Good topic on character development

  • #1
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/11396929633?page=1

    The OP is a pretty good read, and the whole thread is of nice quality for the official forums.

    Your opinions on the matter?
    Pietrak#2537 - changed my battle.tag just for you ;P
  • #2
    I completely disagree with him.

    it doesn't follow that just because my skill choices are temporary, I am exactly like every other character of the same class. I have the *potential* to be like *any* other character of my class, but not all at once, and that would not change if my skill choices were not temporary. The only difference there is that I can exercise that potential without starting an entirely new character.

    I think it's false to say that because of that flexibility, Diablo 3 characters are meaningless. Rather, their "meaning" just comes from the class itself rather than the sub-classes we're used to from Diablo 2. It's those labels, like "Whirlwind Barbarian" and "Blizzard Sorceress" that are meaningless, because the defining characteristic - chosen skills - are not static anymore. But it's not a loss, it's a trade - the label "Barbarian" or "Wizard" is more meaningful in Diablo 3 for the same reason. And I think that's a big improvement, because you're getting a whole lot more meaning.

    And you're not losing any "flavor." You just have the option of changing it. If I deck out my Wizard with frost skills, he has that frosty flavor and the fact that I don't have to make a new character to use different skills doesn't diminish that flavor (as long as I'm using those skills, obviously).

    Ultimately, I just think it's just stupid thematically to have locked-in skill choices. I mean seriously, my hero is supposed to come from obscurity to conquer a great evil and does it all using the same skill? Better in my mind that over the course of his journey, he develops a variety of awesome fighting styles that he is able to choose from as he goes from battle to battle. How is that not a more desirable narrative? Instead, I should prefer a character who has one solution to every problem, and as zero adaptability?

    Imagine a barbarian from D2 meeting a barbarian from D3. The D2 barbarian has specialized in whirlwind and axes (i.e. the only real choices he gets to make) and then has the usual 1-point wonders. He can only kill anything by WW'ing it, and if he finds a badass sword he can't comprehend how to use it as effectively as an axe, to the point where it's actually not even worth using for him. The D3 barbarian knows the whirlwind fighting style, but he is not defined by it. He knows many fighting styles, and can combine them however he deems fit. He knows the desert has flying insects that are hard to catch, so he employs a ranged attack or adopts a highly mobile fighting style. He's tracked down a Lesser Evil and readies powerful single-target techniques.He can use almost any weapon as effectively as any other, and can make instant use of whatever he finds.

    The D2 barbarian's girlfriend would dump him on the spot for the D3 barbarian, no contest.
    Last edited by daisychopper: 1/29/2014 11:44:23 AM
  • #3
    These kinds of posts always rally around this idea that every D3 character is the same while trumpeting that they can have 4 different Amazons, all using the same build as someone elses 4 Amazons. Somehow forcing you to reroll to try a different spec, even if it's the same cookie cutter spec is called "character development". The premise just falls flat.

    Personally, I am not an ARPG player that takes a lot of pride in agonizing over every skill point and talent addition. I'm more drawn to action and combat.Being able to switch that up whenever I want without worrying about a mistake or simply an ineffective choice early in my game isn't all that appealing. To me, that's a feature of Diablo 3, not a bug.
    Last edited by eman41: 1/29/2014 3:51:08 PM
  • #4
    His line of argument is reasonable, until this point:

    "The game isn't just about "endgame", because there isn't any of it. There is no PvP and no incentive to reroll. All we have is farming. Farming, farming, farming. More farming. Even Diablo II players didn't play to farm. They might've had an MF character for the sake of grinding boss runs, and they would do it for a few hours on end every other day (or even everyday, for some), but the bulk of your playerbase would reroll constantly."

