What Made D2's Itemization so good?

  • #41
    Quote from WorldMaggot

    I believe one of the things that made itemization in D2 better than D3's was that all classes had the same resource system :mana. This is something I think is crucial for a successful ARPG - what we have now to me feels like an import of WoW class mechanics in a Diablo game. Things like this are why you see many items are not accessible/desired by other classes because it only does somethin like "on cricical hit refunds X fury/spirit/etc." leaving all other classes out of the picture.


    I think moving from a single resource system to class specific resources made D3 a better game.

    Having melée classes rely on mana steal or potions to pull off a persistent series of attacks is a bit silly.
  • #42
    Quote from Phredreeke

    Quote from WorldMaggot

    I believe one of the things that made itemization in D2 better than D3's was that all classes had the same resource system :mana. This is something I think is crucial for a successful ARPG - what we have now to me feels like an import of WoW class mechanics in a Diablo game. Things like this are why you see many items are not accessible/desired by other classes because it only does somethin like "on cricical hit refunds X fury/spirit/etc." leaving all other classes out of the picture.


    I think moving from a single resource system to class specific resources made D3 a better game.

    Having melée classes rely on mana steal or potions to pull off a persistent series of attacks is a bit silly.


    Agree with this. Different resources is one of the things that allows classes to "feel" different. This is one of the best design decisions they made.
  • #43
    Items should offer some sort of trade-off or work together in an interesting way. An exmaple of a classic trade-off in D2 is MF versus more damage, even though it's pretty rudimentary example.

    One thing that D3 has in regard to trade-offs, but doesn't do enough of, is that certain skills benefit more from IAS than CC/CD, but they just haven't pushed this element far enough.

    Another example is EHP versus DPS. Blackthorne's pants are great if you want to survive more due to VIT and life on hit, but at the same time, you've got Inna's pants for more DPS. So choosing one or the other makes you think about how you gem (damage vs. more HP) or what pieces of gear you place in other slots.

    I would love a game that actually gave you trade-offs between items, instead of offering more and more imba items to grind for.

    A good example of bad item design is Enigma in D2. Which basically gives you everything you want, making everything else useless. Or an ability so over-powered, everything else becomes garbage. Or Mempo/Manticore in D3.

    If D2 did anything well it was make items fun thematically. When you got an item, part of the excitement was the identity to it, and you could see it in the stats it offered. Median XL understands this well.
  • #44
    Just to add my 2c, I think D2's itemization worked better than D3's because of two reasons: First, for most stats, you could eventually have "enough," which gave players a lot more flexibility when it came to choosing gear sets. Second, the most powerful damage stat, +skills, was a) not random and b ) equally useful to every class of every level.

    So regarding the first point, in D2, you only need 120 resist-all to meet the cap in Hell mode; you only need enough STR to wear your gear; you only need enough DEX to maintain block rate (else just gear requirements); and you don't need Mana at all. Attack/Cast Speed, you just need to hit certain break-points.

    In D3, you need your key stat for damage, and there's no limitation on the return. You always want more of it, and more of it is always better. Crit, Crit Damage, and IAS are the same - more is always better. All-res is a little more subjective, as people often offer values to "shoot for," but ultimately more is always better, even with diminishing returns.

    The other peice of the puzzle for D2's itemization is +skills. This stat single-handedly allowed low-level gear to scale as the player leveled up, because +1 skill always maintained a constant benefit (and in some cases, got even stronger the more you got because of the way a skill scaled). So you could put that stat on a lower-level item and it wouldn't be out of control, and it would still be useful later on. It also made items have much broader appeal than D3 items because as I said above, you always want more of your relevant stat. The Harlequin Crest was an awesome helm for every character in the game, regardless of what it rolled. If that same helmet existed in D3, except it could roll Crit Chance and a Main Stat, only a fraction of them would be useful.

    And +skills were never random rolls - you couldn't roll between 1 and 50 +skill. In D3, all relevant stats have pretty huge ranges, which adds to the perception that the itemization sucks.
  • #45
    I think no one has mentioned prefixes and suffixes yet, just affixes like they are now in D3.

    D2 had many interesting affixes, yes, but it also included the inability of many of the flat out best affixes to roll together. With enough interesting affixes this wouldn't be an issue with D3, however this is not the case.

    Let's take, for example, a weapon in D3. It can roll +flat dmg, +dmg%, +crit dmg, +socket, +attack speed, +mainstat. This is the perfect roll for all builds and all characters dps wise, no exceptions. Lifesteal might be more desirable instead of attack speed or mainstat if you can't get any of it elsewhere, but that's it. Any other affix is, by comparison, bad.
    Let's now imagine that these all could not roll at the same time. A rare could still have 6 mods, however 3 would have to be prefixes and 3 affixes. You could have 4+ of these mods as prefixes. Some builds would value +flat dmg and +attack speed more than +mainstat or +dmg%. Even if it's still just boring dps increases we're dealing with, now there's some flavor to it. The perfect weapon isn't predetermined for all situations anymore.

