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PSA: Diablo III Open Beta WeekendFollow

#1 Apr 20 2012 at 7:25 AM Rating: Decent
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Linky

Open beta weekend from 12 PST today through 10 AM PST on Monday.

You'll only have access to the first part of the game, but you can take any of the classes up to level 13.

So yeah.
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#2 Apr 20 2012 at 8:26 AM Rating: Good
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On a side note it is also the TERA open beta weekend so I got two games to dink around with. Smiley: glare At least I figured out the problem with my super slow download. Sub 100 kb sucks hard.
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#3 Apr 20 2012 at 8:28 AM Rating: Good
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Dammit, I hate you....
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#4 Apr 20 2012 at 8:31 AM Rating: Good
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Guess I'm playing Tera this weekend, too. Smiley: lol
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#5 Apr 20 2012 at 8:34 AM Rating: Good
Usurpers!

Should be a fun weekend fo Sho. Smiley: nod
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#6 Apr 20 2012 at 11:53 AM Rating: Good
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is there a server folks will be on? I might check it out myself.
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#7 Apr 20 2012 at 3:37 PM Rating: Decent
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Since I've held off purchasing my new PC until closer to the actual D3 launch, I am unable to participate. I expect those of you who do to tell us what you can.
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#8 Apr 20 2012 at 3:56 PM Rating: Good
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Kastigir wrote:
Since I've held off purchasing my new PC until closer to the actual D3 launch, I am unable to participate. I expect those of you who do to tell us what you can.


You might be able to run it on whatever you have--it's worth checking out, right?

You won't be able to log in right now anyway, so you can always download it for later.
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#9 Apr 20 2012 at 10:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Played through the beta and just finished it. I explored all map areas and killed every living thing and it only took about two hours. I suppose I could try out the other classes, but it's really just a different animation for the same results, so I don't think I'll bother. First impressions, this game feels more like Diablo 2.5 than a full on sequel. Game mechanics have barely changed (the way they handle skills feels like a step backwards), the graphics, while better than D2 are definitely dated. Maybe it was all the hype, but I was expecting more.
#10 Apr 21 2012 at 7:39 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
(the way they handle skills feels like a step backwards),


I posted a whole rant on that (plus the way they changed stats) in the Bored Druid Thread, so I'll spare the rest of you. But yeah, I'm very, very unhappy with the changes they made there.

For now I'm holding out hope that the higher level content will be a great deal more difficult, because I was mostly just bored and easily dispensing everything in 3 hits.
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#11 Apr 21 2012 at 8:20 AM Rating: Good
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The big issue I have at hand is how much could they change the whole dungeon crawler gamestyle and have it still be a dungeon crawler? Having never played any Diablo game before this and only played Champions of Norrath for the PS2 and Dark Alliance 2 for the Xbox when it comes to dungeon crawlers I can say that I enjoy Diablo 3. It is simple enough that you don't feel overwhelmed when you are new to it but still not simple enough that you can die if you do stupid stuff (almost died in the pillar room before I realized that my health was almost gone).

Also I remember a blue post stating that the current difficulty setting in the beta is somewhere along the lines of easy. I don't have the actual blue post to link but I recall something along those lines.
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#12 Apr 21 2012 at 10:16 AM Rating: Decent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Since I've held off purchasing my new PC until closer to the actual D3 launch, I am unable to participate. I expect those of you who do to tell us what you can.


You might be able to run it on whatever you have--it's worth checking out, right?

You won't be able to log in right now anyway, so you can always download it for later.

Not a chance, I'm still running a single core.
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#13 Apr 21 2012 at 10:31 AM Rating: Good
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Kastigir wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Since I've held off purchasing my new PC until closer to the actual D3 launch, I am unable to participate. I expect those of you who do to tell us what you can.


You might be able to run it on whatever you have--it's worth checking out, right?

You won't be able to log in right now anyway, so you can always download it for later.

Not a chance, I'm still running a single core.


...wow.
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#14 Apr 21 2012 at 3:39 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah, what Bliz needed was more interactive/tactical encounters. It feels like instead they gave us a very tuned item quest.
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#15 Apr 22 2012 at 11:42 AM Rating: Good
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Witch Doctor is OP.
#16 Apr 22 2012 at 11:45 AM Rating: Good
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Really? I felt it was, by a huge margin, the weakest of the classes. Everything else just ripped through everything. Witch Doctor was slow, and had a much higher percentage of "meh" abilities.
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#17 Apr 22 2012 at 11:50 AM Rating: Decent
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I've played through as the Monk and Wizard so far and am liking it. Its normal difficulty which means its going to be easy, and it will get harder. The monk was pretty fun, and tankish, while the wizard was more kite stuff, though that was due to not getting a good weapon till after I killed the SK.

