Diablo III Catch-All 2.0

shoptroll wrote:
DC Malleus wrote:

I do wonder why we have to wait for Blizzard to release an expansion to re-apply the results of all the lessons learned during Diablo II's expansion cycle...

Arrogance. New team tried to re-invent the wheel, ended up with a square, and they keep coming back to Diablo II's design as they round off the corners.

As much as I give the game crap for what it gets wrong -- and I'm probably the most vocal long-term detractor in the thread -- I don't actually agree with the assessment that this was due to arrogance. They were trying to do what they thought they should: keep the core of the experience similar (fast-paced action rpg gameplay with loot-chasing and highly varied classes), but try giving players something new at the same time. I actually like that they tried that, and some of what they came up with was outstanding. I still completely love the skill customization options (the rune bit, letting you have a core skill that has multiple options to tweak it), I like the addition of environmental "traps" the player can use against the enemies (and want to see more of that), I like having semi-randomized quests again like Diablo 1 (and Diablo 3 took it a little further, but could use even more of that kind of content) and the semi-randomized locations (caves & ruins and such that aren't always there). I actually like the health orb mechanic, since you still have potions to help with tight spots, but it's not a potion-chugging-festival like Diablo 2 sometimes tended to turn into. I like the tweaking of hirelings, where you can pick some skills for them to adjust them to fit your playstyle a little; I also like having quest-specific npc companions to run along with you at times.

See, there were things that the devs came up with that were nice, positive additions or changes to the game. It's just that the drawbacks were fairly significant as well (and I'll spare you guys having to listen to me list those out again ;)). I think that, aside from the shoehorning in of the auction house monetization attempt, the devs were pretty above board in their intentions, and I appreciate that they tried to do right by giving us a solid new experience after such a long wait. I just wish they had been more attentive to the detracting voices and looked more critically at the merits of the complaints being levied against the game.

Edit: It's quite telling, as Fyedaddy has commented to me not too long ago, that while Diablo 3 should have been a shoe-in for my favorite game of the year, it didn't even make my top ten. That's not to say it's a bad game, it's just not one that I found particularly good. I put in well over 100 hours, and it's still installed and gets played by me periodically, but it's not close to how great the ~15 games were that I really loved this past year.

Wow, I completely agree with everything Farscry said there.

D3 + D2 customization + D1 random quests - D3 loot always being too low and needing to be auctioned = Game of the Decade.

I know it's a long shot, but anybody care to help me run Belial in the next hour of so? I keep getting him down to about a quarte health and his bombs destroy me. I just can't evade them all.

JillSammich wrote:

I know it's a long shot, but anybody care to help me run Belial in the next hour of so? I keep getting him down to about a quarte health and his bombs destroy me. I just can't evade them all.

Sure friend me up, krev#1705

krev82 wrote:
JillSammich wrote:

I know it's a long shot, but anybody care to help me run Belial in the next hour of so? I keep getting him down to about a quarte health and his bombs destroy me. I just can't evade them all.

Sure friend me up, krev#1705

Sweet. Thanks. Let me quit this game of FTL and I'll be on in a few.

JillSammich wrote:

Sweet. Thanks. Let me quit this game of FTL and I'll be on in a few.

You must be new here [size=6]Seriously though, no rush.[/size]

JillSammich wrote:
krev82 wrote:
JillSammich wrote:

I know it's a long shot, but anybody care to help me run Belial in the next hour of so? I keep getting him down to about a quarte health and his bombs destroy me. I just can't evade them all.

Sure friend me up, krev#1705

Sweet. Thanks. Let me quit this game of FTL and I'll be on in a few.

I don't know when I'll be in but add me too, TacoMortal#1510

A HUGE thanks to Krev for the help with Belial. It was a little embarrassing how quickly the life bar went down once he came into the fight.

Also thanks a ton for the gear. More than doubled my DPS.

EDIT: and sorry for dropping out so soon after we did the fight. I needed to start dinner before the wife got home. :/

Farscry wrote:

See, there were things that the devs came up with that were nice, positive additions or changes to the game. It's just that the drawbacks were fairly significant as well (and I'll spare you guys having to listen to me list those out again ;)). I think that, aside from the shoehorning in of the auction house monetization attempt, the devs were pretty above board in their intentions, and I appreciate that they tried to do right by giving us a solid new experience after such a long wait. I just wish they had been more attentive to the detracting voices and looked more critically at the merits of the complaints being levied against the game.

