Complexity in ARPGs going too far

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While I agree that D3 has too easy character creation and there is overall little to do, Path of Exile for example pushed it way too far and it currently became the top 'ARPG' which every other game is forced to inspire from because people overhype about it (been there too but it passed now and I'm glad). Now ARPGs feel more complicated than standard RPG and the whole point is lost.

Enormous passive skill tree is becoming a must have by people feedback but it is terrible and unnecesary complicated feature filled with +10 strength dots all over the screen. More and more plain stat types are being added to that game with each patch and for the third time I'm again seeing youtube clips with conclusions that league mechanics are not rewarding enough and worth playing at all.

It's supposed to be ARPG but people spend 60% or more of their time figuring out those stats, numbers, builds instead of actually playing. Multiplayer out there is dead and most of players play the game solo.

I recently checked Grim Dawn build list and just the same I got blasted by dozens of guides and it makes me just confused. This is not encouraging at all and I'm left with thoughts that I have no idea which one of those builds should I play and will give me fun.

I'm still waiting for that true Diablo 2 successor where complexity and fun of game is perfectly balanced and when I look at class I know what themes of playstyle and skills to expect from it and if it will give me fun but since everyone is inspired by PoE nowadays I guess I'll be getting more math simulators than true arpgs.
While I kinda agree that D3 has too easy character creation,

I think the right word you are looking for is "character customization".

When I first read it, I first thought you were referring to a character creation screen in which you can customize how your char will look in game, like what kind of hair he has etc.

"character customization or "player-driven character customization" would fit better in this context imo.

03/16/2019 01:52 PMPosted by Kaelos
Enormous passive skill tree is becoming a must have by people feedback but it is terrible and unnecesary complicated feature filled with +10 strength dots all over the screen.

Yeah, I noticed that as well.
PoE's skill tree is overly complicated and most of it is filled basic/generic bonuses as you mentioned.

Why not put all of these countless of dots into a single one for each affix/attribute in which you can spend points into? Then you have something like a list of things instead of having each single one of these generic bonuses spread out over a whole tree. One dot for strength, one for dex, one for Energy Shield, one for +x Life, one for resistances, one for life regeneration, etc in a list and then you can choose were you wanna put your points into.

The bigger and more game changing bonuses could eventually be on a separate list or cost more points to unlock if necessary or you could only unlock a certain amount of these bigger bonuses.

Anyway, there a numerous ways of how this system could have been designed in a more overseeable way and basically have the same effect.
I am a fan of min/maxing since I enjoy it, but for the good of aRPGs is they move away from Math. This could be achieved with a superb engine and interesting gameplay. The downside of it is that the items count will be reduced. Think of it this way: The more stats per item slot, roll possibilities, item slots, item types etc -> The bigger the item count. A lot of people enjoy finding items and re-rolling stuff.

The question then becomes: How to keep this and at the same time move away from Math so the general new comer isn't required to spend time studding the game rather learning all that is need through playing and having fun?
03/16/2019 01:52 PMPosted by Kaelos
Now ARPGs feel more complicated than standard RPG and the whole point is lost.


the "point" of action roleplaying game was not to dumb down rpgs so they can be more easily digested by mainstream idiots.....
03/16/2019 02:19 PMPosted by Shurgosa
03/16/2019 01:52 PMPosted by Kaelos
Now ARPGs feel more complicated than standard RPG and the whole point is lost.


the "point" of action roleplaying game was not to dumb down rpgs so they can be more easily digested by mainstream idiots.....

You sure? Let's take a typical action game like GTA for example. It doesn't have any complicated character building but focuses more on action and combat. So mixing Action with RPG I see like making deep mechanics simplier and focusing on making combat more active and intense.
Some people prefer to build a character rather than having their character made for them like a suit at a Tailor. I think most of these arguments against complexity are deceptive and most likely are rooted in opposition to the requirement of critical thinking and the presence of consequences. It’s more the requirement of thought as opposed to the difficulty of understanding.
03/16/2019 03:34 PMPosted by Gr8Hornytoad
Some people prefer to build a character rather than having their character made for them like a suit at a Tailor. I think most of these arguments against complexity are deceptive and most likely are rooted in opposition to the requirement of critical thinking and the presence of consequences. It’s more the requirement of thought as opposed to the difficulty of understanding.


