Weekend Discussion #3: Your Favorite Improvement in Diablo III?

We’ve been posting these weekend discussion things (so far covering class choices and humor in D3) to spice up the boring Sundays while we count down towards May 15th, and after article-style write ups for the first two, today’s is easier (at least on my end).

Simply put, when you look back over Diablo II, then cast your eyes to the near-future, what new or improved feature in Diablo III are you most looking forward to? Pick a feature you saw in D2 that returns, improved, in D3. Or maybe even a new feature in D3 that wasn’t even present previously in the series, and tell us why. (Skim the DiabloWikiBasics article if you need suggestions, such as new classes, bigger boss battles, Inferno difficulty, enhanced crafting options, the PvP Arena, or talking Mercenaries.)

Bonus points if you name something other than the skill and rune system! After all, even if you miss skill points, skill choices that mattered (since they couldn’t be effortlessly respeced away), skill synergies, passive in the skill trees, and everything else from D2, it’s hard to compare to the sheer variety of styles, options, and choices provided by the D3’s skill runes.

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101 thoughts on “Weekend Discussion #3: Your Favorite Improvement in Diablo III?

  1. Favourite improvement – No typoes 😉
    Seriously though, one of the more minor things I am really looking forward to is the individual class stories.  I’m interested in seeing how each class will differ from the main story line, along with class-specific quests.

  2. Crafting and shared stash.  

    Crafting is going to make character progression much less of a pain, and they did a great job balancing in beta patch 15.  As long as crafted items do not get too far ahead of the characters progression and items found in the wild, I think crafting will be the best new system.  And obviously, crafting in diablo2 was far too random, but still fun to do.  Always enjoyed seeing a level 98 required piece of junk.

    Shared stash is going to be great for obvious reasons, no more muling/realm down from leaving/joining games, no longer having to risk your items by waiting 5 minutes or trusting a random person. 

    • Crafting has my vote as well. The Horadric Cube-based system in Diablo 2 was difficult to use in-game and required that people alt-tab out to check recipes before they proceeded. D3’s crafting system has all of the recipe information in-game, and the “salvage” system provides a much more intuitive way to work towards crafting those rare items. Rather than hunting for a few very specific drops, as was the case in D2, every drop you get contributes a tiny bit toward your goal. You may need to kill the same amount of monsters in the end to craft a comparable item, but D3’s system gives you a sense of progression and accomplishment toward your goal, rather than just getting lucky when you find the exact item you need.

  3. shared stash and AH !!!!!!!!! how can you only think about runes or skills ? 😀
    the best feature for me is the ability to skip creating mules !!!!!

    also actually some harder endgame probably (if this inferno farse is all true). in d2 after around lvl 75/80 you were kinda god…

  4. The engine, spell effects and physics look great.
    D3 looks like a great tech demo for the genre. 
    As for the game content itself, can’t say it seems to have any of the charm of the previous titles.

  5. PvP, hopefully not too long after the game is released. I think the simple fact that there will be a dedicated PvP area where it will automatically matches players to fight each other will increase the longevity of the game for many people. Because there will always be better players, the game will never end. There will be much more incentive to go to higher difficulties to get better gear so that you are more prepared to battle your adversaries in PvP and climb the laddder.

    Actually what I think I like the most is that there are many systems in place that will increase the longevity of the game. PvP is one, but Inferno is another, the crafting system, the skills, the AH, the achievements, all these things will keep me busy for months…

  6. Inferno and that is if it is at least half as difficult as they saying it is.
    Rune system and PvP arena sound nice though.

  7. The rune skill system, although without permanency(which sucks), but i.e. take a look at the barb and tell me if it´s not an improvement. 🙂

  8. Well I would have said inferno if they still had the flat difficulty because I really wanted the whole game as a playground after maxing out my characters.  Now I think I’d say the intensity of the combat.  The sounds and force behind every blow makes it far more exciting and fun that before so the experience of just playing the game is that much better.

  9. Other people have mentioned some of the big things, so I’m going to mention one of the little things. I like all the different ways monsters pop up from nowhere: clawing their way up through the ground, scaling walls and cliffs, jumping in through windows. I think my favorites are the skeletons that pop out of crypts and roll on the ground a bit before standing up.

