Primal Ancients: Issues With Design Philosophy

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Like a few others around here, I am taking issue with the introduction of Primal Ancients. I took a similar, but less vested, issue with Ancient items.

This is simply stat boosting / power creep, but not in a way that creatively changes, enhances, or benefits game-play. This current design philosophy seems to be stagnating the growth of the game by ultimately keeping game-play the same. It needs to be changed.

Primal Ancients only extend the same game-play temporarily (as Ancients did). Instead of slowly leveling past Greater Rift X, you will now slowly level past Greater Rift XX dependent on your ability to acquire Primal Ancients.

You aren't doing anything new. You aren't given any new options in which to build your character. It's just bigger stats. Bigger numbers.

The greater issue is with the design choice to have infinite scaling for characters (Paragon) and content (Greater Rifts). Eventually, the Greater Rifts will again be statistically tedious and unrealistic to overcome. The solution is NOT to introduce a new tier of stat increases -- that's only a temporary address.

The idea is not to increase the time it takes to reach the soft cap of statistics, but to better the experience of getting to and playing within the soft cap.

A moderate compromise would be to introduce items that infinitely scale to some degree. Which, in and of itself, is a slippery slope that can lead to negating the quality and importance of all other items -- ultimately leading us back to the same problem with stat boosting. Augmenting using Legendary Gems does this to some extent, but the idea of leveling the gem first enhances game-play.

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To me, the obvious solution would be to introduce loot that affects game-play outside of statistics. The new tier wouldn't necessarily have to be "better" than the Legendary / Ancient tier of items. Just equivalent in some way or to some degree.

For example;

  • What if Primals were items with 2 main stats and 4 secondary stats with their own unique Legendary powers? Now you have an entire item tier that changes how players approach creating characters around secondary effects if they want to utilize new powers.
  • What if Primals were items that enhanced Passive abilities, like how Legendary items enhance Skills?
  • What if Primals exclusively gave characters skills/passives they wouldn't have normally? Like giving a Demon Hunter Sweeping Wind or Juggernaut.
  • What if Primals had their own exclusive and unique Main and Secondary affixes and stats?
  • What if Primals gave you powerful unique bonuses; but gave enemies around you a unique or special buff?


All of these would change how players approach character building while providing better changes than simple stat boosting.

Another way to look at it is this. Assume the "cap" is Greater Rift 100. How do you introduce changes to itemization and new content that allow players to have fun and a different experience within that cap? Changing the numbers under the hood is not an answer.

tldr: stat boosting =/= new content or new game-play. please introduce new content or new game-play. Please address current design philosophy.
Normal items = 100% damage
Ancients = 130%+ damage
Primal Ancients = 170%+??? damage

conclusion is primal ancients will be better then most best in slot normal items... which opens the door to build item build diversity until best in slot primal ancients are obtained.
Awesome analysis instead of I was pro Primal, now i follow you to death

10/10
I keep saying all they do anymore is just add zeros.
Its just a lazy approach to game design. After primal they will make God items that are 100% more stats and u can go far as you want with it just no point.
The same way augments helped bridge the gap between paragon 600 players and paragon 2k players, primal ancients will bridge the gap between players with 2 or 3 ancients and players with 13 ancients but no primals.

Short term, it's going to be very disruptive.
Long term, it's not going to make any difference to the people who will benefit from them the most.

All it really does is punish people who play multiple classes during a season. Now you have a reason to stick with one class because you want all your primal ancients to be on your main class.

Diablo 3 is not a progressive game. It is a generic hack and slash loot based slot machine.

There is nothing wrong with primal ancients because there is nothing wrong with the normal ancients we have already.

The issue is that people with less time to invest in the game or during a season will feel cheated and unrewarded if they don't get any good primal ancients that they can use in their build while the person who sinks 1k+ hours into a season with 13 primal ancients gets rank 1.

