Diablo 3

Examples of Flavor/Design in Items that D3/D4 items lack.

diablo4 - Examples of Flavor/Design in Items that D3/D4 items lack.
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There's been a couple threads about how D3/D4 uniques are only unique due to one single stat and everything else being randomized. In my opinion this has removed any of the cool flavor that ARPG items used to have for their uniques and has greatly reduced the design space for what an item can be.

When every legendary is just 5 rando stats and 1 affix, it stops blizzard from creating cool flavorful items and really makes all legends feel way too similar in my mind. I'm going to use some examples of uniques from D2 and Path of Exile while I go through some points.

Gona start with a fairly simple one but I still love the design more than any D3 item.

Lightsabre (Diablo II) - Examples of Flavor/Design in Items that D3/D4 items lack.

https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Lightsabre_(Diablo_II)

Nearly all of the stats are there to try and match what a "lightsaber" would be in the Diablo universe. There's a lot of magic and lightning damage added, the chance to proc chain lightning for some flashyness, ignoring defenses (whats gona block/miss from a lightsaber?) the lightning absorb (sabers block force lightning in star wars). It all adds up to create this flavorful cool fucking item even if it doesn't have that "gameplay changing legendary affix."

In my mind D4 should expand and ALSO add an affix to an item like this but it shouldn't be just the affix and 5 random stats. It should be a unique crafted item where you look at all the stats and think damn, alright that's badass, i like how they came up with stats to match what this item is. There's items in D2 with like 10 stats+. Sure they're not all amazing for you but it gives that item a cool unique identity thats sorely missing nowadays.

https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Fleshripper

https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Guardian_Angel

https://diablo.fandom.com/wiki/Andariel%27s_Visage_(Diablo_II)

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There's a few more items that just have a cohesive theme and flavor through all their stats whereas the D3 version would be dagger with 5 random stats and a slow legendary affix or armor with 5 random stats and paladin buff affix. Just boring and uninspired. We should be expanding on these items with the legendary affix idea, not gutting them to be a generic randomized rare + legendary affix.

The simplified way D2 sorta worked and Path works for gearing is that you find these hand crafted unique items that benefit or make your build and take into account what they all bring to the table. In most cases, these unique are lacking some raw stats that you need whether thats crit chance or more health or more resists, so then you balance your gear between these uniques that have different unique stats and powers with a few rares to get the stats youre missing. Since all D3/D4 uniques are just rares + an affix and always have all the raw stats that's never a consideration and we're left with the far more boring unique items flavor wise as a result. (this starts to get into the defense/attack stuff but i feel like im getting off topic there). The items just arent fun/cool anymore which is a huge deal in this genre and the loot hunt.

Example of one of my favorite items in any arpg


https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/The_Bringer_of_Rain

The Bringer of Rain, turns you into a gladiator badass like the name referring to Spartacus. Has great stats and a sixlink in a helm and allows you to block when duel wielding but you have to give up a chest piece. It even adds extra gore to the game. The flavor and design of the item are fucking awesome and an item like this just can't exist in D4 how it currently works. (also includes the idea of something very powerful with a drawback you have to play/gear around that I think is interesting to have in certain items)

Free legendaries from the rigid and uninspired design space of 5 rando stats and an affix and start creating some truly unique items that are fun to identify and find/use.

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