Diablo III Catch-All

LiquidMantis wrote:

Why are you guys dredging up this old, overly-beaten argument? Necroyeti simply made the comment that while he wasn't worried about the always-connected mechanic before, he's concerned it might cause issues for him based on his recent experience. Lets put the torches away, gents.

No torches... i just found it amusing that someone would want a game or expect a game to be designed around a problem that was self induced. Dont care what system it revolves around.

LiquidMantis wrote:

Why are you guys dredging up this old, overly-beaten argument? Necroyeti simply made the comment that while he wasn't worried about the always-connected mechanic before, he's concerned it might cause issues for him based on his recent experience. Lets put the torches away, gents.

<3

MNGwinn#1937 is me. I added myself to the spreadsheet, so if someone wants to send me an invite to the steam group, that would be awesome.

Scratched wrote:

Is it the right time in the cycle to bring up TL2?

Anybody hear if they're going to include VATS in the game?

Jakobedlam wrote:
koshnika wrote:

Currently in D2, any time I want to "build" a new character I just create an alt, and run Baal over and over till I hit "enough skill points"
It only takes about 3 hours of game play to get a lvl 50+ character. Its not that big of a problem, it just means that I have to have a stable of Alts to play with all the builds available.

Seriously? You can get from 1-50 in three hours? How do you manage that again?

There is a pattern that works well
Tristan runs till lvl 14
Tombs runs till 20
Cow runs till about 24
Baal runs 24+

Once you start running Baal, you normally get about a level a run or two.

On battlenet, there are almost always groups doing that series of runs so even if you don't have multiple keys to rush yourself you can
still take the level grind almost completely out of a new build.

So in the last conference call Shawn was saying that he felt something was "missing" in his time playing the beta. Is anyone else feeling this way and what is it that you think isn't there? I have a few guesses, but since I'm not in there playing the game I have no idea if they could apply. My biggest concern is atmosphere. Diablo 1 had a lot of simple elements that added up to be something memorable (music, art style, lighting, environments, dialogue). I've listened to bits of the soundtrack and felt that while it was good enough as ambiance, it wasn't something that I would be able to identify years later like I can with Warcraft 2/Starcraft/Diablo.

If you don't want to take the thread in this direction, feel free to send me private messages instead.

Coldtouch wrote:

So in the last conference call Shawn was saying that he felt something was "missing" in his time playing the beta. Is anyone else feeling this way and what is it that you think isn't there? I have a few guesses, but since I'm not in there playing the game I have no idea if they could apply. My biggest concern is atmosphere. Diablo 1 had a lot of simple elements that added up to be something memorable (music, art style, lighting, environments, dialogue). I've listened to bits of the soundtrack and felt that while it was good enough as ambiance, it wasn't something that I would be able to identify years later like I can with Warcraft 2/Starcraft/Diablo.

If you don't want to take the thread in this direction, feel free to send me private messages instead.

The game has a lot of atmosphere and ambiance. The skill trees are not nearly as detailed as the previous Diablo games. Feels very simplistic - this is my impression without the rune system. I seriously enjoyed the beta and besides the "dumbing down" of skills the only thing missing IMO is a release date.

As a long-time Diablo addict (I still fire both D1 and D2 up at least twice a year when I feel I need a good item binge), I can definitely say the D3 beta lacks a certain something. I have been in since early December and have probably played a total of four hours in that period. I know this particular gripe has come up before but I am not a fan of the skill system or the itemization at this stage and always-on connectivity also noticeably affects my experience since I'm not located in the States. Thinking on it, I get the same feeling playing D3 that I do playing WoW. It's like a fatigued, been-there-done-that sort of thing that I just don't get with the previous Diablo games, even though I've quite literally put thousands of hours in between them. There are still elements I enjoy and appreciate in D3, but they don't add up to something that makes me want to click on that particular ARPG as opposed to D1, D2, TL or any other game on my to-do list.

Coldtouch wrote:

So in the last conference call Shawn was saying that he felt something was "missing" in his time playing the beta. Is anyone else feeling this way and what is it that you think isn't there?

