Diablo III Catch-All

ranalin wrote:

As for what i have... It's yellow pieces that i've not sold and not currently using. I've had to sell some off just to make room.

Why keep them and not just smash them up at the blacksmith?

kyrieee wrote:

Maybe it's a weird thing to get hung up on but I dislike how spell damage is tied to weapon damage. Not only does it make no sense, I also think it might remove some of the diversity in items. A single universal damage attribute seems bland.

Weapon damage isn't the only thing that affects spell damage though.

Each class has a primary stat (int for wizards and witch doctors) that has a dramatic effect on spell damage. As I recall, each point of intelligence increased my wizard's damage by 10%. Primary stats on items is relatively rare in the beta levels, but once you start getting up there it will definitely outweigh weapon damage as the thing to look for.

A wand with 6 dps and +10 int is significantly better than a sword with 11 dps and no int, for example.

Serengeti wrote:
kyrieee wrote:

Maybe it's a weird thing to get hung up on but I dislike how spell damage is tied to weapon damage. Not only does it make no sense, I also think it might remove some of the diversity in items. A single universal damage attribute seems bland.

Weapon damage isn't the only thing that affects spell damage though.

Each class has a primary stat (int for wizards and witch doctors) that has a dramatic effect on spell damage. As I recall, each point of intelligence increased my wizard's damage by 10%. Primary stats on items is relatively rare in the beta levels, but once you start getting up there it will definitely outweigh weapon damage as the thing to look for.

A wand with 6 dps and +10 int is significantly better than a sword with 11 dps and no int, for example.

Which makes those automatic points into STR even more painful.

But this does make more sense. In D2 when you could assign stat points, 99% of all players who got the basics of the game would pump points just enough to equip the items they want and then dump everything else into HP.

There really was no customization or choice. They essentially removed what was a useless attempt at customization and streamlined it.

PS.
Dexterity gives you dodge chance
Int gives you resistances
Str gives you armor
So that point in Str isn't wasted.

emyln wrote:

But this does make more sense. In D2 when you could assign stat points, 99% of all players who got the basics of the game would pump points just enough to equip the items they want and then dump everything else into HP.

There really was no customization or choice. They essentially removed what was a useless attempt at customization and streamlined it.

This.

Plus, people who weren't stat allocation experts could royally screw their characters by choosing the wrong stats. D2 didn't even have a respec option until 10 years after it was released!

As far as I'm concerned, the D3 stat system is vastly superior.

If stat points are useful in Diablo III, then giving players the option to choose them as they level up would be a good thing. If they're not useful, what are they doing there exactly?

Removing stat point choice from the game does make the game easier to playtest and predict from Blizzard's perspective. Making all the abilities based off weapon damage also makes the game easier to playtest and predict, as does having runes unlock at particular levels rather than be pick-ups.

Removing item enchantments also makes the game easier to playtest and predict. Any abilities or builds that would break the game's system would also badly disrupt the in-game economy.

It's probably coincidental that Blizzard will make more money if the in-game economy stays strong over time, through fees levied on the real-money auction house.

emyln wrote:

But this does make more sense. In D2 when you could assign stat points, 99% of all players who got the basics of the game would pump points just enough to equip the items they want and then dump everything else into HP.

There really was no customization or choice. They essentially removed what was a useless attempt at customization and streamlined it.

PS.
Dexterity gives you dodge chance
Int gives you resistances
Str gives you armor
So that point in Str isn't wasted.

Yup.

They're letting the customization really happen through the items now, which has always been Diablo's strength anyway (same logic that led them to decide against appearance customization in the character screen). At least far as 'stat customization' is concerned, this is probably a lesson learned from doing WoW so long that was GOOD for Diablo.

Caddrel wrote:

If they're not useful, what are they doing there exactly?

Making a nice little skinner box for people who like to see numbers go up?

In reality the stat point choice is still there, you just assign the points through gear only. It isnt that much of a difference (except the lack of a + button to click). You get a few points auto-assigned when leveling up, but for the most part, those level up points might as well not be there - compared to the huge amount of attribute points you will get from gear.

