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Item Power and Rarity

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Nimbostratus, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Nimbostratus

    Nimbostratus Diabloii.Net Member

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    Item Power and Rarity

    This is one of the big things that bugged me about D2- To have anything remotely good, you were required to either have amazing luck or just start grinding away for hours on whatever boss or area. To have anything truly powerful, the only choice is to grind away for even longer. Without some degree of re-running areas, the game can range from slightly annoying to practically impossible to play.

    Now, I'm not for eliminating rare and powerful items. All I want is for the power gap between untwinked and maxed out to be just that- a gap, not a giant chasm. Running bosses should still be an option for those who want to be stronger or be the best, but it shouldn't be so much a necessity as it is in D2. It shouldn't be forced. My dislike of grinding is not the only reason I suggest the gap be reduced.


    Note: Bolded titles. Use them to avoid massive quote-block replies, or if you're just feeling really tl;dr.


    A large power gap is hard to balance.
    When balancing a game, the developers need to have some idea of how the player is doing at whatever point they're at. However, how exactly is this supposed to happen when your top end is orders of magnitude more powerful than somebody playing untwinked? With a large enough gap, you end up with very frustrated untwinked players and very bored maxed out players. Please note that the power disparity is not based solely on the numbers themselves- they react with each other. If you have better defensive stats, you can play more aggressively- do more damage. If you have better offensive stats, you don't need to worry about defense- things die before they can land a hit on you. With this in mind, even if the individual items at the top end have stats only 10% better than average, somebody with everything maxed out could still end up twice as effective overall (an example, not a proposition!).

    EDIT: THE 10% IS AN EXAMPLE PULLED FROM NOWHERE. I AM NOT BY ANY MEANS SUGGESTING "ONLY 10% BETTER" SHOULD BE THE RULE. STOP QUOTING IT ALREADY.


    Rarity is not balance.
    A lot of people seem to have the idea that if something extremely powerful is also extremely rare, that it is balanced. Would hammerdins still be overpowered if only a handful of people played them? Would a cheap tactic in PVP be any less cheap if you only encountered it occasionally? There is no way at all that an overpowered item suddenly becomes perfectly balanced just by giving it a million-to-one drop ratio. All that happens is that you don't get to see it being unbalanced as often. And as time goes on, you will see it being unbalanced more and more often. People keep the things they find. Rarity does not last forever.


    A large power gap prevents effective coop.
    Ideally, everybody in a coop game should feel like they're doing something useful, and that they aren't being held back by somebody in their party. Now, imagine in D2, a well-geared character playing with somebody completely untwinked. The well-geared guy feels like he's babysitting the other player, and the untwinked guy feels like he never gets a chance to do anything. The only way this counts as coop is that they're both usually on the same screen. This kind of thing is why coop servers for FPS games tend to respawn players with something better than the default starter pistol.


    Large power gaps discourage PVP.
    I've heard numerous PVPers say that they got into it because they got bored with PVM. Okay, so what about the guys who "got bored early"? They want to try PVP, but they don't have the items for it. Sure, an experienced PVPer can do well without godly gear, but a new PVPer doesn't have experience. And if he doesn't want to go boss farming for several hours, he doesn't have items either. His only choice is to lose, which obviously isn't very encouraging. I've never done any serious PVP because of this. I've looked at PVP guides, and all I could think was "I'll never have that stuff. I wouldn't stand any chance at all," and gave up right there. You could assume that I'm the only guy that did that, but think to yourself, are there more?


    You can't just pick up the game.
    Like I said at the beginning, playing the game without twinking or re-running to some degree is a great deal harder than normal. An untwinked run is possible, yes, but here a problem arises. Possible does not mean practical, nor does it equate to fun. Technically, anything that can do damage can beat the game. But how many of you would like taking two hours to clear a single area? Thus, some setup time is needed, via item farming. It's hard to get into a game, and even harder to get back into a game if you know it needs a lot of setup time in order to be fun.