Having played all the beta classes to the max level (13) and accomplished all the achievements in the beta, I think I can speak to this. There are two things missing from the beta, in my opinion:

1- Any level of difficulty. The areas in the beta are not just easy, they're ridiculously easy. I have no doubt a 6 year old would be able to beat the beta without trouble. Now Blizzard has stated that normal difficulty is easy by design, and that the game really doesn't begin until the next level of difficulty, so I suppose that's to be expected, but without that feeling of risk, the beta is a bit boring.

2- Skill customization carrots. This, I think, is a bit of a design flaw. In D1 and D2 you could look at your skill tree and see what was coming 5, 10, 20 levels down the line. Because the real skill customization in D3 comes from runes, there's nowhere in the game client you can look and anticipate how your skills may change over time. While you can see the base skills that are coming, that's only really scratching the surface of the system; there's no list of runes and what they do that you can get excited over. D1/2 had the whole skill trees listed which kept you salivating for more. The only way to see what might be coming in D3 right now is to read website lists. I think Blizz should add a list of rune effects to the skill display screen showing how you can change those skills once you find the right rune. It's not like there's any point in keeping that information secret, since it's already plastered all over the web.

Finally, the beta is just so limited in scope that just as it really starts to get interesting, boom, it's over. I really got the feeling that I was just starting to unlock the potential of the classes around level 11-13 and it was a bit of a letdown to not be able to progress any further. Of course it's entirely appropriate to say that that's my own fault for treating it as a demo, which it's very obviously not.

I think the only thing that is uncharacteristic about the beta is that you get cut off at level 13. In the Diablo 2 "open" beta, you could play one class but there were no level caps. You could only play up to blood raven but there were people that leveled to their high 30's in that low level area.

It would be nice to be able to remove the level cap for one of your characters. I don't expect that players would level past 20. And it would be nice to see some of the other skills.

I think one of the things with the skill system is that you get 3-6 active skills. In Diablo 2 you really only focused on 1 of them for most classes and the rest of the skills supported that skill. I think people are expecting to master every skill in D3 like it was their one favorite skill from D2. Its just not going to work that way until that game has been out for a month at least.

edit: also this isn't a major gripe but I wish they didn't hand out skills like candy so early on. I really think they did it right in d2 where you start off with 3ish skills and don't get another set of 3-4 until level 6 and then every 6th level after. In d2 you had to play some variants of the classes until level 30 until they got a kickstart. I am not suggesting the same, but I'd like to see some class build until level 13-15 before you get a good feel for them.

Yeah, after playing a lot more (between 10-12 with every class) I really think they've just left a lot out of the beta. A lot is missing entirely, and other things seem to be open too early. Runes and sockets are not there leaving out a lot of customization. I think the blacksmith is probably opening up items too early. All this is leading to obvious best choices when leveling.

I can't imagine this is anywhere close to a final balance. At least I hope so.

Just wanted to chime back in and say that electrocute is tremendously awesome.

I had played all the classes to level 11 and felt no compulsion to grind public Skeleton King runs to hit cap. But then I saw an achievement for getting each class to cap and then one for all to cap.

My witch doctor was the first, followed by the demon hunter. I was happy with the way the wizard was playing and figured I was all set with the build I was going to run at launch. So I got her to cap third but then the world changed.

At 13 you get electrocute and it is fantastic. Its everything you love from chain lightning in D2 and more. More because it doesn't follow that dumb trend in successive d2 patches to turn every lightning spell into a 1-x damage spell. I really did not like that about diablo 2 and I absolutely loathed it when the change migrated to my trapassin's death and lightning sentries. Just to clarify, I am talking about the patches that changed lightning spells from say 50-100 damage to 1-150 damage. You get the same average damage but who the f*ck enjoys the volatility of doing 1 damage with their maxed out lightning skill? Dumb, dumb, dumb!

Huh.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/4475014/Skill_and_Rune_Changes-2_15_2012

So much for runes giving you that one of a kind customizability. Now they are just unlocked at a certain level and can be swapped out any time just like other skills. I love me some Diablo, but I'm back to being concerned over re-playability.

I'm not thrilled with the rune change. Not only do you lose the thrill of getting the rune drop you really wanted, you now can't save up a rune in anticipation of slotting it in when the desired skill gets unlocked. It's going to particularly disappoint the person whose preferred skill+rune combo just happens to be one of the ones that unlocks at a particularly high level.