    • This is cool at first but makes me feel bad because you can basically spawn camp them. Makes me feel cheap.

  10. If inferno takes 2-3 months for the first person(s) to defeat it then that is my number one.  If it is beaten in 2-3 weeks then Blizzard has failed me in a large way.

  11. Like shared stash a lot.
    Also i’m pretty happy without potionfests. It’s a really stupid game mechanic. (Unfortunately, Torchlight 2 still have that boring stuff).

    • TL 2 has some moderation of potionfests.
      “Potions are slower than TL 1 and can’t be used until the previous potion is done. Potion spamming won’t save you from death in a crowd anymore. Not cool downs per se, but sort of. Seems to work well.” -Travis Baldree

  12. The coolest new thing about D3 over D2 is the random events. The Thousand Pounder, for instance. In D2 you were crawling the dungeon, and after having fought a few enemies, you can basically know what to expect for the rest of the dungeon until the end/boss.

    But in D3, you are killing skeletons, zombies, and demons, and the next room you walk into there’s a cult that spawns a huge Mini-boss in real time as you’re playing. Total shift in gameplay. Awesome.

  13. End game ofc. Improved Inferno difficulty will kick asses:)
    and i hope this is only the beginning of D3 epic endgame…

  14. Leah taking over Cain’s role 8)

    I like the new lore and the possibility of fighting against some Angels (corrupted?)

    Also getting your own loot during coop play is very very nice   

  15. I never liked synergies in D2.  I played the game so much less after 1.10; being restricted to like 2 spells (to have them optimal) just felt debilitating.  Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to having six viable spells at all times.  I also miss being able to spam Hydra with my sorc…  /lament

    • I’m really miss my Hydra spam too ((
      So i’m just moving to DH after that sad change.

  16. Inferno mode.

    Basically anything that will keep me hooked and playing is a favorite of mine.

  17. Environment
    Played around with the early emulators and it was so beautiful and immersive
    and creepy 

  18. Simply put the size/scope of the content and how long I’m go spend on/with/in it.
    Seeing as I played Diablo 2 for years over the course of many years I can only imagine.

  19. I was already beat by a post above with the “5” and “6” thing. I have had a very limited amount of beta play, but I did not notice the death and darkness that was so prevalent in D2. In the Jail for instance, all the torture devices in the rooms, half eaten bodies, blood trails, pots with humans cooking in them, etc. I realize today that a big company like Blizzard does not want to offend anybody that might play the game, and that is fine. I can see their viewpoint, they are in this to make money. I think I read somewhere that Blizz had not used nearly as many religous symbols as previous to stay out of controversy. But, you cant tell me that it wasnt cool to see the machine made to pull a human apart!  
    Maybe I missed something in some of the images I have looked at, and if there are images like this later in the game, than I stand to be corrected.  

    • We’we seen some tortured people hanging around in dungeons, and one acctualy where someone was dead in a machine made to pull a human apart, and when you clicked the machine, you activated and saw him being riped apart.

      Can’t remember where or when I saw that vid, I think it was in one of the blizzcon panels from 2011/2010. But yeah, there’s not any of that stuff in the levels availible in the beta. 

    • There’s one scene that can show up in the cathedral in D3’s beta that features a man hanging on a wall, suspended by a spear impaling him through his gut. Blood stains the wall in a stream down from the body, with other splatters scattered around, and piles of mutilated corpses sitting below on the floor.
      D3 definitely has gore.

  20. The Art Direction/Style is a phenomenal improvement. I’m nuts over it. This game is absolutely stunning, plus, given the style, It will age very well.

  21. It has to be first, Crafting.  Being able to KNOW that after a 12 hour session I should have the materials to get a gatunteed roll at a certain slot – or even several rolls at a certain slot – is really somthing to be excited about.

    After that, I look forward most to the Story telling and the way they do it in Diablo 3.  With the scrolls, and the journal entries and of course the random quests.

    And I’m lying if I don’t include the rune system, and HOPEFULLY, the way the item game ties into the rune/skill system with modifiers.     

  22. I am going to try and pick ones that I haven’t seen others pick.
    Being able to hit stationary objects….
    I really like the random elements they have added. 
    It makes replaying areas a lot more enjoyable.
    I like not having to suck down potions to keep alive.    

