• 1

    posted a message on Wizard Spells, Enemies Will Do Double Damage, Twitter, ERROR_315300, GDC and CeBIT
    Doubling mob damage during early levels, probably the most productive change this entire beta. Took them long enough. Maybe normal won't be a several act long tutorial afterall. Diablo willing...
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 2

    posted a message on I want THIS to be MY Diablo 3! (Now with pictures!)
    (I MADE THIS POST IN FEBRUARY, FYI)

    Here's a babbling introduction to what I'm going to do here. Read it if you want or skip it.


    Ok. I'm fed up. I really don't like how I've been generally negative with my posts recently, mostly because I know I write them to entertain some of you guys or try to inform a few people here and there. It's fun sharing my opinion on things. I think a number of us could go on for hours about what we feel about what this game should be or where this game is going. The major problem with us as fans is that we know we want a great game but we don't also know what we want. We also don't have the tools or capital to do it ourselves, let along forcefeed our ideas to Blizzard.

    The bottom line is that I have no clue what the dev team has been doing the past 3 years, let alone have any grasp of concepts they have developed for this sequel the past 10 or 11 years. The other 7 or so years, I'm perfectly fine with. But when you announce a game and give the signal to go through with it till the end, you better at least have a decent foundation built within the first year. Or you should at least have the common decency or balls to cut the project. Nobody blamed Blizzard for Starcraft: Ghost. They had the balls back then to cut the project when it was needed.

    Before I go around in circles complaining or reasoning about what I think about the D3 team and their problems, I just want to stop myself and do something constructive. Why bother making a thread just to humor or entertain you guys as a community. Why make another QQ whinefest of a thread for the hell of it? This community, including myself, should post something more even fun and constructive.

    So, I present to you, my vision of Diablo 3, augmenting the game we currently have now. Keep in mind I'm not even in beta, but I can at least put in my two cents about as many features and mechanics as I possibly can think of. I'm not afraid to stick my neck out here. Feel feel to agree, flame or say that you're indifferent. Don't be shy.

    I encourage you all to post your vision of Diablo 3 in a similar format to mine or in a format of your own. Perhaps do it in a paragraph instead of a Mount Arreat sized wall of text? Just go for it. Be crazy. Have fun. Let's create our own ideas. Let's be our own devs for a change? Who knows, maybe the Diablo Fans mods or the Blizzard team might notice and take some things into consideration.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [i]Table of Contents [/i]

    <---- COOL IDEA - This means I have an interesting idea that's a lot different than what we have (or what we know we have) in the current game. Someone in the thread requested that I do this.

    A. Title Screen

    I. Logo and Options
    II. Character Creation
    III. Character Selection

    B. Gameplay Presentation Improvements

    I. Tutorial Mechanics
    II. Clickaholic Behavior
    III. Tooltips!
    IV. Friendly Combat NPC's <---- COOL IDEA
    V. Ranged Enemies in Act 1

    C. Zone Randomization

    I. Towns
    II. Outdoor Zones
    III. Indoor Zones

    D. Hot Keys

    I. Complications
    II. 10 slots <---- COOL IDEA
    III. Full Key Binding Customization
    IV. Click and Drag Hotkeys

    E. Health/Resource Generation

    I. Complications
    II. Nerf or Removal of Health Globes
    III. Balance Life Steal/Resource Generation Vs Skills/Passives

    F. Potions

    I. Complications
    II. Restrictions
    III. Three Potion Types <---- COOL IDEA

    G. Stats <---- COOL IDEA

    I. Complications with Automation <---- NEW
    II. Strength
    III. Dexterity
    IV. Intellect
    V. Vitality


    H. Item Requirements

    I. Extreme Complications
    II. Consider Stat Driven Requirements
    III. Consider Level Driven Requirements

    I. Current Skill System Mechanics

    I. Abilities
    II. Passives
    III. Runes

    J. Skill Ratios

    I. Pitfalls
    II. Keep it Simple. AP, SP and weapon damage Ratios

    K. Quest Rewards

    I. This isn't WoW. Give varied Rewards with supplemented EXP.

    L. Teleportation

    I. Scrolls OR Ability with 7 second minimal casting time.
    II. Self Only Teleports
    III. One way?

    M. Utility Items

    I. Cauldron of what?
    II. Horadric Nostalgia

    N. Ammunition

    I. Unlimited, but equipable
    II. Junk Ammo and Quality Ammo

    O. White Items

    I. You need them
    II. Set Vendor Trash Values

    P. Trade Skills

    I. Keep Current Systems
    II. Heavy Skill modifier focus <---- COOL IDEA
    III. Possibilities for Alchemy? <---- COOL IDEA

    Q. Salvaging

    I. Magic quality and above only
    II. Huge prefix/suffix capabilities
    III. Heavy Skill modifier focus

    R. Item Sets

    I. Typical D2 sets
    II. Skill modifier/ Skill build Sets
    III. Address scaling issues <---- COOL IDEA

    S. Item Identification <---- NEW

    I. The current system is fine but...
    II. Here's how I would do it, Diablo 1 style!


    T. Item Repair

    I. Implement WoW's system.
    II. NPC Driven Mechanic
    III. Penalize fully broken equipment <---- COOL IDEA

    U. Death Penalties

    I. Repairs/Durability loss

    V. Mercenaries

    I. Story Driven Mercenaries? <---- COOL IDEA
    II. Customization
    III. Gold Death Penalties

    W. Acts and Progression

    I. At least four Acts.
    II. Please! increase overall monster hitpoints!

    X. Final Act <---- COOL IDEA

    I. Unique Non-linear Structure
    II. Final Act possibilities


    Y. Expansion Content

    I. The usual

    Z. Microtransactions <---- COOL IDEA

    I. Microtransaction Driven Customization

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    A. Title Screen

    I. Logo and Options

    Ok, this part may seem basic to you some of you guys, but it's very IMPORTANT that a game has a classy title screen. It's important for a title screen to be something that grabs your attention and holds it. The Diablo 2 title screen was effective. Nice background, nice music, a giant flaming logo center at the top of the screen and several clickable options underneath. D3 Needs the same format.

    II. Character Creation



    [That campfire has seen plenty of badasses, let me tell you...]

    Even MORE important than the title screen! Many of you, if not all of you, have played Diablo 2. One small, little itty bitty piece of that magical game had very simple YET dramatic details in it. They are in the character creation screen. When you entered the character creation screen, you were presented with 5-7 very believable and very living characters. They were all standing there, facing you, ready to be chosen. When you CLICKED one of those character classes, they stepped forward and came to life, showing off their badassery in very simple way.

    When you clicked the barbarian, he grunted at you and started grinding his scary axe. When you picked the druid, he stepped forward, pointed directly at you, then used that same finger to play-slit his own throat. When you picked the amazon, she stepped forward with her spear and struck a pose showing off her intimidating, but attractive features.

    Diablo 3 needs this sort of body language and animation from the very get-go.

    III. Character Selection

    The characters that are already made could be a little more animated while they are selected as well. A voice prompt for selecting them would suffice and would add flavor to a very boring screen. You could also have them pace back and forth or have other idle animations.


    B. Gameplay Presentation Improvements ***

    I. Tutorial Mechanics

    If we decide on having a formal tutorial, we must NOT have a narrator telling the player what to do. It kills the immersion and flow of the gameplay. If anything, have a few non-invasive tooltips pop up giving the player a few tips, or a few slow moving zombies walk towards the player. The player will naturally react to slow moving aggression by clicking on the bad guys, thus learning that their character can fight back and how they fight back.

    II. Clickaholic Behavior

    Believe it or not, some of us have been playing this series from the very beggining. Those who played Diablo 1 have developed severe clickaholic behavior and will never be cured for the rest of our lives. You know those guys that spammed clicked in WoW's Warsong Gulch who ALWAYS returned the flag when it dropped? Thank Diablo 1 for creating those junkies in the first place!

    Don't have any voice feedback instructing the people that he doesn't need to spam click things. That's half of the fun for a group of players who play these games. Guild Wars 1 did it and it was bad. Guild War scolding you for clicking too much as opposed to just clicking and holding a mouse key was actually annoying for those players. It took a little bit out of the game in a negative way.

    III. Tooltips!

    This is a VERY simple design decision that the D3 dev team felt the need to make a big deal about. For the love of Tyreal, it's not a hard problem to fix. Wow's current system works perfectly...

    EXAMPLE: Barbarian Skill Bash

    By default, you can set the tooltips to be simple with not just the starter abilities that every class gets till lv 20, but every skill...

    BASH (Simple Tooltip)

    [i]The Barbarian smashes the target with brute force. Generates fury and may knock the target backwards.[/i]

    You can then have an option in the settings to have the more complex description for every skill.

    BASH (Complex Tooltip)

    [i]Smashes a single target in melee range for 145% weapon damage. Has a 20% chance to knock the target backwards. If the attack lands, you generate 6 Fury.[/i]

    IV. Friendly Combat NPC's ***



    [I couldn't find a picture of these guys fighting as opposed to them being captured like pansies. So sue me!]

    This game could use some more random friendly NPC's out in the middle of the forest, desert, wastelands, or wherever the action is. Remember Act 5 of Diablo 2? Remember the Barbarians that you found locked in combat with demons as they fought uphill towards the first boss? We could have random mercenaries, New Tristram town guards, or even random civilians being attacked by or attracking random monsters in the wilderness to spice things up. If you save them. they can say something breifly then either stand there or travel off screen at a normal pace. It would add to the environment in a way that it would show the player these are lands with people in them that are being ravaged by demonic forces.

