Efficiency: The Achilles Heel of Diablo 3

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01/25/2015 03:08 PMPosted by Drothvader
Claim: Removing the timers will make more builds viable
Reality: Making builds balanced will make more builds viable


exactly.....
Greater Rifts are a dumb idea to be honest. That is all there is to it.

1. There should only be one Rift game mode.

2. Replace Greater Rifts with Time Trials (Because that is what they are and the OP explains it well). NO LOOT IS DROPPED IN THESE TRIALS NOT EVEN ON THE FINAL BOSS.

3. Rework Rifts into an endless dungeon setup. You are there for as long as you want to be there. Not when a meter feels up and says that you are finished or hitting the end after 5 or 10 levels. The further you go the more powerful the mobs and item drops become. A 1% increase in item power per level seems like a good start. Being on level 50 means items can roll up to 50% better than a level 1 item and you will need that extra power to even have a chance at surviving at those levels.

This would also mean that the builds viewed as " not good " would eventually obtain power and not remain static like they are now.

4. Change how many rift fragments you get from Bounties to 1 from the cache. Blizz said they wanted people to still play in the game world after all - after rejecting an endless dungeon idea from the community and before putting out their lame version of it in the current Rifts.
01/25/2015 07:29 PMPosted by Vhailor
Also, as an aside - there will be some severe consequences if the timer is removed. Picture how many bots will be designed to occupy the Leaderboards


The original intent of the idea was to have non timed GRifts not count towards ranking, obviously a ranking system in which a bot could spend 10 hours slowly whittling down at a boss is a problem.

If you want to address rankings, the subconversation that happened in this thread suggested removing timers AND adding a death penalty to GRifts. Doing one or the other won't help anything, both are necessary in conjunction, to get anything meaningful done.

01/25/2015 07:29 PMPosted by Vhailor
The removal of timers will boost all builds by a few levels. Moreover, it would boost the most efficient builds by the greatest amount; so you'd probably see about 5-10 levels gained by builds at the top of the Leaderboard, and about 3-5 gained for your less-efficient Toughness-based builds (assuming a person was actually doing the playing, and not a bot).


And?

01/25/2015 07:29 PMPosted by Vhailor
Sets, on the other hand, boost specific types of play in relation to others. This allows for a mix-up in the build hierarchy, and, theoretically, build variety. Very important difference.


Sets tell you how to play and invalidate every other game mechanic without a proper set synergy. Sets are a cancer.

01/25/2015 07:34 PMPosted by Vyleblud
A little off-topic, but I have to say that I got a pretty good laugh when they showed new class sets at Blizzcon and then said they would not be in the next patch. Its going to take them a year to add items to the game that they already started making- and in many ways have working. Even the biggest apologists have to be shaking their heads at that.


Next expansion will fix it.

Design by items is a terrible idea that's never going to work for this reason and many others.
I always thought a build was something you created to act in opposition to the environment. in this case grifts with a timer.

That's your goal. Beat grifts with a timer. So if you remove timers, you are altering the entire playing field, and all the builds are now being created to act in opposition of this NEW environment: grifts without timers.

so what happens is that all builds possible are "re-assessed" in comparison to this new environment. This assessment is their viability. But the term viability could mean how many legendary items it rakes in how many players find it fun enough to create....

Me personally I just hate the arcade idiot feeling of timers and power ups and all that garbage.....but that crap certainly has a market....

but yes, changing the environment or removing timers....while it does not technically alter builds by tying skills together or buffing them or anything...it does cause a reassessment of every build possible now functioning in this new environment. its very block like and changes how EVERY build is viewed potentially And so naturally certain combinations that were not being used before very well might start popping up....

I was one of those slow wankers.....a tank from back in vanilla. I did take a huge long time killing monsters. I would take 20 minutes to kill and MP7 Act 3 warden. I did laugh at the monsters not being able to hurt me.....

unfortunately blizzard did FAR too little to encourage this innovative experimental abstract eccentric character growing experience...........

as other have pointed out and as the OP has articulated....they just took their cheap stupid "efficiency hammer" and beat the game up with it and called it a day;

So now everyone can run around with huge DPS and trifecta trash, while the devs take months and years to dream up a new set......and that's the game.

