Latest Diablo 3 News
Support the site! Become a Diablo: IncGamers PAL - Remove ads and more!

Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by konfeta, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. konfeta

    konfeta Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    256
    Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Now that we basically know the essentials, I believe it's important to think about the impact the new resource system will have on items.

    In short
    I think that Blizzard is planning to (or will end up) changing a lot more than resource types for each character. It makes a lot of sense that they will be abandoning a staple of this genre - the close relationship between the resource that is used by skills and equipment that improves that resource. I doubt that we will see anything even remotely in the neighborhood of the caster pleasers such as Frostburns and Insight in Diablo 3. My reason? There is a great deal of effort to differentiate between characters based on their resource systems, a difference that is rather very obviously unsustainable if Diablo 2's style of basically infinite mana is to remain.


    Some in-depth musings

    Before moving on to the meat, let's list what we know about the 4 characters so far in terms of their resources and quickly look at what they might mean before going into items.

    1. Barbarian - Fury -
    a resource that builds up primarily by dealing damage and taking damage. Expended by most of the skills. Clearly designed to reward the Barbarian for rapid offense and being in the thick of combat.

    2. Monk - Spirit - a resource type that builds up by performing combo moves. Expended by some of the "flashier" skills as per JWilson interview. Seems to ensure that the Monk's bread and butter attacks are always usable and specifically limits his most powerful abilities from being spammed.

    Assumption - Spirit does not drain naturally, if it does, the drain is very slow. Otherwise, it is a segmented Fury. An associate assumption is that Spirit builds significantly slower than Fury, as it is suppose to prevent the Monk from spamming his powerful non-combo skills.

    3. Wizard - Arcane Power - a resource type that is very similiar to mana but regenerates very rapidly on its own. Seems to be effectively an inverse of the mana bar, so I would assume that it has a relatively limited pool. Effectively means that the Wizard's limitation is rate at which she casts her spells, which means she is practically never out of juice but cannot attack rapidly at all times.

    4. Witch Doctor - Mana - you all know the drill. A pain to replenish, but allows a lot of stuff before running dry.

    Assumption for both WD and Wiz -
    Mana and Arcane Power are inverses of each other. Mana is plentiful in volume but weak in replenish, Arcane Power is crappy in volume, but plentiful in replenish.

    Theoretically, each one of these resource systems has a subtle effect on how each character plays. Fury and Spirit seem too similar on the surface. However, Fury can only be utilized in full potential by non-stop offensive, while Spirit has a certain leniency to it, where a combo can be built up, but the resource is not immediately expended. Thus, the difference is expressed by the idea that the Barbarian skill usage is limited by damage taken and received, while Monk skill usage is limited by having very specific skills being dependent on very general combo skills for usage (combos are free, specials have a cost). Plastyle wise, the Monk is clearly more rewarded for being a more discriminating, hit'n'runnish melee warrior than the brute firepower inherent in the Barbarian.

    Likewise, the difference between Mana and Arcane Power seems trivial at first, but has important distinctions. Mana effectively gives the WD a large pool of choices per fight that remains until the very end - whenever he wants to spam his poisons or summons or nukes or whatever, he is at full offensive capacity until he runs dry. Arcane Power, on the other hand, by definition prevents the Wizard from running dry and instead limits the rate at which the Wizard outputs her spells - a period of rapid, indiscriminate casting means you will be quickly reduced to having to fire off a small spell every few seconds seconds until you get a short resting period to fill your resource orb to the max. In effect, the Wizard never stops attacking, but the intensity of offense diminishes extremely fast.


    So, how do items tie into this? If the extent to which the resource systems are improved by items remains anywhere near to what we had in Diablo 2, all these distinctions become meaningless. Spirit and Fury generation and capacity boosted too high lead to both Monk and Barbarian essentially having the subtle difference in how their otherwise similar systems behave washed away - a Monk who can rapidly build up his Spirit to spam his strong abilities is no different than a Barbarian who has little to no regard to conserving fury on a skill like Cleave when he can just focus entirely on Shockwaves. An Arcane Power Orb boosted in capacity is no different than a Mana Orb that got an Insight level item replenishing it. In other words, giving out resource capacity boosts and replenishment boosts on items murders the design intention of the current resource systems, making their differences relevant until the gear washes the differences away. I think Blizzard realizes that, and if they are to keep the resource systems, an entire class of items will have to either go or will be made very rare (perhaps +Arcane Power capacity items will be as rare as Archangel Staves in D1 or +% experience boost items in D2). Item effects as powerful as % based mana leach become innately unfavorable to the game's design goal. Cooldown on potions just furthers this idea.

    Perhaps and instead, the ability of every class to improve their resource management will be tied heavily to other skills (such as the Barbarian's Inner Rage or the Witch Doctor's Soul Harvest; and perhaps some passives/procs). This ensures that a character will have a hard choice between improving their offensive/defensive abilities directly or improving their ability to use them via resource generation/capacity increase.

    So, would such a design decision be ultimately good or bad for this game?