    This is obviously just a band-aid for the 'we don't have enough interesting stats to throw at you' problem. But it's a pretty good band-aid and it could be argued that even if there were 10 equally desirable stats, giving the itemization team the ability to disallow a few of them from rolling together would be a powerful tool in their hands. A lot more powerful than just disallowing more brackets from the same category of affix to roll together, like it is currently.
  • #46
    To those who say that the different resource system they've implemented in Diablo 3 is better - can you all elaborate instead of just saying that you think it's better?

    I was pointing out reasons why I believe D2's resource system for all classes being mana had an improved effect on itemization - how do you believe that the current resource system (which I think is a step in the wrong direction for an ARPG and something that should stay in MMO's) is better for Diablo?
  • #47
    Quote from elvy

    Let's take, for example, a weapon in D3. It can roll +flat dmg, +dmg%, +crit dmg, +socket, +attack speed, +mainstat. This is the perfect roll for all builds and all characters dps wise, no exceptions. Lifesteal might be more desirable instead of attack speed or mainstat if you can't get any of it elsewhere, but that's it. Any other affix is, by comparison, bad.
    Let's now imagine that these all could not roll at the same time. A rare could still have 6 mods, however 3 would have to be prefixes and 3 affixes. You could have 4+ of these mods as prefixes. Some builds would value +flat dmg and +attack speed more than +mainstat or +dmg%. Even if it's still just boring dps increases we're dealing with, now there's some flavor to it. The perfect weapon isn't predetermined for all situations anymore.



    Great point - I think the current affixes would be much better if it were impossible to get all the "good" stats on one item. D3 tries to address this by allowing certain stats to roll higher on some items than others (i.e., Shoulders and Belts can roll higher STR, and Chests/Pants roll higher VIT) but at the end of the day you still ideally want every stat on every peice.

    I think availability of items through the AH has caused people to raise their expectations with regard to item power though, which is also a big part of the problem. That is to say, my barb can handle Inferno MP2 pretty well and his gear is nowhere near perfect on most of his rolls. If D2 had an AH, you'd have people calling everything except the most perfect roll of the high-power items "vendor trash."

    Quote from WorldMaggot

    To those who say that the different resource system they've implemented in Diablo 3 is better - can you all elaborate instead of just saying that you think it's better?



    Different resources makes more sense thematically, but more importantly allows class/skills to behave and play differently. For example, if a WD or Wiz wants to use a spell that needs Mana or AP, they can kite monsters until they have enough to cast but a Barb or Monk needs to keep attacking to generate Fury/Spirit, forcing them to go toe-to-toe. A Monk can carry over a big attack to the next group because Spirit does not degenerate; a Barb has to start from scratch because Fury does.
  • #48
    Quote from WorldMaggot

    To those who say that the different resource system they've implemented in Diablo 3 is better - can you all elaborate instead of just saying that you think it's better?


    It lead to messy leveling for classes not investing into energy, potion chugging with a crapload of trips to town, and overreliance on Insight merc for a some specs (e.g. trapsin). And once you got those, mana effectively became irrelevant. So it was only two situations - either mana was a mess or a complete non-issue.
  • #49
    I don't want to derail the thread too much on a discussion on the resource system alone but rather how it plays into itemization which you didn't address in my response.. So I'll pose it again:

    I was pointing out reasons why I believe D2's resource system for all classes being mana had an improved effect on itemization - how do you believe that the current resource system (which I think is a step in the wrong direction for an ARPG and something that should stay in MMO's) is better for Diablo?

    To further elaborate if anyone has played Demon Souls or Dark Souls they have the same type of resource system and necessary stat caps to use certain items - these ARPG's have a cult following and great succes among players - it has very similar character resource mechanics to D2.. coincidence? I think not.. although its arguable in Dark Souls (which still has a good resource system although maybe not as good imo) because as a caster class you are able to run out indefinitely of a spell cast.
  • #50
    Quote from WorldMaggot

    To those who say that the different resource system they've implemented in Diablo 3 is better - can you all elaborate instead of just saying that you think it's better?




    It's better because it doesn't rely on pots to regen. Much smarter system imo.
  • #51
    Quote from WorldMaggot

    I don't want to derail the thread too much on a discussion on the resource system alone but rather how it plays into itemization which you didn't address in my response.. So I'll pose it again:


    What people are implying is that any benefits you've pointed out in terms of itemization (i.e., that it streamlines the number of affixes available) are outweighed by the gameplay benefits associated with having various different types of resources, which I agree with. I'm willing to accept 5 affixes instead of 1 if it means each class can play differently in terms of resource management. It's a good tradeoff.

