Core Attribute Changes to D3

  • #1
    Whilst developing Diablo III, it became clear that the core stats that they had gone with had become confusing and somewhat ambiguous. In the example that they gave, Willpower increased damage specifically for casters whereas Strength increased weapon damage for non-spellcaster classes. Because a lot of the Monk and Barbarian abilities looked like spells due to their visual effects, these attributes could easily be confused. When the Demon Hunter came into play, one would logically think her damage would be dependent on Dexterity as opposed to Strength.

    In addition to the confusion caused by the stats, Blizzard has made it a goal of theirs to increase build diversity within the next game of the series. In Diablo II, everyone knew that you did not waste points into energy, you only put enough points into Strength to use the gear you had planned on, and enough Dexterity for max Block, so the rest could simply be dumped into Vitality for as much health as possible. Blizz wants to stray away from this mentality within D3, and they are going to do just that by creating core stats that apply to all classes and builds. Something else they had left out of the core stats was some sort of Resource stat, similar to how Energy worked in D2. However, by making this stat scale over time (through stats), they will be able to tune it a lot easier.

    With the design flaws in mind, the stat system is being changed. The new core attributes are being changed from Strength, Dexterity, Vitality, and Willpower to: Attack, Precision, Vitality, Defense, and Willpower. Here's the rest of the official post on the details for the new stats as well as a short Q&A about the new system.



    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Attack: Increases damage
    - This stat will be a universal damage increasing stat for all classes to prevent confusion about what you should increase to do more damage.
    - We realize that ‘Attack’ is less flavorful than ‘Strength’ and ‘Willpower’, but we feel the pros of understanding clearly how to build your character outweigh that con.
    - This stat has no secondary effects.

    Precision: Increases crit chance
    - This will be tuned to be comparable in power to Attack increases for the most part.
    - So why have Precision? Mainly so we can play into it with affixes, runes, and traits. Linking effects to crits gives us another hook for designing skills and gives the player options to create ‘crit builds’ that play different than normal attack builds. Examples of the kind of crit effects we 'could' do (not saying we are, these are examples):
    - - Cleave crits cause monsters to explode and do damage to those around them.
    - - Lifesteal could be an ‘on crit only’ affix.
    - This is a more finesse stat, and we’re fine with that. Most people will want Attack by default, but they won’t mind getting precision.
    - This stat has no secondary effect.

    Vitality: Increases health
    - And it's staying that way!
    - This stat has no secondary effect (seeing the pattern here?).

    Defense: Decreases all damage taken
    - This stat is separate from armor and resistances, each of which effects different damage types. This stat effects ‘all’ damage.
    - This stat will allow players to control incoming damage rather than increasing health capacity, which is useful to reduce the need for health globes and pots, and allows players to double down on defense for survival focused builds.
    - This stat is also useful for PVP, and likely will be valued in the arenas, but isn't tuned to be a 'PVP' only stat.
    - This stat has no secondary effects.

    Willpower: Affects resource in class-specific ways
    - The effects of this stat will change from class to class. It will be our goal to make it roughly equivalently valuable across classes and versus other attributes.
    - Basically this stat will give you more access to whatever restricts your resource by default: capacity, regen rate, degeneration rate, generation rate, etc.

    This will change and affect several item affixes, but specifically we’ll be making the following changes to address issues with casters under-valuing gear (more below in Q&A), and to clear out attributes that are going away:
    - Removing +spell damage affixes
    - Adding Bonus % damage for wizard skills (wizard only)
    - Adding Bonus % damage for witch doctor skills (witch doctor only)
    - Removing Strength
    - Removing Dexterity

    Q&A

    Q: Why do none of the core stats have secondary effects?
    A: To focus their intent, making them simple and straightforward to understand. Your core attributes boil down to: damage, crit, health, damage mitigation, and resource.

    Q: Since the attributes mostly only have one effect why not name them for that effect? Why not have ‘Damage’, ‘Crit Chance’, ‘Health’, etc.?
    A: The main reason is so that we can value the attributes against one another. If you see one item with +15 health and another item with +3 Damage, and those are both core attributes, the general assumption is that the health is the better choice, because the number is bigger. But that may not be the case. By having representational core attributes we can play with the math under the hood so that +3 Vitality is roughly equal to +3 Attack, which makes assessing loot more straight forward.

    Also, because common terms like ‘damage’ and ‘health’ are used in a variety of ways, re-using them for core attributes is potentially more confusing than going with symbolic attributes.

    And finally, it sounds cooler to make a ‘Vitality’ barbarian than a ‘Health’ barbarian. ;)

    Q: Why is +spell damage going away as an affix?
    A: Same reason we combined Strength and Willpower into Attack, it was inherently confusing as an attribute.