Maybe arrogant isn't the correct word to describe. Tone-deaf maybe? Completely agree that they made some really nice improvements to the formula, and I'm appreciative of that. However, I feel that for every two good things they did, there's a step backwards that might not have happened with a team that was more comfortable with the series' legacy. Or something. I really think they have a nice foundation for the game, but it's going to take an expansion or two to really make it shine. Which I think is true of most Blizzard titles

Sorry, rant ahead.

Farscry wrote:

Click THIS LINK to view the image I'm talking about here. Really hits home on the majority of the reasons I find the itemization in D3 so disappointing after D2 and now after getting into Torchlight 2.

I think all of those points are a bit misguided except for the last one.

I disagree that your main stat is the only important one. I came up with a list of the stats I care about as a Witch Doctor:

Main hand DPS
Offhand min/max damage
Mana Regen
Max Mana
Mana per kill
Intelligence
Crit %
Crit Damage
Attack speed
+min/max damage
Adds % Elemental damage
Life Steal
Life on Hit
Vitality
Resist All
Armor
Life %
Magic find
Reduced Zombie Bear Cost
Pickup radius (this is actually VERY important for my build)
+Health on health globe / potion
+experience
+movement speed
Reduced damage from elites
Increased damage to elites
Physical resist (the resist used when hit by Reflect Damage)

That's 26 different stats that I'm trying to get.

It's definitely not the case that my weapon is my most important item. My weapon does 1,169 dps just on its base stats. My total DPS is 141k DPS or 120x that value. The gold value of my non-weapons items is somewhere between 10x and 15x the value of my weapon.

I disagree that there are no items in D3 that encourage new builds. For example there is a 0 second cooldown Zombie Dogs build that is gaining popularity with Witchdoctors. It's impossible without an otherwise bad, level 58 Mojo (Homunculus) that reduces the Zombie Dogs cooldown by up to 20 seconds and it requires several other items to pull off.

As far as endgame loot dropping at lower levels, I'm not sure why this is a requirement for good loot. D3 is built to have a more robust endgame that replaces things like spamming Nightmare Mephisto runs. However it's still technically possible to get good loot in Hell if you farm enough.

The only thing I do agree with is that gems aren't that interesting in terms of customization. They're more of a money sink than an interesting choice. However runes, a prescribed alternative, weren't a feature of original D2 and were added with LOD.

Reasonable rant. But it also only really applies to about .01% of the loot from what I've seen, and even then also really only at the highest end of the game.

And that's the main point; you could get into interesting variety of builds and gear in Diablo 1 and 2 before hitting the level cap (or even the difficulty cap). Heck, most of the time I spent playing D2 was in Nightmare difficulty in the mid-levels, experimenting with many different builds for fun.

There's zero entertainment value in doing that in D3 for me as it stands right now.

But StGabe, how many of your items do you have that don't have INT on them?

Farscry wrote:

Reasonable rant. But it also only really applies to about .01% of the loot from what I've seen, and even then also really only at the highest end of the game.

And that's the main point; you could get into interesting variety of builds and gear in Diablo 1 and 2 before hitting the level cap (or even the difficulty cap). Heck, most of the time I spent playing D2 was in Nightmare difficulty in the mid-levels, experimenting with many different builds for fun.

There's zero entertainment value in doing that in D3 for me as it stands right now. :(

I'm in the opposite camp. I spend most of Nightmare/Hell in D3 trying all sorts of crazy stuff. D3 is far superior for this, in D2 I'd have to make a new character for each build I wanted to try.

All the patch changes have made D3 into exactly what I had wanted it to be. It was a fun game at launch, with a stupid MMO end-game gear grind holding it back. Now it's a better D2 that can be customized to a huge degree. Gems are still weak, so I'm hoping for an improvement to that in the expansion.

Farscry wrote:

Reasonable rant. But it also only really applies to about .01% of the loot from what I've seen, and even then also really only at the highest end of the game.

