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  1. #1
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    Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/8953...pdate-3-5-2013

    In short, they completely miss the point.

    See, the problem with sub ilvl 63 legendaries isn't that they are sub ilvl 63. It's that the ilvl 63 legendaries get affixes specific to them that make them good and the lower level items do not have these. Them being ilvl 63 is coincidental.

    And so when you find a Hellrack, you are not disappointed because it is a Hellrack. You are disappointed because a Hellrack cannot have two sockets and a Manticore can, ensuring that a Hellrack cannot do competitive DPS. Making Hellrack spawn with ilvl 63 affixes (which it's already been able to do for months) doesn't change a thing.

    Now a Buriza with ilvl 63 affixes is mildly interesting, but then a Buriza cannot do competitive DPS either and couldn't even with max level affixes both because it cannot have 2 sockets and crit damage either, and because cold damage is only 1/2th-2/3rds as high as the other elements, so no one not named Lyndon wants to use one.

    It isn't just crossbows. Mempo's is used for the attack speed + solid mods combined with a random crit chance. Lacuni's is used for the attack and movement speed. Ice Climbers is used for the stat stacking + socket for more stat stacking. These items could be ilvl 58 (but still get 63 affixes) and they wouldn't be any less used so why Blizzard thinks doing the reverse would help when the problem isn't that their stats are too low, it's that they have the wrong stats is beyond me.

    Sure, there are a few items that genuinely would benefit. Leoric's is used solely for the XP boost. Getting level appropriate affixes with it is a pure bonus.

    But if you go and make every legendary in the game capable of dropping in Inferno with Inferno mods the result isn't that you have more drops to get excited about... it's that you have more junk on the ground, the exact opposite of the stated design goal.

    In order to put more good items on the ground you have to realize what items are good and why... it does not seem they have done this yet.

    They then go on to talk about adding new affixes to mods to try and make more things desirable than standard trifecta spamming but really, for every one Thing of the Deep there are ten Schaffer's Hammers and if they haven't worked out the problem with most legendaries isn't "too low numbers" but rather "wrong numbers" I expect about twenty more.

    They then go into rares and such, but really there's nothing for the better here and a fair bit for the worse. See, in order to improve items they have to actually be improved.

    If you have 100 items and they go 1, 2, 3... 98, 99, 100 to a given stat and then you remove 75 of them so it goes 76, 77, 78... 98, 99, 100 you still get the same number of good items. You don't get spammed with junk, but the junk at least is vendorable or salvagable. In order for item quality to actually improve the 25 items that remain would have to be crammed into less than the top 25 percentiles. That and you'd have to know what constitutes a good item, so stuff that wasn't worth picking up before because legendary or set x always outclasses it etc will still not be worth picking up.

    It's still early, so they could still realize they're doing it wrong and changing it but after letting error 31048 persist for weeks - a game breaking bug by their own design my faith in them is at an all time low.

  2. #2
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    You're pretty much right, but the only thing that you're missing (and we've had this discussion at least 3 times before... so I won't rehash it except very briefly) is that they're still banking on the idea that changing affixes that change playstyle will get away from it a little bit. Now, they actually have to do this, and have yet to do so, but if they do... then I think the item dichotomy you're describing will go at least a little bit out of the window.

    If Firewalkers dealt 150% weapon damage and had a path twice as long and/or wide, would they still be trash? Or would it be viable to equip Firewalkers in SpinToWin or Tempest Rush builds and run circles around weak enemies, killing them without attacking? If it wouldn't be viable, what kind of buff can you make to Firewalkers to make it viable? 200% weapon damage? 200% weapon damage and 25% increase to base movement speed? Take that logic and apply it to every item with some kind of effect, and you start to see tradeoffs. Maybe not for all classes or builds, but at least for some.

    Of course, they have to program these effects. And of course, they need to show more imagination than they currently have (lol 2.1% chance to blind). But parity within +/- 5% is still parity (well, except for the very strong Spikes among us), and if they can make "legendary effects" with the right build / stats / etc. achieve +/- 5% parity, then hooray. Letting additional legendaries drop with ilvl 63 just opens up the field for this as a possibility, without having to add new items (just change effects on old items).

    There are a few interesting effects already in the game which would make items viable on a non-numerical basis: Sledge Fist (large chance to stun on hit, can allow you to stunlock without skills); Raven's Wing (I don't know what this currently does, but summoning a bunch of un-runed companions would be awesome for farming easy content if they did enough damage); Fragment of Destiny (significant buff to Spectral Blade damage), etc.

    In short, you're right that by itself, the change doesn't mean anything. But I'm hopeful (I don't know why I am, but I am) that the change could start to mean stuff if it's done in combination with other changes. If they change passives to encourage different playstyles, then it's a whole new ballgame in combination with "legendary effects" rather than flat boosts, but that's shooting even further than the moon at this point.