    Hacking and cheating is made worse with a large power gap.
    With the previous points in mind, it's painfully obvious why somebody would resort to cheating if they don't like grinding. So, with a huge power gap, we have a huge incentive to find dupe methods and create bots. "Oh, but D3 will have better security!" is the usual response. I don't want to be pessimistic, but simply assuming that nothing will ever get through, or that it will always be dealt with immediately is a bad idea. Even if that holds true at the start, what about a couple years down the line? We need some damage control, at least. Something will get through eventually; it shouldn't be allowed to entirely wreck the game's balance once it does.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  2. kavlor

    kavlor Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    Well we need rarety in some shape or form because it gives us that Holy Grail to look for ,to build up towards and when you have every great item out there it becomes boring.

    But anyway a way to compromise and probably appeal to the right people is to have item rarity based on uniqueness.The more rare items dont have to have higher damage,speed and defence but to have mods/affixes that are more interesting and different an example in D2 would be an Item like Rift where it doesn't beat the top weapons but its a great deal more interesting.This could also come in the form of random mods where its the combination of mods that creates the uniqueness.

    Of course then you have trading.If trading beomes more efficient then item rarity actually needs to increase at least for the Mid/lower band.
     
  3. Timesink

    Timesink Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    I'm going to have to disagree here. Having powerful characters is one of the iconic characteristics of Diablo. Check out developer/designers interviews--they get this. In an MMO, people are use to the idea that (solo) fights are typically 1 on 1. As you grow in power, you might be able to manage 2 mobs at once, or maybe a handful of weaker ones. But even a decked out, max level 80 mage in WoW, for example, cannot run across the world and lay waste to hundreds of enemies without a pause.

    Diablo should have a much different feel to it. In the beginning, yes, those 4 fallen and a shaman may be a serious threat. But as you progress, you character grows in power geometrically and you are soon laying waste to hordes of nasties. If you only gained power from levels and not gear (1) there wouldn't be much to do at high levels and (2) why would you farm gear? The paradigm you suggest would lead people to hitting level 100 and retiring their character. There goes the economy and the replayability of D3.

    Blizzard was also genius by introducing nightmare and hell modes. One moment you are on top of the world, the next moment those fallen are suddenly a challenge again. When I first heard about the concept I thought it sounded lame. Dozens of level 80 (HC) characters later and I thought it was brilliant.

    I'm not in favor of or arguing for crazy over the top items like some of the runewords were. But if I just hit level 90 and you hit 90 long ago and are now 92 (assuming leveling progression at the end is slow) you should be more powerful than me and noticeably so. If you aren't then why did you spend all that time leveling from 90 to 92? For two skill points?


     
  4. Typoko

    Typoko Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    Hi!

    The problem is that RPG games don't really need to be ultimately balanced between players. As long as every class can get to that point where he kills everything on sight easilly, everything is fine.

    The whole idea of D3 is to get the best gear. Levels are just something that come in the side (atleast in the end). If the best gear is not worth it why would you want to get it? There needs to be a huge gap. This doesen't prevent coop and doesen't really aid hackers. And yes, rarity IS balance. Balance between the imba and the not so imba. This game should have a nice gap between the casual players and the ones grinding their jazz off for the gear.
     
  5. Pyrohemia

    Pyrohemia Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    I would like to see Diablo 3 have a power divide between untwinked and fully twinked that is much more like Diablo 2 had in 1.09 where magic weapons were the best as compared to the ridiculousness of being decked out in runewords in 1.10+.

    In 1.09 fully twinked meant 300% cruel weapons of quickness but untwinked could still do well after spending an hour or two shopping in hell for any old cruel weapon, socketing it a Larzuk, and putting in a pair of shael runes.

    I am only considering legit 1.09 endgame as back then there were lots of duped jewels and hacked items like oculus rings and 'Ith' weapons that made Bnet endgame nearly as unbalanced as it is in 1.10+.
     
