|My RoS Feedback - Whether you want it or not(1)||Category: RoS General FeedbackJanuary-4-2014 7:19 PM PST (9 years ago)|
|Just gonna start this off with a teaspoon of bitterness. I didn't get into RoS beta, it just didn't happen. Of course that didn't stop me from playing it somehow(my little secret), though it did prevent me from posting this on the RoS Feedback forum section. So now, Blizzard, you're going to sit back, listen and consider my feedback! MUWAHAHAHAHAHA. Thought you could keep me out did you?! MUWAHAHHAAH, etc. Seriously though, you would not believe what I went through in order to play so that I could provide this feedback.|
Alright, the first thing I want to say about RoS is that I am both wholly impressed and incredibly frustrated with it. On the one hand, RoS takes about 31 giant steps in the right direction. Lets just say that the game has improved so tremendously that I actually feel safe recommending it to my friends again, and that's saying a lot. On the other hand, it appears as if many of the feet that so easily could have been moving in the right direction just decided to stand still.
The Crusader class, new skills, far superior loot system(though it still has a little ways to go), far superior class/skill balance(though again, still a little ways to go), Act 5 is arguably the best act in the game, Adventure mode and rifts have incredible potential(they are fun as is, but with a few minor adjustments they could benefit tremendously), clan system, no AH, etc.
All in all, I was very pleased with my brief (27 hours in 2 days O.O ) time spent playing RoS. Hopefully I'll be able to get in some more testing before launch. I also feel it's worth mentioning that I was 100% correct regarding 2.0 PTR feedback. That is, it is literally impossible to properly evaluate patch 2.01 without playing RoS. I would even go so far as to say that ANY 2.0 feedback could be potentially detrimental to this game. Patch 2.0 was so obviously built with RoS in mind that it has little place in the world of Diablo 3 without RoS to accompany it. As I said before, playing 2.0 PTR and providing feedback on it is like watching the first few episodes of a multi-season series then being asked to provide a review of the entire show as a whole. You're going to be doing a LOT of guessing and it probably won't turn out very well.
Enough blabbering, lets get into specifics.
I'd like to start this off by saying that Legendary drop rates need to be significantly increased IMMEDIATELY. I am FULLY aware that the initial drop rate for F&F beta was deemed way too high and that Blizzard simply decided to lower it to a point where they knew it would be too low in order to find a good middle ground afterwards. Honestly, I don't see why this middle ground couldn't be found without wasting a ton of incredibly valuable testing time by setting it to an absurdly low level, but what're ya gonna do?
Either way, please increase the drop rates to a reasonable level so that players can actually test this incredibly important part of the game. Seriously, the amount of feedback that is being stifled by this very confusing game design decision is mind-blowing. Worry about finding the absolute perfect drop rate AFTER you're done worrying about whether or not itemization is in a good place.
Next I'd like to cover combat pacing. Overall I've seen some significant positive changes where class balance and skill design are concerned. Unfortunately, this major success has been damaged by what I feel are 2 significant issues in combat pacing. The first issue is monster density and the second is combat pacing as it relates to monster strength and objective value of killing monsters. Lets cover the latter first because understanding it will help to better understand why monster density isn't quite where it needs to be.
Monster Strength Combat Pacing:
So now that combat feels so much more enjoyable to me, one of the things I am constantly finding myself thinking is, "I'm not really spending enough time fighting". Now some might think, "well yeah but that's just because it's more enjoyable now, therefore you have more of a drive to kill". I only wish that were the case. The problem lies in the fact that there are only 2 kinds of pervasive combat in Diablo 3. The first kind is AOE trash and the second kind is AOE/single target elites/bosses. Where is the inbetween?
95% of my time in Diablo 3 is spent either mass slaughtering hordes of enemies(where density is satisfactory) or taking a much slower and measured approach with elite packs. This game is in desperate need of something to fill the gap between those two extremes. There are a myriad of reasons that Diablo 3 could benefit IMMENSELY from adding this type of combat pacing to the game. Firstly, it forces players into building their character around a whole other type of combat where pure AOE might not cut it but single target focus might be overkill. The important implications of this new type of combat cannot be overlooked.
Now here's the kicker, these types of encounters actually DO exist in the game in some form(Savage Beasts, Demonic Tremors, Wood Wraiths, The Unburied, spinning guys in Act 2, Phase Beasts, Colossal Gulgors, etc.). These monsters are supposed to represent a middle ground. They are supposed to pose a greater threat per monster(TPM) than anything other than an elite/boss and, for the most part, they do. The problem with them is that they just aren't that intimidating(with a couple exceptions), nor is it worth it to actually stop and kill them if efficiency is in your best interests. So how do we solve this problem and create this medium paced combat opportunity for players?
