Taken from my latest blog post at Less Than Legendary:
From the official Diablo 3 Game Guide webpage - "Potions are unique draughts – carefully distilled magic liquids, natural remedies, or a combination of the two. When consumed, they can heal wounds or provide valuable effects."
Not so much on that last bit, maybe. Potions have become Diablo 3's equivalent of elevator muzak - it's necessary, it's there, you use it, but no one really notices it. Combat life recovery is so ubiquitous now that, while not yet obsoleting potions, renders the need to shop at your local merchant a rare occurrence. You'll usually pick up what you need while grinding normally, while that 30 second cooldown makes sure that you rarely burn through a stack. If you're playing at a Monster Level that's tuned to your gear and playstyle, this will never happen.
So am I complaining about the little red bottle? Not really - I'm complaining about how it's become mere background noise, needed but unnoticed. Supply will always outstrip demand, and with only one flavor of potion to choose from, it's as bland as cardboard. What I will suggest isn't a change to potions themselves, but how they're used, and possibly how to make them more interesting.
A Chug Down Memory Lane - Back in Diablo I, potions came in three main flavors - red, blue, and yellow; one for health, one for mana, and one for both (there were also stat elixirs, but they weren't spammable consumables). When Diablo II came along, they expanded this to include different sizes, potions to restore stamina, potions to cure poison and freeze, and potions you could throw for damage. You could even dip into the Horadric Cube to transmute Full Rejuvs, the undisputed king of potions, healer of ills and savior of hardcores.
In Diablo 3, however, this posed an interesting problem - only the Witch Doctor used mana, while the other classes had their own resource bars. Furthermore, Blizzard had moved away from the potion spamming system of old ARPGs, and instituted the cooldown-based system they had first introduced in World Of Warcraft. This meant that the blue potion would go, and with it the need for Rejuvenation potions as well.
What does this mean for you, my fellow loot grinder? Potions are basically a non-class based cooldown button, the final 'ohshit' button of recourse. And while it does the job and does it well, especially in conjunction with +Health Globes, it's nevertheless a single kind of potion (the biggest you can equip) that heals, and does nothing but heal. With button space at a premium in Diablo 3 (6 skills in total), I imagine that a few tweaks to potion usage would make it a button worthy of more than a moment's thought.
Before I go on, let me clarify - most of the ideas I will post assumes the use of currently available Diablo 3 resources. I have no suggestions to do with the Mystic, as there's a much better post out there for that, and no changing the cooldown system in favor of a spammable (and oh so archaic) quaffing system. With that in mind, let me hit the main points.
Skill Interaction - There's a number of skills in D3 that interact with Health Globes: Pound of Flesh, Vengeance, Power Hungry, and of course, the Witch Doctor staple Gruesome Feast. All of these depend on picking up a Health Globe to trigger their effects. However, imagine if these skills would also proc on potion use. This allows Wizards and Demon Hunters to use their potion cooldown as a resource refresh. Witch Doctors could spend a potion to extend their Feast stacks for those crucial seconds until they can drop a Health Globe. Barbarians would get much, much more out of potion usage with a 100% improvement in healing. This would also be logical since potions are already linked to health globes with the +Health Globes modifier - it wouldn't take much of a stretch to make potions trigger the same effects health globes do.
Why stop with those passives, though? Potions should also affect pets, healing them for same amount it heals you. Again, since picking up a health globe or drinking from a health well fully heals pets and followers, it's not terribly illogical for potions to heal them as well. Not realistic, but not terribly illogical, either. This helps Demon Hunters to keep their pets alive (a serious problem currently), and provides some decent bang for the buck with pet heavy Witch Doctors.
Item Interaction - Apart from the mentioned skill interactions, another possibility is having gear properties affect potion usage, beyond the traditional +Health Globe healing modifier. This could either be some kind of new affix to be introduced in Loot 2.0, or maybe unique properties on Legendary gear. A very good equipment slot to look at for this would be the belt slot.
