Diablo® III

The purpose of an ARPG

I feel everyone's pain with D3. My frustration is different though, as it does not come from the AH, Barb skill synergies, or even the inane itemization. There seem to be two bigger problems: lack of strategy, and lack of content.

Seems that the purpose of an ARPG is to demonstrate three primary concepts, which when done fast enough, and accurately enough, translate into 'fun':

1. Strategic placement of character
2. Strategic use/placement of skills
3. Ability to quickly respond to environment and patterns.

Consequences of these decisions should become more severe with level, as mistakes slow progression while time pressures increase. Additionally, as levels increase, complexity should increase, making the game about fast pattern recognition and the ability to solve complex problems with limited resources.

Diablo 3 challenges me on all fronts:

1. The most popular builds do not account for position. Barb WW builds, monk TR builds, and DH strafe builds are unaffected by pathing, and there are no environmental effects to consider, anywhere.
2. The key builds do not significantly consider the placement of skills. There is typically only one skill utilized, and that skill typically does massive AOE damage centered on the path of the player.
3. Complexity and speed do not change. The game does not alter fundamental mechanics between Normal and Inferno. Speed does not change. There is ONLY the scaling of damage and health, with the exception of a few monster affixes, most of which are not particularly strategic, but instant and automatic.

Net effect: lack of strategic satisfaction, lack of meaningful cooperation, and lack of challenge. Stack on top of that cheap mechanics such as vortex, jailor, knockback, and nightmarish, which have no wind-up or visual identifier, and it would appear that most of the game is strategic avoidance of the 1-shot character kill. In point of fact, I don't remember a time when my character was ever NOT killed by a 1-shot. Of the last 100 deaths, I bet 99 were a vortex or fear into fallen 'banelings,' or some such meaninglessness.

This seems to be a fundamental flaw in design for which it is challenging to suggest alternatives. The issue is the fundamental mechanics which are foundations of the game. For example; there is no real pattern recognition, because the popular skills are 1-size-fits-all. There is no strategic analysis of units, their weakness, or their strengths, as there is no change in vulerability/strengths, and skill changes are STRONGLY discouraged. All character types, with the exception of CM wiz, appear to ignore CC, and focus on ultra-high damage with high mitigation, based on avoidance (limited exception).

Beyond this, there appears to be little way to improve the situation, as the community is unable to supply content. If the community could add content to D3 what it did with D2, it could ensure greater strategic consequences. By using stronger environmental effects, coupled with varied enemy abilities, it is possible to force characters to alter their mechanics to counter the new challenges. Unfortunately, there has been no attempt by Blizzard to offer these tools, and combined with forced online play, Blizzard has made the society completely dependent on their patches for any new content, of which there has been effectively none since release.

There may be a few things that can be done, if the will exists:

1. Give the community an editor.
2. Take some of Droth's advice, and alter the cheapest monster affixes.
3. Remove the ability to path through monsters.
4. Increase game speed.
5. Improve monster AI and complexity with level.

After writing this, I feel better, but know better. These things cannot be fixed by the two guys Blizzard has left patching the game. This would require an almost complete re-structuring of the game mechanics, and we cannot expect anything like that. It is disappointing, as I liked D2, and thought Blizz would innovate. My guess is that the game has run its course until the expansion. Hopefully I am wrong.

Thoughts?
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Thats alot of text but some good points. I wish blizz would read some of these posts that gamers actually put time and thought into writing.
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someone should just make a post called letter to the editor if they havint already lol i see why they changed inferno cause they wanted to make it so everyone could play on it and put monster power in its place cause i notice for those that dont wanna play inferno they cant progress with level ups and that makes people wanna quit more games now a days need to have a balance of fun and challenge and approach ability if you want a good challenging game that has all three try these lol

1. demonsouls
2. darksouls

cant wait for the sequal to darksouls saw it it looked epic

you even get some monsters that kill you in one shot if you arent careful and dont got the resistances in the first game one of the bosses actually drains your level you lose a level up lol
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One of the most lucid posts I've ever read in here.