    Q: Why add wizard and witch doctor only damage increase affixes?
    A: Casters who don’t rely on weapons need a reason to care about their weapons. The monk, barb, and demon hunter all have the DPS stat that has a big impact on their damage. This was the purpose of +spell damage, so without it the wizard and witch doctor will be missing a damage modifier stat to make up for their lack of need for weapon DPS. We’re adding these stats as weapon focused affixes that will make wizard’s and witch doctor’s care about their weapons. This specifically addresses issues that Diablo II had where some classes could more effectively stack magic find gear than others without hurting their damage output or survivability.

    This is one of many, many possible solutions we considered. This one ultimately felt the cleanest and most straightforward.

    Q: How will items work that get these new wizard and witch doctor affixes? Will only class specific items get them? In general what’s the philosophy behind class specific items?
    A: It is not our intent that classes always use their class specific items, specifically in the weapon department. But, class specific items will be predictable sources for stats good for your class, as we’ll restrict them to only carry affixes your class could want.

    However, all affixes you could want will still appear on any weapon your class can use. So Wizards can get swords with '+% to Wizard Skills'. Such items will be more rare, so more melee oriented classes aren’t always getting their weapons ruined by wizard only stats, but it will happen.

    Q: But I hate getting items that say ‘Wizard Only’, or ‘Witch Doctor Only’ on them when I could have used them otherwise!
    A: Please re-phrase in the form of a question. ;)

    Nobody likes getting items that aren’t for them, but it’s the core of the game. Lots of class specific, weird, or flat out crappy items drop in Diablo. That’s part of what makes the really good items, good. Yes, seeing ‘this item is not for you’ effectively written on an item sucks, but it’s a con worth the pro of the class balance it promotes.

    Q: Isn’t this a big scary change to make so late in development?
    A: It’s not as scary as it sounds, assuming you, gentle reader, aren't frightened. :) The core of game balance is going to happen approaching the final stages of development. Most of this is a re-structuring of how things work, not a reinvention, so impact is somewhat predictable. Many of these changes actually make the balance process easier and more straightforward. We had also already been planning to go over, tune, or improve many of the parts and pieces that this change affects.

    Don't misunderstand, this is a fairly big change, but it’s work worth doing for the most important reason of all: we believe it will make the game better.
    The Chat Gem Lives!
    Diablo III Analyst
    SC2Mapster
  • #2
    I'm going to pretend that this is the locked thread which was created by Jackzor, and quote from it as if everyone knows what I'm talking about. Admins may become enraged if they so chose.

    I'm most excited about the language used at the end stating that they were in the late stages of development. I think that means that its likely we will see D3 come out mid/late 2011 (in my humble opinion) "snillum101"


    While I'm also hopeful for a late 2011 release, I gotta say that the language at the end of the update DID NOT sound like they were in the late stages. To me it sounded like the opposite.

    Observe:
    The core of game balance is going to happen approaching the final stages of development. "Bashiok"


    That is future tense. They've been referencing the balancing that will happen in the "late" stages of development for about two years now. If anything, this is a clear statement that we are not in the late stages of development.


    In other news, I approve of the melding of the damage output attributes, and I also hope for some more interesting nouns for naming the attributes.

    To me, the most interesting thing about this update is the focus on making willpower(energy) a useful attribute. I always wanted to be able to make casters in D2 that were magically (read: mana) superior to other builds, and was always disappointed that it made almost no difference how many points you put into energy by the time you hit late game.
  • #3
    Well the threads aren't merged but good point italofoca, Power and Willpower would be a bit weird.

    And Ophion, I'm pretty sure spells can crit. At least they can in most games that use crit as a base stat. Most of the changes seem to be centered around making it so that many classes can use similar gear, and having spellcasters gain crit through items would give them even more of an incentive to get items. And the description of Precision doesn't mention it only applying to melee characters. It would kind of suck as a spellcaster to not gain bonuses like monsters exploding from crits, or to miss out on the deaths caused by crits. And it makes enough sense, I'm sure getting hit in the face by a lightning bolt would hurt more than getting hit in your armor.


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  • #4
    I don't know :/ In D2 you could only crit with weapon based skills, so why would they change that without telling us, especially in a decriptive post like that one?


    Anyway, unless all names are changed there is no point in changing a single one. It would only look weird with an old/new combination.
  • #5
    I understand where Ophion is coming from... In D2 there are no magic crits... but if you watch the new D3 pvp video you can see the Wizards spells are critting now... happens several times with Disintergrate and Spectral Blade...*the crits are the yellow numbers*
  • #6
    I for one have always liked games where my spells had a chance to crit, so this is a least in part good.
  • #7
    I agree with the special damage increase affixes for the Wizard and Witch Doctor, however I don't agree with the attribute changes. To some it might seem simpler or more straight forward, however I see it as just more dumbing down. I don't think it's a difficult prospect to learn the difference between Strength and Willpower, or how they play into character customization. Also I don't see how limiting character customization or simplifying it creates more "build diversity"? Sometimes simplification is not a good thing, and the more and more I follow Diablo 3's development, the angrier I get because of these "tweaks". First it was the graphics, then it was AutoStat Distribution, so on, and so on, and now we get this.

