#0 - 2011/01/09 10:21:59 AMEdit: Added some more description/suggestions. Reread for a better representation of my current concern for Disintegrate.
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After watching countless PvP matches from Blizzcon 2010, I've come to realize that the Wizard's Disintegrate skill is completely out of place. The first time I saw Disintegrate, I was thinking to myself *Cyclops from X-Men*. Just the way it fires so effortlessly, already makes it seem like an awkward-looking skill, and one that doesn't fit into Diablo at all.
1) Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBVAbBDkNQE
2) Then do this example: If you are using any version of Windows OS, open the "Paint" application. Then select the "Line" tool. Go over to the canvas (white area), and hold down your left mouse button. Without letting go, swing your mouse in circles. That's what Disintegrate feels like.
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I'll attempt to characterize the Disintegrate skill in it's current state, and why I think it's faulty in design:
1) Disintegrate moves exactly how your cursor moves (see "Paint" example above). There's absolutely no delay.Wherever you move your cursor, the laser follows. You swing your cursor around in a wild circle? So does the laser. In short, it gives "instant rotation" and is immediately responsive to user input. Ultimately, the laser loses its character and really feels less "awesome" than it should be. To characterize it better, Disintegrate feels like you're swinging around a small laser pointer that you bought at the thrift store, rather than the ÜberLaser that it's supposed to depict.
- Furthermore, by having "instant rotation", Disintegrate is like an "instant kill" skill to low-HP enemies if they are visible on the Wizard's screen. It literally guarantees a hit on everything in sight.
Compare against a spell like Fireball for the Sorceress in D2. You can have 117FCR (a decently fast cast rate), and spam Fireballs at your low-HP opponent, but none of those Fireballs are guaranteed a hit even when your opponent is in your screen radius. The same cannot be said for Disintegrate.
The Wizard can simply scan the entire screen with the laser, and the laser will hit everything on screen. Doing this becomes very easy, since the fast rotational time allows the laser to sweep the entire screen with no delay, giving the enemy absolutely no time window to dodge the attack nor approach the Wizard.
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1) Implement a delay between cursor and laser movement, making the beam not so responsive to cursor movement. For example, when you rotate your cursor, the beam will not instantly follow, but will have a small delay before it actually follows to where your cursor is. Firing a giant beam of laser should feel like it's a "difficult" task, and not a walk in the park. So placing a small delay in the reaction time of the beam will effectively give the feeling that the laser is difficult to control.
*By having the laser beam rotate so fast in its current state, you can essentially keep your cursor locked onto an opponent the whole time while he's running away. So by adding a delay to make the rotation slower, the player can't easily lock onto opponents. Will also make "sweeping" the screen to kill low-HP enemies more difficult to do.
2) Since reaction time of the laser is slowed, a balance would need to be made to make the damage escalate much faster within the first 4 seconds to prevent Disintegrate from becoming too weak. Like so (in seconds):
0<t<1: 20 damage avg.
1<t<2: 60 damage avg.
2<t<3: 140 damage avg.
3<t<4: 200 damage avg.
4<t<infinity (or until Arcane Energy runs out): 200 damage/sec
*Also, if the laser doesn't make contact with the enemy for over 1 second, the damage counter resets, so you start back at the initial 40 damage/sec.
3) By implementing the above 2 things, the laser would become less "spammable" since it would be harder to rotate the laser, but it would do much higher damage if the laser is able to make consistent contact.
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Some people have countered my argument by saying that when using the Disintegrate spell, the Wizard becomes immobile, allowing opponents to close in on the Wizard.
But in many cases, the Wizard doesn't need to just "stand there" for lengthy periods of time in order to do damage. The Wizard can effectively "kite" an opponent by constantly being on the move and constantly using Disintegrate to chip away at the opponent's health. So, the concern here isn't the fact that the Wizard will be dealing "small amounts" of damage as many of you have mentioned. It's the fact that these small amounts of damage are instant and applicable to any opponent on screen at any time, assuming the player playing the Wizard can click even half-decently. No other skill guarantees an instant hit on an opponent (as seen in my example with D2's Fireball skill).
However small the damage may be for firing Disintegrate for a short amount of time, it's still damage nonetheless. A second of damage is a second of damage. And theoretically, a player can play "safe" and chip away at an opponent's health, effectively controlling the match. All the while, the opponent is busy hiding behind walls and trying to close the gap in order to hit the Wizard. This situation is magnified if the opponent is low health.
No other classes have such "instant damage" skills with such far range.