    It is my opinion that there are too many affixes to shoot for in D3, but there are much better places to offer streamlining than resources - such as the 7 (or whatever) different individual resists. This plays into what I discussed above about how there are too many stats where you just want as much as possible on every item.
  • #52
    Quote from ruksak

    Quote from WorldMaggot

    To those who say that the different resource system they've implemented in Diablo 3 is better - can you all elaborate instead of just saying that you think it's better?




    It's better because it doesn't rely on pots to regen. Much smarter system imo.


    He's not asking if the mana ressource system from D2 is better than the ressources systems in D3. He is asking if having the same ressource system for all classes is better or not (in terms of possible affixes for items).
  • #53
    mispost.....
  • #54
    Players 8 on D2 was a lot easier than MP10 D3. I dont see how that can be debated.
  • #55
    Quote from shaggy

    Weapons
    This is a hot topic since the D3 team decided that weapon damage determines the damage of all your abilities whereas D2 weapons had no bearing on your damage. It is my feeling that it makes no sense for an all-powerful wizard to be running around using a weapon he found at level 4 because it's got better stats. No one complains that armor = defense and that higher level items have more armor. Yet somehow people complain about what amounts to a mechanic that ensures that some dinky level 4 newbie wand isn't the best item in the game. I don't get it, I never will. Is it a bit strange that a fireball from the sky takes your weapon damage into account? Sure. Does it provide better gameplay? Absolutely. As an adventurer why wouldn't your weapon be one of your most important items?



    if you hand Lord Voldemort a shitty wand he's still Lord Voldemort. the ideal wand maximises his power but even with a shitty wand he's still one of the most powerful wizards alive....

    surely you can extract from this the reason why people object to damage being completely determined by your weapon/items.

    its the difference between intrinsic power vs extrinsic power in diablo 2 you had more intrinsic power in diablo 3 you have much much less.
  • #56
    Did you actually cite the story where ownership of the Elder Wand is precisely what allows an otherwise-inferior wizard to vanquish one of the best wizards ever as reason that gear doesn't matter?

    Also, Harry Potter is a terrible example because, aside from the Elder Wand, each wand is basically an extension of your person (the wand chooses the owner, not vice versa). That OBVIOUSLY doesn't apply to a game where you slaughter monsters and then pick up their loot. Could you imagine picking up a breastplate and trying to equip it and getting an error message "sorry, that item is meant for someone else, try again!" It makes ZERO SENSE as applied to an ARPG.

    Things that are written in fiction novels provide a basis for fantasy-type games like this, of course, but not every aspect translates into appropriate gameplay and that's exactly why your argument makes no sense.

    Good fiction is not the same as good gameplay. Ignoring weapon upgrades because "that's how it would work in Harry Potter" doesn't make a game which is based on finding items and slaying monsters very fun. I mean if they were pulling from Harry Potter then wizards should not have meteor and blizzard but they should have Avada Kedavra and Crucio and we can't forget Alohomora. But they don't... because Diablo and Harry Potter are different and, more importantly, games and novels are different.

    In Harry Potter wizards could teleport to anywhere in the world. In Diablo, teleport has a range. I could keep going with examples as to how gameplay trumps fantasy in a video game... but I hope I don't have to. It should be obvious that, in order to have compelling gameplay, not every single fantasy or RPG element can be implemented exactly as it is described in a novel.

    If every character got a wand at level 11 that they never had to upgrade for the rest of their life... that would be true to how Harry Potter worked, but it would also be awful boring gameplay.

    I seriously can't believe I just got trolled into explaining that a Diablo video game clearly doesn't have to stay true to the Harry Potter novels.
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  • #57
    Hey I just wanted to mention (as an observer) that this was a really good read, thanks for all the posts everybody. There were many good posts that didn't resort to fanboy vs nostalgia so that was nice. I'd also personally be interested if the conversation was broadened to not just D2's items, but other ARPGs that may have some strengths in the areas D2 lacked.

    As far as the original topic, my view is that WoW pulled from D2 and D3 pulled from WoW, but the latter didn't work as well because of all the other things going on in an MMO that make up for a simpler system.

    I didn't realize when I was (originally) playing D2+expac just how important many of the features were... like the horadric cube, or white items being useful for runewords, or prefixes/suffixes, or random affixes like cast teleport, hit recovery, or crushing blow... etc etc... it's not until a game like D3 takes them away that you realize what you had. I certainly did have a good period of fun with D3... definitely was an addict. However, I realized that I was just clambering for very minor number-upgrades via AH farming, and kind of lost the sense of fun. Overall, the items reminded me of WoW, except there you had an awesome social system and group raids and world PvP and so forth.