Sadly.
Win and Awesome.


I'd say the real reason the game is so efficiency focused is because it's balanced around it.

That is, the game barely feels rewarding enough when played in the most efficient way so doing anything weaker is just out of the question. Compare with any other game of its type where there is almost invariably one thing better than everything else but more than one thing is "good enough", the result being those not obsessed with efficiency can safely ignore it, and those that are sort of have some variety (instead of exhausting one build and then being bored of the game).
01/25/2015 08:58 PMPosted by Shurgosa
So now everyone can run around with huge DPS and trifecta trash, while the devs take months and years to dream up a new set......and that's the game.


Sets, something that holds back creativity >_>

If a Monk doesn't use SWK, his spenders deal 5x less damage.
If a Wizard doesn't use Firebird, she loses up to 3000% extra DPS.
If a DH doesn't use Marauder, her spenders deal up to 5x less damage.
If a Barb doesn't use Furious Charge, he's going to be behind because his spenders blow.
01/25/2015 09:16 PMPosted by Spectral
Win and Awesome.


I'd say the real reason the game is so efficiency focused is because it's balanced around it.

That is, the game barely feels rewarding enough when played in the most efficient way so doing anything weaker is just out of the question. Compare with any other game of its type where there is almost invariably one thing better than everything else but more than one thing is "good enough", the result being those not obsessed with efficiency can safely ignore it, and those that are sort of have some variety (instead of exhausting one build and then being bored of the game).

This is exactly right.
01/25/2015 09:16 PMPosted by DoomBringer
01/25/2015 08:58 PMPosted by Shurgosa
So now everyone can run around with huge DPS and trifecta trash, while the devs take months and years to dream up a new set......and that's the game.


Sets, something that holds back creativity >_>


really? i was creative http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Alukat-2633/hero/48377518

sets are only necessary if you want to get to GR 50+..... they aren't necessary for T6/GR~30.....
01/25/2015 08:10 PMPosted by Logos
Sets tell you how to play and invalidate every other game mechanic without a proper set synergy. Sets are a cancer.

01/25/2015 09:16 PMPosted by DoomBringer
Sets, something that holds back creativity >_>

I think sets get wrongfully blamed for a lot of the games problems. The true problem with the game is still the lack of competitive and synergistic legendary items.

The powerful 6-piece sets take up exactly that, 6 item slots. But each character still has 13 total item slots. There is no reason why the 6 piece sets need to completely crush creativity; you still have more than 1/2 of your slots to be creative with. Add RoRG, and the possibilities should be varied! But unfortunately, there are so few useful legendary items in this game, that every slot has essentially a single specific item that works for a build, if not across nearly every build (SoJ, Witching Hour, Hellfire Amulet).

You can remove 6 piece sets, and the game is in exactly the same state. Look at the WD. There's no 6 piece set for Pet Doctors, but your items are just as set in stone. They're not using Leoric's or Andariel's... Sure you can go zdps, or fetish army, but it's about as different as a Demon Hunter choosing between Pride's Fall for cold or Cindercoat for fire. The only difference is that the items are gold instead of green.

I recognize what everyone is trying to get at. With such powerful 6 piece set bonuses, your damage is pretty much all or nothing. You can't just swap out one piece, otherwise you sacrifice everything, and so in a sense this is more restrictive than having 13 items that you can freely swap out.

But for this to be the case, we need to have multiple items that work together with the same build to offer slight variations. Unfortunately, since we're not even at the state of having multiple builds for a single class I can't even imagine the game being at this point where a single build has a plethora of options to choose from.

I think with multiple 6 piece sets, and interesting legendary properties on the off set slots, the game still has a real chance to be imaginative and fun. But when 1/2 the DH weapons have no real legendary property, or are special because they have a +%element damage roll, and the same goes for bracers (boring stats) and belts (WH for sheet DPS) any hope of freedom or creativity is squashed.

