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On Diablo IV Leveling

System Design in Diablo IV on the Diablo III Website offers outlooks from the designers of the next installment in Blizzard's action/RPG series on items, "Elective Mode-style skill selection," power sources, keyed dungeons, and more. They also discuss character leveling, saying they are still deciding between whether Diablo IV will use level caps, or support "infinite" leveling:
We haven’t decided whether the character leveling and experience system should be finite or infinite. We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of both and would love to hear your thoughts. There seems to be some concern around infinite being worse because it will eventually overshadow all the power granted by other sources. However, we can control how much power each system gives, whether it’s infinite or finite.

For example, say we’re talking about thousands of hours of gameplay . . . within those thousands of hours, we could choose to create a finite system that grants 1,000,000 times more power than an infinite system, making it practically impossible for the infinite system to catch up in power.

Also, power increase doesn’t need to be linear throughout the ranks—it can slow down as players reach higher levels. We believe the more important question is what experience feels best for players, and we can playtest various approaches to tuning to find the power curve that makes the most sense.

We have a couple reasons for having a different experience system in addition to a level cap. A level cap gives us the ability to grant players a sense of completion. But for players who want to go deeper into the game, a second experience system allows us to capture the fun of achieving those really difficult endgame goals and ranks. We can also introduce additional depth through this system, because players will be more experienced with the game at this point. Ultimately, our goal is to create a meaningful system that provides clear choices depending on your preferred playstyle in the endgame.
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39. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 14:43 Verno
 
Nullity wrote on Nov 21, 2019, 13:37:
This exactly. If you want your skill selection to be permanent, then just don't click the "respec" button - simple. But for many of us, being unable to play around with various skills and builds without having to replay the whole game countless times just isn't fun. I don't have the time to do that, nor would I want to if I did. That would ruin the game for me.

This isn't realistic though, designers make important gameplay and balance decisions based on these things. This is why we get things like Hardcode mode to offer separate gameplay experiences. The trouble is that the more you try to please everyone, the more likely you are to end up pleasing no one.

That said, the MP in these games tends to be seasonal and based on current meta builds so respec'ing isn't as valuable as it used to be IMO. I think POEs example of just retiring league characters to non-seasonal play was ideal and really the most accommodating to everyone. You get some skill reset points to prevent an unusable character but not enough that choices don't matter. Once the season is up you just re-roll or if you're more casual then play with your friends in non-league.

Yep. And then after hours of research and finally deciding on someone else's perfect build, a patch gets released with balance changes and now your painstakingly researched character is shit and you have to start over again anyway.

Eff that.

That's sort of the nature of multiplayer in these games though.
 
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38. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 14:35 Nullity
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 21, 2019, 14:10:
"I want my choices to mean something!"
Well, how do you determine which choice to make?
"I spend hours on the internet, researching which skills are most useful and which will make me most powerful, then I decide to pick those!"

In other words, "I want other people's choices, which have been validated via crowdsourcing trial and error, to mean something!"

No one playing a game where you skills can't be changed makes those decisions on their own, because no game gives you the right information, and your play style likely changes over time, anyway.
Yep. And then after hours of research and finally deciding on someone else's perfect build, a patch gets released with balance changes and now your painstakingly researched character is shit and you have to start over again anyway.

Eff that.
 
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37. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 14:10 Beamer
 
Nullity wrote on Nov 21, 2019, 13:37:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 14:07:
VaranDragon wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:45:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:51:
Unpopular Opinion: I don't care about leveling, but I do want a way to redo my skill tree for no real cost, as many times as I'd like.

This was a major issue with D3. What you want is a Diablo which caters for the absolutely casual player. Which D3 absolutely is.

I want my skill choices to mean something. I want a sense of acomplishment.

Couldn't you just... not use it?
Whereas, for me, I'd have to restart the entire game if I wanted to see a different skill. That doesn't sound fun.
This exactly. If you want your skill selection to be permanent, then just don't click the "respec" button - simple. But for many of us, being unable to play around with various skills and builds without having to replay the whole game countless times just isn't fun. I don't have the time to do that, nor would I want to if I did. That would ruin the game for me.