    That's all I can really think of for now.
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  • #58
    A lot of what I am going to say is begin addressed, but, this is what I feel was good about D2's loot system vs D3's loot system as it is still very lack luster until this day.

    The amount of items dropped + Balancing an economy
    Too many items drop through the course of the game. Way, way, way too many items, I can't tell you how many times I have to go through my inventory while farming and drop out all the white and blue items from my inventory that I accidentally picked up while fighting? It's off the charts. So if absolutely great items are supposed to be rare and you are dropping items like there is no tomorrow, 99.999% of them are going to be absolute garbage by proxy. This is uninspiring, annoying, and actually makes the player feel like shit since most everything is worthless. Couple that with the AH and although there is no absolute proof, it is definitely hinted at the games drop rates were balanced around using the AH which Blizzard felt was a mistake. When trying balance an economy so that the AH is the main point of acquiring items coupled with the fact that loot is already shit because of how frequently it drops you get an even worse undesired outcome.

    Not every item could be everything
    Every item in D3 feels like it can be everything. It's not inspiring to say the least. Every item is like a jack-of-all-trades, stats with a random skin on them. I generally walk away going, "Damn if only I had a MonkBarb or a WizardDemonHunterWitchDoctor that item would have been fantastic. I looked back at D3 and the majority of uniques have very, very strict bounds to what the stats could be but were very rare, especially the ones that you would want to drop. Even a shitily rolled Vamp Gaze (6,6,15) was generally an upgrade for one of your characters unless you had exceptional gear. Couple that with the fact that some of the items would help to make or break a build, so even if you got an item that your character couldn't use at the time you still sat back and went, "hmm, if I got a few more paces of gear I could give this build a go" and it sorta of created a meta game then of not only trying to get better gear for your current character but a whole different set of gear to try a different build.

    D3 really lacks items that are the center of builds instead the items just end up amplifying the build to greater heights thus making the item hunt sort of boring because you generally just find a bunch of generic stats all muddled together with a nice random item skin on it.

    Those are my two biggest gripes about the game's item system and what made D2's so much more interesting. I really do think if they can address them (which it seems them are) and address them properly (we shall eventually see) it will make the item side of an item based game so much more appealing.
  • #59
    d'oh accidental double post
  • #60
    Quote from shaggy

    Did you actually cite the story where ownership of the Elder Wand is precisely what allows an otherwise-inferior wizard to vanquish one of the best wizards ever as reason that gear doesn't matter?

    Also, Harry Potter is a terrible example because, aside from the Elder Wand, each wand is basically an extension of your person (the wand chooses the owner, not vice versa). That OBVIOUSLY doesn't apply to a game where you slaughter monsters and then pick up their loot. Could you imagine picking up a breastplate and trying to equip it and getting an error message "sorry, that item is meant for someone else, try again!" It makes ZERO SENSE as applied to an ARPG.

    Things that are written in fiction novels provide a basis for fantasy-type games like this, of course, but not every aspect translates into appropriate gameplay and that's exactly why your argument makes no sense.

    Good fiction is not the same as good gameplay. Ignoring weapon upgrades because "that's how it would work in Harry Potter" doesn't make a game which is based on finding items and slaying monsters very fun. I mean if they were pulling from Harry Potter then wizards should not have meteor and blizzard but they should have Avada Kedavra and Crucio and we can't forget Alohomora. But they don't... because Diablo and Harry Potter are different and, more importantly, games and novels are different.

    In Harry Potter wizards could teleport to anywhere in the world. In Diablo, teleport has a range. I could keep going with examples as to how gameplay trumps fantasy in a video game... but I hope I don't have to. It should be obvious that, in order to have compelling gameplay, not every single fantasy or RPG element can be implemented exactly as it is described in a novel.

    If every character got a wand at level 11 that they never had to upgrade for the rest of their life... that would be true to how Harry Potter worked, but it would also be awful boring gameplay.

    I seriously can't believe I just got trolled into explaining that a Diablo video game clearly doesn't have to stay true to the Harry Potter novels.


    neither can i, not to mention that the length and depth you went into is complete overkill. esp since i was only talking about it in a very general sense.Try looking at the second part of my post:

    "its the difference between intrinsic power vs extrinsic power in diablo 2 you had more intrinsic power in diablo 3 you have much much less."

    the reason people dont like item dependence is because it makes the intrinsic power/ value of their character irrelevant, you seem to have avoided discussing that point in any way.

    Intrinsic power Diablo 2 == stats + skills + skill points

    Intrinsic power Diablo 3 == stats + skills

    intrinsic power Diablo 3 ROS == stats + skills + paragon points!! (woot)

    You said you did not understand why people complain about item dependence i am trying to explain why.
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