There isnt much choice though as you would ever only want to go for Int and Vitality as a Wizard for example. Its an amazing achievement in itself to make 4 attributes which are more boring then the ones from Diablo 2. But Blizzard succeeded...
The defensive bonuses from each stat are unimportant, as a wizard who wants more armor will be (according to Blizzard) much better off going for +armor instead of strength on their gear.

Caddrel wrote:

If stat points are useful in Diablo III, then giving players the option to choose them as they level up would be a good thing. If they're not useful, what are they doing there exactly?

They are useful, very much so. You just get them entirely from gear now instead of pulling them out of the air when you level up. The end result is a more forgiving and (imo) better system.

emyln wrote:

But this does make more sense. In D2 when you could assign stat points, 99% of all players who got the basics of the game would pump points just enough to equip the items they want and then dump everything else into HP.

There really was no customization or choice. They essentially removed what was a useless attempt at customization and streamlined it.

PS.
Dexterity gives you dodge chance
Int gives you resistances
Str gives you armor
So that point in Str isn't wasted.

I guess that makes me the 1%...

Side note. There are reports that peak connections during open beta only hit 300k... that's very disheartening...

ibdoomed wrote:

Side note. There are reports that peak connections during open beta only hit 300k... that's very disheartening...

That means jack nothing. Aside from the fact that is easily twenty times the size of most MMO populations. A lot of people are like me, just waiting for release.

Tamren wrote:
ibdoomed wrote:

Side note. There are reports that peak connections during open beta only hit 300k... that's very disheartening...

That means jack nothing. Aside from the fact that is easily twenty times the size of most MMO populations. A lot of people are like me, just waiting for release.

Yeah, the amount of content in the Open Beta, and I guess their entire Beta in general, was painfully small. After about 2-3 hours of play, you had zero reason to stay online really, unless you were compelled to check out more than one or two characters (even though there's painfully little to check out anyway).

Spoiler:

Mooooo!

Pikey26 wrote:

After about 2-3 hours of play, you had zero reason to stay online really, unless you were compelled to check out more than one or two characters (even though there's painfully little to check out anyway).

Even then, it takes much longer to reach Skeletor than Blood Raven (which was appreciated). But, peak connections doesn't mean much when there's little reason to stay connected as you state and they also had capacity issues Friday night.

ibdoomed wrote:

I guess that makes me the 1%...

Side note. There are reports that peak connections during open beta only hit 300k... that's very disheartening...

Yeah.
I didn't have a problem with the stat system in Diablo II either. While it's true that you could gimp your character by overspending in the wrong attributes, I still don't agree that it somehow fails as a customization system because there was supposedly only one right way to distribute the points. That was not my experience with D2 at all.

So what if you can gimp your character? How are your customization options meaningful if there's no wrong choice? Planning a build was something I very much enjoyed. Never having to commit to a character progression option is just like the vita chambers in BioShock. The game is afraid to let you fail.

http://www.diablofans.com/blizz-tracker/topic/221423-diablo-iii-the-customizability-story/

I really really really love this post (actually several posts) by Bashiok dealing with Customizability in D3.

Bit of a long read but very very good IMO.

kyrieee wrote:
ibdoomed wrote:

I guess that makes me the 1%...

Side note. There are reports that peak connections during open beta only hit 300k... that's very disheartening...

Yeah.
I didn't have a problem with the stat system in Diablo II either. While it's true that you could gimp your character by overspending in the wrong attributes, I still don't agree that it somehow fails as a customization system because there was supposedly only one right way to distribute the points. That was not my experience with D2 at all.

So what if you can gimp your character? How are your customization options meaningful if there's no wrong choice? Planning a build was something I very much enjoyed. Never having to commit to a character progression option is just like the vita chambers in BioShock. The game is afraid to let you fail.

Given how limited and early in the game the beta was, no one could really say for sure, but it seems like they're moving stat customization to the items for those playing past the normal difficulty.

