Blue Defends Attribute Changes

Bashiok continued his struggle to defend all the big game feature changes, taking on the changes to attributes in a series of posts in two threads. The debate starts off with a fan complaining about the latest simplification to character stats. In his view, all Barbs will now just want Str, all Monks will only want Dex, etc. To the quote:

Core attributes are important. They’re your core attributes! But they have never been and continue not to be the primary driving force behind your itemization choices. At all times you’re going to need to keep doing and avoiding more damage. Enemies get tougher, they hit harder, and take more hits. No matter who you are you have to counter those inevitable truths. No character would ever say “I can ignore defensive stats because I am a glass cannon!” no, you get to Inferno and you’ll die. You can be a glass cannon, but it’s going to be a balance between offense and defense, not an all-in decision. There is an inevitable requirement to have a variety of the core stats, offensive and defensive. It’s the balance that’s important.

Ok, so, core stats are super great, but they’re still just four of all the bonuses that items can roll and provide your character. Four. And for most builds they’re never going to be where you’re focusing your attention. The other things that can roll up (which still include +armor, +dodge, +health globe, +crit chance, +crit damage, by the way) have always been the more important decision. It’s your choice between doing more damage or being more defensive, but that’s a forgone conclusion. That’s not where true build diversity ever comes from, it’s too broad a plateau.

Click through for the remainder of the lengthy conversation.

Are you taking Attack (before) or your classes’ core damage stat (now)? Are you taking Armor (now) or Defense (before)? Are you taking Precision (before) or +crit (now)? These are the same things.

For example, a Barbarian gets both “resist-all” armor and Attack-like damage from “Strength”, so why would he ever choose Dexterity’s dodge over that?
Barbarian’s will always want Strength now just like they always wanted Attack before. Armor is a damage reduction. Dodge completely negates damage. They’re extremely different in practice and your survivability, and at high difficulty play barbarians will absolutely want +dodge. And they don’t have to take Dexterity to get it.

Also, would he truly ever choose to go after a stat that increases health globe benefits, over strength?
Up to that player and their build. Would he ever want crit over flat damage increases? Would he take an increase to the damage of cleave over a crit damage increase? These are the choices you’ll have to make and what makes building characters fun.

Now, obviously the class stats are the top priority, but each stat has equal value, simply because it can be used by somebody. This also leaves more potential for extremely valuable items that could combine class specific affixes with the given class core stat (+int and arcane power generation, for example). A lot of this really depends on just how many and what type of other affixes they are adding, but it has much more potential than the previous system IMO.
What this guy said.

It’s also about item comparison, and that’s simply not an issue in the beta. You’re not getting enough drops or enough tough decisions to make item comparisons a problem for you.

What was happening for us at high levels is that the stats we had required you to think about the item for at least a couple seconds just to realize it’s not a good item for your character. By having a single damage stat now you’re focusing on, it reduces the number of failed comparisons that quickly add up at later levels. The tough decisions are still really tough and you’ll be comparing items for a long time to try to figure out which one is better, but all of the less meaningful drops take less time to realize that the item is not for you and quickly move on. Again that’s something that you just can’t get a good sense of in the beta, but Diablo II players should sympathize with what this change does to resolve item comparison headaches.

No, it really isn’t… Now not all stats are viable to all classes. Now we are going back to the mathematically correct ways of going after core attributes. Now barbs have no reason to go after half the stats when before they had a reason to go after all of them and the same goes for the other classes. This has hurt build diversity, not helped it.
I think there may be a confusion that +dodge is tied to Dexterity now. Or +health globe is tied to Intellect. That’s not the way it works, those stats are and still roll as their own affixes on items.

Also I sort of misspoke in that this change doesn’t really affect build diversity, of course, all the same stats exist for people to stack or do whatever they want with. But it greatly increases item diversity.

Is there still a +attack affix or is that one actually gone?
Your damage is increased by your core class stat, but there are many other affixes that can improve your damage in various ways. It’s the same. When you wanted Attack before you just want your class stat now instead.

