Diablo® III

The purpose of an ARPG

04/30/2013 06:42 PMPosted by ArkAngel
The popular builds, at least when it concerns, TR monks and strafe demons hunters are popular really only because they are efficient at extremely low MP levels, when you are simply farming XP. They become the "popular" builds because my guess is that a majority of the player base, probably never goes past MP1. What you don't see is TR Monks, and Strafe demons hunters walking into MP10 and those builds working just as well. Doesn't happen. They have to find different specs just to survive.


Well said.
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04/30/2013 05:58 PMPosted by Lylirra
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 :(

Lyrilla,

I find it incredibly brave that you posted in this thread. This is a thread dedicated to managing a negative, which could lead to major flaming. I am glad that you stuck your neck out, and I am pleased that the post has not devolved much. I'll keep it that way if everyone else does.

Before I begin, I (and probably many others) believe that the game is effectively set. That means that the hopes and aspirations I am extolling here are effectively moot, perhaps having some value in the role of an expansion. So if the resources simply don't exist to re-write the game, I am left with a very simple question: "what is the absolute minimum resource change that will make the maximum return?" or even more simply, "what is the lowest of all hanging fruit?" I think that is what you are looking for, as you ask us for solutions to D3 now.

And in this regard, I believe that we are HUGELY challenged to impact the game. The issues that I note originally are foundation elements, fundamental to the operation of the game. There is no simple solution I can perceive, so I doubt we will see a change to this in this iteration of the game.

So of those things that can possibly be done, I honestly think that the most fruitful thing you can do is to offer a game editor or dungeon builder. I think if you did that, then the players would start to craft solutions to the game you probably have not thought of, if they have adequate control. I don't know what it is that Blizz uses for a game editor, but if you can release it, or part of it, but I think that if you did, you would see two things:

1. HUGE amounts of new content. The players would generate all of the content you could ever want. All you would need to do is clean it up and find a place to put it in. Have contests, be social, do content in cool ways.
2. Generate huge new challenges and force changes to popular builds. For example, if players were put in positoins where substantial mana or health regeneration was required, or barriers requiring leap-like skills to maximize returns, or even just having all monsters leave fire trails, I think you would see very different builds in different locations. If these quests were promoted by adequate rewards, you would see a resurgence of exploration.

The issue with this is that it is also a fundamental shift in the way the game is managed at an IP level. This is even IF you already use an editor, and have tools ready to forward tot he community. If it does, you can rely on a great source of material. Conceptually, there appear to be two fundamentals for lasting games: WOW-style professionally updated content, or D2-esque community modded content. I think since D3 is generally known as a free to play game, the obvious answer is to make the community do the work, gather up the results, and enable the parts that make sense. Win-win?

Beyond this, there is an eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room: balance. I have been very sad on this front since the game was released. Playing a Monk as main, I have seen a HUGE amount of change, almost all of it negative. This leads me to believe that the game is not philosophically 'set,' in that you don't know exactly what you want to see in your skills. Hopefully you do now, and are situated to support builds through itemization and skill.

Even without that, I believe you can do a better job with balance, and it doesn't seem that many skills are getting even a cursory review. This frustrates me, as the game is now out for a year, and you have to have good metrics. I believe that there are a ton of threads discussing class balance, and it would be wise to consider them.

Past this, I think there is one more thing you can do: simply provide us with metrics on build make-up, and damage output. I personally don't feel that anyone really knows how to respond, because they don't know what the builds are capable of. Maybe we would get more feedback if we had better intel. Or more flaming. Not sure. Here's hoping.
Edited by coodav#1174 on 4/30/2013 10:24 PM PDT
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04/30/2013 09:38 PMPosted by Noxifer
by who?

By like everyone?
@Nox, I'm just against anything that removes "rpg" as a description qualifier. Diablo has always been a rpg.

I never said, that the PRG part should be removed, but the game is more about hacking and slashing, than it is about role playing.
And being an Action game? More or less, but not what I am usually expecting, when I hear "Action game".
It seems to me you haven't played many actual role playing games. Try some Bioware games for starters.