    I just can't stand it when people generalize their own narrow-minded view and impose their own playstyle/game experience on others. I did not re-roll constantly. I give a rat's ass about PvP. All I did in Diablo 1, Diablo 2, and Diablo 3 was farming. These seem to be some people that joined the franchise just for Diablo 2, and so they should stay at Diablo 2, because all of what he's describing was not available in Diablo 1 (yes, you could pick skill upgrades yourself but in the end every character had maxed-out stats way before the final level 50).

    To be honest, this is just a mindset that doesn't fit into the RPG genre. "Oh, this character is boring, let me re-roll another one." This is the absolute opposite of what should happen. Any good RPG game will encourage you to develop a strong bond towards the one character you're playing. RPG are supposed to put you in a role, and a good game will help you to embrace this roll and feel like the character is so important to you that you never want to switch. Switch gear? Why not, do I wear the same clothes 24/7 in real-life? No on does that. Switch skills? Why not, I can become someone else in real-life if I want to. At the same time, there are people who work at the same store for 45 years, so be it; it's like a WW barb with 1500 hours played. It's your choice.

    CHOICE. FREEDOM OF CHOICE. We have it, and if you feel like "fuck it, RPG" and you rather want to build an army of soulless mercenaries that you don't mind to delete from your account once you get bored with them, go ahead. But it's not what the original Diablo 1 and its origin intended, and it was an abomination of the Diablo 2 series that finally got its long-awaited push back with the introduction of re-spec (albeit too late for many).

    I'm really sick of people asking for less freedom just to satisfy their narrow-minded, constrained, and backwards-oriented D2 nostalgia game play. I'd love to see a parallel universe in which Blizzard would give in to all these bullcrap suggestions, and the very same people would realize immediately how much it would suck.
  • #5
    Quote from daisychopper


    it doesn't follow that just because my skill choices are temporary, I am exactly like every other character of the same class. I have the *potential* to be like *any* other character of my class, but not all at once, and that would not change if my skill choices were not temporary. The only difference there is that I can exercise that potential without starting an entirely new character.


    Well it's stupid to say that all D3 WDs are alike but not also criticizing D2 because all WW Barbs were alike. I mean, if the idea of "cookie-cutter builds" is what is so horrible about D3, then D2 suffered the same general pitfall, right?

    I just think it's false to insinuate that re-leveling a character is something that most people enjoy. If I had a dollar for every time someone on these forums has complained about going through story mode four times per character (a completely different character class, not just a new spec) I'd have a pretty large sum of money. Therefore, I can't believe that the average D2 player was THAT enamored with the process of playing through the game again just to try a new build. I know that, among my friends, we all rushed each others characters once we had a high-level character. Why? Because all "leveling" in D2 meant was 5 skill points and 1 talent point. All you really were doing was amassing resources.

    It was as cold and impersonal a process as it is in D3 for the very same reason: replaying the story every time you started a new character isn't fun now and it wasn't fun then regardless of the motivation to do so. I'm much happier wasting my time actually trying out skills when I get the urge to as opposed to wasting hours starting a new character to do so. It allows me to dabble into things I normally wouldn't because I don't have that massive time sink on a per-build basis.
    67.1k elite kills :: 1.98m total kills :: p255
    Planet Express <PlanEx>
    (V) (°,,°) (V)
  • #6
    One thing that shoots a major hole through the OP's post is this quote:


    Your character can do it all. He can be good, bad, godly, mediocre, and do all of this within 15 minutes.


    15 minutes is all it takes in the live game, due to the Auction House, and mainly because on the live game, there aren't nearly as many builds that are viable in endgame as there on the PTR or RoS beta. So as far as character development not having any flavor, all D2 had was that you were pretty much forced (unless you farmed Tokens of Absolution) to reroll a brand new toon to enjoy a new/different build. In D3, especially in RoS, you can cover yourself in Cold Damage gear, and if you want to switch to Fire, well...you can modify all your skills to fire, but you're going to be at a disadvantage until you get Fire Damage gear. Same process, just done differently.