You can go for a lot of the stats I'm talking about on a very low budget. Especially nowadays. The complaints that I'm responding to only make sense if you expect that every single drop should be tailor-made for your character. I mean yes, you're going to get strength items on your wizard. You're also going to get crap loot, and lots of it, just as you did in D2. However your DPS will start going up as you diversify stats, right away. You don't need to be high end for that to happen. The whole D3 stat system is built so that the more you specialize in one stat, the more value you'll get out of diversifying.

Simple example:
Suppose you have 1000 int and 100 damage. You'll do 1,000 damage (1,000 * 1,000%). Now suppose you have 500 int and 500 damage. You'll do 2,500 damage (500 * 500%). That's 2.5x the damage simply for diversifying. That's how almost all stats in D3 work. At their core anyway, and then there are a lot of nuances with different stats offering different advantages (for example attack speed is better if you have procs such as life on hit or stun, and if you have +damage items, but it has worse burst and resource efficiency). That's even true of stats like +xps and magic find. At a certain point it's much cheaper to start stacking magic find and +xps to increase your drops/leveling than it is to go for a marginal increase in your intelligence. Defensive stats stack in a similar way and a person who stacks only vit will be weaker than a person who mixes in resists/armor, and at a certain point working on defense to prevent death is more effective than working on damage to kill things faster.

Mex wrote:

But StGabe, how many of your items do you have that don't have INT on them?

I have int on all the items that will take int but I also have crit damage crit % on all the items that will take crit damage, vit and/or all-resist on almost every item, etc. Getting int on all items makes sense not because int is the best stat (it really isn't, once you get past a certain threshold you're way better off stacking other damage stats) but because it's the easiest/cheapest stat to get. If I could trade int for crit% on items I would in a heart beat. I used to forgo my main stat on some items but that was back when items were harder to get. And FWIW, there are items where I will forgo my main stat. For example the Stone of Jordan has none of the standard stats for a ring, including no int/str/dex, but is a great item for some builds.

Suppose all witchdoctor drops had int. That would just mean that you thought drops weren't good unless they had vitality. Putting vitality on all items would just mean that you thought they sucked unless they had resist all, etc. If you follow the complaints about primary stats to their ultimate conclusion you get loot that is more boring, not the other way around.

The problem isn't the items. The items are great and, at this point, better than D2 items in most ways. I mean I have 26 friggin' stats to care about; that's insane! The problem is one of perception and expectation. Between D2 and D3 we all played a lot of well-paced, single-player games and optimized, feeder-bar MMO's that made sure to hand out candy at a steady, predictable rate. Furthermore, D3 has an AH that, while not bad in and of itself, makes it a lot easier for players to compare themselves with others and realize that most of their gear is crap. It was just as crap in D2 (compared to what other players had), they just didn't have an ultra-efficient market that made it so obvious. The problems with the AH have nothing to do with RMT, nor was the AH poorly designed for its purpose. If anything it was designed too well. Trading in D2 was necessary, if you wanted a good character, and yet it was a huge chore. It required spamming trade channels and learning all the ways people could scam you, often the hard way. The new AH streamlines that significantly. However, while doing so, it gave players a lot of information they didn't have before and makes players feel like all of their items have to be perfect. That is, at the end of a day, a design flaw. However it's not the design flaw that people are pointing out. Primary stats being too important is not a problem for D3, nor are weapons too important, nor is there a lack of items that encourage niche builds or enough interesting stats/abilities on items. The problem isn't about item stats or the availability of interesting items. The problem is one of perception about items.

I think it's got more to do with the homogenous nature of D3's itemisation and the exquisite efforts Blizzard have gone to to create a minutely incremetal gear curve at the top end of the game. Without similar constraints, Diablo II had a much less linear gear curve that relied more on finding uniques, sets, specific runes and socketable items instead of chasing an extra +1 (primary stat/modifier) on the same old gear each time. I understand that D2 had a similar unofficial top end market but the entire game wasn't balanced around it.

D3 has some truly inspired design decisions such as the skill system, but I feel they are overshadowed by the blandness of the paper doll/dress-ups component that truly defines the genre more than anything else for me. Saying that, I find it difficult to play Torchlight 2 now because I've been spoiled by said same skills. Blizzard managed to ruin two perfectly good games in one fell swoop for me

StGabe wrote:
Farscry wrote:

Reasonable rant. But it also only really applies to about .01% of the loot from what I've seen, and even then also really only at the highest end of the game.

