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    posted a message on Necromancer post by J. Mueller

    This is somewhat interesting. Is Blizzard really adding a new class via patch? Would seem like major fan-service to keep D3 relevant for a bit. I've skipped the last two seasons, not really intending on joining this one either. Adding a new class into the mix? I'd come back for sure.


    Source seems pretty legit as well, the guy was 100% spot-on for brawls, and leaked a character concept for OverWatch. Ironically, that character's artwork and this Necro piece were both found hidden within the BBC16 merchandise site - pretty odd place to place stuff. Taking Saturday off so I can get the inside scoop on BlizzCon might pay off after all...

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Strange "new" class

    OP already pointed this out, but 3rd is a male monk. The not-so subtle overlay of the season leaf with green shading causes this effect. In 4th place you have a male WD - point of reference is to the left. The facial outlines matches up identically with the male WD when you disregard the gradation of the afforementioned green seasonal symbol.


    This effect can be replicated quite easily within photoshop - its a telltale sign of two seperate planes not melding together without features of the bottom layer being obscured or altered. This is usually what happenes when something is done fairly quick, without care or without experience.


    As far as the BlizzCon '15 art goes, that is most likely a simple misinterpretation of the general populous to a stylized piece of work. Unlike Blizzard's actual game artwork, all their IPs are included in one piece with a unitary, living artstyle. Also, people tend to associate Diablo's characters especially with only having one facial expression so it can be strange to see this isn't the case. This intense, almost crazed depition of the Crusader is actually quite normal when people put force into a full swing with a hammer, axe or anything heavy, really. Think about a lumberjack, for example.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on David Brevik on Twitter...

    Quote from cmacqgo-next

    Given that jpeg, I would say he is referring to Grim Dawn actually


    Thats simply an arrow pointing up, it looks nothing like the devotion system in Grim Dawn.
    Actually, its not just an arrow pointing up. As mentioned further up in the thread, its an actual star constellation based on the Scale of Justice. That being said, other games, in this case Grim Dawn, have used zodiac signs, whether fictional or not, before. As some people may known, Brevik stopped being an integral part of Grim Dawn development, but since then has become the consultant (adviser) for the franchise. Anything after that point is based purely on speculation.
    This is another one of those hype-fests that is solely based on how you want to interpret what has been going on recently. And its at this part where I think to myself, I'd really like to see a D4 within the next few years, but I don't care for the hype built on the grasping at straws from some random stringed-together news by a variety of people. Not that I didn't love doing that myself a decade ago, but I hardly have the time in the day to research into all these things that could mean something. I'm perfectly content with just getting definitive answers these days, and until then, I'll enjoy playing other games that are still perfectly fine in their own right without being Diablo.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Tom Chilton move to "new adventure" within Blizzard

    WoW Game Director Tom Chilton is stepping down from his now former position to pursue working on a different project within Blizzard. I find this to be an interesting bit of news. Personnel can shift quite often within these type of companies, but they usually happen for good reason when big products, or in Blizzard's case, IPs are involved. Not infrequently, their new posts also gets announced. Not the case this time, but its most likely just a coincidence - its not like sharing this is mandatory.


    Just food for thought.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Why all the hype about D2HD?

    Was a huge fan of D2, and had several thousands of hours of gametime with LoD. That is exactly why I don't want an HD Remake. As much as I love that game, I'd much rather have them develop their IPs rather than rehashing them. Especially since we're talking about Blizzard... there's no reason to have another decade of waiting for a new crack at the point-and-click ARPG formula, which is exactly what I forsee if they work on Diablo without actually expanding the IP.


    Not to mention, as great as D2 was, there were a lot of flaws on a fundamental level with that game.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Rune words and charms

    I don't really see a gameplay benefit through addition of those items. Adding more items hardly ever increases diversity. What it does create is a new list of BiS items to get. In fact, its a common misconception that more "legendary" items, whether Sets, Legendaries, Gems, not-included Runewords or whatever else increases diversity. Every item that has some sort of unique benefit either performs better or worse than other items. Every build either performs better or worse than other builds. Its simply the way gaming works. Why?


    There is only one build for each class that is fastest at farming.

    There is only one build for each class that can clear the highest grifts.

    There is only one group setup that has the best synergy.


