Wyatt Cheng on Health Pools and Combat - Part II, Differences Between the Templar and Crusader (Discussion), New Wallpaper: Book

Important: In case you missed yesterday's huge RoS datamine post, make sure to check it out! There are Class Changes, Passive Effects, Character slots, Stat caps, Quests, and MUCH more!

Wyatt Cheng on Health Pools and Combat, Part II
About two days ago Wyatt Cheng shared his thoughts on inconsistent health pools and made a few other combat-related points. Now he elaborated on the topic and made a few clarifications, providing us with an interesting read once again.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Hi guys, I've seen some great feedback so far. Let me answer a few questions and address some concerns.

Regarding the existing monster affixes. We'll be keeping an eye on these. For example, Reflects Damage internally has been changed to a flat amount rather than a percentage. I don't know if it's going to ship this way but that's the current internal version.

If we don't want a game defined by one-shot deaths, then we can't have damage that is defined by it's burstiness. Some people have suggested that the solution to making the game more tactical is to make all mechanics 100% avoidable. This sounds good on paper but unfortunately doesn't address one-shot deaths. What we want to do is avoid the extremes. Maybe in one case you can avoid all of the damage, but in another case "good play" means you avoid half of the damage. Having a broad spectrum of attacks with varying degrees of avoidability means both combat decisions and gear matter.

There have been some concerns that we'll swing back to the extremes of hyper-defensives builds such as when the game first came out. This is not the intention. As DrothVader pointed out, there's a middle ground here where you're able to gear and play offensively, but you still have to concern yourself with the dangerous affixes and other mechanics.

A clarification: When I said "After we pull in the rate of healing, next we analyze the patterns in which monsters deal damage" I meant those as steps in the development process. Sorry for the confusion. I didn't mean for a moment that we were going to release in between those two steps. As TheTruth posits, this is an iterative process. There are actually MANY steps involved, those are just the first two. We're changing a lot of things and we'll do a lot of testing of the whole package before putting it all live.

I also share ComposMentis' concerns that although we're trying to adjust how combat feels, we should make sure the result isn't a game that feels slow. Diablo is still an action RPG. As Bomdanil says, there's still a lot of room to "hack and slash through endless piles of monsters". Creating room for players to mitigate incoming damage through smart play is not mutually exclusive with being able to blow them up at a fast pace. A few people have jumped to the conclusion that tactical = slow, or created a false dilemna between "fast paced action RPG" and "strategic prolonged tactical combat". There are more possibilities than this. The goal is a game where the combat can still be very fast, and you are mowing down enemies, but you also get to make quick decisions about when to use a CC ability, when to pop a defensive ability or who to prioritize as a target. These are tactical decisions that don't detract from a fast pace.

I want to thank everybody for the really solid and constructive discussion. It's good to see so many thoughtful posts. I can't realistically respond to everything (such as the suggested modified damage model or some of the potion ideas) but I do appreciate that so many people put effort into stating their reasons and opinions clearly.

WIth the new emphasis on life on hit to stay alive, any word of returning some nerfed proc coefficients ...
We'll be doing a detailed tuning pass on all proc coefficients so Life On Hit and other effects work reliably across all skills. No single skill becomes the mandatory "go-to" because it's the only one that provides enough LoH to survive. Similarly we will ensure no skill's proc coefficient is too low to sustain you.

Rather than looking at things as buffs and nerfs to proc coefficients, think of it as the proc coefficients of skills being on equal footing with one another and the damage and healing of monsters is tuned against this baseline.

Differences Between the Templar and Crusader (Discussion)
The post Nevalistis did on the difference between the Templar and the Crusader a few days ago turned the thread into a discussion and he took the time to answer a lot of player questions on the topic.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I just want the Crusader to have some "tank-esque" skill. Firing shells of holy artillery sounds boss.
That is definitely the design intent of the Crusader. When designing the Crusader, our lead designer, Kevin Martens, asked the question "What if a modern armored division tank was a medieval warrior?" There's loads of fun mid-ranged skills, including one that literally turns you into a divine artillery shell, whistling in to obliterate the hordes of demons below. It's called Falling Sword, and you can take a peek of it in action here. (I may be guilty of giggling incessantly when using this ability...)

