Does Character Permanence Increase Enjoyment/Attachment?


A psychologist has contributed an interesting article to Games Industry in which he presents material from his book, The Psychology of Games, that argues that DiabloWikirespecs might decrease overall, long-term enjoyment in RPGs. This despite the fact that most players say they want respecs, and most developers are moving to enable them. A quote:

people like to keep their options open and hang on to choices as long as they can because they’re afraid that they’ll want to change their minds later — something called “psychological reactance.” So the psychological immune system is there and it’s effective, but we largely ignore it and take actions that prevent it from coming into play.

…Most gamers, if asked, would probably tell you that they would love the flexibility that comes with being able to change their abilities, stats, or even class with little to no cost. Why not? What if specialising in ranged weapons turns out to be no fun? What if that “Whirlwind” or “Fire Resistance” or “Goat Launcher” skill that you picked at level 20 turns out to be lame? A lot of us still regret choosing the Aqualung augmentation in the original Deus Ex, after all.

And yet some others do take the view that you learn to be happy with what you choose and move on with your life – or at least your playthrough. When the super flexible skill system in Diablo 3 was announced, I remember reading reactions from a small but vocal group of Diablo 2 fans who said that committing yourself to a build and sticking it out was integral to the fun. Given what Gilbert and Ebert found about how people prefer options that don’t optimise their happiness, were they right?

…Game developers should not feel shackled to convenience as a immutable design principle, and they shouldn’t always trust gamers who are not always accurate at predicting how happy they will be with choices. And players? Don’t worry. You’ll be happy.

Remember these?

There seem to be a four-stage psychological reaction. People want infinite choice in most areas of life, but: 1) People are often overwhelmed and unable to choose when presented with too many options. 2) People are more comfortable with a multitude of choices if they know they can change their minds later. 3) Having too much ability to keep changing your mind leads to long term dissatisfaction. 4) When people are forced to make a choice and stick with it they usually (subconsciously) talk themselves into liking it more than options they know they could change instantly.

Anecdotes for this abound; you can’t read any commentary about Diablo 2 without someone talking about how their first Amazon was built terribly, with points in Energy and such, but “I still loved that character and played it a ton and found ways to make it work.”

So what about it? Do you guys think some enforced character permanence would make Diablo 3 more fun? It’s not an entirely fair question, since the overall suite of customization options is so limited in Diablo 3. Without stat points and skill points the variety within classes is skin deep and almost entirely created by items, which makes it possible to argue that no respecs “worked” in Diablo 2 in a way that it would not in Diablo 3.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 2, Respecs, Skills

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  1. The only thing character permanence offers is more grinding of worthless lower-level crap. It was why you got your new chars power-lvled in D2, and it’s why I’m glad D3 doesn’t force you to do normal nightmare hell again and again and again every time you want to change something.

    Two hours of having someone else run cows to get my javazon from 1 to 65 does not make me more attached to the character, sorry. Nor does clicking the same Str for gear/dex for block/vit stat combo on every character.

    • you make the very naive assumption that in a well designed game the following would exist:

      -leveling isn’t enjoyable/doesn’t pay off (subjective)

      -rushing is available and possible

      -stats are flawed

      Given these and the autor’s premise, would you change your opinion? Probably.

    • You are conflating a boring low level grind with a lack of respecs. HC players in D3 get to respec all the time and often get friends to power level them. There’s not necessarily nay connection between rerolling/grinding and character customization or permanence.

  2. “. . . their first Amazon was built terribly, with points in Energy and such, but “I still loved that character and played it a ton and found ways to make it work.”

    -made me chuckle. That was my first DII character absolutely, and I loved that character.
    Even though I didn’t like making poor choices with her, part of the satisfaction I got from playing an Amazon was finding ways to make the character work in spite of her imperfections. It was a fantastic day to finally clear Hell difficulty with her.
    If I could have taken that same character today and been able to completely respect her at will, I doubt I would have ever gotten the same level of enjoyment and satisfaction from her.
    For me at least, taking a bad roll of the dice, working through problems, finding ways to make things better, and taking the time to really invest in and care for something adds value.
    -That works in real life too. How about that? 🙂

  3. QUOTE

    The only thing character permanence offers is more grinding of worthless lower-level crap. It was why you got your new chars power-lvled in D2, and it's why I'm glad D3 doesn't force you to do normal nightmare hell again and again and again every time you want to change something.
    
    Two hours of having someone else run cows to get my javazon from 1 to 65 does not make me more attached to the character, sorry. Nor does clicking the same Str for gear/dex for block/vit stat combo on every character.

    I agree with Darkmere, entirely.

    That said, this is an interesting topic, because I’m still playing the wizard I created the day the D3 CD-ROM arrived in my mailbox. Of course I have changed skills with the patches, and just to experiment, and upgraded all gear on the way to p-lvl 100. But, it’s kind of my “anchor” character and I even saved her old 993 DPS staff which was her first “serious” weapon in 1.0. So, yes, there is something to persistence with the same character that has kept me enthused about the game. In D2, when I screwed up a skill point choice, I’d swear a lot, delete the character and create another with the same name.

    Would removing the respec improve things? No — definitely a better design in D3. In real life, you learn new skills as you go along, so the idea that your lvl 92 sorceress could only cast fireballs because that was what you chose for her 3 months earlier was one of the major flaws in D2.

  4. I like character permanence…. I leveled multiple D2 chars up to 65, none of which involved being rushed through cows (since I had a garbagy modem, and played offline). But I enjoyed having each character be unique, and playing on HC added to their value. I also agree that players don’t always want what they should have… I think that’s a problem that goes way beyond games though, and causes all sorts of much more serious issues in society at large.

    Anyways, as far as games, I think a middle road is nice. Having the option to fix a terrible choice is definitely with it’s benefits. In the context of games that have dynamic worlds due to constant (or semi-constant) updates, you have to deal with the game world’s mechanics and settings changing on you to. That stat or skill you picked in 2008 might have been a perfectly logical choice, but suddenly an update in 2012 makes it completely illogical. Or hey, maybe the skill is just borked and you didn’t know until after the fact (Hello D/A/E bug). So I think hard-earned ways to reset things, or limited ways to reset things, or the option to reset with significant game-world changes have their place.

    If I was stuck choosing between a character with no permanence and one with complete permanence though, I’d choose the one with permanence every time.

  5. I don’t need a psychologist to know that respec isn’t fun. It just undermines the sense of any achievement when bringing up your virtual alter ego.