    Even though we have more than doubled the amount of legendaries from patch 1.0 to 2.4, diversity has actually decreased. All these "exciting and unique" legendaries work just like the D2 skill synergy system - if you want to run a specific build, instead of having to boost skills you don't use, you use specific items to perfom best. Not to mention, the D2 rune system was ludicrous considering the drop rates. First, you needed to roll a runedrop to begin with. Then the game would roll yes/no in ascending tier order for which rune it was - up until you hit the Treasure Class level limit. Each Yes/No roll had a diminished chance to roll a positive outcome. The argument of giving people something else to do other than grifts doesn't hold up. People didn't want to farm unique mobs for legendary crafting mobs, so that got removed - and that system was a ton more friendly. Even the bounty mats right now are constantly complained about, even though they are 100% guaranteed to drop from caches. At no point can I picture people not raising hell about entirely random rare drops. For what its worth, the Kanai Cube actually works great in that aspect. People who come to terms with farming bounties when needed have a much easier time rolling gear they are looking for if they approach the item hunt from a mathematical perspective.


    Charms don't fit into D3 because they are nothing more than a different source of power creep based on RNG. You would have people farming nearly perfect ancient items and nearly perfect charms before they start fishing greater rifts. In rolls average Joe, who finally had amazing luck this season to find all the ancient gear you could want but no charms. He'd just end up on the forums complaining about not finding the proper charms to be competitive.


    For new and exciting mechanics to be added, we'd have to start back at square one from the design perpective. Then there's just a tiny problem left to solve - any RPG that has progression through skills or gear (progression value distribution irrelevant) will lead to cookie cutter builds, one way or another. If D4 happens, don't expect to see a drastic change in that. The only way to influence that scaling is through the skill ceiling the game would have. Other games like PoE, Fallout, WoW and Dark Souls have a "best" skill and gear combination as well, even though they have different difficulty curves.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Diablo 3: A few observations and what I think of them.

    Diablo 3 is slowly headed into maintainance mode. Blizzard will slowly tone down resources allocated to this game, so you will see less and less things get added as we move further away from release. I have no gripe with this, after all this isn't a pay-to-play game. I always felt like Blizzard was judged way too harshly for this approach for their past games, but I guess passionate players, which Blizzard has a ton of, get spoiled easily. That is the nature of the beast...


    Good news is that there is something new on the horizon for Diablo - just hard to say how long from now. Any guesses shorter than two years is highly naive (in my opinion). At this point, Blizzard has a team of leads necessary to start working on a new title - at least for creating concepts and basic assets that a fully staffed team will later be able to work from. That said, I digress as this is an entirely different discussion on the matter of D3's current and outlooking state.


    Before we head down the road of a new Diablo experience, whatever that may be, I'd love to see a bit of future-proofing D3 to carry us over. As the OP mentioned in his post too, the stale meta seems to actually be more destructive than people wrapping their head around no more content additions. For this reason, I think it would be good to create a template of balance changes that switch around from season to season. Intentionally alternating the relative strength of different classes would help to ensure we don't get stuck with the same group of characters being good or bad across multiple seasons in a row. This would keep people rolling different characters each season without reinventing the wheel every time. I feel like Blizzard hasn't really made progress on this front however since we saw a general powercreep for 2.4.1 across all classes. The nerfs at the end of last season didn't target root problems. The monk is still essential for groups, as are witch doctors simply by virtue of their utility. Wizards still remain top DPS for groups because they're very easy to synergize with. The benefits of group play still outweigh solo play heavily depending on setup and coordination. None of these problems ruin the game, but when all is added up, the bottom line is that we will have a stagnant end-game across more than just three months. Without Blizzard intentionally working on this, the next few seasons might not change much.


    Just can't wait to be done playing monk without the feeling of intentionally placing myself at the back end of the field. Still love D3 though.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Time to pull the plug?

    Its always good to take a break when that stale feeling sets in. Especially with the way seasons work, it gives ample opportunity to see new games without really missing out.


    On the other hand, I find it curious that games with regular content updates can lead to the same frustrating feeling. When you play at the highest level there is for several patches and always come to find that no matter how well you play and progress, a new patch will make everything obsolete... then it can feel very much the same as a game that doesn't expand its gameplay over several months.


    Play different games and don't fret over falling out of love with one single game. The love can always come back. Or at the very least, a nice pair of rose-tinted glasses, much like D2 did for a ton of people a decade ago.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Illusion of diversity

    It comes down to what expectations players have to achieve goals they set. In games like ARPGs, it comes down to two factors mostly: speed in terms of farming as fast as possible and difficulty, where you aim to defeat the 15 minute timer as high as possible.


    Both ideals cannot be achieved equally by all builds. For starters, focus of both types of plays are in stark contrast. Even within each single subset, you can't have perfect balancing. It is very utopian to expect ~ 25-30 different skills with 6 variations on each of those to perform similarly across multiple variations. Its the crux of having entirely different classes with different skillsets.