My favorite tactic back from D1 is standing in front of a door so the enemies would funnel in one at a time, rendering the 50+ mob quite ineffective. You can't even do that in this game in the keeps. It's quite mindless really. It's all about FARM FARM FARM, farming efficiency and speed in mp10, faceroll some spiders, pray for a legendary drop, pray for a good roll, pray they make brimstone do something.
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04/29/2013 07:55 AMPosted by coodav
lack of strategy, and lack of content.


As far as content, both Diablo and Diablo 2 where exactly the same way. Beat the D1 story in about a week. Beat D2 story in about a day, same with D3.
Edited by DragonFlyy#1241 on 4/29/2013 8:38 AM PDT
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04/29/2013 08:29 AMPosted by Kil
My favorite tactic back from D1 is standing in front of a door so the enemies would funnel in one at a time

And monsters can't open doors, locking them all in one room, BBQ with firewalls was my favorite.
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04/29/2013 08:37 AMPosted by DragonFlyy
lack of strategy, and lack of content.


As far as content, both Diablo and Diablo 2 where exactly the same way. Beat the D1 story in about a week. Beat D2 story in about a day, same with D3.

I was sincerely hoping for better in D3. As time has changed, so have I. The D3 I expected would have an editor and weekly/monthly content updates where the society had a MUCH greater role. This game is as banal as it was on day 1, and there is NOTHING we can do about it.
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04/29/2013 09:31 AMPosted by coodav


As far as content, both Diablo and Diablo 2 where exactly the same way. Beat the D1 story in about a week. Beat D2 story in about a day, same with D3.

I was sincerely hoping for better in D3. As time has changed, so have I. The D3 I expected would have an editor and weekly/monthly content updates where the society had a MUCH greater role. This game is as banal as it was on day 1, and there is NOTHING we can do about it.


Well I can understand the hope and want for an editor, but D1 and D2 didn't have one so I never expected 3 to have one. Since Blizzard made this online only with the RMAH then an editor is pretty much out.
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First of all, all action games are not about using twitch mechanics with perfectly placed skills. More so with a Diablo game.

The only changes in a Diablo game where cheesy mechanics of immunities, that did not take a lot of strategy to overcome. Instead you just had to make sure that you had different ways of doing damage. Also the mechanics in D2 did not change at all in the higher difficulties. Diablo did not get any new attacks in nightmare and hell. So why should you expect to see it here.

This seems to be a fundamental flaw in design for which it is challenging to suggest alternatives. The issue is the fundamental mechanics which are foundations of the game. For example; there is no real pattern recognition, because the popular skills are 1-size-fits-all. There is no strategic analysis of units, their weakness, or their strengths, as there is no change in vulerability/strengths, and skill changes are STRONGLY discouraged. All character types, with the exception of CM wiz, appear to ignore CC, and focus on ultra-high damage with high mitigation, based on avoidance (limited exception).


Skill changes have been strongly discouraged, because players were wanting some form of permanent skill selection. They did not want a situation where you come up on pack A then you have to switch to build A because it is the best build for that pack. Then 30 seconds later have to switch again just to be optimal. that is crazy.

1. Give the community an editor.
2. Take some of Droth's advice, and alter the cheapest monster affixes.
3. Remove the ability to path through monsters.
4. Increase game speed.
5. Improve monster AI and complexity with level.


Giving the community an editor would only be giving dupers the tools that they need to dupe. It would also give the tools that pirates would use to make perfect emulation servers. So that is why we cannot and will never be able to mod this game. Because in order to do so we would have to have the code on our computers to do so.
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Everything the OP said (what I read anyway) is exactly what I mean when I say this game sux a-holes but I could never be bothered writing it all.
Well, at least a part of what I mean as there is much more wrong with this game then just this.
But it is a good chunk.

Anyway, I honestly think it is pointless getting into this sort of detail as people like ShadowAegis (who unfortunately is nowhere near alone in his attitude) just doesn't have an open enough mind to really consider the facts from all angles or to appreciate the merit in these sort of posts.