I'm not overly worried about how it'll turn out. It's not like Blizzard will lock everything into place. D2 had a big change with the skill tree many years after the initial release. I'm just hoping for a release at some point.

edit* Ok its not that bad. But more changes just mean the release date is further away. Even if they remove stuff.

Since this is the post that was hinted at when the last shoe dropped I doubt this is going to add more delays other than what they've already budgeted (Q2 release). Sounds like this has been in the works internally for some time, and I think people were saying runes weren't in the beta yet.

4dSwissCheese wrote:

Not only do you lose the thrill of getting the rune drop you really wanted, you now can't save up a rune in anticipation of slotting it in when the desired skill gets unlocked. It's going to particularly disappoint the person whose preferred skill+rune combo just happens to be one of the ones that unlocks at a particularly high level.

That theoretical person was going to be equally disappointed if the rune never drops for them anyways. Now you're guaranteed you'll get all the runes for you class as long as you put the effort into playing the game.

This change makes sense to me. You get skills and your options from the same source: leveling. I didn't realize that runes were unique to skills and it sounds like you'd probably have a pile of them sitting in your stash on the off-chance you'd need them or were hoarding them for trading.

The RPG aspect of this sounds really boring. Gameplay sounds great and Diablo-y but the actual leveling part seems completely uninteresting.

I actually think they should have kept at least a few ranks of runes. That way you won't be bummed waiting for 60 to get the rune you want for a skill. They could have all the skills have at least rank 1 of all the rune types they wanted before level 35 or 40 and then saved the highest ranks for 50-60.

I remember seeing someone mention item properties that granted +x to a rune skill. So maybe the highest rank is in fact rank 7 but you can only get it through item drops (in inferno?).

fangblackbone wrote:

So maybe the highest rank is in fact rank 7 but you can only get it through item drops (in inferno?).

I thought i saw that was the case already? Maybe misread it, but what you described was what i had heard.

shoptroll wrote:
4dSwissCheese wrote:

Not only do you lose the thrill of getting the rune drop you really wanted, you now can't save up a rune in anticipation of slotting it in when the desired skill gets unlocked. It's going to particularly disappoint the person whose preferred skill+rune combo just happens to be one of the ones that unlocks at a particularly high level.

That theoretical person was going to be equally disappointed if the rune never drops for them anyways. Now you're guaranteed you'll get all the runes for you class as long as you put the effort into playing the game.

This change makes sense to me. You get skills and your options from the same source: leveling. I didn't realize that runes were unique to skills and it sounds like you'd probably have a pile of them sitting in your stash on the off-chance you'd need them or were hoarding them for trading.

I always figured this was for the real money trading house they are implementing. I figured the scarcity of certain powerful runes would be traded highly on the market and give them a chance to skim. Kind of like the unusual hates in TF2

AFAIK the new patch removed rune ranks along with the changes to skills and runes. Runes are incorporated into skills now and they have the equivalent power of a rank 5 rune once they are unlocked at a given level.

So far my only gripe with the new rune/skill system is a UI convenience one. You used to be able to swap slots between primary, secondary and 1-4 hot keys once the skill has been equipped. You can no longer do this. If you want to move a skill from left mouse to hotkey 3 you first have to remove the skill from the left mouse slot and then put it into hotkey 3 in the skills menu. (which btw also requires triggering the skill equip cooldown)

They did a character wipe so I've only been able to get the witch doctor and wizard to level 10. The runes actually do encourage me to play skills I would not have played prior to this latest patch. I had no interest in poison dart past level 2 prior to the patch. Now, with its rune I get at level 6, so far it is an outstanding boss/elite killer.

There are also some early skill tweaking/nerfs. Zombie dogs only do 9% instead of 15% of your weapon damage. I think they may have had to do this because you get a decent rune for your dogs at level 11. The 15% may have made the combination of skill and rune too powerful for level 11. I think it also makes the witch doctor more active rather than just herding your pets around.

The wizard's arcane orb seems to have had a bump in mana cost. It could be that I haven't been able to collect a lot of int gear to get my mana pool up. The first rune for it I think you get at 7 or 8 and while it is just a bland doubling of the radius of the explosion, it makes arcane orb even more awesome. The shock pulse rune is pretty awesome too. It does make the skill more useful. I can't wait until the rune unlocks for spectral blades. Spec blades is one of my favorites and this rune adds a bleed to it!