The solution is really a very simple one and could be tackled in a variety of ways. I'm going to present how I would fix this problem just so people know exactly what it is I'm talking about. I'll call this system the, "Leader System". Henceforth, I will refer to these mobs as "Leaders".
Simply put, Leaders need more priority recognition and much higher reward potential. I think that when players encounter a Leader mob, they should say to themselves, "Trouble incoming". Unfortunately, for the most part, all I am usually thinking when I encounter a mob that I would designate as a leader is, "That thing has a little more HP than other mobs, also it's a little bigger, also I'm probably just going to ignore it and hope it doesn't follow me".
I would like to see Leader mobs designated with a unique-colored name text. Then I would like to see their damage and HP buffed between 10-60% depending on the mob. And finally, I would like to see these mobs actually be made worth killing instead of just running right past them like any learned D3 veteran who is interested in the best loot/exp per hour does. Make killing one of these guys equivalent to killing a few swarms of trash mobs in terms of potential loot. This would make people actually want to stop and kill them. When people DO stop to kill them, make them a little bit scarier. Since they almost never appear in packs and don't have any crazy elite affixes, I don't think it's unreasonable to request that they pose a threat that matches their appearance.
A monster that looks big and bad SHOULD be big and bad, and should offer loot that says, "you just killed a big bad monster". Since they don't have any elite affixes, do something special with the abilities they do possess. Design them in such a way where players are strongly encouraged into designating them as kill priority #1. And please remember that no matter how strong they are, people are still going to run right past them if they don't offer an appropriate potential for loot. In fact, it stands to reason that people are going to be MORE likely to ignore them if their strength is buffed and their rewards remain the same.
I feel this system would totally rid the game of this feeling it still possesses where true efficiency is marked first in choosing the area with the highest overall number of trash and elites, and secondly in how fast you can run from room to room clearing said swarms of trash and elites. It's not to say that such a thing should be removed from the game entirely, it's just to say that this system would balance out what we consider to be efficient to a more acceptable level. No longer would efficiency be so simply and unenjoyably defined. No longer would the best builds be those that include the highest movespeed and AOE-clearing abilities. Just imagine the number of builds that would suddenly become viable with this type of combat in the game. I feel very strongly about this change and I honestly have to say that if I was given the option to choose just one thing to change about how this game plays right now, this would be it. I truly feel that it is of the utmost importance to the future of this game. On to monster density
Monster Density is fairly inconsistent in RoS. In every single act, including Act 3(known for its density), I find myself with frequent and boring lapses in combat(though it is worth mentioning that Act 5 has some EXCELLENTLY-designed areas where combat pacing is concerned). Please keep in mind that lapses in combat don't mean that I'm not being swarmed by 100 mobs at once, it simply means that I'm not attacking anything at all. It is also worth noting that almost every single quest/random event in the game is FAR too relaxed in terms of challenge. Spawning a few sets of 5 or 6 trash mobs followed by a single named mob with 10x more HP is not my idea of solid combat pacing.
Many caves and dungeons feel almost entirely desolate, offering little excitement or feeling of being potentially overwhelmed. Outdoor areas aren't quite as bad but still lacking in quantity and quality of enemies. This is part of the reason why I feel the Leader monster system I proposed could be SO INCREDIBLY beneficial to the combat pacing of this game. If leader mobs existed as I suggest, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing when players experience semi-frequent lapses in encountering hordes of mobs. Instead, we would be faced with a different kind of challenge that requires a different style of play to overcome.
There just aren't enough area's in the game that feel as if the world is being overrun with bad guys(Though, as I said before, Act 5 does a pretty good job for the most part). I think it's absolutely wonderful to provide players with a visual sense of varying threat levels via quantity of monsters. The entire game can't just be riddled with things to kill, as that would prevent Blizzard from instilling different types of atmosphere. Having said that, that does NOT mean that a large number of areas should be devoid of challenge of any kind. Again, this is why the Leader mob system needs to find its way into this game.
It would be SUCH a shame for Diablo 3 RoS to release with all these great combat improvements only to make players feel like they aren't spending enough time fighting. Or even worse, that the only kind of fighting they are doing is spamming AOE skills on a million mobs at once and then running as fast as possible to the next over-populated area. As for density specifics, I find that fairly-frequent, super-large packs with smaller packs in between is the most enjoyable formula for the MAJORITY of encounters. I much prefer this to a constant and steady stream of medium-sized packs, though it is absolutely essential to have some variety. I don't mind brief lapses in combat either so long as I know there's SOME sort of challenge around the corner. What I absolutely hate, is running through a cave and encountering 1 pack of 4 mobs every 100 yards. That should absolutely NEVER occur in a game like this, and I mean NEVER.