  6. QUOTE

    I don't need a psychologist to know that respec isn't fun. It just undermines the sense of any achievement when bringing up your virtual alter ego.

    The experience/leveling systems do that for me. It was hard to get to level 95+ in D2, really hard to hit level 98, and I never did grind it out till 99. But I was proud of the 98 and didn’t it till I got bored of the game a couple of years ago.

    Locking in skills never helped me feel any achievement.

  7. There is a balance to strike here. Because not only do Infinite respect (d3/wow style) take away from any character identity. But also on the other side of the coin if we had no respecs as Darkmere mentioned above me then it opens up a range of issues as well. What if I mis spend 1 point? What if I make a mace spec barb in d2 but found a sweet axe?

    The balance that needs to be struck consists of a few things. First you need a good range of viable character builds. I’m sure if we put our heads together we can think of about 20 different sorc build variations. Second is the availability of a respec.

    I personally feel that diablo 2 has a good place in this balance. I get three free respecs that will correct for any gear acquisitions or build corrections. Beyond that I can quest for extras. So instead of re leveling a new character of the same class, i can play my current character for further progress, rewards, and my respec instead of starting something entirely new.

  8. I think that character permanence can be a good thing, but only if the game works for it. For a game like D2C/LoD, I hated the character permanence. I played the game for about 2-and-a-half years: in that time span, I worked up 4 different characters to Hell, got to Act 1 and found out that I couldn’t kill anything cause I screwed up my build, and had to quit. After 4 I was done, and I quit D2. So, for that scenario, I’d say that it really sucked that D2 was just permanence. I’d probably have played it longer if I could have respecced without wasting an extra few months leveling every time. I played offline after high school, so I couldn’t get someone to powerlevel me, and it took me a long time to level each character, so it sucked a lot to realize each char was a dud. I also feel that D2 Normal was really boring, so the first 3 weeks of re-leveling was always a huge drag.

    After D2 I switched to a mod called Median XL, which I feel basically fixed the problems with D2’s permanence system. Each class’s skill set was basically broken down into different obvious builds (usually 2 different skill trees per skill tab), so it was hard to place points badly. Also, there were many cool and challenging things to do at early levels, such as a low-level challenge for cool unique charms, so starting over never really felt like a drag. Also, I always tried new builds when I started over in Median XL; by comparison, every time I rerolled in D2 it was to fix some small problem that killed me, like having too many points in Energy, or not saving all my skill points from lvl 1 to lvl 18 so I could max out all of the good skills (which was another thing I absolutely hated about rerolling in D2, and was glad to see that it got the axe). As a result, I feel that build permanence was fine in Median XL, because there were a lot of different, viable builds, and most of them did not fail if you misplaced a few points (which was fairly difficult to do anyways).

    That said, I can honestly see the argument going on either way, especially depending on the game. I can also honestly say that while I did love my early, badly-rolled chars in D2, that I would have loved them a lot more if I could have changed a few things at Hell and gone on to keep playing instead of rerolling and being bored for a few weeks waiting to get to Nightmare. In terms of D3, I’ll admit that it is possible that build permanence would make the game better, but D2 left a really bad taste in my mouth, and I am happier with D3 the way it is. Also, I have put in about 400 hours into my Wizard, and changed skills multiple times. I find D3’s Normal, Nightmare and Hell to all be about as boring as D2 Normal, but they are a lot longer because it is 3 difficulties, rather than one. If I had needed to start a new Wizard before when I wanted to switch from Melee Cold Wizard to CM Wizard (and then from that to Archon), I would have just scrapped the class, and probably quit. As a result, while I can see the appeal of character permanence, I’m really happy that we have freespecs in D3.

  9. While I enjoyed Diablo 3 as a game pretty much and put much time into it, it’s certain that it has problems with its genre identity. Many people insist on calling it an ARPG, while there is clearly no RP in the G!

    Diablo was meant to be RPG (action and hack & slash) and devs don’t like that genre, for sure! If you have problems with character permament choices, then probably RPGs aren’t for you.

    WTF is wrong with game industry nowadays? RPG elements are becoming more and more popular in non-RPG games (see Call of Duty, Battlefields, Far Cry 3 and so on…) while Blizzard completely stripped off core RPG elements from Diablo.

    • The only reason why there “is no RP with the G” is the metagaming that takes place with the community. There can be no RP if people do not get immersed into the game (even if the game tries hard to.)

      • It’s not the metagaming RP (like some people do in WoW RP servers) im talking about.

        To clarify my thought:
        Role playing in classic paper RPGs is about interactions between your hero and world/other players, telling the origins of your character, adventure participation, fighting good/evil/staying neutral and finally: setting your hero’s characteristics like physique, mentality, personality, skills and developing them.

        ARPGs, due to some technical matters but mainly because of their focus on action, are often (always?) limited to “just” character building. Basically it’s playing with numbers and some maths like it is in paper RPGs.

        As Diablo 3 lacks of any of these features, it shouldn’t be called an ARPG. It’s “just” a hack & slash game.

  10. QUOTE

    The only thing character permanence offers is more grinding of worthless lower-level crap. It was why you got your new chars power-lvled in D2, and it's why I'm glad D3 doesn't force you to do normal nightmare hell again and again and again every time you want to change something.
    
    Two hours of having someone else run cows to get my javazon from 1 to 65 does not make me more attached to the character, sorry. Nor does clicking the same Str for gear/dex for block/vit stat combo on every character.

    For crying out loud… D3 sucks because there is no skill tree, no skill points, no ability to assign stat points, no ability to make any permanent choice whatsoever to create and build a character… and this is just the tip of the iceberg as to why D3 sucks.

    • I’m sorry, but the old skill trees were a disaster. Rushing, point hoarding, lots of irrelevant skills, one-point-wonders, etc. Stat points were also stupid, mainly b/c the stats themselves were as bad if not worse than D3’s (hello Energy!). D3’s biggest sin, a sin it shares w/ D2, is that the gear itself isn’t bound to the character in any way. Bind on Account is pretty good, but they should make more Bind on Character gear. Now, the character has something permanent and potentially unique (being randomized and all) that differs it from any other character, on the same account or otherwise. If they continue to shove “gear is the only reason your characters do anything!” narrative down everyone’s throat, then make that gear character, not account, defining. Looting or crafting your permanent character customization seems more fun to me than running/rushing a bot up to get a specific number of spreadsheet points to click.

      And bring back runes as items. Altering skills w/ drops was the coolest idea they had, and they destroyed it. The game never recovered.