I see this kind of thing in many games though. Some "hardcore" (for lack of a better word) fan or player thinks some aspect of user choice should be removed to reflect their personal play style. But the fact that there is a choice already allows them to play that way - they just seem to think everyone else should be forced to do so as well, for some reason. It's weird and irrational. Stop it, just don't use that feature.

"I want my choices to mean something!"
Well, how do you determine which choice to make?
"I spend hours on the internet, researching which skills are most useful and which will make me most powerful, then I decide to pick those!"

In other words, "I want other people's choices, which have been validated via crowdsourcing trial and error, to mean something!"

No one playing a game where you skills can't be changed makes those decisions on their own, because no game gives you the right information, and your play style likely changes over time, anyway.
 



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36. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 13:37 Nullity
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 14:07:
VaranDragon wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:45:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:51:
Unpopular Opinion: I don't care about leveling, but I do want a way to redo my skill tree for no real cost, as many times as I'd like.

This was a major issue with D3. What you want is a Diablo which caters for the absolutely casual player. Which D3 absolutely is.

I want my skill choices to mean something. I want a sense of acomplishment.

Couldn't you just... not use it?
Whereas, for me, I'd have to restart the entire game if I wanted to see a different skill. That doesn't sound fun.
This exactly. If you want your skill selection to be permanent, then just don't click the "respec" button - simple. But for many of us, being unable to play around with various skills and builds without having to replay the whole game countless times just isn't fun. I don't have the time to do that, nor would I want to if I did. That would ruin the game for me.

I see this kind of thing in many games though. Some "hardcore" (for lack of a better word) fan or player thinks some aspect of user choice should be removed to reflect their personal play style. But the fact that there is a choice already allows them to play that way - they just seem to think everyone else should be forced to do so as well, for some reason. It's weird and irrational. Stop it, just don't use that feature.
 
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35. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 12:23 NobleAtreides
 
I's a good thing I still have my original Logitech MX revolution mouse since D1. How else can I click..click..click forever with confidence?

looking forward to D4. Glad to see legacy publishers growing a demi-heart as of late. EA with Command and Conquer remaster, and ActiBlizz with D4 (bury the hatchet that was D3 out of sight and mind please.)
the videogame industry between 2010 to 2019 was the worst on record, bar none.
 
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34. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 09:42 Verno
 
Or perhaps accept the fact that some of us don't share the same politics or care about making political statements with our leisure activities. If half of you cared this much about climate change maybe we would get somewhere. But hey I'm not crying for car boycotts in every thread.

By all means money talks so do whatever you want with yours but don't presume to tell the rest of us how to spend ours.
 
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33. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 09:33 KS
 
RedEye9 wrote on Nov 21, 2019, 09:08:
KS wrote on Nov 21, 2019, 08:01:
I want my skill choices to mean something.


No matter what, it won't really mean something. Unlike your choice of whether to buy or not, which will, a little bit, for Hong Kong.
Boycotting 1 game, 1 company 1 "x", will do absolutely nothing to affect change.
That's not how it works.

Not correct. Also, you should feel cheap and soulless.

Let them know why, if you don't buy. If you do buy, let them know, too, that you don't care if they help export Chinese oppression and censorship

They will be glad to know.
 
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32. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 09:08 RedEye9
 
KS wrote on Nov 21, 2019, 08:01:
I want my skill choices to mean something.


No matter what, it won't really mean something. Unlike your choice of whether to buy or not, which will, a little bit, for Hong Kong.
Boycotting 1 game, 1 company 1 "x", will do absolutely nothing to affect change.
That's not how it works.
 
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31. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 08:01 KS
 
I want my skill choices to mean something.


No matter what, it won't really mean something. Unlike your choice of whether to buy or not, which will, a little bit, for Hong Kong.
 
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30. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 01:39 Red886
 
VaranDragon wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:45:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:51:
Unpopular Opinion: I don't care about leveling, but I do want a way to redo my skill tree for no real cost, as many times as I'd like.

This was a major issue with D3. What you want is a Diablo which caters for the absolutely casual player. Which D3 absolutely is.

I want my skill choices to mean something. I want a sense of acomplishment.