I want to play through as the demon hunter or barb next. I played a bone spear necro in d2, but the witch doctor just doesnt appeal to me at all.
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#18 Apr 22 2012 at 2:29 PM Rating: Good
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Demon Hunter is, imo, significantly better than the other classes in terms of quality. Monk, Wizard and Barbarian just involve blasting your way through mobs--every fight was easily won that way for me, with little to no heed paid to my safety. Wizard was powerful enough to mow down nearly everything that came his way, and Frost Nova was more than sufficient to deal with the rest. Monk took down the gold mobs easily just spamming his spirit or extended punch move. Barbarian is just typical hack n' slash in general.

But Demon Hunter required strategy and finesse. You needed to adapt to the situation, rather than just force your strategy on the game. I actually switched skills in the middle of battle once, as I transitioned from AoE to boss kiting.

A big part of this, though, is that the other classes are just too strong. A significant nerf to their default damage might be enough to salvage the strategy aspect of the game that's missing. Unless they are balanced for the higher difficulties, in which case DH actually needs a buff.

Witch Hunter also felt way weaker to me, because it was in some weird midpoint between blasting through and using strategy, except that its spells seemed much worse to me. Jar of Spiders (*shudder*) ultimately seemed useless in every situation I tried it with (and I can only imagine it isn't really meant to be used, ever, unglyphed). That bat storm was powerful, but in just about every situation it seemed way better to never let an enemy get that close, especially since you can't easily spec for armor without seriously compromising your damage.
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#19 Apr 22 2012 at 2:33 PM Rating: Good
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Seems kind of strange to complain about a game being too easy when you're not on the highest level. So long as spamming one ability is a bad tactic, it's fine. It's fine if bad tactics work at easy difficulty levels, because these difficulties are geared towards people that are bad.

That said, I have no interest in this game.
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#20 Apr 22 2012 at 2:53 PM Rating: Good
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You can't change the solo difficulty, but you can join public games to increase the power of the mobs in relation to the number of players in the world. It lets you simulate higher difficulties (as long as you aren't plowing through WITH the group).
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#21 Apr 22 2012 at 5:20 PM Rating: Good
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Really? I felt it was, by a huge margin, the weakest of the classes. Everything else just ripped through everything. Witch Doctor was slow, and had a much higher percentage of "meh" abilities.


Something tells me you didn't try out the spider-jar skill.

Tons of spiders the size of your face, everywhere, attacking the enemies. They go down fast.
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#22 Apr 22 2012 at 6:11 PM Rating: Good
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IDrownFish of the Seven Seas wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Really? I felt it was, by a huge margin, the weakest of the classes. Everything else just ripped through everything. Witch Doctor was slow, and had a much higher percentage of "meh" abilities.


Something tells me you didn't try out the spider-jar skill.

Tons of spiders the size of your face, everywhere, attacking the enemies. They go down fast.


I forced myself to try it, and thought it was terrible. And I feel more than justified after looking up the math. It's one of the least efficient DPS skills in the game, apparently, AND faces the issue that it spreads its damage haphazardly through a group of enemies--just as likely to attack the least threatening as the most.

CS summons 4 spiders that do 16% weapon damage as physical damage per hit, and hit twice before dying. They DO come with the added bonus of potentially blocking enemy pathing, but this is also fully capable of preventing another spider from attacking twice. Total potential damage is 128%.

PD hits the enemy for 100% weapon damage as physical damage, plus 40% weapon damage as poison damage over 2 seconds.

So, first we have the fact that PD does more total damage. Then we have the fact that it does 40% of its damage subject to resistances, not armor (which might work for or against it, but gives it a wider breadth of usefulness).

Now consider the fact that PD is capable of taking out weak enemies in a pack by itself, potentially without even depending on any (or both) of the poison tics.

In a group of 5 enemies, the spiders are going to be spreading out damage. This would create a potential issue even IF they did better dps. It also makes them a liability. A PD-user can potentially lock up a kill with each cooldown period, which may or may not be delayed. That decreases the threat the group poses as a whole. Spiders will continue spreading out damage, and potentially not even living up to their optimal damage by failing to land 2 hits if blocked by your zombie dogs or other spiders. There is also a larger cast time lag with the spiders--it takes longer to throw the jar than shoot the dart, and there is additional delay as the spiders spawn and find a target. Leaping spiders helps mitigate some of this, and makes them more likely to land both attacks... Oh yeah, and CS will die to AoE attacks, which maaany stronger opponents have. Like the Skeleton King.

Plus, the PD glyph gives you 3 darts, effectively making it a better AoE skill than the spiders anyway. And it does more damage with one dart... So why the **** would I ever use CS?

