Two-Handed Weapons Take Temporary Limelight

Partially-hatched plans for a better weapon system balance greeted our Blizz Tracker late yesterday as Bashiok chimed in on possible solutions to the ill-conceived balance in Diablo II's differentiation between two-handed weapons and one-handed weapons. Though scant on the details, perhaps both Blizzard's tentative plans and fan feedback will combine for a better balance the first time around with Diablo III.

The initial thought, aimed at the loss of block when wielding two-handed weapons, evolved in to something slightly different as Bashiok responded. He addressed the failing of Diablo II's take on larger weapons and states hopes that Diablo III will remedy this shortcoming in some way, offering a few ideas from the team:


Official Blizzard Quote:



Funny enough right now two-handers on the barbarian are much stronger than dual-wielding because most of his skills are based on weapon damage and the game doesn't add up the damage on both weapons while dual-wielding (yet). So actually we're trying to make dual-wielding better right now, but, that of course means two-handers will probably then fall by the wayside and we're back in Diablo II's shoes.

Off the top of Wyatt's head there's a few ways it could be addressed. [highlight]One potential way would be to have passive skills that allow someone to specialize in two-handers or dual wielding, and we can stat and tweak those however we need to make them effective. We could also make special affixes that can only be rolled up by two-handers that overcome the innate issue of it only being one item.[/highlight]

Special weapon affixes? What could that mean? Thankfully, he did not, as Blizzard often does, fully leave us grasping at straws:


Official Blizzard Quote:



[...]the affix idea was more along the lines of having something like the highest strength affix a two-hander could roll would be 100 points, and the highest a one-hander could roll would be 50. So everything would even out. Of course that doesn't offset things like block, but it's just sort of a half-hatched solution anyway.

However the balance is achieved, Blizzard is working hard at finding suitable means to achieve such an end, as they "intend for two handers to be as viable as any other weapon choice and [will] do what [they] need to to make sure that happens" (source).

See the full track on our Blizz Tracker here and drop some ideas if you can spare them.

Comments

  • #1 Nekrodrac
    I think the 2 most interesting ideas have been already discussed by the Afflictionx guy and Bashiok.
    Personally though, between shielding and damage, I would rather go for damage as differentiation of 2handed weapons from 1handed.
    That is make the damage on 2handed weapons even more awesome, so that u get to choose-
    1.Kill the foe(s) quick but at the expense of some damage to urself(which u can compensate for by equipin high def armor or havin high HP)
    2.Go the safe way where u can carry shield and last (hopefully)longer than ur foes in order to take them out.
    If u give some % block on 2handed weapons, it might turn into an unfair advantage.
    However the only 2handed weapons that might possess innate block might be staves and other 2 handed weapons u don't directly use for attacking. This will definitely be more interesting.:)
  • #2 Magistrate
    Quote from "Nekrodrac" »

    1.Kill the foe(s) quick but at the expense of some damage to urself(which u can compensate for by equipin high def armor or havin high HP)


    Meaning that when you attack something you also commit damage to yourself, or simply because you are lacking defense you will take more damage (while making up for it in higher damage)?

    However the only 2handed weapons that might possess innate block might be staves and other 2 handed weapons u don't directly use for attacking. This will definitely be more interesting.:)


    That's true, I was mostly thinking of more melee-oriented two-handed weapons, like claymores and those big mauls. Staffs kind of got nerfed in LoD, unfortunately, due to Orbs and shields with amazing modifiers for casters, especially. Staffs need something like this to make them more viable in Diablo III, methinks.
  • #3 VladDracul
    That's true, I was mostly thinking of more melee-oriented two-handed weapons, like claymores and those big mauls. Staffs kind of got nerfed in LoD, unfortunately, due to Orbs and shields with amazing modifiers for casters, especially. Staffs need something like this to make them more viable in Diablo III, methinks.

    Either that or they could make staffs act as the orbs did in LOD with better bonuses but at the cost of a shield.
  • #4 Nekrodrac
    Quote from "Seth" »
    Meaning that when you attack something you also commit damage to yourself, or simply because you are lacking defense you will take more damage (while making up for it in higher damage)?


    Second option.
    The first one would be too painful...remember the chaos santuary and worldstone chambers for melee characters?:(
    Higher damage is the winner in my book as it goes with the philosophy of fast-paced action they are trying to implement in D3. Either u die or they die(preferably):P
    Plus remember that there are nice health orbs dropping from monsters, so the faster u kill them, the longer u can remain alive... The ability to tank comes in secondary if u can't kill fast enough...
  • #5 treckin
    I was posting in the tread (same name), and I think that a two-hander with %-to-block will never be a straight up replacement for a sword and shield. With a sword and shield you get to have a spirit LOL. Even the godliest two-hander RW with max block cant touch a godly 1hander and a pspirit.

    Unless they start making twohanders with 33 mods like 35 fcr and 55 FHR and 50-60 res all, it wont become slanted the other way from the status quo.
  • #6 ansl
    Hmm I think this is a very interesting point and topic of discussion. Especially whilst playing HC the 2H weapons did make you more likely to loose a character and were therefore not my primary choice. Good thought and topic, hope the balancing is done sweetly.

