Diablo III Catch-All

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.

Dyni wrote:

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.

Ditto to all of that. It sounds pretty great to me.

I wish I was able to pass my beta key on to someone with the time and inclination to participate now. The D3 dream is dead for me but I can see that there are still a lot of people looking forward to it. I guess that's one of the disadvantages to associating with battle.net accounts. I'll email Blizz an see what they say about it.

Jack Malleus wrote:

I wish I was able to pass my beta key on to someone with the time and inclination to participate now. The D3 dream is dead for me but I can see that there are still a lot of people looking forward to it. I guess that's one of the disadvantages to associating with battle.net accounts. I'll email Blizz an see what they say about it.

Somewhere, Grenn is weeping and furiously looking up how to steal your identity.

No response from Blizzard as yet... Sorry Grenn I doubt they'll be able to do anything, but I feel I owe it to my fellow Diablo addicts.

Jack Malleus wrote:

No response from Blizzard as yet... Sorry Grenn I doubt they'll be able to do anything, but I feel I owe it to my fellow Diablo addicts.

It's ok. I'll just buy it when it comes out. Whenever that is.

I actually love the new change. Previously leveling up seemed like a non-event. But now every single level grants you at least a new skill or a new rune. So in that respect, leveling up is now very fun and worth it.

I was disappointed that runes as items were removed but then again, even thinking about each skill having 5 different runes and each rune having 5 ranks... inventory would have been unmanageable. Not to mention the frustration I would have by not being able to find the 1rune I was hoping for ... and having to surf the AH and find it for sale at sky high prices... yep I think patch 13 will save me and many others a lot of frustration.

Also it is important to realize that each of the 5 runes for every skill has a different effect on the skill. This means the animation is different and its wonderful!!! Base Magic Missile to the runed Magic Missile you get at lvl 6 was a huge upgrade, and same goes with Arcane orb. You literally can see the difference.

I can't wait to try out the other classes. My only gripe is that they should remove skill cooldowns when switching skill in town.

I wonder if it wouldn't be more interesting to unlock rune slots, so to speak. So instead of getting Multishot for Poison Dart as the level 6 Witch Doctor rune, you get to pick a rune to unlock for some skill that you already have. You still would only get one, but you'd get to pick which one.

Jack Malleus wrote:

The D3 dream is dead for me

I haven't really followed D3, but what happened? Did the game not turn out good, or personal reasons?

I'm not sure what I think about the updates to the skill system yet (IMO, they will tweak it further before release, as it just doesn't feel quite right). That said, I am really, really enjoying the beta, even with the limited item distribution and lack of runes/gems/etc. I have played through multiple times with each class, and it just *feels* like Diablo to me.

I can't wait for release, personally. Have faith, good sirs and/or maidens!

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

I wonder if it wouldn't be more interesting to unlock rune slots, so to speak. So instead of getting Multishot for Poison Dart as the level 6 Witch Doctor rune, you get to pick a rune to unlock for some skill that you already have. You still would only get one, but you'd get to pick which one.

I think having more choices like this would make the entire game more interesting. I'm still not sure where this entire "hardcore vs casual" debate came from. Skyrim has you make choices at every step of the levelling process (even between levels, with training), and no-one has described that as a "hardcore" levelling system. It also sold millions of copies, so clearly making the players make choices and think when they level up hasn't harmed its success.

The vanilla World of Warcraft had the balance set pretty right; the talent choices you made were "permanent" but you could be reset completely your talents at any time by spending X amount of gold. It also had the illusion of choice with which skills you spent your money on first (though almost everyone always had money to buy their unlocked skills immediately).