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Balance of single player

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by D.J., Jun 7, 2016.

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  1. D.J.

    D.J. IncGamers Member

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    Hey guys, new to the forum (but really old to Diablo)

    I'll be honest when I say I almost *never* played online. But whenever I was playing alone, single player (sometimes LAN with my brothers) I always found myself struggling when reaching Hell difficulty. The problem basically was finding better gear that could sustain me in Act 2-3 Hell.

    I noticed this especially with melee characters, since they are more dependent on their weapons/equipment. I always played Hardcore when possible, so in Hell I'd usually die (I imposed myself rules: No save and quit to save characters for example) and I'd restart more characters. I actually enjoyed starting from the beginning and finding new ways to play (Scythe necromancer or melee sorceress anyone? :D). Bringing a new char to lvl 50-70 was always fun, sometimes for the weird characters I usually wrote a story about them and imagined stuff on the lore/world (and I noticed later that some people were doing the same in the Lourker Lounge!)

    Anyway, playing "untwinked", do you think some classes are at a disadvantage? Which ones you'd say are? I wanted to modify some aspects of the game just to balance things out, but I'm not sure if it's me that sucked big time or if there's some slight unbalance going on.

    Also what do you think of the useless skills? I always wanted to build a sorceress around a glacial nova, or a druid using the fire skill which I don't know the name in english let me look it up real quick. Ok it was fissure. Anyway I was saying, I'd love to see some of these skills "being better", because the way I saw them was just "hey put 1 point here, and unlock the next one because it's bigger better and stronger!" Get what I mean here? Even here I wanted to make some adjustments but with time I noticed that some of these skills are actually useful. With necros for example I always used the same 4-5 curses, but most of them are actually useful (especially in hardcore, dim vision is so strong)

    Anyway this is also my first post here, so yeah see ya around long live D2

    EDITED: horrible spelling mistakes lol
     
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  2. T72on1

    T72on1 IncGamers Member

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    Hi, and welcome to the SPF :).

    About game balance: Coincidentally @Treeharl has just started an attempt to create a balance patch, after some discussion about the subject prior to that. But I saw you already found the appropriate threads.

    As for your question about some classes being in a disadvantage when playing untwinked: yes, some classes, or more precise, builds are better than others to play untwinked. Typical examples of rather easy builds are Blizzard Sorc, Summoner Necro and Furyzon. Like you say, typically it's harder for a melee character, since they depend on finding a good weapon. But only if they rely on physical damage. MA Assassins and Holy Fire / Freeze / Shock Paladins for example, don't follow that rule.

    Just like you, I used to do fine until reaching Hell, where I would hit a wall. However, after learning where to farm for gear, how to start mf'ing early on, what to look for, which low to mid end runewords are useful, which crafts to use, etc and how to do those things efficiently, that's no longer the case. Some builds are still a lot easier than others, but you can take almost any build untwinked through Hell. HC obviously only gives you one shot at glory, so some, or even a lot of builds will still have a tough time going all the way to Guardian.

    On the topic of useless skills: there aren't many. As a main killing skill, maybe yes. I mean, even fully synergized, Ice Bolt won't kill much in Hell. But it has it's use as synergy, and it's very similar to Ice Blast, which is a very strong skill. But the 2 skills you mention, aren't actually useless. Admittedly Frost Nova will need very good gear, and even then it will be one of the slower skills to kill. But certainly not useless. Fissure on the other hand, is a very strong skill. The main problem is that there are a lot of fire immunes in Hell, so you'll need a solution for that. But Fissure on it's own is very strong. It's one of those skills that isn't fire and forget though, but that you have to learn to use efficiently. I built a single tree elemental Druid last year, and Fissure killed fast moving enemies in the blink of an eye, as the secret is to get them across as many Fissure vents as possible. Of course, if you'd use it against static or very slow moving enemies, your conclusion would be it's a terrible skill. But you have to use Volcano against those.

