Wyatt Chang on Combat Philosphy

  • #1
    Not exactly something we haven't heard before but it emphasizes why they want to nerf LS in the expansion.

    Originally Posted by (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    Let's talk about combat.

    From a big picture standpoint, it's not healthy for the game when a player's health pool goes from full to nearly empty and back to full on a regular basis very quickly, over and over, during regular play. I know not every character build plays this way - but I would assert that it's not good for the game when this is a dominant or even common way to play.

    Why?

    Here are a few negative effects it has:

    1. A health pool that quickly goes from full to nearly empty implies that there's not a lot of room for variance in incoming damage. When incoming damage is that high, a 15% increase in monster damage would result in death. This leads to comments like "As soon as I turn up the Monster Power I get 1-shot". I'd like to see a game where a clever player can handle a higher Monster Power by reducing incoming damage through good play. Unfortunately, if the combat pacing and dominant builds are such that all players are geared to survive the biggest posisble hit from a monster and instantly heal to full then there's no room for that differentiation. Let's use mortar as a simple example. If a wave of mortar hits takes me from full to nearly dead, and then I instantly heal back to full, then mortars don't pose a realistic threat to me. In this state, there's no way for a clever player (who wants to dodge mortars) to differentiate themselves from somebody who doesn't care (and just decides to get hit). In both cases you're healing instantly to full and surviving through the damage no matter what, and in both cases turning up the monster power results in you dying no matter what if you take a single mortar wave. It becomes a pure gear check.

    2. For players who push the MP up anyways, it makes the game feel like it was designed around one-shots. In my previous example with mortar, some of you may be thinking "There's room for turning up the Monster Power, just don't get hit at all!". This isn't great either. It means my death feels very binary. One moment I'm at full health, the next instant I'm dead. It also means that once you decide you are going to accept being one-shot, you don't care about your health at all. Who cares if you have 20K or 40K health if you're going to die either way? We'd be in a better place if the mortar-dodger was allowed to take the occasional hit, but can handle a higher monster power as long as a majority of them are dodged.

    3. Healing very rapidly back to full also loses all the fidelity of small attacks. If players are regularly going from full to nearly empty and back to full again on a regular basis, then there's no room for mechanics which act as a slow drain on your health. Plagued is a great example of this. We don't want Plagued to be something that kills you quickly, but it also shouldn't be something you ignore forever. Standing in a pool of poison should be something that adds tension to the fight. You know you're not going to die now, but you can see the threat looming. When healing rates are very high, there is no room for the slow drain damage sources - they become insignificant.

    4. My current health loses meaning. Being at 95% health should mean you're relatively safe. Being at 5% health should mean you're almost dead. Being at 50% health should mean you're somewhat in danger and you should play it safe, but as long as you do you should be fine. These are all concepts that make intuitive sense. Unfortunately, they are not at all true in the current Diablo environment. When health pools are rapidly going from empty to full and back again, these health values all blur together.

    5. You lose a lot of tactical combat opportunities. Tactical combat requires that the player can properly assess the situation and react accordingly. When your health pool moves up and down rapidly you are no longer reacting to dangers. A rapidly changing health globe means you are playing in a predictable pattern and crossing your fingers hoping that you live through it. You are playing in a way that avoids situations that will instantly kill you, but there's no tension associated with being low on health that would cause you to make a tactical decision to change your play pattern.

    I'm saying all of this without pointing at any specific solutions. That's because there are no instant-fix solutions. It's a challenging problem that we're actively working on. Things aren't going to be perfect overnight, but improving the pacing of combat is something we constantly work on.

    I will say that the first line of defense is reducing the rate at which players heal. After we pull in the rate of healing, next we analyze the patterns in which monsters deal damage. Ultimately, defensive stats will play a role in all of this. If some life regeneration, damage mitigation or (gasp) life on hit lets me play a little more aggressively, that's a good thing.
  • #2
  • #3
    I completely agree with him. However, whether they manage to fix it or not remains to be seen. It's nice to know they're aware of the problem at least.
  • #4
    Point 5 is actually the most important one to me.