    I'm also very much for the idea of certain 2H weapons having more block chances, staffs/staves would be a good choice as Nekrodrac points out- especially for the wizard and monk. I always wanted to see a barb weilding a melee staff with ass-kicking stats, that really lacked in DII (imo anyway).
  • #7 Equinox
    Quote from "treckin" »
    I was posting in the tread (same name), and I think that a two-hander with %-to-block will never be a straight up replacement for a sword and shield. With a sword and shield you get to have a spirit LOL. Even the godliest two-hander RW with max block cant touch a godly 1hander and a pspirit.
    What does a specific item have to do with class imbalances? That's the issue of that particular item, not 1 handers, shields, and swords in general...

    2H can be balanced by a combination of the following:
    1. Range, for abilities as well.
    2. Higher damage, parry, more modifiers/sockets/w/e.
    3. Reasonable speed.
    4. Make dual wield make more sense.
  • #8 SNowfreak
    This is the way i see it...

    you have three options as a barbarian:

    1) weapon and shield (but what freakin barbarian does that, that's a paladin style IMO)

    2) Weapon and Weapon

    3) Weapon (two handed)

    there should be separate skills for dual wield and two handed weapons. dual weapons should make your barbarian faster and allow him to block, as to where two handed weapons should be much stronger and more accurate but have no blocking capability and be slower.

    idk, i just hope they aren't the same thing with different looks.
  • #9 luc1027
    Yes great info...

    I've disapointed when I see in d2 almost of one handed can be stronger than many 2 handed...

    You have a weapon in less, this one is much heavy, so it's supposed to be x2 dom. because you have /2 weapon. And I not dislike the idea to have better mod in all 2 handed...

    Idea to slow attack with 2 handed is good and having a better range of attack :)

    No possibility of defense with 2 handed seem to be a good choice. If not, it's will be too similar with dual wield or shield, but the amount of damage need to be signifiant.

    Staves having defense is great idea !! staves too need to have better mod. I hated that in d2 see orb extremely better than a staff... + you have a shield in bonus what kind of lack it is ?!
  • #10 stoaster
    I like the idea of your weapon set up effecting the range and/or speed of your skills. For example, 2-handed weapons could improve the range of seismic slam while dual wield would improve the rate of attacking with whirlwind or the distance possible with leap attack. Basically using a weapon set up would slightly improve skills in the same skill set.
  • #11 Magistrate
    Quote from "Equinox" »
    What does a specific item have to do with class imbalances?


    Well, I can't answer specifically for him, but take, for instance... I don't know, an Amazon. If bows and javelins, which most of her skills require or are tailored for, were either severely nerfed or god-ified, then that would probably have a serious impact on the balance of the character, since what would largely be required for her skills is... Not the greatest... Or too powerful.

    That, of course, could be resolved either by better items (my first choice) or better skills.
  • #12 JuicyFruitSweeT
    just keep the old way =)
  • #13 Credge
    I don't really see the problem with balancing this. Like, it doesn't even seem to be a big problem. The reason 2 handers sucked in Diablo 2 is because of the stats. You get better stats with an extra item. There was also the fact that they didn't even consider balancing the items out.

    It's a real simple solution. Dual wielding two Iron Swords should yield the same DPS as two-handing an Iron Claymore. The difference would be that with dual wielding you have more attacks that do less damage and with a two-hander you do fewer attacks but each attack does more damage.

    Torchlight balances this well and, despite not being able to have as many stats, two-handers serve an obvious role and switching between the two can be very important. To summarize how the two function, dual wielding is better against hordes of lesser healthed and armored enemies while two-handers are better against fewer highly healthed and armored enemies.

    That should be the balance and design all in one execution. Allow players two weapon loadouts(whoever says that it is useless never played an Amazon without an uber spec or hasn't played any game that has weapon balance) and allow the player to decide what he needs for the situation.

    Want to balance skills? Sure, make some skills do damage based off of total weapon DPS and then have some other skills do damage based off of weapon damage. You'll have one set of skills for dual wielders and another set for two-handers. Alternatively you could just have the skill change function depending on what weapons you have. Dual wielding? It's based off of total weapon DPS. Using a two-hander? It's based off of weapon damage. Sword and shield? That's where the real question comes is.
  • #14 luc1027
    Quote from "Credge" »

    Torchlight balances this well and, despite not being able to have as many stats, two-handers serve an obvious role and switching between the two can be very important. To summarize how the two function, dual wielding is better against hordes of lesser healthed and armored enemies while two-handers are better against fewer highly healthed and armored enemies.

    That should be the balance and design all in one execution. Allow players two weapon loadouts(whoever says that it is useless never played an Amazon without an uber spec or hasn't played any game that has weapon balance) and allow the player to decide what he needs for the situation.

    Want to balance skills? Sure, make some skills do damage based off of total weapon DPS and then have some other skills do damage based off of weapon damage. You'll have one set of skills for dual wielders and another set for two-handers. Alternatively you could just have the skill change function depending on what weapons you have. Dual wielding? It's based off of total weapon DPS. Using a two-hander? It's based off of weapon damage. Sword and shield? That's where the real question comes is.


    Sorry we'll cannot switch weapon in d3 !! Bashiok said !

    I don't agree with spell based on DPS... Spell need to affect each attack whatever speed of your attack. DPS is only a reference to know how you are effective.

    Skill for dual wield, for 2 handed and others for any weapon (if you want a shield)
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