Was always wondering, why you guys sometime name him Tyreal instead of Tyrael.
Oops, my bad on the typo. I get ahead of myself sometimes. Corrected, thank you!

So Crusaders were formed around the time of Rakkis or after the events of Diablo 2?
The former. They were founded at about the same time Rakkis set out to conquer the west. The leader of the Crusaders sensed Mephisto's taint in the Zakarum faith, though it had not yet been uncovered, and independently/secretly founded and sent the Crusaders off on their mission. They have remained a mostly secretive sect of the Zakarum faith until now. Crusaders tend to travel alone, occasionally with a ward or apprentice, and rarely interact with one another or the public as a unit. It's part of the reason they've remained unnoticed for so long.

@Revan I think in terms of lore the Crusader will be fitted like he was the original cast of heroes, not only joining in act V but another hero that searched for the Fallen Star, so he will be a Nephalem.
The Crusader has been integrated into all five Acts. You'll learn their motivation behind pursuing the Falling Star in New Tristram, and the NPCs surrounding them will question and interact with their presence as well. The Crusader's story should look and feel as if they were there from the start, and we hope you enjoy getting to re-explore Sanctuary from a different point of view.

Is falling sword similar to Leap in that it can be cast to move the paladin towards the enemy? Or is it simply straight up and down?
There's definitely some movement involved. :) There's a great example of Falling Sword being used to close distance in the Crusader gameplay demo here.

Maybe it will be delving too far but what did the Crusaders accomplished? After some centuries of as you say secretive war with Mephisto, someone else did their job. And as you present them this way I see a similarities with present Barbarians, the loners, the sacred duty at which they kinda failed (it was not their victory), for many years aimless (?).
Their quest is one that's eternal. The taint of Mephisto runs deep in the Zakarum, and even now it is still a recovering faith. The goal of the Crusader is to remove not just this taint and save their faith, but to purge all evil. As we know, it's not quite as easy as simply removing one Lord of Hell from the equation. As long as Hell’s influence persists in Sanctuary, the Crusader will never rest.

As for how the Crusader goes about doing that, I'm afraid you'll need to wait for Reaper of Souls to learn more. ;)

just teasing you about this, but technically Hell's influence will ALWAYS persist in Sanctuary since nephalem/humans are the descendents of a demon (and angel).
Well, of course. There’s always going to be evil, and the Crusade (in that sense) will never stop.

I'm pretty sure Maltheal also has some feelings on that topic, though. ;P

Sucks to be a Crusader. His new Crusade will be a trip to the convenience store to pick up several cases of 5-hr energy since he's gonna be awake a LONG time.
I imagine I'll feel the same when Reaper of Souls releases. At the very minimum, a similar trip is in store for me. =X

New Wallpaper: Book of Tyrael

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

"Horadrim, we stand at the turning of a new chapter in mortal history."
In just a few weeks, the Archangel of Wisdom will reveal never-before-known secrets about the history of the world, his decision to join the ranks of humanity as a mortal, and the dark threats that yet face mankind within the beautifully-illustrated and comprehensive Diablo III: Book of Tyrael.

Now you too can show your support of the Horadric Order by enshrining your favorite device in an all-new wallpaper featuring artwork by Glenn Rane! Visit the Insight Editions site to download this wallpaper in multiple resolutions, and make sure to check back for more elegant designs to elblazon your desktops.

Curious about what lies within the pages of the upcoming Book of Tyrael? Then be sure to check out our recent blog to learn more. This secret-filled tome is set to release next month, so be among the first to experience this new chapter in Sanctuary's continuing saga and place your pre-order today!
Missed last week's wallpaper? Click here!


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