      • i can agree with part about rune skill orbs, it was awesome idea!! lvl 1 could be unlocked like today and lvl2-x from drops, perfect solution:)

  11. Love respec. Try, tinker, lower MP but use funny skills… I think they could add a special color to your name which traces the time spent without respec (or without death…(

  12. I always hated the idea of respecs–especially unlimited, free, painless respecs–but I thought I was the only one.

    One of the huge things missing from D3 IMO is both having reasons to reroll a toon of the same class and the ability to have the journey be different each time. I want to try a frost wizard, from 1-60 (err 70), and see how it levels. I want to then try a lightning wizard, then a multi-element wizard, etc. With runes locked the way they are, you can’t do that.

    My biggest complaint is not that there are free respecs but that the game was designed around it. The skill path is so forced during levelup that people don’t want to do it twice. But imagine if it was fun? Everyone always talks about “endgame” without caring if the “game” before that is fun or not.

    Of course, I’m one of those crazy people that wishes there was no SC mode, only HC. I can only imagine if the game were designed around HC and not how to handle inevitable loot oversupply issues and run-away inflation in SC how much better it could be. But again, I know most people want (or, as the article suggests think they want) everything to be easy, simple, changeable, and recoverable.

  13. QUOTE

    For crying out loud... D3 sucks because there is no skill tree, no skill points, no ability to assign stat points, no ability to make any permanent choice whatsoever to create and build a character... and this is just the tip of the iceberg as to why D3 sucks.

    In my opinion, D3 doesn’t suck because there is no skill tree, no skill points, no tedious assigning of major boni that is going to be min-maxed anyway, no ability to make permanent choice, etc.

    ARPGs are simple games. Unless you literally enjoy doing the same thing over and over, it’s good for them to provide some kind of variety. Being able to change skills every play session does that. I honestly can’t imagine playing D3 if I couldn’t change my skills because then… what would there be to do in the game? Once you’ve done X content with Y build, what then? I guess you could re-roll, but that would be tedious because you’d spend weeks getting progressing until you get to X content, just to then do it relatively quickly and… have to reroll again?

    I mean, PoE has skill gems and I haven’t even bothered to boot up PoE in months because the idea of casting the same damn poison arrow/lightning arrow/frost arrow with no end in sight provokes a negative visceral reaction in me.

  14. Love respec. Try, tinker, lower MP but use funny skills… I think they could add a special color to your name which traces the time spent without respec (or without death…) or add a special mode together with hardcore. I really did not like in D2 when you made a wrong choice, or had to level with no mana because “str 4 gears and all in vita” and before finding decent stuff…

  15. Simply – free respecs allows you to try different things while leveling or at the end game. IT IS important for players who don’t have much time. And it helps you find out whats good for you.
    When you’re at school there is so much subjects that you can find out what suits you best. Thats how it works in real lofe. With D2 you had to spend hours to find out that one subject is not for you, so more hours to spend on another that do not siuts you again and so on.
    What if D3 allowed you to test builds and then you could fully commit to them, spending points on certain skills? (Real life allows you to put few points on each skill but maximize only few.) That would represent school and college type of thing.

  16. I like re-speccing. I never enjoyed the old RPG formats that required you to spend hours and hours doing homework finding the few optimal builds that worked. The article says “My first Amazon that had Energy, and it was fun finding ways to make it work” but it’s not. It’s not fun at all, and in fact in most cases it won’t work in any enjoyable level. You have to start over. You screwed up because you didn’t spend 2000 hours before playing the game and planning ahead and hoarding skill points and putting so many points into vit when you really want to add more to str. It’s not fun at all.

    This article says that it’s not good for long term investment, but it is. I’ve spent years thinking about this and this is main reason why I love Diablo 3 so much and keep playing it. I’ve put so many more hours into D3 than I ever have in D2, and I’ve been playing D2 since shortly before LoD came out. It’s because of it fixes a lot of the old problems that Jay Wilson talked about: being able to add stats and skills for “builds” doesn’t give you true customization, it’s only the illusion. The fact is, there’s only a few optimal builds that are viable, the rest are trash and you can’t make it work on any enjoyable level. It’s like this with MapleStory, Ragnarok Online, La Tale, Dragon Nest, Diablo 2… a ton of MMORPGs have done this and they’re worse from it.

    Currently, in D3, it does suffer from a few optimal builds as well. Such as WW Barb or Smash, CM Wizard or Archon, Zombie Bears Witch Doctor or Sac, ect. so it feels like the same problems as D2 (Forced to conform to a few optimal builds rather than having a ton of viable ones) but that will get fixed. I remember very specifically Jay Wilson saying that line, and I think it’s one of the greatest game design quotes ever spoken. I play Diablo 3 with self found legendaries/set pieces only, and I use the AH for rares. I do not actively participate in the game’s economy and “flip” the prices at all. I don’t buy items in the AH for the sole purpose of selling it later for a profit. I get all my gold from self finding it, and selling the very few rares in the AH that are worth selling. I only buy rares from the AH, so I still have plenty to look forward to in terms of BIS legendaries and set pieces. That’s how the game should be, IMO. They should keep the gold AH and just make legendaries/set pieces BOA.

    Whenever I feel like playing Barb, I play it. I play it with whatever build I feel like playing. Sometimes I feel like Smashing. Sometimes I feel like Bithright/Grim Harvest. Sometimes I feel like Whirlwind, or Seismic Slam. Sometimes I feel like Frenzy and Rend. Sometimes I feel like farming on my Wizard, with Disintegrate or Arcane Orb. Or sometimes I feel like doing a pure ice build, or a fire meteor build. Sometimes I feel like playing DH and using Rapid Fire and Multishot together with Justice is Served. Sometimes I feel like playing Monk with Seven Sided Strike and Scorpion Sting. There’s so many ways to play the game and being able to switch whenever you feel like it is why D3 is so much fun to me and why I keep playing it. There does need to be less “optimal” builds such as WotB WW Barb or CM Wizard, but there’s plenty of “viable” builds out there that people won’t touch because they simply want the most optimal. Another thing to add is that Monster Power is amazing and awesome, but it was also designed and “tacked on” to the game afterwards. The builds were never designed to have MP in mind, so it feels like there’s less “viable” builds at higher MPs. That makes it look like the game’s more at fault because of it’s re-speccing, but it’s not. It just needs more rebalancing around MP now that it exists.