    With health bumping up and down like crazy, globes become useless, especially on higher MPs and for higher health pools.
  • #5
    It's gonna be wonderful if they manage to give us a more tactical combat experience with the expansion. There are certainly some flaws with the system at the moment, but it's great that Blizzard is looking for ways to improve upon what already is the best aspect of the game.
    "Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the small death that brings total obliteration."
  • #6
    This somewhat worries me. While they seem to have a quite proper grasp on what defines challenge and how it is currently broken, this is pretty much just a well written version of what has already been said during the long interview with Archon during his twitch stream a few months back. For now they got nothing more to show than insight on what should change and a very vague idea with the leaked beta class changes. I really hope that Blizzcon will deliver some solid info on changes and not just a prolongation of hype with tidbits of well done trailers and vague information on what might or might not come :)
  • #7
    Quote from Demon665

    This somewhat worries me. While they seem to have a quite proper grasp on what defines challenge and how it is currently broken, this is pretty much just a well written version of what has already been said during the long interview with Archon during his twitch stream a few months back. For now they got nothing more to show than insight on what should change and a very vague idea with the leaked beta class changes. I really hope that Blizzcon will deliver some solid info on changes and not just a prolongation of hype with tidbits of well done trailers and vague information on what might or might not come :)


    They've already said they are going to be buffing life per fury/spirit spent and that they don't like the life steal stat. I wouldn't be surprised to see them add that life per resource spent for all classes. They also are talking about making health globes drop every 20-25% to put the emphasis on that for healing and rewarding good play. They want the primary healing to be through globes and the secondary source through lpss/loh etc..

    He also talked about how instead of taking 100% dmg or 0 dmg that you would take 80% dmg or 20% dmg, so that there was always a feeling of danger but still being rewarded for good play.

    The above was also talked about by Wyatt back in July of this year.
  • #8
    As a wow heroic raider, I get his point of being at 50% is safe but not so safe. It is way more challenging to play when you are getting under the 50%, you must think : alright which skill should I use to stay alive and after how do i heal ?

    So far my barbarian is farming mp10 and I stand in any crap... which isn't fun at all.

    I am sure they will implant in a good way : life regen / life per fury spent / life per sec / per hit and nerf the life steal of course !
    Vingor#1871
  • #9
    Current way to gear any MP10 character:

    1. Get enough HP/resist/armor to not die in under a few hits
    2. Get some life steal
    3. Get your DPS high enough that you heal instantly

    Then you want to group mobs into as big a ball as possible and always choose huge AoE skills. You will heal so fast that a mob of 50 monsters amongst 2 elite packs poses barely any more danger than a mob of 3 monsters.

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • #10
    Quote from Bagstone

    Point 5 is actually the most important one to me.

    With health bumping up and down like crazy, globes become useless, especially on higher MPs and for higher health pools.


    He wasn't talking about the health globes you pick up, he was referring to your HP as "the" health globe. The orb with your health pool in it. "A rapidly changing health globe" = your HP going up and down.
  • #11
    Quote from itirnitii

    Current way to gear any MP10 character:

    1. Get enough HP/resist/armor to not die in under a few hits
    2. Get some life steal
    3. Get your DPS high enough that you heal instantly

    Then you want to group mobs into as big a ball as possible and always choose huge AoE skills. You will heal so fast that a mob of 50 monsters amongst 2 elite packs poses barely any more danger than a mob of 3 monsters.

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


    CLOSE! You forgot that sometimes it's easier/safer to kill a pack of 50 than it is to kill a pack of 3 :P
  • #12
    Quote from JuskiReign

    Quote from Bagstone

    Point 5 is actually the most important one to me.

    With health bumping up and down like crazy, globes become useless, especially on higher MPs and for higher health pools.


    He wasn't talking about the health globes you pick up, he was referring to your HP as "the" health globe. The orb with your health pool in it. "A rapidly changing health globe" = your HP going up and down.