    V. Add more ranged Enemies in Act 1

    Even before we get to the Skeleton King encouter, Act 1 needs more ranged mobs added to it. in Diablo 2, Act 1, in Blood Moor, you already had quill beasts shooting weak spine attacks at you from the very start. Do you think the original D3 design team put those mobs there for no reason? No, they didn't. It's a simple game design concept where you put different things in front of new players and they immediately come to simple conclusions such as "Oh, this thing is shooting something at me... and those things are hurting me... I want to kill him!" And then the new players left clicks or right click on that bad guy until he is dead.

    Adding more ranged mobs increases variety and also supplements the creatures you will fight in those same starting zones on higher difficulties. Flaming quillbeasts that fire poisoned tipped spines at you with 50% physical resistance? YES PLEASE!


    C. Zone Randomization

    I. Towns



    [Many of Diablo 2's locales were very memorable and nostalgic, mostly thanks to them being static in nature]

    Towns should always be static. Every hub in the Diablo series is iconic and memorable. We can contribute this to them having excellent details, believable settings and to them being static zones.

    II. Outdoor Zones

    In order to have the best possible Diablo game, you need as many randomized outdoor areas as possible. Having randomized zones was a valuable staple to every Diablo game. To squander such a series defining feature is completely ridiculous. These aren't the words of a fanboi like me either. Two big reasons people still play a dated game like Diablo 2 till this very day is because of the superior art direction and the randomized dungeons. As a designer, you want to create a game that ages well like Diablo 2, not a game that's only good for one normal difficulty playthrough. Enough said.

    III. Indoor Zones

    Indoor zones can be more static in nature. Still, the the more randomization they have, the better.


    D. Hot Keys ***

    I. Complications



    [This time around, they are trying real hard to make the hotbar compact. Guild Wars 2 is trying to do this as well.]

    Ok, the abilitiy/hotkey situation is pretty messy. It's one of the game systems currently in place that the dev team has really convoluted and complicated due to what could be a number of reasons. Were they trying to make the game more casual friendly? Were they trying to balance the game in some awkward way? Were they trying to remember how skills were actually designed before WoW hit the scene? Only god knows. Well, actually, only Diablo knows.

    There's many factors that need to be considered when producing a UI around an already defined hotkey system. Should there be a limited number of spells? How many boxes should there be? Oh geez, we kept potions, where should they go now?

    I'm going to attempt to take what Blizzard already has in the game and throw my two cents in, even though they have already broken one of their cheif tenants of their own game design. Wait, what? What magical game design tenant are you talking about Asfast? Are you just pulling crap out of your butt like an angry gamer would?

    Nope.

    One of the chief tenants of Blizzard Entertainment game design is called "Concentrated Coolness." This is a term they actually coined themselves. Well what does it mean? It's simple. When you make a game, make a handful of things in the game COOL and EXCITING. Focus on a small handful of skills or features... and make THEM COOL. Don't make 100 spells then go from there. Why? Because if you add a large quantity of things to a game, they all end up being lackluster by default, Why do you think WoW was a cooler mmo then alot of the crap currently out there? Because Vanilla WoW had a handful of COOL staple class skills that people enjoyed pressing thousands and thousands of times for the better half of a decade. All you need is a small core of fun abilities then slowly add to them and build upon them as time goes on.

    Since Diablo 3 has like 20 active spells for like every class, it creates quite a mess to design your way out of!

    II. 10 slots ***

    Here's my solution. Ten hotkeys slots. No restrictions. Either in one single bar that's a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0 linear setup like wow's main hotbar, or simply two 5 buttons hotbars stacked on top of each other.

    Why ten hot keys, you ask? It's simple.

    - 6 spaces for abilities you have equipped by the end game
    - 3 spaces for potions (more on this later!)
    - 1 for something misc, such as a town portal scroll?

    Wow! Isn't that just gosh darn simple. :P

    III. Full Key Binding Customization

    Now with 10 hotkey slots, you should THEN make everyone of those 10 hotkey slots bindable to any keyboard key. If people want to do 1-0 as number hotkeys, go for it! If they want to bind R, Q, Left Shift, the far off / key or even their space bar, let them do it! Another chief Blizzard design principle... SPOILER ALERT INCOMING...

    ... Give the player some freedom to do what they want!

    IV. Click and Drag Hotkeys

    Definitely have the hotkeys be bindable from a keyboard options page, THEN let the player select from their list of up to 6 equipped abilities and click & drag them to the hotkey bar.


    E. Health/Resource Generation

    I. Complications

    http://www.youtube.c...brWAzw#t=24m50s

    [Watch 24:50 - 25:50. You might want to actually buy Antidote potions this time around!]

    Ok, Blizzard has been developing this game with the casual gamer in mind. I have no problem with that, even as a more hardcore gamer. I encourage it even. There are a couple of problems with how they are going about it, though. First off, they assume their casual playerbase won't be able to grasp the concept of potions and now they have outdone themselves by forcing a potion slot on everybody. Second off, they saw potions as somewhat exploitable in Diablo 2, trivializing some encounters. The main problem is that second issue is why Blizzard couldn't really make up their mind about whether they wanted potions

    You guys want my opinion on health globes? They are BAD. That's just my opinion. Why? Because too much automation is BAD. The more you automate things within a game, the less involving the game becomes. Why automate everything in a game? Just so the game can play itself? NOT GOOD!

    Potions are a good concept in theory, but Diablo 2 didn't execute them perfectly in practice. Sure, the game was great, but a player could always spam a bunch of potions and go on a potion high, increasing their hp regen drastically during times when they were getting their butt kicked.

    We need to regulate that...

    II. Nerf or Removal of Health Globes

    Health globes automate health. As i said above, that can be a bad thing. Potions work in Diablo. They work for the sake of having fun while playing the game and for the sake of having an extra button to keep your brain busy. If I had things my way, I'd remove globes altogether. Of course, it might be too late to do that, so it would be safer to just nerf the drop rate of health globes and lessen the amount they heal your group for when they are touched.

    III. Balance Life Steal/Resource Generation Vs Skills/Passives

    Here's a few simple suggestions. Keep life steal items rare to make them worth the find. Also sprinkle a few items that have effects or gimmicks that help any resource generation for every class. Perhaps add crossbows for demon hunters that provide a small hatred boost after a kill or an item that a witch doctor might want because it refunds some mana after casting a particular spell in his arsensal.

    While peppering items with small little effects like these on them for resource generation, we can compare and contrast them to some bonuses that class passives already provide. Perhaps some toning would be needed, such as nerfing passive effects, in order to make sure a player won't generate too much of a resource. This will increase the demand for such effects on these items. In fact, it might create situations where a barbarian might decide on using a good weapon that has an effect that helps only monks, just because it's a solid upgrade. Give the player multiple options and not just one best choice that's always a no-brainer.


    F. Potions ***

    I. Complications



    [Are these tasty bastards more trouble than they are worth?]

    I talked a little bit about design problems with including potions in the game in the last section. Potions were good in Diablo 2, but maybe a little too good. A player could chug normal potions in rapid succession to drastically increase their hp regen. They were also able to collect and stock up on rejuv potions, effectively making some fights much easier.

    Potions, in my opinion, are a nessecary evil in the Diablo franchise. I'm not entirely sure that the devs have fully grasped that concept yet though, because they originally gave birth to their health globe brain child and now it's a fat baby that is causing a big mess at the dinner table. Now they seem to have potions back in the game and are totally keen on the idea of having players chug them? Uh oh....

    The problem that this disfunctional marriage of health globes and health potions will cause is that some players will become too dependent on having health globes spawn if potions end up being too weak. A string of bad luck should not determine the fate of a hardcore character. Sorry. That's not a good design feature!

    II. Restrictions

    Health potions should give a fixed amount of health regen and should last a set period of time, depending on the quality of potion. This means that normal health potions SHOULD NOT STACK. Sure, if a player drinks another, it should reset the time duration, and at the very most, give a small instant gain in health...

    Now, if we MUST have these silly health globes in our game, and normal health potions aren't cutting it, THEN you can increase the drop rate of health globes while letting them give moderate amounts of health. Not too much, just enough.

    III. Three Potion Types ***

    Now, here's a brain child of my own that I want to show to the world. I mean, any moron could have just told you what I just told you about potions. Balance them? Duh. Smart idea, Asfast. You're a real contribution to our society.

    Well, tough guys, along with what I said about NORMAL health potions, I feel as though we should add more to the potions of Diablo 3. We should have 3 types of potions...

    1. Health potions - They heal a fixed amount of health over time for a fixed amount of time.
    2. Resource potion - A potion that helps replenish your classes resource pool (ex. mana, fury, hatred, etc.)
    3. Special potion - A potion that gives an instant heal of a set amount of hit points, while giving a specialized effect for the next 10-15 seconds. These potions can come in generic AND class specific flavors!

    Special potions? What is this nonsense about? Well how about I give you some examples...

    Example #1 -

    Unyielding Draught

    Instantly heals 50% of your health and instantly heals you for 40 health after every attack done to you for the next 10 seconds.