Next up, LOOT!
Lets start with secondary affixes. Unfortunately, I've found that secondary affixes are just boring, plain, uninspired, etc. I almost never care what secondary affixes are present on my loot and this is a SERIOUS problem that cannot ship as is. 120 Poison resist and 1 yard to pickup radius will never and can NEVER be exciting. I get that you want to keep pickup radius lower than what it was in vanilla but here's the thing; having 2 possible outcomes for an entire stat (1 or 2 yards increase) is just never going to work. In fact, any stat that says, "you need a full set of gear with max values of me on it in order to make any considerable difference" is NEVER going to be fun. This goes for ALL stats that fall into this category. If you can't do crazy things with a particular affix that is present in max values on all of your gear then that stat doesn't belong in the game, PERIOD.
Diablo should not be about having a little bit of everything(though that should certainly be an OPTION for players who want it). Diablo is about being presented with choices that have the potential to drastically change the way your character is played. Yes, many of the new legendaries fall into this category, but it cannot be JUST legendaries that play this role. Every single affix needs to have the potential to drastically change the way your character is played. If they can't then all you're doing is crippling potential build diversity and enjoyment of the loot hunt. If I manage to find max values of +Cooldown reduction on EVERY single piece of gear that I'm wearing, then I should be able to effectively rid myself of cooldowns altogether. Sure I probably had to sacrifice a large amount of other offensive stats to do it, but that's part of the fun! If I want to spend 90% of my time in Archon form then it should be POSSIBLE. These are the types of challenges and goals that players absolutely love to shoot for. So long as there are a variety of powerful alternatives, NOTHING is overpowered.
I'm totally okay with the concept of the secondary affix. The problem lies in the fact that almost none of them are fun in any way whatsoever. The good part though, is that it's not necessarily the affixes themselves that are the problem(though that doesn't hold true for all of them). It's the VALUES that are the problem. Please tell me, what are the negatives to an item that looks like this?
Helm of fun affixes Requires level 70
13% Cooldown reduction
5% Crit Chance
80 All resists
270 Poison Resist
+8% Experience from monster kills
There are literally ZERO downsides to having an item like this in the game. So you get a ton of poison resist in one item slot? Big deal! Maybe that person likes to have some meaningful extra padding against poison packs. Is it going to break the game? NO! Is it going to say to the player, "Hey you actually have a semi-important choice to make now"? YES!!!!!!
As for the experience from monster kills, the current system is not going to work. Having monster experience apply a flat value to every monster is simply going to encourage players into farming areas with the highest monster density. No one wants to be pigeonholed into such action. Choosing a stat that increases your experience gain should mean that you are choosing to forgoe another potentially useful stat in exchange for receiving more overall experience, NOT that you must now find the area with the highest density and farm it till your eyes bleed.
Please Blizzard, evaluate your stat affixes. Ask yourselves, if players stack this stat at max value on every single piece of gear will it have the potential to allow the creation of a CRAZY build? If the answer is "no" then adjust the stat values until the answer is yes. Lets move onto the new offensive stat affixes.
Unfortunately, I've found that the new offensive affixes are nowhere near proportionate in power to legacy offensive affixes. How did I figure this out? Simple. How much crit, attack speed and crit damage can you find on a ring, gloves and amulet? For the sake of comparison, lets use JUST crit and say about 22% on average(totalling on all 3 items). Now how much resource cost reduction can you find on those same 3 items? Realistically, about 20%. Now here's the problem: In what possible situation could +20% resource reduction EVER compare with 22% extra crit, even if the person had very little crit damage to empower it? The answer is a very obvious "never".
That extra crit, attack speed or crit damage is pretty much always going to be far superior. Being able to cast 10 meteors @ 1 million average damage each is just not going to give you the same benefit as casting 8 meteors @ 1.5 million damage each. Even if the damage somehow evened out, you'd still have to spend more time casting with the former, which just cuts back on efficiency. One could argue that the resource reduction could allow for a build that wouldn't be possible without it, but how exactly are you going to make up for such an enormous loss in damage with just 20% reduced resource costs? I spent MANY hours on PTR and a solid amount of time in RoS trying to find any build on any class that could benefit more from the resource reduction and I came up completely empty handed. This is a serious problem. In fact, I was unable to find any use AT ALL for it outside of it serving as a fairly insignificant utility bonus.