Another thread brought up the seeming disparity between the mages and the rest, with Intelligence seemingly providing less of a defensive benefit for them than the other classes get from their defensive attribute. Bashiok replied in that one as well.

I don’t like the +health globe bonus for INT
We’re thinking about that one. It’s up in the air right now. I think we agree with most of the concerns, it’s just really vetting it through high end character and itemization scenarios. We’ll see.
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38 thoughts on “Blue Defends Attribute Changes

    • Can someone post on the Blizzard beta feedback forums suggesting they add +Resist all magic to INT for an idea instead of +Health Globe.
      Obviously it would have to be very small percentages, like 5% per 100 points in INT, but it makes sense and will be more sought after than health globe bonuses.

    • The only reason they’re doing it is to improve trading. Diablo 3 is all about trading. If everyone wanted attack, nobody would sell attack items. Now some people want strength, others want dexterity. Those who want dexterity will sell strength items, and the other way around.
      AND, on top of that, it’s harmless to the gameplay, AND increases item diversity, which is good.

  1. They are talking this into circles now.  

    First Blizzard didn’t want a particular class choosing a primary stat, and then endurance. That was boring, and not awesome.

    Now that they have changed things back closer to D2 style they are saying its a good thing again.

    This relates to Fluxs article… The arguments don’t feel genuine to me, they seem to be filtered through a giant PR filter.

    • They prooly realised that having stats like they used to will lower the number of item affixes, now you get 4 stats and items take care of other stuff ( Precision for example, before you had an item with +50 prec and that was it, now you’ll have items with +50 Crit rating or +5% crit damage ).
      It’s a good thing couse, more affixes mean its harder to get perfect items.

      • I don’t know previous system played.  But I think this new change is probably for the better, but its really not a big deal to me either way.  I just kinda want to be able to choose my stats still, so I can create some really mega odd builds, like non physical barb or something silly like that.

    • I don’t think this has been PR filtered at all. If anything, I thought the discussion around attack etc wasn’t genuine.

      I truly believe that they’ve gone backwards in their stats because they simply screwed up the itemisation to the point it wasn’t fun. They published all those item stats and then after fan uproar started say “jk, temporary!”, well I don’t believe that. I think those were indicative of what we were going to get, and they clearly sucked.

      These stat changes promote itemisation greatly. It means we can now have items that are good for witch doctors or wizards, but not monks, which we couldn’t really do before. It also greatly encourages trading.

      • Wow, thank you for not posting yet-another nerd rage wall of text!
        Folks need to realize this:
        1) Anything is better than D2 stats for the end game. D2 stats consisted of Vitality, Vitality, and Vitality.
        2) These “new” stats give clear paths for each class with the added benefit that in the end game, every stat becomes viable depending on your build, but most importantly, there is a potential for choice this time around.
        3) Complaints that a given stat shouldn’t boost a certain class’s stats are unfounded. What is a Barbarian without strength? A Mage without intellect? A monk that isn’t dextrous? After all, this is SUPPOSED to be an RPG, not an action game so many of you have come to accept.

  2. Mark my words. They will return to scrolls of identify, town portal scrolls, tree-like skill system, manual distribution of stats and runes with charms. You will see it in august, hopefully, 2012.

  3. they have changed their mind because they saw that they were wrong actual due to gameplay. So whats the point? Whining about everything withtout being able to judge it more properly on your own? I am really sick of this whining for everything. Blizzard takes us into account when it comes to the developement of the game, they even give us a lot of information about how they think why its senseful to do this and that but at every corner of the game design someone whines about it. Those people definitly have too much time to waste on making up most negative scenarios and perhaps sometimes are a bit small minded or just kiddylike (I dont speak of the serious critics but of those kiddies that “hide” sarcasm and stuff like that in their messages). Obviously a product of the delay of the game.

    • Where was the whining?

      I didn’t read any of that and think particularly whiny.  It sounds confused to me.