Is it good game design? Probably not.
It's your own fault from expecting too much from Blizzard in the first place.
Amazing ideas!
@CoffeeMaid Yes but the problem is once you obtain certain items you only look for ancient one, once you obtain it you're gonna look for better ancient or reroll for better ancient. However once you obtain the ancient one the game has not much more to offer beside spending few hours to obtain same item with 1 better stat, usually you get few worse instead. Blizzard devs just can't take the hint, ppl didn't like rng in d3 so they put rng in wow pvp items (yet no1 complained about system before) and ppl complain about it so they add even more rng with titanforge then when all hope is lost and ppl just don't care anymore they go back and screw ppl playing d3 by adding more rng.
01/31/2017 08:59 PMPosted by Outlaw


For example;

  • What if Primals were items with 2 main stats and 4 secondary stats with their own unique Legendary powers? Now you have an entire item tier that changes how players approach creating characters around secondary effects if they want to utilize new powers.
  • What if Primals were items that enhanced Passive abilities, like how Legendary items enhance Skills?
  • What if Primals exclusively gave characters skills/passives they wouldn't have normally? Like giving a Demon Hunter Sweeping Wind or Juggernaut.
  • What if Primals had their own exclusive and unique Main and Secondary affixes and stats?
  • What if Primals gave you powerful unique bonuses; but gave enemies around you a unique or special buff?


[/quote]

All your proposals are BAD. Period. For example PA item would give other passives from different class - so demon hunter would have bonus to shield block chance? WOW, that is so cool ya? PA with exclusive powers? NO, casuals would be hurt by this design, because they will see 1 or 2 PA items per season...

Just leave your proposals to more experienced players / designers who can think of something more realistic.
He didn't say it would be random did he ? What would happen if we could get a passive to thorns from barb/crusader to another class ? Monks can already be semi-viable with thorns, not for gr pushing or speed t13 but on the same level as inna pet build with taskers and enforcer, not even close to inna/EP yet playable. How about Harmony or Finery ? Or maybe Mantra of Salvation for Hammerdin ? I think for those who play Hammerdins extra survi would be a nice addition.

Honestly I'd be fine if primal ancient would just give and extra secondary. Having extra secondary resistance for example wouldn't hurt anyone but would defo help those builds that are squishy and get random oneshots.
01/31/2017 09:54 PMPosted by CoffeeMaid
All it really does is punish people who play multiple classes during a season.


look at my profile. this totally sucks for me.
02/01/2017 07:55 AMPosted by Firius


All your proposals are BAD. Period. For example PA item would give other passives from different class - so demon hunter would have bonus to shield block chance? WOW, that is so cool ya? PA with exclusive powers? NO, casuals would be hurt by this design, because they will see 1 or 2 PA items per season...

Just leave your proposals to more experienced players / designers who can think of something more realistic.


No they aren't. Period.

They are examples of unique changes you could make without relying on just stat increases. Examples and concepts for example's sake.

You're assuming too much of vague concepts. Giving classes new passives or passives from other classes, doesn't mean that ALL passives are up for grabs, or that the passives would still adhere to the rules of the primary class it comes from. You're thinking too literally. Obviously the passives available would be specifically chosen for their ability to work with any class, or they would be adapted to do so.

Using "casuals" to defend your opinion is of little consequence. Any new feature you introduce will be seen less by players who play less often. The increase in loot diversity (as I am suggesting and providing feedback for) assures that every player has a greater pool in which to make itemization choices from.

Even if a new tier of items dilutes the rate at which you find other items -- the resulting difference with only 1 tier would be almost unnoticeable and would only serve to make finding specific items that much more rewarding. This is assuming the "PA"s are given a new rarity that puts them closer to Legendary or Ancient items.

I know that my account isn't something that impresses those focused on their e-peens, but I've been playing since Beta. I have experienced every form of tedium Diablo III has provided thus far and have been following the successes and follies of the development team since 2008. The experienced designers, want to release Ancient items again under a different name with a new rarity and tier.

My proposed examples -- which are just examples to inspire the kinds of changes that can be made -- actually affect itemization in a game-play sense. And my proposed examples actually work within the itemization, skills, and passive systems themselves -- so there's no actual need to build an entirely new item system from the ground up.