You can go for a lot of the stats I'm talking about on a very low budget. Especially nowadays. The complaints that I'm responding to only make sense if you expect that every single drop should be tailor-made for your character. I mean yes, you're going to get strength items on your wizard. You're also going to get crap loot, and lots of it, just as you did in D2. However your DPS will start going up as you diversify stats, right away. You don't need to be high end for that to happen. The whole D3 stat system is built so that the more you specialize in one stat, the more value you'll get out of diversifying.

...

The problem isn't the items. The items are great and, at this point, better than D2 items in most ways. I mean I have 26 friggin' stats to care about; that's insane! The problem is one of perception and expectation. Between D2 and D3 we all played a lot of well-paced, single-player games and optimized, feeder-bar MMO's that made sure to hand out candy at a steady, predictable rate.

You clearly haven't actually read most of my arguments but skimmed to the most recent stuff, because you're not actually responding to what I point to when I'm talking about the itemization.

I'm not talking about the "end-game." I also have posted -- repeatedly -- that I played Diablo 2 again alongside Diablo 3 early on, and have also played other action rpg's in recent months to make sure I'm not looking at this through some rosy memory of the days of yore when uber loot dropped like manna from the heavens.

I can't speak to the "end game" of Diablo 3, because I've always found that part of action-rpgs (playing at the level cap at the highest tier end of difficulty to acquire the most absolutely powerful and optimized gear and character build possible) to be where I get horrifically bored.

I've always had the most fun playing the mid-tier of these games. The middle difficulty. Toying around with mid-range gear and various character builds. And in that phase of the game in Diablo 3, the itemization has proven to be completely inferior to Diablo 1 and 2, Titan Quest, Torchlight 1 & 2, etc.

We're talking from different perspectives. From the perspective with which you approach the game, yes, Diablo 3 is fine. And I've known from other goodjers that the flaws of the game do not impact everyone's fun. But from the perspective of those like me, the game is a very mixed bag coming from other fun action rpg's. I stand by my post pointing out many of the very good things that Diablo 3 did right and added to the formula, as well as my posts over time explaining my disappointment (with taking the time to ensure I'm not talking out of my ass ;)) with things that Diablo 3 did that took several steps back, too.

Mex wrote:
But StGabe, how many of your items do you have that don't have INT on them?

I have int on all the items that will take int but I also have crit damage crit % on all the items that will take crit damage, vit and/or all-resist on almost every item, etc. Getting int on all items makes sense not because int is the best stat (it really isn't, once you get past a certain threshold you're way better off stacking other damage stats) but because it's the easiest/cheapest stat to get.

StGabe, that's the point of that image Farscry posted, you have to have a certain stat depending on your class or your item is not the goodest, and itemization is kind of crappy in D3 because in all your items that will take it you have to prioritize(in order): Crit Chance/Crit Damage/Main Stat/Average Damage over any other stat.

Legendary items are the only ones that have some interesting "perk" but even the craziest ones are not enough to trump Crit Chance in the same slot.

Maybe there could be items that did something so crazy for a certain skill you'd take them even if they didn't have a main stat (like "Triples Zombie bear output" or whatever you can think up).

Anyway, you have some interesting ideas about the game and it's great that you're still enjoying it, do you have a link to your Witch Doctor? I'd like to check out your gear to see how you get 140k DPS with such variance in stats.

Farscry wrote:

You clearly haven't actually read most of my arguments but skimmed to the most recent stuff, because you're not actually responding to what I point to when I'm talking about the itemization.

Yeah, I didn't reread the whole thread. But I think it's a bit hyperbolic to start with, "I play in this niche way" and then conclude that, "only 0.01% of items" are actually interesting. Yeah, for better or worse, D3 was built to have a robust end game rather than supporting a mid-game grind. It doesn't take that long to get to the end game (25 hours at a reasonable pace or I've done it in <10 when trying other classes), so I'd encourage you to do so. That said, I've leveled 3 characters to max now, and they were all interesting throughout their leveling. I think as you go from 1-60 the interesting bit is the gradual unlocking of skills rather than worrying about gear but even gear is fun as you get to change in new gear a lot more often.

