I guess without resistances and immunities this really can't be avoided. I really miss the clever things that could be done with the poison DoTs if you knew the system. Even with the min-maxing concerns I still think they should have kept the special effects if only for the flavor.
I have a headache d3 is doomed dooooooooomed gah
I like playing Diablo 3 to the Diablo 1 and 2 soundtracks


You're very niavee if you think it's just THAT easy. It's not. It's not just a matter of adding some numbers and doing some match.

You want Skill points back? Ok. So let's see, scrape the entire current skill system, because the skill point system won't work with it currently because of the rune system. So now, the skill system has to be redesigned with skill point system in mind. Say hello to months of design, balancing, bug testing, tweaking, etc.

When you can admit that what you are proposing would take months upon months of work instead of just easily dismissing it as "numbers & math", then maybe you can be seen as intelligent. Right now, you're showing yourself as someone who is niavee who hasn't a clue as to how designing a system to replace the current system works.

They don't need to scrap anything. The current skills, animations, runes don't need to change. The only thing that needs to change are the equations. Surely they already have entire descriptions for these, charts, graphs, numbers, etc. in place in the initial design. They even have a great deal of time and experience to know what the numbers need to be to work well. All they have to do is retune the equations to remove the %weapon DPS element from it. Point fitting alone would solve that problem and adjustments could fine tune it.

(EDIT: funny point, before everything was scaled to %weapon DPS they actually had skills scaling to level so they even have a basis to refer to.)

Seeing as I've designed game systems and math to make it work I know what goes into it and I know a framework for an entirely new game can be built in a day and can be fine tuned to work well within a week. D3 has more going for it than what I've worked on but I know that an entire team could accomplish the same thing with proper leadership in a reasonable time frame. I feel that they haven't managed to do so up until now because they lacked that leadership. It is why I feel a new director could accomplish these goals in a fair time frame.

Besides even if it does take until the expansion it is still worth the effort. These core issues must be fixed for the game to live on.

You are suggesting the equivalent of them making diablo4 in a few patches.

BTW your ideas are good and your game would be a better game but it just isnt going to happen. Its way to late for that.

You drastically underestimate how much of the dev time goes towards building the initial game framework/engine/graphics/etc. compared to how much time is spent balancing the numbers. The vast majority of the time is spent building the foundations. Consider, runes as items were scrapped not more than a few months before release and they redesigned the entire system accordingly.

I just hope we don't get a new director who thinks the same. If they are just going to quit trying then they shouldn't waste any time and money on it. If it's too late to fix it then don't fix it but stop patching and move on to something better. They already have a good engine though so it seems like a colossal waste of money not to fix it. They could still take the game very far with expansions. If they don't address these core problems I won't be buying the expansions and I expect many others think similarly.


I for one think you should apply for the newly opened head dev spot at blizzard
Tired of all you people hating on the time estimated to bring about these changes. O Noes! The workers actually have to spend a few months working on something they will get paid for? Im sure these developers would love to bring about changes if they were to truly see how many people would lovingly come back to this game. Please stop with the sarcasm and stop raging about how it will take months and months. Its their job... Ideas are what the forums are for. Stop raging at someone for saying it will not take as long as you believe it will. Its not the issue.
It's not stat points I have a problem with, it's 100% permanent character choices. It'll be boring as hell to have to redo EVERYTHING just to change one thing on the character. (It's a bit late to add even semi-perma stuff now, though could be done...
Many if not most enjoy creating their own fun builds as this is the very heart of RPGs. Removing the system for fear of copy cats is a foolish way to design.


This, so much this. I played D2 pretty much exclusively single player / LAN and I didn't care what people did with their cookie cutter builds on b.net. Didn't bug me, still doesn't as I play the game to this day. I look up builds to find interesting options to, say, get around Physical Immunity with a Summon Druid. Amplify Damage removes that. Wooo, time to look at my options.

That's how it's supposed to be done. Lemmings ruining the game for themselves are not my problem.
01/20/2013 12:25 PMPosted by Dirk
This kind of change is impossible because the entire game is built off this flawed core attribute system.

But it's not impossible if you call it Diablo 4. I say sweep this version under the rug (Vista-style) and release the next one. Most graphic and sound assets can carry over, saving a lot of time.
Love it - hitting that sticky button if only to give ya more exposure. A load of work for them for sure, but there's no doubt in my mind if they did it, it'd be super beneficial for the game. Even more so if they'd also make it less linear...

lol This game id doing fine. Your people need to learn how to work with the core you all whine about. The problem with this game is it is over your str to equip, dex to block and rest in vit mentality. Same can be said for max main skill , max synergy skills.

So you stack int for ar great for casters but what about melee? Gee dex and int both give increased crit. I guess barbs don't need it. His whole post is a joke.


No, a Barb can stack int for bonus elemental damage. Obviously the game is NOT fine if it's so obsessed with crit that you can't see the value in other bonuses...EarthQuake + major fire bonus dmg would be amazing.

Don't listen to the trolls - present your ideas as you have an surely they'll take notice of it, even if they don't choose to change it.

EDIT:

I will repeat what I expressed in a past post. Players copy and pasting builds will happen in any system. Not all players do copy builds. Many if not most enjoy creating their own fun builds as this is the very heart of RPGs. Removing the system for fear of copy cats is a foolish way to design.


This. Seriously, I remember having the same arguments with people before release...
I hate how every combat ability is dependent on weapon damage, but I'm not sure how well magical spells' base damage would work in the D3 system.

I mean, let's say the first combat ability of a Wizard (Magic Missile) has to be "balanced enough" so that it doesn't steamroll Act 1 Normal by itself. But no matter how much Intel you stack, Magic Missile base damage would be ultimately useless in later acts because it was balanced according to Act 1 Normal (imagine using a Lvl 1 Charged bolt in Act 5 Normal in pre-synergy D2).

The feasible way to fix this IMO is that we could have the spells' damage scale from difficulty to difficulty, have it increase based on your level, or have it that Intel increases the damage of lower level spells more. But with all this in mind, it would be hard to balance a single ability when there are just so much moving parts. And with moving parts, you don't have consistency. Then we have the rune variations, etc, etc and it will be simpler said than done.

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