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Thread: Diablo III - whats the optimal endgame? - blue post

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    Default Diablo III - whats the optimal endgame? - blue post

    In some recent Blue posts about Diablo three endgame, bashiook dropped this bomb:
    I will also say that we don’t think Inferno is the end-all solution to creating an exciting end-game. We’re pretty sure it will be a great improvement, and excellent first step, but it’s still quite a ways away from a true end-game content solution.
    This sparkled some hope in my gamer spirit and reminded me of the epic feat of theorycrafting i took some two eyars ago on this matter.

    .. found it through this reddit thread that i also recomend participating in:

    So im about to once agian share my thoughts on how the epic action-rpg expeirence that is Diablo best be spiced up in a way that adds endless replayablility and rewards creativity and resourcefulness to teh point of becoming a pure expression of huan cunduct, much like starcraft.

    Whats your take on this? from Bashiooks post, Blizzard presumably understands that even inferno wont be enough, and they want to preempt this by adding something more effective creative and epic than the arguably silly "Żber Diablo" special elite quest ended up being for D2.

    without further ado, here is my 2 eyar old post:
    too lazy to read it all? - its about Competitive questing. how great would it be? combining cooperation, competition PvE and "PvP" in a brand new way of palying Diablo with infrastructure for unique rewards both in form of items / XP , unlocked content(?) and status/reputation/ "ladder position"

    I wouldnt want Diablo 3 to be Another standard blizzard titles of late, as in doing everything its expected to in a great way, but not much else, much like WoW combined and perfected elements from other mmorpgs without much TRUE innovation (if you disagree with WoW doing that, this is the wrong place to argue over it anyway - just bare with me!) .. And how SC2 looks to be done by the book, very similar to sc1 considering its over ten years old. (i like this part, but lets not get sidetracked here)

    So im hoping to get something more out of Diablo III than just a major polish of D2 with new environments, monsters, classes, items etc, and fancy stuff like the physics that interact with gameplay.

    What am I looking for then? and why?
    Lets start with the why: Why do people play Diablo
    past the basic “beat the game” aspect that people do to simply “experience the game” - at the heart of this is issue is really, why do people play action-RPG’s in multiplayer?

    There are two simple answers to this, and I will try to point out how truly designing MP gameplay around BOTH of them at the same time just makes so much sense.

    #1 cooperation this is quite self-explanatory: in MP players can take on challenges that would be too great for them to overcome on their own, and reap the rewards - cooperation has a worth of its own too of course; interaction with others makes the gameplay less predictable etc. However, when the rewards is limited to XP and items that are only used o take on more similar challenges, and when these challenges are completely guided by environment AI, cooperation as incentive WILL get stale and / or predictable sooner or later. - on its OWN that is.

    #2 competition I believe most who play action RPG’s in MP are looking for some sense of completion, even if its sometimes far from as direct as player vs. player combat.. Surely, hunting for treasure, or leveling up really fast, has a competitive aspect for many: to be able to do this faster or more effectively than others - that’s what “being good at the game” means when gathering XP and items by killing monsters are the only rewards the game offers.

    Before I continue the main point;

    What do I mean by Action Rpg’s - why don’t I just talk about Diablo? Put simply: im talking about DotA: I never liked the game, but it brilliantly captures things Diablo is missing: combination & integration of #1 and #2 - a gameplay option to experience more direct action-rpg competition over a more manageable timespan; compared to the indirect & truly endless XP & item hunting of D2 PvE, or the PvP aspect of D2 witch has zero real rewards and is completely cut off from the rest of the game content. (and I think THIS is what makes DotA popular)

    getting on with the main point: Diablo II did some great things with cooperative play, but as great ‘a time as we had with that, something was missing (whether you’ve ever realized it or not!) - cooperation sure makes the game last longer, but any fan of any MP game with more direct competitive aspects knows THAT is what truly makes games come alive; even just a sparkle of direct competitive elements integrated into d3 PvE play would do wonders for the overall thrill and motivations to keep improving and diversifying(!) ones character(s) to be distinctly unique; strong in its very own way that fits the player best - in a way that makes it harder for human opponents to predict its actions and in a way that suits the players play-style, not least against other players....