    Which confuses me to no end, because isn't this the community that's constantly saying how they don't want to be forced to 1) have to beat the game a million times over and over when playing new characters, and 2) have to revisit the same content over and over? Yet, this OP is perfectly fine with beating the game a million times with all the different available builds in D2? They're willing to revisit the same content over and over? A bit contradictory, if you ask me. Even if you're playing with a new or different build, it's still the same content.

    Furthermore, this person seems unconcerned with drops and items, and more focused on skills, but if you look hard enough, you can find people killing Hell Baal naked. That's sad. It means there's almost no importance on gear whatsoever, and if you spam potions and the right spells enough, you don't need to find a single piece of gear at all.

    They say that Wizards carrying around huge axes throws "flavor" out the window. Seriously? Just because they're choosing to use a different weapon than a standard Wand and Source? That's not flavor? Come on.

    And by the way...plenty of people who allegedly loved rerolling new toons, guess what...they got power leveled by friends to at least 30 so they didn't have to go through the trouble of leveling a new character from scratch. Reminds me of all the people who demand more randomized maps in D3, and fail to remember just how common it was to use MapHack in D2...ya know, because people loved random maps so bloody much.

    Nostalgia is a real killer. I say this all the time, and I'm gonna keep saying it...D2 was great, but one of the big things holding D3 back is simply that people are absolutely UNABLE to change routines they've invested in for over 10 years, no matter how antiquated and flawed and contradictory they are.
    Last edited by CardinalMDM: 1/29/2014 12:57:45 PM
    Pre AH-shutdown Transcendence/Spirit (Re)gen build, uses only found and crafted gear and gems, can handle MP7.
  • #7
    Bandyto#2350
    EU
  • #8
    Quote from Bagstone
    His line of argument is reasonable, until this point:
    "The game isn't just about "endgame", because there isn't any of it. There is no PvP and no incentive to reroll. All we have is farming. Farming, farming, farming. More farming. Even Diablo II players didn't play to farm. They might've had an MF character for the sake of grinding boss runs, and they would do it for a few hours on end every other day (or even everyday, for some), but the bulk of your playerbase would reroll constantly."
    I just can't stand it when people generalize their own narrow-minded view and impose their own playstyle/game experience on others. I did not re-roll constantly. I give a rat's ass about PvP. All I did in Diablo 1, Diablo 2, and Diablo 3 was farming. These seem to be some people that joined the franchise just for Diablo 2, and so they should stay at Diablo 2, because all of what he's describing was not available in Diablo 1 (yes, you could pick skill upgrades yourself but in the end every character had maxed-out stats way before the final level 50).
    To be honest, this is just a mindset that doesn't fit into the RPG genre. "Oh, this character is boring, let me re-roll another one." This is the absolute opposite of what should happen. Any good RPG game will encourage you to develop a strong bond towards the one character you're playing. RPG are supposed to put you in a role, and a good game will help you to embrace this roll and feel like the character is so important to you that you never want to switch. Switch gear? Why not, do I wear the same clothes 24/7 in real-life? No on does that. Switch skills? Why not, I can become someone else in real-life if I want to. At the same time, there are people who work at the same store for 45 years, so be it; it's like a WW barb with 1500 hours played. It's your choice.
    CHOICE. FREEDOM OF CHOICE. We have it, and if you feel like "fuck it, RPG" and you rather want to build an army of soulless mercenaries that you don't mind to delete from your account once you get bored with them, go ahead. But it's not what the original Diablo 1 and its origin intended, and it was an abomination of the Diablo 2 series that finally got its long-awaited push back with the introduction of re-spec (albeit too late for many).
    I'm really sick of people asking for less freedom just to satisfy their narrow-minded, constrained, and backwards-oriented D2 nostalgia game play. I'd love to see a parallel universe in which Blizzard would give in to all these bullcrap suggestions, and the very same people would realize immediately how much it would suck.

  • #9
    Really?



    Does it ever get old?
    Not even Death will save you from Diablo Bunny's Cuteness!