When the sets take up 6 slots, and there is only 1 slot free for an interesting legendary there's a creativity problem. But it doesn't need to be this way. The devs just seem to have a real issue creating legendary items that are interesting or powerful for the off-set slots.
01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
I think with multiple 6 piece sets, and interesting legendary properties on the off set slots, the game still has a real chance to be imaginative and fun. But when 1/2 the DH weapons have no real legendary property, or are special because they have a +%element damage roll, and the same goes for bracers (boring stats) and belts (WH for sheet DPS) any hope of freedom or creativity is squashed.

Some classes such as the Crusader already have this and this is the direction the game is heading.

You use the base 6 piece set then you fine tune it with supplementary items and a RORG. They point you in a general direction and you decide on the final destination.
01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
01/25/2015 08:10 PMPosted by Logos
Sets tell you how to play and invalidate every other game mechanic without a proper set synergy. Sets are a cancer.

01/25/2015 09:16 PMPosted by DoomBringer
Sets, something that holds back creativity >_>

I think sets get wrongfully blamed for a lot of the games problems. The true problem with the game is still the lack of competitive and synergistic legendary items.

The powerful 6-piece sets take up exactly that, 6 item slots. But each character still has 13 total item slots. There is no reason why the 6 piece sets need to completely crush creativity; you still have more than 1/2 of your slots to be creative with. Add RoRG, and the possibilities should be varied! But unfortunately, there are so few useful legendary items in this game, that every slot has essentially a single specific item that works for a build, if not across nearly every build (SoJ, Witching Hour, Hellfire Amulet).

You can remove 6 piece sets, and the game is in exactly the same state. Look at the WD. There's no 6 piece set for Pet Doctors, but your items are just as set in stone. They're not using Leoric's or Andariel's... Sure you can go zdps, or fetish army, but it's about as different as a Demon Hunter choosing between Pride's Fall for cold or Cindercoat for fire. The only difference is that the items are gold instead of green.

I recognize what everyone is trying to get at. With such powerful 6 piece set bonuses, your damage is pretty much all or nothing. You can't just swap out one piece, otherwise you sacrifice everything, and so in a sense this is more restrictive than having 13 items that you can freely swap out.

But for this to be the case, we need to have multiple items that work together with the same build to offer slight variations. Unfortunately, since we're not even at the state of having multiple builds for a single class I can't even imagine the game being at this point where a single build has a plethora of options to choose from.

I think with multiple 6 piece sets, and interesting legendary properties on the off set slots, the game still has a real chance to be imaginative and fun. But when 1/2 the DH weapons have no real legendary property, or are special because they have a +%element damage roll, and the same goes for bracers (boring stats) and belts (WH for sheet DPS) any hope of freedom or creativity is squashed.

When the sets take up 6 slots, and there is only 1 slot free for an interesting legendary there's a creativity problem. But it doesn't need to be this way. The devs just seem to have a real issue creating legendary items that are interesting or powerful for the off-set slots.


The thing is, 6 pieces sets are far too restrictive and barely flexible.

In general, sets will occupy the following slots:
Helm
Chest/Torso
Pants
Boots
Shoulders
Gloves

You can swap out one and use RoRG.

If they want to stick with 6 pieces set, they should make them more flexible. Give set items more pieces (a 6 pieces set with only 6 items in the set is not flexible. To make it worse, some pieces are out of question aka Harvester Set and the Helm). Sets that require 6 pieces should have more options. I would argue that every Class Specific (and torment exclusive) sets should have an option for every gear slot. Add a new restriction if needed: you cannot have more than 2 active 6 pieces set at once.

With this, we would be able to customize more. Sure, we will always have a "better" choices, but at very least, we'll have a chance of being slightly different without suffering heavily from inefficiency.

