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### #1emblemmusic  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:49 AM

Figure this is compulsory, with the launch just hours away...

Who all is going to playing at midnight?

How big of a success will D3 be?

Will it have legs?

Will it diminishes the audiences of other games, ie. Torchlight 2?

-Jason
http://www.emblemmusic.com

### #2way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:25 AM

I was underwhelmed by the beta. It was ok, but I think it could have been better. Because of that I'm holding off on buying it until the PVP goes in/I hear more.

I feel like it's going to be one of those games where it will get perfect scores on all the review sites, so I have to wait for friends to play to get an honest opinion if I'm going to buy it sooner.

Mostly I just found there to be a bunch of things they should have done better given the amount of time they've had to develop. Dialogue was a sticking point for me playing through the beta. Hopefully they've improved that since.

### #3Moe  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:53 AM

I've seen a bit of chatter about it on Twitter and Facebook, but I haven't bothered to check it out myself. How different is it than Diablo 1/2, other than spiffed up graphics?

### #4FLeBlanc  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 11:40 AM

It's very.... um, streamlined I guess. They make it very easy for you to not screw up your character like you could in D2, which seems to be a big arguing point. On the one hand, you won't end up late in the game with a character that is too fundamentally broken to be viable; on the other hand, you'll end up with a character in the late game that probably plays exactly like every other character of the same class. The argument seems to be that since in D2, there was always one or two "cookie cutter builds" that everyone ended up playing anyway, then just eliminate permanence of choice and customization, and never mind the fun that can be had playing a non-optimal build.

They also seem to have offloaded most of the actual customization of your character into items, rather than stat points. Your stat points are fixed. That is, unlike in D2, you don't allocate some points to strength, some to int, etc... Again, this seems to be a very polarizing point, with one side arguing that there were cookie cutter builds for stats in D2 so why even give us a choice, and the other side arguing that even so, there should be a choice. Personally, I think that the risk of borking your character makes the reward of building a good character all that much more rewarding, especially in the first few months of the game when the systems haven't been analyzed and documented by the min-maxers.

I played the beta and it was easy. Very, very easy. I understand that later game is supposed to be more challenging, but even after some supposed tweaks to make it harder, there just was no challenge. Lots of big booms and flashy/snazzy explosions, which I guess is what the players want, but I can remember the constant dread I would feel playing a voluntary ironman no-towns run in D1, hitting L4 and knowing that King Leoric was out and about, lurking somewhere with his pack of minions, waiting to own my face. Knowing that I had to carefully conserve my resources to overcome him. By comparison, a voluntary ironman in D3 (which isn't really possible, of course, because despite the fact that you are a wizard with mighty earthshaking magical powers, a flimsy iron plot-gate will force you to return to town to blindly obey the dictates of the linear story) can get you to and through Leoric without having to use a single potion. He's bigger, he's noisier, he's more impressive-looking, but he's just a big, slow, soft HP sponge who's about as threatening as spongebob with a butterfly net.

You get acheesements, though. In D2, if you played ironman you had to carefully weigh even the risk/reward of hitting pots, especially in early game. Granted, the risk wasn't too high, but still, a well-timed exploding pot in Act 2 could shave enough life that the next pack of vipers could take you down. In D3, though, destroy everything in sight because not only is there no risk to doing so, you get an ACHEESEMENT! You totally, like, destroyed a whole bunch of stuff, dood. Those damned acheesement windows will pop up literally every minute, letting you know that you destroyed 12 thingies that were carefully staged so that you could have the possibility of destroying 12 thingies and feeling awesome. Is this honestly the state that gamers have fallen to?

There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on equipment, with equipment playing a greater part in your character building than in D2. Given that Blizzard gets a cut off every auction, and Blizzard is now owned and heavily influenced by Activision, the cynical side of me sees it as just a money grab. Force the player to re-gear every time they change their skill load-out, then offer them the chance to pay Real Money™ for those items, and you're going to make a killing.

In short, I probably won't be buying. Standard cookie cutter builds or not, I never followed the cookie cutters in D2, not ever. I'm not a min-maxer and I don't want those choices taken away from me. Blizzard's new Activision-friendly willingness to fleece the player in D3 like it's some kind of F2P MMO (and we've seen strong hints of that in WoW, too, haven't we?) just doesn't sit right with me, and I will be voting with my dollars even if that vote is about as significant as a fart in a hurricane compared to the ravening hordes lining up to buy this thing. I guess that even though I still love to play D1 and D2, and can play multi-hour sessions of D2 even now, years and years after it was released, I'm just not Blizzard's target demographic any more. It makes me a little bit sad.

