The skill trees are bad. Firstly, all skills should be available at baseline level to allow for experimentation. Secondly, having only 2-3 customizations per skill is a downgrade from 5 runes in D3. Thirdly, the tree visually looks like a mess, get rid of the literal tree picture, and lay it out in a the functional manner.
The tree should include:
- Increasing ranks for skills (that's not in the tree),
- Passives skills, and passive upgrades to existing skill (that is already there),
- Special nodes in some paths of the tree where the player has to choose 1 of 3 distinct things to reduce cookie cutter builds like the current WoW talent trees does. These are mostly utility-based which can't as easily be numerically optimized as the numerical-based ranks and passives.
The idea is fine, especially with the thresholds in the skill tree, but the particular primary stats chosen are bad. No Sorc will want strength: +Def is a bad stat, especially when Int provides both defense (All Resist) and attack (Skill Damage). So you can make strength a requirement for good skill tree nodes (i.e. the ones which increase damage), but then this doesn't make sense for a Sorc.
Choose different primary stats. Demonic, Angelic, Ancestral were better choices than what is currently there, because they were on balance more equally desirable.
The current system still encourages getting the minimum of the bad stat (Strength, Willpower and Dex) needed to unlock the require skill tree bonus for the build you're making, then dumping the rest in Int. It's better for the unlocked bonus to scale with the corresponding stat.
This is good.
This is a total disaster that will require people to scrutinize every blue and yellow item because it has, by design, a chance to be better than lengendaries and uniques.
The claim that "we think players of all skill levels benefit from not having to scrutinize every single item that drops to see if it might be an upgrade for them" is a big falsehood. The fact yellows are "usually better" than blues but not always, necessarily requires scrutinizing everything to see when "usually better" is better and when it is not.
As a matter of pure logic, there can be no middle ground: If a loot filter is not 100% effective, but only 99% effective, then it is completely useless because it will miss possible upgrades, requiring scrutiny of every item in the desired slot to see if that is the 1% of time an upgrade would be missed. Logically, a loot filter must be 100% or bust.
If item colors provide no useful information, which is the design choice here, then item colors should be removed.'
Add an interface that allows for players to program a loot filter. For example, a good loot filter for a player to program for themselves would be this.
if: any affix on a blue or yellow rolls higher than a lowest possible roll of a legendary, then: color the item orange.
Legendary Affixes and Unqiues
This is fine. It is particularly good that from the screenshots, it appears all items of the same type have the same base Attack or Defense (within a small roll range). This ensures high level items are better than low level items, while ensuring that people focus on interesting secondary stats (like 4% Lightning Damage, 6% Mana Cost Reduction, 7% Damage While Healthy, etc.), instead of the Attack or Defense base stat, which they can't do anything to change.
When will you talk about the most important topic in the entire game, the thing people will spend 99.9% of their time in: endgame?
Instead of grafting endgame systems on campaign leveling systems, endgame should have been the first and most important game design priority, the foundation that everything else was built around, because 99.9% of the player's time will be spent in endgame.
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