This thread started a few days ago, with a fan complaining about the design concept of the DiabloWikiPlague of Toads skill. Bashiok replied very brusquely, “Don’t put points into it.” and left it at that for a few days. I made a post about it here, since I really enjoyed using Plague of Toards at Blizzcon last year and thought it deserved some defense. Now Bashiok has returned to the thread and added numerous additional comments. Here’s his first addition; click through to see the whole lengthy discussion.

    wow that’s like saying don’t buy the game?

    Bashiok: If you’re basing the entirety of your purchasing decision on if Plague of Toads remains in the game or not, then sure, otherwise that’s a giant leap of logic.

    I’m saying if you don’t think it’s cool enough there are tons of other skills to spend points on. I happen to personally think it’s a cool ability. It works really well, the sounds and visual of a plague of toads hopping around and exploding in poisonous goo is entertaining to me. It fits the style and feel of the witch doctor class, and it’s a fun and useful skill. I like it.

    If you don’t think it’s a good ability, you don’t have to use it. The great thing about Diablo III is there are lots of options for building a character. If you don’t like an ability for whatever reason, it doesn’t work with the build you’re going for, it seems weak, or you just don’t like the way it looks, don’t get it. There are plenty of skills to spend your points in. The witch doctor trees have only been shown in a very limited amount, so I know that’s kind of hard to put into focus, but he has tons of awesome (AWESOME) skills. Pick the ones that appeal to you. Customize your character as you see fit.

    Saying it’s not cool enough is completely subjective, and based on limited knowledge. So I disagree with you, I think it is awesome, and it should be a skill. There’s no consensus here. So where does that leave us?

    We could argue back and forth how appealing something is to each individual person. Or! We could agree that not every skill will appeal to every player, and through diversity and choice we welcome a wide range of players to choose how they wish to play.

    [edit] It’s worth mentioning that I wasn’t implying that we would purposefully have weak or underpowered abilities in the game (“it seems weak”), I was only referring to personal perception of each skill.

    The debate continued in additional posts.

    Only if Bash would have responded normally and not patronizing, maybe he could have skipped the overly long posts for nothing.

    Bashiok: Well that wouldn’t have been very much fun! Sometimes I make the mistake of attempting to inject simple logic into a thread and hope that it will spread like an antibiotic of enlightenment and introspective thought. I’ve yet to see it work. And I have to say watching the healing words stopped at every sentence by hyperbole and assumption is far more entertaining than killing the bacteria outright with a lengthy explanation.

    One day my hope is that these small attacks will eventually build up an immunity within the majority of posters to illogical statements and trolling.

    If collectively it could have been recognized that the original post wasn’t worth a second thought in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to post at all, and what a world that would be.

    My intent was not to troll, if it came across that way I am sorry. I don’t want this thread to discourage people from voicing their complaints or opinions, next time I’ll bring up topics in a more serious and reasonable manner as to not bring on the accusations of trolling.

    Bashiok: Ah, sorry, I was sort of being a jerk and jumping to conclusions about the OP without actually paying attention. It wasn’t even specifically directed at you really, I was really commenting about so much of what happens on these forums.

    I certainly appreciate any attempts at improving posting style/intent. It was just written in a overly simplified and negative way, in my opinion. My personal advice for improving any post is ask more questions, break things down to their base components, and try to view something from all possible angles.

    “Why do toads fit the feeling of the witch doctor?
    Why not use another animal?
    I don’t like toads because x, y, and z (and use actual information, not “because they’re lame” or “they suck”)
    I understand that they might make sense because…”

    One of the reasons I like what I do is helping people to understand the game, the development process, and design philosophies. Watching people evolve over time until they can pretty much reply in a thread as well as I could is rewarding. If I ever reply and say someone already said everything there is to be said, I’m smiling ear to ear because that’s someone that gets it. And they’re turning around and helping others get it. Probably not great for job security, but it’s like a virus of knowledge, and I enjoy helping spread it.

    Ok that sounds creepy and potentially illegal but you know what I mean.

    I heard skills can only reach a maximum of 5… So we are forced to use many skills meaning putting points in frog you will have no choice since all other skills be maxed.

    Bashiok: I heard you’re wrong. ; )

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