  6. Galtrovan

    Galtrovan Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    I could not agree more. This is one of my biggest peeves with all the game-breaking runewords in D2. The intended rarity of the runes and supposed impossibility of the runewords being available to the masses does not justify their existence. Why? No matter how rare an item is, if it is attainable, someone will attain it. And IMO, one or a few running around with game-breaking items is worse than everyone running around with game-breaking items.



     
  7. sirBeReN

    sirBeReN Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    I generally agree to OP. The problem is the exact ratio of rarity/power the end gear will have.

    Anyway. What I'd like to see most, is to be able to get decent gear in solo games too. D2 was definitely PATHETIC in solo game. I really hated that I had to finish the game 30 times in single player, to find a decent item I didn't need any more. This IS imbalance!
     
  8. 5zigen

    5zigen Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    I think the "rarity is not balance" drum is too often not beaten.

    However, I will point out that if every piece of gear is 10% more effective on an "uber" player than on the average player, they will not be twice as effective.

    Say average gear has 100 stat points, and endgame gear has 110. Suppose there are 10 spots for gear. Average joe has 1000 stat points, uber joel has 1100 stat points. Sure, it's like a whole additional piece of armor, but it isn't twice as powerful.

    As such, I think 10% is a good cutoff for uber gear, as opposed to the situation D2 is in now, where uber gear (runewords) is roughly twice as powerful as high endgame gear (uniques / rares) and far more than that over average gear (magicals and the like).
     
  9. Sky Lynx

    Sky Lynx Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    I have some doubts about this. I liked the way how there were powerful rare items extremely hard to find because that was a part of game's charm. If they are just another 10% to overall untwinked character then it's not worth the interest.

    I would better complain about the actual need to make countless runs with, say, untwinked barb to get some gear to at least survive in hell in D2. Why do I need to have certain uniques to have stats to continue playing? They are uniques after all, they should be something you think about "wow, how lucky i am!" when you open another chest and find the item there. And not like "ok, so what do I need for hell? hmm, this or that runeword, a couple of Plague Bearers, Vampire Gaze, Gore Rider etc etc..".

    So in my opinion let them make regular (not white, but those which can be found in stable leveling) items enough to play through game. Let the uniques be still rare and, as you call them, 'unbalanced'. Let the player choose from resourses he actually has at the certain game stage naturally, not make him break the game to just find gear. And that is namely a break imo, not a gameplay thing.
     
  10. Nimbostratus

    Nimbostratus Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    Did nobody read the parentheses? The "each piece being 10% better = 2x increase overall" thing was an example. Those numbers were pulled from nowhere.


    5zigen: You're just looking at the numbers. Here's a quick example of what I'm talking about: Think about a character with max block compared to a character with no block. The one without blocking has to play more strategically to avoid getting swarmed, while the one with max block can wade into the group and just swing away. Even if both characters have the same attack speed and damage per hit, the one with max block will probably end up doing more damage overall since he doesn't have to retreat as much and can just keep swinging. Even if you count time for block animations, it's still likely shorter than the time taken running away.
     
  11. fiero

    fiero Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    Quoted for truth. Rarity really is balance.

    And I think that the top gear should be way better than +10% of the mediocre or whatever. I mean, come on. Uber gear should be really, really powerful. Extreme rarity will prevent it form cheezen the game. You cannot use the existance of dupes as an argument here, dupes are not supposed to exist, period. So those high end equips that are perhaps 6-7 times more powerful than your average Joe item, or more, will not be used by many. Unless the player really puts down time to find them.


     
  12. Nimbostratus

    Nimbostratus Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    Attention: "only 10% better" was not suggested as any kind of actual rule. Please stop quoting it. It was an example pulled straight out of nowhere for the purposes of demonstration only.

    *ahem*


    Typoko:
    The gap certainly does not need to be so big as it was in D2. Please, give some backup to your statements; simply saying "This doesn't prevent coop" has no weight to it. And I really have no idea how you think that "Balance between the imba and the not so imba," is balance.


