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The Obsession with Damage or the Cause for Wyatt Chengs Nighmares

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by LukDeRiff, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. LukDeRiff

    LukDeRiff IncGamers Member

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    Why is it all about Damage ?

    Over the years our favorite Senior Technical Designer Wyatt Cheng has voiced one wish over and over again: "I wish it wasn't so much about damage." The natural follow up question to that statement is: "Why is it all about damage ?".

    In order to understand why damage is so imporrtan, we have to understand why we even play Diablo. This is a tough question and depending on how you interpret science does not have a good answer yet. However, science has a pretty good idea how behavior in general works. If you have some interest in psychology or game design you probably have heard of infamous Skinner Box. A Skinnner Box is a device used by the behaviorist B.F. Skinner in experiments concerning the principles that rule behavior. Due to his experiments Skinner realized that the consequences of behavior shape future behavior. Simply put if you do something and something good happens or something bad stops happening you are more likely to repeat that behavior. If you do something and good things stop happening or bad things happen you are more likely to not repeat that behavior. Consequences that increases the likliness of a behavior reoccuring are called Reinforcement and consequences that decrease the chance of a behavior reoccuring are called Punishment.

    When we play Diablo we are ideally receiving Reinforcement, that is why we play and why we keep playing. Reinforcement can come in many forms: New and better gear, experience, placing on the Leaderboards, having a great conversation with your clan buddies while you are playing or completing an achievement are just a few examples. It is important to understand that not everybody perceives the same consequences as Reinforcement. A great example are Achievements, which are essentially Reinforcement on a stick. Some people really care about completing them, some (like me) could not care less about them.
    There are some forms of Reinforcement that basically all players care about: Loot and Experience. We all always want better gear. Well, how do we get better gear ? By killing monsters and demons. How do you kill monsters and demons ? By dealing damage.

    If you define Progess as "the ability to receive more Reinforcement". Then it is pretty safe to assume that: "Damage is the only means for progression in this game. Mobility, Utility and Survivability are ultimately only means to enable the player to deal more Damage."
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015

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