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Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects der=

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Neltharion, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Neltharion

    Neltharion Diabloii.Net Member

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    Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Greetings!


    In almost every interview I read, 97 billion possible builds, as far as skills and runes are concerned, are mentioned. But this only remains true if every single skill, even the low tier ones, along with every possible rune put into it have some kind of endgame use (Hell Difficulty) to them.

    There was some talk in one of the interviews, that if you put the highest multistrike type rune (Indigo?) into Magic Missile (shoots out 7 additional projectiles) it will suddenly become endgame viable, presuming you maxed out the skill itself, of course. A pessimist could extract from this that not every rune gives every skill the kind of power to make it an attractive option in the later acts of Hell Difficulty which would be kind of sad.


    Lets go further. I feel very strongly that at least every single damage skill you max out (even Spectral Blade for example) and rune should have a power level to be of reasonable use in Hell. You should have the option to put a Crimson Rune into Magic Missile and make it a single target power house. You should have the option to put another rune into it, providing less damage increase but giving it a trace missile effect. If the afforementioned Indigo Rune increases the number of missiles to 8 it should in turn reduce the damage each one does to bring it in line with the other rune effects. I shouldn't be forced to use a specific type of rune so I can use that skill later on. Runes, as advertised, should alter the use and purpose of the skill not dictacte the overall power level.


    Tough an area where runes could really be made to shine is in case of skills you can't really max out because you don't have the points for them. Currently, the plan seems to provide about 60+ skill points from level ups and quests. This leads to 4 skills able to be maxed out at 15 points each or 3 with a 4th close to that.

    So what can you do with the other 3? If they are pure damaging skills you have at rank 1 they will be of no use. This is where special rune effects that provide crowd control come into play. Prime examples of this are the Witch Doctor's Poison Dart turning into Snake Dart which stuns the enemy or to the same effect the Barbarians Weapon Throw where one rune type brings the same functionality.

    I'll give you another Wizard example: lets say you max out Magic Missile for single target damage, Electrocute with Chain Lightning rune for smaller groups, Meteor for heavy AoE damage against big clusters and Ice Armor so you can take a beating while waiting for the Meteor to land. The 3 skills you can not max out would be Teleport, Ray of Frost and Energy Twister. You could argue to take Mirror Image and Slow Time for the last two, but lets roll with the aforementioned. She also takes a Trait called Black Ice which increases damage against frozen targets.
    Ray of Frost is like a frost version of Disintegrate and obviously chills enemies. Now if there's a rune effect which instead freezes the enemies it provides ample defense and offensive purposes without actually maxing the skill out. Higher runes could increase the freeze duration. A rune effect for Energy Twister could be an additional stun effect, with higher runes again increasing the duration. So again, you can't max out the skill to increase its damage but can provide it with additional use with the help of runes, even as a 1 pointer. Even a 1 point Teleport has great use if you put a rune in it which creates a Mirror Image after using it.


    So in closing, I'm really hoping that every skill and rune effect has some kind of use later on so we can really say that we can choose between 97 billion builds. :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  2. popenfresh

    popenfresh Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Sounds cool to me but I've heard criticism saying rune effects might kill each skill's uniqueness. With runes you can basically turn any skill into a single damage one, a crowd control one, and AoE one ect.

    Not that I mind though...
     
  3. Pyrohemia

    Pyrohemia Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    There will be a need for situational, mobility and defensive skills that will have end-game utility without being maxed.

    With high level runes, skills are likely to get a large power boost compared to a basic level rune, or no rune at all, that will allow early skills end-game potential.
     
  4. konfeta

    konfeta Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    From the examples we have seen, those are more of a hybridization than a complete roll transfer. For example, Throw Weapon can be made to stun as opposed to slow... but it still won't compare in stun effectiveness to Stomp.
     
  5. Bash_

    Bash_ Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Great post.

    Runes will definitely play a big part in how people are going to distribute their skill points, especially in PVP.

    It's not unlikely to think that people will gear for as much damage on their main skills, with the remaining ones being used as 1 point wonders enhanced by runes for utility or crowd control effects.
     
  6. Arkadier

    Arkadier Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    You have to take into consideration that there will (most probably) be more than 59 skill points. I think it's reasonable to calculate with ~68, which would equal 3 additional skill points per complete playthrough (Diablo 2 had 4). Also, afaik, not all skills will have a maximum level of 15. And, imho, the most probable candidates for this are utility, movement and defensive spells. 15 ranks of an armor, increasing armor bonus with every level? Or increasing the radius of Slow Time 14 times after the first rank? Same with teleport, what is there to improve for 14 times, other than maybe less cooldown?

    I expect damage and summoning skills to be the only ones with 15 ranks. Therefore you might be able to max out more of your skills, depending on your choice of course.

    Apart from that, I agree with your desire for high-end-viable low-tier-skills like Magic Missile. And I expect them to develop accordingly, why else should they restrain the increased maxlvl of skills to later difficulties? It's a measure of balance, because those low-tier-skills really get kick *** at high ranks, even amplified by higher level runes.

    In short: Magic Missile Rank 15/15, runed with a maxlvl autotarget oder +dmg rune will be my Single Target Nuke, i have no doubt about that.
     
  7. The Rockman

    The Rockman Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Slow time, the amount it slows by? Amour skills, secondary effects IE Slow, retribution damage etc, same for Teleport just add a secondary effect to it.


     
  8. Arkadier

    Arkadier Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    The (secondary) effects you think of seem more viable to runes to me. Skill ranks might probably rather increase the primary effect. And for movement, defense and utility I don't see them introducing 15 ranks, as that contradicts their "xxx has to feel awesome" approach. Rank 14 Slow Time would surely feel alot like Rank 15 Slow Time ;).