01/25/2015 10:36 PMPosted by Drothvader
Some classes such as the Crusader already have this and this is the direction the game is heading.

You use the base 6 piece set then you fine tune it with supplementary items and a RORG. They point you in a general direction and you decide on the final destination.


I was under the impression that they wanted the exact opposite. I believe they were not happy with the Akkhan Set. They wanted more "specific" sets instead of more "general" sets.

*Specific such as SWK*

Edit:

I misread. You are referring to the Crusader "Legendary" items, not their set.

I agree that the Crusader has somewhat a good variety (need more). I'm not sure how I feel about a Belt that casts Bombardment every 6-8 seconds. It's kind of boring.
01/25/2015 10:36 PMPosted by Drothvader
You use the base 6 piece set then you fine tune it with supplementary items and a RORG. They point you in a general direction and you decide on the final destination.

And I'm very happy about this. As you said, you can tell the game is moving in this direction and I think that with multiple base 6 piece sets, and more legendary items the game in 1 year will be vastly more varied than it is now.

But at the same time, I do get worried when I see a few of the items they wind up releasing.

Personally, I feel that if a new item has no place in the current 6-piece (BiS) build or if it cannot work together with other existing items to create a new build competitive with the classes BiS build, then it has absolutely no place in the game. I'm not saying that the item needs to be 100% exactly balanced, but if M6 can get you to GR45, then I don't think the devs should release a new DH item where the best build using it can barely clear T6 in 20 minutes.

In the previous patch, Demon Hunters got such an item. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/wojahnni-assaulter. Maybe in a year there will be a viable rapid fire build. But for now, this item has absolutely no use in the game; it's legendary property is unusable.

And for season 2 we get
Odyssey's End: Enemies snared by Entangling Shot take 20-25% more damage from all sources.

Now it's not a terrible weapon, and I'm sure some people will wind up using it with M6, because you do need some generator. But it's not really an interesting legendary item. It doesn't introduce a new powerful mechanic. It just makes your numbers slightly larger. is that truly their best attempt at modifying Entangling shot?

I just find it rather unfortunate, that with each class only getting 1 specific legendary item per season, we still wind up getting legendary properties that are rather lackluster. To me, this doesn't inspire confidence in their ability to create multiple competitive builds in the future.

At least I'm not alone.
01/25/2015 10:47 PMPosted by DoomBringer
I'm not sure how I feel about a Belt that casts Bombardment every 6-8 seconds. It's kind of boring.
i think OP's concern can be summarized into a simple idea:

"there's not enough things to do in D3"

its not that efficiency is plaguing the game, its that every mode we're given is based off efficiency
thus, the gamers feel overwhelmed and bored by the efficiency nature modes

non-time rifts is a good idea to keep the game fresh and make less common items/skills be more useful

no one really uses shields, blackthornes, or defensive gems, its not because the items are bad in nature, its because current game modes do not promote EHP based combat, everything is DPS based combat

it has always been a problem that was never fixed
why are emeralds in weapons better than everything?? because combat is DPS based
01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
I think sets get wrongfully blamed for a lot of the games problems. The true problem with the game is still the lack of competitive and synergistic legendary items.


That you have to wait for a new item to "give you permission" to make a skill decently strong is the problem.

01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
The powerful 6-piece sets take up exactly that, 6 item slots.


But of those slots that sets DON'T take up, the choices for what to put into the other slots literally smack you in the face.

01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
You can remove 6 piece sets, and the game is in exactly the same state


Except you don't have skills doing 5x or more than the damage of other skills.

01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
Look at the WD. There's no 6 piece set for Pet Doctors, but your items are just as set in stone.


Right, because if you want a pet build, the game literally treats you like you're two years old and tells you what to use. T and T, Mask of Jeram, etc. I have less of a problem with that than I do sets widening the power gap between set vs nonset skill set ups.

01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
Unfortunately, since we're not even at the state of having multiple builds for a single class


This is my problem with sets. I'm of the mind that if there's an outlier you nerf it down. Otherwise we're in the position we are now, where we're going to wait 3 years+ before the devs finally attribute to every skill / build a set / legendary combination to make it not suck.