### #5way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:19 PM

It's very.... um, streamlined I guess. They make it very easy for you to not screw up your character like you could in D2, which seems to be a big arguing point. On the one hand, you won't end up late in the game with a character that is too fundamentally broken to be viable; on the other hand, you'll end up with a character in the late game that probably plays exactly like every other character of the same class. The argument seems to be that since in D2, there was always one or two "cookie cutter builds" that everyone ended up playing anyway, then just eliminate permanence of choice and customization, and never mind the fun that can be had playing a non-optimal build.

They also seem to have offloaded most of the actual customization of your character into items, rather than stat points. Your stat points are fixed. That is, unlike in D2, you don't allocate some points to strength, some to int, etc... Again, this seems to be a very polarizing point, with one side arguing that there were cookie cutter builds for stats in D2 so why even give us a choice, and the other side arguing that even so, there should be a choice. Personally, I think that the risk of borking your character makes the reward of building a good character all that much more rewarding, especially in the first few months of the game when the systems haven't been analyzed and documented by the min-maxers.

There's a good article on gamasutra on why this philosophy is flawed. The comments are really good also. The gist is what good is having more variety of end game characters if 95% of the end game characters suck.

There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on equipment, with equipment playing a greater part in your character building than in D2. Given that Blizzard gets a cut off every auction, and Blizzard is now owned and heavily influenced by Activision, the cynical side of me sees it as just a money grab. Force the player to re-gear every time they change their skill load-out, then offer them the chance to pay Real Money™ for those items, and you're going to make a killing.

Activision doesn't own Blizzard. Vivendi (pretty much blizzard) and Activision merged and formed Activision Blizzard. Activision and Blizzard are separate entities under the Activision Blizzard umbrella.

### #6emblemmusic  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:43 PM

I find I have less and less time to devote to gaming (with wife, kids, other activities, other amazing titles, etc.). So the face that Blizzard has been going down the less customizable, more homogenized path to appeal to casual gamers, it doesn't bother me. I'd much rather jump into a game and be having fun in 10 minutes, than taking 2-3 hours to perfectly set up my UI, figure out controls, etc.

### #7Antheus  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:50 PM

I played the beta and it was easy.

It was the default level. Later, you unlock higher difficulty. It's same as with original.

### #8AltarofScience  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

The problem is game designers who blow at math. If you didn't make a shitty system to start with, or one whose math was easily crunched, you wouldn't have to worry about optimal builds because their wouldn't be any. As a designer you need to keep your attention on the math itself rather than the skin you throw on it.

Let's play a game:
What is a minion? How does it relate to other methods of dealing damage or mitigating damage.

### #9FLeBlanc  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:11 PM

It's very.... um, streamlined I guess. They make it very easy for you to not screw up your character like you could in D2, which seems to be a big arguing point. On the one hand, you won't end up late in the game with a character that is too fundamentally broken to be viable; on the other hand, you'll end up with a character in the late game that probably plays exactly like every other character of the same class. The argument seems to be that since in D2, there was always one or two "cookie cutter builds" that everyone ended up playing anyway, then just eliminate permanence of choice and customization, and never mind the fun that can be had playing a non-optimal build.

They also seem to have offloaded most of the actual customization of your character into items, rather than stat points. Your stat points are fixed. That is, unlike in D2, you don't allocate some points to strength, some to int, etc... Again, this seems to be a very polarizing point, with one side arguing that there were cookie cutter builds for stats in D2 so why even give us a choice, and the other side arguing that even so, there should be a choice. Personally, I think that the risk of borking your character makes the reward of building a good character all that much more rewarding, especially in the first few months of the game when the systems haven't been analyzed and documented by the min-maxers.

There's a good article on gamasutra on why this philosophy is flawed.The comments are really good also. The gist is what good is having more variety of end game characters if 95% of the end game characters suck.