This design choice is definitely a loss in customization for that 1 percent that chose do something different than maximize health stats (while knowing exactly what they were doing) and the casuals who wouldn't be playing past normal anyway. But personally I think this is a better decision that allows Blizzard to add more weight to and empower stats without having to worry about players completely breaking their characters beyond that Normal difficulty when it really starts to matter (which will also be well after the players have sunk a GOOD amount of time).

I like that in dealing with the notion of respecs, they just completely got rid of the need to 'respec' all together. I don't see it as just pressing 'delete' to deal with the problem either. The consequences of player customization/decisions will still be there and for you to deal with through the itemization (none of which we've really seen yet to be fair). If you stacked certain set of stats on your gear for a particular build/style, well now you're gonna have to deal with re-obtaining gear if you want to 'respec', instead of pressing a button for a clean slate.

I could be complete wrong in assuming the items will play even a bigger part than in the past in terms of character customization, but by all indication, it seems to me that they definitely will at higher stages of play, which is the only thing I am really concerned with.

emyln wrote:

http://www.diablofans.com/blizz-tracker/topic/221423-diablo-iii-the-customizability-story/

I really really really love this post (actually several posts) by Bashiok dealing with Customizability in D3.

Bit of a long read but very very good IMO.

Very good read. Highly recommend people check this out to understand the vision of the D3 skill system.

It seems to me like Bashiok mostly builds straw-men to attack in these posts or reach flawed conclusions.
Such as arguing that since D2 and WoW had flawed skill tress, then all skill trees must be flawed, or countering the anti-respec argument with a silly example of a 15g respec cost.

Even if he should happen to be right, the way he argues and carefully select what to counter, makes me believe he is wrong when reading his posts.
Although I'm glad skill trees are gone. Not so much when it comes to respeccing and lack of build commitment.

Shadout wrote:

Although I'm glad skill trees are gone. Not so much when it comes to respeccing and lack of build commitment.

I will self commit to a single build...if you put a ring on it. ::double snap::

Shadout wrote:

It seems to me like Bashiok mostly builds straw-men to attack in these posts or reach flawed conclusions.
Such as arguing that since D2 and WoW had flawed skill tress, then all skill trees must be flawed, or countering the anti-respec argument with a silly example of a 15g respec cost.

Even if he should happen to be right, the way he argues and carefully select what to counter, makes me believe he is wrong.
Although I'm glad skill trees are gone. Not so much when it comes to respeccing and lack of build commitment.

He never said that all skill trees are flawed, simply stating that since they could not find a satisfactory skill tree concept, they instead chose a brand new way of introducing skills where there are no skill trees.

And there is an engine to encourage build commitment in the game. Remember that killing uniques/elites packs now grants increased stacking MF% when you kill a boss. This bonus is removed if you switch out your skills among other things but persists through death.

So I'm not seeing a downside. If you want to skill switch with every mob you encounter, then do so at the cost of not getting the MF% bonus. And if you commit to a build, then you get a benefit when you finally reach the boss. Additionally, people are now encouraged to complete areas instead of making a beeline to the boss.

emyln wrote:

Remember that killing uniques/elites packs now grants increased stacking MF% when you kill a boss. This bonus is removed if you switch out your skills among other things but persists through death.

So I'm not seeing a downside. If you want to skill switch with every mob you encounter, then do so at the cost of not getting the MF% bonus. And if you commit to a build, then you get a benefit when you finally reach the boss. Additionally, people are now encouraged to complete areas instead of making a beeline to the boss.

I do remember it. And like the concept a lot. Bashiok has downplayed the buff a lot though, to the point where it doesn't sound like it will have much effect on build commitment after all.

P.S. It is worth noting that the Nephalem Valor buff isn't what encourages people to not make a beeline to a boss. Without that buff killing bosses would be a waste of time for people looking for gear, and for pure efficiency you would never want to kill a boss. The goal (or one of them) for the buff is rather the opposite; to make people feel like they didn't just waste time whenever they happen to kill a boss.

emyln wrote:
Shadout wrote:

Although I'm glad skill trees are gone. Not so much when it comes to respeccing and lack of build commitment.