    so, what do I really mean with “direct competitive elements” ? why don’t I just say PvP?
    Because pvp is only a part of it; PvP makes it sound like killing the other player is the end-all goal of that gameplay situation, as it generally is in RPG pvp, but really, that’s part of what can make it so .. Flat? - to make a DotA anology again: the end all goal ISNT to kill the enemy heroes, but to destroy the enemy main building (tree is it?) … this, along with other nuances like team minions, minion-spawning buildings, towers and creeps makes the whole gameplay experience that much more dynamic - while still remaining directly competitive at heart - because there are two sides with opposite goals!

    So what could be done with Diablo III with regards to this?
    If you understand what im getting at, you’ll know that there are endless ways of doing this, and it can be implemented to a lesser or greater degree: if anyone can get it right, Blizzard can.
    But if you still don’t quite get me, Here is a simple example, ill try to keep it as simple & concrete as possible:

    Two players unknown to each other, pick a game type: “competitive questing 1on1” and are matched against each other anonymously as they enter the game from the lobby. They have two minutes to shop & choose gear before they can start questing

    They then set out on a competitive quest - from two separated locations. The quest objective is a caravan moving from point A to B through a varying landscape stopping sometimes to rest, or to fend off monster ambushes.

    Player X objective is to protect the caravan or failing that, to make sure more than half of its contains gets delivered to point B

    Player Y is to destroy more than half of the contains

    The player who “wins the quest” claims a reward of items that are not so easy to come by in conventional play, and more importantly the winner “climbs the ladder” in these sense that he will next time be matched against others of similar wealth & Level that have proven equally “skilled” at winning THEIR competitive quests. (think wc3 ladder AMM) - the higher up on the ladder, the greater rewards for the winner!

    (lets keep it at that for simplicities’ sake)

    What might happen then? Player X might set out to actively seek out to challenge / cripple player Y or more passively guard the caravan, or seek to take out / soften up monster ambushes.

    Player Y in turn, might seek crippling player X and other obstacles to his mission (AI caravan guards?) or do hit and runs, especially during monster ambushes…

    Both players could also take side quests for “this-quest-only” rewards that help with the main quest, like special potions, items or AI allies.

    - in fact, competitive questings doesnt even need to include direct PvP, as i explained to someone:

    so an example of that would be a race between two players (or teams) where they never actualy meet, just safely reach all three quest locations before the other team, the direct interaction being limited to teams being able to release extra monsters or denying part-quest rewards ("this game only") on the other team by side quests or part-quests. the timing & careful selection of these ways to penalize the opposing team would give PvE play another dimension: never completely predictable! (this type of quest is in some ways similar to the "hero line war" map-type in custom wc3 - i made one of those)

    The intricate part of this is working out how to deal with direct player v player confrontations; making sure they don’t turn out too fast and simple, and to balance the rewards of killing the other player against the main quest goal.
    Basic XP and items on the characters would remain untouched when killed, but quest items (caravan contains) would be dropped for the other player to interact with. And side quest items / characters should also be affected (like braking, disappearing, becoming available for rehire to anyone…)

    So there you have it… one can really think up a lot of theorycraft around this, and I guess it’s as good a pastime as any, I even have more intricate ideas with similar goals: to include some type of “game master/leader” feature, to allow a host of a game to control the creeps & environment against the heroes instead of being one of the heroes… but that stuff is harder to explain and write about in a rational manner, so ill save that for another time.

    Bottom line is, I want to open peoples minds to the idea of a Diablo with more direct competitive elements: it would improve on the game so much, and it needn at all affect those that wouldn’t want to be part of it.

    thoughts on my idea? ideas of your own? shoot!
    Last edited by Todie; 11-02-2011 at 01:44 PM.
    I am an enthusiast of good strategy games, sc2Esports and rollplay, although i dont really play anything atm.
    I work an internship at a government agency this fall, and have a good time at it.
    I'm being more social, active and honest lately. in all forums.


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