    (Perfect for a character that's going to take hits and take them from multiple monsters at once. Are you surrounded on all sides? Pop one of these rare badboys like a panic button, and you will recouperate your health back after every instance of damage done to you. As long as it isn't a killing blow, you can withstand a zerg of mobs wailing on you for 10 or so seconds)

    Example #2 -

    Slayer's Elixir

    instantly heals 40% of your health and gives you an increased 20% chance to crit after every kill for the next 20 seconds. This effect can stack up to 5 times and stacks are lost after dealing critical damage.

    (Great panic button after a dps class dives away from danger. Just pop it, recover the lost health back, then start wailing on the pack of mobs with ranged attacks or AoE spells. Watch the critical damage pop up all over your screen while you continue to mash buttons.)

    Example #3 -

    Voodoo Concoction of the Hounds [Witch Doctor only]

    Instantly restores 30% health and 30% mana. In addition, all of the Witch's doctors pets will restore 2% of the Witch Doctor's mana after hitting an enemy target for the next 25 seconds.

    (A nice rejuv alternative for the WD class. Potions like this will occasionally drop for the WD only and are perfect for using right after you start what will be a long fight with a pack of tough monsters. You regain some of your health and mana back, BUT THEN start regening mana like crazy if you have your zombie hounds out along with other pets as well. Perfect for the summoning necr... I MEAN for the witch doctors that have summoning builds.)

    Oh and hey, why stop with the occasional badass flavored rejuv potion? Why not let VERY RARE potions drop and have them be real game enders?

    Example #4 -

    Barbarian's Vial of Volcanic Fury [Barbarian Only]

    instantly restores 100% health and sends the Barbarian into a insatiable rage.for 30 seconds. While under the effects of this rage, the player's character will automatically engage enemy units in melee combat while taking 30% more damage and dealing 100% more damage with 50% life steal and spell vamp. The player can direct the character to monsters, but cannot manually move them. Killing blows cause an explosion dealing fire damage to nearby enemies.

    (Oh yeah baby... you know you want that!)

    This goes without saying that these special potions, or whatever you will like to call them, could have magical prefixes and suffixes like that last example I made. Every "Fury" flask will cause that rage effect i described, while Volcanic ones all cause fiery explosions on killing blows. The potential drops and combos would be limitless and really fun as hell to use!

    So that's why 3 slots would be enough for potions, as I said before. One for your health pots, one for a resource pots, and one for a special pot as well.


    G. Stats *** ***

    I. Complications and problems with Automation ***



    [I'm not sure why someone would keep a system for so long then suddenly wake up and discover it's broken...]

    Oh boy. Where do I begin with stats? As I've mentioned earlier, automation can be a very bad thing. Letting the game play itself is... well it's just bad. One fun thing for some players that played Diablo 2 was assigning stat points upon leveling up. Well now, in Diablo 3, stats will be automatically assigned based on your class choice.

    This presents three very serious problems.

    Problem #1 is that you instantly just gutted the opportunity to let the player feel like there's some sort of strategy to leveling up. Casual AND hardcore Diablo 2 players had a lot of fun building characters in a very exact manner, putting exact amounts of stat points and skill points into their builds.

    Sure, there were ways to "mess up" and there may have always been a handful of "best builds," but when you're trying to make a great game, you're only concern should be to give the player freedom, even if it's an illusion of freedom in the choices they can make. If they make a mistake or if you're pulling the wool over their eyes as developers, then who really cares? The player is still having fun. Duh! They don't know any better! They are just players! Let them have their fun!

    Problem #2 is not essentially a problems with "stats," it's a problem with the timing of how and when Blizzard are changing these systems. Hello? We're at least 3 years into development and you're rebuilding a core system like stats? Why even bother? Is it that serious of an issue? It's going to be a major headache to rethink all of your classes, and items, and oh yeah, how abilities interact with those stats as well.

    Problem # 3 is that this new system might hurt build diversity, big time. People going after the same core stats? That means gear will probably be the only differentiating factor between let's say, one wizard between another wizard. Having stats that encourage you just to go for your main stat means that there is A LOT less room for unique builds. Thank about it.

    Oh well... game design is tough stuff. You know what I mean? So I'm going to try to help out by throwing in my two cents, because I'm guessing those guys are pretty exhausted about thinking about these design challenges...

    By spending around ten seconds thinking about each stat, I've come up with some quick solutions!

    II. Strength ***

    Currently:
    Increases Barbarian damage.
    Increases Armor.

    Huh? What? Strength increases armor? I thought armor increases armor. Boy, was I wrong or what?

    I'll just have to accept that as a player, i Have no concept over what's intuitive and what's not.

    Or... maybe not.

    What it should be:
    Increases Attack Power.
    Serves as an armor item requirement

    You want to make things simple for the player? Don't fix what isn't broken. Your stats are automatically assigned now. You don't have to worry about players making mistakes, You ALSO don't have to put really lame gimmicks like "armor" in a stat like strength... just to give it some negligible use to 4 out of 5 the classes in your game!

    Have strength give "attack power" (I'll talk about this later on in this ridiculously large wall of text.) Now, depending on whether or not you will have shields in this game, you can always have strength increase defensive values if the character is using a shield. You can and should also have it be an armor item requirement like in D2. But that's it. Just "attack power" at the very the least.

    But why only attack power? Two reasons. First reason is that people that have played another Blizzard game, by the name of World of Warcraft, (maybe you have heard of it?) will instantly recognize what it stands for and what it means. Non-WoW players will most likely grasp what the term means rather quickly as well. The second reason is that ATTACK POWER can single handily solve 50% of the design issues your having with how class abilities scale later on (more on that later!!!)

    III. Dexterity ***

    Currently:
    Increases Demon Hunter and Monk Damage.
    Increases Dodge.

    Oh god no. Without mentioning several other games, including one particular game that is currently a financial and major game design success, don't even go near Dodge as a main stat, especially by addressing it with dexterity.

    I don't even know where to begin with this. There's too many problems with having dodge play a big part in any game. Please, don't fix what's not broken. Dexterity is meant to be a stat that governs physical accuracy and that's what Diablo 3 characters really need. They need a chance for your character to MISS attacks to increase the game's difficulty.

    What it should be:
    Increases your chance to hit with physical attacks and abilties.
    Serves as a weapon requirement.

    I'm not going to explain in great detail why it's a good thing to have your character miss attacks or even spells. The short story is that in any survival game, you want to improve on your weaknesses and Diablo 2 did that pretty damn well. Your attacks hitting hard enough, but are they missing their mark? Get some dex. Your hit rating is great for your level and your landing most of your attacks? Maybe get some other stat to improve your character then instead. These are conscious decisions the player should make, in order to add more depth to the game as a whole.

    Now I'm sure that some of you apprehensive readers are talking to yourselves in your heads right now asking me "Asfast, what about Dexterity helping attack power? It doesn't make much sense to have a crossbow attack doing more damage, just because the demon hunter has more strength!" Ah yes, but you see, there's something I haven't told you about yet that i'm going to mention in a later section. WEAPON DAMAGE will be the major damage increaser for everything ranged damage related, such as crossbow attacks or weapon throws. Weapons will be the MAJOR focus of the demon hunter class, while still being a secondary requirement for barbs and monks for different reasons.

    See what I'm getting at here? I'll explain it better later on.

    IV. Intellect ***

    Currently:
    Increases Witch Doctor and Wizard damage.
    Increases Health gained from Health globes.

    Ok, another weak gimmick. Why exactly should a caster class be inherently better at receiving health? Aren't they supposed to try to stay out of harm's way and find ways to deal damage safely after achieving good positioning?

    Again, just another half ass attempt to make intellect marginally useful to the non-magic classes when there's no reason for it.

    Do you want to make your game more fun and interesting?

    What it should be:
    Increases spell power.
    Serves as a requirement for magic items (rings, amulets, wands, staves, off hand items, etc)

    Everybody understands what spell power is. Right? A quantifiable number that directly increases any sort of magic or similar ability damage. Also, since the first two stats are now tied to item requirements in my own twisted vision of Diablo 3, well then why the hell not take it a step further and have intellect serve as a hurdle for jewelry as well?

    Imagine a world where your barbarian finds a simple ring. It's just a ring with a simple name like "Brass Ring" and it gives 3 strength. No requirement other than maybe a reasonable lv requirement. Cool. He can use that.

    Now Imagine a ring drops that gives 100 spell power. Well holy crap, your barbarian isn't the sort of guy that enjoys empowering his semi-magic oriented skills (Ex. Hammer of the Ancients and Earthquake.) He just wants to smash things. But hey, if he did equip this powerful spell power ring, his Hammer of the Ancients would hit like a truck for his level if he had that much spell power in one slot. It's worth a try right? Well too bad! What I didn't tell you is that this ring has a 30 Intellect requirement! You're too dumb or not magically attuned enough to handle such power, Mr. Barbarian. Trade it on the AH for a better strength ring!

    Now imagine that same barbarian finding that same ring, except the player playing him is a wackjob thats trying to make a viable "spell power barb" build just to prove a point about how much smarter he is compared to the rest of the Diablo 3 community. He looks at that ring and says to himself "Well I'll be damned, my Ancestral Spear of the Elders that I'm using GIVES me an extra 25 intellect on top of the meager 5 intellect my barbarian has currently.has. Since I'm a goofball that's gearing my barb for a spell power build, this ring is perfect for me!!!"

    Now you see, instead of segregating your playerbase and preventing them from trying new things, you just gave them the means to be weird and let them make spell power barbarians if they really wanted to. Hell, you also just gave the playerbase the means to build a heavily armored Wizard that forgoes Intellect by getting Strength via equipping jewelry with strength on it..