They do have utility in glyphed forms. But they are a super weak skill unglyphed.

Searching online tells me that they actually nerfed spiders quite recently, but that the change was almost certainly too drastic, at least where certain glyphs are concerned.

I see zero reason to ever use the spiders. The grasping arms attack does AoE damage and snares, which helps ensure that every Poison Dart you fire outright kills the enemy without even requiring poison. MUCH better strategy in literally every situation I can think of.
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#23 Apr 22 2012 at 6:46 PM Rating: Good
I must have been playing with them before the nerf, because when I was using them it was crazy how fast it was. Plus, I was throwing a large jar out of hammerspace every second and a half, which just looked funny.
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#24 Apr 22 2012 at 6:49 PM Rating: Good
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They can still be very useful, I imagine, with some of those glyphs. But Leaping Spiders and default CS aren't worth using atm.
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#25 Apr 22 2012 at 6:50 PM Rating: Decent
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ITT we take level 9 balance seriously.
#26 Apr 22 2012 at 7:09 PM Rating: Good
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KTurner wrote:
ITT we take level 9 balance seriously.


Smiley: dubious

Every ability is balanced using a percentage of weapon damage, which scales fairly evenly as stats increase because it's based on weapon damage (which is balanced accordingly) and a specific class-relative stat. The only thing that changes how OP/UP an ability is comes from the other combinations you have access to.

The problem with this ability is a problem that will apply at every level. The Leaping Spider glyph increases their chance to score 2 hits, and increases their total damage to 19% per hit, which pushes them over PD's unglyphed damage, but leaves all the ability-specific issues behind.

Widowmaker glyph lets them return mana to you (3 per hit, so the spell will return 24. Dunno what it will cost at higher levels). Poison Dart's similar glyph returns slightly more.

Blazing Spiders are the first that actually become a legitimate damaging tool, but even they only do 168% damage (less than Poison Dart with the first glyph by a large margin).

So far, because of this nerf to the base ability, each of these glyphs remain fairly useless across levels.

There are only 2 that might make up for it:

Spider Queen, which does true AoE damage, which might make it useful in AoE situations.
Medusa, which gives it a chance to stun/snare, which makes it useful for utility.

Because of the issues discussed here, yes--it does matter. We aren't talking about something specific to low levels.
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#27 Apr 22 2012 at 9:05 PM Rating: Good
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Is there an ability shortcut like in the old diablos? Iirc you could hotkey all your abilities to the function keys to swap them on the fly.
#28 Apr 22 2012 at 9:09 PM Rating: Good
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You have 6 ability assigned to hotkeys at a time, but they're broken down so you can only have 1 per "type" (as far as I can tell).

So your left click will be one of five abilities, right click one of five, and then 1-4 each one of five (20 total).

Dunno if those restrictions are absolute, just for the purposes of the demo, etc. I know you're free to remap which type is assigned to which number key, at the very least.
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#29 Apr 22 2012 at 9:40 PM Rating: Good
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so, is every class going to be exactly the same then? I mean, is every level 1000 Wizard going to have exactly the same skills? My first impression after a whopping hour of play is that they took a genre that is criticized for requiring little human input, and made it take even less input.

eta: that is regarding talent trees and skills and such. the actual combat looks to take more input when compared to diablo 2, since there is an action bar now obviously.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2012 8:53pm by KTurner
#30 Apr 22 2012 at 9:57 PM Rating: Good
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You have access to every skill, yes. And if you get used to it, you definite can switch out skills on the fly, in battle. There is a short CD for doing so, but nothing unmanageable, imo.

And since each stat is class-based now, you won't see variety there. All Wizard damage is based on Intelligence. You CAN gem for Strength, if you want a high armor skill, but you won't gain any damage for doing so. But the idea of creating an arcane warrior, which was a pretty popular Sorc build in D2, is now essentially impossible. You CAN do something similar, but only if you're willing to completely gimp your damage in the process.

Pretty much you'll just be gemming for 2 stats, if you gem for stats at all. Whatever your class' stat is (Stength, Dexterity, or Intelligence) and then Vitality for health. If there are diminishing return caps, you might see people gemming in the other two just to reach them. But since each stat buffs one area of defense (armor, dodge, or resistance %), I'm guessing most players will rely on the default skill-up in those areas, to be strong in one area but weaker in the other two. I'd guess it evens out, in general. Witch Doctors and Wizards generally want to stay at range, so a lot of the damage they take will be magical. Demon Hunters and Monks are the odder ones, but I guess DHs are meant to avoid Projectiles and Monks just avoid melee blows. Warriors will take every hit, but have high armor to mitigate it.