= D2 trainers aka lets see how broken we can get the game to

live service = no trainers = no fun
 
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29. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 21, 2019, 01:36 Red886
 
no end = less pressure for a sequel

terrible for customers. great for corps.

 
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28. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 18:52 Beamer
 
peteham wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 17:03:
Honestly, most going on about how D2 offered more choice than D3 either don't remember D2 very well, or never played past normal difficulty. Sure, your skill selections were permanent but there were only 1-2 builds per class that actually worked on Hell difficulty anyway, and every single end-game player was using the same ones. The common denominator for pretty much all of them was saving your skill points until you could pump every point into the top level skill of choice. Failing to do so and spreading your stuff around, testing different shit etc. would have you hit the damage wall hard, and be completely unable to kill a thing past nightmare/hell. I'm willing to bet 95% of everyone who plays Diablo or PoE "non-casually" is just copying someone else's build anyway.

As for choices, there's just no way of knowing how well something works without testing in these games. The information you get in-game is always incomplete because you can't know how the damage calculation actually works. Where's the fun in selecting a skill that turns out to be pure garbage and then being stuck with it, or rerolling?

Challenge-wise, you can pretty much make any of these games as "hard" as you want with the difficulty selectors. The problem is nobody has found a way to make ARPGs particularly challenging while remaining fun to play, so it's mostly about choosing a setting that gives you the best balance of kill speed and drop rate bonuses in the end.... Difficulty = How damage spongy do you want your enemies to be, vs. how often you want to get one-shot? For hardcore players (in the one-life-per-char sense) that balance obviously tips more towards safety but it's the same trade-off none the less. Diablo 3 *tried* to change this with its infernal difficulty, and failed miserably. They removed massive life leech and replaced on-demand full heals (potions) with health orbs to combat the incoming one-shot damage issue. It still wasn't fun, the bullet sponge monsters and one-shot meta was still very much there, and the only classes really able to progress were the ranged ones, and only by kiting all day and all night. Turns out that running, taking a shot, running, taking a shot, running, taking a shot ... isn't good gameplay.

This is what I mean. I prefer experimenting to reading a build and going with it because most don't work and things are permanent or close to it
 



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27. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 17:41 Hobeaux
 
Darks wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:20:
Alamar wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:39:
D4 needs to be something new and different, and more like D2 is.

Um?
 
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26. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 17:03 peteham
 
Honestly, most going on about how D2 offered more choice than D3 either don't remember D2 very well, or never played past normal difficulty. Sure, your skill selections were permanent but there were only 1-2 builds per class that actually worked on Hell difficulty anyway, and every single end-game player was using the same ones. The common denominator for pretty much all of them was saving your skill points until you could pump every point into the top level skill of choice. Failing to do so and spreading your stuff around, testing different shit etc. would have you hit the damage wall hard, and be completely unable to kill a thing past nightmare/hell. I'm willing to bet 95% of everyone who plays Diablo or PoE "non-casually" is just copying someone else's build anyway.

As for choices, there's just no way of knowing how well something works without testing in these games. The information you get in-game is always incomplete because you can't know how the damage calculation actually works. Where's the fun in selecting a skill that turns out to be pure garbage and then being stuck with it, or rerolling?

Challenge-wise, you can pretty much make any of these games as "hard" as you want with the difficulty selectors. The problem is nobody has found a way to make ARPGs particularly challenging while remaining fun to play, so it's mostly about choosing a setting that gives you the best balance of kill speed and drop rate bonuses in the end.... Difficulty = How damage spongy do you want your enemies to be, vs. how often you want to get one-shot? For hardcore players (in the one-life-per-char sense) that balance obviously tips more towards safety but it's the same trade-off none the less. Diablo 3 *tried* to change this with its infernal difficulty, and failed miserably. They removed massive life leech and replaced on-demand full heals (potions) with health orbs to combat the incoming one-shot damage issue. It still wasn't fun, the bullet sponge monsters and one-shot meta was still very much there, and the only classes really able to progress were the ranged ones, and only by kiting all day and all night. Turns out that running, taking a shot, running, taking a shot, running, taking a shot ... isn't good gameplay.
 
