Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Ability Challenge for Diablo 3

Lately I've been making lots of alts in Diablo 3. You know, D3 classes have a *lot* of abilities, especially when you count runes. I've been trying a new system for choosing abilities, and it's oddly fun and challenging.

  1. Non-elective mode.
  2. When you level, always switch to the latest runes or abilities that you gain.
It's interesting because you are forced to use every rune as they come up. You'll use runes and abilities that you would never touch normally. You'll lose abilities and runes that you consider staples.

As well, sometimes your current abilities are terribly non-synergistic, and you just have adapt and deal with it. Each character level gives you a bit different gameplay.

Obviously this is a terrible idea for Inferno or other difficult content. But it's lots of fun while levelling.


  1. Currently trying something way harder... logging in to the game.

  2. Emergent gameplay was one of the cornerstones of the original Diablo.

    We used to play a variation called Ironman, where your group started fresh characters, got into a game, and then had to play through to killing Diablo in one sitting without dying or going back to town. No repairs and no vendor items, just stuff you picked as you did your run.

    So a "no auction house, only drops from your game" variation might be interesting for D3.

  3. I'd bet that there are a lot of people who play that way because they think you're supposed to do that.

    If you haven't played WoW or another game with a talent system, then it would be natural to think that the ability you get at level 20 is better than the one you had at level 10. Thus, you switch every time you get a new ability or rune.

  4. Foreveranoob - I think especially with D3's vague UI, people can definitely think that. The spells don't even say what % of weapon damage they do until you turn on advanced tool tips. Considering this and "hidden" elective mode, it's almost as if Blizzard is saying "hey don't worry about how much damage you're doing and just pewpew with whatever shiny spell you like." But, at the same time, they have inferno mode for "hardcore" people, which requires optimization of your character. I think Blizzard tried to cover too many things and please everyone with Diablo 3. This approach might work better in a MMORPG where there are more content and more updates. In the end, you can't please everyone with every game. The sooner they realize this, I think the better their future games will be.

  5. I'm in the process of leveling a demon hunter that cna't use any of the abilities my other hunter used while leveling. It is interesting. I've found the dagger throw is much more powerful than I previously thought. I immediately switched to rapid fire on my first character and haven't switched off since. The point being to make myself use abilities etc.. that I didn't try before because what I had worked.

    If I make a third demon hunter I'm going to have to try using what ever abiity/glyph is most recent.

  6. I can't say that I've used every rune, but I've certainly used a great many of them in various mixes on the way to Inferno.

    Sometimes the skill changes were motivated by curiosity - it's good to know how a skill behaves in the field regardless of its DPS/utility.

    Mostly the skill changes were attempts to overcome certain champs/bosses because I was progressing further than my competence or non-AH gear should rightly permit.

    The best skill changes were when I found interesting synergies in what I had unlocked, most of which have the potential to work well given appropriate gear for the build. I find it more fun when the build doesn't trip over itself.

    My main build will probably keep morphing as I progress through Inferno, but I quite like the Glass Cannon approach to the Wizard and it can't be done properly in non-Elective mode. There are some skills to this build style that simply should be used (until eventual gear makes them unnecessary).

    Anyway, it would certainly be a challenge unless you can make up for the awkwardness in the builds with superior gear or co-op play. I'll give it a whirl sometime. Might be fun.

    Would it be too nuts to incorporate the no-AH/Blacksmith rule to the challenge? ;) (Though Blizzard did tune the mobs, supposedly, with the intention that you would use the AH/Blacksmith to trade items.)

  7. I'm glad you mentioned this because I started doing it spontaneously on a new toon. I've convinced a buddy to try it out as well, and our next characters are going to play all the way to 60 using this method on classes we've never played before. Can't wait!