What a ridiculous post.
The OP has made his opinion known, and frankly,
his comment about PoE is accurate.
They made a game you need a text book for.
While I like the game, it is way to over complicated.
With the skill tree, the items,the needed trading, it's
just to much crap to sift through, and doesn't make the
game more engaging.
The opposite is true, it becomes boring.
Accessibility and Depth are the key words for me.

D2 manages it well, the complex attributes of items come at later stages, when the player is already accustomed to the basic game mechanics.
My money says this: I want a game that has everything.

In depth character customization: looks are important. For me? An avatar is a reflection of the soul.

Skills and talent trees that are effective: I want to /be/ powerful. I want to /feel/ powerful. Also? I can't stand cooldowns or situational abilities.

A crafting system that is conducive to a healthy in game market: I don't want my engineering to be crap.

Mechs/vehicles/pets: Consider them mounts that require ammunition/fuel something to upkeep and upgrade. Farm for fuel, or mats for armor repairs or customization.

Player made bases that upgrade with expansions: Like garrisons in wow but NOT ABANDONED. Something you start the game with and keep with you every step of the way.
03/16/2019 03:59 PMPosted by LocknLoad
What a ridiculous post.
The OP has made his opinion known, and frankly,
his comment about PoE is accurate.
They made a game you need a text book for.
While I like the game, it is way to over complicated.
With the skill tree, the items,the needed trading, it's
just to much crap to sift through, and doesn't make the
game more engaging.
The opposite is true, it becomes boring.


Well I think they made a game that doesn’t hold your hand, gives you a lot of choices with rewards and consequences. A game that gives the player the tools to create a character rather than being a clone by virtue of the games design. Just because there is quantity does not automatically mean there is undue complexity. Perhaps you should ask yourself what your justification is for your view that this “crap “ is unnecessary.

I believe this “crap” in fact keeps me engaged, makes my efforts feel more rewarding and extends the duration of my gaming experience.
03/16/2019 03:59 PMPosted by LocknLoad
What a ridiculous post.
The OP has made his opinion known, and frankly,
his comment about PoE is accurate.
They made a game you need a text book for.
While I like the game, it is way to over complicated.


Oh yes...they should make it so everyone has the same stats, and just uses the set that they devs toss in their mailbox every few months....

That will make it better and not as complicated....

Maybe items could just pick a skill and boost its damage by 17,000 percent!
that should prevent people from having to use their heads...

...yay simplicity....

The OP's comment about PoE is pure stupidity. If hes scared of a large passive tree he can go play candy crush and not worry about it.
03/16/2019 05:37 PMPosted by Shurgosa


Oh yes...they should make it so everyone has the same stats, and just uses the set that they devs toss in their mailbox every few months....

That will make it better and not as complicated....

Maybe items could just pick a skill and boost its damage by 17,000 percent!
that should prevent people from having to use their heads...

...yay simplicity....

The OP's comment about PoE is pure stupidity. If hes scared of a large passive tree he can go play candy crush and not worry about it.

Read the first sentence, I'm not defending D3. I also think its mechanics like those ridiculous huge dmg buffs are broken. I'm saying that D2 was perfectly balanced between complexity and casuality. And then D3 and PoE took one of those paths and pushed it to the limits. But results are that D3 gets boring fast and overwhelming amount of stuff in PoE is tiresome.
Guys, before you go on, can we agree that there is a large middle ground between the vast oversimplification and streamlining of D3 and the (let's call it) over-complexity of PoE?
03/16/2019 06:16 PMPosted by clueso
Guys, before you go on, can we agree that there is a large middle ground between the vast oversimplification and streamlining of D3 and the (let's call it) over-complexity of PoE?


Personally I feel that PoE is not even remotely complex enough, because PoE would be leaps and bounds a better game if it had 10 times the items and 10 times the skills and a skill tree ten times the size and ten times the types of stats that are made desirable from one moment to the next.
.....................
....there's more I really want to type, but apparently I get to go grocery shopping now....:(
03/16/2019 05:59 PMPosted by Kaelos
overwhelming amount of stuff in PoE is tiresome.