But since EVERY damaging ability uses your weapon damage, which scales from the actual weapon and your class' stat, you're going to be much less effective for every point you lose there.

[EDIT]

Every x level Wizard will have the same skills available as every other x level Wizard. He may choose to use different ones, of course, but unless they perfectly balance them all it's just not going to happen. We'll definitely see cookie cutter builds. Many of them. Because, inevitably, one or two strategies are going to work WAY better than others.

Switching will also take skill to pull off, since you need to know the exact position of your skills and their glyphs to save time selecting them (plus you're immobile while you do it). But handle it properly, and you can definitely switch at least one skill quite easily.

So, essentially, yes. Everyone has legitimate access to every spell. You only choose what 3 passives you want up atm, and what 6 skills you want hotkeyed. I've already experimented with switching in beta, and it's a great deal more effective.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2012 12:02am by idiggory
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#31 Apr 23 2012 at 2:57 PM Rating: Good
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
You have 6 ability assigned to hotkeys at a time, but they're broken down so you can only have 1 per "type" (as far as I can tell).

So your left click will be one of five abilities, right click one of five, and then 1-4 each one of five (20 total).

Dunno if those restrictions are absolute, just for the purposes of the demo, etc. I know you're free to remap which type is assigned to which number key, at the very least.


Earlier in the Beta, abilities weren't separated into types like that. You could use any ability you've unlocked, so for example, I could have two hatred-generating abilities, one for each mouse button, on a Demon Hunter.

Around Beta patch 13? 12? Something like that, they split the abilities into the categories we see now (and massively changed the rune system). They thought it would make it easier for newer players. AFAIK, you can actually turn this off in the options and go back to full control of what you have.

Edited, Apr 23rd 2012 5:05pm by IDrownFish
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#32 Apr 23 2012 at 3:00 PM Rating: Good
Here we go. Found the quote. It was Beta Patch 13. The full news post from Blizzard about it is in the spoiler tags. It's quite large.

Quote:
Last August we held a Diablo III press tour, and it was with a small group of fansites that I first revealed significant changes were still in store for the rune system. Since then, we’ve been hard at work on the rune and skill systems, and today we’d like to share details on the changes you’ll see in Beta patch 13. We’re confident that these changes will make Diablo III a better game, and to help illustrate why, I’ll start with a high-level explanation of our goals for these systems as well as the feedback we were responding to in making these changes.

I’ll start with the skill system. Our high-level goal with this system has always been to give players a great degree of power to customize their characters. We believe we accomplished that early on by abolishing skill trees and moving toward an open-ended system where skills, rune variants, and passives are chosen at-will by the player in a flexible customization system.

That goal and the system have been great successes, but the amount of customization we have available doesn’t mean anything if it’s not useful in combat situations. Combat depth is another one of our goals; Diablo III is designed to be a modern action game, built on the mantra of “easy to learn, difficult to master.” What that means for the player is picking a set of skills and abilities that work together, and then executing them in ways that lead to success: the wholesale slaughter of the demonic invasion. With that combat-depth goal in mind, we’ve been internally categorizing the skills since the inception of the system. Many of you could probably identify what these categories were if we asked, and some players have even mapped out what they are fairly accurately.

For every class we essentially created three common types of abilities, and then a handful of class-specific ability types. All classes have skills that fit into categories we call Primary Attack, Secondary Attack, and Defensive. Primary Attack skills are frequently used abilities that typically generate resources. Secondary Attacks are more powerful attacks that are limited in use through resource cost or cooldown. Defensive abilities are used to escape or control the flow of combat. Beyond that, classes have unique categories, like armor spells for the wizard or mantras for the monk. We used this methodology to help us design the classes and their skills, but we weren’t exposing this to the player despite the fact that these categories would give the player, like they did our own team, a better understanding of how the classes work.

One of our other goals is to ensure our game controls and interfaces are easy to use so that players spend their time trying to master game mechanics rather than fighting an interface. Giving players complete freedom to choose “anything” with no direction as to how our systems are intended to work was a failure in our design. There was also a detached relationship between the bottom-bar UI and the skill system. We have six skill slots, and six spots to put skills, but the two interfaces didn’t really interact, and stocking abilities in your interface felt awkward.

To fix these issues, we focused on two core changes: (1) exposing the skill design intent by categorizing the skills and (2) linking skill selection directly to the bottom-bar UI to make assigning skills a clearer process. When viewing the skill screen, you’ll be presented with your six skill selection slots; each of these correspond directly to your bottom bar, and each will provide a specific list of skills from which to choose. By providing a clear-cut guide on how to best maximize your build potential, we hope to cover that “easy to learn” half of the mantra.

