1. #1

    Educate me: Gameplay and class balance

    I have never played a Diablo game before. I am interested in Diablo 3 though, and I have a few questions/concerns about Diablo 2, (gotta understand the past to understand the future) and how Diablo 3 is looking in the beta right now.

    While I haven't played a Diablo game before, I have played a similar type of dungeon crawling series before. The series I'm talking about is Champions of Norrath, and its sequel, Return to Arms. CoN was a fun game, but it had a lot of problems, so I want to know if Diablo shares those problems. Things were somewhat balanced near the start of the game. Low levels weren't too bad. The higher level you got though, the worse the class balance got.

    It basically went like this.

    Warrior
    God (not a playable class, but I'm trying to make a point)
    Ranger
    Mud (also not a playable class)
    Shadow Knight
    Berserker
    Shaman
    Cleric
    Dung (once again not a playable class)
    Wizard

    To say the warrior was imbalanced, is not quite a statement that most can actually comprehend. A maxed out Wizard could deal maybe 800 damage a spell. A maxed out warrior could hit for 100k about every half a second. And yes, that will instagib a boss. The warrior was also the best in every other way. Magic resist, armor, so much health regen you were functionally unkillable, etc.

    Another problem it had was that healing became significantly worse at higher levels. At level 1, a health potion brings you back to full in a couple seconds. Getting to higher levels, you quickly realize healing is not instant, and a health pot is basically just an increase to your passive regen. Even the best health pots take about a minute to fully you if you spam them. Once again, this made the warrior even more OP because your normal health regen could full heal you in about 4 seconds.

    What's worse is that it seemed like boss damage was balanced around the warrior's unbelievable tankiness. A late game boss would 1-2 shot most classes, and would always one shot a squishy like the wizard.

    Some may ask why I care about class balance. Well, I like alts. When I want a nice change of pace, I don't want to feel like I'm going to a direct downgrade. I don't want to level up a wizard in Diablo 3, and then start playing a monk and realize the monk is terrible.

    So I guess what I'm asking is, what kind of flaws did Diablo 2 have. How was the class balance of Diablo 2 at early, mid, and late game. Please tell me it doesn't share the same flaws as Champions. How is Diablo 3 looking so far in the beta. What flaws appear to have carried over from Diablo 2, if any. What news flaws does the game have, if any.
    Last edited by Laurcus; 2011-11-05 at 10:36 AM.
    If Goku's power level increases at the same rate till the end of DBGT as it does till the end of the Frieza saga, as a SS4 Goku would have a PL of roughly 939 Quinoctogintillion. For reference that is a 260 digit number. A PL of 14,600 is required to destroy an earth sized planet. There are about 2 nonillion earths worth of mass in the universe. That means SS4 Goku can destroy the universe about 32 Octosexagintillion times over. There's a reason they made Goku a god at the end of GT.

  2. #2
    • Lesson One: It is educate.
    • Lesson Two: Blizzard is good at balancing

    Some information about the game: Warriors has/had the least survivability in higher difficulty levels so they had to be buffed and that is why they gave them the passive [25% Vit to Def]; They feel monk is in good place. DH work in progress atm and i dont remember what they said about mages at blizzcon.

  3. #3
    Diablo 2's biggest issues were item duping, third party item selling websites, and overpowered specs (oh and Runewords that totally unbalanced the game, ie Enigma - giving teleport to all classes). During it's course there were very little balancing patches, and the Hammerdin remains way overpowered to date. Having said that, Diablo III dev team seems more dedicated to the cause and I doubt history will repeat itself.

  4. #4
    The other thing to keep in mind is the time difference between diablo 2 and diablo 3. They use different game engines, different talent systems, different classes, different game mechanics.... the spirit is there, and diablo3 is absolutely a diablo game, but it's not diablo 2.

    If you look at the latest beta patch notes for diablo 3 (you can find a link on the frontpage), you'll see they're working pretty hard at getting classes well balanced. That's not to say it'll be perfect, but the kind of imbalance you're describing won't exist (or if it does, it'll be fixed quickly).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by XereX View Post
    • Lesson One: It is educate.
    • Lesson Two: Blizzard is good at balancing
    Huh, strange Firefox fail. Didn't notice it auto corrected educate into edjucate lol.
    If Goku's power level increases at the same rate till the end of DBGT as it does till the end of the Frieza saga, as a SS4 Goku would have a PL of roughly 939 Quinoctogintillion. For reference that is a 260 digit number. A PL of 14,600 is required to destroy an earth sized planet. There are about 2 nonillion earths worth of mass in the universe. That means SS4 Goku can destroy the universe about 32 Octosexagintillion times over. There's a reason they made Goku a god at the end of GT.

  6. #6
    Blizzard is good at balancing in Diablo 3 perhaps, but I wouldn't say blizzard is good at balancing overall at all...

  7. #7
    Legendary! Polarthief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XereX View Post
    • Lesson Two: Blizzard is good at balancing
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now if that says "Blizzard is good at balancing DIABLO" then I'll believe you, but you're saying Blizzard in general. Have you PLAYED WoW???

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon9870 View Post
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now if that says "Blizzard is good at balancing DIABLO" then I'll believe you, but you're saying Blizzard in general. Have you PLAYED WoW???
    Diablo was never truly balanced either, but it was not made by Blizzard but Blizzard North. In the grand scheme of things, bar the Hammerdin, class balance in Diablo 2 was decent enough however with some above average, and some below average classes.