And there is an engine to encourage build commitment in the game. Remember that killing uniques/elites packs now grants increased stacking MF% when you kill a boss. This bonus is removed if you switch out your skills among other things but persists through death.

So I'm not seeing a downside. If you want to skill switch with every mob you encounter, then do so at the cost of not getting the MF% bonus. And if you commit to a build, then you get a benefit when you finally reach the boss. Additionally, people are now encouraged to complete areas instead of making a beeline to the boss.

So rather than punish you for changing, they reward you for not changing. I like that. Even if I know the difference is mostly psychological, it still sounds more appealing that way.

emyln wrote:

And there is an engine to encourage build commitment in the game. Remember that killing uniques/elites packs now grants increased stacking MF% when you kill a boss.

This only kicks in at level 60, which according to Blizzard should take three playthroughs into the game. If the other information they've provided is correct, that's about 60 hours in.

Shadout wrote:

It seems to me like Bashiok mostly builds straw-men to attack in these posts or reach flawed conclusions.

For me it's very clever marketing. People are parroting those same arguments in all sorts of different forums.

The bottom-line for Blizzard is that the more the game is about the gear, the more money they make. The easier the game and its economy is to control and predict, the more money they make.

Everyone goes on about Bashiok's line about the illusion of choice in Diablo II, but exactly the same thing has happened in Diablo III. The one thing that determines your success in the game is the gear, and your gear is entirely determined by Blizzard.

They control exactly what drops you get, exactly when you can get them, and likely have predicted exactly how much damage you can do with each skill given the best possible gear at level x.

Note also that while they have been secretive about all sorts of things, they released the full skill trees + runes to the community well in advance. It's a very good way of filtering out "overpowered" builds or unintended combos well in advance of release, which would otherwise disrupt the in-game economy.

Bashiok wrote:

It makes me sad seeing someone put off the game entirely because they want that + button, and anything but that is wrong, but ... ashamedly I also am at a loss of how to counter that way of thinking.

I think this (and the entire paragraph that contains it) is his best point, amongst many great points. The immediate reaction most people have to change of any kind is "DO NOT WANT", and as he says you can't counter that thought process, especially when all you have is a very limited view of the entire product in question.

I think it's asinine in the first place to have expected this game to be Diablo 2.5. Blizzard has a history of doing radical changes to their games with each numeric revision, and they are almost universally met with criticism at first (remember Warcraft 3 anybody?) and then praised for being innovative when people get the final product. So to go into Diablo 3 thinking "oh boy, this is going to be more Diablo 2" is ignoring a humongous pile of precedent set by Blizzard, and thus to complain about the game not being Diablo 2 is to intentionally ignore that same precedent.

If you want to assign your own attribute points, then by all means go play Diablo 2, or Torchlight. I also want to add that there's nothing wrong with wanting to assign your own points, rather than have a built-in game optimizer do it for you, but to claim that the game is worse for not having it is absolutely premature.

EDIT: I also want to ask a clarifying question - If what Bashiok is doing is making a straw man argument, then please clarify what the root problem is with not being able to assign your own skill points?

You know, Caddrel, I can't tell if you're happy or unhappy about the stuff you're posting. You seem to be offended that Blizzard wants to make a game that people will play for a long time because they'll make more money if that happens. Isn't that ok? Isn't that sort of the point, both for gamers and for game creators?

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

You know, Caddrel, I can't tell if you're happy or unhappy about the stuff you're posting

I'm not sure I agree with all the design decisions Blizzard makes, but I think it's important not to overlook the financial impacts their game design decisions have had.

Will post more soon, but about to start a game of Dota 2.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

You know, Caddrel, I can't tell if you're happy or unhappy about the stuff you're posting. You seem to be offended that Blizzard wants to make a game that people will play for a long time because they'll make more money if that happens. Isn't that ok? Isn't that sort of the point, both for gamers and for game creators?

The way I interpret it is similar to how I interpret how Battlefield3 has turned out. Potentially the gameplay is designed to follow business interests, they can take a slice of gear sold through the RMAH so gear is what's important.