    So long story short: it's mostly a matter of knowing the game inside out, of knowning what works when and when to use something different. Some people will probably be able to figure that out mostly by themselves, but me for example, I had to do a whole lot of reading on game mechanics, ask around here and on the Amazon Basin, and over time I learnt to do things efficiently. Ever since, I'm convinced that you can make most skills work. Few notable exceptions (not counting skills where it's obvious to use the higher tier synergy skill instead, although many of those would still work to some extent (e.g. Teeth)): Inferno and Arctic Blast (because they are bugged), Thunderstorm (although I would still like to try a TS / Blaze Sorc one day with very good gear, just to check it out) and Conversion.
     
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  3. Cyrax

    Cyrax IncGamers Member

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    Welcome to the SFP.

    There's certainly a disadvantage for the physical oriented builds when going untwinked. As T72on1 pointed out it's more of a build issue rather than a class issue. Although a class like the sorc obviously suffers less from this than let's say a barb.

    Besides that it seems like there's another couple of things that make it harder for you. Of course there's the HC issue. Can be great fun, but as is clear you run the risk of losing a char with just one mistake. Which can even happen when fully twinked. And more importantly, the builds i see you list (scythe necro, melee sorc) are definately not among the strongest in their class / in the game. So doing those untwinked and HC adds quite a bit of difficulty to builds that aren't that easy to start with. Doesn't mean you shouldn't play them, it just means you have to count on having a decent chance of coming across the deeds screen at some point.

    In any case the difference between norm/NM and hell can be significant. I didn't see you mention player setting, but one thing i do to compensate a bit for that is playing normal and NM on p8 (except act bosses). That way you get some more lvls under your belt before entering hell, which makes quite a difference. Also you get a better chance of finding some decent gear. If that doesn't prove to be enough you can always run NM Meph for some better gear. Ideally you'll want Mephisto in hell, but if that's beyond your reach NM Meph is a good alternative. Get a decent map to run him (don't bother with perfect since you'll lose it when going to hell anyway) and you should get some decent items shortly.

    As far as useless skills go. What defines a useless skill for you? If useless is everything that's not a primary skill on the strongest barb/sorc/necro/whatever build then there's a lot of them. If you think skills that are situationally very useful then there's already a lot less useless skills. And if you think skills that can get you through hell are useful then there's very few useless skills, cause most can get you through hell it's just a matter of how difficult/tedious it will be. So in short: It depends on your definition of useless.
     
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  4. Twibz

    Twibz IncGamers Member

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    I would love to see an Uber Tristram / Uber Diablo update implemented where it is possible to attain Annihilus and Hellfire Torch in Single Player and also have the challenge of the Uber events in a Single Player capacity.

    With regards to skills being fixed, inferno and arctic blast should be buffed in my opinion to make them at all viable, other than that, i dont see any real issues with other skills.

    Class specific two-handed uniques (such as necro scythes and staffs in particular) would benefit from having improvements which make them perhaps on par with popular shield/1hand combo's but again, not sure how much of an issue that is.

    I love D2 but i can't see me returning unless a significant patch/mod is released which retains essentially the same game but with tweaks to 'useless' skills (as i stated above) and the introduction of Uber events in Single Player.

    Just my two cents.
     
  5. T72on1

    T72on1 IncGamers Member

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    I agree on the Uber Trist / Diablo stuff: I would love to have it in SP. I don't see it happen in a mod though, otherwise someone would have already done so. I do still expect a content patch from Blizzard after their 1.14a, 1.14b and 1.14c patches (at least that's what they hinted at themselves), so we can still hope.

    Inferno and Arctic Blast don't need to be buffed probably. Like I said, they are bugged, hence only doing half the damage they should. If the bug gets solved, that's double the damage right out of the gate. That should already make a big difference.

    I hope you'll return one day, since that would mean Blizzard has implemented a significant patch :).
     
  6. fearedbliss

    fearedbliss IncGamers Member

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    @D.J. Welcome to the forums.

    You are right about your assumption that it is difficult in hell difficulty. This actually started when the 1.10 patch was released. 1.10 was a massive change that 1. introduced synergies (So in 1.09 many more builds were viable because skills were not connected/game balanced around the synergy assumption) 2. late game (hell) was significantly buffed/rebalanced. This is a massive simplification of the patch notes, but those were two of the important ones. All of these changes were made _with_ battle.net in mind. Thus 1.09 was the last patch I think were single player was probably on an equal field with the online experience. You can solo hell in 1.09 with many builds, but in 1.10 it is extremely difficult.. sure people can do it with time and dilegence, but it is far different than the enjoyment and time requirements that you needed in 1.09.