So I wonder why a casual player such as myself that plays PoE does not find the content overwhelming. Is it that I am substantially smarter than you or are there other more plausible reasons?
LOL since when is POE considered the "top ARPG"??

It's an even bigger bore than D3, and it's GGG's only pony. They got nothing else to do, so they keep bloating it with crap and more crap.
I think Grim Dawn and Titan Quest got the right balance between customization, depth, options, and clean and clear complete presentation with little or no redundancies. What is the 'complex' part in GD? Constellations? Maybe at first but once you figure it out it's not that intricate and all important data is there for the player, in game.

PoE isn't as much overly complex as it seems, it's just obscure, poorly presented or even totally absent important information and it's not well balanced. There are too many skills/supports and too many 'uniques', it would be OK if it wasn't for the fact that purposely a selected few are good and all the rest are trash. If you're going to add something, everything prior to it has to be in a well balanced final and definite state.

I guess that's what players want: nerf and OP cycles to 'keep the game fresh'. Cheapest way to do it, IMO. I prefer the (old) Blizzard way: release something when you think you're sure it's the best it can be and the chances for future corrections are minimal, build further on that base and keep as much coherence and cohesion as possible.
03/16/2019 01:52 PMPosted by Kaelos

I recently checked Grim Dawn build list and just the same I got blasted by dozens of guides and it makes me just confused. This is not encouraging at all and I'm left with thoughts that I have no idea which one of those builds should I play and will give me fun.

I'm still waiting for that true Diablo 2 successor where complexity and fun of game is perfectly balanced and when I look at class I know what themes of playstyle and skills to expect from it and if it will give me fun but since everyone is inspired by PoE nowadays I guess I'll be getting more math simulators than true arpgs.


Grim Dawn is your successor. And I don't know why you're acting as if GD was inspired by Path of Exile. GD was in development before that released.

Don't know why guides would make you confused, either. The build diversity in that game is a GOOD thing.

The classes shouldn't be THAT confusing to you.

Soldier is a defensive or offensive warrior.

Arcanist is the wizard of the game.

Shaman fights with nature, with some pets mixed in.

Occultist fights with curses and poison.

Nightblade is the rogue of the game.

Demolitionist fights with traps, bombs and fire.

Necromancer fights with pets and manipulates corpses and such.

Inquisitor is the only real unfamiliar one with his Runes and such, but not that complicated.

---

Here's what you need to realize about GD:

1) Multiclassing is awesome and expected.
2) Most builds concentrate on a few skills and enhance them however possible. For instance.. building around Aether Ray.
3) Unlike PoE, you can rather easily fix your builds if you mess up or choose to play around with something.
4) Leveling is rather simple. Takes time, but not as much time as PoE.
5) The talent trees aren't as complicated as they look, especially when you realize the best thing to do is often max out an early skill for fast and easy leveling.
6) The forums generally separate the guides based on what their build can accomplish. If you have no interest in the Crucible, for instance, you have a lot more freedom in your choices.
7) Last but not least, you can build around just about any skill you want to. This is why there are a ton of guides - because you can pretty much take any spell or ability you choose and make a build capable of clearing the game and doing reasonably well in the Crucible.
'Complexity in ARPGs going too far'

there's no real difference.
-everybody looks on the web for the best builds for any game anyway.
03/16/2019 07:52 PMPosted by RUNtoFUN
'Complexity in ARPGs going too far'

there's no real difference.
-everybody looks on the web for the best builds for any game anyway.

The problem is not that some builds are better than others, no, that only becomes a problem when some builds are significantly stronger than other, more averagely powerful builds, which is the case that we have right now in D3.

If the power gap between top builds and average builds is not too significant, than many players wouldn't have such a huge problem with playing a suboptimal build if they for some reason prefer that suboptimal build over a top build.

For example the best builds may be builds that someone does not really like, but when his favorite build is not significantly weaker then the best builds, that player would be okay with playing his favorite build, even if it is not optimal. However, if the gap is too big, it would become frustrating because the best builds are so much more efficient than the players favorite build, which basically makes the best builds mandatory.

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