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25. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 15:52 Beamer
 
VaranDragon wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 14:27:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 14:07:
VaranDragon wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:45:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:51:
Unpopular Opinion: I don't care about leveling, but I do want a way to redo my skill tree for no real cost, as many times as I'd like.

This was a major issue with D3. What you want is a Diablo which caters for the absolutely casual player. Which D3 absolutely is.

I want my skill choices to mean something. I want a sense of acomplishment.

Couldn't you just... not use it?
Whereas, for me, I'd have to restart the entire game if I wanted to see a different skill. That doesn't sound fun.

Also, Diablo have always been mostly casual games. There are more recent, similar games that are more hardcore, aren't there? But Diablo is a fairly casual game. People like to pretend it isn't, but it's never had huge depth of systems or gameplay.

It's a relative matter. D3 was much, much more casual compared to D2. Most Diablo2 fans don't want something at the level of complexity that is PoE, but we also don't want something that plays itself.

Being able to experiment with skill trees isn't playing itself. If anything, most people not experimenting are probably closer to doing that. When your "decisions have meaning," most people spend a lot of time on forums or YouTube looking for optimal builds and playing the game the way other people found works, rather than finding one for themselves, since it's literally impossible to find one yourself.
Also, most D2 fans are now over 40. They'll be a tiny fraction of the purchases of this game.
 



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24. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 15:46 MattyC
 
Darks wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:20:
D4 needs to be something new and different, and more like D2 is.

Intentional or not, I give this 10/10!
 
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23. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 15:10 Mr. Tact
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 14:20:
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:54:
Okay, I've seen a couple of people now call this GaaS. Could one of you please explain to me how this is anymore of a GaaS than any other online game? Including D3...
If you mean me then I never claimed that D3 is different... but that was then, and this is now. I simply don't like not being able to mod these games.. D2 is still my favorite game exactly because of mods... D3 I played, sure, but not nearly as much as D2...
Wasn't really attempting to address anyone specifically, just trying to understand if the implication is all on-line games are "GaaS" or if there is a line crossed by what has been proposed for D4...
 



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22. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 14:27 VaranDragon
 
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 14:07:
VaranDragon wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:45:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:51:
Unpopular Opinion: I don't care about leveling, but I do want a way to redo my skill tree for no real cost, as many times as I'd like.

This was a major issue with D3. What you want is a Diablo which caters for the absolutely casual player. Which D3 absolutely is.

I want my skill choices to mean something. I want a sense of acomplishment.

Couldn't you just... not use it?
Whereas, for me, I'd have to restart the entire game if I wanted to see a different skill. That doesn't sound fun.

Also, Diablo have always been mostly casual games. There are more recent, similar games that are more hardcore, aren't there? But Diablo is a fairly casual game. People like to pretend it isn't, but it's never had huge depth of systems or gameplay.

It's a relative matter. D3 was much, much more casual compared to D2. Most Diablo2 fans don't want something at the level of complexity that is PoE, but we also don't want something that plays itself.
 
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21. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 14:20 eRe4s3r
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:54:
Okay, I've seen a couple of people now call this GaaS. Could one of you please explain to me how this is anymore of a GaaS than any other online game? Including D3...

If you mean me then I never claimed that D3 is different... but that was then, and this is now. I simply don't like not being able to mod these games.. D2 is still my favorite game exactly because of mods... D3 I played, sure, but not nearly as much as D2...
 
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20. Re: On Diablo IV Leveling Nov 20, 2019, 14:07 Beamer
 
VaranDragon wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 13:45:
Beamer wrote on Nov 20, 2019, 11:51:
Unpopular Opinion: I don't care about leveling, but I do want a way to redo my skill tree for no real cost, as many times as I'd like.

This was a major issue with D3. What you want is a Diablo which caters for the absolutely casual player. Which D3 absolutely is.

I want my skill choices to mean something. I want a sense of acomplishment.

Couldn't you just... not use it?
Whereas, for me, I'd have to restart the entire game if I wanted to see a different skill. That doesn't sound fun.

Also, Diablo have always been mostly casual games. There are more recent, similar games that are more hardcore, aren't there? But Diablo is a fairly casual game. People like to pretend it isn't, but it's never had huge depth of systems or gameplay.
 



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