    For this I actually made a mod for Single Player called Vanilla Frosting, which balances/brings some new features from 1.09 into 1.13 and also some minor fixes.
     
  7. D.J.

    D.J. IncGamers Member

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    Thanks for all the welcomes and the reply

    For the Uber Quest, doesn't the Plug Y enable this? The thing with the shared stash and all of that?
    Honestly I'm not expecting any new patches from Blizzard. At least, not any new "worth" patches. What 1.14 did was just increments the number of bugs. Also, if any new patch come around, single player will be totally ignored, sadly. But hopefully I'm wrong! I just lost all my hope after I played D3...

    Inferno and Arctic Blast should be easy fix: just double the damage, no? For other skills that I found kinda useless back in the days, well I'm talking mostly about random stuff, but if you actually think about it you could find a use for any skill.
    For exampel, Psychic Hammer: I used to think this was the worst, but the damage is not what's good, it's the garaunteed knockback. I discovered this in LAN, it saved a lot of lives! The damage is just laughable though
    But, let's say I want to make a sorceress that uses, as a main skill, the Charged Bolt, the first lightning skill (I hope thats the correct name). I mean, aren't the other skills just superior? The bolts are pretty strong if you hit them all on one single monster, but you have to be really close and it just isn't worth. So, in this case, I think it's more of a "roleplaying" scenario, where you kinda force yourself to play in this particular style or using particular restrictions. Ages ago I wanted to do the Gem Paladin, using socketed items full of perfect gems. I mean, the idea is fun, but sometimes it's just a bit tedious, get what I mean?

    I just wish all of these old-ass bugs would be solved, instead they kept adding more, even 16 years later lol.

    Anyway thanks for all the answers, one can clearly sees you guys spent A LOT on this game :rolleyes:

    EDIT: This Vanilla Frosting seems like the kind of thing the other guy (sorry forgot your name!) wanted to do: a rebalancing. But yours is pretty big/generic and changes how experience works so IDK if he could take some of your ideas. Anyway worth a shot, does it work with 1.13 only?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  8. T72on1

    T72on1 IncGamers Member

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    Patch 1.14 was buggy for many people at first. I don't have any issues with it myself. All in all, it's not a thing for most people I think. Of course it's not fun for the people who do have issues with it. On a side note: apparantly 1.14d has just been released. But no content yet. When Blizzard released 1.14a, they more or less implied there was quite some more to come. It might still be wishful thinking on my part, but I sincerely expect at least some bug fixing and balancing at some point.

    Charged Bolt is actually really strong, and lots of fun to play. The downside is you have to be up and close, but some people (me included) like it that way. Chain Lightning is better is some circumstances, Lightning quite often, but CB certainly has it's place, and absolutely destroys bosses. I just wish that Teeth worked exactly the same way, instead of just being able to hit an enemy with maximum one missile (I can't remember the exact term for that right now. Something with collide. NextCollide?).
     
  9. D.J.

    D.J. IncGamers Member

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    I had a good laugh.
    Well you could say "at least" they are doing something.

    But in all honesty, the code is so old, updating it just results in more and more bugs. Also I just don't trust them because, well, the guys who worked on Diablo and Diablo II are not in the company anymore... so I don't know. At this point I'll just let the development of new patches for the Big D die here, now. Don't get your hopes up: it's a 16 years old games, I highly doubt they can add something that refreshing to the game. Even if they do, they are focusing all their main resources on the online aspects.

    Anyway yeah, Teeth, that's another one of "those" skills. Did anybody tried a Teethomancer (or better a Tit-o-mancer ;))?
     
  10. helvete

    helvete IncGamers Member

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    They're called dentists, and they have been played through all difficulties, especially in 1.10 with the charges-act-as-synergies bug and marrowwalks.
     