The only game on the top of my head, which properly fits the description Action RPG would be The Witcher.
+1. Most importantly, all the trade press called D1/D2 ARPG. And internally that's what most blizzard employees used.

Cause the press are all renowned gamers.. oh wait. Also, how do you know what the devs talked about internally, you one of them?


Yes.
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Posts: 246
1.) The thing with Diablo 3 is you never feel like a beast. Every game I ever invested lot and lots of hours in made me feel like a badass.

2.) The reward to work ratio is completely unbalanced. This type of thing is key to any game. Whether its getting gear or unlocking a new location or etc..

3.) Competition, Diablo 3 went up against a strong standing competition which came from its very own series, D2. D2 beat it in almost every aspect expect graphics, relevance and, skill setup. A new game always being more relevant then an old game. And its not that D2 had a bad skill setup, its just that D3's skill setup has more potential.

4.) It gets boring quick. The skills have different runes but the runes don't necessarily improve from one another. There's just 1 - 2 runes worth using. So once you reach level 30 you've seen it all. Were do you go from there? You can get sick !@# gear but I also want sick $%^ skills. Don't get me wrong, all the classes have an awesome skill to go too but not many.

After seeing many debates on these forums about this game. I've learned a lot about games in general. One thing being I really don't know what makes me really wanna play a game. I know the basics of what I like but a lot of stuff I just sit back and think "That's awesome". I've definitely got more appreciation for the geniuses behind the game. I thank you.
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04/30/2013 05:58 PMPosted by Lylirra
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 :(


Did you use "1" and "b" on purpose?! lol

1> I do agree. The game is beyond dumbed down in strategy and awareness requirement! Builds that stack a lot of movement with a lot of damage with a lot of defensive are VERY common and the baseline for MP7+ farming.

b> I sincerely would like to see the possiblity of skill to be noticed, measured and used while playing Diablo3.

Right now the game requires NO skill at all to be played, after the initial knowledge of the game per se. As an example, it took me less then 10minutes to explain, teach and let someone that never played games before to play my monk through Inferno MP7, since all it had to do was put buffs up, keep mouse pressed and move out of stuff.

The community mindset is ALL about efficiency, so the game should be cushioned with that in mind. Right now the build that kills faster wins, every single time, which in turn kill other possible builds.

If simple stuff like, for example, lets say wizards had a build that could keep building stacks of freeze debuff to mobs and after some stacks mobs would then get a new debuff let's say "absolute zero" or whatever, and while keeping that stack they could use another skill that would reap damage through the roof and depending on how many mobs they could "absolute zero" and how much damage they'd do in the full combo, they'd gain XP for Awesome combo, Destroyer Combo, and so on...much alike we get from many combat style games where you get a higher score the higher attacks you connect.

What I mean with that long !@# example is systems that allow for non-straigthforward builds to compete or the creation of builds that require management but that can compete in terms of efficiency with the "nomal" builds
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Just spent 30+ minutes responding to this topic, hit submit, and my response doesn't post. I really don't want to type all that out again. Can someone please tell me if there is a timer on typing out a response?
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I have a number of ideas for how to potentially promote build diversity as well as strategic game play.

1. Make more skills usable while moving.
Kite builds would be much more effective and usable if players had the ability to strafe and/or cast without interrupting movement. Some skills, obviously, wouldn't fall into the category of being suitable for that, but I think many more should be. Practically every popular build right now is directly based on this simple fact. Barb WW build, attack while moving, Monk Tempest Rush, attack while moving, Wiz CM/WW keep everything else static so you can stand still to cast, DH Strafe, attack while moving.