     
  9. fnwc

    fnwc Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    I actually feel bad for the developers. The rune system means they potentially have to design 5 times as many skills and art.

    There's really no way this game is going to balanced for every single skill, for every single rune, for every level of difficulty on release. But I think they'll probably be tweaking the skill numbers constantly after release, once they get player metrics.

    But who knows.
     
  10. Arkadier

    Arkadier Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Definitely one ****load of balancing variables, right. But it's Blizzard, after all ;). And the one principle they have followed very strictly so far is continuos and extraordinary support for their games. The amount of patches providing additional content, improved balancing and so on is crazy. Even Diablo 2 is still supported and extended content-wise after so many years. I have no worries that they will find a satisfactory balance solution - one of the reasons why I almost exclusively play (and buy!) Blizzard Games.


     
  11. Jaago

    Jaago Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    As well as a rank 14 Seven sided Strike or Arcane Torrent would surely feel a lot alike to a rank 15 one. :wink:

    Good point, but I disagree slightly. It would give the skills in an unequal status, and decrease choices and variety (maybe a moot point with 97 billion builds per class) by eliminating the need for specialization within the 7 skills. Personally, I can already think of a few builds that would want to put 15 points to some of the defensive skills to gain some sort of invincibility. For example Energy Shield Wizards. But on the other hand, for some (especially the movement) skills, maximization does feel like a chore and lower cap would make decisions less painful. Still, a level 15 Teleport might just make you feel that awesome. :D

    Edit: And for something on-topic. :p It seems many of the skills have at least one rune variation that has a nice control type effect that should have at least some effect even at lower levels. Though obviously you won't be putting those crimson runes for extra damage into rank one skills. So 97 billion is probably exaggeration, but I'm happy with a million or ten. :)



     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  12. Arkadier

    Arkadier Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Considering how they seem to try to make Tier 1 spells viable in endgame content, the difference between Rank 14 Magic Missile and Rank 15 might be pretty significant, actually. Monster health in D2 was proportional to (roughly) a*exp(2x) with a being the monster health variable and x being the difficulty level. This is exponential behaviour (see example of one basic exponential function below), the difference in damage output between Rank 14 and 15 of any damage skill should therefore be really significant as the increase itself increases.
    [​IMG]

    But then again, I guess that is true for the monsters' damage as well - which would justify 15 ranks to defensive skills ;).

    Guess we'll just have to wait, I'm really curious about that one!


     
  13. Jaago

    Jaago Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    That's a level of technicality I never got into; I just enjoyed killing those buggers. :p In D2 skill damage increased linearly, but then again that is most likely going to change. Increasing 1-2 damage charged bolts linearly to 15-16 damage won't be awesome nor end-game viable for sure, so they might apply an exponential scale. They could also just make the damage take big leaps between ranks 5-6 and 10-11 to compensate for difficulty changes.

    In practice, exponential growth would make you put 15 points into as many skills as possible, and some form of linear expansion would allow more leeway at higher ranks. I think both options have merit.

    I just want my melee Wiz with 3 high-rank defensive skills. :D It seems like it could be the hardiest build between all of the classes.

    True that.



     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  14. konfeta

    konfeta Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Exponential growth would ruin build variety. You would always have to max out damage skills and leave non-damage skills point starved.
     
  15. lone_wolf

    lone_wolf Diablo: IncGamers Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Just a side note that was not always the case in diablo 2. At the time when you could use players 64 the monsters provided no more treat at that player setting then players 8 and then later /players 8 the increase in life was significant but due to how skills worked back then you could kill them very quickly even at that amount of increased health.

    The damage did not scale nearl as much as it started to do from 1.10 and forward.



     
  16. Arkadier

    Arkadier Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    Well you're right concerning the need for more points in damage skills in that case. But linear growth (or anything similar to it) would kill endgame viability of lower tier skills. This would reduce build variety even more, as you'd be limited to higher tier skills that deal enough damage. Considering the "You'll need that in Hell"-comment on max runed Magic Missiles (Rank 1 skill Wizard) in the second D3 Panel al Blizzcon, I suppose they want 'em to be viable.


     
  17. Autti

    Autti Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    making them viable is very good thing.

    It expands the amount of viable skill builds.

    No point making low skills cool with runes if they are useless come hell.
     
  18. Neltharion

    Neltharion Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    I just imagined a Wizard with ...

    15 Meteor
    15 Ice Armor
    15 Energy Shield
    15 Slow Time
    x Diamond Skin
    x Mirror Image
    1 Teleport

    He could just stand in his Slow Time Bubble, casting Meteor after Meteor and loot inbetween the cooldown. :whistling:

    That's why you have to make Low Tier Skills more attractive to stand up against High Tier Ones like Meteor / Blizzard / Arcane Torrent. :yes:


    Edit:
    After second thought, I think I'll try a high defense build like that! :jig:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2010
  19. Autti

    Autti Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    I find it weird the wizard has meteor, blizzard and arcane torrent.

    All 3 skills seem incredibly similar, i guessing they have something cool with the runes.
     
  20. Vallen Chaos Valiant

    Vallen Chaos Valiant Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Endgame Viability Of Lower Tier Skills And Their Rune Effects

    In DII, they made Fire the "default" attack spell type, with Cold spells being weaker but have the freeze effect while Lightning have higher mana cost, higher average damage, but extremely bad minimum damage. So something similar in DIII is possible. A spell caster needs to have a reason to choose one spell type over another other than raw dps.



     

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