There seemed to be a heavy emphasis on equipment, with equipment playing a greater part in your character building than in D2. Given that Blizzard gets a cut off every auction, and Blizzard is now owned and heavily influenced by Activision, the cynical side of me sees it as just a money grab. Force the player to re-gear every time they change their skill load-out, then offer them the chance to pay Real Money™ for those items, and you're going to make a killing.

Activision doesn't own Blizzard. Vivendi (pretty much blizzard) and Activision merged and formed Activision Blizzard. Activision and Blizzard are separate entities under the Activision Blizzard umbrella.

The problem I have is, why can't some things be allowed to suck? Why the fanatic devotion to homogeneity? If I want to try the challenge of playing through the game with a non-optimal character, why am I not allowed? Some of my greatest memories of gaming are of times when I was in over my head to a hilarious degree, and somehow managed to pull it off. I just don't see moments like that ever occurring in D3. One of my funnest characters in D2 has always been the flame-thrower sorceress, even though a flame thrower in Hell difficulty is a punching bag. But it's still fun, and isn't that the whole point?

Difficulty problems aside, the beta just wasn't fun for me. D2 is, otherwise I might argue that I've just evolved beyond this kind of game. But the truth is, I haven't. Blizzard has evolved beyond me and into dark places I don't feel comfortable following, and the feeling it leaves me is sadness.

Activision and Blizzard might technically be separate entities, and Blizzard might allegedly have autonomy, but the history of Blizzard since Activision came on the scene is pretty horrifying, to say the least. It's like having some asshole in a sports jersey come along on the playground and pee all over your D&D miniatures game, then call you a nerd and steal your lunch money.

### #10irreversible  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 01:53 PM

This is unreal... From the thread:

September 15, 2009: At the “Deutsche Bank Security Technology Conference”, Kotick holds his best public speech yet:http://www.geeks.co.uk/7282-activision%E2%80%99s-bobby-kotick-hates-developers-innovation-cheap-games-you

In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we’ll (charge)$100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you’ll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a$500 sale today.

Most of the 20 years, that I have provided for growth at Activision, we were content to make products that are attractive to the 16-35 year old guy who has gotten no date for Saturday night.

As he works himself up to his personal masterpiece…

Kotick noted that in the past he changed the employee incentive program so that it "really rewards profit and nothing else." He continued, "You have studio heads who five years ago didn't know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet who are now arguing allocations in our CFO's office pretty regularly. ... We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."

Yes, he just said that.

Ultimately, Kotick doesn't want his employees to take anything for granted. They should always be aware of "skepticism, pessimism, and fear" in the midst of the global economic downturn. "We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression," he said.

### #11way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

The problem I have is, why can't some things be allowed to suck? Why the fanatic devotion to homogeneity? If I want to try the challenge of playing through the game with a non-optimal character, why am I not allowed? Some of my greatest memories of gaming are of times when I was in over my head to a hilarious degree, and somehow managed to pull it off. I just don't see moments like that ever occurring in D3. One of my funnest characters in D2 has always been the flame-thrower sorceress, even though a flame thrower in Hell difficulty is a punching bag. But it's still fun, and isn't that the whole point?

Nobody is stopping you from playing a non-optimal build. They are preventing people who don't want to play a non-optimal build from having wasted all their time. The only way this should piss you off is if you got off more on knowing other people were miserable than on the actual gameplay, which doesn't make it a better game.

### #12FLeBlanc  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:32 PM

The problem I have is, why can't some things be allowed to suck? Why the fanatic devotion to homogeneity? If I want to try the challenge of playing through the game with a non-optimal character, why am I not allowed? Some of my greatest memories of gaming are of times when I was in over my head to a hilarious degree, and somehow managed to pull it off. I just don't see moments like that ever occurring in D3. One of my funnest characters in D2 has always been the flame-thrower sorceress, even though a flame thrower in Hell difficulty is a punching bag. But it's still fun, and isn't that the whole point?

Nobody is stopping you from playing a non-optimal build. They are preventing people who don't want to play a non-optimal build from having wasted all their time. The only way this should piss you off is if you got off more on knowing other people were miserable than on the actual gameplay, which doesn't make it a better game.