    And oh yeah, intellect will still rock for witch doctors and wizards. Huzzah! Everybody's happy!

    V. Vitality ***

    Currently:
    Increases Max Health.

    Ok, not bad. Simple and straight to the point. Vitality is vitality right? Same old boring Vitality...

    Unless...

    What it should be:
    Increases Max Health.
    Increases health gained from health globes.

    Oh snap. Wait a minute. That's actually kind of cool. Classes like barbs that will want to put points into Vitality will not only get more health to take more of a pounding, they will actually get more of what they need from those stupid health globes too? And it's makes a hell of a lot more sense that having Intellect do that?

    Groovy!


    H. Item Requirements

    I. Extreme Complications

    Well now that they are redesigning stats, I would think it's going to be messy to figure out item requirements in a timely fashion. What's going to be the driving force behind item requirements? I'm going to assume that they are going to throw stat requirements out of the window, unlike my current perverted version of Diablo 3 I'm presenting you today.

    Well, they can figure out their own mess, but since I'm doing things my way, I'd like to point out how I would do things with my system.

    II. Consider Stat Driven Requirements




    [Even some of the most awesome items in Diablo 2 required a little extra something to equip.]

    As mentioned above, in a very verbose manner, I would have a good number of items have stat requirements. To summarize...

    -Strength, provided by natural stats, mostly jewelry, and other items and effects, primarily determine armor requirements

    Example: Heavy plate armor chest piece. Requires lv 15. Requires 40 str.

    - Dexterity, provided by natural stats, mostly jewelry, and other items and effects, primarily determine weapon requirements

    Example: Demonic Crossbow of Blades. Requires lv 35. Requires 85 dex.

    -Intellect, provided mostly by magic oriented weapons and jewelry, sometimes other items and effects,

    Example: Glimmering Signet of the Mage Requires lv 20. Requires 45 int.

    III. Consider Level Driven Requirements

    Lv requirements will be a necessary evil considering stats are automated now. Nothing you can do about it. The main barrier of entry will just be waiting for an item you're looking for to actually drop. Once it drops, you have it... and that's about it.


    I. Current Skill System Mechanics

    I. Abilities



    [This Monk is guarding the best part about Diablo 3, from thankless morons like me of course!]

    The best thing Diablo 3 has going for it is the skills and runes system. The runes are very fun and are a stroke of genius. There, I said it. Even though I think there might be too many active skills for every class, the class skills are still decent. Could they be better? Sure. But Blizzard really did a solid job with these and truth be told. I was very excited about seeing some of these abilities. Don't fix what's not broken.

    Now, even though the abilities are good enough to be in the final product, we're going to still address a major issue with Diablo 3 abilities later on in this massive laundry list. Look for more information on this in the next section called Skill Ratios.

    II. Passives

    Passives are great. They are being tuned. Blizzard has complete control over them for the most part. Even if the game releases with a number of glaring passive flaws imbalances, they will only take a quick fix or two to balance the values out.

    III. Runes

    Love them or hate them, this is probably the most unique and well designed thing about Diablo 3. Beautiful. Sure, the graphics for every runed version of each skill can always be improved and the numbers can be tweaked, but the concept is stellar. Bravo, Blizzard.


    J. Skill Ratios

    I. Pitfalls

    One of the first blazing dumpster fires of Diablo 3's development was when Blizzard brought the concept of weapon damage fully governing abilities damage directly in front of the masses, Most, if not all of every D3's skill's damage, was now going to be affected by the weapon damage of ANYTHING the character was holding? Wizards wielding two handed swords and having it help their fireballs? Huh?

    Maybe I didn't fully understand how this system was supposed to work, but as you can see, I'm fully capable of writing a lot of nonsense out in one day so I'm fluent in reading nonsense and understanding bad ideas as well. I'm more worried about the casual gamer that has to sit there stratching their heads wondering why wielding a large claymore would their Demon Hunter do more damage with their grenades.

    Now, personally, I don't mind Blizzard testing the water's with cool features in a beta. The problem is that it's gone on for a rather long time. So here's my two cents on this subject, considering everything I said above about stats.

    II. Keep it Simple. AP, SP and weapon damage Ratios



    [So as you can see, the Demon Hunter skill ratios will end up looking like... OH SON OF A...!]

    I'm going to lay down some examples on you.

    ---

    Most every melee physical damage ability in the game will have an ATTACK POWER RATIO, usually added on top of your weapon damage.

    Example: Barbarian's Cleave

    [i]Deals weapon damage + (Attack power X .3) as physical damage to all enemies caught in the swing. Generates 6 fury.[/i]

    So essentially, if a Barbarian has 60 strength, has a two handed weapon that deals 100 damage and ultimately has a total of 300 attack power, the tooltip will clearly state

    [i]Deals weapon damage (100) + (100) as physical damage to all enemies caught in the swing. Generates 6 fury.[/i]

    AP ratios will general be higher on melee oriented attacks, putting less emphasis on the weapon damage and more emphasis on attack power. Weapons will still be important, but cleave is an aoe attack so the last example has a naturally lower AP ratio.

    AP ratios can be in red numbers and weapon damage in white as well. I'll probably color format this post later.

    ---

    Most magic spells in the game will use spell power as their governing ratio. For instance...

    Example: Wizard's Arcane Missile

    [i]Fires a missile of magic energy, dealing (spell power x .8) arcane damage to the target.[/i]

    A wizard with a total of 100 spell power will deal 80 arcane damage to a single target.

    [i]Fires a missile of magic energy, dealing (80) arcane damage to the target.[/i]


    ---

    Now, I feel the need to mention that weird builds, like a spell power barbarian, would also be viable and doable. Let's pretend Hammer of the Ancients is heavily influenced by spell power.

    Example: Barbarian's Hammer of the Ancients

    [i]Calls forth a massive hammer to smash enemies directly in front of you, dealing weapon damage + (spell power x 1.5) as physical damage to enemies in front of him. Hammer has a 15% increased chance to crit.[/i]

    If the spell power barb has that same 100 damage two handed weapon and one of those cool 100 spell power rings, the tooltip will look like this:

    [i]Calls forth a massive hammer to smash enemies directly in front of you, dealing weapon damage (100) + (150) as physical damage to enemies in front of him. Hammer has a 15% increased chance to crit.[/i]

    Him having a spell power build makes it so that some of his magically attuned fury spending skills or other aoe skills would pack quite a wallop. This encourages civersity in builds by presenting a build that's different and could actually be viable as well.

    ---

    Now, for ranged abilities from ranged attackers, such as Demon Hunter attacks, will for the most part, be powered by high weapon damage ratios exclusively. Their current skills will basically remain relatively the same, but the ratios will be slightly increased to compensate for dexterity not directly affect their damage. Keep in mind, we want to make sure that getting top-notch weapons will be the most important priority for a class like the demon hunter.

    Example: Demon Hunter's Volley

    [i]Fires a massive volley of arrows causing 200% weapon damage as physical damage to enemies in an area.[/i]

    If a demon hunter has a two handed crossbow in her hands that deals a top end of 120 damage the tooltip will look like this:

    [i]Fires a massive volley of arrows causing 240 weapon damage as physical damage to enemies in an area.[/i]


    K. Quest Rewards

    I. This isn't WoW. Give varied Rewards with supplemented EXP.



    [I don't know about you, but i could go for some of that Elderberry Pie right now...]

    Every quest should not give the same typical gold + experience bonus. Similar to Diablo 2, non-primary quests should be recommended, but optional in nature. Giving rewards such as small permanent stat increases, non-static item rewards or item upgrades should be sprinkled throughout all of Diablo 3's acts. Not every quest should give gold, although some could offer gold in large singular amounts. Every quest can give a small bonus of exp.

    Why not have every quest always give a staple amount of exp and gold? Because this is an Action RPG, not an MMO. Games like these should focus on the grind, a.k.a. the slaying of entire armies of demons. By throwing quests out there as a natural form of progression, you're bound to force the player to go on "errands" for npc's, hence putting the focus off of slaying monsters from hell and more on "Please recover x from y and you'll have my eternal gratitude... which is really just 300+ exp and 500 gold?" It takes the fun out of an Action RPG and suddenly makes every new city or hub into... well... just another boring quest hub.


    L. Teleportation

    I. Scrolls OR Ability with 7 second minimal casting time.



    [Sometimes the simple solution is the best solution]

    For some reason, the topic of town portal scrolls is a hot one. With every other Blizzard game, the concept of giving the player options to return home were simple as simple can be. Diablo 1? Two way TP scrolls. Diablo 2? Same deal with tomes being included. Warcraft 3? One time use scrolls that brought the hero and his army back to a base. WoW? Hearthstones with cooldowns. Starcraft series? Various teleportation gimmicks.

    So why is it so hard to figure this thing out for Diablo 3? Well... beats me! I'm guessing the devs have no clue how to balance risk vs. reward, which happens to be a very interesting game design hurdle... for anything else other than hitting the pause button.

    Well, what do I mean by hitting the pause button? Well, the way I see it, town portal scrolls in Diablo are basically the same thing as hitting the pause button in any game and also the same thing as "logging off" in any online game. You want to allow the player to hit the pause button, but also not exploit the pause button to make encounters easier for themselves. There's a damn good reason why the blocks are hidden from you in Tetris when you hit the pause button, guys!

