Wyatt Cheng on Negative Effects of Inconsistent Health Pools, RMAH Delay Issues Resolved, What Business Would Each Follower Want

Wyatt Cheng on Negative Effects of Inconsistent Health Pools
A few days after Travis Day made a pretty big Paragon 2.0 post, Wyatt Cheng is back on the official forums as well. His post is regarding the aspects of combat and the negative effects of - let's say - a dynamic hero health pool.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Let's talk about combat.

From a big picture standpoint, it's not healthy for the game when a player's health pool goes from full to nearly empty and back to full on a regular basis very quickly, over and over, during regular play. I know not every character build plays this way - but I would assert that it's not good for the game when this is a dominant or even common way to play.

Why?

Here are a few negative effects it has:

1. A health pool that quickly goes from full to nearly empty implies that there's not a lot of room for variance in incoming damage. When incoming damage is that high, a 15% increase in monster damage would result in death. This leads to comments like "As soon as I turn up the Monster Power I get 1-shot". I'd like to see a game where a clever player can handle a higher Monster Power by reducing incoming damage through good play. Unfortunately, if the combat pacing and dominant builds are such that all players are geared to survive the biggest posisble hit from a monster and instantly heal to full then there's no room for that differentiation. Let's use mortar as a simple example. If a wave of mortar hits takes me from full to nearly dead, and then I instantly heal back to full, then mortars don't pose a realistic threat to me. In this state, there's no way for a clever player (who wants to dodge mortars) to differentiate themselves from somebody who doesn't care (and just decides to get hit). In both cases you're healing instantly to full and surviving through the damage no matter what, and in both cases turning up the monster power results in you dying no matter what if you take a single mortar wave. It becomes a pure gear check.

2. For players who push the MP up anyways, it makes the game feel like it was designed around one-shots. In my previous example with mortar, some of you may be thinking "There's room for turning up the Monster Power, just don't get hit at all!". This isn't great either. It means my death feels very binary. One moment I'm at full health, the next instant I'm dead. It also means that once you decide you are going to accept being one-shot, you don't care about your health at all. Who cares if you have 20K or 40K health if you're going to die either way? We'd be in a better place if the mortar-dodger was allowed to take the occasional hit, but can handle a higher monster power as long as a majority of them are dodged.

3. Healing very rapidly back to full also loses all the fidelity of small attacks. If players are regularly going from full to nearly empty and back to full again on a regular basis, then there's no room for mechanics which act as a slow drain on your health. Plagued is a great example of this. We don't want Plagued to be something that kills you quickly, but it also shouldn't be something you ignore forever. Standing in a pool of poison should be something that adds tension to the fight. You know you're not going to die now, but you can see the threat looming. When healing rates are very high, there is no room for the slow drain damage sources - they become insignificant.

4. My current health loses meaning. Being at 95% health should mean you're relatively safe. Being at 5% health should mean you're almost dead. Being at 50% health should mean you're somewhat in danger and you should play it safe, but as long as you do you should be fine. These are all concepts that make intuitive sense. Unfortunately, they are not at all true in the current Diablo environment. When health pools are rapidly going from empty to full and back again, these health values all blur together.

5. You lose a lot of tactical combat opportunities. Tactical combat requires that the player can properly assess the situation and react accordingly. When your health pool moves up and down rapidly you are no longer reacting to dangers. A rapidly changing health globe means you are playing in a predictable pattern and crossing your fingers hoping that you live through it. You are playing in a way that avoids situations that will instantly kill you, but there's no tension associated with being low on health that would cause you to make a tactical decision to change your play pattern.

I'm saying all of this without pointing at any specific solutions. That's because there are no instant-fix solutions. It's a challenging problem that we're actively working on. Things aren't going to be perfect overnight, but improving the pacing of combat is something we constantly work on.

I will say that the first line of defense is reducing the rate at which players heal. After we pull in the rate of healing, next we analyze the patterns in which monsters deal damage. Ultimately, defensive stats will play a role in all of this. If some life regeneration, damage mitigation or (gasp) life on hit lets me play a little more aggressively, that's a good thing.