    I think the biggest problem is that people buy BIS legendaries and set pieces so they no longer have anything to look forward to. All BIS pieces should be only obtainable through self-finding means. That doesn’t mean everything else should be self found only, or the AH should go and we be forced to spending 2000 hours doing homework to know the true value of each and every item when we’re spamming WTS or WTB, so we don’t get scammed. People are delusional if they want to go back to those days. People want more interaction between players, and I agree that a D2 style lobby would be AMAZING for D3, especially since you can see each others’ profiles and inspect their gear all in game. You could sit in a lobby that was organized by many categories, default by highest DPS or something. Could sort by class, or Paragon level, or whatnot. It would be a lot more fun like that, and I agree. But removing the AH and forcing “trade interaction” isn’t necessary at all. Anyone who’s played old MMORPGs certainly isn’t missing the days of “S>EVIL WINGS U OFFER@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@” and those are the days we’re about to return to.

    I also worry about how much more bots will control the economy now that AH and RMAH are gone. I agree RMAH made the game worse, but I think the consequences without one will be much more worse.

    On the bright side, Crusader looks fantastic and so do Loot Runs, Nephalem Trials and Adventure Mode. I’m excited about many of the class changes too, especially with moving life steal on Barb to Life per Fury spent. I worry how that will affect my Frenzy build however, but the Wizard changes look phenomenal to me (I love playing quad-elemental wizard, and that fire Arcane Orb sounds fantastic, so does the Molten Impact ult Meteor rune).

    So, no. I don’t believe that re-speccing reduces the feel of attachment to your characters. Honestly, I think FFXI did it best where there were no “builds” outside your gear and you only needed one character to experience every job, storyline, and everything else in the game. People DEFINITELY felt attached to their characters in that game, despite being able to change jobs/sub jobs whenever they felt like it, and their gear. I don’t think this psychologist has experienced many online RPGs and needs to consider that before writing on it.

    • I love this post. Thank you.

    • One point you made near the start comes up a lot, and I find it interesting. How many players (like Mithron) seem to put all value on “well built end game character.” So any play time is “wasted” if it’s not producing that?

      Some players value the journey and the experience, not just what you have at level 90. If the end result is all that matters, why not just buy a character from some Eastern European power leveling service? Or petition game devs to include “an instant max level button” for $5 in the item shop?

      • While I completely agree with valuing the journey, it’s not completely fair to reduce it to someone wanting an insta-level button.
        I personally really enjoy the experience of leveling a character… the first time. However when I do get to max level I want to do some more experimenting and don’t really want to put loads of more hours into a character just because I’ve made one or two wrong decisions.

      • I think in MMORPGs (Or if you prefer to call the Diablo franchise a “MOARPG”), most people prefer the end game journey. Diablo games are built with multiplayer in mind, and while soloing is fun too and I love making a new character in D2 sometimes just for that normal to hell experience again, most of the fun is in the end game for me because I feel like Diablo is a MOARPG and not a single player RPG. It’s like comparing Final Fantasy 7 to World of Warcraft. You don’t necessary play FF7 for its end game (even though it has a great one), you typically play it for the journey experience and the story. Likewise, most people don’t play WoW for the journey experience to max level, they play for the max level content and raids and PvP. Diablo and Diablo 2 did offer a great “Final Fantasy” experience, but they were primarily designed with multiplayer in mind, in my opinion.

        In Diablo 3, I most definitely would love an “instant max level” button for classes you’ve already leveled to 60. Not something to pay extra money for, but I don’t think many people enjoy grinding to 60 again when they play D3, even if they don’t already have a 60 on that class. D3’s “journey experience” was definitely lack luster compared to D1 and D2, and I agree that it should be looked into, but end game is a bigger deal to most of the players I believe. Especially to me.

        In short, I believe single player RPGs such as Final Fantasy are about the “journey experience.” I believe MMORPGs, or really just about any online RPG, are about the end game content. I always have felt like the Diablo franchise are MOARPGs, thus have a greater focus on the end game content rather than the “journey experience.”

        In either case, re-speccing is the way to go. No one really wants to spend 2000 hours doing homework finding the optimal builds or “be worthless later” before they can start playing the game. No one likes to be punished for those things. If you do, you’re delusional. You like customization and variety, but the commitment required for that isn’t necessary. You can definitely “make stuff work” in D3 just like D2. Go make Ballistics builds with DHs, and Arcane Torrent Wizards, and ranged Barbarians. You just have to approach and look at it differently in D3 than you did in D2, and I think understanding that is what’s making people blind to how good D3 is with its re-specs.

        • D3 isn’t an MMO though. It’s not massive numbers in a game and it’s not a persistent world.

          • But it is an MMO. An MMO isn’t about massive concurrent users at the same place at the same time in a persistent world. An MMO can be any online game that has a massive amount of players with a mulitplayer setting. MOBAs are MMOs, online fighting games are MMOS, Dragon Nest is an MMO. You interact and play with other players the exact same way you do in “massive concurrent persistent world” MMOs, just on a smaller (and better) scale. Diablo 2 is an MMO, too.

            But if you prefer, you can call it a MOARPG. Multiplayer Online Action Role Playing Game. Still means all the same aspects of an MMO applies to it, though. Diablo franchise is not a single player experience like Final Fantasy, and therefore can’t be judged, designed, and balanced around it.

      • Or just have Tokens of Abosolution drop occasionally in the game, at the same pace as rare (1.08) or legendary (2.0) items. I giggled like a little kid when Marvel Heroes first dropped a Retcon Device for me, and I used it immediately, just because… and immediately wished that D3 had handled respec the same way. Making respec something you have to work for, and wait for, makes it reasonably available without being game-breakingly omnipresent.

        • It isn’t necessary, because of Nephalem Valor stacks. Neph stacks work perfectly as they’re intended: rewards you for sticking to a well balanced or focused build, but doesn’t innately punish you for changing it. There is no need to change that and it’s perfect the way it is. 5 stacks and 3 packs later I realize this Leap Ignore Pain build isn’t as fun as I thought it would be, definitely don’t want to be stuck with it until I find a Token of Absolution or feel like I’m limited in “what I feel like playing” based on how many I have saved.

          “I feel like playing with Threatening Shout and Ancient Spear today. Well, crap. I only have one Token left and what if I don’t like it near as much? Now I have to farm for them just to change my build so I can go back to farming in a way I find more fun.” <- That's stupid and I don't think it would make anyone happy. You're not looking for something to make respeccing something you have to work and wait for. You're looking for something to set you apart from other players. You can have that with the current respec system, but the optimal builds need to be nerfed for you to see that.