  23. Dynamic enviroments, houses that collapse in old tristram as you walk by them, walls you can crush your foes with, the cathedral falling apart with huge debri smashing bridges changing your route, disturbing a group(a murder actually) of crows to witness a huge uprising of the dead, just to name a few.

  24. Flowing/moving clothes and hair. Makes characters so much more interesting to look at.
    Health globes.

  25. Shared stash, no more potion spamming and the semi-random events scattered around the areas.

  26. This whole thread is reminding me how many positive changes there are.  My personal pick is probably… end of potion spam, with the end of single-skill spam a close second.  Together these changes ought to make the game a lot more nuanced and tactical.

    • Just before I read as far as your post I was thinking this exact thing. There really are a lot of positive changes!

  27. Better than D2:  More room for loot! (well, perhaps not globally, but more room if you are just making a few chars)
    Worse than D2: High heels

  28. Definitely making 22-25 viable skills plus runes per class vs a small handful per class in D2.  Of course, only time will tell if all skills will actually be viable late game, but props to the devs for trying.  And crafting.

    • Not only that, you can actually use the skills regularly from the moment you get them and not 30 levels later…

  29. Two things springs to mind…

    1. Different resources for the different characters – I hated the concept of manaburn in D2 so much. Seriously, what is the point in having a mechanic in a game that can completely remove your characters ability to do anything? Stun is doing the same, but a stun wears off…

    2. No more corpse running – I’m not going to argue for or against whether it was an okay mechanic or not, but getting trapped in the wrong place, Viper Temple level 2 Hell with Fangskin at the entrance still gives me nightmares, and you can either leave the game or accept you’ll lose a level worth of xp trying to get your equipment back…

  30. Really, I think the resource system is a huge innovation.   People may take it for granted, but all the previous ARPGs (at least to my knowledge) like Torchlight and Titan Quest still use mana, and it means that you have to keep chugging mana potions to use abilities.

    By giving each class a unique, manageable resource, it makes actual resource management far more interesting, and because there’s no ‘easy’ way to insta-replenish it (outside of rune effects), I imagine that Blizzard can also tailor monster encounters to be more interesting.   

    The step to ask yourself: “hey – why NOT give each class a unique resource to further the uniqueness of their playstyles” seems so obvious in hindsight, but it’s innovations like this which will make Diablo 3 an amazing game that will be mimicked for years to come.

  31. Solo Play, honestly this game has nothing interesting to offer for someone who played WoW (actually it offer much less) other than that and for me it is enough.

  32. To Smash–WoW sucks (let’s measure our generalizations against one another!). Truth is, WoW has nothing to offer someone who played D2 except for years of wasted life. Been there done that. Which brings me to me next point: not waiting–that’s the new D3 system I’m looking forward to the most.

    • For the love of god, you can like both games. D2 is one of my all-time favorite games and WoW was the only MMO I ever liked. Liking one does not put you in one camp or the other. Gamers can like GAMES IN GENERAL. (shocking I know)

      • I’m just sick of WoW fanboys bringing up WoW on a D3 forum. I’m sorry, but where in the question does it say: and how do you think this game compares to WoW? I agree you can like both games, but Smash is comparing apples and oranges (hence my generalization comment–I played and liked WoW). If all you want is solo play, then play any game that’s not an MMO. You see where I’m going with this? dot dot dot. Game on.

  33. I think the new followers are going to be great. I really enjoyed the Act 2 mercenary with his aura, especially since I loved playing the necromancer. I’m hoping one of the followers will add to the WD in a similar fashion. 

  34. Where even to start, I can hardly think of anything they’ve said about D3 that doesn’t sound better than D2…
    – Skills/runes is the #1 for sure. I wasted far too much time planning skills, re-rolling, and power-leveling in D2 and not enough time just playing. 6 skills is way more gameplay variety than you get from the typical D2 build, and adding runes makes for way more builds to boot. Can’t wait to have a single level 60 character(per class) and start building a collection of gear to allow for many playstyles.
    – Real co-op gameplay. Personal loot means goodbye to all the tension within the party. Smaller game size hopefully means the difficulty can be tuned to force people to play together for real.
    – No more potion chugging or TP abuse. This makes for a more steady and strategic combat pace with no easy outs if you screw up. And no more freaking potion management in your belt.
    – Endgame content(from what they’ve said). Inferno means the game is never easy, unlike D2 which was never hard after you beat it. And an emphasis on elite monsters over act bosses should mean no more of D2’s repetitive boss runs with the exploitative “quit and rejoin” style metagame.
    – Crafting means there’s something fun to do with all the lesser magic loot you pick up, with a much more controllable result than gambling.
    And that’s just the stuff I’m personally the most pumped for, there are too many other improvements to count.