    Fiero:
    Dupes weren't supposed to exist in D2 either. D2 was hoped to be completely hack-proof when it was made. You simply cannot assume nothing will get through. Even without duping, rarity is not permanent. The longer people are playing the game, the more items are available to the population, since people hang onto or trade the items they find.



    I realize that people who spend lots of time on the game should have something better for their efforts, but I simply cannot find the reasoning behind making it that such efforts allow complete and effortless domination on items alone. Furthermore, allowing such power for the hardcore players could even be detrimental- If you're at the endgame and have items that can overpower every enemy you encounter, what more is there for you to do? PVM becomes boring, and what if you don't enjoy PVP?
     
  13. Knight_Wolf

    Knight_Wolf Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    The problem does exist with Hi-lv. skills VS Lo-lv. skills as it is with Hi-lv. items VS Lo-lv. items, the gap between low/mid level weapons/items and hi level weapons/items is almost a chasm like the OP said, the hi lv. weapons/items overshadow the older weapons in every aspect, and the even rarer weapons (ones obtained with runewords in D2) completely make all the other items in the game useless ... the problem might not be so intense with skills .. but it is the same.

    One might think that by making them rare it would balance out things, but that wasn't the case at all, just the notion they are so overpowered is enough to make them game breaking even if they are rare, cause like the OP said .. people will eventually obtain them and use them and they won't be that rare at all, only their overpowered game breaking existence is what will remain.


    Now to the suggestions:


    -Hi-lv weapons/items should be stronger and more effective (with highly effective modifiers .. i.e 60% +DEF) but they should have some drawbacks ... like having way less modifiers ) ... yes the modifiers are more effective but the are less in number per weapon .. i.e 1 or 2 modifiers per hi.lv item) ..... low to mid lv. items will be less damaging and have less effective modifiers (i.e 30% +DEF) but they will have more modifier variety per item (4 or 5 modifiers per item)

    -Allow for upgrading existing weapons base stats to some limited degree ... that will help low and mid lv. weapons to last longer since with this crafting option one can upgrade their attack rating and dmg as he progresses and make use of their modifier variety for longer .. still if it is made that each weapon can only be upgraded once (for all magical weapon types) or twice (for normal weapon type/non magical) it will balance thing nicely.

    -Allow for fusing weapons together ... the product will be a random mix between each weapons stats and modifiers .... this will allow for tons of customization and will make people seek all sorts of weapons to experiment.

    EX:
    -Blue magical sword / DPS=8 / No. of modifiers=4 / modifiers= +20% Crit.dmg - 10% chance fire dmg - +15% Attack Rating - +2 to STR

    Fused with

    -Rare Magical Claymore / DPS=40 / No. of modifiers=1 / modifiers=+50% Crit.dmg

    Results could vary greatly every time this fusion is made even with the exact items (fusion is built around a random mixing formula) ... but lets see one possible result.

    -Blue Magical Scimitar
    / DPS=28 / No. of modifiers=3 / modifiers=+35% Crit.dmg - 30% chance fire dmg - +1 to STR

    Now people will seek low and mid level weapons for various reasons, some to make use of the variety of modifiers they give to enhance their builds, and others to use them to craft new better weapons.



    ----------------------------------------------------------------



    Same goes for skills.

    Regarding late game skills:-

    One problem is that making them too powerful makes the early and mid game skills useless and turns most characters into one trick ponies (usually spamming one hi-level skill is all they need at that point) .. and that's indeed a problem.

    It's good to see that the Dev team accepts adding shortcomings/drawbacks to skills to prevent spam (like cool down on Barb stun ability) which is great and allows for strategic use of skills instead of one skill spam.

    But that needs to be even more expanded on late game skills, they indeed need to be more powerful than early game skills but also they must have some serious drawbacks as well (i.e cool down. long start up time, high mana cost, leaves the player vulnerable, ... etc etc) in order to allow for more strategic use of them and also more importantly allow some space for upgraded early/mid game skills to be used in between hi-skills to compliment their weaknesses and drawbacks and vise versa .. in other words the early/mid game skills will work as filling between the each time a high lv. skill is used and the next.