      Blizzard just got done telling us that choosing our own stats led to people choosing one primary attack stat, and endurance. Now they have changed the system back similar to how it was in Diablo 2 (minus our choice of stat), and are re-justifying it to those people that just got their heads around the previous ‘newer and cooler’ system.

      Flux wrote an article a few posts down that you might want to read.  It actually addresses the point you made about Blizzard giving us ‘a lot of information about how they think why its senseful’    It was a good read.

      • Okay, first, “no whining”? Have you been on this site for longer then, IDK, 3 minutes. All 90% of people have been doing in the past 4 years is whining whenever anything is changed, because, boo hoo, change is scary, without taking into consideration underlying factors. Neither keeping everything forever same or changanging everything all the time and are irrelevent. All that matters is reasons for the change or lack of there of, and will that make the game better or not.

        As for, “when did people whine”, people whined back in D2 that all stats are useless and everybody just put everything into Vitality anyway, then when D3 devs announced the change, there was a huge outcry on many sites, including this one, for “not being true to Diablo spirit” and similiar bullshit. Now, that people got used to stats being one way, Attack, Precision, Energy, etc. that is suddenly changed, and the old “change is scary” reflex kicks in, and now we have ton of poeple whining about that. And, as for “this is just going back to D2 stats”, absolutely not. I often wonder do these people have any grasp on D3 stat and itemization system. The way, stats, skills, items and their mods are set up is absolutely nothing like D2, just because they named them the same doesn’t mean anything. That same logic would be, if I’m ruler of some poor African nation, and I rename it to “United States of America”, does that mean that country has anything to do with US, or is anything like US? Of course not. 

        This new stat system is one of the best news we have had in a long time. “People now only have two choices.”. As opposed to what. One choice we had before. In the previous system, Attack was the only offensive stat in the game. If you wanted higher damage, regardless of class, you stacked Attack. That made gear very uniform, and it meant that there was very, very little difference between end-game gear on a Barbarian and Wizard. Also, you have more then two choices with this new system. You have your class primary offensive stat, which every member of the class will want, but you can choose betwene other three primary stats as your secondary stat, as well as several of other stats, which will further individualize your character. And, when we add gear mods augmenting specific aspects of a skill into account, we get increadible and very diverse system. “But now you only have three, four tops choices, that seems small to my pea sized brain.” Yes, but how many choices can you really expect. There are only so many stats, and classes. This common complaint reminds me mostly of people who, back when Inferno was first announced, kept whining, but we only get four acts (entire game) to play in, thats not enough for me.

        • Ummm. WoW.
          I was speaking in regards to Hubie’s comment on this post.  None of the comments Blue responded too seemed whiny to me.  None of the comments above Hubie’s seemed whiny to me either.
          I realize over the last several years there has been plenty of whine.  That’s not what I was referring too.  The comments blue responded to, were in fact some of the least whiny out of the recent changes. It seemed odd to me that Hubie chose this post to vent its frustration.
          You also seem to have a bit of frustration pent up in there.
          Just to clarify, I don’t really know how this will be in regards to game play, or care at this point.  I find it interesting though that the justification game has now turned around on itself.
          Why not just say….Well actually we were wrong, and the more Diablo2ish style system ended up being the better choice?  That would seem more genuine to me.

    • Assuming this comment is a ‘jab’ at him, you would logically be taking the position that Blizzard just makes changes for no rational reason at all.

      Actually they have very rational reasons. Bashiok’s just shared some of them with us.

    The health globe benefit would have to be huge to compete with strength…
    Why not give Int +crit chance, but use a formula that just increases the crit chance you get from items in some way, so it won’t be OP…

    • I agree that health globe bonus for Intelligence is counter-intuitive, but +crit chance doesn’t really fit either since the other bonuses are defensive in nature.  

      Maybe Int should be +elemental resistance and the health globe bonus should be switched to Vitality

      • Counter intuitive?
        Inteligence, you know better how apply healing, dex, you know better where to hit, shot or burn you foe with fire, for example.
        How could your wisdom protect you from elements?