          • I’ve got to disagree with the NV point. NV stacks are easy enough to build that the “loss” of them doesn’t discourage me from much of anything, really. They could almost take NV out of the game.

            As for wanting to change your skill set daily… Even if there were enough players that actually did that, which I’m not sure there are, should the entire game really cater to that narrow interest of a minority of players, rather than making the game more engaging for the majority?

            And there are other ways to make limited respec available in-game, if players don’t want to go to the trouble of finding 2 Tokens before resetting their builds. Why not have those random merchants in the wilderness sell them? Or have an NPC that sells respec services? That way, respec is still reasonably available, but not limitless, and not free of cost or consequence — the player’s choices still have meaning.

  17. if someone can’t make it through an open skill system being overwhelmed by it and going crazy.. that’s fine, psychoterapists exists to lend aid.. i’m happy for being able to choose which skill i want and change it when i desire. hopefully, they abandoned that diablo2 retard skill system. i was really hoping for that.

  18. You couldn’t pay me to play a game where there is character permanence. That’s punishing the player. If you want character permanence go ahead and do it yourself. What’s next, going back to dialing rotary phones?

    Personally, about the only mod I ever downloaded in d1/d2 allowed you to reassign points. It’s one of the things d3 did better.

  19. Whether or not you like respecs – does anyone outside of HC feel any sort of attachment to their D3 chars? I surely don’t and I doubt many others do. But I can still remember my very first D2 char, a super fun lightning Sorc, and I remember her very fondly. There’s no question that the permanence created a sense of attachment. Whether or not that attachment is worth the tradeoff of being able to try whatever whenever is up for debate but I do think permanence is part of what makes it easier to *care* about D2 in a way I doubt I will ever care about D3.

    • You mean all of those characters I had to throw away due to bad stats/trees, or all of the characters Blizzard flushed down the toilet b/c of expiration/ladder resets? Yeah. I was very attached to those.

  20. Well yes if blizzard never nerf anything….! Once you get a great build skill and they nerf it. Its not fun….

  21. I enjoyed the permanence of D2 and leveling new and different specs. It increased the lifetime of the game for me by a great deal. While I wish D3 had such a thing, the system doesn’t really provide the opportunity for it. The limited amount of skills you can use at one time, combined with no way to boost or tweak them (like with D2 skill points and synergies), means you could end up picking a really bad choice. I realized quickly at how many dud skills there were early on, that I’m glad I was able to swap to something better without having to completely reroll.

  22. “Does Character Permanence Increase Enjoyment/Attachment?”

    that’s a clown question bro

  23. I’ve essentially been saying the same thing for years.

    Basically, if you give players full control over the game, the overwhelmingly majority will give themselves godmode right out of the box, destroy the toughest monster. The unintended consequence of that is they get bored of the game 5 minutes later and throw it in the trash.

    Gamers will always ask for more power and they don’t think far enough ahead to see why it ruins the game.

  24. it creates a bad attachments due to the fear of losing it. that is nor good neither fun. d2 system is redundant and boring.

    Fizoo is right, a good developer listens to the player base.. but chooses for the best of the game. when a game’s been put in the hands of player.. that’s the end.

  25. Why didn’t any of you guys just clear the Den of Evil in normal act 1 to reset your skill points instead of deleting the char and starting over?

  26. as if it is the same; plus that is just one of the issues of diablo2.. but that’s another story..

  27. I think the article is only partially right. If one is not prepared to make use of the convenience of highly mutable characters, then extending the play experience by restricting that mutability makes sense.

  28. As one of those minorities arguing against free-specs before release, I still think the lack of character identity is a problem.
    But it is continously a shame to see how this is always presented as false either-or dichotomy. Free spec vs Diablo 2s no respecs at all.
    There is a hell of a lot room for maneuver in between.

  29. What’s silly is that people think that this has to be an “all or nothing” approach. Why not have “infinite” respecs, but you need to find a certain item to do it? Or a certain quest to gain 1 respec? Or a one time use “scroll of respec” that you need to find again? Or only when you are wearing a certain item, and your abilities/skills revert back when you remove it?

    I think D3’s approach was silly, while I also think that D2’s was too harsh. I do think that people get too hung up on “optimal” builds however rather than just go with sub-optimal but more fun/still work. I also think that when you “invest” in anything, be it your house, your job, your schooling or even a digital avatar on-screen, you are much more tied to it, than if someone simply “gave you” that item. Thus if you have respecs, you should have to earn them in some way, but there also needs to be a way to customize your character far more than currently exists in D3.

  30. Having jumped back and forth from the two extremes, I find freespecs infinitely more satisfying to actually play with. What I don’t find satisfying is the shallowness of the D3’s specialization options.

  31. Obviously there are ways around the extreme presented in D3 right now with free respecs. If their legendary’s are what we all hope they’ll be they can essentially lock us into using specific skills to a point where you wouldn’t want to use a different skill because the items you’re wearing support your skill set up so much that you would be at a disadvantage and would have to completely “respec through items” to want to respect through skills.

  32. You have a serious lack of personality if the inability to click on meaningless buttons every time you level makes it hard for you to connect to your character.

  33. There is a middle ground and it’s called ‘pay a set, nontrivial price for a respec’.

    That way there is an emotional attachment / sense of permanence to a character as well as the option to right a few wrongs or explore new options while paying a price, which happens to also encourage learning about the game (because you don’t really like to pay the price because you made mistakes), becoming more invested and enjoying it a lot more in the process.

    Pretty simple.

  34. “3) Having too much ability to keep changing your mind leads to long term dissatisfaction. ”

    I can subscribe to this 100%. I experience this alot in D3. Respec has its advantages, but its not worth the tradeoff by far, especially in the ARPG genre bc you eliminate a whole layer of replayability.

    With the introduction of ladders/seasons I would love to see an overhaul of the character ability development come after that.

    It would also go well with paragon 2.0 to give us more reasons to roll a new character, bc making a new character is always fun ( at least for me )

  35. @ Lord Jaroh

    No man’s land pisses off both sides.

  36. That assumes there are sides to begin with.

  37. I think permanence largely has to do with how you want to play the game and if you view the game as single player or multiplayer.

    Of course this is my opinion so feel free to disagree. But to me the diablo series has always been a selffound single player experience first and formost. As such i have a much higher connection to my old diablo 2 characters then i ever will to my diablo 3 characters. Heck i remade a single character theme 15 times in diablo 2 to perfect it.