From a game-play perspective, my proposals (again, only to be taken as examples) are healthier changes to the game to promote growth and complexity than simple stat increases.
01/31/2017 09:54 PMPosted by CoffeeMaid

All it really does is punish people who play multiple classes during a season. Now you have a reason to stick with one class because you want all your primal ancients to be on your main class.


Furthermore, imagine how non-meta class will be in general less "geared" from this:
i.e. at the moment people with intend in the leaderboard playing crusader/DH get most of their paragon/augment from subbing support class, as both these are not class related, however with primal it would be another story.

Especially if rerolling won't work, and even if it does it would just mean full time bounty (unless they agree with putting alternate way of getting bounty mats)

edit: the worst thing is as currently 90% of item are trash from non ancient being so much weaker (even though most player have to settle for a couple of non ancient, mostly in jewelry slots since CDR/crits etc... are not increased)
>primal just further this feeling of getting constant useless crap ... to 99% (and that's not even considering most item are useless)

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PS: I kind of remember in the past Blizzard stating some change were made to avoid extra rare item to hinder the game experience (e.g. like furnace was, a long time ago, a key factor to whether or not you could engage the leaderboard), however primal simply goes that way.
02/01/2017 09:34 AMPosted by Ketsuen

PS: I kind of remember in the past Blizzard stating some change were made to avoid extra rare item to hinder the game experience (e.g. like furnace was, a long time ago, a key factor to whether or not you could engage the leaderboard), however primal simply goes that way.


That's Blizzard, they will tell you whatever you want to hear then go and do what they wanted to do anyway.

I remember years back when my friends liked blizzard games because they cared for games. Now they just roll on their old rep and care for cash. I'm not an idiot it's a company they do it for money but doing quality games and getting paid by fans isn't the same as doing something that only looks good and would sell good then dissapoint.
Primals are a cheap way to add a layer to itemization, nothing more.

It likely only took a couple of hours of total work to makethe new border asset and then code the stat increases and add them to the drop table. So ultimately, this did nearly nothing to take away from dev time to other things and adds a carrot for those who like that type of thing.

I don't have a problem with their addition, as they don't detract from other goals of build diversity, they just add to the loot hunt for those players who enjoy that type of thing.

I hope I won't be eating my shoe here soon, but I suspect that we'll see at least 1 item per class added/reworked and some set/skill tweaks before the end of the PTR. Those changes will hopefully help to add to diversity amongst builds.

*EDIT*
I'd also add that some of those more interesting things you mentioned can still be done.

One thing that I assume is on their radar to do at some point is to update crafted legendary. With upgrade rare, having just a stat-stick legendary that you can craft (using bounty mats no less) is basically useless. I believe this is a place where they could add crazy new powers or interesting things (like the inverted 4/2 split that the OP mentioned). Just my thoughts though.
02/01/2017 09:11 AMPosted by Outlaw
02/01/2017 07:55 AMPosted by Firius


All your proposals are BAD. Period. For example PA item would give other passives from different class - so demon hunter would have bonus to shield block chance? WOW, that is so cool ya? PA with exclusive powers? NO, casuals would be hurt by this design, because they will see 1 or 2 PA items per season...

Just leave your proposals to more experienced players / designers who can think of something more realistic.


No they aren't. Period.

[/quote]

OK let me reiterate a little bit. We have like 1000+ items. We have 6 (7) characters. Each with 20 passives. For each individual item it would need to be specified, which passive it would have to generate for each class that dropped the item. Like you said, it cannot roll all passives. Do you think this is a good design? Only to map all combinations is almost excel-sheet level. No one would know, what can roll on each item and this is BAD.

Second reason: for each season, blizzard provide us with 6-7 new legendary affixes (items) and even this little number sometimes causes an enormous effort to balance and fix all glitches. And even then there is a big difference between DPS of Barbs and Wizzards for example. Your idea to create for each PA item specific new super powerfull effect, would take months to program, and more months to balance. Therefore your proposals are BAD.

I didn't mean to offend anyone. Bring more ideas, but think more about the workload of each of your proposals and realistic benefit to the game.
02/01/2017 11:53 AMPosted by Firius
OK let me reiterate a little bit. We have like 1000+ items. We have 6 (7) characters. Each with 20 passives. For each individual item it would need to be specified, which passive it would have to generate for each class that dropped the item. Like you said, it cannot roll all passives. Do you think this is a good design? Only to map all combinations is almost excel-sheet level. No one would know, what can roll on each item and this is BAD.