But they are preventing me from playing a non-optimal, at least from the limited taste I got from the beta. I played through on wizard probably 5 times, trying to choose different skills each time. All were basically the same, as far as pacing and challenge. It all just felt "the same". There wasn't any single one that I thought "Wow, I bet this would be tough." I don't like having the decisions made for me, just because some other player needs his hand held. This game might be for you, that's fine. I'm just saying, it's not for me. I have always been a "guaranteed sale" for Blizzard, since day one of D1. They had to work pretty hard to convince me otherwise, but they did it.

### #13Nypyren  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:14 PM

But they are preventing me from playing a non-optimal, at least from the limited taste I got from the beta. I played through on wizard probably 5 times, trying to choose different skills each time. All were basically the same, as far as pacing and challenge. It all just felt "the same". There wasn't any single one that I thought "Wow, I bet this would be tough."

I view Blizzard's decision as a game designer's version of Chekhov's Gun. Do not include any useless skills in your skill trees.

(Edit to fix the single quote in the URL; this editor apparently requires it to be escaped)

Edited by Nypyren, 14 May 2012 - 05:16 PM.

### #14Nypyren  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:21 PM

There wasn't any single one that I thought "Wow, I bet this would be tough."

Have you played Dungeons of Dredmor? I think you'd like it a lot.

### #15way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:09 PM

But they are preventing me from playing a non-optimal, at least from the limited taste I got from the beta. I played through on wizard probably 5 times, trying to choose different skills each time. All were basically the same, as far as pacing and challenge. It all just felt "the same". There wasn't any single one that I thought "Wow, I bet this would be tough." I don't like having the decisions made for me, just because some other player needs his hand held. This game might be for you, that's fine. I'm just saying, it's not for me. I have always been a "guaranteed sale" for Blizzard, since day one of D1. They had to work pretty hard to convince me otherwise, but they did it.

I still don't get why this is in any way desirable. The fact that your first 5 tries at a wizard resulted in 5 different sets of skills and none of them felt gimped should be a triumph, not a defeat.

### #16tstrimple  Prime Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 07:33 PM

But they are preventing me from playing a non-optimal, at least from the limited taste I got from the beta. I played through on wizard probably 5 times, trying to choose different skills each time. All were basically the same, as far as pacing and challenge. It all just felt "the same". There wasn't any single one that I thought "Wow, I bet this would be tough." I don't like having the decisions made for me, just because some other player needs his hand held. This game might be for you, that's fine. I'm just saying, it's not for me. I have always been a "guaranteed sale" for Blizzard, since day one of D1. They had to work pretty hard to convince me otherwise, but they did it.

I still don't get why this is in any way desirable. The fact that your first 5 tries at a wizard resulted in 5 different sets of skills and none of them felt gimped should be a triumph, not a defeat.

But if the ice spell, lightning spell and fire spell are the same except for the animation, there isn't really a choice there. One shouldn't necessarily be the only way to go, but they should be balanced. Lightning has highest damage, ice has lower damage, but slows or freezes enemies, fire has damage over time... something to make each path feel and play differently, but they should be balanced so that there isn't one true mage build.

### #17Luckless  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:16 PM

Personally I think that "No Bad Choice" is generally a good thing, but at the same time there should still be a choice. A "not a great choice" is different than a "bad choice", in that you are still very much workable with it, but possibly not as powerful as if you had made a "better" choice when you start to consider combos and items with natural synergies.

As tstrimple said, if you have choices between fire, ice, and lightning spells, then how you play if you go heavy on the ice should be different than if you invested heavily into fire or lightening.

For ice, your play style would likely become more defensive and mob control based. You would be slowing/encasing enemies, possibly walling them in. The others would be different. If each one is just "blast away till stuff dies", then why have a "choice"?
If your signature on a web forum takes up more space than your average post, then you are doing things wrong.

### #18way2lazy2care  Members

Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:48 PM

The skills definitely seemed varied to me. Even the runes change things up quite a bit. They were probably one of the things I wasn't disappointed with. I'm just confused how you could play the wizard and not have that different an experience through 5 play throughs. I guess it's only the first 13 levels so you really only have 6-7 of the 23 active skills and none of the passives.

### #19MJP  Moderators

Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:47 PM

I was at the mall for lunch today and there were already people camped out for the midnight launch party. It must be packed by now.

### #20swiftcoder  Senior Moderators

Posted 15 May 2012 - 01:38 AM

The login screen is pretty fun, I can tell you that much

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @ Amazon - [swiftcoding] [GitHub]

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