RMAH Delay Issues Resolved

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Update 9/25: Breaking news has been posted regarding the temporary disabling of purchases via credit cards for the Auction House - we thank you for your patience in the meantime. We'll be sure to update our posts here as soon as these issues have been resolved.

no further updates?
Hi Xus, more specific updates will be shared as I get them, in the meantime - quick shout to Demonic, in regards to the specific auctions made through your account: transactions ID#'s 1749390446, 1751126339, 1747091389, and 174654107.

Correction: The first two are now showing as having failed, the 389 and 107 transactions appear to still be processing.

I will be sure to update the thread as more information becomes available. Thanks again everyone, I know that no one wants to wait - especially if you're not sure whether the transaction is going through.

working now?????
received all my purchases! i guess the tides are loosening up!
Thanks for the update LI7L!

Got my delayed purchases as well!
Good to know, Jeebz. Thank you!

UPDATE: Received all my purchases that I made about 2 days ago. Thanks for the hard work guys and gals!

I got my mempo!!! Thanks guys
:)




What Business Do You Think Each Follower Would Want to Run?

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Leah said once that once everything was over, she thought that she might open an inn. While she wasn't able to achieve her dream, with all the riches you've collected throughout your adventures in Sanctuary, have you ever stopped to wonder what futures your loyal followers might be saving up for?



For our latest community question, we want to know: If each follower in Diablo III were to run a business, what vocation do you think they would choose? Here are what some Diablo III players on Twitter had to say:


So what do you think? Where can you see Kormac, Lyndon, and Eirena setting up shop? Leave a comment below to let us know, or respond on Facebook or Twitter!

Comments

  • #1 lalaurentide
    It's not healthy to have a 70 to 80% reduced effectiveness of snares and affixes [and others] in inferno. It's not healthy for Elites to be significantly stronger than regular monsters. There's a lot of things that ain't healthy Wyatt, welcome to the monster you have helped create.
  • #2 Catalept
    Quote from lalaurentide

    It's not healthy to have a 70 to 80% reduced effectiveness of snares and affixes [and others] in inferno. It's not healthy for Elites to be significantly stronger than regular monsters. There's a lot of things that ain't healthy Wyatt, welcome to the monster you have helped create.


    Given that full-duration CC trivializes inferno difficulty, I assume you want to see CCs nerfed for all difficulties, making them a clutch tool for getting out of the sticky situations people often find in Nightmare difficulty?

    ... and you're either proposing that trashmobs take as long to kill as elites, or vice versa, but I can't figure out which option is the good one.
  • #3 IgnatiusReilly
    Quote from lalaurentide

    It's not healthy to have a 70 to 80% reduced effectiveness of snares and affixes [and others] in inferno. It's not healthy for Elites to be significantly stronger than regular monsters. There's a lot of things that ain't healthy Wyatt, welcome to the monster you have helped create.


    Elites are good, they make combat/game play more varied. Mixes things up. Keeps you on your toes.

    They fixed Inferno crowd control abilities a long time ago, it's hardly even noticeable now. The first cast is full duration, and if cast on the same monsters, for the next few seconds duration/effectiveness is reduced, then returns back to full. I've used Temporal Flux extensively, if there is any reduction, it's hardly noticeable to me. Monsters are moving pretty damn slow, even with the nerfs.

    All of your suggestions would only add up to an easier game, not really a better game (and certainly worse in some players eyes).
  • #4 Lotware
    I really enjoyed reading that Health Pool article.

    Latter half of #1 and the whole of #2 reminded me of many things:

    a ) One time, I was in Keep Depths 2 (Edit: or was it 3, probably 3 now that I think about it) in the starting room of one of the random mappings, I was immediately engaged by a set of Tongue Fast moving Elites (Arcane, Waller, Mortar, "Fast" or something) I was on my WD at the time, and I, would try to dodge the beams and the mortars, while escaping from being trapped by walls while the beams swipe all over the place.

    I died after a pure 5-minutes battle of being a Poison Darter Zombie Bears build, this was before Carving Knife existed, so it was much tougher to handle the situation. I stayed inside this semi-big room the entire time circling around the four walls of the room space, diagonally cross from one corner to the other when i get U-walled.

    But this process made me play my DH better.

    On a further note,
    b ) #1 and #2 made me thought of "back-in-the-day" Horde + Mortar, it was like instant-gg (especially when they are not all packed together or not-in-sync together (i mean it still hurts obviously if they all shoot at once but random times are much more annoying because you have to dodge each one differently)

    Ahhh, those rather "painful" memories.