StGabe wrote:

Yeah, I didn't reread the whole thread. But I think it's a bit hyperbolic to start with, "I play in this niche way" and then conclude that, "only 0.01% of items" are actually interesting.

Wow.

If you want to have an honest discussion rather than throwing unfair labels at people and putting words in their mouth, let me know. Looks like I can safely disregard your opinion until then.

[edit]And again, you're making statements about things I've discussed previously in the thread, and for which if you'd actually read it, you'd know better than to claim.

IMAGE(http://performinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Stephen-Colbert-Popcorn.gif)

If you want to have an honest discussion rather than throwing unfair labels at people and putting words in their mouth, let me know. Looks like I can safely disregard your opinion until then.

I'm sorry you see this discussion that way. I wasn't trying to be obtuse. I honestly see your statement that "only .01% of items are interesting" as hyperbolic and I think the original image that was posted is EXTREMELY hyperbolic. But that's internet discussion.

I was sincere in my suggestion that you play through to level 60 as I agree that's where the game is most interesting. Some stats like resist all don't even show up on items until Hell difficulty and so I can see why you'd say what you're saying if you're play the game in Nightmare. It's just that the game wasn't really built to be played that way. And fortunately they added Monster Power which helps a lot to keep the game interesting as you work your way up to that point. I'd focus on skills to 60 (the skill system is WAY more interesting than D2's and lots of fun to play with as you level) and then worry about how interesting gear is.

Mex wrote:

StGabe, that's the point of that image Farscry posted, you have to have a certain stat depending on your class or your item is not the goodest, and itemization is kind of crappy in D3 because in all your items that will take it you have to prioritize(in order): Crit Chance/Crit Damage/Main Stat/Average Damage over any other stat.

Well you don't, and I didn't when the game was newer and good items were harder to find/buy. And as I argued above, if you make every item have int, then that just means an item isn't good if it has vit and if you add vit then that means an item isn't good unless it has the next stat, etc. And it's not true that "the craziest legendary" doesn't trump the best stats in a slot. I have "crazy" legendaries in a lot of slots. Here's my character if you're interested and here are some examples of where I don't follow your prioritization:

* I wear my mojo, over higher damage mojos, for its Pickup Radius.
* I've swapped in Pickup Radius on two other items, when I could have had damage stats instead.
* I've swapped in Magic Find on most items, when I could have had better damage stats instead.
* I wear my bracer for movement speed.
* I just switched out a higher damage helm for what I'm wearing now to get mana regen.
* I wear the set I do, over better damage/defense items, for mana regen.
* I wear my Hellfire ring for its +xps.
* I switch weapons between one that has life steal and one that has slower attack speed and therefore uses less mana (depending on what MP I do). If just went for damage I'd get a different weapon that had high mana usage and no life steal.
* Eventually I will probably swap out one of my rings for a Stone of Jordan that has none of the traditional damage stats (no int, no crit, no attack speed).
* I sacrifice damage for defense on a lot of my items.

StGabe wrote:

I was sincere in my suggestion that you play through to level 60 as I agree that's where the game is most interesting. Some stats like resist all don't even show up on items until Hell difficulty and so I can see why you'd say what you're saying if you're play the game in Nightmare. It's just that the game wasn't really built to be played that way. And fortunately they added Monster Power which helps a lot to keep the game interesting as you work your way up to that point. I'd focus on skills to 60 and then worry about how interesting gear is.

Here's one of the spots where I told you, if you'd read the thread instead of sauntering in and throwing assumptions around, you'd know that I've already addressed this.

I've played through to level 60, gotten through to near the end of Act 2 in Inferno, and gotten mind-blowingly bored with the grind. And the fact that loot finally gets interesting near the end of Hell and into Inferno is a negative (which, again, I've pointed out previously in this thread), because going off of the great itemization and design of other games, including previous Diablo games, you shouldn't have to play through the game three times enduring boring itemization and linear skill progression with no player decision-making (regarding what skills to get, not what to use out of what you've been bestowed based upon your level) just to get to the "good part". Especially when Diablo 3 is nearly alone in this approach in the action-rpg world (and certainly -- again -- a far cry from prior entries in the franchise).

