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  1. #1
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    Response to a common criticism

    It seems like a common criticism that's leveled at D3 is that the skill and rune system will allow everyone to easily adopt cookie cutter builds. After all, you're just a few clicks away from the most optimal build, so why wouldn't you use it?

    I can understand people not liking the skills system, it IS a pretty big departure from D2, but I think this specific complaint doesn't hold much water.

    Diablo, as has been said many times, is more about viability than optimal builds. The problem with D2 was that too often the only viable builds were the optimal builds. There wasn't much room to get off the beaten path (in terms of builds) without ending up with a character vaguely resembling Forest Gimp sorry Gump. In D3, the fact that skills scale to weapon damage ameliorates this problem greatly, ensuring that many skills can be viable.

    Some have said the problem with D2 was the balancing, not the skill system. This is only true to an extent. In any kind of skill tree, later abilities are usually more powerful than the starter abilities. While I guess this doesn't have to always be the case, I don't think it would feel right otherwise. So how in such a system could Blizz make the lower tier skills in the tree useful in endgame? Also, how do you make it worthwhile to spend more points in the one point wonders, like teleport?

    Also, when do you think people will be more likely to try unique builds? When they have the freedom to do so, well, freely? Or when they have to level a character to 60 just to see if it'll work? (Respecs!! you might say. Respecs are just freespecs with a gold cost attached)

    I've seen people try some pretty crazy builds in D2, but in most cases they didn't work. I think this desire is still present in the community, and from what I've seen so far the D3 skill system looks like it will satisfy that desire much better than D2 did.

    Thoughts?

    (note: I'm not saying that you should love the skill system, or that any criticism is invalid. I was arguing against one specific complaint only.)



  2. #2
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    It really comes down to how many "viable" builds are present.
    If Blizzard doesn't bother to do much patching it's entirely possible that builds will arise that wreck Inferno and enable you to farm much faster than any other build. These builds will then become the new definition of "viable", and every build that doesn't match up will be frowned upon by the competitive ladder players. And the free availability of respecs will mean that a lot more players will shift over to those builds than in D2.
    After all, if someone's partied up with you and playing the same class as you, except he's barreling through monsters without a care in the world while you're desperately trying to dodge all their attacks and play "intelligently", there'll be a significant pressure to just respec to whatever he's doing.

    I hope Blizzard patches a lot. :(



  3. #3
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    All skills being viable isn't the point.
    The function of skills is what matters, some skills are designed to be boss skills, others are designed to be movement skills, and yet others are designed to be AOE skills. For example, say that you start a game and want to quickly and safely move towards a boss, well it will take you no longer then 10 seconds to take Vault, Preparation, Hot Persuit and Tactical Advance (if you're familiar with where all the skills are in the horrible UI). Now you're nearly at the boss, so you take 10 seconds to change it to Impale, Marked for Death, Archery and Thrill of the Hunt while you wait for the boss to make it's entrance.
    Also i'm pretty sure that the people doing "crazy builds" in D2 had a pretty good understanding of the game and how well those builds would work. That's part of the charm of D2, theorycrafting a build based on your knowledge of the game then putting your money where your mouth is. There's hardly even a point in doing your research in D3 since it will take you, oh my god, an immense ten whole seconds to just skip all that and if doesn't work then there's zero consequence, you just la-di-da change back.


    Last edited by Doppel; 25-04-2012 at 03:09.

  4. #4
    IncGamers Member Crudesash68's Avatar
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    Quote Originally Posted by Doppel View Post
    All skills being viable isn't the point.
    The function of skills is what matters, some skills are designed to be boss skills, others are designed to be movement skills, and yet others are designed to be AOE skills. For example, say that you start a game and want to quickly and safely move towards a boss, well it will take you no longer then 10 seconds to take Vault, Preparation, Hot Persuit and Tactical Advance (if you're familiar with where all the skills are in the horrible UI). Now you're nearly at the boss, so you take 10 seconds to change it to Impale, Marked for Death, Archery and Thrill of the Hunt while you wait for the boss to make it's entrance.
    ...and then lose the MF buff you gained killing monsters enroute to said boss.