You may already be fuming because you’re a “difficult to master” type of person, but before you run to the forums, we have you covered. In the Gameplay options, we’ve added an ‘Elective Mode’ for the skill system. With this checkbox ticked you’ll be able to place any skill in any skill slot, as freely as you could before. The Elective Mode option is available at any time with no requirements or need to unlock it. We hope the new, more guided interface will give you an in-game heads up as to the intent of each skill — and maybe even be the way you play through the game in Normal — but if you eventually have a build that simply can’t be accomplished the way we’ve laid things out, you’re free to pop on Elective Mode and take the skills you want.

While the skill system is largely unchanged save for some UI improvements and the helpful new (but optional) skill categories, we’ve been working to make some rather intense changes to the runestone system. Before we get too far, it’s probably best to clarify our terms: First, they’re now called skill runes, and they’re called skill runes because they’re no longer a physical item, but built directly into the skill system. Let’s back up, though, and go through some of the problems we were encountering and how this final design is intended to resolve those issues.

Our goal with the rune system has always been to provide additional character customization by allowing players to augment or completely alter their skills in new and significant ways. Originally, we tied this in to the itemization system because it felt like a good fit, as Diablo is all about the item drops. But with around 120 base skills, that meant there were around 600 rune variants; on top of that, each variant had five quality levels each, meaning ultimately there would be something like 3,000 different runes in the game… and we knew we were heading toward a problem.

Diablo is certainly about the items, but later in the game, having to juggle all of those various runes was not only un-fun, it was a serious and tedious inventory problem. We went through a number of different iterations, some of which we fully implemented and tested, to try to solve these fundamental issues while still keeping the customization intact. Ultimately we developed, implemented, and have been playing and testing a new system which we’re confident hits all of the desired mechanics and solves all of the related issues – and that’s what I’m going to talk about today and what you’ll see in Beta patch 13.

With the new skill rune system, you’ll be unlocking new skills as you level up just like you always have… but in addition you’ll also be unlocking skill runes. Now, when you open the skill window, you’ll choose which skills you want in which slots, the skill rune variants you’d like, and your passives. All of this is done directly through the UI, and all of the options from the skill, skill rune, and passive systems are unlocked through character leveling progression, leading to a cleaner overall integration of these systems. Just as we set different skills to unlock at specific levels, skill rune choices unlock at different levels as well.

Another thing we strive for in our games is “concentrated coolness,” and while rune quality levels made sense when we were attempting to itemize them throughout the game, they make far less sense as runes are unlocked through the UI. We didn’t want to get back into a situation where you’re clicking a button to pump points into skills. It’s far more concentrated (and cool) when your rune choices have a single and powerful benefit to your skill choice. The new skill rune system does not have ranks, and we’ve instead made each around the equivalent to what the rank 4 or 5 rune was previously. One click, you make your rune choice, and you get an explosive benefit to that skill. That feels a lot cooler.

Runes have been by far the biggest design hurdle we’ve had in the game, and as you know we’ve been continually iterating on them. We fully expect that some of you will be disappointed that runes won’t be part of the itemization system. Internally, it took us a long time to let go of that notion too and stop trying to force them into being items, and instead embrace the intent of the system. Integrating runes with the skill system directly gave us a bunch of great benefits, and even without runes we’re launching with more item types than Diablo II had. We knew we were making the right choice by letting go of runes as items and focusing on the core objective of the system: to customize your skills in awesome ways.

Before I wrap up, I did want to cover that one of the added benefits of the new system is that you’ll be unlocking something every level all the way up to the level cap (60). Now, with each level you’ll unlock at least one new skill or rune, and in most cases you’ll be unlocking three or four. The most immediately exciting part of that system is that skill runes begin unlocking at level 6, which means that players in the beta test will finally be able to play around with some rune variants.

Phew. Well, there you have it — the new skill and rune systems! We strongly believe that these changes are going to make for a better Diablo III, and we’re looking forward to you trying it out in patch 13, which should be live any minute now (if it isn’t already). As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on your experiences with these changes. To help center the conversation on these changes to a single location, we’re going to lock comments on this blog and encourage you to post in a thread we’re specifically making to discuss this: Skill and Rune Changes Discussion.

Thanks for reading.

Jay Wilson is Game Director for Diablo III and won first place in the team’s chili cook-off competition. Recipe available upon request.


Edited, Apr 23rd 2012 5:01pm by IDrownFish
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#33 Apr 23 2012 at 3:15 PM Rating: Decent
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Them making it locked by default may actually be one of the stupidest, contradictory design ideas I've seen in a long, long, LONG time.

"Easier for new players..."

What?