    I just thought I'd like to share this, makes me laugh a little inside of how "fun" the game seem to be when you actually take the challenge instead of "standing on the inside range of mortars to take nothing" like it was also clearly pointed out in your points.
  • #5 Willey1986
    I think the main problem are the missing elemental effects of the different dmg types. ATM all that counts is "Are my resistances high enough to survive 1 hit"

    What if all those affixes had other effects?
    • Poison: You feel sick and lose some of your attackspeed
    • Fire: You start burning, after a certain time you start to panic and run away
    • Ice: Reduced Movementspeed and your armor gets less defensive
    • Arcane:Your Ressource Regeneration is reduced by 50%
    If it's pure damage there isn't much of a challenge. Increase Resistances until u don't get hurt.
  • #6 Beregond
    If they want to entrust character survivability mostly to player reaction and skill then they have to entirely rework 80% of the monsters and elite abilities.
    There's no room to constantly and consistently avoid invisibile/invincible monsters that drop invincibility only after they hit a character or those with 3-4 times your (capped) running speed , often it's impossibile to avoid damage from arcane/poison/fire/mortar/molten abilities due to vortex, walling, narrow spaces, jail with just movement abilities; that 's why every character relies heavily on life leech and immunities.
    That's their fault on monsters design, not players'; they just adapt the better they can to whatever they have to face.
  • #7 Freezard
    They should just add elemental absorption like in D2. Anyway, I agree it's hard to avoid poison tentacles and other attacks that deal tons of damage, so they would have too nerf that damage a lot if people are going to survive with life regeneration only. Also looking at the new barb skills, you can easily get the same effect as life leech with life per fury spent so I'm not sure how that will solve the problem.
  • #8 The_Truth
    1ST off from a barb and monk point of view, I don't get this " Then you heal to full " I Roll 6% LS on my 324k DPS Sword and board and andi only heal about 7% of my life per Hota. my monk friend that i roll with uses the 1 passive that lowers all damage by 75% under CC effects and it does nothing. Before I continue I want to say that 1 have 71k HP over 850 All Resist and my armor is at 10k. I know how to stay out of shit. I am in a 25man H raiding guild sinic Wotlk.

    So here my Question ; Why do I get 3 shoted by Arcane sentry? The answer is simple - The game is broken. Most people would say stuff like "don't stand in it baddle" What if they have vortex? Hmmm? What if I get Vaced into stuff like Arcane sentry nodes? frozen? What if I get Jailed and they spawn an arcane sentry on me? What button do I push to save my life? That's right. There's not 1.

    The CC's in this game need a massive nerfs. Arcane sentry plague and all fire affix's need damage nerfs. Vortex needs to be removed from the game because its broken. No matter how good you are at the game it don't matter if they have vortex along with X affix because your just going to get vaced into it anyway. Frozen is stupid. Damage on top of being stunned? And its a mult hit? fuck that.
    Frozen should only stun no damage and no mult hits from it. The stun is bad in its self when your dealing with fire and arcane everywhere.

    So yeah being on the nerfed to what's needed. please and thank you!
  • #9 Willey1986
    Quote from Beregond

    If they want to entrust character survivability mostly to player reaction and skill then they have to entirely rework 80% of the monsters and elite abilities.
    There's no room to constantly and consistently avoid invisibile/invincible monsters that drop invincibility only after they hit a character or those with 3-4 times your (capped) running speed , often it's impossibile to avoid damage from arcane/poison/fire/mortar/molten abilities due to vortex, walling, narrow spaces, jail with just movement abilities; that 's why every character relies heavily on life leech and immunities.
    That's their fault on monsters design, not players'; they just adapt the better they can to whatever they have to face.


    Good point. Vortex+Waller = You can be as skilled as possible you have no chances if your resistances are to low. Kill them before they kill you that's the only challenge atm. Things like Waller, Fast, Jailer, Teleport destroy every tactic.

    Another point is that at the current itemization point it makes absolutely no sense to play the game different because it would be inefficient. The game is all about efficiency. Why should my Character have 100k Life, 1000 Allres, 8K Armor if I can survive Mp10 with high LL. It's more expensive and has no advantages.