I could never be bothered trying to push an idea at people like this... it is just a waste of time.
If he were to read this I bet he would have the wrong idea about what I am even saying now.
TBH I got more important things to do so I try to keep my comments short, albeit sometimes mildly insulting.
I don't think this game is ever going to be anywhere near as good as it could of been so meh.
f--k it.
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This whole thread is a joke. Blizzard gives us the ability to drop walls and Chandeliers on mobs and the mines in act 3 damage mobs nobody uses them as they are not Efficient . You go into the jail on the way to the butcher if you don't open the doors the mobs won't. If your on one side of a wall the mobs can go down and around the walls if possible. I'm in the keep an I have used doors to funnel the mobs. What am I missing here. In act one you go to the goatmen an they have traps set.

I haven't seen any mobs or players with the ability to walk over water yet. In pvp we have los tactics only the Dh has a skill that can shoot thru walls. Am I playing the same game as the op?
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First of all, all action games are not about using twitch mechanics with perfectly placed skills. More so with a Diablo game.

The only changes in a Diablo game where cheesy mechanics of immunities, that did not take a lot of strategy to overcome. Instead you just had to make sure that you had different ways of doing damage. Also the mechanics in D2 did not change at all in the higher difficulties. Diablo did not get any new attacks in nightmare and hell. So why should you expect to see it here.

Nonsense. ARPGs are EXACTLY about twitch mechanics. The absolute foundation of this is Blizzard's "Easy to play, hard to master" philosophy, where skill and accurate playstyle will break away talented players from the less so. In D3 though, this philosophy is at its weakest, dumbed down to a point where it simply 1) knowing which build is farm-friendly, and 2) a straight-up gear check. That is NOT MASTERY of ANYTHING. It is cheap.

04/29/2013 12:33 PMPosted by ShadowAegis
Skill changes have been strongly discouraged, because players were wanting some form of permanent skill selection. They did not want a situation where you come up on pack A then you have to switch to build A because it is the best build for that pack. Then 30 seconds later have to switch again just to be optimal. that is crazy.

Noooo... I don't think so. The entire foundation of D3 skill system is to change numerous times through the leveling process. In point of fact, you are FORCED to change skills and runes, and exploration is actively promoted for the duration of the game, and as gear improves. The problem is that there is very little balance regarding the power of the various skills, and there is even less itemization support for unique builds.

Beyond this though, I do not mean "switch every 30 seconds," I am saying that since they have this hot-swap skill system, they should actually use it. Highly varied areas should have highly varied responses, and a one-size-fits-all solution is a cop-out. Allowing players to vary their response to the situation is the meaning of strategy. That does not exist in D3 at all. I will probably never change skills for my main... maybe as long as I play.

04/29/2013 12:33 PMPosted by ShadowAegis
Giving the community an editor would only be giving dupers the tools that they need to dupe. It would also give the tools that pirates would use to make perfect emulation servers. So that is why we cannot and will never be able to mod this game. Because in order to do so we would have to have the code on our computers to do so.

Why? Having a Blizzard-made, Blizzard-supported kit of parts would not lead to this conclusion. It would just allow you to alter the abilities of monsters and the environment, and make more challenging areas that are not currently available. I do not promote changing anything in regard to gear, and didn't say anything about releasing code. Start with a decent 'dungeon builder,' and see what happens.

This whole thread is a joke. Blizzard gives us the ability to drop walls and Chandeliers on mobs and the mines in act 3 damage mobs nobody uses them as they are not Efficient . You go into the jail on the way to the butcher if you don't open the doors the mobs won't. If your on one side of a wall the mobs can go down and around the walls if possible. I'm in the keep an I have used doors to funnel the mobs. What am I missing here. In act one you go to the goatmen an they have traps set.

I haven't seen any mobs or players with the ability to walk over water yet. In pvp we have los tactics only the Dh has a skill that can shoot thru walls. Am I playing the same game as the op?

You are not playing the game I am. If your profile is accurate, you will see that my character is designed for farming. Yours is not. You are using fairly low-damage skills on a low-damage class. That is OK, but know that you are not half as efficient as you could be.