  3. #3
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan E View Post
    You're pretty much right, but the only thing that you're missing (and we've had this discussion at least 3 times before... so I won't rehash it except very briefly) is that they're still banking on the idea that changing affixes that change playstyle will get away from it a little bit. Now, they actually have to do this, and have yet to do so, but if they do... then I think the item dichotomy you're describing will go at least a little bit out of the window.
    That just brings us back to for every one Thing of the Deep there's a ton of Schaffer's Hammers. They only find good dynamic changing effects via the monkey typewriter method. And even Thing of the Deep doesn't "change" how Witch Doctors are played, as they already have passives that play off of pickup radius. It does support an existing build, which is fine.

    If Firewalkers dealt 150% weapon damage and had a path twice as long and/or wide, would they still be trash? Or would it be viable to equip Firewalkers in SpinToWin or Tempest Rush builds and run circles around weak enemies, killing them without attacking? If it wouldn't be viable, what kind of buff can you make to Firewalkers to make it viable? 200% weapon damage? 200% weapon damage and 25% increase to base movement speed? Take that logic and apply it to every item with some kind of effect, and you start to see tradeoffs. Maybe not for all classes or builds, but at least for some.
    ...Unless that build is the thing everyone would use anyways, as movement speed ends up being the biggest bottleneck on farming efficiency and therefore fast movement or GTFO. Sure, you could make Firewalkers have a blaze trail that does something other than break doors and such in your way. That's not shifting the metagame any.

    But really, even in the best case scenario you'll never have every item, or even a majority of items be useful. At most you can hope a significant number are and there's an interesting game involving what viable options exist.

    But here we have a game designer who thinks Hellracks would be exciting if they could get top tier random affixes and base damage when they've been able to do the former for months already. It's safe to say he doesn't know what classifies good, and as such only monkey typewriter success is possible. It's odd because he sounds like he knows what he's talking about, he sounds as if he actually plays the game. Then you look closer and read between the lines, and nope. Quite disappointing really.

    And if you go through and see how many low level items would be good at high levels if the numbers on them were better, you'd find there isn't very many. Leoric Ring, Buriza, Sledge Fist... there might be one or two others, and then there's a few hundred that will make that golden beam of light even more a harbringer of disappointment.

    I also didn't see much about making items that could be good but aren't inherently good better. Even items like Lacuni's and Mempo's are near worthless or completely worthless if they don't get crit chance.

    I dunno. Mostly I'm just annoyed because it seems this game is getting out of beta at an absolutely glacial pace. At least PoE fails quickly. :P

  4. #4
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Hazani View Post
    But really, even in the best case scenario you'll never have every item, or even a majority of items be useful. At most you can hope a significant number are and there's an interesting game involving what viable options exist.
    And that's really all I'm hoping for. I think if they just make a more flexible system with skills, passives, and items all interfacing together, the major annoyances will fade away. I don't think, like you're saying, they can do this with a brute force, not-really-well-thought-out method; it's going to require a little bit of inspiration, creativity, and actual work that doesn't involve manipulating spreadsheet numbers. But hell, throw at least 5 viable or semi-viable options together for each class based on synergy between unique item effects, passives, and possibly active skills, and now you've got a paradigm of 25 ways to play beyond stacking CC/CD/mainstat and picking efficiency passives that require no player effort. Of course, that might be a different game entirely at this point, but I still think it's possible with some elbow grease.

  5. #5
    IncGamers Member RazeBarb's Avatar
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    On a semi-related note:
    Manticore should be redesigned so it can only have 1 socket.

  6. #6
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    Legacy Manticore because the most awesomesauce, then.

  7. #7
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    The everyone sucks equally mentality is never the way to go.

    Anyways, I don't think more than a few items will end up good even if they revamp all of them. And that's the point. Making a diverse metagame isn't something I believe they are capable of.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    Nerfing is the only way to prevent a power creep in games.. Diablo 3 already had massive powercreep so instead of buffing the weak character/items the strong items & chracters should be nerfed a lot.

  9. #9
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    :( I think they're doing exactly what I said they'd do when the game released. These itemization changes should have been addressed in alhpa stage. I mean really.... I know next to nothing about game design and even I could have seen how ridiculous of an idea the former and current itemization is.

    To me, it seems like Blizzard knows exactly what they're doing; releasing more powerful items(in this case 'fixed itemization') in each patch so people will buy the next best thing via AH. Which equates to more money for Blizzard. That's really the only thing that makes sense to me.

  10. #10
    IncGamers Member Katniss's Avatar
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    Re: Why the proposed item changes don't change a thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ertide View Post
    :( I think they're doing exactly what I said they'd do when the game released. These itemization changes should have been addressed in alhpa stage. I mean really.... I know next to nothing about game design and even I could have seen how ridiculous of an idea the former and current itemization is.

    To me, it seems like Blizzard knows exactly what they're doing; releasing more powerful items(in this case 'fixed itemization') in each patch so people will buy the next best thing via AH. Which equates to more money for Blizzard. That's really the only thing that makes sense to me.
    The cynic in me completely agrees with your second paragraph. Some of this feels like an experiment to see what they can and cannot get away with perhaps in advance of the console version and perhaps to generate revenue off of the AH. They are now openly admitting the negative effects of the AH, but they aren't throwing it out either, which means they will still use it to their benefit if they can. I just hope it's not quite that sinister as them subjecting us to this slowly making the game better with each patch on purpose. I would be more understanding if they really just effed it up by mistake somehow.

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