From what I can tell, the new offensive affixes just don't appear in high enough values to warrant using them over vanilla offensive affixes. I've tried a million different builds on each class with a huge variety of gear and spent paragon points in a variety of places. It just doesn't work. I am still killing MUCH faster with plain old crit, crit dmg and attack speed. I will say this though, the AOE damage affix might have some potential at its current values. I've been able to find a spot for it in some of my builds and it seems to be performing well enough, though I still say that it could also appear in higher values. I can't say the same for CD and resource cost reduction though. These stats need to scream out at players when they appear on gear. The choice between any of these stats and any of the legacy stats needs to be a difficult one. In my experience, the choice was easy 95% of the time(legacy ftw).
Also, I think that skill-specific damage increases could stand to be higher as well. Here's the thing, Blizzard seems to have designed the skill-specific affix values arount a scenario in which that player is utilizing that skill as 90%+ of their total damage output. This is just bad design. If a skill-specific affix is to contend with another offensive affix that applies to ALL skills(crit, attack speed, etc.), then that affix needs to be able to appear in a value that can match or beat the all-encompasing offensive capabilities of the alternative affix in a variety of circumstances. If I'm trying to decide between 6% crit or 15% Fist of the Heavens damage on my helm, it shouldn't be as simple as saying to myself, "well, the FotH is only better if I'm going to be using it for more than 90% of my damage output". It all comes down to some fairly simple math.
If that 6% crit is going to provide a flat 5-10% bonus(slightly more or less depending on crit damage and other stats) to ALL of my damage INCLUDING FotH, then why would I choose 15% extra damage to JUST FotH? As I said above, such values can only be deemed worthwhile if they are not contending with other offensive damage affixes OR if that skill accounts for the vast majority of your damage output. Like too many other affixe values, this makes the correct choice an overly simple one that applies to the majority of potential combat scenarios. Do you see why this is bad? If the skill-specific affixes were higher(along with some other offensive affixes) then what we'd end up with is a situation where players have several options in which to effectively utilize these affixes over legacy ones. As a result, there would be even less emphasis on legacy affixes due to the fact that crit and crit damage build off of each other so strongly. Once a player starts replacing crit or crit damage with something else, they aren't left with much reason to continue stacking the two as their gains would diminish exponentially; resulting in the game's ability to offer players with far more important choices in gear setups and build potential. In order for this to occur, these alternative affixes need to be present in values that can REALLY force a player to consider which option is best for the route they wish to take. While I'm on this topic, let me just say a few quick things about signature skill damage increase affixes.
Simply put, they don't belong in primary affix slots. If players want to get more bang out of their generators/signature skills then more power to them. It just doesn't feel right taking up a primary affix slot. Primary affix slots should be the main source of your offensive power, and no amount of +Jar of Spiders damage(at least no amount that Blizzard would ever put into the game) is going to make players want to take that over something truly valuable. Please save those slots for truly powerful affixes. There are 2 solutions to this problem, either allow the affix to roll without taking up an affix slot at all, or place it into the secondary affix slot table. Really, this is a very simple problem with an equally simple and obvious solution. Please consider my suggestion. Moving on.
I'm still amazed at the state of thorns. I'm not sure how people thought that the way to fix thorns was to force thorns-users into wearing 5(maybe it's 4? can't remember what they're called) specific legendaries, stacking thorns damage on every piece of gear and playing either a Crusader or Barb before making it viable. The funny thing is that I gave a totally viable solution to the thorns affix in my Salvation to Diablo 3 guide. Even funnier is that Blizzard actually used this suggestion to serve as the new mechanic for Retribution Monk Mantra. If it works for Mantra of Retribution, why wouldn't it work for the thorns affix? I'm really very confused about this one. The answer is right there in front of you and it's effectiveness has now been proven, so what's the deal? lol
Solution: Make thorns reflect weapon damage.
+18% weapon damage reflected to enemies who hit you(arbitrary value)
It doesn't get any simpler than that. Please make it happen.
Next on the list is the bleed affix. I gotta be honest, I'm actually embarrassed for Blizzard that this affix still exists in the exact same form as day 1 Diablo 3. So much so that I'm actually pretty convinced that it just got overlooked and the real version hasn't been included in the game yet. This is another affix that I gave a simple and obvious solution for in my Salvation of Diablo 3 thread.
Bleed Mechanic#1: Target bleeds for +X% of damage done over 5 seconds
With this mechanic, the target would simply bleed for a % of the last damage you did to it over 5 seconds. Each new application of damage would simply add to the existing bleed damage if it hadn't finished yet. The "X" percent would increase with more of the stat.