2. Add skill buff bonuses for ALL skills to ALL equipment.
Of course these bonuses would have to be scaled against endgame power expectations, but a player could actually invest in the skills they choose to use rather than just the main stat/crit hit/crit dam/attack speed/all res as they do now. There are currently a handful of class-based skill buff items, which are fine, but they tend to represent such a loss of core stats that they can't begin to compete. This would improve itemization, make BIS less cookie cutter, and promote people to play with some of the more unused skills if they happen to find a good piece of gear for it.

3. Alchemy crafting.
This could be a good item/gold sink. Add the ability to create short-term buff potions and/or item enchants. Make it so when you use a short-term enchant on an item it lowers it's durability, or if you use a permanent enchant it makes the item BOA. This creates more crafting options, gives players a chance to customize their gear more, and creates an item/gold sink all at the same time.

4. 1H vs. 2H weapons.
Many 2H weapons are simply not worth using as you can never make up for the loss of class-based stats on OH items.
One thing that might mitigate that, make critical hits calculate damage from the top of the damage range instead of a random roll. This means that critical hits would hit harder with a weapon with a higher top damage, even if it had a lower DPS rating. This could add a level of depth to the choices people make around weapons.

5. Make dodge/block balance
Make dodge and block add %chance to resist crowd control effects. My monk can somehow dodge taking damage from fire while running through the flame breathing turrets in the crater, but can't dodge a vortex or roll with a knockback to avoid being slowed? This comes back to avoidance, to be sure, but on some level there is currently no way to avoid certain effects other than to simply run away from an enemy that has those powers. The %time effected reduction isn't really worth anything. Being vortexed or being knocked back, however long you might suffer the after-effects, is more about losing position or tactical advantage than taking damage, and can be much more devastating just on that scale.

5. LOH vs LS
The life on hit mechanic coupled with the proc rates on skills locks players into choosing to use skills that have functional proc rates vs skills that don't, and/or stacking AS to the ceiling to compensate. LS doesn't care what skill you're using to do damage or the speed at which you are hitting to proc it. It's simply a better mechanic as regards promoting build diversity and strategic game play. With LS you can use nothing but AOE and/or DOT skills, typically more strategic skills in action, as well as allowing you the freedom to play hit and run or guerrilla tactics vs. one size fits all every fight is the same.
My suggestion is to put a hard cap on LS, say 6% from equipment possibly exceeded by skills, but make it more available in smaller numbers. Have it show up as increments of .25% - .75% on all equipment. This puts it more in the category of 100-200 LOH roughly. Nerf LOH affix by ~50%.

All together these suggestions are intended to point towards a system that promotes the ability for players to build a character they enjoy playing, not because they're the most efficient, but because they're the most fun for them to play. They're also targeted towards adding diversity through more viable choices. Not any one of them is fully fleshed out or would be anywhere near a 'fix', but taken in parts and put together in different ways, I hope they can help support the notion that choice and complexity are actually good things.

--edited for summary/grammar
Edited by Kasmel#1597 on 4/30/2013 11:44 PM PDT
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I didn't read the Blue post but want to play a game.

Did it contain lots of positive affirmation along with a joy that discussion is taking place in a non negative context? While saying absolutely nothing about whether or not they'll do anything with it. And in fact on closer inspection prove to have absolutely no useful information what so ever?


Dude, you have psychic powers, that is awesome!
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04/30/2013 11:17 PMPosted by SirCris
Just spent 30+ minutes responding to this topic, hit submit, and my response doesn't post. I really don't want to type all that out again. Can someone please tell me if there is a timer on typing out a response?


I have that sometimes on other forums. Type your responses in MS Word, Notepad, or whatever. Added bonus: You can save them for later use.
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04/30/2013 05:58 PMPosted by Lylirra
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.


First of all, thanks for the post. I always find it helpful when you're specific on what sort of things you're looking for feedback on. I always find it especially encouraging in terms of how to focus my analysis of my experiences. I hope the quality of this post exceeds it's length.

Response to the Premise

General Premise:

I think coodav's "fun concepts" are valuable mechanics. I wouldn't call them "the purpose of an ARPG" because games from many genres can benefit from those elements. They're solid, dependable, game and level design staples. But Diablo 3's semi-random content makes it difficult to create a consistent, tight difficulty curve for these.

