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  1. #1
    IncGamers Member
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    Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    I saw a link about this on the main page a few days back, and it got me thinking about life leech. I wrote a big post about it on the Blizzard forums, which I guess I'll just link to here:

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4362517989

    Thinking back on it, life leech really was an unmitigated game design disaster, completely useless at early levels and incredibly overpowering at the highest ones. And it looks like they're keeping it unchanging in D3, except even boosting it up by making it apply to casters as well.

    I imagine this may have been discussed to death on these forums by now, but... I couldn't find those discussions :P So... what's the general consensus?




  2. #2
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    Depends on the damage:HP ratio and whenever life leach has a penalty for AoE attacks.




  3. #3
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    Sure, it depends on all that, but I think the problem is mathematically intractable.

    Your damage depends on a bunch of things, but I think you can basically summarize it as follows:

    weapon * (strength|dex|int) * crit

    All that stuff is going to be increasing with your gear. Now you're adding still another multiplier in the mix, life leech, that is *also* increasing with gear.

    The HP equation is more like:

    vitality * (life multiplier)

    So... based on simple algebraic knowledge, it's clear that life leech *will* overpower that. It's only a matter of time.

    And... of course, we know how it worked in Diablo 2. Poorly.




  4. #4
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    So... based on simple algebraic knowledge, it's clear that life leech *will* overpower that
    So... you already know what a level 60, well equipped, character's damage output and total life looks like?

    Multipliers aren't magic. You can have 5 multipliers amounting to a fraction of the value of 2 multipliers because the actual value of the multipliers is important.

    Sure, they will probably screw up the balance. But we won't know until we actually get to Inferno.




  5. #5
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    With specific values, yes, you can have five multipliers that equate to a value that is smaller than two other multipliers.

    But... an important characteristic of multiplication is that, given sufficient time, the five multipliers will eventually produce a value that is greater than two similarly increasing multipliers.

    Diablo 3 is a highly equipment-centric game. Values *will* always be going up. That's why people run the hard content, to get the better stuff. If Blizzard releases DLC with even better stuff, then the problem will be there too.

    This problem really can't be solved in an elegant way, in my opinion. The very nature of life leech as an item stat is that it will suck at low levels of gear and be too good at high levels of gear. Essentially, your question amounts to "will it be tuned just right so that it's appropriate at the level of play that we care about". That's the only question you can really answer, because it's not going to be appropriate before that *or* after that.




  6. #6
    IncGamers Member starrise's Avatar
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by davew2040 View Post
    ...given sufficient time, ...
    If level 60 and fully decked occur before that time, then no problem!



  7. #7
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    That's the only question you can really answer, because it's not going to be appropriate before that *or* after that.
    Eh... they don't have to scale item affixes linearly you know.




  8. #8
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    No, I suppose not.

    But what is a linearly increasing percentage-based life leech really doing for them? It's a big balance risk, for what benefit?




  9. #9
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    The benefit is keeping an interesting stat in the game. If we cut out stuff on the basis of "IT MIGHT BREAK THE GAME," Diablo 3 isn't going to last a long time as a game. If it proves problematic they can adjust it the values or add specialized rules such as life leach caps, etc.




  10. #10
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    Re: Life leech in Diablo 3: Unmanageable?

    Quote Originally Posted by konfeta View Post
    The benefit is keeping an interesting stat in the game. If we cut out stuff on the basis of "IT MIGHT BREAK THE GAME," Diablo 3 isn't going to last a long time as a game. If it proves problematic they can adjust it the values or add specialized rules such as life leach caps, etc.
    I would argue that its longevity will suffer if it degenerates into the same kind of nonsense that Diablo 2 did where the only path they had to give you any kind of challenge was to spike the damage so high that you'd die in a flash if you ever stopped leeching.

    Diablo 2 was a great game, but it was 13 years ago. It has hilariously awful mechanics in many regards, and that doesn't fly in 2012.




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