Bleed Mechanic#2: 20% chance for target to bleed for X% weapon damage over 5 seconds
Just like the new AOE affix, there would be a flat 20% chance to proc a bleed on the target for X% weapon damage over 5 seconds. The "X" percent increases with more of the stat.
Bleed Mechanic#3: X% chance for target to bleed for 50%(arbitrary number) weapon damage over 5 seconds
With this mechanic, the bleed damage is static. Each new application of bleed would add to the existing bleed damage in place if it is still ticking. The X% chance would increase with more of the stat.
Take your pick, I promise that any of these mechanics will work. Hell, mix them all together and find something in between. As long as the bleed effect is based on some form of your own damage instead of a flat value then you can't go wrong.
My next problem is with CC affixes. Their values on non-legendary items are still FAR to low for anyone in their right mind to ever use them. They are still nothing more than wastes of an affix. Remember the rule, if you can't create something crazy by stacking the maximum value of a stat on every single item that it can appear on then there is something wrong with the stat. It's not going to be easy for ANYONE to accomplish such a feat, so why shouldn't they be able to create something amazing if they manage to do so?
The next problem I have with loot is where it comes from. Strangely enough, it seems as if we have reverted to Diablo 3 1.0 here. Why is 99.9% of my loot dropping from elites? Look, I get it, you don't want to run into another situation where obscene amounts of loot is dropping all over the place. But if you're going to designate the vast majority of gear as elite/boss drops, then you need to give players anothe reason besides experience gains and gold to kill non-elite/bosses. This is another solution that is incredibly simple! All you have to do is allow trash mobs to drop items that you would rarely(if ever) find on elites/bosses. Here's a short list of said items.
Blood Shards(if you can't get gear via trash then at least you'll be able to gamble for it later)
More crafting mats including a VERY rare chance for legendary mats
Rare chance for rift keys
Higher chance for legendary patterns
Scroll of Mysteries
That's it! On to Adventure Mode
I quite enjoyed Adventure Mode/Bounties and I really don't have a whole lot to say about either. Though there's certainly room for improvement down the road, everything feels pretty solid currently. My only concern is that Adventure mode feels like it's FAR superior to Campaign mode in terms of loot acquisition rate, effectively rendering campaign mode as nothing more than a way to enjoy the story. I mean, that's fine and all, I just feel like it couldn't hurt to offer something to players through Campaign mode that can't be acquired in Adventure Mode.
While I think that rifts are a fantastic idea, I feel that they don't quite reach the potential they are capable of and should exude at launch. The biggest problem I have with rifts is that they really just aren't chaotic enough. When I enter a rift, I want to see and experience things that will simply NEVER happen in the normal game experience. While this is certainly already occurring visually, the amount to which it affects actual gameplay feels quite insignificant.
Since this post is starting to become very long, I'm going to put a hold on thourough explanations of why something will work, and instead just suggest how to fix the problem.
How to fix Rifts:
Length: Honestly, I think rifts are too short. At least, they have the potential to be too short. My typical rift experience seemed to last about 5-10 minutes. I imagine that playing on a much higher difficulty would somewhat arbitrarily increase the time spent in a rift, but I also feel that the length doesn't necessarily suffer from SOLELY the amount of time spent inside. Rather, I feel as if there isn't enough ground/content to explore per rift. It is also worth mentioning that there were a few instances in which my rift contained only one level to explore before porting out. Also, there was one instance where there literally weren't enough mobs for me to kill in the level in order to summon the rift guardian. I'm assuming that this is some kind of bug.
Solution: A higher minimum number of rift levels! It doesn't have to be much higher...I just feel I would enjoy myself more if I knew that it was impossible for a rift to end after just one level.
Shrines: Rift shrines are a very cool way to distinguish the rift experience. Unfortunately, in my experience at least, they are so incredibly rare that I feel as if they account for hardly any time spent inside the actual rift.
Solution: More rift shrines! They don't need to last longer, I just want to see more of them. It should be entirely possible to acquire multiple shrines at once if you're very lucky. In the 40 or so rifts I entered, this never even came close to happening. Sometimes I made it through 5 or 6 levels only to encounter 1 shrine(or none at all). I also think that rift shrines could stand to be a little more varied. The current shrines are great, I just feel as if there is a ton of room for creativity that isn't being filled.