Also, part what has made RPGs what they are is leveling up and becoming impossibly strong so that things that would be impossible before become trivial by comparison. In my opinion, the fact that Diablo 3 has attempted to combine the appeal of RPGs with some of the basic challenge elements of positioning and pattern recognition in a more dynamic way than in the past (with things like waller, molten, and arcane sentries) is what makes this game new and unique.

Specific Challenges Stated by coodav:

1) Popular builds annihilate the challenges set up by the game, and there is no environment hazard

Since the use of clever position mechanics are something unique that stands out about Diablo 3, the fact that they are frequently trivialized by more popular builds has always baffled me. Because of it's RPG roots, its hard to argue that beating the system in that way doesn't have a place in this game, but the immunity is chosen rather than earned, and the value of that immunity is unrivaled by other options.

Things like trade and the auction house also influence these choices. I think that on some level, players face a conflict between playing the game for an intrinsically fun challenge, and playing the game for maximum extrinsic rewards.

Environment hazards exist, but have several issues. For example, compare the keep depths fire grates to the fire grates in the Butcher fight. In the Butcher fight, the hazard can pop up anywhere. But in the field there are safe zones and danger zones, and monsters can follow you anywhere on the map, so you're more likely to move the fight to a safer location than confront the environment hazard. So, either you make everywhere dangerous, and the game becomes exceedingly stressful, or you simply encourage players to move encounters to safer zones.

2)Key builds do not consider placement and do massive AoE damage centered on the player.

This is actually one of the biggest issues I have with the game. AoE abilities are always the definitive answer. You might squeeze a small margin of damage on a boss by focusing on single target attacks, but bosses in the endgame are optional and their predictable patterns mean that bosses are not much more dangerous for living a little longer.

While many AoE abilities attempt to be balanced by resource costs, the benefit of constant AoE is greater than alternating attacks. Right now, it is always better to choose abilities that help fuel your one best attack rather than keep around skills that don't combine. A lot of skills are effectively balanced, but become overpowered through synergy.

In the case of Strafe, WW, and Tempest Rush, the ability to cut through enemies without collision adds a huge benefit. In fact, I found Tempest Rush irreplaceable simply as a means of escape, before I realized that it did damage at all. I don't think those abilities are balanced.

3)Complexity and speed do not change from Normal to Inferno. Difficulty through Scaling values is boring.

I disagree strongly with the first half of this premise. Complexity very clearly changes in elite monsters from Normal to Inferno, through more affixes, as well as new affixes introduced in later difficulties. Normal monsters don't get this luxury, but having some variance in the moment to moment difficulty helps keep the game interesting instead of agonizing. To my understanding, developers have stated in the past that the AI, while using the same actions, makes decisions more quickly in higher difficulties. Monster Power difficulties, however, match your criticism perfectly.

Scaling damage and health is a necessary compliment to support the increasing complexity and rising numbers of the game. An Extra Health affix on an Arcane enchanted monster means you will probably see more sentries during the encounter. Kill something before it strikes, and it doesn't matter what powers it might have had. Simple monsters only become larger damage sponges, but again, this isn't necessarily bad in itself because it allows a varied pace that keeps the whole game engaging.

4) "Net Effect" of this game being about cheap shots and avoiding them.

This statement only accounts for one experience with specific player gear and skill choices. Popular builds have decided to rely on damage-dealing and CC-avoidance rather than mitigation. High-mitigation builds on an appropriate difficulty don't have this same experience. But the builds who risk instant death are proving the most efficiently when it comes to extrinsic rewards like gold, XP, and gear. These "cheap" deaths explose the flaws in a build. Since these builds already exceed at reward, asking for the risk to be taken away would be the final annihilation of build diversity.