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  11. Treeharl

    Treeharl IncGamers Member

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    Ironically if you play a 26skilllevel teethomancer in 1.00 I bet you can beat the game. Prehaps an instresting idea for you helvete. Call him dentist ofcourse and don't use Iron Maiden. Anyway it is not like 1.14 is fixing any of the existing D2 issues. Yes NOT ALLOWED enables ubers but enabeling ubers with NOT ALLOWED is not allowed from what I have heard since the event differs from realmplay. Bear in mind that several skills could be viable with just some more skillpoints in it.
     
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  12. fearedbliss

    fearedbliss IncGamers Member

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    @D.J. It's only for 1.13d and 1.09d since I won't be updating it anymore for those newer patches. There is nothing that Blizzard _really_ introduced since the 1.10 patch, so at this point I'm considering 1.13d as the last version of D2. It has everything we have all came to know and love :).
     
  13. maareek

    maareek IncGamers Member

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    The program you mention implements a very different version of the Ubers and Pandemonium Event (the actual logic for them online being on Blizzard's end) meaning the experience is quite dissimilar from online and for that, along with other reasons such as other included features, it is not accepted on this forum.

    I mean personal goals are involved here, too. If all you care about is maximal killing speed or item finding efficiency then there are only like two or three viable builds in the game, but if you're looking for an enjoyable challenge that list is actually quite lengthy.

    You can build a Charged Boltress who is quite strong (shameless plug of the one I made) if you choose, but even when doing a pure Lightning sorceress Charged Bolt has a role to play (most notably as a thing to spam right before Baal's minions spawn as added damage) and "having a role to play" is what all skills have, at a basic level. For some that role is kill the screen, but if everything killed the screen that would be boring design and I, at least, think it's cool to have some skills that have a narrow focus of what they do. While it's true that Arctic Blast is worse at its job (provide crowd control plus a little bit damage) than its counterparts (Telekinesis, Mind Blast, War Cry) that doesn't mean its not an interesting option or that it's useless in comparison. Of course I'll admit that I'm the resident "weird builds" guy and probably see this point differently than everyone else.

    To your original post, melee builds are definitely at a distinct disadvantage in untwinked play. If you want some general tips for untwinked HC play, you can have a look at the Untwinked, Single-pass guide and at the guide to early game untwinked magic finding. Futhermore, you can definitely find Frost Nova Sorceresses in the Mat/Pat/Guardian compilation thread (I made one myself, though I didn't do a writeup, and with good gear (full Tal's will work fine, though certainly Death's Fathom ramps up the damage) they're pretty powerful. I know people have done Fissure Druids, but I only saw one listed from a quick search of the thread. There's a lot of entries, to be fair, but there are tons of very cool builds of various flavors in that thread, if you haven't given it a look.
     
  14. Cyrax

    Cyrax IncGamers Member

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    Guys, you may wanna try reading the stickies. It clearly says that only talk about forum accepted mods is allowed here. Just telling you before some mod hits you with a ban stick.

    As for the use of aforementioned mods: You can do on your own pc what you want, but you cannot MP with other people if you use those. And it also restricts you from things like MFO since it has a looting system which would cause taint for players that only use FAM.
     
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  15. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    The Stickies are quite clear about which mods are accepted.

    Non-accepted mods aren't accepted because the things they do which are allowed, are perfectly capable of being done with the accepted mods.

    Any problems with that, PM me.

    Cyrax is perfectly correct: do what you want on your own computer, but those items/characters don't interact with our MP or trade pool (including MFOs).
     
  16. D.J.

    D.J. IncGamers Member

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    Whole posted deleted because OP doesn't respect the rules here. - Thyiad
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2016
  17. T72on1

    T72on1 IncGamers Member

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    @D.J. Might want to inform yourself better. The mod you mention does a lot more than only give an extended stash. I'm not going to get into detail here. Like maareek and Thyiad said, the stickies are clear about it. If you have any issues with it, better to discuss it with Thyiad in a pm than here.
     
  18. D.J.

    D.J. IncGamers Member

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    Whole post deleted due to unaccepted mods being posted.

    In addition my post clearly stated you could PM me for clarification. Instead you think a public post was in order.
     
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  19. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    As more than one person here is unable to post without mentioned mods - throughout the whole post - which are against the rules here, then I've closed the thread. Have a good day.
     
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