There's precedent for this kind of thing - in Diablo 2, your belt affected the maximum number of potions you could hotkey. While this specific mechanic is obsolete, since potions have a dedicated hotkey slot, you can still argue for belts adding effects to potions. Why not? Right now, belts are one of the most unspectacular item slots - rare belts have no real dps potential, making the Witching Hour (and it's poor cousins Hellcat and Inna's) BiS by a million light years. You could potentially let belts have an affix that comes into play for a few second after quaffing a potion. A sample affix could be "Slow On Hit", "Fear On Hit", or even "X Life On Hit" for 10 seconds after drinking a potion. While there probably shouldn't be any direct DPS increases, the remaining possibilities for extra potion effects remain near limitless.
Lezard's 411 - The simplified potion system of Diablo 3 has changed potion usage, in most ways for the better. There's much less inventory management involved, for one, since there's no need to track seperate potion type for life and resource (much less for thawing, poison removal, stamina, etc). The unfortunate side effect of this, however, is a drastic reduction in the role of potions. I'm not arguing for potions to add DPS, Crit, or AS like in other actions rpgs, but I feel there are ways for them to generate effects more suitable to Quality Of Life improvements, rather than direct damage increases. With the interesting ideas being put forth by the devs for the RoS expansion, perhaps it's time to take a look again at what else potions can do for the game.
- 9/9/2013 6:02:11 AM Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
6/13/2013 7:25:08 PM
Interesting video, shouldn't this go in the class specific threads though?Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
6/13/2013 7:19:36 PM
Kid's just bitter he's not top 100 in the rankings... oh wait, this game doesn't HAVE rankings, what the hell are you QQ'ing about the AH and gear drop rates for?Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
Get rid of the epeen, it'll make you a happier person. No one's racing with you for gear or whatever, everyone's done the whole Paragon 500/MP10 speedkill/world first 500 billion dps thing. If you really feel the need to for a 'competitive ARPG' - whatever the hell that means - there's plenty of other games out there.
6/8/2013 8:00:20 AM
If you want your face in the video, sure, otherwise I don't think it would matter.Posted in: Off-Topic
6/8/2013 6:41:31 AM
As the post says, I was curious about what editing tools and recording programs people use for their posted videos. I was thinking of making a couple for my blog, but haven't the time nor the inclination to drop money for expensive video editors and hardware.Posted in: Off-Topic
I'm not sure if this belonged in General, Tech Support or Tools, so any admin feel free to move this thread if I'm wrong.
6/1/2013 7:31:40 AM
That's funny, this is how I always saw SSS:Posted in: Monk: The Inner Sanctuary
6/1/2013 7:20:48 AM
Posted in: Diablo III General DiscussionQuote from ruksakSomething about the Exploding Palm skill has really endeared itself upon me. Seeing it result in 30-40+ monsters killed in one blow just never gets old.
Meteors/Cleave/Shock Pulse/Exploding Palm/Wave of Light/Seven Sided Strike/Seismic Slam - game should have a fatality meter going for gib kills too, lol
My only complaint about Exploding Palm was the lack of a deep manly voice saying "You're already dead".
6/1/2013 5:04:41 AM
The skill system is one of my faves; not for me the gear-locked 'skill forests' of PoE. I don't need to build a whole new toon just to try out something new, or even pay gold to respec. I wake up today, I'm bored of Archon and CMWW, screw it, I'll go Black Ice or LL Dynamo Meteors. No one gave the devs enough credit for using this system, it's one of the best things ever.Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
Quote from BagstoneDespite all its flaws in other areas of the game (which we should keep out of this thread please), the combat design of D3 is just brilliant and not matched by any other game out there.
TESTIFY, brother Bagstone. One definite way Diablo 3 wins over its competitors is in making shit fun to kill. Mobs get shredded, diced, molten by acid, vaporized by holy, shattered into ice, and flown all over the screen. My girlfriend still laughs sadistically every time she flattens an entire room in Keep Depths with her Disintegrate or when entire waves of skeletons fly into the screen; that shit just NEVER gets old.
5/29/2013 10:14:55 AM
My battletag is on my profile, hit me up whenever. Just so you know, I usually come as a package deal with my girlfriend. A second disclaimer - she's probably a better player than me, lolPosted in: Looking For Group
5/29/2013 8:23:21 AM
So, for something a little offbeat...Posted in: Monk: The Inner Sanctuary
The idea for this post is simple. Create a monk build after first watching this video. You must assume that the build will be played while the song is playing in the background. Video should be watched in its entirety before each run using this monk. Use of alcohol is entirely optional.
Have at it.
">Play a video file
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