    I think it would be overall good. Yes, it would effectively kill quite a few item properties, but it would act to preserve the difference in feel at higher levels for each class in terms of their resource management. It would make anything that improves your character's resource management significantly more valuable. It could even perhaps introduce a variational in builds unheard of before in Diablo - would one sacrifice direct boosts to skill potency to gain resource orb improvements?

    P.S. There is another major assumption I omitted up to this point - skill cooldowns. In current school of RPG design, they do the function that resource management utterly fails to perform - limit use of very powerful abilities, because let's get real, Frozen Orb with no cooldown would not be constrained by mana in the slightest to the average high level Sorc. If the discussed design decision is made and carefully balanced, high resource cost would supplant cooldowns as the limiter on all but very specific skills. Otherwise, cooldowns mess rather greatly with heterogeneity potentially provided by the different resource systems.
     
  2. Drytchnath

    Drytchnath Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Good post. I believe we will in fact see resource related mods on gear in D3, but they will be very modest in comparison to their D2 counterparts.

    An example would be a mod (perhaps only found on barb-specific gear) that always ensures you have X amount of fury, which may be enough to let your first attack be a cleave instead of a shout of some kind. Or alternatively you could use a shout to add to onto the extra fury you start with to open with a seismic slam.

    With something like Arcane power you may see a mod that increases Arcane Power regen if its current level is below X percent. In either case any buffs from gear will need to be carefully tested and limited to avoid the D2 mana issue.

    Also, both of my examples could easily be worked into skills or added as separate passives. Hopefully Blizzcon will reveal more about the different resource systems.

    Now I'm curious as to what the 5th character will use since it seems like all the "normal" choices have been used up.
     
  3. Moonfrost

    Moonfrost Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1,268
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Good post. I don't think classes having different resources will spell the end of class-specific items any less than classes having different skills will. Some items are just designed with specific classes in mind, so if there will be boots with +1 to wizard skills then seeing +40 mana to another pair of boots shouldn't come as a surprise. As we already know, there will indeed be class-specific items and you'll be able to find other classes' items when playing your class of choice. As long as any resource boosts are intentionally conservative, we shouldn't run into items like Frostburns or SoJs.

    To some extent, under the current design some classes can already modify their resource through items. To increase fury generation, you must first increase the barbarian's damage output and/or damage intake. Assuming spirit generation is tied to successful hits rather than damage dealt, your hit chance will play an important part there. For the WD, last I heard vitality increased mana regeneration, so unless something has changed from last year's D3 demo - chances are it has - then that is another way to boost the resource. AP is mostly unknown at this point, so no comments there.

    That being said, most of the resource-modifying factors will stem from class skills. To use AP as an example, Jay mentioned that AP wouldn't increase like the D2's mana pools did (you'd always have a max of, say, 100) but that players would be able to modify spell costs and AP regen through skills. This kind of resource-altering mechanic has already been seen in barbarian and WD's skill trees, so it should be expected the remaining two classes will have their own versions of it too.

    The key to keeping resource management a part of gameplay rather than something players eventually grow out of is definitely a matter of making sure the resource generation doesn't scale too much. It should remain relatively constant (normalized) throughout a character's lifespan. As soon as you introduce things like mana leech, the resource stops being important and becomes an inconvenience. As soon as you allow players to stack things like mana leech, the resource stop being an inconvenience and becomes something that players don't even have to consider.
     
  4. Flux

    Flux Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    6,710
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    472
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Your analysis of the various resource types seems solid. The projections to itemization are necessarily very speculative, though. I don't know if even Blizzard could really tell us how the item mods are going to work at this point, since they keep changing as the other game systems change.

    They've said a few times in the past that +skills will probably not be found on items, or will be very uncommon. We've got to assume that leech will also be quite rare or nonexistant, since that's really what made D2 so easy (contra Jay Wilson's repeatedly blaming that lack of challenge on the potions that no high level d2 char ever drank outside of very occasional full purple emergencies).

    The only major change I'd say is confirmed and set at this point is that +%skill damage will be a major focus of mage gear. Which will, by design, have a major trickle down impact on all other mage gear choices, making it harder to get good res, MF, etc.
     
  5. konfeta

    konfeta Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,336
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    256
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Well, whatever the item mods are going to be, if Blizzard want to retain unique playstyle as projected by resource systems, they have to be keep the resource management aspect relevant. I can't think of a more elegant solution they might take other than reigning the tremendous impact such item mods bring in.

    They have to be a lot more careful with item attributes now that auto-stats are in-place. With disappearance of (however meager) customization present in manual attributes, greater pressure goes on other systems to provide differentiation between classes and playstyles. Coupled with the idea that the D2 team never really playtested Nightmare and Hell Difficulties, something that the D3 team is planning to avoid repeating, late game itemization will be done with even greater caution. Which I believe translates into the careful balance act of having late game equipment feel awesome while maintaining the relevance of other game systems such as the resource management.