Mobs: Despite the mobs you encounter being random, I felt as if the level of randomization was pretty awful when considering the number of different mobs that exist in this game. Each level would generally have a "theme" to the mobs contained within. This theme typically remained constant throughout the level. I just feel that it would be much cooler if the game threw like 20 different kinds of mobs at you. If I want a consistent theme, there are plenty of areas in the game to facillitate that. I also would like to see more interesting elite/boss encounters. As it stands now, it seems that a boss will only spawn as a rift guardian once you kill enough mobs. As for elites, they're the exact same as a normal game.
Solution: Allow a chance for bosses to spawn randomly in any given rift level, even before the guardian is summoned. As for elites, I would very much like to see elite packs that consist of a variety of mobs as opposed to 3+ of the same kind of mob. More randomization please!
Loot: I feel that rifts should offer a chance to receive loot that is unique to rifts. I would like to see a chance for things to drop such as high-level gems, scrolls that can summon bosses or elite packs anywhere in the game, legendary potions, unique dye's, etc.
Well that about does it for rifts, onto the next topic.
There's no doubt about it, Blizzard has introduced some pretty cool legendary items into the game. Unfortunately, for every awesome legendary I come across, there appears to be another legendary that is utterly useless and horrible. Also, there is a complete lack of transparency in function for a great number of legendaries. I'll give you one example that falls into BOTH of the above categories at the same time.
Stinky Leggings of I can't remember what they're called:
These are the leggings that make you occasionaly "stink". Basically a barely visable cloud of green gas appears around you at what feels like random intervals of time, dealing very low damage in a small AOE around your character. The pants were completely absent of any powerful stats at level 70 so I figured, all the power must be in the unique effect. Man was I wrong. The green gas AOE cloud's damage was so awful that it barely managed to kill the micro-trash mobs surrounding me when it went off every 30 seconds or so. I should also mention that I was playing on Normal difficulty with a VASTLY overgeared character at the time of testing. So not only is the effect completely lacking in any apparent and potentially useful consistency, but it's also absurdly weak in power. Game-changing? Not by a long shot.
Look, I don't expect Blizzard to get every single legendary right considering how many new ones are entering the game. Unfortunately, these leggings are part of an army of underwhelming legendary items. In the interest of preventing this section of the post from extending several pages in length, I am not going to be listing more legendary items and pointing out why they suck. Instead, I'll simply ask that you go and research them/test them for yourself. It isn't hard to see what I'm talking about. So while there are certainly a large number of very cool new legendaries that I am VERY interested to try, there appears to be an equal number of craptacular legendary items still in existence. I suppose that's worlds better than what we're currently playing with, but I would still like to see a game in which EVERY legendary item of appropriate level can have SOME sort of use in the game.
Also, what is the deal with there being somelegendary items that don't have ANY unique affixes? Is this a result of the game being unfinished(beta) or is this intended? One of the legendary items which I farmed for hours to craft turned out to have literally the EXACT same stats as a sub-par rare item I had just DE'd. The only difference was that the legendary item seemed to have been given about a 15% boost to the basic stat values (435 str/vit instead of 360 something). Anyway, onto the next topic.
Gold acquisition rate:
Gonna keep this one very short. Gold is FAR too sparse. Farming for hours on end at a variety of difficulties and selling(instead of DE'ing) all of my rares resulted in laughable amounts of gold(in a bad way). The only thing I was actually spending gold on was the VERY occasional and minor repair(almost never died) and the equally occasional use of the Mystic. Craft items? No way. Combine/remove gems? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Minimum funding for the most basic gameplay elements should not require a set of gold-finding gear that would take hundreds of hours to acquire, on top of MANY more hours just to farm the actual gold. I'd say what we have here is a pretty obvious problem with an equally obvious solution.
Basic loot acquisition rate:
I'm pretty happy with the acquisition rate of basic, non-legendary loot. Once crafting, the Mystic and upgrading/removing gems becomes more affordable, I think we'll be in a pretty good place.
Next, and finally, I'd like to cover the Crusader class.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the Crusader class during my time in RoS. I started fresh and leveled 1-70 without the use of any gimmicks so I feel that I got a fairly good experience to provide feedback on. Once I hit 70, I played until hitting about 9,000,000 toughness, 500k damage, and some odd amount of healing which I can't recall. I experimented with every skill and every rune using a variety of gear in a variety of situations. It goes without saying that it would take me hundreds more hours of play time before being able to give the Crusader a complete evaluation, but such time is simply not possible for me without beta access. Anyway, here goes.
Crusader has some of what I consider the coolest skills in the game, those of which contain what are arguably the worst assortment of runes in the game. Honestly, the Crusader feels as if it plays almost the EXACT same from level 30 to level 70. That is, almost none of the runes for ANY of the skills felt as if they had any significant impact on the way you play the class at a fundamental level. Keep in mind that this evaluation is based on the comparison of the Crusader to that of the other available classes at a similar gear level. Simply put: I feel that every other class has several times the number of potential styles of unique play when compared to the Crusader.