And I dare you to try that 'standing in the doorway' thing in Inferno on high MP. You will be yanked out of it by a vortex mob (no warning), perma-frozen, and baneling busted. And you can play in a manner that accounts for even that, with the midland gear and skills you are using, but you will farm at a rate 1/10 the rate I do and 1/20th a mad CC immune barb.

So what does this mean? Your strategy is actually disincentivized, and my Tempest Rush 'fly in and bell anything that lives' strategy is promoted. That is the OPPOSITE of strategy. That is the problem I am trying to get through your head, in that a TR monk, whirl barb, or strafe DH are actually the skills most promoted but least strategic. That makes no sense for an ARPG or any other game dependent on strategy.
Edited by coodav#1174 on 4/29/2013 4:31 PM PDT
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Nonsense. ARPGs are EXACTLY about twitch mechanics. The absolute foundation of this is Blizzard's "Easy to play, hard to master" philosophy, where skill and accurate playstyle will break away talented players from the less so. In D3 though, this philosophy is at its weakest, dumbed down to a point where it simply 1) knowing which build is farm-friendly, and 2) a straight-up gear check. That is NOT MASTERY of ANYTHING. It is cheap.


I was talking about the fact that twitch mechanics would not fit all action games. More so for the Diablo franchise. Show me where the first two titles had twitch mechanics. Where you had to have perfect skill placement in order to hit the mobs, done with perfect timing.

Noooo... I don't think so. The entire foundation of D3 skill system is to change numerous times through the leveling process. In point of fact, you are FORCED to change skills and runes, and exploration is actively promoted for the duration of the game, and as gear improves. The problem is that there is very little balance regarding the power of the various skills, and there is even less itemization support for unique builds.

Beyond this though, I do not mean "switch every 30 seconds," I am saying that since they have this hot-swap skill system, they should actually use it. Highly varied areas should have highly varied responses, and a one-size-fits-all solution is a cop-out. Allowing players to vary their response to the situation is the meaning of strategy. That does not exist in D3 at all. I will probably never change skills for my main... maybe as long as I play.


I was talking about having permanent skill choices that would not have to be changed due to some cheesy mechanic like this mob takes more damage from cold. So change up the fire skills to cold and a cold weapon and you are good to go. Changing every 30 seconds is what a player that like being optimal for every encounter will be doing if they did not have NV in the way and had monsters that would be like what you want them to be.

Why? Having a Blizzard-made, Blizzard-supported kit of parts would not lead to this conclusion. It would just allow you to alter the abilities of monsters and the environment, and make more challenging areas that are not currently available. I do not promote changing anything in regard to gear, and didn't say anything about releasing code. Start with a decent 'dungeon builder,' and see what happens.


But still there would have to be some code on your computer for that to happen. Even if it is just numbers, but still if it is only numbers then it would not be a good enough of a tool set. So I would say it would be hard if not impossible to give the community an editor. Where players would be able to mod the game without giving pirates and dupers a way of being able to do what they want to do.
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Hmm I find myself using terrain (especially corners) to get around things like the charging goat-monsters in Act 1, vortex, and mortar. Just this evening I tossed a hydra across the lintel of a doorway, angled myself about 45 degrees, and channeled my electrocute -- I never saw more than one mob at a time before each died, successively. I find myself teleporting towards mortar mobs unless they have something like arcane sentry or poison pools. My passives in particular are strategically chosen specifically to [help] prevent situations like vortex-->molten-death.

I must be playing a different game.
Edited by Urthas#1209 on 4/30/2013 12:07 AM PDT
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Thoughts? I think you stated a lot of good thoughts but also a lot of not-so-good thoughts.

I think you started out on the right track and the very very beginning and then got side-tracked.

If this game had fundamentally different mechanics -and- much more real creative content (I mean story line, side quests, maps, character classes, better skills/items etc etc.. and not just map/item/game type editors like you suggested)..

Then Diablo 3 might be an excellent game instead of a mediocre one.

~Philoi.
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I feel everyone's pain with D3. My frustration is different though, as it does not come from the AH, Barb skill synergies, or even the inane itemization. There seem to be two bigger problems: lack of strategy, and lack of content.