  35. Improved follower system. The idle remarks the Templar makes while travelling is great and I really look forward to hear what he has to say for each class as well as what the other followers talk about!

  36. this is the easiest question yet. hands down the single best improved in d3 is self loot. in a game all about loot this is a must have feature.

  37. Health Globes. I don’t remember anything specific the exact moment I saw that unveiled during the announcement gameplay except unbridled joy about not having potion spam in anymore.

  38. Signature skills – I loathed the early levels of D2 classes like sorc or necro, constantly running out of mana and having my best attack be a sword because I was saving skill and stat points to optimize some cookie cutter build.

    • Yeah i think that is a good change as well but its not a perfect system. Having to use basick attack makes you appreciate skills more. I dont know…but if I was making D3 i would have probably done the same thing as Blizzard…

      • There is that, the whole no pain no gain gamification gave characters a sense of progression in later levels. Like, main I sucked then, and look how awesome I am now.

  39. Everything really – had a chance to play with Mooege, and the moody music is draw droppingly amazing, the graphics are so way better than D2, the extra stash will help loads, the ability to craft, salvage and the way they’re implementing the random drops from exploring the world (which I always love to do).. ooh, I could crush a grape!
    (Elly might remember crackerjack!!!)
    Why is g.r.a.p.e hidden by asterix’s?
    A grape is one of the main ingredients in making wine for f**k’s sake 🙂

    I wonder if grope is blanked… omg – it isn’t – lol – whomever updates the wordlist on this site needs to be shown the Oxford dictionary!! 😉

    Update: Ahh.. figured it out – it *contains* a bad word… but come on, at least have an exception list where it’s prefixed by a g, no?

  40. There is a lot of things I love about D3 but here are the most important ones:

    1. Health globes. I didnt realize how great this change is until i have actually played the game. It is significant improvement to gameplay. I love moments when the potion is on cooldown and you need healing. Not knowing when and where the globe will drop creates a very cool fealing of anticipation which will just get better as the difficulty ramps up!

    2. Bosses that are restored to full health when you die. It should make the game much more challenging than D2!

    3.No instant TP. No need for explanation on this one. I think this will create some amazing moments in boss fights :)! Ancients in D2 were by far the most challenging fight…at least for a untwinked solo character!

    4. Graphics and particularly environments! They are so beautiful that this game makes me stop and look at the screen for a few seconds just to marvel at its beauty more than any other game i have ever played. Very artsy :)! Many people would not agree with this but this game has exactly the type of style that i would want it to have even before i saw D3!

    5. Sound is absolutly amazing!

    6. The game makes you use more than 2 skills (D2 after 1.10 but even before that was really bad in this). The combat in D3 makes the combat in previous games look dumbed down!

    7. Random events. Really cool!

    8. Inferno if it is as hard as they say! But i dont want it just to be Hard…it has to be fun! The monster behaviour, numbers and speed have to be all tuned well to create a experience which is dynamic, fun AND challenging! Just making the numbers go up is not going to do it!

    9. The fact that higher tier gear sets actually look different than the lower ones!

    10. Auction house! Both of them!

    Those are my top 10 and i could have kept going :)! That puts a smile on my face!

    • How could I have forgotten this! I used to have a horrible connection and always got beat by others and their bots. I agree that this has to be one of the best improvements. Though there was something special about winning occasionally and keeping Barb loot–I was a Necro.

  41. good : Skills, runes , monk , PvP (eventually) , crafting
    bad : art style (sorry ive never liked it) , 4 players
    still a day one purchase.

  42. The increased combat depth. The way some of the resource systems work, and the way skills are set up with builders, spenders, cooldowns etc. helps avoid that you’re not just doing the “spam one skill” play style that Diablo 2 would often degenerate into.

