While special boss monsters (such as the Skeleton King in the beta) will pop higher quality items for their quest drop, your character only gets that once. (Though beta testers have found exploits to farm this repeatedly by joining games with lvl 1 chars.) That’s a special case that’s only possible in the beta, though, and no one’s going to farm Leoric in the full game.
What we will be doing, apparently, is roaming all through the game world, killing random bosses, since they will drop better loot than bosses. At least that’s the plan:
You will not be farming bosses. Bosses won’t drop the best loot, they won’t even drop really great loot. Part of Inferno and our intent with getting people out into the world and hunting and killing lots of different things is putting the best loot on rare and champion packs, and the great thing about rare and champion packs is they have random affixes. They’re like a box of chocolates. Murderous, snarling, blood-soaked chocolates. You’re not going up against a boss where you know “Build A” is the best way to minmax against it because it has abilities and resistances X, Y, and Z. What is the best build vs. an “Arcane Enchanted, Teleporter, Frozen, Knockback” skeleton pack? Got that figured out? Cause it’s not going to be the best against the next pack you come across, and you’re going to want to kill that one just as much.
You might have a specialized build that is super strong against some of these things, and not against others. Your focus is going to be on the balance between taking on all of these possibilities and surviving, and it’s that balance that makes for a ton of interesting options and variance.
The one question mark for a lot of people, and maybe even us, is what stops someone from seeing a pack, backing out (or dying) and swapping out to be better equipped to handle it? We agree that shouldn’t be the best way to play, but know it’s something we can solve pretty easily, even if it’s just making the swapping cooldown longer in later difficulties.
In any case, his point was that you could absolutely make the best build against one type of enemy, and that build could completely fail against another. It’s not D2 where you pump all your points into one ability, we’re going for some depth in our combat, but it’s your choice of tools (and there are a lot of them) that will define your character versus another.
That sounds good to me. In D2 I preferred to take well-equipped chars and clear out whole dungeon levels, rather than mindlessly repeating the same boss run(s). Unfortunately, it was so much more profitable to run Meph/Baal/Pindle/etc that the lure of that easy profit was hard to resist. Finally, a change in D3 that agrees with my game play preferences?
As for this plan limiting cookie cutter builds, I’m not sure sure. It seems like specialization for X or Y will be less viable in D3 (though with freespecs we’ll all just change to the optimal skills before a Super Unique boss battle), but with the “hunt for random mobs” design plan, and their previously-stated intention to not have Immunes on monsters, won’t everyone just gravitate towards the best all around build? I guess we’ll see how much variety there is in that, when the time comes.
Click through for a an earlier Bashiok forum post about best class builds that led to the above info.
The debate started when a fan asked @Bashiok a couple of questions via Twitter, about best class builds.
No, it’s always been the intent that a runed skill is superior to a non-runed skill. –Bashiok
Got it, thanks for the quick reply! Is the team concerned about a mathematically ‘best’ choice?” –Celibar
Always. But it’s not so much about there being a best, as much as “can there be many viable alternatives”. –Bashiok
Another fan took that question and plugged it into the B.net forums, and got a much longer and largely OT (in a good way) reply from Bashiok, about item farming and boss runs.
The goal is not to ensure there isn’t a right answer, that’s likely an improbably achieved goal. The goal is to ensure there is a large number of viable alternatives. Sure there may be a best that’s .01% stronger, but is the second best close enough that if someone prefers playing that they won’t feel like they’re playing wrong? It’s that gap and that idea of viability that’s more important.
If you want to compare that to assignable stats in Diablo II, there was one or two ways to correctly assign stats and there were really no viable alternatives. Any choice but those one or two right ways to spend stats and you were far, far below viable in comparison.
This is where you can argue that we could balance assignable stats so that they are balanced and viable! And I say … we have! Assignable stats are now so much more awesome because they’re based on itemization instead of as a requirement for it, and more importantly it’s way cooler to kill demons and slip on the bloody (but awesomely enhancing) armor they drop than clicking a little button.