    With this being said, I could sit here and over-analyze this so-called "problem" to death, but why bother? You should just throw in a simple solution that's easy for every player to understand.

    Simply make sure that scrolls or an ability (It really doesn't matter either way) have a 7-12 second casting time. If the player doesn't get hit, he'll return to the nearest city or hub. No portal, just teleport to the nearest hub, just like a hearthstone!

    If the player gets hit, it cancels the casting time AND resets the cooldown by the same number of seconds it requires to cast. If a wizard is majorly getting his ass kicked by a boss and then tries to blink away and starting casting town portal, the boss will still have up to 12 seconds to reach him and hit him. If the wizard does get hit, that wizard can't even think about trying to cast town portal for another 12 seconds.

    There you go. Simple, effective and hard to exploit.

    II. Self Only Teleports

    I'm going to go on a limb and assume that the devs are also wrestling with the idea of giving a player the ability to create a town portal for himself and his entire party as well. Whether or not my assumption is correct, I'm just going to put down a hard and fast rule to prevent any confusion.

    Make town portal teleportation self-only! If your party members want to escape a fight done bad, it will become an every-man-for-himself type of situation. What's more fun then watching a team completely fall apart then yelling and screaming over voice chat about how Timmy just got waxed by lava spawn while John and Christine got eaten alive by a Hydra and then watching Tom making it out alive? Tom gets to laugh out loud while the others curse at him. Sounds like fun to me!

    III. One way?

    One-way teleportation? Sure. Why not? This prevents a player or team of player from "hitting the pause button" while also being able to restock on potions and having another go at a boss fight, without any real penalties.

    Let's face facts, The Diablo 3 dev team is developing boss fights to be similar to WoW boss fights. Plain and simple. A fight like Duriel in Diablo2 is more straight forward than most encounters. He's a big scary maggot thing that crawls towards you head on at full-speed while trying to claw your body to pieces. What's the skeleton king fight? It's a typical WoW type boss where the boss has like 2-3 "attacks" or "spells" that he casts in sequence. Knowing the fight is half of the battle. To be perfectly honest with you, as much fun as WoW is, that's also the major reason why players get burned out on the game after playing it a good amount. Because after you know how every fight goes, well, half of the fun is gone from the fight itself. it's less about having the gear to handle a beat down and more about having the magic being sucked out of the experience.

    Because of this, if we're going to go down that path and have boss fights be half-knowledge and half-clickfest, you should just do what WoW does. If you "wipe" during a boss fight, you should have to run back to the boss room after getting your ass kicked.

    So yes, get rid of portals. Just make teleportation one way. Simple enough, right?


    M. Utility Items

    I. Cauldron of what?

    Ok, this is getting a little silly. I'll admit to being a negative nancy in this post, but does anyone else think this Cauldron of Whatever and this Cube of Who Cares stuff sounds a little silly? They just seem like nostalgic extensions of the Diablo 3 dev team. Now, why do I say this?

    Well to be perfectly honest with you, half of the design decisions they have made just seem like LAZY decisions. Automating stats? Health Globes? Weapon damage ratios? Doesn't that just seem lazy to you? Yes, I'm going there. I'm sticking my neck out and saying it. I'm being a real jerk.

    Well when you think about it, these Cauldrons of Cubes sound like the dev team is being LAZY by feeding off of the player's nostalgia while giving these items a familiar name in a LAZY fashion and thus ultimately allowing the player to be LAZY.

    Why should you give the option to sell and dismantle items to the player while they're out on the field? For the most part, WoW doesn't do that. Sure, you can summon merchants or repair bots sometimes, but most of the time, players just return to town and vendor/bank stuff.

    The process of making players go back to town to do these things is a GOOD THING. Is it really that hard as a designer to grasp this? Adding a little bit of WORK or TEDIUM is a GOOD THING, simply because giving the player some responsibility adds some meaning to the gameplay and adds a little timesink to everything a player does.

    It's called having good pacing. If a player hacks and slashes for 10 minutes, then heads back to town for 5, checking vendors and his stash, the player's attention span improves during this down time. If you don't give the player some down time to recover those spent chemicals and spent energy, the player will get bored by burning out faster.

    Do I really have to explain this? Don't include items or gimmicks that allow the player to become lazy!

    II. Horadric Nostalgia



    [If you don't know what this is, cancel your pre-order]

    It's fine and dandy if you want to have Horadric type items in the game, but if you're going go down the nostagic route, either throw the god damned horadric cube back into the game or make a whole new item that's interesting. One that doesn't make the player lazy.

    As far as I know, crafters are going to serve as Horadric Cubes in their own right. They will help you craft things from lesser items. Same thing with converting lesser gems into better gems, or something like that.

    All I'm saying is that you shouldn't use nostagia to implement half-ass items into a game. If you going to do it, do it by putting a new original spin on it.


    N. Ammunition

    I. Unlimited, but equipable



    [OooOOooooOooo! +4 Random Properties. Shiny!]

    I'm not in beta and I didn't get to see a Demon Hunter's inventory screen yet, but if I had things my way, I'd have an ammo slot appear when a ranged weapon is equipped and have ammo be an item in it's own right. Unlimited ammo, while adding extra damage to a weapon's damage or even accuracy/speed (not ranged like I said before, not sure what I was thinking? lol) to spice things up.

    II. Junk Ammo and Quality Ammo

    Also, after having high quality ammo items added to the game, you could then have gray or white versions of bolts, bullets or arrows. This will add to the vendor trash list of drops.


    O. White Items

    I. You need them



    [Just remember, you can never make everyone happy. I'm a prime example of that!]

    Having gray and white items in Diablo is important. The devs tried to explain to you that Diablo is all about having "loot explosions" happen. While that's a really awful way to describe that concept, their reasoning behind it is correct. In order to get excited about cool items, you need to have items that are just crap drop as well.

    If everybody in your country drove sports cars, having a sports car wouldn't be that cool, now would it?

    That's just one quick example of how you would try to explain human emotional reactions to having material things. By having crap items in Diablo, you make better quality items more exciting to see when they actually drop. After seeing gray and white items appear on your screen for so long you get extra excited when a mysterious green or gold item drops. Getting excited every once in a while is a good thing. That's one reason why we play video games.

    I honestly feel I could explain this is a more detailed and more elaborate fashion, but I think you guys understand what I'm getting at.

    II. Set Vendor Trash Values

    If you have an increased number of trash items in the game, you need to balance how often each item drops and how often. You also need to to tweak the gold values so that you get moderate amounts of gold and in increasing mounts as you play through each subsequent act.

    This is mostly a mathy type of hurdle to clear and less of a design one, but it still needs extra consideration. You need to add enough emphasis to the act of collecting a certain amounts of junk and returning it back to town for gold in order to make it worth the time. Some players won't bother vendoring grays, some will. But it's important that the option is there and that you make the option worth it to a player that loves playing the game like a pack rat would.


    P. Trade Skills***

    I. Keep Current Systems



    [Blizzard told the Mystic that she didn't lose a few pounds, she wouldn't make the cut.]

    The Diablo 3 devs should just keep what trade skill system they have. Personally I feel like the idea of adding and developing trade skills into Diablo 3 was a tiny waste of time, but if they have something in place they might as well keep it. Even if they cut one or two skills before release, it doesnt matter. There's no rule when it comes to having a certain number of trade skills in a game. You can have 2 or 3 in a game like Diablo 3 and it would be fine. Too much time has been spent in development as it is so no more time should be spent trying to completely redesign what they have. Just keep everything as is and ship this puppy out already!

    II. Heavy Skill modifier focus! ***

    Now, with that being said, you do want to make trade skills have a VERY IMPORTANT CENTRAL FOCUS. it's MY PERSONAL OPINION that trade skills should have the MAIN FOCUS of adding or upgrading ITEM MODIFIERS that improve your SKILLS.

    Man, I must be extra annoying right now using random capitalized words, but hear me out. No matter what Blizzard decides to make trade skills into, if they made the main focus of them adding item attributes that improve class skills, they would never be able to go wrong.

    Here's what I'm proposing:

    -When you scavenge items or dismantle magic properties, you can be handed components that are governed or are related to the actual item suffixes or prefixes.

    - You can then use these common components to add them to items you craft or loot in the game. Example: If you break down a Deadly Axe of Maiming, you should have a chance to receive a particular quality level of component that could allow you to add the "Deadly" OR "of Maiming" to add them to other items.

    - ALSO, we should have item attributes that you can strip down from items and add to other that augment SPECIFIC character skills. Imagine how awesome it would be to have enchantments or attributes that you can add to items that directly enhance the quality of skills that you see? Maybe adding a Barbarian Bash Modifier to gloves? Perhaps one that increases Bash's damage across all non-runed and runed versions of Bash? This would add another level of customization to the game, while really giving trade skills a purpose that's extremely hard to ignore. Everybody will want to do trade skills in order to sell components or use components that add specific skill modifiers to their items.

    By making trade skills have a focus of adding skill modifiers to gear, you will easily stimulate the economy by providing components that players will always want, all of the time. As players continually upgrade their gear and trash their old gear, they will continually want to buy or farm for components that help empower the 6 skills that they have chosen for their main build.

    A monk that decides to use, let's say, a random set of 6 monk skills, will constantly search for components from trade skills that will improve those specific skills and continually attempt to strip them from old gear and add them to new gear upgrades.