So instead of letting new players have a full set of skills quickly, you force them to deal with 2-3 by making sure their first 9 skills (iirc) only fall into 3 categories? And you prevent them from using legitimate strategies, like allowing them to use both their snaring arrow and the AoE arrow on Demon Hunter, or Magic Missile/the AoE shock on Wizard, etc.?

I actually don't understand that. It makes no sense to me, at all. Does the game even tell you it's an option to disable that? I don't remember reading it, I only noticed the unlock feature in the interface options.

That seems like giving every newbie a headache for no reason.
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#34 Apr 23 2012 at 4:46 PM Rating: Decent
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HUH?! i didnt read that wall of text but if i can go in there and make my right mouse button throw a spider jar and my left mouse button blow darts im gonna be a happy guy.
#35 Apr 23 2012 at 5:44 PM Rating: Excellent
Never really played with the option before, but I just booted up the game and messed around with the skills, just to make sure I wasn't talking out of my ***.

My Witch Doctor now has Spiders on the left mouse button, and Poison Dart on the right mouse button,
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#36 Apr 24 2012 at 1:06 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
We aren't talking about something specific to low levels.

You kinda are. Damage on abilities varies greatly at the low levels, because it's highly dependent on what items drop for you. Your dps can easily vary by a factor of 2 at level 9 based on luck. By level 9, you might not even have had a drop for every slot yet.

Unless you're deliberate doing an item controlled study, it's rather pointless to compare experiences.
#37 Apr 24 2012 at 3:23 PM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
We aren't talking about something specific to low levels.

You kinda are. Damage on abilities varies greatly at the low levels, because it's highly dependent on what items drop for you. Your dps can easily vary by a factor of 2 at level 9 based on luck. By level 9, you might not even have had a drop for every slot yet.

Unless you're deliberate doing an item controlled study, it's rather pointless to compare experiences.


Except that it was never a post about experiences. It was a purely mathematical analysis of damage.

If one ability does less damage over 3 seconds than another does in 1 or 2, with no innate utility, then it doesn't matter what your gear is like. That will always be the case. It just doesn't matter what your gear is like, because it will be same situation throughout.

Sure, if you're so ridiculously geared that your spiders are 1-hitting things, that makes it a pretty nice ability. But if you have a drop that powerful, then a discussion of tactics has pretty much become useless--you have more or less turned on God mode if 16% weapon damage is equal to an enemy's health.
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#38 Apr 25 2012 at 9:12 AM Rating: Good
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Or you're fighting very high damage, low hp, swarming enemies. Or you need to soak long ranged suppressing fire. Or want to tie up a boss at a choke point while you cast on it. So yeah, no utility whatsoever.
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#39 Apr 25 2012 at 9:45 AM Rating: Good
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It's horrible for those situations--you'd use Grasp of the Dead.

If we're talking about high damage swarmers, you have two primary objectives. 1, to dispatch them as fast as possible. 2, to keep them away from you.

By nature of the ability, Corpse Spiders has a cap on its damage. It's essentially a single-target ability that can spread out its damage some instead.

Best case scenario, you are seeing 4 enemies get hit for 16% damage per second.

Grasp of the Dead will do 20% weapon damage per second for 8 seconds (tics are timed according to your weapon speed, but scale accordingly, from what I can find online). That makes it a VASTLY stronger ability than CS for these situations, to begin with. Now note that it also snares movement speed by 60%, which helps a huge amount with your second goal.

Which brings us to the next issue--without the leaping upgrade, your spiders are going to struggle to keep up with faster mobs. An area AoE with a heavy snare to keep them in will be much more useful, particularly when combined with something like the upgraded 3-dart PD to take out anything that escapes the area.

The ONLY useful aspect of the ability is, as you say, the ability to tie up a choke point. But your true summons will do this much, much better because the spiders will die in about 1 hit, and so anything with AoE damage or a cleave is going to charge right through.

Plus, Wall of Zombies was designed for this purpose specifically. So why would you use CS to do it (after level 29, at least)?

I honestly don't know what you mean about the long ranged suppression fire, though. Enemy AI seems to prioritize you unless they can't reach you, in which case they'll take out the spiders. Archers and casters won't have this issue--they shouldn't ever attack your spiders unless you retreat out of range. As the spiders only last 2 seconds, you can't keep the wall intact to encourage the archers to attack them and, therefore, they won't act to suppress incoming damage from ranged mobs.
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#40 May 02 2012 at 10:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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WD felt like the weakest class to me, too. So, I dunno.

