Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Diablo 3 grouping vs WoW's LFD

As WoW attempts to solve its issue of horrible pugs by making the tanking role as brain dead as the dps role Diablo 3 is poised to take over as the default method of having a fun group experience in an online game.

In Diablo games everyone is dps. If you want to pull just shoot something, no need to wait for someone else. If you're taking too much damage just run back behind your team for a few seconds. Mobs in Diablo games have an in-built hesitation mechanic so if you move they hesitate very slightly, allowing you to reduce the damage you take. Friends can help by ping-ponging aggro, by overthreating your threat value so monsters stop chasing you. It's a more agile more immersive playstyle.

Diablo 3 will take a lot from what Blizzard has learned over the years in WoW. Instead of the freeform games of Diablo 2 (for example Baalrun95) D3 players will set up games by choosing where they want to quest and how many people they want to quest with and the system will build a party for you to suit that. Which is quite similar to how LFD works in WoW, just without the queues.

Does it lose tactical depth? Yes, but WoW is withdrawing from the style of tactical depth as fast as it can. Who would want to play a game for the tactical depth of trinity gamestyle where it's impossible to rip aggro off the tank? That's not tactical depth.

In other ways D3 is simply streets ahead of WoW. Let's look at loot.

- in WoW you will see nice things drop and someone else will get it. In D3 if you see it, it's yours.

- Diablo games drop more loot that WoW-type games. Monsters are individually much weaker, you can kill a swarm in the time a WoW player would kill one mob.

- some WoW loot drops as currency which you then need to save up until you gradually save enough to buy an item. It's loot by installments. In D3 if it drops it's an item and you can use it immediately if you like.

- WoW loot is usually Bind on Pickup. In Diablo games if it drops any of your characters can use it. In D2 I quite often had the experience of finding an awesome item and thinking, "Wow, I've got to go make a Sword  Barb now!"

- in D3 if you don't want it you can cash it in for real money or game money or crafting materials.

12 comments:

  1. Good post. Speaking of Diablo 3 features and qualities, I am both excited and worried at the same time about the "real money" stuff.

    Unlike WoW, DiabloIII wont use realms (just US/EU and few other regional areas). So everyone -worldwide- wwill be fighting for items/prices on the auction house. Making real money wont be easy/fast.

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  2. I agree with all of that. WoW was built off a model from 1999 that was never that friendly to begin with. It has need change for a long time, and I'm quite annoyed that games still want to use the "holy trinity" in their games. Can't we just move past that already and just allow people to play what they want with who they want.

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  3. Something Idon't understand is why Blizzard never changed the trading window with something safer. Giving away 20.000 gold in mats and waiting for the crafter action is something just wrong, mostly for casual gamers and people who don't have "trusted" friends on the realm.

    I hope the trading system in D3 will be better implemented.

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    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Emil. I already have you on my blogroll but it only displays the 10 most recent (at least by default, you can show all). So whenever you post something new you'll be on my side panel for a while.

    You (and anyone else) are most welcome to link to me if you like.

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  6. While I do think that the D3 direction is better for action gameplay, I do long for some nice tactically deep multiplayer gameplay, too. So far, I'm only seeing that in niches like Atlantica Online, Blight of the Immortals and Frozen Synapse. I love me some solid turn-based gaming.

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  7. Eve is pretty tactically deep and although not turn-based has a similar pacing.

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  8. @ Stabs

    Any chance I can find you on Google+? I'm trying to gather some good people in advance so we can share stuff via G+ too. Cheers.

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  9. I really should play EVE one of these days. I think I even purchased it via Steam on one of their $5 sales a while back. Is it bad that I think I should study the game for a while before I start so I don't waste time since I only have 30 days?

    ...I really want to like EVE, but that *%(# time limit really taints how I'd approach it.

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  10. @ Echo I'm not on the social networking sites. This may change at some point and I'll let people know.

    @ Tesh The best way into Eve is to get a buddy key. You get 21 days rather than the standard 14 (and the person who sends you the key gets a free month if you sub). Any Eve player will cheerfully email you one, I'll do it if you like.

    However there's basically a long hiatus between starting the game and appreciating the strategic side. When you start out not only are you only useful as tackler (expendable cannon fodder) but anyone in nullsec is likely to assume you're a spy.

    Let me know if you want to have a chat on Skype or Teamspeak or something and I'll talk you through the rather intricate options of a new Eve player.

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  11. When I can carve out the time, I'll come to you first. :) Thanks!

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