I don't think you're making much sense. The items would be specific. Not random.

As in; this pair of gloves would drop, it would be a "primal tier" item, it would have "Juggernaut". Or -- this chest piece can drop, it would be a "primal tier" item, it would give players a constant "Sweeping Wind" effect. Any active effects/skills could be listed in the skills tab under "Equipment Skills" and be selected like anything else. They don't have to be random, and they don't even have to be Primal Ancients as we think of them now. It's not "random item" rolls with 1 out of XYZ amount of passives, all tailored to work across all classes.

02/01/2017 11:53 AMPosted by Firius
Second reason: for each season, blizzard provide us with 6-7 new legendary affixes (items) and even this little number sometimes causes an enormous effort to balance and fix all glitches. And even then there is a big difference between DPS of Barbs and Wizzards for example. Your idea to create for each PA item specific new super powerfull effect, would take months to program, and more months to balance. Therefore your proposals are BAD.

I didn't mean to offend anyone. Bring more ideas, but think more about the workload of each of your proposals and realistic benefit to the game.

Fixing bugs and glitches are no excuse to avoid introducing something new. Otherwise, why add any new content at all?

Also, the abilities, passives, UI, most artwork, particle effects, and code are already done for my example. Which is precisely why I provided examples that work within the existing framework of current itemization, skills, and passives. Regardless, any "new" feature will take months of work. Like bugs and glitches -- a long timeline is again no excuse not to introduce new content.

Lastly -- anything new -- requires play testing and balance. Which is why Blizzard has play testing teams and the PTR. Once again, requiring these is not excuse to avoid new content and game-play.

By your reasoning -- Blizzard is completely out of their minds for making the Necromancer. It requires tons of new art, particle effects, UI, skills, and passives. It requires sets and legendary powers that affect those skills. It will introduce new bugs and glitches. It's development takes a long time. It will require play-testing and balance. And yet, Blizzard still chooses to go forward with it. And they're doing that from the ground up.

Asking for changes to the design philosophy when it comes to itemization is not unreasonable by this metric.

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But you're missing the point regardless.

The point is that stat boosting ultimately changes nothing and provides no new game-play. Stat boosting is the current design philosophy in regards to items. This philosophy needs to be addressed and changed.

My examples are only there to demonstrate that there are still creative things that can be done to itemization to improve the health of the game without relying solely on stat boosting. I provided 5 off-the-top-of-my-head examples. Any of them can be used, or something else can be used. All that matters is the acknowledgement that the current design philosophy in regards to items (stat boosting, illustrated by Primal Ancients) is contributing nothing -- and the development team still has options outside of that design philosophy.

Arguing and detailing any of my examples is moot -- they are not specifically the focus of the thread.
I would be more enthusiastic if Primals were an alternative to Ancients.

Where Ancients boost stuff like mainstats and dmg, I'd like to see Primals buff the rolls that Ancients don't. Higher IAS, CDR, Area Damage, etc.

So then you have a trade-off, and decide for your build (or your luck) if you want an Ancient in a slot or a Primal.

The current system doesn't give flexibility, it's just a straight linear trajectory of acquisition.

And then there's not real reason to make Primals tediously rare, or call them "Primal Ancients" which is a mouthful and everyone is going to call them Primal anyway.
They just want to keep d3 updated with least investment so it looks like alive. I wonder how many people are still working for developing d3 right now.
I just want ancients and the new primal ancients to actually have 30% and 60-70% increased stats, FOR ALL STATS. This includes Crit Chance, CHD, CDR, IAS, Area Dmg, etc... instead of just the main stats like Dex and Vitality. Getting a ring that can roll like 7.5% crit chance or an amulet that can roll 16% crit chance would be amazing. Same would apply to builds that need CDR. Get primal items that can roll CDR to fill the gap or meet your whatever cap you want to make way for better stats on other pieces of gear.

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