01/25/2015 10:26 PMPosted by Lollz
I think with multiple 6 piece sets, and interesting legendary properties on the off set slots, the game still has a real chance to be imaginative and fun.


Like I said: Next expansion will fix it.

01/25/2015 10:36 PMPosted by Drothvader
Some classes such as the Crusader already have this and this is the direction the game is heading.


The only choice I've seen for a Crusader is SoJ vs Leoric's Crown.
01/24/2015 12:49 PMPosted by Drothvader
01/24/2015 12:42 PMPosted by DoomBringer
Unavoidable damage was supposed to make death more fair.

Death is more fair...

If you're getting one shot by Jailer it's because you don't have enough mitigation to counter it. The point is you're supposed to strike a balance between both.

01/24/2015 12:42 PMPosted by DoomBringer
1) They one shot you regardless of your toughness.

I've been up to Greater Rift 38 and I've never been one shot. The damage increase of monsters above Greater Rift 30 is barely even noticeable.
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Droth, you should be slapped for this comment. Unavoidable one shot damage should be a gear check, if the content didn't scale exponentially. GRifts are the most valid content for this complaint as anything above GRift 40 will one shot even the beefiest champs. There's a reason why the most ranged builds in the game, regardless of class, are the ones clearing up to or past GRift 50.

Unavoidable damage in an ARPG is lazy. Unavoidable damage that can, and likely will, one shot a player is bad content.
My thoughts exactly. Wanted to do a write-up about it since the release of endless rifts but never found the time to.

Diversity and Efficiency are mutually exclusive concepts. You can't expect people to play builds they like when efficiency determines player power.

You are amplifying the frustration of players who:
1) Want to play their own builds but can't because efficiency decided their builds were incompetent.

2) After being the on receiving end of 1), they then find themselves unable(bad luck etc.) to acquire the specific gear required for the builds they didn't want to play in the first place.

When you made efficieny king, you killed off the creativity and freedom in the game. You also made rng very punishing.
I felt OP was on the right track contending that the max level content should not be mixed with a timed metric. But I think the idea of 3 total rift types is going to feel cluttered to a dev -- even at the outside chance they're willing to accept what's essentially an indictment of their endgame philosophy.

A seemingly simpler solution is to just give the player bonus drops or rewards for a GR completed in under the 15 minutes and the base level rewards for completing in over 15 minutes. That way "advancing" (i.e., accessing a GR one level higher) is not determined by timed completion. Complete in under 15:00 and you get the same scaling as before with extra rewards of some kind, so there is still a motivation to complete as quickly as possible. It introduces some diversity to gameplay because it means there's actually some motivation to speed-clearing a 25 even if you can grind through a 32 (I play HC).

I also think that if we haven't already, we're going to see a serious lack of interest in the fact that the only REAL reason to care about completing a higher GR than yesterday is to have a 15% chance to level your gem instead of 8, or 4 instead of 2. I have some 30s and 31s in HC and I don't even bother with the 1% shots on them anymore -- fortunately for me, however, I play 4 classes and not all of them are that high yet. I'm not complaining that the scaling is too harsh, I'm simply pointing out that it becomes incrementally more difficult to defeat each GR level while it becomes geometrically more difficult to rank up the gem for each corresponding increase in level completion. I would be a little surprised if they didn't realize from the beginning that players would hit a wall on this.