  5. #5
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    I can't loose something i didn't have.



  6. #6
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    You are looking at it a bit wrong imo, regarding viability of skills.

    Just because all skills were balanced with each other, that doesnt lead to all builds being balanced with each other.
    All builds, or even a majority of builds wont be equal. No matter how we look at it a very small subset of skill setups will be the best.

    If Blizzard want Inferno to be challenging (and they keep claiming that) then it has to be balanced for those very best skill setups.

    Which leads to = Diablo 3 wont be more about viable builds than D2 was. People will flow toward the cookie-cutter builds.
    That said, people arguing that everyone will go for cookie-cutter builds because of free-specs are probably wrong. People will generally go for cookie-cutter builds no matter if there are free-specs or not. I don't even think there is anything wrong about that.

    The only issue I see is the one Doppel mentions. If the best "cookie-cutter" strategy is to switch builds often, to optimize against different enemy types etc. That would suck pretty hard.
    Making builds should be a matter of considering strength and weaknesses in your selected skills. That goes out of the window if you can respec every 15 sec.

    (Respecs!! you might say. Respecs are just freespecs with a gold cost attached)
    No they are not. The cost for respeccing can be plenty of things. Such as time (which everything comes down to in the end, even gold costs). Nephalem Valor is some sort of a respec cost, it just seems to be a highly ineffective one at that.



  7. #7
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    I don't understand this whole argument in favor of freespecs. It's just completely and utterly retarded.
    Let's go over it again.
    "The game isn't about optimal builds, it's about viable builds, why use freespecs if all skills are viable"
    "The game needs freespecs because we don't want to punish people for making the wrong choice and gimp their characters".
    And nobody sees the glaring contradiction there? Freespecs is a ridiculously stupid system for mindless people that does nothing but undermine awesome skills in a well balanced skill system.
    @ ShadoutMapes: That's exactly the point of why it's dumb as hell, what's the point of not every skill being balanced with each other if it doesn't matter since it takes you 10 seconds to just take a different skill depending on situation? It just doesn't make sense nomatter how you look at it. The only way it makes sense is if this game isn't a game for gamers but a sandbox for people that just want to play around doing whatever.



  8. #8
    IncGamers Member z00t's Avatar
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    As Bashiok said, there are lots of skill combinations which are flat-out bad. Yes there are lots of viable builds, but you can't simply pick 6 skills at random and expect that to be ok.

    'Freespeccing' doesn't remove the critical thinking involved in coming up with a good, viable build. The ONLY difference it makes is that you don't have to level a new character to try a different build.



  9. #9
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    Nonsense. They could add in a expensive respec system for people that really screwed up their character. I'm sorry but i can't take any pro-freespec arguments serious anymore. They're just retarded. It's like saying you love lobster, and then you smear nacho cheese all over it. It. Does. Not. Comply.



  10. #10
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    Re: Response to a common criticism

    That horadrim bonus for not swapping skills a last-minute bandaid that wont changes things at all. If Inferno is supposed to be really hard and I am facing a dungeon that has certain monsters that can wreak my character If I dont make some skill changes, or reaching a boss the requires another build, its not going to be a 50-100% extra MF that is going to stop me from doing it, unless the bonus is HUGE to the point of being imbalanced, there is no way people arent going to swap skills all around. Horadrim bonus wont solve it, it was thought at the last minute of the development and its not as brillant as people are making it to be.


    Blizzard is counting on the psicological effect that having a bit more of MF on you will do and they are counting that people will stick to their skillset only because of that but good players know that sometimes, killing speed/safety > MF. Plus your own equipment already has MF, you might as well count on that.

    Having no proper way to measure if the MF from the horadrim bonus will be enough for losing so much versatility of the free respect system, you can be sure that its a stupid measure that wont change anything.



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