    Let's say the monk player plans to use Fists of Thunder, Crippling Wave, Blinding Flash, etc, etc. The monk will then make it a point to search for item components, such as one that improves the damage of Fists of Thunder, and then decide to add them to his gloves. He then would look for a component to upgrade his boots to give a modifier to Blinding Flash. He would then look for a Crippling Wave component... and so forth... and so on....

    In order to balance this new found power, we could either make specific skill modifier restricted to being applied to certain item slots. Or hell, if balance permits, we could even just allow the player complete freedom to stack modifiers for the same skill into multiple pieces of their armor. Imagine being a competitive PvP player going against an enemy player, fully knowing that he rolls with a devastating Wizard Build that focused around his or her Ray of Frost spell. You may "armory" your opponent before a match and your teammate might say "Holy crap, this guy modded all of his items to jack up his Ray of Frost damage and slow. If we don't bum rush this guy, he will end us. We won't even get in melee range..." Now, doesn't sound fun? Trade skills allowing you improve your favorite skills and ALSO have them pay an important part in PvP builds? Where do I sign up for that?

    Another plus would be that more popular skills will become more expensive to purchase from the auction house, while less popular skills will have their components become cheaper. And guess what happens to things that become cheaper in an economy? They have the chance to become more popular than they originally are or even viable if they are more reasonable buys! It's a win/win from a designer's standpoint!

    III. Possibilities for Alchemy? ***

    Now with my previous suggestions for adding badass rejuv/special potions from the previous section, what's stopping Blizzard from adding a trade skill revolving around the player finding materials to occasionally brewing a custom made special potion from them? They could make the components hard to come by, but still allow the player to create potions with special effects that the player enjoys using every once in a while. Want to be able to make a Barbarian's Vial of Volcanic Fury every so often as opposed to praying that one drops? Sure, just use Alchemy and do it. Alchemy wouldn't even have to be a serious, time-consuming trade skill. It could just be a trade skill that doesn't require much time to level up, they could just make the resources scarce and BAM! There you go. A fun and viable trade skill is born without much designer time invested into creating it.


    Q. Salvaging

    I. Magic quality and above only



    [Disenchanting and Salvaging, making you feel better about getting crap items since 2004!]

    Making it so that you can scavenge white or trash items is excessive and unnecessary. It's good enough just to let the player vendor them for gold, from an economic standpoint, let alone from a designer's standpoint. Vendoring trash brings gold into the economy. Why bother allowing the player to destory that gold from being brought into the economy by letting them break crap down into boring crap parts?

    So yeah, when it comes to salvaging, players should only be allowed to break down magical quality items or above. If you're going to have this salvaging thing in the game, you're gonna have to do it this way. Period.

    II. Huge prefix/suffix capabilities

    By allowing Salvaging to give the player components that augment item upgrades, players can attempt to strip prefixes and suffixes they like and add them to their customized gear. The possibilities could go a long, long way.

    III. Heavy Skill modifier focus

    As mentioned in the above section regarding trade skills, Players should be able to have a chance at salvaging components that can be used to add skill modifiers to items that improve your class skills. They could even add very braod groups kill modifiers later on in the game, such as powerful modifiers that improve ALL monk mantra skill in a certain way, or ALL demon hunter hatred spender skills as well.


    R. Item Sets

    I. Typical D2 sets

    Diablo 2 sets were fun and cool. The only problem with them is that characters would outlevel them before collecting most of the set. It's somewhat hard to get a complete set in the hands of the player if it's not a crafted set that someone can craft through the new trade skill systems.

    I'm guessing that Blizzard may just deliver sets into the players' hands through crafting, which would make sense. Still, I think a couple of things could be done to give items sets a little more appeal.

    II. Skill modifier/ Skill Build Sets



    [Barbarian set item I would think, right? Let's hope the set bonuses give some Barbarian only bonuses.]

    I think one solution to making sets more attractive would be to cater to the twink crowd, while also creating many many sets that cater to several character builds with extra skill modifiers. Just like I've suggested before, putting a focus on skill mods will always make anything more attractive in a player's eyes.

    Players want power and they want power their way. By throwing together several build-oriented sets at several level ranges, at the very least, twinks would be able to scour the auction house and buy/assemble sets that fit their build ideas the best. This could at least put more emphasis on dropped sets for customizing a twink. Crafted sets could then become solid options for leveling your first character when putting the effort in leveling during the first playthrough. Dropped sets could be slightly more powerful and cater to alts.

    III. Address scaling issues ***

    The only way I can think about addressing poor scaling on sets for main characters is by allowing set items to be modded in some fashion. Even if they don't complete the entire set, it would help to let the player augment pieces that they do find on their journeys. As I mentioned before, we could use stripped components that have specific suffix or preffix modifiers and allow them to be attached to set pieces. The components wouldn't have to change the actual name of the set pieces. Modding these items could just add the modifier effect and improve the stats.

    Salvaged set items could also yield a set-quality component that drops very rarely on the field through the occasional quest reward. These components can then be used to create crafted set pieces or even allow the player to just vendor them for a moderate amount of gold. Your monk find a Witch Doctor set piece that he doesn't care about? Too lazy to put it on the auction house? Salvage that bad boy, then either use it to make a generic crafted set piece for yourself or just cash in by vendoring it. It would put more emphasis on set items dropping in any situation.


    S. Item Identification ***

    I. The current system is fine but... ***

    The new idea they want to try with ID'ing items is to just let the player click on the looted item and channel for a few seconds and just let the player ID the item for no cost or scroll. This idea is fine. It won't make or break anything. I have no problem with it. Yep. Still, if the skies rained fire and the oceans ran red with blood, and I was in charge of this game, I would throw us back into the dark ages and do ID'ing old school style...

    II. Here's how I would do it, Diablo 1 style! ***



    [I'd have this guy identify all of your items, just because.]

    I'd do away with ID scrolls and have only one way to ID your items, by having every safe-zone, city or quest hub have a leader or elder that would identify your items for free AS WELL as have every merchant do it for you upon opening the sales screen. Yes, I can already feel a number of you guys shaking your heads at this, but this is how I would do it. I'd make you come back every 10-15 minutes and have an npc or merchant ID your items.

    Why would I do this? Mostly because I am evil, but also give you a casual reason to return back to town to give you a breather in between combat. I'd also make you do it, because most of you will just be farming items and filling your inventories anyways if you opt to go on item farming runs. It really wouldn't be that bad tbh. Why? Well because I really don't expect any of you to be dying to know what everything single normal quality magic item does. You MAY be interested in knowing what that flashy golden or green or other exotic item might do, but all you would have to do is return back to town to see what it is after some more monster slaying. it would create SUSPENSE and it would create ANTICIPATION. Isn't that a good thing?

    Also, when you think about it. you and your group will be encourage go to monster slaying for a set period of time then RETURN AS A GROUP to town and chill out. EVERYONE would be incentified to all take a break AS A GROUP. You would also talk to each other about the new loot AS A GROUP and you will talk about the items, consider bartering or trading for the items or just stah the items. Well geez! Are you trying to tell me that my idea would help bring players together as a group and encourage group co-ordination and togetherness? What a convenient accident!


    T. Item Repair***

    I. Implement WoW's system



    [If only every item could have one of these bad boys.]

    I think there should be item repair. It's a nice gold sink to have in a game's economy, I think constant item use should degrade durability and I think dying should degrade equipment as well. So it basically should be WoW's current durability system.

    II. NPC Driven Mechanic

    Under no circumstance should the players be able to repair their own items. They should have to go to a merchant for repairs. Every merchant the sells items should be able to repair things. As a side note, I wouldn't mind not having repair item modifiers at all in Diablo 3. I have no clue if they are in the game or in beta currently, but there's no use for them. The same for the Indestructible modifier as well.

    III. Penalize fully broken equipment ***

    I do believe that if an item reaches 0 durability, it should cost more to fully repair it. I think destroying the item would be too much punishment for players nowadays in this casual age of gaming we are in. Perhaps having it cost nearly 3x the amount it would normally cost if the item was at 1/100 instead would be a good idea. Punishing a player for being too lazy to repair for that long sounds good to me.


    U. Death Penalties

    I. Repairs/Durability loss



    [Take that, durability!]

    As mentioned in the previous section, I think the only penalty for death should be a 10-20% reduction in equipped item durability. This will make spending gold to repair your damaged items the punishment for death, ESPECIALLY if the item is fully broken. We can also prevent players from completely unequiping their gear in hostile areas with monsters nearby. This would preventing exploiting by taking off gear quickly before you know you're going to die. The character could give some voice feedback preventing the player from unequipping an item by saying "Not here."


    V. Mercenaries***

    I. Story Driven Mercenaries? ***

    It would be cool if characters would evolve with you as you level. They could occasionally give side-quests, bits of conversation or even rewards to you if you end up fighting with them a lot. Determining factors for evolving or progressing with your mercenary of choice could be the amount of exp you gain with them being around or even the number of monsters you've killed with them by your side.

    By having your class having it's own little story, alongside the main quest lines and side quests, you make the game more interesting with fresh content on multiple playthroughs. The same thing could be achieved by giving the mercenaries their own quest lines throughout every act. You could try out one mercenary's content for most of one character's life, then try another's content during next character's playthrough to experience different things they have to offer.

    II. Customization



    [Mercenaries should be able to equip more items. Some more item customization for them wouldn't hurt.]

    I think Mercenaries should be able to equip any kind of gear and have that gear be fully moddable, just like player gear. i don't even care if gear doesn't change the mercenary's appearance much. it would be enough for them to equip the items just to improve their stats.

