Bashiok somewhat contradicting himself

  • Celibar Twitter Question:

    "@Bashiok @Diablo Got it, thanks for the quick reply! Is the team concerned about a mathematically 'best' choice?"

    Bashiok‏@Bashiok - replied

    "@_Celibar @Diablo Always. But it's not so much about there being a best, as much as "can there be many viable alternatives".

    So here Bashiok seems to take the stance that its okay to have mathmatically superior choices, as long as there are viable alternatives.

    But wasn't the whole stat distribution gotten away from because it was "not fun" because there was inevitably a stat allocation 'best' choice.

    It seems like Bashiok actually uses the players best argument FOR stat distribution (its okay having best stat distribution, so long as you can also have viable alternatives) against the argument of Rune slot 'best' choices.

  • As long as there are interesting and unique choices, there will be 1 answer that people could agree is the statistical "best" choice. That's a reality we all have to agree upon, because that's the reality of a game that's based on math and numbers. There will be some "right" answer, or at least one that some people think is right.

    The goal is not to ensure there isn't a right answer, that's likely an improbably achieved goal. The goal is to ensure there is a large number of viable alternatives. Sure there may be a best that's .01% stronger, but is the second best close enough that if someone prefers playing that they won't feel like they're playing wrong? It's that gap and that idea of viability that's more important.

    If you want to compare that to assignable stats in Diablo II, there was one or two ways to correctly assign stats and there were really no viable alternatives. Any choice but those one or two right ways to spend stats and you were far, far below viable in comparison.

    This is where you can argue that we could balance assignable stats so that they are balanced and viable! And I say ... we have! Assignable stats are now so much more awesome because they're based on itemization instead of as a requirement for it, and more importantly it's way cooler to kill demons and slip on the bloody (but awesomely enhancing) armor they drop than clicking a little button.
  • Talking to Wyatt about this a little more and he brought up some good, additional points.

    You will not be farming bosses. Bosses won't drop the best loot, they won't even drop really great loot. Part of Inferno and our intent with getting people out into the world and hunting and killing lots of different things is putting the best loot on rare and champion packs, and the great thing about rare and champion packs is they have random affixes. They're like a box of chocolates. Murderous, snarling, blood-soaked chocolates. You're not going up against a boss where you know "Build A" is the best way to minmax against it because it has abilities and resistances X, Y, and Z. What is the best build vs. an "Arcane Enchanted, Teleporter, Frozen, Knockback" skeleton pack? Got that figured out? Cause it's not going to be the best against the next pack you come across, and you're going to want to kill that one just as much.

    You might have a specialized build that is super strong against some of these things, and not against others. Your focus is going to be on the balance between taking on all of these possibilities and surviving, and it's that balance that makes for a ton of interesting options and variance.

    The one question mark for a lot of people, and maybe even us, is what stops someone from seeing a pack, backing out (or dying) and swapping out to be better equipped to handle it? We agree that shouldn't be the best way to play, but know it's something we can solve pretty easily, even if it's just making the swapping cooldown longer in later difficulties.

    In any case, his point was that you could absolutely make the best build against one type of enemy, and that build could completely fail against another. It's not D2 where you pump all your points into one ability, we're going for some depth in our combat, but it's your choice of tools (and there are a lot of them) that will define your character versus another.