    I'm waiting for them to hand over Project Lead to Michael Bay at this point. /facepalm



  • #8
    Quote from Ophion

    I don't know :/ In D2 you could only crit with weapon based skills, so why would they change that without telling us, especially in a decriptive post like that one?


    Anyway, unless all names are changed there is no point in changing a single one. It would only look weird with an old/new combination.


    The spell critical mod is present in the D3 skills description at early stages. Also in the Diablo 3 PvP video, if you play attention, you cna see the wizard "critically hit" several times using desintegrate (normaly her damage is 15 but now and then a larger yellow 22 appear).

    Also they want each stats useful to each class. Since they didn't mentioned any other effect to precision, it's implied that it also works for spells. Or else precision would be useless for casters, wich is impossible to happen.
    "In time the hissing of her sanity
    Faded out her voice and soiled her name
    And like marked pages in a diary
    Everything seemed clean that is unstained
    The incoherent talk of ordinary days
    Why would we really need to live?
    Decide what is clear and what's within a haze
    What you should take and what to give" - Opeth
  • #9
    Well then, I know when to give up :) Spells crit... but precision is still i really lame name for it!

    Imma aimin' ma precision lazor! Following dat is ma precision chunk of burnin' stone from te sky!
  • #10
    Quote from Royalkin

    I agree with the special damage increase affixes for the Wizard and Witch Doctor, however I don't agree with the attribute changes. To some it might seem simpler or more straight forward, however I see it as just more dumbing down. I don't think it's a difficult prospect to learn the difference between Strength and Willpower, or how they play into character customization. Also I don't see how limiting character customization or simplifying it creates more "build diversity"? Sometimes simplification is not a good thing, and the more and more I follow Diablo 3's development, the angrier I get because of these "tweaks". First it was the graphics, then it was AutoStat Distribution, so on, and so on, and now we get this.

    I'm waiting for them to hand over Project Lead to Michael Bay at this point. /facepalm


    I completely agree that my first reaction was "oh geeze, more dumbing down".

    But I think that excuse for simplicity shouldn't even be mentioned. These changes are good for other reasons.

    Quote from Ophion

    Well then, I know when to give up :) Spells crit... but precision is still i really lame name for it!

    Imma aimin' ma precision lazor! Following dat is ma precision chunk of burnin' stone from te sky!

    Completely unrelated examples for the win? But I agree its not -that- nice, but it doesn't sound half as bad as Attack.
  • #11
    I sort of understand people's complaints about simplicity, but from the sound of it they haven't actually made it any simpler. Strength increased damage for melee classes. Willpower increased it for spellcasters. Now they merged the two into Attack. It's not any simpler from a gameplay perspective at all, it's just more straightforward.

    Also, it seems like none of the stats increase the accuracy of melee attacks. Is it possible to miss when using melee attacks?
  • #12
    Quote from SFJake

    Completely unrelated examples for the win?


    Disintegrate and Meteor? Where is the precision in those spells?


    And I just came up with the answer by myself. Precision in executing the spell. Kthxbye *leaves*.
  • #13
    I meant you use them in situations no one would use them. Make it dexterity and it doesn't sound better.
  • #14
    Quote from Royalkin

    I agree with the special damage increase affixes for the Wizard and Witch Doctor, however I don't agree with the attribute changes. To some it might seem simpler or more straight forward, however I see it as just more dumbing down. I don't think it's a difficult prospect to learn the difference between Strength and Willpower, or how they play into character customization. Also I don't see how limiting character customization or simplifying it creates more "build diversity"? Sometimes simplification is not a good thing, and the more and more I follow Diablo 3's development, the angrier I get because of these "tweaks". First it was the graphics, then it was AutoStat Distribution, so on, and so on, and now we get this.

    I'm waiting for them to hand over Project Lead to Michael Bay at this point. /facepalm


    simplification on something automatic would only save time in understanding what they are trying to represent. nobody appreciates purely critical analysis.

    im wondering how armor would work with resistance and defense. in d2 resistance worked by reducing damage directly while armor reduced chance to be hit (with attack rating countering this). here is hoping that armor class will be working like resistance and defence; because crit would become really unstable (especially in pvp) if you needed to crit before your build worked and kept missing, not that missing a whole lot wouldnt make it unstable in the first place).
  • #15
    Quote from newt_mcmac

    The core of game balance is going to happen approaching the final stages of development. "Bashiok"


    That is future tense. They've been referencing the balancing that will happen in the "late" stages of development for about two years now. If anything, this is a clear statement that we are not in the late stages of development.