    That is i leveled it solo from 1-95 using players/8 and as such i still know what it had on and roughly what its stats where.

    While diablo 2 and its stats system was deeply flawed the stat system is even more flawed in diablo 3. In diablo 3 the character you play is nothing but a mannequin where you put the gear that make the whole character. This was largly the case in diablo 2 but diablo 3 took it even further into MMO land and its inflation of numbers.

    I get that most people seems to like BIGGER numbers but to me its an annoyance.

    While the expansion wont fix that it does seems it have some interesting changes on its way then again much can change until its released.

  38. Diablo 2 had a good respec system. It really didn’t encourage switching specs(because it was such a tedious thing), but rather just correcting mistakes.

  39. I have to completely agree with everything said about the benefits of character permanence. Recreating the same class and playing through the game all over again was always the most exciting part of D2 for me. My guess is that Blizzard just doesn’t want us creating multiple versions of the same class, because we’d need a higher maximum number of characters, leading to more server space/cost for Blizzard. I’d like to see 2 separate options of the game – one with free respecs and one where everything is permanent. (of course this would require bringing skill points back…) They do it for hardcore/softcore mode, so why not? That might show which option is truly more popular…

  40. What if they tied difficulty level to respecs? Hard mode means no respecs, Easy mode is unlimited respecs? It would be nice if increasing difficulties actually added challenge to the game rather than just inflated hitpoints and damage.

  41. QUOTE]There can be no RP if people do not get immersed into the game[/QUOTE]
    Yeah. It doesn’t help that they decided to let me make 5 different monks, and have them all be called the same in game too. Which, I suppose, goes to the original point of why would I need 5 different monks anyways (or even two). But the whole immersion thing in this game was flawed from multiple angles. I feel the constant respec ability is one problem, but it certainly isn’t the only. It’s possibly not the greatest either.

    [QUOTE]Some players value the journey and the experience, not just what you have at level 90. If the end result is all that matters, why not just buy a character from some Eastern European power leveling service? Or petition game devs to include “an instant max level button” for $5 in the item shop?[COLOR

    There can be no RP if people do not get immersed into the game
    Yeah. It doesn't help that they decided to let me make 5 different monks, and have them all be called the same in game too. Which, I suppose, goes to the original point of why would I need 5 different monks anyways (or even two). But the whole immersion thing in this game was flawed from multiple angles. I feel the constant respec ability is one problem, but it certainly isn't the only. It's possibly not the greatest either.
    
    
    Some players value the journey and the experience, not just what you have at level 90. If the end result is all that matters, why not just buy a character from some Eastern European power leveling service? Or petition game devs to include "an instant max level button" for $5 in the item shop?
    
    
    
    
    That's actually something I think about. Not so much (just) in D3, but in more and more modern online games. Especially MMO/ARPG types, though. This is clearly a generalization, but in several of these games there's a very apparent trend towards an increasingly easy leveling process that basically trivializses everything up to "end game", whatever the current "end game" may be that month (or year, depending on the game). I find this process really annoying for multiple reasons.
    
    First and foremost, if it's being done to a game I played where the journey upwards used to be meaningful, I'm somewhat embittered at having that taken away. 
    
    Secondly though, if the developers really feel confident that players just want to bypass all the initial stuff, the question Flux posed is legit. Why /do/ they still insist on including all of that stuff, albeit in a fashion you can just zoom through as little more than a chore? Why not start people at the level cap, if everyone (or enough people to /effectively/ be everyone) is going to simply ignore the rest of the game's content? Honestly, the only thing that bothers me more than having content I used to enjoy trivialized, is having it trivialized and simultaneously needlessly left in place as a reminder of all the stuff that used to be fun (to me, at least) but, suddenly, apparently isn't worth the light of day. 
    
    What value is there to a vestigial "pre-game" anyways? If stuff like the RMAH is any indicator, it was certainly used. That's not exactly a "I start at max level" button, but it's reasonably close. In other games, it's quite clear that 3rd party sites manage to sell stuff to people who don't want to put in the effort as well. I have no clue what percentage of players in a typical online game avail themselves of such services, but I'm pretty sure it's not an insignificant group.
  42. Limited respec, that costs something, is fine. Limitless respec, for free, is absolutely harming D3. I have absolutely no emotional attachment to my monk, or any of her AH-bought gear; the only reason I’m keeping her is for the Paragon XP that I don’t want to lose with 2.0 coming, and I do partly blame the freespec system for that.

    The other head of this monster is that they’ve eliminated choice everywhere else that they could in the game, too. The Primary Stat mechanic is an even bigger problem than freespec, IMO.

  43. Good link, and the video it links to is also pretty interesting:
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/LTO_dZUvbJA

  44. Nephalem Valor stacks aren’t exactly long-term enough to discourage you from using one build for killing Ubers and another for farming for example. Would hardly say that it rewards you for sticking to well balanced builds.

  45. What I like about this “free respecing” as far as what it did for the developers is that it gave them a good idea of which skills/runes are used the most by which they are powerful and which aren’t by which those are too weak or useless and a good idea as to why as far as which ones to buff and nerf. This helped balance some skills out quickly (even though there are still a lot of useless skills/runes) where as if it wasn’t free respec this process may have taken longer. We know skills like Hydra suck (at least in comparison to others), we know leap attack and ground stomp are not very useful and their runes suck too, and also Earthquake and CotA for barbs haven’t compared to WotB.
    I think that having items that drop to collect in order to respec is a good middle ground way of going about it where the other extreme is to completely re level a character. Although, like I said before “Re-itemizing legendary’s in order to re-spec” is my motto; I think making enough good legendary’s that benefit specific skills/set ups will encourage players to use those skills and stick with them until they find other legendary’s to support other skills to switch to where rares can be a nice neutral ground.

  46. I enjoy making different characters and being “stuck” with them.

    One game from the makers of Titan’s Quest: Immortal Throne called Grim Dawn so far has done an excellent job when it comes to creating a build.

    1: Dual Class System. At the start everyone is the same: classless. Once you level up you choose between a number of different classes (Alpha so far has 3 – Full game will have 5 and the devs have hopes for up to 12 in the future) and select 1 class. The skill system compromises of leveling both the class and the skills available. Leveling up the class gives passive stats and the more points you put into the class the more skills that are unlocked, otherwise you can max any of the skills that you unlock.

    2: Skill Upgrades. Some skills have upgrades to them that add to the effect of the skill. One skill would initially do DoT and Stun while the connected skill would add more initial damage, give a % bonus damage to the DoT and increase it’s stun length.

