Design Notes I Like to See

From the latest Dev Blog:

That said, we also wanted to let you know we’re keeping a close eye on Inferno. The intent of incoming damage is that it should be a very consistent drain on your health, and mitigating that drain is a major part of what makes Inferno mode difficult. Right now, there’s a lot more damage “spikiness” occurring than feels right, and that’s one major area we’re looking to adjust in patch 1.0.3. While we don’t have any specifics yet, our design goals are to support and promote build diversity; continue to ensure that a mix of champion packs, rare packs, and boss fights are the most efficient way to acquire the best items in the game; and ensure that all classes are viable in Inferno.

[…]

We’ve also seen some people saying our intention with Inferno is just one-shot you to make it difficult. While damage is a bit spikier than we’d like, we’re actually seeing a pretty significant number of people attempting Inferno without sufficient gear. There’s a good chance that returning to the previous Act to farm upgrades will do the most to help you survive. That said, we’d like to shift some of the focus away from survival and more toward using a variety of offensive tactics to succeed. Survival will still be important, but finding ways to maximize your damage while staying alive is more exciting. We’re not particularly concerned with whether or not a boss is “beatable,” though it should feel epic and challenging to defeat it. We’re more concerned with ensuring that acquiring 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor and taking on as many Champions and Rares as you can remains the most challenging and rewarding way to play.

And then there is this bit about the crafting:

Other areas of concern have been both the gem combination system and Blacksmith leveling and crafting costs. The intent, especially with the Blacksmith, is that he’s leveling with you, you’re able to use him as an alternate source for upgrades. Our design goal is that once you get to level 60, his recipes are actually good enough to help fill a character’s potential itemization gaps. To correct these issues, we’re looking to adjust the Blacksmith costs for training (gold and pages) and crafting from levels 1-59, and reduce the cost of combining gems so that it only requires two gems instead of three (up to Flawless Square). Both of these changes are scheduled for patch 1.0.3.

I had been avoiding crafting altogether because A) what’s the point when you have access to the AH, and B) what’s the point when vendoring magic items is more profitable than Salvaging them? Then again, the Commodities portion of the AH has been down since launch (I believe) and I am somewhat convinced it was precisely to get people to do their own crafting/salvaging.

In any case, after hearing the news that maybe the endgame isn’t supposed to be about endlessly kiting mobs around, I leveled up the Monk up to 17 to get Seven-Sided Strike. Decently fun ability. While I was moving talents around, I decided to give Crippling Wave another try as my left-click ability now that I unlocked a Rune for it. As soon as I did this, I ran into a pack of the flying wasp creatures and proceeded to get kited the fuck around. I cannot imagine a worse feeling than getting kited around by a mob in a hack-n-slash game.

So I logged back onto the Witch Doctor, looking for that cave with the first piece of the sword. As I was walking around, I encountered one of those bull-like creatures with the charge attack. That one move by an otherwise unremarkable mob one-shot my Zombie Dogs.

All of them.

Translation: Fuck this game.

While on the level 6 Wizard, it occurred to me that I have no particular desire to kite things. If a bunch of zombie torsos leap (!) out of the bushes, I do not want my first instinct to be to Frost Nova and left-click myself away. Nor do I want to wait for however many levels it takes to get the spells necessary to actually deal what feels like some legitimate damage.

So I did the only thing left of me. I uninstalled rolled Barbarian.

Two Lords A-Leaping~

Now, this? This feels good.

P.S. And this doesn’t look bad either.

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Posted on May 30, 2012, in Diablo and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Catch me online sometime as Lorimar#1197. I’ve been wanting to level a Monk as well.

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  2. Haven’t had any of these issues. I can only remember getting kited on my Monk a handful of times (apart from treasure demons), and in each of these cases I either just waited for them to come back around to me (they always do) or used a ranged attack (yes, the Monk has some) to get them.

    My girlfriend is an extremely inexperienced gamer and she’s played a Monk to nearly 20 and hasn’t had any problems with being kited or anything else. I don’t at all mean to say you’re a noob or anything, I’m just making an observation.

    Zombie dogs are extremely fragile without passives (Zombie Handler and Jungle Fortitude) set to help their longevity. My Witch Doctor is in Act I Nightmare and I used a zombie dogs + gargantuan setup for Acts 3-4 Normal and most of Act 1 Nightmare (just switched to a gargantuan-only setup). It worked fine. I had to refresh my dogs once every few minutes on average, but that’s to be expected. It’s only a minute cooldown. Their survivability might could be adjusted, but I never found it inappropriate. Try switching to the gargantuan only, when you get it, and make sure you get an NPC follower if you’re playing solo (I prefer Templar for the level 20 Inspire skill).

    Having to kite on a low-level Wizard? Huh. My Wizard at level 23 has one defensive ability regularly slotted: Diamond Skin. It’s for emergencies and I’ve had to use it a total of about 3 times so far. If you’re having to kite to stay alive at level 6, I’m sorry, but you might be doing something wrong. Shock Pulse and Ray of Frost should be plenty of firepower to kill anything at that level without having to kite.

    I don’t mean to be a Blizzard defender here; heaven knows I’ve blasted them over and over on issues relating to WoW and their merge with Bobby’s Funhouse, but I think you’re being overly critical of Diablo 3.

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    • Good to know about the WD passives. I hadn’t thought to even check if something improved them later on (although if summons require 3+ slots to support, it’s probably not going to be worth it).

      The thing I don’t think is coming across very well is that what I am writing about is only a problem because the game has failed to capture my attention in a positive way. If I was as enamored as everyone else (and I wish I was!), the chasing the wasp thing would have been a “D’oh!” moment unworthy of comment, like accidentally throwing a grenade instead of pressing the Use button in a FPS. It is precisely because I am consciously looking for fun that is not naturally occurring that these minor issues vex me so.

      I realize that these posts come across as attacks or nitpicks, especially to people having fun with the game. I do not begrudge anyone their fun, and I’m not attempting to make D3 come across as a bad game per se. This is merely the state I am finding myself in while playing.

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  3. Pity about your switch, it’s becoming a decent time for monks. But I am hesitant about preaching because making failboats sail is one of my great life’s passions.

    Like adam, I am a little surprised that Normal managed to annoy you at all, though the bestiary of Act II does have its eyeroll moments. Unhappy coincidence, your replacing FoT/Thunderclap just as more mobility was called for, but at 17 the monk has a decent little toolbox to deal with most any situation he may encounter. Cyclone Strike and Dashing Strike are also good c’mere-wasp moves.

    Take heart, and good luck with the barbarian.

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  4. I wonder if one could argue that kiting is the inevitable result of non-trinity based gameplay.

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    • Inevitable if said game doesn’t have a Dodge or Block button, yes.

      Cooldowns might count, but kiting is always going to be better if it’s possible.

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