At the end of the day, this discussion of scaling in power is all very well and good and true, that players will be more interested in a powerful character than an efficient character (for the sake of power). But ultimately, this really is just a big Pavlov machine. The whole reason you hunt legendaries is because your brain floods with endorphins when you hear that "Sshhhhhing!" We're going to need a new, and more compelling reason to care about being more powerful before long. The gem scaling is up against a wall.
01/25/2015 10:53 PMPosted by xSkilling
no one really uses shields, blackthornes, or defensive gems, its not because the items are bad in nature, its because current game modes do not promote EHP based combat, everything is DPS based combat

it has always been a problem that was never fixed
why are emeralds in weapons better than everything?? because combat is DPS based


well blackthorns is used by some tanks but the problem here is items and affixes in general are (missing word here)

example -> blockamount on shields, thorns or magicfind on a gem and so on...
01/24/2015 12:11 PMPosted by babinro
Simple examples off the top of my head:
1) Endless dungeon - just like it sounds...unlimited floors with bosses every x floors. It's rifting without any increased challenge or goals. Perfect for continuous zen play.

2) Survival Mode (Jar of Souls mode) - Waves of monsters that increase rift level with each wave. Players remain in this mode until they die once trying to survive the most waves.

3) Superhero Mode - A mode that brings you through an endless dungeon where loot levels and monster levels scale each floor. Watch your character grown with insane stats as they equip level 100 gear, level 120 gear, level 200 gear and make the best out of what they find. Your builds would change every few floors with new items that drop. When you die the mode ends. You return to reality retaining none of the gear (naturally). Instead you could be awarded a number of bounty caches/chests based on your progress. XP from monsters could remain fixed as could gold and mat drops which would still be collected as normal.


This sounds fun to me, variety is the spice of life!
01/23/2015 10:15 PMPosted by TheTias
When people play any kind of RPG, they almost universally expect to grow in power. Sometimes that will make you more efficient, but the real goal is to gain power and/or capabilities that allow you to overcome one hurdle, and then the next, and so on until you beat everything the game has. The basic premise of Diablo 3 is no different, but there are some differences that cause a schism within this paradigm, and those differences are what is holding Diablo 3 back from being a game where it is easy to learn but difficult to master.

Currently efficiency is the name of the game. We have, on paper at least, more builds than we could ever realistically try in the time this game might be around. Unfortunately, the way the difficulty system is structured, only builds that are efficient are actually viable past Torment 1 through Torment 6. This game uses both finite difficulty levels to ease players into learning how the increased difficulty works, and an infinitely scalar difficulty mode called Greater Rifts to test what players can do.

In and of themselves, these two difficulty modes should compliment each other well, and they do, but only up to a point that can be reached fairly quickly by many players. Within the finite difficulty levels (Normal through Torment 6), a majority of the builds players come up with can work. There does come a point where specific builds overtake others by leaps and bounds in terms of how efficient you are in killing the monsters at the highest finite difficulty level, but for those that like challenges and tackling what they can with the build they prefer to use, it generally works decently well.

Greater rifts however, do not fare so well. The way they work is twofold. Difficulty increases incrementally for each new level you reach, but you are also constrained by a timer. What this does is shift the meta in the game from being powerful to simply being efficient. Power is expected, and unfortunately because there are no limits to how powerful the game's monsters can get, power creep is begrudgingly expected too. The problem with this system is that while the player can potentially handle greater levels of difficulty with their desired build, if their build is not efficient enough to complete the level within the timer, they are not allowed to progress to a higher difficulty, even if the build can handle it. What greater rifts currently amount to are what most games call time trials. Typically that mode is optional and only used to test your proficiency at using your skills to be efficient. But those games usually have a main play mode that lets you tackle increasing challenges so long as you can physically take them on. Time does not matter in that main play mode.

And so greater rifts, which are currently the only "endgame" as it were in Diablo 3, are thus limited to being a glorified Time Trial mode. Players are continuously being frustrated because they know they can handle more difficulty, but are being held back by a timer. They are playing a version of the game that is far more limiting than players expect in most every other game. But it doesn't have to be this way.

