Primal Ancients: Issues With Design Philosophy

  • Like a few others around here, I am taking issue with the introduction of Primal Ancients. I took a similar, but less vested, issue with Ancient items.

    This is simply stat boosting / power creep, but not in a way that creatively changes, enhances, or benefits game-play. This current design philosophy seems to be stagnating the growth of the game by ultimately keeping game-play the same. It needs to be changed.

    Primal Ancients only extend the same game-play temporarily (as Ancients did). Instead of slowly leveling past Greater Rift X, you will now slowly level past Greater Rift XX dependent on your ability to acquire Primal Ancients.

    You aren't doing anything new. You aren't given any new options in which to build your character. It's just bigger stats. Bigger numbers.

    The greater issue is with the design choice to have infinite scaling for characters (Paragon) and content (Greater Rifts). Eventually, the Greater Rifts will again be statistically tedious and unrealistic to overcome. The solution is NOT to introduce a new tier of stat increases -- that's only a temporary address.

    The idea is not to increase the time it takes to reach the soft cap of statistics, but to better the experience of getting to and playing within the soft cap.

    A moderate compromise would be to introduce items that infinitely scale to some degree. Which, in and of itself, is a slippery slope that can lead to negating the quality and importance of all other items -- ultimately leading us back to the same problem with stat boosting. Augmenting using Legendary Gems does this to some extent, but the idea of leveling the gem first enhances game-play.

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    To me, the obvious solution would be to introduce loot that affects game-play outside of statistics. The new tier wouldn't necessarily have to be "better" than the Legendary / Ancient tier of items. Just equivalent in some way or to some degree.

    For example;

    • What if Primals were items with 2 main stats and 4 secondary stats with their own unique Legendary powers? Now you have an entire item tier that changes how players approach creating characters around secondary effects if they want to utilize new powers.
    • What if Primals were items that enhanced Passive abilities, like how Legendary items enhance Skills?
    • What if Primals exclusively gave characters skills/passives they wouldn't have normally? Like giving a Demon Hunter Sweeping Wind or Juggernaut.
    • What if Primals had their own exclusive and unique Main and Secondary affixes and stats?
    • What if Primals gave you powerful unique bonuses; but gave enemies around you a unique or special buff?


    All of these would change how players approach character building while providing better changes than simple stat boosting.

    Another way to look at it is this. Assume the "cap" is Greater Rift 100. How do you introduce changes to itemization and new content that allow players to have fun and a different experience within that cap? Changing the numbers under the hood is not an answer.

    tldr: stat boosting =/= new content or new game-play. please introduce new content or new game-play. Please address current design philosophy.
  • Loving the amount of thoughtful and constructive discourse on this topic. We knew introducing Primal Ancients would be somewhat controversial, because they are meant to be very rare, and we appreciate the time and effort you all have taken to testing them thus far. We're reading as many threads, watching as many videos, and listening to as many streams as possible to gather your thoughts and reflect on them.

    There are definitely some good and valid concerns, and we are going to be making some significant design changes with Primal Ancients. These changes aren't set in stone and have some technical hurdles behind them, so they won't be making the next PTR patch, but a future one instead.
  • 02/03/2017 05:50 PMPosted by Tephnos
    Communication is key this early on in PTR. Are you checking all the primal related threads in the PTR feedback, or just this one?


    We're definitely looking at multiple threads, it's just much easier for us to pick a centralized location to converse.

    On a related note, it's easier on us if there's more of a centralized discussion, so while other threads likely won't go unnoticed, it's much easier for us to parse one thread on a topic than fifty.
  • Hey all,

    As we mentioned previously, getting your feedback on Primal Ancients has been super helpful. We’ve heard some really good points, and along with this, we’ll be making some changes to how these items work in an upcoming PTR patch.

    Rather than increase the power they give you beyond Ancient items, Primal Ancients will now instead roll perfect Ancient-level stats tailored to the character class you’re playing when the item first drops. Rerolling any of these at the Mystic will also yield only perfect rolls.

    Along with this, these items will be even more rare than they currently are, and will only begin dropping after a character on your account has completed Greater Rift 70 solo (with separate unlocks for Hardcore and normal characters).

    Finally, we hear you on wanting Ancient and Primal Ancient items to salvage into something more valuable. With the upcoming PTR patch, Ancient items will salvage into 3 Forgotten Souls, and Primal Ancients will salvage into 15 Forgotten Souls (yay reforging \o/).

    We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback once you’ve had a chance to test these changes. Thanks again, and happy hunting.
  • 02/13/2017 04:35 PMPosted by nand
    One question though: What determines “tailored to the character class”? Every build is going to want to have different stats on an item, and players themselves can't even predict what stats are best until they've tried all of the combinations.


    Good question.

    Primal Ancients will always roll with their main stat targeted to the class you’re playing when the item first drops (whether or not it’s a class-specific item). Beyond that, they’ll have a mix of class-specific stats and generic-but-helpful stats. In a future patch, they’ll also roll with the optimal number of sockets for the item.
  • I'm not sure what the odds are of me posting immediately after someone hit the cap on the thread, but there it is. And apparently I didn't realize this until now.

    You are free to continue your discussion here, and thanks again for keeping it focused in one place!