Kinda silly seeing some grumble about the introductory areas being easy. From what I've read, up the end of the beta is maybe 1/3 of Act I with 4 Acts overall (last I heard, anyway). This is then eventually repeated in Nightmare, ****, and the new Inferno difficulties, with the added layer of Hardcore if you're the masochistic type that likes losing everything if you die. The proposed level spreads are something level 30 around finishing Normal, 50 for Nightmare, and 60 for ****. As one might expect, the EXP curves will climb as you, so the EXP needed to hit 30 might pale compared to 31-50. For now, hard to say how "fast" this will feel since effectiveness in later acts/difficulties will hinge heavily upon gear you're using. Just because you beat Nightmare doesn't mean you're ready for ****. And according to Blizz, people will die a lot in Inferno.

Anyway, I tried not to get too hung up on how useful lower end skills were. When ultimately limited to a number of abilities, people will choose what works best for them. Yeah, I expect cookie cutters... some abilities are just conceptually better by default, but I'd say there's a modest enough variety to keep everyone from "being the same" as some are concerned with. I'm of the mind playing a ranged attacker like Wizard or Demon Hunter will be the smartest thing to do as first characters, as melee will have to express a greater concern for defense since they must absolutely be in the fray, even if Barb and Monk gets a passive damage reduction. Ranged superiority has just be one of those things that historically dominated gaming, too.

Overall, not fond of the skill selection UI, but it's not like I'll be sitting in that a lot. With the Nephilim Valor concept kicking it at 60, you'll lose possible built magic find if you switch skills around. This encourages people to find what will work for them and stick with it instead of feeling compelled to constantly flip flop between abilities. You still can if you believe it worth the loss, but I no doubt Inferno will require high end gear to tackle reliably.

Can it be May 15th now? :/
#41 May 03 2012 at 11:52 PM Rating: Good
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WD comes into its own when it gets Soul Harvest at level 9. That thing scales as you level up, making it always useful and I can't see it not being on every WD's bar. I don't think any class is strictly built around single-target damage (it'd be pretty silly) but WD's definitely got a lot of AoE going on. Soul Harvest a cluster of guys, Grasp of the Dead, dogs running around, if you don't have the mana to sent firebats through the group I can see *wanting* corpse spiders spreading their damage around. If you kill one guy then all your AoE attacks are doing less total damage. Wiz's also got some nice AoE stuff but WD feels like it's built more around using all of them at once while at least the early Wizard is "right ability for the right job."

Contrast that with the early DH. Hungering Arrow's pretty sweet but based around hitting 1 target. Bola shot looks nice for AoE but I didn't get to 11. Impale's single and Rabid Fire's got spread but discrete arrows. Their early action bar things are battlefield mobility. They can't rip through a crowd as easily as the WD can, at least not by level 10.

EDIT: but we'll see what happens when we get more game under our belts. I'm currently torn between the WD and DH. I really appreciate the skill system, what with not punishing me for trying out stuff to see if I like it.

Edited, May 3rd 2012 10:54pm by selebrin
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#42 May 06 2012 at 9:00 AM Rating: Good
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Since we already have a Diablo thread open and due to the game still not released I am going to leave some links here. More importantly this one.

There are two images I want to point out from that link regarding the Skeleton King and Armaddon, a generic mob. While the HP of the Skeleton King is going to be a bit of a shocker, it's the minimum damage the Armaddon does on inferno that makes me giggle with glee. Remember that is the MINIMUM damage that mob will do (not factoring in resistances like armor and the such).

What do you guys think about the numbers some of these mobs will put out and the massive HP bosses will have?


Edit: Link fail.

Edited, May 6th 2012 11:02am by Criminy
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#43 May 06 2012 at 9:23 AM Rating: Good
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I think the context is important. Judging by the enemy levels, this is almost certainly a discussion of repeat leveling. Like in D2, one "game" was actually the 3 acts through 3 times.

So, yeah, it's a huge jump between one level to the next. But you're also encountering this boss at completely different levels. You won't be fighting the Nightmare level Skeleton King at level 12. You'll be fighting him around level 33-40 (King is 8 in Normal, but you'll probably be quite a bit higher than that when you reach him. I assume the same is true across levels, especially if you've been doing a fairly complete run through).

What is your damage and health going to be like at that later level? What new abilities and runes will you have? How much stronger will your gear be relative to your level (due to having a complete set and gems, etc).

Really, "difficulty" is a remarkably poor term for use here, because there's a more important difficulty setting--difficulty scaling. This increases the strength and tactics of mobs as more players join the game (and I imagine you can scale that up manually in single player, like you could in D2. At least I hope they'd add that). This is the meaningful difficulty setting as it regards to general experience--the kind of difficulty that actually changes the way you act tactically. It's going to be more or less as easy to solo Nightmare as it is to solo Normal. But soloing in a private Nightmare game is going to be easier than soloing in a populated Normal game (again, with a level appropriate character).