5) Augmenting the Premise

I believe one main issue is that things that are intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding do not align. Players have discovered that how to get more gold and items for their time from things that are easier. While I respect the philosophy that Blizzard has taken - that players should be able to choose what they want to do - as long as a method exists where a player can get more reward for less effort, they will choose that path, even if it's "less fun".

While things like Monster Power and Paragon Levels effectively and directly addressed some of the game's problems, the rules created by these systems have opened up clever ways to get more for doing less, causing problems of their own. Monster Power exists so that players can keep the game challenging and rewarding for highly-geared players. Instead, players found the most extrinsic rewards from levels which are less difficult and less engaging. Paragon Levels existed so that Magic Find could gradually be phased out, and so that players had a tangible benefit for killing monsters at the maximum level, so even if you didn't find new gear, it didn't feel like you wasted your time. The effect, however, is that Magic Find's value, the thing the system was supposed to eliminate, made leveling in paragon much more worthwhile than playing the game in search of gear normally. Players's started to see Paragon Levels as required, rather than what it represented when it was added: a nice bonus for continued play.

Response to coodav's solutions

1) Give the community an editor

Recall as I said above, that making it easier to get extrinsic rewards rather than challenging is the path many players follow? I'm not sure what your assumption was on how the editor would work, and what content it would create, with what restraints, but I see that the result would likely be trying to make areas where you can very easily be rewarded. While I love editor tools for games, I don't think it makes sense for this one.

2) Alter "cheap" affixes

I agree that this is a good suggestion. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't pan out the way you think it should. I think what happened with Reflect Damage was ultimately handled very well. Some of the other affixes, though, I struggle to see how they might be altered to be more engaging, rather than merely being trivialized. Moving Vortex to only appear on the lead Rare monster might be a bit more fair, though that reduces Champion diversity.

3) Remove the ability to path through monsters

You're right that the abilities that allow this currently are out of balance with other abilities. However, I'm not sure about removing the capacity altogether. It's a very different strategic option, but I'd rather it be balanced with other options rather than removed altogether and demanding every one must play the same way.

4) Increase Game Speed

Increases in game speed don't help strategic complexity nor depth. Making a game faster just makes it harder to execute a complex strategy, which means an increased benefit for builds that rely largely on one skill.

5) Improve AI Complexity

What does this mean? "Increase complexity" doesn't give any impression of how or why it might help. Do you mean give monsters more abilities? That's the only way I can see meaningful complexity added to behaviors. I'd like to see it happen, but new abilities mean new mechanics, which are features best tooled into an expansion.

How I'd like to see the game evolve to improve these areas

(Headers indicate big-picture goals, and are followed by possible suggestions for how to achieve them)

1) Improve the degree to which activities which are both difficult and intrinsically rewarding are linked to extrinsic rewards.

The incoming reduction of scorpion XP helps, along with phasing out "find" stats. These both give you more control to make more difficult monsters consistently more rewarding. It may also help to diversify kinds of rewards. All actions draw from the same pool of rewards. Events and Demonic Essence demonstrate this. The Infernal Machine is a much better example, since it involves a combination of steps and kinds of activities.

Using more complex objectives for the best rewards is something I would like to see more of as a whole. As it stands, all activities draw from the same pool of rewards, but players can pick and choose the easiest ones. What if progress or a special reward had a special combination of requirements, such as exploring certain points, defeating a certain number of particularly difficult enemies, killing with the environment only, completing objectives within a certain time-frame, or avoiding death throughout the ordeal?

2) Improve the level to which build and gear decisions create overt trade-offs.

You've expressed a desire to improve this in gear, but the same applies to skills inconsistently. Glass Cannon, for example, has a very steep trade-off cost, while Weapons Master's restrictions never feel like a penalty. The inherent value of critical hits means that at high levels, skills that benefit or benefit from critical hits stop feeling like a trade-off. Some of what makes this difficult is how everything is weighed in "deal damage" "mitigate damage" "avoid CC".

One thing I do like about Weapons Master in itself is that it offers different benefits under different conditions. It is like four mutually exclusive skills in one. It might be worth examining what ways skills that are too broadly powerful might be broken up into more exclusive effects, accomplishing a stronger trade-off effect.

