From external source, I’ve ‘learned’ that we’re supposingly giving valuable feedback, and it’s collected by the devs. I currently can’t say that I’ve noticed any of it, but nevertheless, here are few point on statement of ‘endless endgame’ and ‘endless leveling’ and stuff mentioned in that interview.
Mind that I’ll touch ONLY balancing, which is disastrous in D3 (often straight illogical and good as work of average intern - I have much much experience in this field and deep understanding of mathematical base in it).
- Endless leveling? Say why, and say how - if you have any intention to do this. D2, a game with practically zero dedicated endgame, manage to keep players - often top tier ones - for years in relatively satisfying item-hunt based on very low drop-rates.
D3, on the other hand, offered ‘endless progression’ - based on borderline insane idea that accumulating 10,000 Paragon levels gives satisfaction to players. Well, it doesn’t, at least for me - I never felt a warm feeling when getting Paragon - too basic, too small and everyone has those…
Another ‘Why?’ is based again on D2 - we had skillpoints, in fact limited number of, and lvl99 wasn’t covering all wishes/needs. D3 - lvl60 in WOW-ified progression style unlocks everything, and since there’s no skill upgrading, there’s very little to achieve after lvl60/70. Oh, there is ‘artificial sweetener’ - Paragons, but why? Late levels D2 upgrades came mostly from gear (often very, very hard to find) which largely surpassed +1 skill. Lvl 99 wasn’t even needed in most cases…
- Balancing basics - yes, after D3-style of massing insane numbers in ever-increasing manner (changelog - set item x is buffed by 50,000% - before seeing it repeatedly, I was ready to swear that that info is april-fools).
How it should be done? I’ll answer in several points/suggestions, not all of which are compatible and not all of them need to be followed. Each one reveals one of ‘thousand truths’ about balancing
- Balancing is done with most balancer control, if the numbers (damage, but also dps and similars) is the best with small numbers - was present in D2, in hierarchical order over difficulties - best control is if they progress with levels to 100-200 base damage (dps, perhaps - it’s bad if dps become 1000, and CC+CD% bring it up for 70% / 700% (so 7,000%) is even worse - at this point 95% damage comes from crits, they are mandatory and whole damage is generally based on crit-mechanic).
Why? It’s completely possible, or even easy, to control what happens in 200 dmg range, and in 7,000… well, not nearly so.
Number of multipliers. Comes from skills, from Paragons and from trifecta which very fast become maxed and natural for all characters. What’s perhaps worse, is that EACH item found carries governing attribute bonus, Paragon attribute bonus and there’s shiny-happy modifier of 15,000% which is COMPLETELY UNNEEDED. Why? If each item has governing attribute bonus, and each advanced player have account-wide Paragons aplenty, then seriously, WHY? Difference between ‘everyone has it’ and ‘none has it’ is kinda nonexistant, but multipliers are huge and increase damage to… what it is today in D3, and completely out of any form of control - with patch, huge bonuses are given to setX, in fact so large to assure its dominance, while not knowing how other items are performing.
This is going for years, and I would like to hear again of ‘mathematical base’ for this from Mr.Cheng [grins evilly]. Or explanation on current ‘trillion situation’ [grins even more evilly].
- Please consider that good balance foundation makes individual classes more or less in line regarding power, that escaping pitfalls D3 had and allows greater number of viable builds, all of which makes game open and with lots of individual creativity of players while developing specific build, the one they could call their own.
Looking to balancing process in D3, I see NONE capable of doing this right (and it’s not a brain surgery).
If you lack experienced balancers with experience and good result records, you can make a contract with me. I’m aware that this is never going to happen, put it here as a proof of concept.
Which doesn’t mean that art of balancing games is a secret lost in time. WC3 team is very competent. SC2 too. They know exactly what they’re doing and why - perhaps consider some solution where those teams or individuals can take advisory function in D4, or check the results or train someone.
- I did used D2 mostly as a positive example, and D3 as a negative and ill-conceived. It’s nothing like anti-D3 campaign, but is a truth - this very important part of development, and in D3 is infinitely worse executed than in D2. Yes, apart from this I like D2 much better, and have spent 15x more playhours in that game, but those are hard facts with proofs, so you may skip some venomous comments, concealed or not. I just want D4 balancing not to be given to random nobody who fails at nearly every process step, and fails worse when trying to ‘explain’ his logic, or appear publicly in doomed attempt to explain how it’s actually good.