On the Drawing Board #21: The Demon Hunter’s Resource(s) Revealed


While Blizzard hasn’t yet revealed exact details about the Demon Hunter’s class resource, they gave some pretty good hints during the four mDH reveal interviews. There’s already been conversation about this topic, so here are the clearest quotes, with a bit of commentary.

…we split their skills into the categories of discipline, including traps, preparation, things that take a lot of forethought, and hatred, which is the red-eyes insanity the fuels their high-powered burst attacks, alpha strikes, multishots, flame arrows, and things like that. [The demon hunter] really feels more visceral, and there’s some interesting interplay in the resource system that allows you to switch back and forth between your discipline abilities and your hatred abilities.

…we want the demon hunter to have some highly regenerative, more accessible hatred abilities that he always has up and can use to zip around and keep the pace [of combat] up. But then the discipline side tends to be a more precious resource that you have to manage a lot more carefully. You really pick and choose when you want to use your discipline abilities because they make a big difference in how you escape, how you set up an attack?things like that.

During these interviews, the developers repeatedly stressed the duality of the Demon Hunter. The class has a planning, clever, meticulous nature merged with a streak of raging hatred. The resource reflects that, and it’s split in two. They said nothing about the visual, but I envision two different colored liquids each filling one half of the resource bulb, like a two-flavor tub of Neopolitan ice cream. (Or the Torchlight life/mana bulb.) Each resource is expended by different DiabloWikiDemon Hunter skills, and the two resources regenerate at different rates. (It doesn’t sound like any skills use both resources, though that could be an interesting twist.)

Discipline is basically DiabloWikimana; slower regeneration, but perhaps a larger pool? The Discipline skills cost more per use, and the design is to have players cast them less frequently than the main attack skills. Perhaps they have cool downs, or else they use so much resource we’ll have to wait to regen more? This one seems to be mostly tied to the Traps, but there’s at least one movement skill and a bow skill (“his dead eye shot”) in this bunch. Likely any bow skills in this branch are sort of “sniper” skills, rather than the rapidfire arrow spam of the Hatred branch.

Hatred is basically DiabloWikiArcane Power; a very fast-refilling resource that is all about furious attack rate and speedy movement. Along with most of the bow skills, DiabloWikiGrenades is in this one, and though Hatred seems like a better fit for the movement skills, one interview quote put at least one movement skill into Discipline. (Assuming DiabloWikiVault isn’t the only movement skill?) To speculate a bit, there were a lot of mentions of the DH having an almost uncontrollable bloodlust; might the attacks tie to or reward the resource in something like the Barbarian’s DiabloWikiFury? Use a lot of Hatred skills, or use them successful, and increase your regen or dmg?

So what’s the verdict? It sounds like you’ll mostly use Hatred as you launch a steady stream of bolts/arrows at the monsters, while mixing in occasional traps when you want one for support or when you need to let the Hatred catch up. It doesn’t sound like the devs are thinking about Traps-only DH builds, at least from their comments about Discipline skills taking time and care to use. It’s not clear if a pure-bowazon style DH would work very well either; that build might be too heavy on the Hatred consumption, forcing you to slow down your firing rate?

What do you guys think? Do you like the idea of having to alternate skill groups to keep from running dry of a resource? It’s more or less the same thing as putting cool down timers on skills; I’m reminded of D2 Sorc builds where Charged Bolt or Frozen Orb were the main spells, alternated with just as many Meteors or Hydras as their cool downs allowed. That was more about maximizing the damage and damage type variety than mana consumption, though. The DH sounds like she’ll do both; you’ll want to mix Traps into your bow shots to improve your damage, and you’ll have to anyway to keep from running dry on Hatred or Discipline.

Hit the comments to chat, and click through for the full quotes about the DH’s resource from all four interviews:

Full Resource Interview Quotes

GamePlanetNZ interview.

We?ve split their kit into the idea of discipline ? prepared, deliberate, precise ? a character who builds his traps ahead of time and knows every weakness of his enemy and exactly what he has to do to take it out. Then there?s hatred, this almost blind drive ? they can?t stop themselves from getting involved which means they?re probably angry at themselves for having that taint and it makes it worse. So they?re obsessed in that way. Their skills match that: They have some very aggressive skills that come out of that hatred school, and they have discipline skills, that deliberate, intentional preparedness.

…the inspiration for what we?ve done since then has been based on this idea of aggression and hatred versus discipline and self-mastery. So, the skill set definitely reflects those two schools of thought and the resource system reinforces the skill set accordingly. But we?re still testing it and making sure it really plays as smoothly as we want it to.

Gamestar interview:

…he still has the most duality of all our classes. Our Designers developed this cool idea of hatred and discipline as the two aspects of the demon hunter. Those aspects balance out in his abilities. He?s got abilities that are very technical and take a lot of preparation to use, like setting traps or his dead-eye shot. On the other hand, some of his abilities are just pure rage, like firing a lot of arrows or throwing lots of grenades at once.

DiabloFans interview.

This character sort of has more duality and has a more unusual field in that the Demon Hunter is so personally obsessed with fighting demons that they almost can?t control themselves. But at the same time, like any good hunter or vigilante, they have to be deliberate so they don?t get themselves killed, because they are outnumbered and largely outgunned, so they have to be careful. So what we?ve done is taken a look at the Hatred side of things and said OK, what does an obsessed hunter do? Lots of damage, just out of control, burstiness that allows you to do long range burst damage and get out of trouble short range by willing yourself out of that situation with close ranged attacks.

On the other side is the preparation and the knowledge that goes into hunting something without that outnumbers you a million to one. That?s the Discipline side of things, these are abilities that are a little more elaborate that you?ll generally use less often, so you really have to plan when you want to use these skills. So we can?t draw out the resource system in specific details but that is the theme you?re going to see.

Gamespot interview.

So with their resources and their skill trees, we split their skills into the categories of discipline, including traps, preparation, things that take a lot of forethought, and hatred, which is the red-eyes insanity the fuels their high-powered burst attacks, alpha strikes, multishots, flame arrows, and things like that. [The demon hunter] really feels more visceral, and there’s some interesting interplay in the resource system that allows you to switch back and forth between your discipline abilities and your hatred abilities. It’s a little more complex and nuanced than some of the other classes; it’s a class about precision and playing [one skill set] off the other.

…we want the demon hunter to have some highly regenerative, more accessible hatred abilities that he always has up and can use to zip around and keep the pace [of combat] up. But then the discipline side tends to be a more precious resource that you have to manage a lot more carefully. You really pick and choose when you want to use your discipline abilities because they make a big difference in how you escape, how you set up an attack?things like that.

Some abilities use hatred; some use discipline. That’s where we’re at in development. But we want to make sure you’re bouncing back and forth between the two without having to switch a stance or anything cumbersome like that. So you’ll have abilities from both camps accessible at all times, depending on how you build your character. Some demon hunters may focus on hatred, with lots of shooting and moving around, and try to amp up that ability as much as possible, while some may focus on discipline instead. [Either way], the default path is going to be a little of both. 

 

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  1. We spend a ton of time pining over textures and poly counts to ensure we can throw hundreds of creatures at you without blinking.

    Do the guys at blizzard know what LOD means in a rendering engine? Or are we all doomed to play the game with low poly everywhere because they dont know what is LOD? Im just imagining here, if what is presented is high settings (which is kind of logical, i dont think they would publicize their product in the lowest settings), god have mercy on the people that will have to run this on low

    [blue]And we think for the minimal performance impact we design them for, they look real damn good[/blue]

    Oh Bashiok you funny guy

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