Yes, Monster Power was a good thing to bring back from Diablo 2. Paragon Levels was a nice thing to add to give you more to do once you hit the level cap than simply replay the same content for miniscule chances of receiving any interesting gear (or grinding for mountains of gold to buy that gear off the auction house to... grind for more gold to buy incrementally better-statted gear?)

And if you have ever paid attention to sales data versus player demographics for action-rpg's, you'd realize that your playstyle, not mine, is the niche way to play.

So yes, my ".01%" claim was hyperbole, but it was obviously not meant to be a hard number. I'm spitballing. Anecdotally, it's more like .1-.5%. If you're getting interesting gear worth keeping more frequently than once out of every several hundred item drops, then I want to know what your secret is.

ukickmydog wrote:

IMAGE(http://performinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Stephen-Colbert-Popcorn.gif)

Yes, I know, I don't know why I'm letting myself get dragged into rehashing the same damn things I've said repeatedly. I'm like Marty McFly when someone calls him "chicken."

StGabe wrote:
Mex wrote:

StGabe, that's the point of that image Farscry posted, you have to have a certain stat depending on your class or your item is not the goodest, and itemization is kind of crappy in D3 because in all your items that will take it you have to prioritize(in order): Crit Chance/Crit Damage/Main Stat/Average Damage over any other stat.

Well you don't, and I didn't when the game was newer and good items were harder to find/buy. And as I argued above, if you make every item have int, then that just means an item isn't good if it has vit and if you add vit then that means an item isn't good unless it has the next stat, etc. And it's not true that "the craziest legendary" doesn't trump the best stats in a slot. I have "crazy" legendaries in a lot of slots. Here's my character if you're interested and here are some examples of where I don't follow your prioritization:

* I wear my mojo, over higher damage mojos, for its Pickup Radius.
* I've swapped in Pickup Radius on two other items, when I could have had damage stats instead.
* I've swapped in Magic Find on most items, when I could have had better damage stats instead.
* I wear my bracer for movement speed.
* I just switched out a higher damage helm for what I'm wearing now to get mana regen.
* I wear the set I do, over better damage/defense items, for mana regen.
* I wear my Hellfire ring for its +xps.
* I switch weapons between one that has life steal and one that has slower attack speed and therefore uses less mana (depending on what MP I do). If just went for damage I'd get a different weapon that had high mana usage and no life steal.
* Eventually I will probably swap out one of my rings for a Stone of Jordan that has none of the traditional damage stats (no int, no crit, no attack speed).
* I sacrifice damage for defense on a lot of my items.

Holy crap, we have exactly the same build and passive skills, and we share like 80% of the same items (Zunimassa's set, Witching Hour, Mojo, Hellfire ring, Vile Ward shoulders, Rare gloves), except your weapon and amulet are better than mine :shock:. That's amazing.

Here's my Witch Doctor: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/T...

This is crazy. So you're talking about all this "build diversity" and "26 different stats", but at the high end we end up the same.
Besides, you're talking about the one build in the whole game that requires Pickup radius to work. And this is for Witch Doctors, which are supposed to be the "wacky" class. I imagine for barbs or Demon Hunters the builds are even more cookie-cutter.

I mean you're just kinda proving what we were talking about, I don't even get it now. All your items have Intelligence, you have crit chance where you can get it (even on your Mojo), your Hellfire ring has both IAS and Average Damage... All you can do to increase your damage now is get more Crit Chance.

There's not much more to say, from my perspective.

BTW you get a higher DPS on your guy because you have more Increased Attack Speed, but for witch doctors that's not always the best because you just run out of mana faster, if you're using Zombie bears...

Mex wrote:

This is crazy. So you're talking about all this "build diversity" and "26 different stats", but at the high end we end up the same.
Besides, you're talking about the one build in the whole game that requires Pickup radius to work. And this is for Witch Doctors, which are supposed to be the "wacky" class. I imagine for barbs or Demon Hunters the builds are even more cookie-cutter.

Oh, you're just talking hyperbole, Mex.

Mex wrote:

This is crazy. So you're talking about all this "build diversity" and "26 different stats", but at the high end we end up the same.
Besides, you're talking about the one build in the whole game that requires Pickup radius to work. And this is for Witch Doctors, which are supposed to be the "wacky" class. I imagine for barbs or Demon Hunters the builds are even more cookie-cutter.