Seems that the purpose of an ARPG is to demonstrate three primary concepts, which when done fast enough, and accurately enough, translate into 'fun':

1. Strategic placement of character
2. Strategic use/placement of skills
3. Ability to quickly respond to environment and patterns.

Consequences of these decisions should become more severe with level, as mistakes slow progression while time pressures increase. Additionally, as levels increase, complexity should increase, making the game about fast pattern recognition and the ability to solve complex problems with limited resources.


Although I do agree with you (You basically hit the nail on the head; Zelda, Secret of Evermore, Secret of Mana, Guardian Heroes), you still have to take in Diablo 3 and of all of its glory (idiom, put down that haterade). D3 derived from a genre that was moreso an Adventure point-and-click RPG. It made a transition to be more Action (not sure how much of this influence was from the game designer's part) than anything else.

I would define this game as an Action Hack-and-Slash where strategy is on the lower end of priority for a game that's as fast-paced as this one.
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I don't concider Diablo3 an RPG let alone an ARPG, it's an action scroller, more akin to gauntlet, and golden axe.
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04/30/2013 01:34 AMPosted by Rivis
I don't concider Diablo3 an RPG let alone an ARPG, it's an action scroller, more akin to gauntlet, and golden axe.

Except for the individual persistent character with gear and attributes (skills) you build and assign. And levels, and individual names. Etc...

But as for the situation generally,what I am trying to say is that a great many of the game's most basic components detract from strategy. The strongest skills, the inability to distinguish damage type, the ability to ignore pathing, and many other issues make strategy second to basic builds and high-end gear. In even shorter terms, no level of strategy can overcome the weakness in skill variation and gear. I find that unfortunate. I thought D3 was supposed to be the exact opposite of that.
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In even shorter terms, no level of strategy can overcome the weakness in skill variation and gear. I find that unfortunate. I thought D3 was supposed to be the exact opposite of that.


Paradoxically, given its stark simplicity, Diablo 1 was perhaps the closest of all the Diablo games to being an ARPG, because the story was all. There were no combat mechanics to speak of, and really, no character customization either (just stat points, and whatever spellbooks you found/bought). All that was left was the *notion* of three iconic character classes, and a single-minded yet immersive storyline that took you, the character, deeper and deeper into HELL.

Diablo 2 and certainly Diablo 3 are not, imho, best described as an ARPG, but as a hack-and-slash. And frankly, D3 delivers on that score, especially with the incoming buffs to monster density. So I find the underlying premise of this thread a bit...misplaced.
Edited by Urthas#1209 on 4/30/2013 5:42 PM PDT
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Community Manager
04/29/2013 08:15 AMPosted by Toad
Thats alot of text but some good points. I wish blizz would read some of these posts that gamers actually put time and thought into writing.


Read or respond to? We read a lot, we just don't respond to everything. We also don't necessarily agree with everything players suggest, but the discussions in and of themselves are super meaningful. :)

Diablo 3 challenges me on all fronts:

1. The most popular builds do not account for position. Barb WW builds, monk TR builds, and DH strafe builds are unaffected by pathing, and there are no environmental effects to consider, anywhere.
2. The key builds do not significantly consider the placement of skills. There is typically only one skill utilized, and that skill typically does massive AOE damage centered on the path of the player.
3. Complexity and speed do not change. The game does not alter fundamental mechanics between Normal and Inferno. Speed does not change. There is ONLY the scaling of damage and health, with the exception of a few monster affixes, most of which are not particularly strategic, but instant and automatic.


All solid points, and we agree on most fronts. Popular builds don't account for position or placement of skills, and we could do more to scale difficulty better. The conclusions you came to in terms of how we might address those pain points are different than the solutions we've considered, but it's totally understandable to see how you arrived at them.

Either way, this is a great discussion. I'm curious to see what other players think and have them weigh in on two points: 1) whether or not they agree with your premises and b) how they'd personally like to see the game evolve to improve on those areas.

Interested to see where this dialogue goes from here, so I'll be keeping an eye on the thread. (May not post much, but I'll definitely be reading along.)

Edit: Typos :(
Edited by Lylirra on 4/30/2013 6:44 PM PDT
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