  9. #9
    Dreadlord aeir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon9870 View Post
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now if that says "Blizzard is good at balancing DIABLO" then I'll believe you, but you're saying Blizzard in general. Have you PLAYED WoW???
    As of right now, things haven't been more balanced than ever. Maybe it doesn't feel balanced at 1300 rating, but yeah.

  10. #10
    The standards of game mechanics, balance and game flow have risen over the last years. You can be sure that D3 will set a new level of action RPG. All classes will be playable from the start to endgame content.
    Last edited by Troll Sacrifice; 2011-11-05 at 02:13 PM.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon9870 View Post
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now if that says "Blizzard is good at balancing DIABLO" then I'll believe you, but you're saying Blizzard in general. Have you PLAYED WoW???
    If you try some other Multiplayer games, you'd actually be surprised with the current game balance in WoW. Both PvE and PvP.
    And as Vryer said, it's never been more balanced in WoW. ever.
    Last edited by athanasios; 2011-11-05 at 02:31 PM.
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  12. #12
    D2 was fine, every class had plenty of options to play well. Most of the game is in the items you get, your spec does matter in how you use those items, but if you have great gear you will do damage no matter how hard you try not to. In general, if you can gear up a class, you can make it awesome even if other classes seem stronger at the frame level.
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  13. #13
    It's balanced enough for the game not to be too hard for any specific class or build, but not much more than that, to be honest. Doesn't need to be.

    The difference between the level of balance that people require from a highly competitive MMO is a lot different than the balance required from a mostly co-op, dungeon crawling, 'for fun/loot' experience.

  14. #14
    Epic! Skelly's Avatar
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    WoW is incredibly balanced taking into consideration that they have to balance for PvE and PvP.

    D3 will be even more balanced than WoW for PvE because they've said they don't care about balancing PvP.

    This will let them tweak anything they want without having to worry about repercussions on a whole different game. (PvE and PvP are basically different games).
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  15. #15
    Balancing in Diablo is a completely different matter if you take it on the same level of WoW balancing.

    In WoW, balancing is needed because same classes with same spells confront themselves both in PvE and PvP, which are two completely different enviroments. PvE side balancing would be simple as tweaking numbers and coefficients, but we all know what are the backdrafts of doing this in PvP. PvP side it's like being in hell, with HP balancing, control balancing, damage balancing, survivability balancing.

    And on top of everything, we don't have many combinations of spells/abilities. There only a few really viable, so balancing focuses on these and the task becomes even harder.


    Now let's come to Diablo. First, it's focused on PvE and solo/group play without definite roles. If we use WoW terms, we are all tanks/dps hybrids with lots of consumables. Put this way, you have lots of free room for different abilities and spells. Also, balancing survivability and damage is much easier, since we don't have to manage with lots of boss mechanichs - it's an actionrpg, most of them are "avoid the bad thing, hit the boss when safe".

    Diablo3 features arenas, thus we can confront in PvP. But differently from WoW, we have nearly infinite of combinations of talents/spells. This means that somewhere, somehow, if you even find the ultimate build for your class, there will always be something that counters you. And, more important, you don't get anything by PvP. Maybe they'll introduce some cosmetic items, or shiny achievements, but it will remain just a little side-game, with little impact on the game itself.

    My posts doesn't mean "hey, D3 is perfectly balanced!", but balance issues have always been addressed well in Diablo series, mostly due to the type of gameplay and mechanics involved.

  16. #16
    Miss Doctor Lady Bear Sunshine's Avatar
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    They've said in interviews that they don't care about perfect balancing in D3.

    For the PvE system, they specifically said that it's fun to discover the OP combos and so on. There's no need to min/max to play the game at any level, and lots of weird combinations are viable enough. Want a melee wizard? Great; it might be hard, but you can still play it and have fun. For the PvP system, they're not trying to make it super-competitive, e-sport level balancing; they're just trying to make sure people have fun.

    I think they'll do their best to make sure that all of the classes are fun to play, but they're really not going for completely perfect balance.

  17. #17
    The Lightbringer shadowkras's Avatar
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    Now if that says "Blizzard is good at balancing DIABLO" then I'll believe you, but you're saying Blizzard in general. Have you PLAYED WoW???
    Have you played ANY other mmo on a serious level? No, i didnt think so.

    WoW is probably the mmo with the most class balanced you will ever see.
    You know you are in the right road when 15/20 classes are under 10% dps away from each other.
    People take stupidity to a whole new level when they sit in front of a computer.

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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunshine View Post
    They've said in interviews that they don't care about perfect balancing in D3.

    For the PvE system, they specifically said that it's fun to discover the OP combos and so on. There's no need to min/max to play the game at any level, and lots of weird combinations are viable enough. Want a melee wizard? Great; it might be hard, but you can still play it and have fun. For the PvP system, they're not trying to make it super-competitive, e-sport level balancing; they're just trying to make sure people have fun.

    I think they'll do their best to make sure that all of the classes are fun to play, but they're really not going for completely perfect balance.
    Ohhhhh if it wasn't raid night I would go home tonight and make a melee wizard in D3 So I'll do that tomorrow!

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by shadowkras View Post
    Have you played ANY other mmo on a serious level? No, i didnt think so.

    WoW is probably the mmo with the most class balanced you will ever see.
    You know you are in the right road when 15/20 classes are under 10% dps away from each other.
    He's probably another one of those crying about PVP balance, you know, the kids who cant get it in their thick skulls that PVP isnt balanced around 1V1.

    OT: Yeah, WoW IS one of the most balanced game, both in PVP and PVE, i've played in years. And im sure D3 will be balanced as not to make some classes blatantly OP.
    Last edited by Halsynd; 2011-11-15 at 05:58 PM.
    Bleh

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