I want to reiterate that I'm sure it's not going to be exactly the same. Nightmare is going to be harder, and soloing in Inferno might be a fair bit higher in difficulty than soloing in normal. But I doubt we're going to see a huge bump in difficulty going from Normal Diablo to Nightmare Tristram.
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#44 May 06 2012 at 9:33 AM Rating: Good
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Yeah I understand that comparing the damage we do in normal will not compare to the damage we do in nightmare let alone **** or inferno. Just some tid bits of numbers to look at. Also here is some info from a blue.

Quote:
Difficulties - Normal to ****
Majority of Diablo players just play through normal, have a great time, and then are done.
For the more core players, nightmare is where it starts, thought most might feel inferno is where it will truly starts.
Jay says he can get through nightmare in less than 10 deaths.
**** depends on his current character build.

Inferno
Jay Wilson states that he can not clear less than half of act 1 without less than 10 deaths.
He states that in Inferno if you find a really hard pack, you are not really able to skip them, while in nightmare and **** you can kind of just move around them.
We have encounters in the Inferno mode, where we will die a dozen times trying to take a rare down.
We also have enraged timers, where if you don’t kill the monsters in a certain amount of time, they enrage and then they do massive damage.
The level of difficulty on Inferno is so high that a lot of people on the dev team can’t test it very effectively. So we’ve actually had to use a specialty group within. We formed a specific strike-team, just for end-game. And their goal was to tell us that this was a challenging and compelling experience.


It will be interesting to see how well people progress through **** and then inferno.
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#45 May 06 2012 at 9:41 AM Rating: Good
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Wait, is that true? Most people stop after Normal? That doesn't make sense to me, in virtue of the type of player that would be attracted to a dungeon crawlers. Unless we're going to count the people who never even finish Normal, since the number of players who clear games is actually a really small percentage of the players who buy them.

What I'm GUESSING is that Normal, Nightmare, and **** are like in D2--split up so that you are designed to hit cap by the time you kill Diablo in **** mode. Inferno will be truly difficult as a result, because you stop scaling with the mobs so well.
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#46 May 06 2012 at 11:43 AM Rating: Decent
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In Diablo 1 I finished Normal, Nightmare, and ****. In D2, I don't think I even finished Normal.
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#47 May 06 2012 at 11:46 AM Rating: Good
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Huh, interesting. I think I just assumed everyone would at least go through twice.
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#48 May 06 2012 at 1:02 PM Rating: Decent
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The point of D2 was to kill things repetitively in **** so that you could kill things faster. After your first time through normal, it's pretty much get to **** asap. Smiley: dubious
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#49 May 06 2012 at 1:03 PM Rating: Good
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Here is a video of Jay Wilson talking about inferno mode. While he talks about things that should be rather obvious to most of us, the video in the background is interesting to watch. For example I watched that demon hunters health ping pong around. Also it gives a sneak peek at some of the later levels. Which is also a win/win in my book. Smiley: tongue
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#50 May 06 2012 at 1:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Stats don't really mean much to me without knowing the player equivalents. Yeah, those huge numbers look scary on paper, but if the expectation of entering Inferno would have players at something like 50k HP and 60% or more damage reduction, suddenly those numbers can be tolerable. Only real concern with that kind of stat bloat is it grossly trivializes the earlier difficulties to the point where a veteran of Inferno could make **** seem like Normal.

Anyway, I'm not a fan of what Blizz did to **** in D2 sometime back, what with basically guaranteeing every mob has at least one immunity and it becoming largely melee unfriendly unless you're dinging into gear you farmed up from a Sorc or Necro. I liken impenetrable defenses to overwhelming offense on the retarded balance scale, and there was no shortage of both there. Inferno seems to be poised to replicate similar, but I'm hoping it's more likely people will actually be able to experience it successfully than through oodles of frustration.
#51 May 06 2012 at 1:30 PM Rating: Good
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Criminy wrote:
Here is a video of Jay Wilson talking about inferno mode. While he talks about things that should be rather obvious to most of us, the video in the background is interesting to watch. For example I watched that demon hunters health ping pong around. Also it gives a sneak peek at some of the later levels. Which is also a win/win in my book. Smiley: tongue


The first comment did make me lol. I TOTALLY get why he structured the response the way he did, but "So you're gonna want defensive abilities, AoE abilities, and single target abilities" would hopefully hold true for all difficulties... And if you're the type of player who would need to be told this, or that you'd want to balance your abilities around team config and utility, chances are you aren't going to be playing inferno mode... ****, chances are you shouldn't even be considering it. Smiley: lol

It's essentially like telling a player that Heroic Lich King is really hard, so you'll want to use your group buffs and plan out Heroism/Bloodlust.
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