    Since combat is probably the most major gameplay component of the series, it was a huge relief to me when I found out they’d actually spent a lot of time evolving the combat.

  43. all of blizzard’s games are connected by virtue of them being from the same company and having some of the same people working on them. it’s certainly fair to make wow vs. diablo comparisons but the thing is…… wow copied SO many things from D2 that to act like wow was somehow groundbreaking and innovative compared to the diablo series – is about the most ignorant thing you could possibly do on the internet. if someone thinks wow is great and diablo is crap then they need to seriously play a few videogames made in the last 10 years and get a decent perspective because they obviously have not even the slightest clue about what they’re saying, and their critiques and comments will only be interpreted as complete horsepizz to anyone with even the slightest acquaintance with the diablo series. (and hell, if someone played both and legitimately prefers wow: may god have mercy on their soul for being so devoid of judgment, common sense, and the ability to reason at a basic level) don’t get me wrong, wow is a great game, i played it from release day to 2010, but i got really tired of its slow-paced style and the constant need to alt-tab to thottbot or whatever in order to be even moderately successful no matter how good you were at games. i’m sure a lot of people say \that’s good game design, i never look at guides because i’m so incredible\ but whatever, they’re lying, and anyone with half a brain knows they’re lying. they have a browser walkthrough open just like everyone else – if they didn’t they’d still be wandering around westfall wondering how to get to lvl 20. my point is that all these games build on each other. that’s the reason why this thread even exists i think if D3 doesn’t appeal to wow players it’s because it’s not grindy and tedious and punishing enough for them, not because it’s not got enough elements of fun        

  44. Shared stash.  It’s the only real “improvement” I see over D2 that really stands out as “necessary”.

    • I guess you haven’t played anything else but D2 the past 10 years then if you can’t see any other area’s of improvement. You should get out more.

  45. Read the vast majority of posts before me, handed out about 10 recommendations and before I give my number 1 I’d like to comment that my favourite post thus far is Z00t’s on the bottom of page 3 (well it was there when I posted this). I wanted to give you +10 for that post cause I really haven’t given that issue enough thought. Go read it if you haven’t.
    The crafting system is awesome hands down but that’s something I’m looking forward to more instead of  an improvement cause its just so different from the old its barely comparable imo. This makes it really easy for me to say what is the number 1 improvement over the old.
    3D! 3D FTW! Gone are the aspect ratio limitations. Gone are the ‘see the same thing pretty much every game’. Gone gone gone and yay for that. I picked 3D too because of what little I know about D3 compared to a lot of people here so my choices weren’t huge. There will be a lot of things that 3D will make better in D3 that listing them would seem trivial to the point of insulting people intelligence BUT stacked up they make a very weighty 1st degree improvement over D2 and I’m waiting very much in anticipation for the experience. Nuff said.

  46. There is a lot stuff I don’t like or I am worrying about, but some of the clear improvements for me are:

    – personal loot (extremely important!)
    – auto gold pick-up
    – auction house (even if it comes with RMAH, trading was a bitch in D2)
    – ability to play with both genders (and genders being beliavable)
    – shared stash
    – static outdoor environments
    – gear is compared with mouseover
    – inferno difficulty and enchanted party play focus

    Some of the small things I forget.. but to me I think the little things make a big difference. The ability to have fun and concentrate on the game is very important. So even these basic things will offer a lot improvement on the experience – I just hope the core of the game (skills and runestones) isn’t so flakey it seems to outside…

  47. That’s so funny. After read all comments in this thread, some ppl who doesn’t know much about D2 can imagine a terrible game filled with crap ))

  48. Blizzard finally deciding to include an offline mode with DIII at the last minute (yes I’m still hoping and I’ll continue to do so as futile as it may be)

  49. I’ve only played a few classes in the beta, but so far my favorite improvement from D2 is that all the classes just feel like they are generally more bad-ass.   In D2 when I rolled a character, there was always a feeling of “Ok, once I spend a few dozen hours building this guy, he is going to be awesome”.   In D3, by the time I’m level 3 or 4 I already feel like I’m as strong as my end-game D2 characters.  That has me really excited to see what’s in store for me beyond level 13…

  50. My favorite improvement is the enchanting system.  I love to add spell effects to weapons so my character is specialized to my liking.

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