  • #10
    Time for me to voice my opinion. Only reason I didn't do it in the OP was time constraints. So, here we go:

    Generally speaking, I simply like to make choices and live with the consequences, no matter if they are bad or good.While I understand that skill flexibility is something that is favored by some people, the OP from the official forums nailed my thoughts on a very specific point - for all that leveling is worth, we could start new characters at maximum level. Leveling has no meaning in Diablo 3 at all. You don't make any choices that impact the future of your character. Just don't get me wrong - I'm not one of those people who rerolled a character in D2 because of a 1 misplaced skill point, I never had a lvl99 character either. But I very much liked the Diablo 2 concept of progressive, thoughtful character development with a final goal in mind. In Diablo 3 we level our character just to arrive at a specific, set point and from there our choice is gear and skills, both of which can be swapped freely. So if you are provided with gear, your character can be just as any other character of the same class without breaking a sweat. Perhaps some people like it, I don't. You may say that in this case, PoE is the game for me, not D3 - no, sorry, it isn't. I tried it and I just don't like it, too clunky mechanics, clunky gameplay, graphics hurt my eyes a tad.

    As for rerolling, you got to understand that the rerolling system in Diablo 2 was not ideal. Replaying the whole story over and over got boring really fast. Actually I think that rerolling would have much more flavor in RoS with Adventure mode, but in RoS there still isn't any reason to reroll a character. I simply think that there should be a choice in this - each player should choose for himself if he wants to lock his skills or not, I did suggest this in a thread a few days/weeks back. And don't get me started on the "I can already choose" argument - no, I can't. A meaningful choice is an irreversible one. I'm not gifted with an iron will to resist the temptations that skill flexibility causes.

    @Daisychopper - if you think that it is stupid thematically to lock skills, then what do you think about being able to choose only 6 skills from all available? Taking your reasoning further, it's equally stupid thematically to be a powerful Wizard and decide that "meh, I will be using only 6 skills out of 150 combinations during the next fight".

    @CardinalMDM - Wizards using huge axes *is* throwing the flavor out of the window, for me at least. If a Wizard can use a huge ax, then why a Barbarian can't use a wand to smack monsters with it? Why can't a Monk jam his fist into a Witch Doctor mojo and hit monsters with it? It's the same level of absurdity for me. Immersion is an important factor for me. Don't get me wrong, I know that perhaps you like it, I don't want to take anything away from you. But for me it goes like this:
    A Wizard with a wand+source / 2h staff is ideal.
    A Wizard with a slender, light weapon (sword, dagger, spear) + source is good.
    A Wizard with a heavy 1h weapon is bad.
    A Wizard with a massive 2h weapon is horrible.
    A Wizard who is forced to wield a massive 2h weapon in order to maximize DPS (Skorn) is the worst nightmare.

    Same analogy goes for the other classes.



    Pietrak#2537 - changed my battle.tag just for you ;P
  • #11


    Quote from Enty


    Really?Does it ever get old?

    nope... it doesn't
    Playing Diablo since 97. I know nothing and having nothing good to say, I be a troll.
  • #12
    I'm with you guys, re-rolling was never fun for me in D2, and I am strongly against it in D3.

    At first when D3 came out i wasn't so sure about the skill system. But the more time has gone on, the more i have loved it. When the game first came out and i finally beat inferno months later, i went through alot of builds on my DH trying to figure out what worked for me. Eventually i settled on a Caltrops / Grenadier / Cluster arrow type build that fit my play style for a long time. 1.0.8 came out with the density and Rapid Fire buffs and i switched to Rapid Fire and played that for a while, then found a very nice WF and decided to make a build to capitalize on that (entagling shot shock collar + ball lightning) and ditched my manticore and have been playing that up until I hit P100 a few weeks ago.