3) Bring the degree of synergy between skills into a better balance.

This is probably helped largely by improving trade-offs, but it is still an important element to consider. More multi-faceted passives like Weapons Master could allow for almost any set of skills to have at least some small level of synergy. I believe part of what restricts build diversity is the demand for skill synergy, devaluing skills that don't synergize. Perhaps everything should synergize to some degree, or there should be far more options that support diversity with exclusive synergy.

4) Link difficulty to greater mechanical complexity rather than just damage and health scaling

A number of people have recommended giving normal monsters random affixes to increase difficulty. I think the fact that some monsters already have a natural ability that resembles an affix is a good thing. In fact, I hope that more normal monsters will have distinct "affix-like" attributes in the future. The best thing about this is that affixes consistently linked to the same monster enables an immediately recognizable visual link between an effect and a monster, allowing the player to react and plan quickly and meaningfully.

Something I have noticed as a result of seeing increased monster density in the latest PTR is that while there are more monsters, the homogenization of the type of monster represented in a pack becomes more evident. Lumping a variety of monsters together is a small step to take advantage of existing mechanics and making them more interesting and difficult through combination.
Edited by Daybreak#1587 on 5/1/2013 1:50 AM PDT
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Posts: 11,671
1. Strategic placement of character
2. Strategic use/placement of skills
3. Ability to quickly respond to environment and patterns.


I actually felt as though we HAD these three points at launch. The original inferno at release allowed us to make use of all of these factors. I played a DH at launch, and

1) opening combat was generally done diagonally for maximum range as a ranged class. We cleared enough are so we had space to kite, preferably to an area where we could kite in circles allowing enough time/space to kill elite packs.

2) Spike trap users generally used doors and corners to stack traps. NT users did full stack sharpshooter and diagonal shooting for maximum burst damage on elites. We also used walls and bondries to make sure our attacks hit the target(s).

3) ALL ranged mobs were considered dangerous. In zones (when possible) we always traveled sideways or upwards, avoiding walking down as much as possible. We also had to make sure we had enough area cleared to fight elites without running into too many adds.

The problem is as soon as it because easy enough to gear and take a few hits, the relevance of using this type of strategy became more or less irrelevant. There's no reason to plan strategy ahead when you know you can simply take the hits. There is no reason to keep range, since there is no benefit of being at range.

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.


As someone who finished inferno the first week of release, I have to say Nightmare was more difficult than inferno for me as a DH. The real issue here is that by nightmare ranged mobs generally one-shot me on nightmare the same as in inferno. However, at nightmare gear limitations on resources (disc) as well as the skill/rune choices available made the content relatively challenging. By the time I was on inferno, I had enough disc to handle pretty much any situation as long as there was enough free space for kiting.

You're absolutely right here, that there isn't anything "new" that adds challenge on higher difficulties. As a matter of a fact, like my experience showed, we had HIGHER resources in the higher difficulty, which made the game overall easier.

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.


This issue is an effect of mobs not doing enough damage. If mobs (or elite affixes for that matter) did higher damage, we would have to path in ways that will avoid damage taken. The way the game is right now, more mobs = more healing from LifeSteal, which means more mobs = easier. This is pretty evident when watching specs like WW Barbs in action. In MANY cases when a WW barb dies, it's when there are fewer mobs, such as a single yellow elite up with no more minions or trash mobs.

Strafe DH actually DOES rely on positioning, because the grenades bounce. The end result is that standing on top of mobs is more beneficial than playing strafe at range. I wrote a guide on the DH forums about this a while back.

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.


Most CC actually lasts short enough that they can be dealt with by positioning. Like Vortex can only pull you in a strait line, knockback requires you to be directly next to a mob, and jailer can be broken by many abilities. Nightmarish is probably the most "random" of the elite affixes, where there isn;t much you can do about them.