    III. Gold Death Penalties

    If a mercenary dies in combat, you should have the ability to cast a revive spell on them to bring them back with reduced durability on their items. If you die before the merc does, he should just appear right back next to you when you revive back at town with no penalty. Repairing his equipment would be the same and cost the same as repairing your own.


    W. Acts and Progression

    I. At least four Acts.

    There should be at least four acts in Diablo 3. Three is too few, but four, five, or even six acts would be fine. This is something I would never have any control over at this point anyways, but I felt the need to throw that out there.

    II. Please! Increase overall monster hitpoints!



    [If they wanted to make every Diablo 3 monster into a loot pinata, they could have at least made them look like the concept art!]

    I don't care if I haven't played beta. I don't care that the beta only goes up to the Skeleton King encounter. I also don't care that I haven't play tested the game internally as well. No matter what excuses you can throw at me, Monsters in Diablo 3 need at least a 125% increase in hit points across the board. I'm stubborn. That's just how I feel.

    There's a very good reason why the devs have been tweaking (ahem, nerfing!) the damage on the abilities posted on their website over the past several months. I can safely say that it's not because they don't want their characters to be less bad ass. If I had to guess, well-geared and well-maintained characters are probably making monsters fall over too easily. i'm already worried that the normal playthrough will be all I'm interested enough in doing after paying 60 bucks for the game. So in my dream version of the game, monsters would have more hit points. Plain and simple.

    I would also make the monsters do more damage if killing a mob of them started feeling like a chore. But hey, that's common sense right? I really don't think I need to explain that you increase the fun factor is you increase risk in fighting monsters throughout the entire game by increasing their damage across the board...

    But hey, if this game ends up being too boring and too easy just because they couldn't give monsters a few more hit points. Then that's no big deal. I just won't be buying Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void or any other sequels to the Legacy Blizzard franchises. Not that some of you really care what I buy or don't buy, but I'll personally be able to write off WoW as Blizzard's last great game at that point, simply because of increasingly lazy game design.If they can't fix a game's difficulty by increasing values like hit points by a simple percentage increase, then that's not my problem. Even a casual WoW player not even in their prime would get bored of two shotting monsters with ease if the difficulty isn't there.

    That would be a shame too if I didn't buy any more sequels, considering the SC2 team has actually delivered on their promises for the most part. Fortunately for me, there are similar games out there that are simply more fun. :P


    X. Final Act***

    I. Unique Non-linear Structure ***



    [Killing Big Red is always fun, but maybe we could add a little extra something to make the Final Act more epic.]

    I see a lot of potential for the final act of Vanilla Diablo 3. Maybe you guys don't and maybe the Diablo devs don't, but I do. Whether or not the final act will take place in Hell, Heaven or someplace equally exotic, I would love to see Blizzard do the final act in a way that's a new twist on what they have done before in another game.

    This is what I propose:

    Let's just say, that Heaven is the last act in Diablo 3. Take the emotion out of it and don't assume that I've listened to any spoilers. I haven't. After reading the Book of Cain, I personally would just like to see Heaven be the last act for whatever reason. I just want to see what it would look like in game, sadly, to be perfectly honest with you, seeing what Heaven will look like from the perspective of Blizzard's amazing art teams might be the only interest I have in playing this game at this point. Well, maybe that and writing long retarded posts about game design, but hey, whatever!

    So yeah, let's just say it's Heaven. Let's just use this setting as a very fun example for the idea I'm pitching.

    What's stopping us from creating an open-ended act with a non-linear progression? Also, what's stopping us from making the final encounter a possible "hard-mode" scenario. When I say "hard-mode" I meant presenting a zone to a player where he has the option of going out off defeating particular encounters or bosses, in order to make the final most dangerous encounter less dangerous or even more epic? Think Ulduar raid in Wrath of the Lich King, if you're familiar with that game or that raid. Since we don't actually have the option to choose the "difficulty" of our fight, I'm going to refer to the "hard-mode" concept as it was back in Ulduar and not as it is now in other more recent WoW raids.

    If i had things my way, I would have the player (or players) be thrown into the center of the zone at the very start of the act. In this example. we would throw them in the middle of Heaven at a neutral protected outpost, such as Pandemonium. Let's just assume that you will have the opportunity to fight angels or demons fighting in Heaven, right? Well we could have several optional encounters involving battles raging on all around the player the moment he arrives in Heaven. Completing these encounters could provide the player with rewards and extra perks that will help them in combat in the rest of the zone. These perks could be helpful boons that will ultimately assist you during the grand finale fight or passive buff that's given to you in the entire act.

    II. Final Act possibilities ***

    Think of the possibilities.

    You could elect to first fight at the Diamond Gates, where demons could have already broken into Heaven and are sending further reinforcements. After stemming the flow of reinforcements and securing the gates, you could stop demons from fast respawning right behind you later on during the final encoutners?

    You could also then elect to help Tyreal or another warring angel like Imperius from fighting renegade angels or elite demon forces from taking over another section of Heaven. By killing the bad guys there and proving your worth to the Angel defenders there, you can then face them to prove right to live on as Nephalem by fighting them yourselves. The Angels there could then see humans as worth their time and then could offer you waves of friendly combat npc's during the final encounters right up until the point before the final boss fight.

    You could also have the option to travel to another portion of the Heavens that is being corrupted and fight bad guys there. You could wipe them all out and secure the all-powerful Angelic artifacts that the bad guys were trying to corrupt. After doing so, that same artifact (or multiple artifacts) could give you a specific zone-wide buff. These buffs could be something like 20% increased damage, 30% increase hit points or even 10% more magic find for the entire rest of your farming days in the final act. Seriously, what Diablo Player could resist enabling more Magic find in a zone that you will probably spend a long time farming items in across several difficulties? That's a big no brainer! And it's optional too!

    You could have several of these optional wide-open sections available to you the moment you arrive in the Heavens (or Hell, with different circumstances involved) and you could pick and choose what you want to do first or if you want to do them all. The content would be enabled or disabled based on what the host of the game has already accomplished.

    Finally, picture a hardcore player that arrives in Heaven and really doesn't give a damn about doing any of that extra awesome content. He's a hardcore player, afterall. He doesn't need those perks to end the final boss's life. He's a badass and he's just trying to breeze through Normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulties on his way to Inferno, right? Well that kind of player could just waltz right into the final boss area right at the start and have the option to skip all of the other crap, simply because there's no linear progression restricting him. He can just walk in and confront the final boss with the entire area having fast respawning reinforcements coming at him, with no Angel Npc's helping him out and with no buffs as well. Hell, maybe we could even have more loot drop for that player the moment he lands the killing blow. That would compensate him for being such a bad ass and also compensate for him not getting any loot from the other encounters! Tribute runs from Diremaul in WoW, anyone?

    Come on, you have to admit. If you just bothered to read all of that, these ideas sound like a lot of fun for a Diablo player.


    Y. Expansion Content

    I. The usual



    [Diablo is one hard demon to put down.]

    It's too early to start talking about content for the expansion since this game STILL isn't out yet. How can we figure out what to add to the expansions without even knowing what they did in Vanilla?

    Well honestly, any of this crap I've posted above this section could be thrown into an expansion. Cooler potions, skill modifiers, improved or added trade skills like alchemy, epic final acts, etc. It's all easily doable

    Personally I think there will be room for two more classes. Hell, they might even bring the Necro back for the hell of it. Could be a good selling point. Just saying...


    Z. Microtransactions***

    I. Microtransaction Driven Customization ***



    [Want Tyreal wings? Sure thing... that will be $35 please.]

    I want microtransactions powered by the new Battle.net balance function. I want players to be able to buy Name Changes for 5 bucks. I want players to be able to respec their characters for 5 bucks. I want cosmetic additions that you can add to characters for 10 bucks. I want sets of armor dyes for 5 bucks.

    Yeah, you heard me. I want Blizzard to cash in on this whole microtransaction thing. Why do I want this? Because I'm a business man. Even though I probably would have fired a handful of people by now if I was the project manager, Blizzard still went through all of the trouble to push this damned game out of the door (or has yet to.) They might as well put a little extra effort in and provide fun extras for players to purchase on the side for the hell of it.

    There was little to no room to include fun microtransaction content to Starcraft 2. Sure, I guess with some effort, they could have added cool custom skins to Starcraft units for a nominal fee, but oh well.

    Blzzard can figure out their own way to monetize Diablo 3 via Microtransactions. I'm tired. I've given them enough ideas for a day or two if they decide to actually read this. Time to go play some more Dota 2!


    Last Updated - 1/25/2012

    (Added markers to point out section with specific ideas, by request. Added some stuff I forgot to add before as new stuff. Added pictures)

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Coming Soon: Battle.net Balance
    I'm pretty sure a lot of people will find this to be anti-climatic. I know I did. I didn't mind other moves Blizzard has done recently, but this leaves a sour taste in my mouth for some reason. Blizzard could have simply taken bigger cuts and some some cuts for Paypal as well, but they are going down another path.

    It's just another way for Blizzard to make money while trying to restrict players from cashing-out. They want to keep your money as opposed to giving you complete freedom with the currency. It's also a clever way to get you to spend on WoW time.

    If the Diablo economy gets stale at some point, this feature will end up becoming stale as well. Blizzard is just trying to play catch up, because they failed to make Batle.net 2 into something you would actually pay for. Can't say I blame them, but eh.