    I think with Loot 2.0 and the AH removal there will be many other builds and playstyles but ATM it is impossible because with 700 Allres, 45k Life, 6% LL, ~50% Critchance and as much DPS as possible MP10 can be done easily.
  • #10 Freezard
    Quote from reclaimer3235

    1ST off from a barb and monk point of view, I don't get this " Then you heal to full " I Roll 6% LS on my 324k DPS Sword and board and andi only heal about 7% of my life per Hota. my monk friend that i roll with uses the 1 passive that lowers all damage by 75% under CC effects and it does nothing. Before I continue I want to say that 1 have 71k HP over 850 All Resist and my armor is at 10k. I know how to stay out of shit. I am in a 25man H raiding guild sinic Wotlk.

    So here my Question ; Why do I get 3 shoted by Arcane sentry? The answer is simple - The game is broken. Most people would say stuff like "don't stand in it baddle" What if they have vortex? Hmmm? What if I get Vaced into stuff like Arcane sentry nodes? frozen? What if I get Jailed and they spawn an arcane sentry on me? What button do I push to save my life? That's right. There's not 1.

    The CC's in this game need a massive nerfs. Arcane sentry plague and all fire affix's need damage nerfs. Vortex needs to be removed from the game because its broken. No matter how good you are at the game it don't matter if they have vortex along with X affix because your just going to get vaced into it anyway. Frozen is stupid. Damage on top of being stunned? And its a mult hit? fuck that.
    Frozen should only stun no damage and no mult hits from it. The stun is bad in its self when your dealing with fire and arcane everywhere.

    So yeah being on the nerfed to what's needed. please and thank you!

    Maybe play a bit more carefully? I've never died on HC and I'm using a Skorn with my barb... played MP7 never died man. If MP10 is too hard for you then lower the MP that's why it's there.
  • #11 WarlockHolmez
    It's nice to see them thinking about this.

    It's hard to tell exactly what would fix this. Affixes like Jailer, Fast, and Vortex are often too strong and unavoidable. They definitely take skill out of the equation for success. Waller and Frozen "sometimes" are too strong, but if tweaked might be more avoidable.

    Reducing enemy damage dramatically and taking away Lifesteal would probably make you think a lot harder about where you're standing. If you have to wait for the occasional health globe or potion to gain back some health you will probably actively try to avoid affixes a lot more. Reflect damage would probably have to go.

    It would be great if our health pools dropped really slow but had a tougher time refilling them. Wyatt's point about if you're at 50% health, you shouldn't be too worried but should be looking for some health, was intriguing to me.
  • #12 lMarcusl
    I'm glad to know that they at least understand what the issue is in the game, even if they cannot exactly pinpoint what causes it or rather how to solve it at the time. It's still Blizzard. If they are aware of an issue in the game, they are not going to be content until they solve it, which gives me hope that this absoluteness of the combat (either alive or dead, there is no middle ground like "nearly dead") will be resolved.

    I will be the first to admit it that I have bugger all when it comes to experience with Inferno. I have been taking my damn time with the game so I'm only just finishing Hell with my 10th build before I delve into Inferno. However from what I've played, using MP etc. it feels like a large portion of the problem is specific to Inferno only. I play Hell on MP5 right from the start with each character and the skill is very much there. You can take some damage as long as you have decent armor/resist/HP pool, it's not all instant death. Nightmare MP10 was similar, the monsters just took long to die.

    But suddenly inferno hits and I'm getting 2-3 shot by regular mobs on MP1-2. At that point I feel I could take on MP5 just as easily since I die fast anyway, at least I get bigger rewards. IMO Inferno is simply blown out of proportion. It's no longer about fair difficulty, it's about you going against hordes of mobs that each do way more damage than you and have more HP. The only thing you have is the hope that with better loot maybe it will get better (loot which you can only get by actually playing through Inferno where you're getting two shot since Act I BTW). Thus people have to rely on such massive burst heals simply because any other regular damage mitigation or heal over time simply doesn't cut it anymore. And god help you if you're playing without AH, since you'll have to push through Inferno without the loot you need to actually play Inferno (which is just fucked up).