Fallen maniacs also glow for pre-detonation so you can just walk away from them without getting killed by them. From my recorded videos, nearly all my deaths are actually a result of rubberbanding.

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 are actually a pretty good variety of skill choices and builds for classes such as monks. There are also patterns in which we do attacks as well. There is also a variety of playstyles that are viable as well. It's only certain classes, such as DH, where skill synergies are practically non-existent.

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).


This is once again a result of mobs not doing enough damage. If we can simply tank the hits, there is no reason to take effort in avoiding the damage. The current gear in the game, with 6 affixes, allows us to get high DPS AND high eHP without having to sacrifice too much of either stat. If gear was limited to like 4 affixes, players would need to make a balance on DPS, eHP, AND CC in order to survive.

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.


Blizzard doesn't need to offer these tools. They simply need to use these tools themselves, and make elites (and mobs in general) that do a respectable amount of damage. The fact is, as long as the mobs aren't dangerous, there is no reason to use effort OR skill.

04/30/2013 05:58 PMPosted by Lylirra
Popular builds don't account for position or placement of skills, and we could do more to scale difficulty better.


This is where I feel Blizzard has been lacking the most. The MOST difficult variation of inferno was the version at launch, where the fastest players have finished in three days. Even I finished inferno in a week, as the first action RPG I've played. However, they simply nerfed that version instead of simply offering an alternative version for players who wished for easier gameplay. So we can't even go back to play that version, because it no longer exists.

Monster power was well discussed on the PTR where MANY players felt the damage scaling was much too low, while HP just went up. It was EASILY predictable that ranged classes would play as "tank" classes as a result, I even uploaded videos on my youtube channel to demonstrate this before the MP system went live. Tanking MP10 mobs was simply too easy, AND gear is just getting better while monsters are not getting harder.

The fact is, difficulty in this game is REALLY poorly scaled. A vast majority of upgrades I've found for my character simply went on the AH, because there is NO POINT in wearing better gear since the content doesn't require it.
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hey, chill. Not all of us finished inferno in "3 days" or "1 week". You did that with an Barb or Monk? Let me guess ... it was an DH/Wiz.

Seriously. I dont understand where this "Inferno was already to easy back then" comes from. If the game is really that easy for you, then use your own challanges god damnit. Like playing only with blue gear. Or restricting your self ONLY to gear that drops in Hell. That way you will still need 2 or 3 years to beat MP10 AND you will die a lot. There. All the challanges you want.

How much of a "challange" can people expect in an GEAR based game? Dont you guys understand where that whining is coming from? If D3 would be an real skill based game, or Diablo as game in general, then people would have no real argument. Because it all depends on player skill then. How much you know about attack patters and the enemy. But Diablo is a GEAR BASED game.

IT SIMPLY IS NOT FUN TO FACE A BRICK WALL!

And that is what you always get with difficulties that are to high in the game! Because suddenly only the most effective builds manage to survive. You can NEVER EVER achieve totall balance here.

Many people enjoy this game BECAUSE they can face tank everything with the right gear! THAT IS WHAT DIABLO ALWAYS WAS ABOUT! Crushing monsters like a boss.

if I would actually want a game that is about player skill and a lot of tactics or balance, then I would not play a game like Diablo.

Basically this, character placement can only be optional.

yeah, and I am really surprised about what people actually "demand" here, when there are A LOT bigger fish to fry.

They complain about the Berzerker? Really? There are not worse problems in the game?

Like how you have to play the quests over and over again in a game that is heavily about farming ... or that boss monsters are instances. There are so many things that go against the aRPG Diablo was and make the game feel more "MMO" like. The Berzerker is exactly working like it should. It makes you feel like you "broke the game", but it is not totally out of the line, because only a combination of skills (!) grants you that ability. And only if you have a minimum in gear (enough CC). its not the fault of this build, that CC only gear, is as cheap like dirt now.
Edited by CrniVuk#2227 on 5/1/2013 2:07 AM PDT
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Its not build's fault, gear can outmuscle content to a point where you don't need strategy anymore.
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Perhaps the game needs some "soft" CC and some "hard" CC.