    One upside is that Blizzard will finally be making some of the money for themselves that they have lost to 3rd party sellers in the past. Gold farmers and item websites will finally stop making the money they never deserved in the first place.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on Beta is too easy? yeah, D2 LoD act 1 normal was soooo difficult...
    I know that they have buffed the Skeleton King and that they have been nerfing the damage on all skills recently, but I felt the need to reply to this thread. I have a huge problem with the OP's point and sarcasm.

    Act 1 wasn't never super difficult, but you're completely comparing apples to oranges. Why? Because you're talking about LORD OF DESTRUCTION act 1, not vanilla Act 1.

    When they added new classes and new items, the game was more streamlined and even gold was easier to come by. I believe they also added things like poison charms when LoD hit, and those particular charms were overpowered. LoD Act 1 was faster and more fluid than vanilla was.

    New players that happened to pick a non-op skill order in Diablo 2 while first picking up the game had a decent challenge in Act 1 and ran the risk of dying a couple of times.

    I remember having to run around at least a little bit with Blood Raven, because of her zombies and her having a decent amount of hit points while shooting at you from range. Sure, she wasn't super hard, but it didn't feel like the skeleton king with some gimmicky skeleton summon. The skeleton king fight pre-buff felt like an easy low level wow boss with gimmicky abilities being used on cooldown.

    Fallen were easy, but at least annoying to kill, because of their unique fleeing mechanic and res'ing as well. they were at least interesting to kill. As for the Blacksmith, he wasn't no Butcher but he had some hit points. Andariel? She was pretty dangerous to new players, but we haven't seen her equivilant yet.

    People aren't scared of an easy Act 1... they are scared that they will blow through the whole storyline very fast, which cheapens the game, makes the storyline less enjoyable and also kills the replay value quite a bit. People don't want to mow through the game and learn what happens, then have the sudden urge to not play through the later difficulties.

    Imagine if you waited 10 years for a game, then found yourself putting the game down immediately after one sit-in and then automatically finding yourself going to play Wow, Skyrim, or MW3 again (or any other shooter you're into, I'm not a MW3 fanboy I swear! lol)
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Are there any critisisms from people that played the D3 Demo? (Impressions from two years ago)
    I realize that I might get flamed some for making this post, but I'll stick my neck out for it.

    Does anybody here have any criticisms about D3 after playing the demo at Blizzcon, Pax, etc?

    I want to share my honest first impression of the game. Keep these facts in mind though:

    1. I played D1 when it first came out and of course D2 a long time ago. D1 made me develop this bad habit of spam clicking in every game I play years after. It's so bad that when I tried out Guild Wars, the game wouldn't shut up about how i didn't have to click so much and suggested I click and hold down the mouse key. :D

    2. I only played for one session at Blizzcon.

    3. I played the witch doctor with another witch doctor and a monk on my team.

    So keep those things in mind as I share my opinions on the demo...

    ---

    Gameplay -
    The actual gameplay felt a little boring and I wasn't feeling it. I think there could be one of three valid reasons why that was the case in general. Either the witch doctor was boring for me, my experience felt rushed because of the time limit or the equipment they gave us made the game flow differently.

    When I played with my teammates, I found myself not concerned with what spells I used. What I mean is that it really didn't matter what spell I used to fight any particular type of monster or group of monsters. Now, there could be two reasons for this. They may have given us an easy portion of the game to play or perhaps they gave us above average equipment on our characters for the sake of playing the demo.

    The witch doctor's fire bomb was one spell I would occasionally lob at enemies. I could also summon spiders from the ground, similar to how you would summon normal necro skeletons in D2, but not really. From what I remember, the corpse spiders didn't require a corpse, which made the spell lose its meaning in a figurative sense. I'm not complaining about the fact that they are called corpse spiders, I'm just saying that the spell itself wasn't that fun or made much of an real impact. I would try to summon them entering a fight to create a buffer for myself and my hounds to work with (hounds don't use corpses either.) The hounds were somewhat interesting. They served as meatshields and did some damage on the side. They also made it easier to get enemies to stand still for fire bombs.

    The witch doctor also had an aoe horrify spell, which was very easy to abuse and fear bomb with. Now since I was with another witch doctor, I found myself just spamming horrify to scatter every single enemy I dealt with in all directions. I didn't feel penalized while spamming this spell, because I felt that my mana regen was not a problem and I continuously kept them from doing anything the moment they moved in range. The horrify effect stays above your head like a pulsing beacon for a few seconds, so I wasn't using any strategy at all while running around with it yelling "Ooga Booga!" the whole time. It was a little boring to say the least.

    Another thing that surprised me was that the monsters were kinda slow. Now I'm not sure if they were made slow purposely for the demo, but when you engaged a pack of mobs, they wouldn't necessarily charge directly at you. They would zig zag around while engaging you as if they were taking turns and their movement speed was relatively slow. Compared to most of Diablo 2 where mobs will constantly charge you head on and move at least as fast as you, I was a little surprised to find these monsters not provide any interesting threat.

    I found myself thinking about the sand leapers in Act 2 of Diablo 2. You know, those little creatures that would leap around and try to pick you off and bounce around. Now you see, they weren't very organized either, but they were fun and memorable to fight. They would leap around and rebound around you, and you would knock them backwards when striking them. They were annoying and they were a nuisance, but they were very memorable to say the least. The monsters in the D3 felt like they were more polite to me than my teammates were, if that makes any sense. I wasn't getting the feeling that they were actually trying to kill me or at least annoy me! :)

    What I'm also trying to say is that you could easily just run away and dodge nearly all conflict if you wanted to. was this because of the equipment we were given? I'm not entirely sure, but it's safe to say that everything was easily kitable and I didn't feel any rush or excitement whatsoever in any fight. Once again, I was bored in that aspect as well.

    In fact, one of the optional quests was to locate a mini-dungeon nearby that was about to cave in on itself. I didn't even realize it was a timed quest until I finally noticed the timer after finding the actual dungeon. I found myself entering the dungeon, before running past every monster inside, looking for the treasure, which was the objective of the quest. I ended up dying in the collapse, which was my only death in the demo. Many other players suggested others to "run around to find the treasure." That gave me a bad vibe. What kind of Diablo game is this if other Diablo players actually tell you that it's better to run around like a coward instead of fight deadly monsters that can actually engage you?

    I'm not sure if the health globe mechanic is a good or bad thing. I didn't notice any potions or use any potions personally. I'm sure others on these forums know more about potions and globes than I, but I'm still not really sure if the globe mechanic feels like Diablo. Keep in mind that I understand that potions and rejuvs were problematic in D2 and that they may have trivialized some content in the game. Still, I didn't feel like I was in danger or running out of mana at any given point in time. I wasn't feeling desperate, nor was I looking for globes. I just kind of accidentally ran into them without caring.

    Most of my attention was wasted staring at my mana globe as I thought "Is it even possible for a skilled player or even an average player to run out of mana???" to myself. I'm sure the monsters had a few more HP's since there were three of us in the game, but they didn't deal any real damage to be honest. Once again, maybe it was the equipment that we were given?


    Controls -
    The controls were smooth even though the new tab function to switch your right click ability will probably take some getting used to. I had mixed opinions about it, but I'm sure it was mostly I was rushed because of the time limit. I'm sure when we all play the finished game, we will get used to the tab key and master it.


    Visuals and Monsters -
    Physical animations, the environment and ambiance were great. Whoever they have working on the scenery and doodads are really putting their hearts and soul into it. The desert eniroment was dark enough, even though it was based during the day time. This is something that every Diablo players will want, as opposed to having a game with low gamma lighting.

    The models and monsters weren't anything spectacular or memorable. I honestly can't picture any memorable monsters in my mind as I'm typing this post to you guys. The only thing I can recall was the one monster Dervish they talked about in one of the panels. It was a ghostly looking thing that would spiral around, whipping axe bladed limbs at you. We fought a unique one, but besides it having a lot of health, it wasn't that interesting to fight. You guys remember the one quest boss with an assload of HP's at the start of Act 4 in D2? Picture fighting that bastard with him not dealing any threatening damage. Sound boring? It may be.

    As for the spell effects, I share the same gripe as some others have mentioned. The game is a tad visually noisy. For those of you that don't understand what I mean, I'm basically saying that the spell effects are too flashy. Some of the spell effects either took up too much of the screen or were too bright for no reason. Some explosions were done right, but some weren't spot on. I remember another fan pointing out that a game of 8 players in D2 all fighting at once could provide a visually noisy battle, but he felt that you only needed 3 or 4 D3 characters to create the same amount of noise. I really do agree with him. Perhaps the game's point of view needs to be zoomed upwards and outwards. Having more monsters on the screen wouldn't hurt one bit, in my opinion.

    ---

    One thing that I want to make clear is this... I only played one session, because the game didn't hold my interest. Call me jaded, but I didn't think to myself "Hmmm, I should probably play more D3, because I may never get a chance to play it again till release." I really had no urge to give it another go. I did find myself going in line to play Starcraft 2 three times without even realizing it. I understand that SC2 is more developed than D3 by a good year or two, but still. Also keep in mind that I refrained from bringing up common public gripes like "D3 looks like WoW!" or "The rainbow unicorns are attacking!" I have my own opinions about the direction of D3 and of Bashiok, but this is honestly how I felt when I was playing the real thing. I just hope it was just a watered down demo? I hope others honestly had a more exciting experience?
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.