    3: Itemization works with the skill system. I have found plenty of items that make me stop and think about trying out a new build based off this one item or multiple items that I’ve found and kept. Diablo 3 rarely did this for me at all.

    4: Respect System that works. In order to respec you need to pay increasing increments of iron (the currency) to an NPC so it gets more expensive as you go. If you want a full respec you could simply cheap and probably use a mod to change your skills (yes this will be both online/offline but there are cheaters in both online/offline, play with honest people or cheat it’s an option in both worlds).

    So yea… D3 it’s pointless to make a new character when you have infinite respecs. RoS is going to try and bandaid part of that issue but we’ll have to see whether it will be the right thing or not.

  47. The shrink doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he doesn’t take account for the feel of specialisation. No one likes to change just for the sake of changeing if what they have is the best possible spec for a given situation, only if the situaion changes like going from PvE to PvP one will have the desire to change spec, therefore multispec imo was very successful in various MMO.

  48. With the caveat that my brain is a strange place (see handle) — I do in fact have two SC Demon Hunters with wildly variant builds and slightly different gear. One is built for co-op play with my husband’s Wizard, the other is pure single player solo. (No follower and no pet, built around the Custom Engineering passive.) Both are at level 60. For a while, the solo tinker could actually operate comfortably at a higher MP than my co-op character.

    That being said, I’ve liked being able to respec my characters as needed. Since the ONLY co-op play I do is with my sweetie, and we don’t use the AH, I’ve got to rely on what we find, so I have to be able to flex my builds to fit the gear I’ve got. If I had to build a new character each time I found something didn’t work, I would have dropped the game out of frustration instead of putting 700+ hours into it with 6 characters at low paragon.

  49. QUOTE

    ...In either case, re-speccing is the way to go. No one really wants to spend 2000 hours doing homework finding the optimal builds or "be worthless later" before they can start playing the game. No one likes to be punished for those things. If you do, you're delusional. You like customization and variety, but the commitment required for that isn't necessary. You can definitely "make stuff work" in D3 just like D2. Go make Ballistics builds with DHs, and Arcane Torrent Wizards, and ranged Barbarians. You just have to approach and look at it differently in D3 than you did in D2, and I think understanding that is what's making people blind to how good D3 is with its re-specs.

    What he said. I’ve switched up skills on my wizard occasionally and it changes the entire gameplay style. Wouldn’t have bothered if I had to go through normal again whacking carvers with a stick for hours on end.

  50. D2 system was terrible, please never again. I want to try it all, but if you did that in d2, you ended up with a turd – aka my first necro. I just about gave up at that point, where I realized my character would never be goood at level 45. D1, I customized stats which worked fine in single player. At end game, lvl 35, all stats were maxed. Yet I still felt attached.

    People want customization and options and choice. You can become attached to the GAME instead of your character. The game should be compelling because it is fun, not because you feel some psychological bond with your avatar, forged through suffering and regret or what could have been.

  51. There is only one thing that Character Permanence creates and that is a quest to find the one perfect way to do (build) the character. That is a very Game Design specific choice the developers have to commit to. They’re saying that ‘This is what the game will largely be about’. The itemisation comes second place.

    I enjoyed this quest in D2, however it certainly did not create any attachment for me to my characters. Its like picking up the scent or when you suddenly ‘Get It’. Its a great feeling, like learning to enjoy treasure hunt in D2 – suddenly the game took on a whole new dimension. Which is something I’m still struggling with D3, what scent does the game have? what haven’t I got? I have ‘got’ the fact that its more about the fight but there’s still something else.

    D2 had a lot of flaws, the skill tree was far from perfect but it was a far cry from D1 which is something I don’t think D3 can claim to have achieved. Skill Points were fantastic in D2 because all we had to look back at was D1 – books anyone?

  52. QUOTE

    But it is an MMO. 

    An MMO isn’t about massive concurrent users at the same place at the same time in a persistent world. An MMO can be any online game that has a massive amount of players with a mulitplayer setting. MOBAs are MMOs, online fighting games are MMOS, Dragon Nest is an MMO. You interact and play with other players the exact same way you do in “massive concurrent persistent world” MMOs, just on a smaller (and better) scale. Diablo 2 is an MMO, too.

    But if you prefer, you can call it a MOARPG. Multiplayer Online Action Role Playing Game. Still means all the same aspects of an MMO applies to it, though. Diablo franchise is not a single player experience like Final Fantasy, and therefore can’t be judged, designed, and balanced around it.

    The bolded part is basically the definition of “MMO” so I would have to disagree there.

  53. He, yeah, MOBAs (at least the ones that exist today) are not MMOs.
    You cant have an MMO on a small scale. It is an a oxymoron.

    Diablo is an online game for sure (at least on pc). And it offers multiplayer. But that is about it.

  54. Well, I’d never play Ladder or HC because If I put hundreds or even thousands of hours into something, I don’t want to lose it.
    Recently I had to re-install Windows and forgot to backup my Cookie Clicker save.
    Well, **** that game now. I’m not going to start over again.

  55. 1. D3 has more important problems than this.
    2. There are several choices, as already pointed by others, to take a middle-route. Blizzard seriously F*ed up, choosing such an extreme option, to change skill with no cost, every second you want. It is so obvious that the game needs a “no man’s land” choice.
    3. It is not a matter of free-specs. The problem lies in several layers. To put it shortly, the skin-deep customization and differentiation of the characters.
    4. A game developer has to understand that there is variety on what each gamer wants and expects from the game. Others want free specs, others don’t. It depends on the way each one plays the game.
    An example. Mythrion said:
    ” The fact is, there’s only a few optimal builds that are viable, the rest are trash and you can’t make it work on any enjoyable level. ”
    Who defines when a build is trash? How an enjoyable build is defined? For me, the very best of all paladin builds, in D2, is probably one of the most “trash”, the Chargadin. There hides all the fun for me with this class. You simply cannot always say which build is trash. The game NEEDS a lot of viable builds. That is all.
    Another example is that others, like me, find really fun to create a new character, even of the same class, while others find it simply boring.
    5. It is very strange to me, that everyone talks about hundreds of wasted hours on bad/ruined builds due to bad skill choices, in D2. As said, I am not hoping to get back the permanence of D2. Even D2 changed that. But I cannot understand all you guys, who say that. I was mostly a single player in D2. When I wanted a new character, I simply went on a site with build guides, and read about what I wanted to make. The internet was full of such places. It was not difficult, nor it needed hours of reading. You chose a build, read the basic stuff you had to raise to achieve it, and that is all. Occasionally you could come back to the guide, to see a small detail here and there, but that was all. Now this should not be the optimal way to play the game. But that is just another bad design of D3.
    6. Simply put, removing everything, is not a choice. It is a lack of one. I ‘m sorry Jay, but you screwed up so badly on this point. D3 character is “nothing but a mannequin where you put the gear that make the whole character”. There is a fecking middle ground. Just find a way to make it work, don’t remove everything, in an already over-simplified character system.