    They're in the late stage of development. Late stage is obviously different than the final stage. Final stage is the stage where there is a beta and release is closing.


    Quote from Royalkin

    I agree with the special damage increase affixes for the Wizard and Witch Doctor, however I don't agree with the attribute changes. To some it might seem simpler or more straight forward, however I see it as just more dumbing down.


    I have to admit that on first thought I couldn't prevent myself from thinking that this is simplifying the game.

    However, then I realized the genius in this change. Before, it was kind of difficult to compare stats. With a huge number of secondary effects, there was no intuitive way to determine in-game whether you wanted a ring with +5 dexterity and +4 vitality or one with +6 strength and +3 vitality. You would have to factor the dodge from dexterity, more damage blocked from strength and so forth.

    With this change it is possible to compare different stats in-game without the use of various off-game calculators like you had to use in Diablo II.


    Quote from Ophion

    Well then, I know when to give up :) Spells crit... but precision is still i really lame name for it!Imma aimin' ma precision lazor! Following dat is ma precision chunk of burnin' stone from te sky!


    'Precision' could refer to the precision of reciting the spell words and doing the gestures for casting it, occasionally resulting in a perfectly cast spell, which crits ;).
  • #16
    The fact that this invites (or requires) a blue wall-of-text probably indicates that the committee overthought it, deviated from the classic Gygax/Arneson canon and made a crappy design.

    It's a shame, stripped-down simplicity was really the essence of the classic Diablo formula.
  • #17
    This is not info that I necessarily care about. I want something much more substantial, but I'll give my two cents on this.

    I have no problem with "Attack" being named the way it is. I think it is quite appropriate. Perhaps we should name it something else like "BR00T4LITY" or "(Insert Death Metal band name here"). -_-

    Being ridiculous is so much fun.

    I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
  • #18
    I always thought Diablo II had some real problems with attributes. From time to time I had a felling like "I'm going to make the strongest barbarian ever with 300+ Str to destroy my enemies without mercy!!!" and then looked at the currently good builds to set a guideline on attributes. ALL SINGLE BUILDS would be like "Enough str to equipment, dex to block and equipment and all else in vit". Then I was like "F**k barbarian, I'm going to make the Legolas of the Amazons, the greatest dexterity the world of sanctuary has ever seen." and then the SAME attributes as the barbarian builds. It seems that if you want to survive in hell you MUST do the same attribute script no matter what character or build you are using. That felt extremely dull.

    Nobody likes getting items that aren’t for them, but it’s the core of the game. Lots of class specific, weird, or flat out crappy items drop in Diablo. That’s part of what makes the really good items, good. Yes, seeing ‘this item is not for you’ effectively written on an item sucks, but it’s a con worth the pro of the class balance it promotes.


    Hum, I don't recall everything they announced about items. Can someone refresh my mind on the matter? Are the still considering some mechanisms to avoid people picking up the drops so quickly that the slower ones would get nothing? And are they making something to stop a Hell Mephisto dropping a bunch of quivers, two stamina potions and a +1 light radius ring?
  • #19
    My take on stats names:

    Power (attack)
    Control (precision)
    Vitality (vitality)
    Resistance (defense)
    Energy or Endurance (willpower)

    I'm not worried about the change, I think they're good and not a dumbing down. It was way more lame to have to dump points into vitality and use the other stats just as requirements for gear.

    The thing that worries me is that they're still making such big changes at this time, it means they're not as late as I'd hope into development..


    Break beneath the endless tide!
  • #20
    Any game designed to be complicated is a bad game. Designers aim for depth, not complexity. However, to achieve depth you have to pay a price in the form of adding complex mechanics. It's a trade off.

    A change that simplifies the game (less complication) without touching the depth is surely a good change. You pay a smaller price to achieve the same end.

    And this change do not decrease the depth of the game at all. In the old system the choice was just straight forward as it is now: wizard and docs pick willpower, the rest pick str. In the end each class increase his damage by picking ONE stat for damage. In terms of gameplay it doesn't matter if classes picks diferent stats if they all play the same.

    Power (attack)
    Control (precision)
    Vitality (vitality)
    Resistance (defense)
    Energy or Endurance (willpower)


    I agree that Power/Energy is alot better then Attack/Willpower. But control is a terrible, terrible lame name =/.
    I don't see the problem with precision. You kno, you have to aim spells just like you do with weapons.
    "In time the hissing of her sanity
    Faded out her voice and soiled her name
    And like marked pages in a diary
    Everything seemed clean that is unstained
    The incoherent talk of ordinary days
    Why would we really need to live?
    Decide what is clear and what's within a haze
    What you should take and what to give" - Opeth
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