That's not to say the Crusader isn't fun. Quite the opposite, in fact. I had a blast playing as the Crusader and I think that he is going to make an excellent addition to the game. The problem lies in the fact that the only thing to distinguish one Crusader from another is the SKILLS used and NOT the RUNES for said skills. I feel I should mention that this doesn't apply to literally every single Crusader rune. There are certainly a number of runes which have the potential to change the way you play the class. What I am saying is that, in my experience, FAR too many of the Crusader's runes do little or nothing to change how you play. For the most part, they are boring, uninspired, and lacking creativity and/or power.
Crusader suffers from far too many runes that say, "if you pick me then you'll be insignificantly supplemented in this way", when what they SHOULD be saying is, "if you pick me then you can play this way now". Basically, the Crusader feels as if about 80% of it's runes are simply there to introduce very basic, interchangeable and universal game mechanics into your gameplay, as opposed to actually changing the way you PLAY the class. There's a life on hit/life regen rune for every skill, there's a slow rune for every skill(why a melee class needs so many slow options I'll NEVER understand), there's a below average stun option for many skills, there's a longer range option for many skills, there's a SLIGHTLY higher damage option for many skills(take a note from some of the Wizard runes on this one, it's okay to give a rune a MASSIVE damage increase when compared to another rune so long as there is a tradeoff in function)..... Do you see the problem here? Most of these runes can't actually change the way you play the game, not even a little bit. All they do is allow you to swap one function using one skill for an almost identical function with a different skill, resulting in an almost indistinguishable style of play.
To be perfectly honest, the Crusader feels as if it suffers from Vanilla Diablo 3 syndrom. There are just a TON of runes that I can't, for the life of me, figure out why anyone would use them. I'll give you a perfect example so that we can better understand this problem.
Every single version of Fist of the Heavens requires that you use it in almost the EXACT same manner for the EXACT same reasons to be most efficient. They're all just wrath-dumping, small AOE-damage nukes. Sure, Fissure can be used to create chains of electricity for added continual damage but guess what, FotH was already a skill that you were going to throw all over the place in quick succession, so you aren't really changing anything in terms of how you play the game by introducing a mechanic that does nothing but SUPPLEMENT the static function of the skill. Regardless of the rune you choose, you're going to be using the skill in almost the exact same way and for the exact same reasons, regardless of the battle scenario you find yourself in.
The Retribution rune is the only exception, but it just BARELY makes the cut. The fact that it originates from you and does damage to everything it travels through means that there is actually a slight alteration in the way the skill forces you to play. You have to line up and intelligently choose a target before firing. The reason it just barely makes the cut is because the actual damage potential does nothing to stand out from the other runes, regardless of the fact that it can more easily hit extra targets with each cast. The fissure rune is still the winner BY FAR in terms of damage output, and that's the ONLY thing that this skill(and all of its runes) does. Spamming Fissure on a large group of mobs will have almost the exact same effect as Retribution, the only difference being that Fissure will still come out on top in damage.
Unfortunately, we run into the exact same problem with the Sweep Attack skill and all of its runes. Every single rune is used in almost the exact same way. At least with Sweep Attack though, you're getting something besides pure damage output in functionality, albeit just barely. Blizzard, you guys need to stop being so afraid of throwing a little bit of complexity and power into your rune design. Runes need to stand out from each other in a serious way. It can't always be as simple as, "well this one gives me about 4.1% better survivability and this one gives me 5.8% higher damage and this one gives me a 10% run speed buff for 3 seconds". These differences in funtion are just absurd. I'm not saying that every rune has to be MILES apart from its alternatives. I'm simply saying that there are FAR too many runes(and not just with the crusader) that offer little to NO practical reason to pick one over another. If you're going to continue to abstain from an end goal of varied and objective practicality in your rune design approach, then the end result is going to continue to be a game that is severely limiting its own potential. Unfortunately, it also appears that said practicality is continuing its tradition of evading the developers in its objective definition within the context of the game, to some degree.
It's okay for SOME runes to offer simple and easily understandable alternatives to other runes. What isn't okay is when those simple runes can't actually offer a player ANY practical use in ANY situation with ANY variations of gear when supplemented by ANY other set of skills. Show me a person who says that such a thing isn't widely present in Diablo 3 and I will show you a very dillusional person. I have put SO many thousands of hours into this and other games. I ask that, even if you don't agree with what I am saying, that you consider that I might just have SOME idea about what makes games fun. Anyone can recognize the pattern that we are currently faced with where rune design is concerned. The evidence riddled across Diablo 3's turbulent past and it's much-improved, albeit frustrating present.