  56. “As said, I am not willing to get back the permanence of D2”
    (hoping is a wrong word choice)

  57. 5. It is very strange to me, that everyone talks about hundreds of wasted hours on bad/ruined builds due to bad skill choices, in D2. As said, I am not hoping to get back the permanence of D2. Even D2 changed that. But I cannot understand all you guys, who say that. I was mostly a single player in D2. When I wanted a new character, I simply went on a site with build guides, and read about what I wanted to make. The internet was full of such places. It was not difficult, nor it needed hours of reading. You chose a build, read the basic stuff you had to raise to achieve it, and that is all. Occasionally you could come back to the guide, to see a small detail here and there, but that was all. Now this should not be the optimal way to play the game. But that is just another bad design of D3.

    Remember, not everyone had a build guide when they made their characters. In fact, every build guide that gets vetted represents hundreds if not thousands of hours across multiple players and possibly some dating mining to boot. Remember also that the not just the numbers, but the mechanics and bugs of skills influence builds (for example, why Fendazons dropped Dodge) as well as the fact that patches changed the level of success of some builds.

    Saying “get a build guide” is simply claiming that there was no pot-hole after it was paved over. Players should be freer to experiment and change their minds than what was possible in the majority of D2’s life, and one shouldn’t have to burn two or three characters or take to the internet for build guides that may not exist to figure out whether a build works in practice.

    • I was not talking about how it should be. But it is a bit too much what I read here. Having to go online to read about a good build, is not a good choice of game design. That is why I said “that is just another bad design of D3”. Blizzard should see the problem, and find a way to limit or extinguish it. Bringing the builds to the current state, is not the solution.
      Anyway, it’s an all-around problem to me, and we can not solve it simply changing permanence, or adding free specs limitations. Skills affect items and items affect skills, skills affect gameplay, etc. We should look at the character mechanics on the whole, and how the rest of the game is implemented, to have a realistic pov. Nitpicking doesn’t help here.

  58. Anyway, it’s an all-around problem to me, and we can not solve it simply changing permanence, or adding free specs limitations. Skills affect items and items affect skills, skills affect gameplay, etc. We should look at the character mechanics on the whole, and how the rest of the game is implemented, to have a realistic pov.

    I agree. I guess I misunderstood your point.

    I’m not sure why Wyatt Cheng and Co. aren’t doing more to both promote that viewpoint, and speak to these systems as a whole in their talks, interviews, and blogs.

  59. I have and also will continue to disagree that having to go online to find things out about a game you’re playing is bad or some sort of poor design. It shouldn’t be necessary if and only if the game is straight forward like most FPS’s. Diablo 2 had depth and a lot of hidden figures under the hood, it stands to reason that the better players will do their research and come up with ways to play the game the designers hadn’t forseen. That is not poor design!

  60. I have and also will continue to disagree that having to go online to find things out about a game you’re playing is bad or some sort of poor design. It shouldn’t be necessary if and only if the game is straight forward like most FPS’s. Diablo 2 had depth and a lot of hidden figures under the hood, it stands to reason that the better players will do their research and come up with ways to play the game the designers hadn’t forseen. That is not poor design!

    It’s not simply the fact that players went online to find things out about a game. That’s just a player educating themselves about the game. I agree that there’s nothing wrong with that.

    It’s not simply the fact that players needed to go online to find out certain things about a game. Certain things about the game are intentionally obscured or esoteric, or not necessarily worth explaining to every player. I don’t think the decision to decline to expose the damage or resistance formulas is bad design, for example.

    The problem is what the players needed to go online to find. They needed to go online to find that Fireball, Blaze, Glacial Spike, Holy Bolt, Inferno et al were intentionally created not be sub-optimal at the highest difficulty levels. They needed to go online to find out what FCR did, and that what was displayed wasn’t quite what was happening. They needed to go online to find that Dodge/Evading while Fending guaranteed the rest of your Fend attacks missed. They needed to go online to find out that Conviction didn’t lower magic or poison resistance. They needed to go online to find out that there’s no real reason to put points into energy, and it served even melee characters well to ration how much strength they used their level up points on. All of the above are bad design on some level.

  61. QUOTE

    All of the above are bad design on some level.

    sure, but every game has bad design on some level. generally, putting points into luck in demon souls is a bad idea. the same goes for resistance, choosing the pendant etc in dark souls. nonetheless, they’re still both extraordinary games despite their flaws. IMO, a few bad design choices does not necessarily ruin a game if the game is good overall. also, many games have been given longer shelf life or reached greater heights because they were played in a way designers never intended or envisioned because players explored game mechanics or systems that designers never explained. of course, this doesn’t apply to d3. lulz.

  62. QUOTE

    sure, but every game has bad design on some level. generally, putting points into luck in demon souls is a bad idea. the same goes for resistance, choosing the pendant etc in dark souls. nonetheless, they're still both extraordinary games despite their flaws. IMO, a few bad design choices does not necessarily ruin a game if the game is good overall. also, many games have been given longer shelf life or reached greater heights because they were played in a way designers never intended or envisioned because players explored game mechanics or systems that designers never explained. of course, this doesn't apply to d3. lulz.

    I don’t understand your point. Those were poor design choices but also indicative of overall poor design in those facets. That it still remained fun despite it all is completely irrelevant when discussing with someone whether or not something was poor design and whether it should be done differently should the opportunity arise.

  63. Game Design has always been the realm of opinion for as long as I’ve enjoyed the discussions and debates on it. I found I could play and enjoy D2+xpak without going online and doing more research on it. I found it fun and exciting when I learned breakpoints and came to understand their existence in the first place. Breakpoints were essential, its just that they didn’t explain that to the player and opted for a % based explanation instead. I wouldn’t say that was intentional though since the percentages mathematically where being added it’s just that nothing happened until a certain % was reached. It was a complex game that wasn’t designed by one person, everyone got a say and got the option to add to it which is why it ended up so rich in math and details.

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