        • Well, given Int is related in some way to magical knowledge (since its primary bonus applies to caster classes only), maybe it could help its users to better defend themselves from arcane/elemental damage through said -related?- knowledge?

        • By the rest of his post i think he meant compared to the other attribute bonuses, which are defensive in nature…
          And Int can protect you from elements, see why we wear clothes and animals don’t.
          While Dex is more about being better at hitting, not knowing where to hit, that’s part of being abvle to think, not how dexterous you are.

  5. I finally have reached the point where I don’t even read the blue posts anymore. Not the ones where Bashiok is trying to be funny and neither those wall o’ texts. Because it doesn’t matter anyway; Blizzard might change their minds 6 months later again and provide us with another lengthy explanation. I’m sick and tired of this release date soap opera.

    • People wanted to have a “close look at Diablo 3 development proces”. Well, one of the most common aspects of that is iteration, and re-iteration and re-re-iteration, etc. People complain that Blizzard doesnt let them see the proces, and then they complain at it. Dont get me wrong, Blizzard is absolutely taking way too long in their development, and they should set up a deadline, and commit to it, Im just saying that, during development of the game, things change, a lot.

  6. Pfft, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if they bring back skill trees. And Blizzard PR can probably put out an essay length explaination on how they think it’s more fun and better for players.
    Come on Blizzard, just make up your mind and stick with it.

  7. Anyone with a qualified guess as to the extent this will delay the release? I’d say anything before summer is just wistful wishing.

  8. Quote: Blizzard just got done telling us that choosing our own stats led to people choosing one primary attack stat, and endurance. Now they have changed the system back similar to how it was in Diablo 2 (minus our choice of stat), and are re-justifying it to those people that just got their heads around the previous ‘newer and cooler’ system.
    Exactly what meanchris said. They found out they couldn’t make a newer and cooler diablo so are sticking with what worked. Now if they only did this at the start instead of going over the top, we’d all be happy slashers right now. Check out Hellgate: Global. That game is so underrated, that’s what I’m playing now to pass some time. and it’s free to play.

    • “They found out they couldn’t make a newer and cooler diablo so are sticking with what worked.”
      Except that it never actually “worked”.

      • except there are still tens of thousands of players after 10 years. Yeah I’m pretty sure Diablo 2 worked. Let me guess you quit after a few months? You are a failure

  9. Ugh, the main problem is pinning two effects into one stat. Barbs gaining damage reduction and offensive power in one single stat is really bad design.

    • The problem with Strenght giving +Attack is which attack is it. Do they mean old Attack which is new Physical Resistance, which, as its name implyes, reduces physical damage only. Or is that new attack, which is old defense, which reduced ALL damage, regardless of type. My guess would be the former, as the latter seems too unreasonably OP. Which also means they have to change it to: 

      +Barbarian damage
      +Physicial Resistance

  10. Glad to hear Blizz is thinking about item comparison issues. One of the reasons I never got addicted to Torchlight the way I did with Diablo was it was impossible to figure out what was any good and what wasn’t. And one enchantment could take an also-ran item to the top of the heap, so you always hesitated to give stuff up. Inventory got out of control and it wasn’t fun to manage, trying to pick between six different rings, say, with no clear way to evaluate what was going to help you most.
    Good item design, IMO, allows you to figure out a few properties that you want to shoot for in any build, a few properties that you *must* prioritize for your chosen build, then you fill in the corners with “nice to have if you can get it.”

  11. Has anyone remembered that with the whole going back to town thing while your group continues to quest [if that is indeed viable, without a wipe] that when you’re ready to go back to play, there is no more waiting for a TP to be put up as you just click on their standard and you’re right back into the action, only having missed minor amounts of xp [which matters not at 60, oh and small amount of loot] — On that point, I don’t mind going back to town, as that was the major flaw in it all, having to wait for someone to make a TP.

  12. I swear, if they announced they were renaming “Strength” as “Muscle” and making no other changes you’d see people complaining that the new Muscle stat simplifies the game for the “casual” players.

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