What would make the greater rifts a better measurement for the classes and individual builds is to make it so that the timer acts as a bonus to the loot rewards, not the means by which you advance to the next level. There are a lot of players out there that like the challenge of scraping by to get to the next challenge. Being limited by a timer has the net effect of greatly reducing viability for about 95% of the builds out there past not so high greater rift levels. Shifting the success criteria from efficiency to actual capability would make greater rifts a true RPG/ARPG element. The timer can then be merely an incentive to try and be more efficient, not the factor by which your success or failure is determined. That should be determined by your capability, not an arbitrary number. Think of it like the timer in the old game Donkey Kong Jr. Basically that timer and D3's timer work on the same principle, but via different mechanisms, but both suffer from the same flaw: no matter what the player's skills and capabilities are, the timer eventually cannot be defeated. Instead, it should be the monsters that cannot be defeated and the timer just giving you bonuses for succeeding efficiently.

The net result of the timer is that the player isn't necessarily tested to the limits of their capabilities as a player, but merely to the limits of their chosen build's ability to be efficient. The higher difficulties still await them, but they can't reach them because they are not efficient enough. But challenge does not need to be tied to or even about efficiency. Yes, the players are measured currently on what time constraints they can overcome, but not what difficulty they can reach and succeed in. Their true potential is never known because of an arbitrary number. But if that arbitrary number were instead used as a bonus meter instead of an impetus to seeking greater challenge, how high could you go? You could choose to try to be efficient for the quickest times, as powerful as you can get while being efficient in order to test what you can do within a limited time frame (the current system), or you could try to see how powerful you really can be.

Monsters in the game don't care about time, only power. They do not care if you are efficient. The current design of the monsters is hated in greater rifts because the players feel that they are all designed to do nothing but slow you down instead of actually challenge you. It's like telling somebody that walking through mud is a challenge in and of itself when the real challenge lies in tactical decisions. But we don't have time for tactical decisions, just tactical nuking.

Imagine the current greater rift mode being renamed to Time Rifts and an actual untimed scaling difficulty mode put in its place. Time Rifts would be there to test your efficiency and how fast you can clear things. Greater Rifts would then actually be aptly named because they would allow the player to take on greater difficulty.

If you ask most players about their feelings regarding time trials in most other games, they'll likely tell you that they're good for testing speed, but not much else. When they look for difficulty, they don't look at time trials (except in racing games of course, where efficiency is by necessity a top priority), they look toward more powerful enemies, more challenging puzzles, and more intricate mechanisms within the game. Time trials are not conducive to any of those desires.

In a Diablo 3 that had a mode that actually increased difficulty and allowed you to tackle it any way you see fit, the meta shifts from being efficient to figuring out how you can best overcome the next challenge. It gives the loot hunt more depth in that instead of just looking for bigger numbers to beat an arbitrary number, you look for those bigger numbers and specific items to have them on in order to squeeze out every last bit of power you can muster. True difficulty comes not from speed, but tactics. The problem is, tactics takes time, and using a limit on your time also reduces your choices for tactical combat to next to nothing. It deprives the player of a sense of satisfaction because they know that when being tested for speed, they aren't being tested for capability, which is what players really want out of Diablo 3.

Diablo 2 ended up being about efficiency once you nailed down your build because it only had a finite difficulty system. Diablo 3 has an infinite difficulty system which by its very nature is hindered by forcing speed above all else.

So we as players should be asking ourselves: Do we want to get their first at all costs, even if it means playing a build we don't like because there is no other mathematically viable choice, or do we want to be king of the hill and be the one on top because we overcame the challenges facing us?

Personally, I would prefer the latter. Time trials are great once in a while, but what is the point of having an infinitely scaling difficulty system when you are never allowed to test yourself on those difficulty levels?

Edit: Further clarification on my intent can be found in the following post(s):

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/15700256834?page=4#79

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/15700256834?page=6#109
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I disagree.

I think that efficiency is what is most important and I think the 15 minute timer is most correct.

power you say is what overcomes variance in the mold....

you say it is efficiency that determines grift skill and it is... ... or an average that beats the clock that declares a build successful... ... just because you can get 100% elite damage doesn't mean every monster you meet should be an elite. otherwise, it isn't very elite......

nice try. but I think you are wrong. you have to be both efficient and able to kill monsters.

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