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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