    I could of never done this in D2 (well maybe now with the re-spec they added). But i would have loved to... like the time I build an awesome all Fire Sorceress in D2 that destroyed Normal and Nightmare and thought it was so Bad Ass until I hit Hell and realized almost half of the mobs where Fire immune. My character was literally useless, unless I played in a group. I was so pissed!

    So no thank you!
  • #13
    Beware: IMO ahead!

    Why do 'meaningful, permanent decisions' have any place in an action game focused on slaughtering enemies in their thousands with the aim of getting better gear so we can slaughter more enemies in their more thousands?

    D3 isn't an RPG. It's not a carefully crafted branching narrative than we get to pick our way through with well-considered choices and unclear consequences. If you want that, you chose the wrong game. The leveling process is meaningless... so what? Its main purpose was as a gating mechanism for skills to avoid making new players overwhelmed (the fact that it was a tedious threefold rinse'n'repeat is another issue entirely). D3's story, such that it is, is just a loose narrative to provide a reason for the themes of the various zones that we endlessly bounce around at max level. Honestly, I would've liked a 'jump in at the deep end' option for character creation that just gave us a leveled character kitted out with random blues and all zones unlocked and let us go nuts.

    People can already play with a fixed skillset if they want, but if the temptation to break their own personal ruleset is so irresistible, doesn't that just mean it's 'masochist lite' mode for people too skittish to tackle hardcore? It seems to me that a lot of the people wanting 'lockdown mode' basically just want an official game mode with the cachet of hardcore mode, but with a much lower real-world skill requirement.
    Last edited by Catalept: 1/29/2014 9:04:58 PM
  • #14
    Quote from Pietrak

    @Daisychopper - if you think that it is stupid thematically to lock skills, then what do you think about being able to choose only 6 skills from all available? Taking your reasoning further, it's equally stupid thematically to be a powerful Wizard and decide that "meh, I will be using only 6 skills out of 150 combinations during the next fight".


    You can take any argument to the extreme case and make it look silly, so I'm not really sure what you're trying to demonstrate here. Take your own preference as an example - if you think that players should have to make choices and live with the consequences, why not let each player only ever have one character? You're only one person, after all. Oh well, you chose to play a Sorceress, live with the consequences.

    EDIT: I should address your point about the 6-skill limit. Your logic is off. My argument is that less restriction = less stupid, so proposing a situation with even less restriction = even less stupid, not more stupid. Being able to use any skill at any time would be bad-ass, thematically, and would make even more sense than the 6-skill limit, which I do think feels a little bit arbitrary. I just think that it would be a pain in the ass mechanically, so I am happy to have it. I hate how games like WoW have 88 keys, and I need to use like 10 keys and 3 modifiers to use everything.

    Regardless, it certainly doesn't change the fact that locked skills are stupid.
    Last edited by daisychopper: 1/29/2014 10:27:26 PM
  • #15

    Quote from Pietrak »
    A meaningful choice is an irreversible one.


    I feel like this is your thesis, and, unfortunately I couldn't disagree more because you seem to be insinuating that unless a choice is set-in-stone it has no meaning.

    I can go back to the eye doctor and choose a new pair of frames at any time. Does that mean my choice in glasses is immaterial and worthless? Of course not.

    I can file for divorce. Does that mean I don't take my choice in spouse seriously? Hell no.

    I can go get a new job. Does that mean that I just took ANYTHING that came along? Definitely not.

    Arguably the majority of the important decisions in our life are NOT set-in-stone, yet they are still very important and not inconsequential either. Furthermore, by the "it's only fun if I can't revert it" logic, any game in the history of gaming with a save file that you could save before an action and reload after an action if the outcome was undesirable is.... a horrible game that no one should enjoy. Yet games like Final Fantasy 7 (and Diablo 1) where people did exactly that were popular because (shocker) people just don't like being 100% locked down by their choices.

    I mean, ultimately, why do you think D2 eventually added respecs? Why do you think WoW (whose talent trees were obviously an evolution of the D2 skill trees) has had talent respecs since forever?