How can you explain the Frozen Sweep rune? How am I supposed to effectively utilize such an inconsistent, short-lasting and underwhelmingly powerful debuff? In what world are these differences considered significant by any means? GUYS, what in the world is going on here?!?!? Please, please, PLEASE stop doing this before it's too late. I literally cannot stand to see a game with such potential continue to fall victim to these incredibly obvious and EASILY-fixable shortcomings. Yes, Diablo 3 RoS is a tremendous improvement over its predecessor, but that is no excuse for the continued presence of such underwhelming and inexplicable mediocrity. How is it that SO many things about this game have improved tremendously in RoS but these unimaginably awful rune designs are still so prevalent? Almost never in my life have I encountered such blatant and frustrating contradictions. It's just so impossibly frustrating to watch this happen when the solution would require such a tiny amount of development time(for the most part) and would result in a game that I would enter a state of gaming bliss while playing for years to come. It would be so very unfortunate if these runes made it into the game upon release.
Runes need to change the way a player uses the skill and provide them with meaningful choices. I know that Blizzard can achieve this now as you guys have already done so with a HUGE number of previously useless and terrible skills/runes. Don't you understand that being forced to reapply your insignificant run speed buff every 3 seconds is not fun? Dealing 130% extra damage in the form of a short DoT is NOT enough to to distinguish one big resource spender rune from another. Receiving 8k extra life regen for 4 seconds when I have 500k HP is not going to change anything about how I play the game. Having the little bolts of lightning from Fist of the Heavens zap nearby enemies for 25% weapon damage might look cool, but how in the world is that supposed to help anyone in ANY situation? I spent the better part of 4 hours experimenting with FotH runes and I could not, for the life of me, find a use for most of them outside of what the initial, runeless skill already provides. I just want to rip my hair out when I read some of these rune descriptions! lol
If Diablo 3 RoS is a super-hot girl, then all of these bad runes equate to her duck-facing and chain-farting for the remainder of her good years. Does that make sense? lol You(Blizzard) have so many good things going for this game, why do you want to ruin it with sub-par rune design? I've tried SO hard to get you to see the error of your ways but you just can't see it! GAHHHHH
Stop being so obviously worried about something having even the slightest potential of becoming "overpowered". Here's some good advice: Take the most blatantly obvious skill of power, then find a way for EVERY SINGLE RUNE OF EVERY SINGLE SKILL to match or exceed that power in SOME form. It can be damage, survivability, mobility, utility or a combination of all three and everything in between! Just make absolutely certain that each rune can objectively have a practical use in the game that distinguishes itself in SOME way from it's most closely related alternatives. As I've said a million times by now, not EVERY rune has to be tremendously different from every possible alternative. The most important thing is that we aren't faced with a situation in which the majority of runes have almost the exact same practical use, or none at all.
At this point I originally intended on listing all of the Crusader runes that need fixing and then providing suggestions on how to fix them. However, I no longer have access to the beta and I simply don't feel like doing the large amount of research that is required to list, evaluate and provide solutions for each rune in need of fixing. Instead, I ask that you check out my Wizard 2.0 feedback thread and do your best to apply the fundamental purposes I have described there and apply them here. Please note that I do not claim that those suggestions should be implemented in their EXACT fashion using the EXACT values I describe. I am simply trying to illustrate the idea behind the skills: to provide players with meaningful choices that can alter the way they play the game at a fundamental level.
Here's the link: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/10973157509?page=1#12
Okay I'm officially tired of writing.
|My RoS Feedback - Whether you want it or not(114)||January-6-2014 5:25 PM PST (9 years ago)|
Wait, since this was redirected to the Closed Beta forums the OP is no longer able to post in their own thread...
This has been noted, but ultimately this discussion really does belong here, where we can evaluate how many testers are actively experiencing similar situations or if there's differing feedback. ;)
If you do have feedback regarding the Beta, but for whatever reason are otherwise unable to post in these forums, you are welcome to send your feedback to RoSBetaFeedback@blizzard.com. Note that this e-mail is only for forwarding feedback - bugs should either be posted in the appropriate Bug Report forum or e-mailed to RoSBetaBugs@blizzard.com instead. Using the appropriate venue helps us stay organized and efficient, and while we may not respond directly to each e-mail, they are read and reviewed on a nearly daily basis. =)
As always, thanks for your participation and feedback!