    When it comes to the lack of reward for skillful play, that again comes from the way the game was designed. Look back at Diablo 2. Yes you could chug health potions like a maniac but the only thing there was to prevent you from having control over what you do was Cold damage, Decrepify curse and Knockback. Other than that it was all you who's in control. And the game was challenging. However, look at Diablo 3. Slows...present. Knockback...present. Slow curses...present. But what more do we have? Chainfreezes, Jails, Walls into a corner of death, Vortex, Nightmarish...and that's just the Elites. Tongue monsters who won't leave you alone, teleporting/vanishing Terror Demons which prevent you from healing EVER(!!!), stunning Armodons, teleporting Phase Beasts, vanishing Snake Demons, burrowing and leaping Scavengers, burrowing Cave Worms. The game is absolutely full of monsters that will do anything in their power to take things out of your hands.

    If you want to kite and avoid damage, you just can't. There are skills that you just actively cannot avoid and if you do want to survive, there is usually one and only one skill per class that you HAVE to have otherwise you're done. Must have skills to counter unfair affixes/monster abilities are not the way to promote skill. Anyone can put a Smoke Screen on and push the button. That is not skill rewarding. Skill rewarding is removing such abilities (unfun abilities I should say...who wants to have a skill that makes you vanish for 1.5 seconds? whoop de doo that was a fun skill to use) and removing affixes that take control away from you because otherwise 90% of the stories you can be telling your friends about D3 will be: "I was kiting him, only a few slivers of health left, it was really tense. I knew that one more hit and I was dead but if I could just survive a few seconds I could make it to that Healing Shrine and kill him. Then I got Vortexed and Chainfrozen. There was nothing I could do." No wonder skill is not rewarded when there are affixes that make skill irrelevant. If there is one thing I've learned from playing games over the years, it's that it's never fun or fair to take away control from the player. Yet Diablo 3 does it consistently, in a game that is entirely focused on a single hero/player battling his way through hordes of demons. Back before release of Diablo 3 the team was talking about gameplay decisions and some attention was given to kiting. They designed the monsters in such a way that they linger, they don't always attack immediately, they pause, they slow down etc. so that the player is rewarded for kiting and playing with skill. Then they inexplicably introduced affixes which negate all of it. They have a lot to learn yet and it's fairly obvious that this is the first time this team made an ARPG.
  • #13 lalaurentide
    Quote from IgnatiusReilly

    Elites are good, they make combat/game play more varied. Mixes things up. Keeps you on your toes.

    They fixed Inferno crowd control abilities a long time ago, it's hardly even noticeable now. The first cast is full duration, and if cast on the same monsters, for the next few seconds duration/effectiveness is reduced, then returns back to full. I've used Temporal Flux extensively, if there is any reduction, it's hardly noticeable to me. Monsters are moving pretty damn slow, even with the nerfs.

    All of your suggestions would only add up to an easier game, not really a better game (and certainly worse in some players eyes).


    Quote from Catalept

    Given that full-duration CC trivializes inferno difficulty, I assume you want to see CCs nerfed for all difficulties, making them a clutch tool for getting out of the sticky situations people often find in Nightmare difficulty?

    ... and you're either proposing that trashmobs take as long to kill as elites, or vice versa, but I can't figure out which option is the good one.


    Elites still walk through slows and stuns like they were never there, therefore a dps increase or damage mitigation ability on your bar will always be better than crowd control. It makes the combat a LoH/LS snoozefest.

    Elites are too strong compared to regular monsters, and since you have to at least balance for Elites the white mobs end up being trivial. I don't want Elites to be easier, others stronger (doesn't apply to all mobs, but most). Bosses could also use a significant buff.

    Affixes with both STR and INT, or STR and DEX, or DEX and INT are not healthy, you can have bad affixes, but you cannot have trash affixes. STR+INT and those other two should see the way of "Light Radius".

    Having cooldowns of any sort is not healthy, resource [re]generation should be the cooldown.

    "Balancing" the game around the people who break it is especially not healthy. The dev team has been hard at work hunting and patching to save Diablo from cheaters and exploiters. Hours, days and months they could have put into the loot, the combat, the runes, the affixes, all of which would be more beneficial to the health of Diablo than it is at the moment. Let's hope removing the RMAH will refocus their attention at the right place, improving the game as opposed to policing it.
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