    The +% damage for spells is indicative of reigning in the inherent disparity between casters and melee, auto-attributes, skill runes, skill tree axing, etc. are all indicating that they are not afraid of implementing drastic changes from stuff we are used to.

    And, well, Jay was partially correct - low level gameplay didn't rely on leach, it relied on pot spam. And casters did rely on health pots.

    @Moonfrost
    I don't think this translates into loss character specific gear. I just think that item properties that boost something like that will be tremendously rare and carefully controlled by being properties unique to legendary class items, rather a randomly generated attribute that might exist on rare items.

    Blizzard has a lot more manpower to invest into playtesting this game, which means itemization is likely to be a lot more carefully controlled in terms of the impact it has on gameplay.

    Drytch brought up some interesting alternative properties we might have. In that vein, I think we might have skill specific gear, maybe something that impacts an individual skill and its relationship with the resource system rather than blanket buffs ala lol-Insight. If leveling a skill changes its potency directly and skill runes change its function, there could be gear that improves individual skills in ways such as cooldown, resource cost, resource generation, etc. This would be an interesting balance between resource changing items of old and attempts to keep the new resource systems relevant.

    Which would actually make late game itemization hell of a lot more interesting and can potentially open a lot more flexibility in late game builds if Blizzarrd's item creating people are feeling creative.
     
  6. voraginous

    voraginous Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Great points OP. Blizz def. needs to think carefully about item mods associated with resource management for fear of obviating class differences. A little bit of class bleedthrough can be awesome (Oskill runewords anyone?) but too much destroys variety and uniqueness until at the extreme end everyone is the same because everyone has the same options (see diablo 1, where everyone used: stone curse, teleport, fireball, chain lightning, mana shield). This is just as bad as everyone being the same because of not enough options (see diablo 2's INTRA-class differences, there were only a few viable builds because of broken/UP skills like fend and the zon's fire arrow tree etc.)

    and im still bitter about autostats. :(
     
  7. sirroman

    sirroman Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    I am at a "wait-and-see" position 'bout the autostats.

    You are right, OP, they have to be very careful, but, in blizz defense, they actually said before that the reason every class has a different resource is because they acknowledged that mana wasn't enough: at low levels it was just a reason to not throw away the mana potions that dropped; at high levels it was meaningless except for a few characters that still would "not throw away the mana potions that dropped".

    Actually, I'm sure you guys remember: nobody added stats in energy.

    So, yeah, I'm pretty sure that the reason they have a new resource for every one is because they want to fix that. How lame would it be if by trying to fix something they made the same mistake?

    So, yeah, probably we won't be seeing items that mess a lot with the resource system, just to make sure that something unpredictable happens and sack everything.
     
  8. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,652
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    121
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    i hated the auto stats at first now i dont care. there seems to be so many other ways to customize a character that auto stats wont ever bother me. when i thought about it i realized i was pretty much using auto stats anyway. every sorc i made i would put the same points into the same stats
     
  9. sirroman

    sirroman Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Still, we had that awesome melee sorcerer build that had all-str stats. Or the no-vita manashield sorcy.


     
  10. Valhauros

    Valhauros Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    I loved to get my Meleemancer beaten up, but when I got through, it was a hell of an achievement. I remember getting it until level 81, then, I just got tired of playing D2 on a constant basis and got back to original game. By the way, in D1 you had a limit to your stats, and still you could have very ridiculously fun and challenging builds, like the Mage Knight (Warrior), the Moor (Sorceror) and the Samurai (Rogue)... so maybe the automatic stat distribution won't take away a multitude of viable variations as we think.


     
  11. cacophony

    cacophony Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Great post, OP.
    Second, if you want more of a particular stat, you can go gear for it, gem for it, and presumably enchant gear for it.
    Third, if they really want to change up the wizard some more, they can make spell damage scale w/ Arcane Power. As in, the first spell you cast w/ a full orb would do 110% damage or something, and the last spell you cast would be at 10% or so. These numbers would be balanced, modified by passives, stats, and maybe even runes. It would definitely change your rotation/playstyle.
     
  12. sirroman

    sirroman Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    That's why I'm like, wait-and-see. I'm sure it won't suck, I'm just not sure it will be plainly better, you know?

    Maybe noobs won't have the same problem that I had with my first character, a necro with a gigantic str and almost nothing at vita haha. (If I'd made it on purpose... no problem! But... man... I was crushed so hard that I almost cried for my necro. hahaha)

    @ cacophony: I would prefer to give a small chance of misfire based in how much arcane you got left.


     
  13. Valhauros

    Valhauros Diabloii.Net Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    842
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Re: Implication of new resource types for items - big changes cometh?

    Yes, I agree, I'm more concerned about the change in style than the change in functionality. If the player no longer has this reward while leveling up, it'll feel quite different (as some explained in Jread's thread), since one of the major aspects of character customization, on the most basic level, was the choice of giving it the perspective you wanted, even if the result was a total useless mess (say, a Barbarian using a bow with almost every point spent in dexterity and energy).


     

Share This Page