Am I missing something about the skill rune change? Aren't all characters going to be exactly the same now, apart from some minor differences in equipment?

Why even have a levelling system in place, if all characters turn out exactly the same?

Caddrel wrote:

Am I missing something about the skill rune change? Aren't all characters going to be exactly the same now, apart from some minor differences in equipment?

Why even have a levelling system in place, if all characters turn out exactly the same?

My understanding is that all characters will have the same tools, but it's up to the player to figure out how they want to use them.

Not really much different than D2 except you won't end up hoarding your skill points until you hit level 30. Oh, and your choices are non-binding.

I can see why the super hardcore Diablo people would be opposed to these rune changes, but as a slightly more casual player, at least in terms of Diablo, I think they sound pretty great. I was really not looking forward to having to grind to have the chance to get better itemized skills. Now character diversity is purely gear based, and you can completely change the way your character plays without having to get lucky drops or start a whole new character. Sounds pretty rad to me.

shoptroll wrote:
Caddrel wrote:

Am I missing something about the skill rune change? Aren't all characters going to be exactly the same now, apart from some minor differences in equipment?

Why even have a levelling system in place, if all characters turn out exactly the same?

My understanding is that all characters will have the same tools, but it's up to the player to figure out how they want to use them.

Not really much different than D2 except you won't end up hoarding your skill points until you hit level 30. Oh, and your choices are non-binding.

So Blizzard have spent millions of dollars building a (very beautiful) version of Progress Quest? I'm hoping there's some features they've held back and not talked about yet.

While it is a good thing you won't have to spend hours of your life grinding for skill runes, I can't see many advantages to the solution they've come up with. I have no idea why they thought having 3000+ variations of runes would be a good idea rather than just having the six basic types.

After reading up more on what's been going on the past couple of months, I also found out they'd removed enchanting from the game.

I think Blizzard came to the conclusion that more types of loot or more loot systems are not a better game experience. I'd rather have 5,000 item properties (prefixes and suffixes) than 4,000 item properties (prefixes and suffixes) and 3,000 runes.

There is a difference between over simplifying a system and refining it. To me this is refining and will especially help with lag. Also, I don't know when streamlining became a four letter word.

I dunno. I have fond memories of restarting a class and playing it completely differently. D3 as it stands doesn't foster this. It seems like you'll play through once, and then grind the last chapter or so to get better gear swapping out skill sets as needed. Granted, that's how a lot of people played D1/D2, but in D3 I'm feeling like it's the only way to play. I too wonder what the point of leveling is with absolutely zero character development. Not even stats.

Then again, at the time, I remember thinking the permanent choices in D2 were a travesty. But it grew on me.

Orphu wrote:

I dunno. I have fond memories of restarting a class and playing it completely differently. D3 as it stands doesn't foster this. It seems like you'll play through once, and then grind the last chapter or so to get better gear swapping out skill sets as needed. Granted, that's how a lot of people played D1/D2, but in D3 I'm feeling like it's the only way to play. I too wonder what the point of leveling is with absolutely zero character development. Not even stats.

Then again, at the time, I remember thinking the permanent choices in D2 were a travesty. But it grew on me.

You can always play the game as if you couldn't swap out skills.

Diablo 1 didn't have this reroll and play the same class completely different mechanic. Everybody wanted to max chain lightning and mana shield as soon as possible. Sure there were some areas that were difficult for a rogue to solo in hell on hell difficulty so you needed to sword and board it. But pretty much the classes had one way to play and it didn't hurt replayability.

Diablo 1 also had stat points but there were different caps for the classes. Seeing as how much +stat points you get on as low as level 12 gear, it seems to me that it would be easy to dwarf the stat increases from leveling up with gear. As an example, you get +3 strength per level as a barbarian. Level 6ish gear gives +6-17 to a stat and level 12 gear gives as high as +26. So lets assume +10 to a stat every 6 levels which would mean +100 to a stat at level 60. So that is +180 from leveling or +100 for each equipment slot (helm, amulet, shoulder, chest, belt, arm, gloves, rings, pants, boots, main hand, off hand). +180 versus +1300 to a stat.

Its plainly obvious Blizzard wanted to focus customization on gear looting and wanted to cut off any loose ends that provided more headaches and used more resources for diminishing returns on class variety.