    This two-way complementary system for skills will insure for a great degree that:-


    1-Allow for usage of upgraded early/mid game skills later in the game to cover up for the drawbacks of using the more powerful skills.

    2-Will make the game more strategic (require more skill)

    3- Will create diversity in everyone's skills arsenal (no more oversatruation of one skill ponies)



    Suggesting something off my mind .. not necessarily how it should be done.

    EX:

    When a Barb uses Whirl Wind there is a side effect that leaves the Barb stunned (dizzy from spinning so fast) for few seconds after the animation is over (3 - 4 secs) .... that way you will need to direct him carefully during his WWing to make sure he ends up away from enemies .. or invest in a skill that reduces stun and dizziness time .. or in skill that increases your evasion or defense.

    Of course upgrading WW skill could reduce that dizziness time a little bit .. but it will always be there .. this way it is still effective and damaging but not flawless or overpowered .. you still need low level skills (at least passives in our case) to back it up.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    In my humble opinion making hi.lv skills or hi.lv items flawless and extremely overpowered does nothing but ruin the game ... the power of players must not come from there .. but from their ability to utilize what they have, customize, fight with good combination of items and skills and knowing the weaknesses of their enemies and their own.

    Players will be powerful if they can use low/mid/hi level items and skills each in the situation it warrants ... but making the hi. level items and skills overpowered (with no drawbacks whatsoever) takes all that away and kills any chance of strategics or skill based gameplay only to give a false feeling of overpower that slowly turns into boredom because the player simply can overpower everything in the game with little to no effort.


    -------------------------------------------------

    I'm all for feeling overpowered and wiping screens full of monsters ... but i'd rather do that by using a variety of skills and weapons that complement each others weaknesses rather than doing it by simply spamming the attack button and one or two skills mindlessly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  14. AnimeCraze

    AnimeCraze Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    I couldn't agree more. A large power gap is impossible to fix, no matter what. Well, except for monsters so powerful that you will die regardless of what you have. First, a large power gap will negate any reasonable PvP, as the person with better gear will win 100% of the time. (If you don't believe it, take a bstar and charge someone with a grief.) Even if it is truly rare, it will just make people call such items BM, making it in a way worthless. For gameplay issues, Nimbostratus absolutely nailed it on how being 10% better all around could mean your character is 2x as effective. Well, maybe more like 20%. However, with that, you have faster cast, more damage (which gets boosted by fast cast), ability to tank more (ie. you don't need to run), less deaths. Furthermore, you can use play styles that you were not able to use before. If you know every hit you deal with put monster into hit recovery, you can be so much more aggressive, which you might not be able to do without that 20%. The same goes for gear choices, you have much more selection, including sacrificing safety for even more damage, which you would not be able to do before. Also, don't forget that certain mechanics in the game favours the last 20% a lot more. For example, resist. Going from 50% to 75% effectively halves the damage you take. (It so reminds me of the custom starcraft maps with mass upgrades, where the 40th armor upgrade reduces the damage you take from sunken colonies from 1 to 0. It's only a 2.5% increase in armor, but the benefit obviously is way more than that.)
     
  15. fiero

    fiero Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    Yes, but if we are going to assume dupes and cheats and design the game after them, things are severely broken already. I hate that everybody is running around with the dupe rune words as much as anyone. Especially in PvP. But I would be fine with somebody getting them in a legit way of course.

    We all know how rare those runewords are supposed to be.

    Again, the blame for this is mostly the duped runes.

    The solution lies at Blizzard maintaining a (dupe,cheat,hack)clean game throughout it's life span. If they can do it with WoW, they can do it with D3. It is certainly not an issue of resources. :whistling:


     
  16. Sky Lynx

    Sky Lynx Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    Who said we considered that a rule? I just mentioned the same value to please the consistency for the same demonstrational purposes.