"Soft" CC would consist of unavoidable CC such as Nightmarish, Jailer, Knockback, etc.
"Hard" CC would consist of avoidable CC such as Frozen (Sadly, there isn't many).

Crowd Control immunity should grant you "immunity" against "soft" CC only. Whether WotB is on or not, Frozen will still freeze you unless you dodge it.

Reduce the damage of unavoidable attack and abilities (usually basic attack from the monster) but increase the damage of avoidable damage, depending on how easy it can be dodged. Slow projectile should hurt a lot while fast projectile should hurt less.

IMO, that would be a good start.


I don't like these ideas, but I have to admit they're better than a lot of ideas I've read on this topic. I was under the impression that the game already semi worked this way..

Hmmm... I'll have to think about how we might better use your idea than what you described...

~Philoi.
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05/01/2013 02:06 AMPosted by Vanhioss
Its not build's fault, gear can outmuscle content to a point where you don't need strategy anymore.

exactly! And that is what I love so much about Diablo games. Its brainless fun. Its an action RPG in its core.

The sad issue today is that ALL RPGs are very similar to that. Even Dragon Age, which was supposed to be "not" like that.

But Diablo was loved for the very simple feeling you have with powerfull characters. You just get in, crush the stuff, and get out with the loot - if there is any.
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04/30/2013 06:54 PMPosted by FrozenSoul
Another thing is, skills are almost all straightforward, do skills make big difference in a narrow area and in an open area, do they usually partially absorbed by walls (like wizard's ground lightning) or do they bounce from hitting objects. This is where in the skill rune system you can improve.


Good points in this post.
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I think the idea behind Diablo 3, that its an item based game, where player skill plays very little to no role, is awesome. Its what Diablo was always about. Playing the game brain afk if you want so.

And thats one of the reasons why I dont understand this "nerf WotB/archon" mentality. if I would actually want a game that is about player skill and a lot of tactics or balance, then I would not play a game like Diablo.


We don't *have* to nerf skills to have a mentally challenging game... the game itself should be challenging.. not the weakness of skills or over-poweredness of monsters.. the game should be a challenge.. a puzzle in some parts.. and can still contain fun powerful skills that players can use both with precision and skill but also smoothly and at ease if they wish.. depending upon what we're trying to do in the game.

.. ugh.. why do I often get on here late?.. I'm too tired to explain properly..

Diablo *is* a hack-and-slash.. but it isn't just a screen saver with pretty colors to be stared at.. it is an adventure roleplaying game.. it is a gothic horror feel game.. there should be challenge and feelings of fear and epic heroism etc etc..
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Posts: 11,671
hey, chill. Not all of us finished inferno in "3 days" or "1 week". You did that with an Barb or Monk? Let me guess ... it was an DH/Wiz.

Seriously. I dont understand where this "Inferno was already to easy back then". If the game is really that easy for you, then use your own challanges god damnit. Like playing only with blue gear. Or restricting your self ONLY to gear that drops in Hell. That way you will still need 2 or 3 years to beat MP10 AND you will die a lot. There. All the challanges you want.


We've asked for higher difficulty content with no increases in reward. They could simply add in a monster power called "Legacy" and just make it identical to inferno at launch.

If I were given the chance to, I'd definitely try playing a Monk on the original inferno difficulty with self found gear. Monk was the second class I rolled (after DH), and inferno was already nerfed before I got it to lv 60.

I also did my own challenges, but it's hard to keep so many set of gear, and have to swap them around all the time just for a challenge. I already did the bosses in all blues on inferno prior to monster power when practicing for HC as well. However, at the end Blizzard SHOULD be the one's making challenges for us rather than forcing us to remove our gear to have a challenge.

-----

If the game has easy content as the standard, that's fine. However, I don't see why Blizzard is so against having OPTIONAL challenging content.
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