Diablo 3 Beta Gameplay #27: Me So Thorny & More Unnecessary Censorship

One of the major changes to combat in Diablo III is the way that defense works. In D1 and D2, higher defense (armor) made your character less likely to be hit by attacks. You could use other modifiers to reduce the damage you took, but basically defense was about to/hit. In Diablo III defense (and resistances) does nothing to prevent you being hit, and is all about damage mitigation. You use the Dodge property for avoidance, while higher defense means you take less damage.

This stacks up, and can interact in interesting fashion with other modifiers, such as Thorns. In theory, with high defense and high thorns, you could get hit constantly by melee attackers, taking little to no damage while causing the monsters that are attacking you to drop dead as a result of their aggression.

This isn’t just a theory anymore, as demonstrated in this video. Here we see that a lvl 13 Monk with high defense and lots of thorns modifiers can defeat the skeleton king and his bony servants… by simply standing still. Undamaged, yet lethal. Perhaps Leoric needs to learn to summon some archers, or even skeleton mages, to add ranged attackers and/or elemental damage into the equation? If not on normal, then certainly on the higher difficulty levels, since just melee attacks are too limited in their danger factor.

We’ve got some other humor as well, today. A lot of you guys enjoyed the first Unnecessary Censorship video, so here are two more from the Diablo 3 beta, all created by Herorik Gaming. Click through to view videos 2 and 3 in the series, where we can join the Barbarian and the Templar in their efforts to **** the Skeleton King.

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17 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Beta Gameplay #27: Me So Thorny & More Unnecessary Censorship

  1. Out of curiosity, has anyone figured out if the Attack attribute affects Thorns damage? This is cute and all that, but Thorns is gonna need damage multipliers to remain relevant in the obscene DPS race that is an ARPG.

    • You should probably re-read the description of Mantra of Retribution if you think scaling is a relevant problem. Thorns works the same way, enemies don’t take 8 damage… they take damage dealt PLUS eight.

      • That’s… completely, utterly, batshit insane wishful thinking. That means everyone gets a 100% damage reflection effect for simply equipping a single “Attackers take +6 damage” item. Do you really there will be an item modifier so ridiculously powerful as to eclipse an entire skill at lowest possible #?

        Also, 40% damage reflect doesn’t sound that brilliant if the enemy HP:Damage ratio is very high.

    • Retribution aura works on a percentage. I’m sorry, mantra, whatever. It remains to be seen if thorns will be relevant in D3, what with breakpoints and the complicated-so-we-don’t-talk-about-it damage of on-hit and mitigation modifiers.

      But Flux is a bit off on his bit about elemental or ranged damage solving the issues, not only with thorns, but with mitigation. All damage is treated as damage in the D3 combat system regardless of what kind it is. I’m actually compiling a video to talk about this. It’s ridiculous.

      • Nifty. But what about the “Attackers take X” effect? I am curious whenever the Attack value truly is universal for all damage a character puts out, whenever summons, an elemental mod on weapons, or even a thorns effect.

        • I think it is, but I’m still testing it. I’ve been a bit wrapped up in saint’s row lately.
          I can tell you that I believe all damage to be universal, despite damage having multiple types. This is hard to describe, but all damage seems to fall under a single category when it comes to calculations for both offense and defense/mitigation.

  2. I miss the gold old days when we had to pray for mephisto don’t drop a insta kill blizzard in our head.

    • Yeah, because that was a real problem when you went after Meph when you where double the expected level for him on the difficulty used…

    • well, those were the days when you hadn’t farmed the kinda best equip available like this guy with his monk, even in d2.

  3. It’s probably unlikely that it’s remotely practical in-game to stack so much defense that you take basically no damage from attacks while doing at-level content once you get into the body of the game. I do think that it’s good for a player who chooses to focus on it to be able to significantly blunt incoming damage, however.
    In terms of attacker-takes-damage-of-X items scaling, they may or may not, but they sure as heck didn’t in Diablo II. Those items were worthless basically past the den of evil (where enemies barely attacked you anyway), and only got proportionately more worthless as the game went on, both because their scaling was orders of magnitude off of keeping up with monster HP and because as the game went on the number of monster hits you can take before you just die drops precipitously, making taking attacks risky even if most will be blocked or defense’d. It was essentially a blank affix in Diablo II. Looking at what’s available at that part of the game in Diablo III, it looks like that affix already scales much better than it did in Diablo II, so there’s hope that it remains at least vaguely relevant for longer than it does in DII. A very low-level attacker-damage item in DII would have a value of 1, which is 25-100% of a Fallen’s life. The highest-level version of the effect went up to 20, which is an affix level of 47. A level 48 “Hell Clan” monster would take an average of less than 2% of its life from the attack. While it obviously shouldn’t be the case that a monster should just flat-out die from hitting you because you’re wearing one thorns item, if it’s almost never the case that it’s going to take a hit off the number of times you have to hit the thing, it’s effectively worthless.

  4. So to my understanding, the first +x thorns itself does 100% of the target’s damage, while every additionnal thorn is simply added on top of that?

    Wow this game is way too complicated for me.

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