    The part where he talks about tactical decision and reacting accordingly is referring to health globes. At least in my opinion. If not, I'd add that as point #6. Health globes have become irrelevant for many builds in the game as of now.
  • #13
    Yeah, only the WD has any real interest in health globes (and a good interest it is - I quite like the WD's interaction with globes).
  • #14
    Quote from maka

    Yeah, only the WD has any real interest in health globes (and a good interest it is - I quite like the WD's interaction with globes).

    While I get the point you are making and for the most part it's true. DH has always benefited greatly from globes :P

    I'm just glad they are going to make them a more vital part of gameplay in general. Also if you look at one of the barbs skills. I forget the name of it, but it gives life per fury spent increased by + health globe bonuses. (which is an underrated stat btw)
  • #15
    Quote from riptide

    Quote from maka

    Yeah, only the WD has any real interest in health globes (and a good interest it is - I quite like the WD's interaction with globes).

    While I get the point you are making and for the most part it's true. DH has always benefited greatly from globes :P

    I'm just glad they are going to make them a more vital part of gameplay in general. Also if you look at one of the barbs skills. I forget the name of it, but it gives life per fury spent increased by + health globe bonuses. (which is an underrated stat btw)


    Yes, I love health globes too ! They remind me the power ups we could get in old school Shoot em up after destroying enemies. It is an nice improvement they made with D3 and maybe they could create different kind of globes, offering other kind of bonuses.
  • #16
    They can solve all their problems by making lifesteal noninstant and capping it to a percentage of your hp , just like Path of Exile does (works like this: you can lifesteal up to x% of your total life - 20% in PoE but can be whatever value - per second).
    That way they can balance around some average values of life gained through lifesteal+loh+regen, with lifesteal being essentially a regen on hit stat, scaling from both dps and hp. This would contribute to people trying to make balanced characters instead of pure glass cannons as well - instead of having Blizzard make that choice for you with that very strange initial implementation of paragon point placement.

    Right now lifesteal functions as life on hit scaling from dps only, which is obviously broken and pretty much impossible to balance around.

    Or they can take the easy way out and, once again, simplify the game's mechanics by removing lifesteal entirely, as it would more or less accomplish the same goals I stated above, but with a lot less flavor. I personally wouldn't want to see that but I'm expecting it anyway (burned too many times by now~).
  • #17
    I think the solution is just to give monster abilities more specific mechanics, and that interact with player movement and abilities, instead of just raw damage output...

    What if a mortar hit also gave you a 5-second stacking debuff that makes you take 100% more damage from subsequent mortar hits? Eating one or two, not a problem... but a few more will instagib anyone.

    What if arcane lasers put a debuff on you that makes you take an increasing amount of damage if you don't stop moving for a few seconds after being tagged? .. and make plague-patches do increasing damage if you don't move out of them.

    What if stuns/blinds/confusions lasted 3 times longer on enemies that used vortex/teleport within the last 0.5 seconds?

    What if desecration's damage was huge, but proportional to how full your health was to the extent that it did almost nothing at 20% health, but could one-shot you if you stood in it at full health?
  • #18
    ^
    The problem is the existence of instagibs, a recognized bad design, which in turn exist because there exist healing mechanics that enable you to heal back to full in a very short time - something must be dangerous for the player, after all.

    And your solution is... more instagibs. Welp :)
  • #19
    Quote from elvy

    ^
    The problem is the existence of instagibs, a recognized bad design, which in turn exist because there exist healing mechanics that enable you to heal back to full in a very short time - something must be dangerous for the player, after all.

    And your solution is... more instagibs. Welp :)


    You seem to have missed the bit where I proposed instagibs that were the result of the player ignoring game mechanics designed to punish indifference to same, whereas current instagibs pretty much come out of nowhere. The subtle (and, in your opinion negligible?) difference is that one is down to player thought and planning, the other is down to RNG.

    ... welp?
  • #20
    I read a solution on the official forums to the LS problem and it makes sense. If they gave monsters resistances but less life it would solve the LS problem. Keep the monster ehp the same (so same kill time, nothing changes)but with resistances we'd do less damage and thus less life returns. No complete immunities but varying resistances would also make things interesting.
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