    Like Catalept said... an ARPG isn't a pure RPG in that sense. Some ARPGs slide more towards the RPG side of things, but even those really aren't true D&D-style RPGs. In fact, I read an interview where Dave Brevik specifically said that their goal with D1 was to make a game that was combat-oriented and fast-paced as compared to a traditional RPG.
    67.1k elite kills :: 1.98m total kills :: p255
    Planet Express <PlanEx>
    (V) (°,,°) (V)
  • #16
    In general I'm not very fond of people revisiting the same topics over and over again, and I understand some user's comments about this subject having been discussed a lot.

    Lemme just propose that, every now and then, specially after some time has passed, discussing an old subject can have its advantages, usually bringing a new perspective to a discussion (most sciences do that all the time?). Being analysed after some time has passed allows people to mature their thoughts, to think about the subject with more depth, to revisit their own feelings (about some systems, after actually playing the game for some time).

    If anything, a new thread/discussion on a subject can help at least in keeping things very clear and organized, and to be a future reference for whoever wants to revisit the discussion.

    I mean, just look at the quality of the posts in this thread, most of them are worth reading and have some pretty good arguments. No raging, no spamming, and almost no trolling (except for some snide remarks^_^). I like that... it's healthy for the game and its community ;)

    My 2 cents on what some of you think about beating dead horses...
  • #17
    Really guys, why are you so surprised that topics like this come back from time to time?

    Some people, me among them, have some specific thoughts on some subjects, so topics like this will be coming back, regardless if it is beating a dead horse or not. You have the same right to support the current state of character development as I do to voice a desire for changes. If you feel it's beating a dead horse then please refrain from posting posts without any value.

    I will reply to your specific post later in the evening.
    Pietrak#2537 - changed my battle.tag just for you ;P
  • #18
    At this stage the idea that a change along these line should or could reasonably be implemented in D3 is completely flawed (it would be akin to stopping participants in a road race and insisting they swim the remaining distance). Such a radical departure from the status quo is not something that should be introduced in a patch or x-pack and would almost certainly alienate a large number of existing players that prefer the action side to the RP one.

    There are many many games out there that offer meaningful irreversible choices, and perhaps the vocal minority that want that should go and play those games rather than asking developers to make sweeping changes to the fundamentals of games that don't offer that.
    Last edited by Maffia: 1/30/2014 8:55:36 AM
  • #19

  • #20
    So for me, I like the concept that was attempted with D3 in regards to skills and progression, I just think they missed the mark quite a bit.

    What I mean by that is that they took out the skill tree/points system that was very rigid, and tried to move specialization from the leveling process, to gear. In this regard, your skills can be changed at any time, but the gear you are using will make one build more efficient than another. In vanilla, they totally missed the boat on this, because the prevailing affixes for build agnostic. With ROS, they seem to be trying to create gear that is more themed for a specific build (or at least a specific subset of builds), which should lead to some sort of gear diversity, assuming that there are numerous builds that are actually viable.

    The issue with this approach, is that even when implemented to perfection, it doesn't offer permanent choices, or choices that have a huge time/resource sink to undo. For some people that is a huge issue, while for others it's not. For me, I don't really care much about permanent choices. For those that do, there are systems that could be added in that could potentially add in some permanence, without adding in skill points. Just a quick example would be to add charms with a talisman for "active" charms, and a separate inventory space for non-active ones (like TL2, that way they aren't taking up space in the current inventory). The charms on the talisman could have a cost to remove (degrades the properties, gold, crafting materials), and could have affixes that affect skills, runes, skill groups, etc. This adds in a semi-permanent skill modification system that is still subject to RNG for drops, and adds specialization.

    For me, that would add to the game without taking away the flexibility of the current skill system. It makes it more difficult to be efficient when switching builds, but it's still an option. This doesn't solve the issue of re-rolling though. Not a fan of having to re-roll, so I haven't really thought of ways to make it a thing.
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