Hey everyone, I just wanted to add my thoughts to the discussion around the D4 Q4 update. I think one thing the community needs to do to have more effective discourse with devs is to use the language they use.
The devs have stated multiple times they want to go back to the actual fantasy of the game and how their design philosophy revolves around that immersion. I think this is the right idea, but they seem to be only doing it half-way.
Items and Damage
They added implicit affixes to items which I agree with. I think I only saw this change on weapons and shields but would be nice to have implicits on armor pieces and jewelry as well. I think this further reinforces the idea of fantasy and lore, while adding identity to items.
My main criticism of the devs regarding this design philosophy is D4 devs are not committing to their own philosophy. If we are sticking to the fantasy of Diablo, weapons such as axes and swords should offer weapon damage and only affect physical skills. While weapons such as wands and staves should offer spell damage and only scale with magical spells. Ranged weapons when added should add damage only to ranged skills. I think using this as a starting point then allows for more customization when it comes to unique items, skills, and passives.
The problem D3 had in my opinion is that they tried to fix the lack of scaling for spells from D2 by adding a blanket fix of all weapons scale with all damage. It works on paper but lacks impact and feel in practice.
But this leaves so much room now for how uniques could affect the game. Bows with spell damage, wand projectiles that could be used as ranged, staves with heavy physical damage, etc…
I know this is a pretty big change in terms of design but I think the game will benefit from it.
Again I think often, the community reacts pretty emotionally with this idea and I wonder if the devs dismiss it as D2 nostalgia.
I know this topic is a bit more polarizing but from looking at the screenshots of the game in the update, I'm a bit disappointed. Having potions and scrolls be the same size (icons being even bigger) than my items seems a bit off. Now I'm not calling for full on Tetris like Diablo but maybe adding a bit of variance in the size of items would be nice. Any immersion that would be found in the game would instantly be lost when I open my inventory and my eyes being drawn to gigantic scrolls and potions and tiny legendary weapons.
I'm sure they'll address the scroll and potion thing sometime in the future but I do agree with as little D2 bias as possible, that inventory Tetris adds to the immersion of the game.
Skills and Stats
I actually think they addressed lore and fantasy really well with how they are adding stats and their relationship with skills. It makes sense as your strength and dexterity increases, your whirlwind skill will also increase in some way.
Perhaps adding in unlocks for every stat for every skill could add the impactful variance that people are looking for. This does sound like a balancing nightmare but wouldn't it be cool to run a Willpower, Intelligence Barb or a Strength, Dex Sorceress.
Devs Are Human Too
As I close my rambling thoughts, I'm sure a lot of the things are being addressed behind the scenes and they aren't ready to reveal some of the things that the community wants addressed. I commend the devs for having this much transparency and listening as much as they have. I think we forget as a community these developers are creating something that they call their own. It is a piece of art that they are making for us to enjoy. We wouldn't go to our favorite artists and ask to be a part of the writing process on a song, not to say they aren't open to criticism, but you have to imagine the amount of pride they have in this. The amount of humility it takes to scrap their original ideas for us has to hurt. I just hope that we can approach these discussions and reactions to the updates with a bit of humanity for the devs.
Thanks for letting me think out loud and reading this far.
Source: Original link
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