    I feel like this has been discussed to death in the past years... every ARPG has this problem. You can only combine different skills and stats in so many ways before you suffer drawbacks across the board. People keep thinking if they say it often enough, build diversity will become a reality, failing to realize that the only way to create such an environment is to make skills and the classes very samey - which is in itself a paradox when you're trying to create diversity in the first place.


    The problem is just like everyone is crying bloody murder about paragon levels right now. Lots of people want them gone but refuse to acknowledge that once your gear is in a pretty good spot, theres no point in farming for gear and progress becomes stagnant. Only few people realize this and actually post ideas and concepts that only remove paragon from the competitive aspect of the game while keeping paragon intact at its core.


    I worry about the "vocal minority" when it comes to D3. Quite often they call for completely game-changing adjustments without thinking about how it affects the other facettes of the game. The addition and removal of the Auction House, "super-hard" Inferno mode, meaningful Legendaries, random maps... all of these things brought about long rat-tails of different problems the community didnt think about before-hand.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Damage indicator?? 1000M or 1000B ?? help !

    Actually used numbers again for a bit now that they're easily recognizable again. People tend to want everything at once; the screen clutter is a huge issue when you consider the effects, elongated numbers and a cursor that was easily swallowed up in a sea of thing that were not directly mobs or your own character. I welcome the new change to the system for that reason.


    That being said, I usually turn numbers off entirely when gear upgrades start happening infrequently and I stick with a single build. After a while, they lose their meaning entirely since you're either doing good or bad on rift progress, and you should have a feel on that once your character is locking into place.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Soft- and Hardcore, could they play together?

    I'd say only in private games with people in friend's or clan list. The imposment is to make it harder for John Doe, the average sc troll player, to create situations where other players die just for his wn amusement. As someone who plays both, I'd have no problems sharing games with people I enjoy playing with anyway.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on BlizzCon 2015 - Diablo is dead

    When Ros added adventure mode, it changed the way development for D3 opened up for Blizz. The game itself has become more modular, with features and mechanics able to be dropped it at will to expand the gameplay without changing the way D3 works as a game. In short, we won't be seeing an expansion unless we see a continuation of the storyline, new classes, or an entirely new game mode. None of those things are sorely needed.


    I miss the whole hype around new retail content being announced, but the patches D3 has been getting in the past year or two are rather generous. There are two things I know for sure when it comes to the fan base of D3. If a good feature gets added for free, "it should have been in at launch". If they release an expanion further down the road, "Blizzard is just miliking the cow, those features should have been in at launch". There's that...

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on BlizzCon 2015 - Diablo is dead

    Considering D3 is getting a single panel at BlizzCon and no expac, the dev team looks to do good stuff again. The amount of free zones, mechanics and items since Ros launched is getting quite substantial.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Unfinished product?

    The lag that is running rampant for high-end players isn't the typical network lag that most people associate with bad connections and such. Its a result of a server-side calculation overload. Ruksak, good guy he always is, already posted pretty much what triggers it.


    To go a little more indepth, the problem is that having a bigger group of mobs in very close proximity being hit with several quick-ticking AoE spells will trigger the +Area Damage check several thousand times within a few blinks of an eye to see which mobs get hit by what and for how much. A rift with great density can be entirely ruined (not just laggy, but unplayable) by finding two packs with the Illusionist affix on them at once.


    Blizzard already has a fix in mind. It involves changing the order of damage application and calculation. This sounds easy on paper, but can break the game very easily when you consider that all classes, their builds, legendary affixes and buffs manipulate damage. Games have become far more complex to code than a few years ago, and when you mess with something like damage, it can unravel the entire game. This is why we will have to wait for a major patch, and even then it will require some strenuous game testing when the next PTR goes live.


    In the meantime, you have to work around it. Replace skills that are certain to cause lag with others that will still benefit you and the group. As a WD for example, you can get rid of Piranhas and use Slam Dance instead. You lose the vortex, but having a heal monk remedies this quite handily, and you actually benefit the group more anyway.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Blizzard North Interviewed about D

    One of the better and more detailed recounts of how Diablo as a franchise came about. Definitely a must-read for all fans, but also a slight reminder for D3: the road of success wasn't easy, nor did the fantastic result come straight out of the sales box. It took quite a while longer, and every Diablo game had some earnest problems that could have made Diablo something other than great.


    The only thing I truly regret about Diablo in its current state is that Blizzard North, as an entity, had no involvement in D3. Without saying it would have been better or worse, I would absolutely wish for nothing more than to see how D3 as it exists compares to the visions of how it was "supposed" to be two or three years after LoD released. And I'm talking about a little bit more than just screenshots without any further context.


    Anyway, people should go read the interview. It is good :)

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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