I just want to grab this bit and pull it out, because this is probably the main reason I really like D3, especially at the end game. It's not really a big deal for the mid-game, so it probably won't apply to players like Farscry, but build diversity at the end game in D3 is way better than it was in D2. There are certainly still flavor of the week builds, but just looking at the Wizard for example, there are far more viable Inferno D3 Wizard builds than there ever were viable D2 Wizard builds. Especially after the synergy system was introduced, that just made D2 builds even more cookie cutter.

This is, of course, completely ignoring itemization, partly because I never found specific gear to have much of an impact in the mid levels. Hell it starts to become a bit more important, but earlier than that I was equipping whatever gear "showed me the green arrows", as the Mechromancer so aptly puts it. My characters frequently reminded me of this Penny Arcade. My point being that the interest in the mid levels, at least for me, was in the skills, and I'd always wished I could do this in D2. I would have loved to respec my Martial Arts Assassin to try out traps or some other build, but you just can't short of using a trainer.

ahrezmendi wrote:
Mex wrote:

This is crazy. So you're talking about all this "build diversity" and "26 different stats", but at the high end we end up the same.
Besides, you're talking about the one build in the whole game that requires Pickup radius to work. And this is for Witch Doctors, which are supposed to be the "wacky" class. I imagine for barbs or Demon Hunters the builds are even more cookie-cutter.

I just want to grab this bit and pull it out, because this is probably the main reason I really like D3, especially at the end game. It's not really a big deal for the mid-game, so it probably won't apply to players like Farscry, but build diversity at the end game in D3 is way better than it was in D2. There are certainly still flavor of the week builds, but just looking at the Wizard for example, there are far more viable Inferno D3 Wizard builds than there ever were viable D2 Wizard builds. Especially after the synergy system was introduced, that just made D2 builds even more cookie cutter.

This is one of the things I was actually praising them for just a page or so ago. Skill development while levelling isn't particularly satisfactory to me, but the one thing I did quite enjoy upon hitting 60 (or really, into the 50's as most options had opened up by then) was the impressively wide open variety of skills and runes to custom-build your character from.

What I'd like to see in the expansion is the removal of skill-specific bonuses on items, and have those instead be socketable improvements. It would be awesome to find a good socketed weapon or armor, then throw in charms or whatever that gave bonuses to whatever skills I wanted to use at the time. I haven't gotten very far in Torchlight 2 yet, but I think it does this.

I'd like to see the return of more proc-based modifiers on items like "chance to cast X on Y" (frost nova on being hit, chain lightning on hit, etc etc), the possibility of modifiers that grant specific skills - whether active or passive skills - while you are wearing that equipment (this was particularly fun in Diablo 2 when it let you use skills across classes sometimes), runes to create runewords again that provide an interesting themed set of abilities. Perhaps new modifiers, like items that grant you a castable shielding effect with a cooldown? Or other item-modifier-exclusive granted abilities? Maybe rip off ideas from item abilities in games like League of Legends? (some really nifty item effects in there that could be fun in Diablo, like items that grant auras or slowly generate income)

Maybe add in a reforger (yes, direct ripoff of another Blizzard game: World of Warcraft) so that you can modify your items slightly by partially shuffling around or substituting stats. Or an enchanter like in the Torchlight games that you can gamble to add an additional enchantment or two (institute a cap on the maximum number of enchants of course) with the risk of destroying the item.

Socketable items that grant a lot more varied effects, like in the Torchlight games and Diablo 2 (jewels and monster body parts and such). Legendary items that you level up to improve, like in Lord of the Rings Online. More (and more interesting) item sets.

And for the love of action-rpgs, adjust the game so that this stuff starts appearing even in Normal difficulty so that the levelling process includes the loot-chase fun. Yes, even throw a few item sets into the lower levels. Adjust the drop chance code so that it's plausible you can get most of a set early enough that you might hit the AH and spend some gold to pick up the rest of the set and have fun romping around in it for 5-10 levels (low level sets would be solid candidates to take a spin on the Enchantment wheel to keep using for fun for an additional few levels with a lucky enchantment result).

This stuff is not hard to come up with. Other games are doing it. Diablo 3 doesn't exist in a vacuum.