    It is an issue. WoW has 9 million subscribers bringing millions of dollars monthly. There has to be appropriate support. Unlike "free" Diablo for example..


     
  17. fiero

    fiero Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    That was exactly my point. WoW is bringing in so much money, they can easily afford to keep D3 hack free. Same company, different product, surely they got money to spare.

    And if they really are not willing to do this (though they would shoot themselves in the foot if they don't), they might as well create a paid service battle.net edition, with extra protection/supervision a la WoW. I for one would be paying.


     
  18. Knight_Wolf

    Knight_Wolf Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    It's not like they will be handing it out for free .. they will still make lots of profit from the game sales .. besides a game like WoW does require more complex services, hack protection and maintenance than a game like Diablo .. so costs for keeping Diablo hack free will probably be nothing like the costs to do the same for WoW.

    And they still have the Expansions which guarantee even more income and profit ... problem solved.


     
  19. Umm

    Umm Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity

    So, your idea is to give someone a painfully low damage without high-end gear (Few exceptions, I am aware.), and then make them completely useless for a few seconds? (Seconds, by the way, being A LOT OF TIME.) Oh, wait, no.

    This would make it impossible for them to have high damage without making their weapon generally useless! Yeah, no. Having 4 or 5 mods at half efficiency is immeasurably superior to 1 or 2 at full efficiency.

    Okay, what? First of all, there is no such thing as a late-game skill. They all come early. Not only that, a majority of the best skills in the game are either early game or mid-game, considering 24 and 30 late game, which they aren't, at all.
    Examples:
    Blessed hammer (Arguably best in the game)
    Lightning (Also one of the best)
    Corpse explosion (Broken beyond all belief as well)
    Raise skeleton+skeleton mastery combo (Uh, you'd have trouble calling this combo bad. Seriously, I dare you.)
    Shock web (Hey, damage output is certainly nothing to scoff at.)
    Fire blast (An elemental skill synergized by skills of ANOTHER ELEMENT?! And it gets good damage? MINE. NOW.)
    Dragon talon (Epic attack speed, low damage, I'm not complaining.)
    Smite (See above.)
    Charge (Yay, rolling in damage)
    Tiger strike (Okay, you can't even argue that.)
    Cobra strike (Free ridiculous amounts of leech? Sure.)
    Fade (Free resists? Sure)
    Burst of Speed (Free speed and attack speed boost? Sure.)

    Okay, need I go on? I assure you that I can.

    Clarifications:
    Yes, I am aware that I didn't include passive skills.
    Yes, I am aware that the numbers he provided were examples, and shouldn't be taken literally.
    Yes, I am aware that I took them literally.
     
  20. Knight_Wolf

    Knight_Wolf Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Item Power and Rarity


    "painfully low damage without high-end gear"
    ... hmmm .. when did i mention anything like that !!!

    As for the draw back .. if you don't have the brains and skill to guide your Barb away from monsters before he finishes his WW or can't invest in any of the skills that reduce the dizziness time then you deserve what you will be getting.

    Not really ... at least there will be a choice that depends on your build, the passive skills and masteries you are going to select ... some will want to use the weapons with high raw damage output and few mods and others will want the mods because they will get skills that compliment them.

    100% better than everyone ending up with the same exact high-end weapons/gear that has both high Dmg. and lots of mods.

    Well that might have been D2 ... but in D3 the skills at the end of the trees seem to be the most effective (as seen from how they were used in the demo .. i know it was rigged but still .. WW .. the shockwaves skill and the other third skill in which the barb leaves a blue trail behind him are all powerful skills .. why would you need to use any other skill like cleave or whatever if you can WW through the game all the time.

    Regardless of such skills being end game or not .. D2 had tons of one trick ponies because of such skills the are flawless and have ZERO drawbacks ... if D3 follows the same route it will really be very boring, repetitive and disappointing.


     

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