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Best combat difficulty design ... MMOs should learn from Diablo 3

nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775

There is quite a bit of discussions of combat challenges, and many complains MMOs are "too easy". (BTW, we are talking about PvE .. because obviously e-sports pvp is never "too easy").

D3 already has the best decision. Let players choose.

On the easy end, you have normal mode .. which is even more trivial than WoW combat. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too hard.

On the difficult end, you have almost unlimited scaling of Greater Rift. They have both the solo GR dungeons, and the MP one. The solo one, the highest anyone has reached is L60 in American. For the 4-man dungeon, it is L70. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too easy .. since no one can do 61 (solo) or 71 (4-man) yet.

And no matter who you are, there is always something in between that fits your level of fun.

Now you can complain about the style of combat. Personally i love action combat with physical effects and collision detection, plus the meta of gear driven builds. That may not be your cup of tea.

However, there is no cause to complain about the level of challenge since no one here can defeat the highest difficulty (so it is certainly not too easy) and no one here would be bad enough not to able to do the normal difficulty (so it is certainly not too hard).

Since the game is built on instanced dungeons, not unlike many pve game mode of MMOs, MMOs can just take and use this solution, and there will be no more complaints about the level of difficulties.

 

 

.. .and oh .. i haven't even mentioned hardcore .. so not only it has the best difficulty design, it let players have the HIGHEST level of risk (nothing is bigger than permadeath, right), if you so choose. But I digress ....

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Comments

  • zaberfangxzaberfangx Member UncommonPosts: 1,796
    Diablo 3 is learning from other games, right now they need tons of endgame work, is all about RNG loot droping and paragon leveling. But Right now PoE have it over them on more builds that works. and Marvel Heroes 2015 not doing so bad even.
  • NildenNilden Member EpicPosts: 3,916

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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by zaberfangx
    Diablo 3 is learning from other games, right now they need tons of endgame work, is all about RNG loot droping and paragon leveling. But Right now PoE have it over them on more builds that works. and Marvel Heroes 2015 not doing so bad even.

     

    Oh ... i am not saying D3 does EVERYTHING perfectly. (Though you have to admit they got the combat thing down).

    This thread is about DIFFICULTY design though .. and from that perspective, others can learn. Again, it is quite clear that its difficulty encompass from the very easy to the impossible, and there is always a difficulty in between who fit anyone.

    BTW, i love Marvel Heroes .. but the two games have different strength (and i also argue there is no need to choose, one can simply play all of them). D3 has better polished, combat and difficulty ... but MH has very good content, MORE characters to choose from, and more events/content. Just take followers .. D3 has 3 ... and MH has a bunch to choose from. May be my next topic is what MMOs can learn from MH.

     

  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade Member EpicPosts: 4,829
    Originally posted by Nilden
    City of Heroes: Notoriety

    Yep, City of Heroes had many great features that I'd love to see other MMOs adopt.

    The notoriety that you linked (setting mission difficulty), the sidekicking (scaling level to content or team leader's level), leveling pacts, etc...

    DDO also does the difficulty thing btw. You can set most quests to solo, normal, hard and elite.

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  • Nightbringe1Nightbringe1 Member UncommonPosts: 1,335
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    There is quite a bit of discussions of combat challenges, and many complains MMOs are "too easy". (BTW, we are talking about PvE .. because obviously e-sports pvp is never "too easy").

    D3 already has the best decision. Let players choose.

    On the easy end, you have normal mode .. which is even more trivial than WoW combat. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too hard.

    On the difficult end, you have almost unlimited scaling of Greater Rift. They have both the solo GR dungeons, and the MP one. The solo one, the highest anyone has reached is L60 in American. For the 4-man dungeon, it is L70. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too easy .. since no one can do 61 (solo) or 71 (4-man) yet.

    And no matter who you are, there is always something in between that fits your level of fun.

    Scaling has been around for quite some time.

    CoH used to have quite a few scaling options, allowing for both level based scaling and group size scaling. If masochistic, you could attempt to solo an 8+4 mission. DDO's scaling is more limited, but nothing stops the solo player from attempting to solo an epic adventure.

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  • YoungCaesarYoungCaesar Member UncommonPosts: 326
    Sorry I uninstalled D3 when I found out sorcerers damage was based on their weapon actual physical damage, do you get higher item rewards (drop rates or w/e) on higher difficulties? Because if the only reward is some e peen then no thanks
  • zaberfangxzaberfangx Member UncommonPosts: 1,796
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by zaberfangx
    Diablo 3 is learning from other games, right now they need tons of endgame work, is all about RNG loot droping and paragon leveling. But Right now PoE have it over them on more builds that works. and Marvel Heroes 2015 not doing so bad even.

     

    Oh ... i am not saying D3 does EVERYTHING perfectly. (Though you have to admit they got the combat thing down).

    This thread is about DIFFICULTY design though .. and from that perspective, others can learn. Again, it is quite clear that its difficulty encompass from the very easy to the impossible, and there is always a difficulty in between who fit anyone.

    BTW, i love Marvel Heroes .. but the two games have different strength (and i also argue there is no need to choose, one can simply play all of them). D3 has better polished, combat and difficulty ... but MH has very good content, MORE characters to choose from, and more events/content. Just take followers .. D3 has 3 ... and MH has a bunch to choose from. May be my next topic is what MMOs can learn from MH.

     

    Yeah combat it's very good, the class system not so bad they need more content then just grinding, I know there some people like that, but I think they should not take away the grind but add something make the grind less a pain.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid Member EpicPosts: 10,722

    the level of Rift Grinding involved in D3 to progress your character blows my mind. 

     

    For combat difficulty design.... mmos should learn a thing or two from the Souls games, not from D3.

    Nothing from D3 (except for the lore) fits in a full fledged mmo IMO, much less the combat design and difficulty? what difficulty? difficulty and D3 is the exact same as in Destiny... dumb AI that is a bullet sponge and fill the map with trash mobs coming at you at the same time to ensure you die. I rather have better AI overall.

     

    Now that i mention it, Bungivision took the same D3 grind and added it to Destiny. Please keep that game grind design limited to those 2 games. Dont spread it to new mmos.





  • AnirethAnireth Member UncommonPosts: 940

    And what exactly is so special about D3? D1 & D2 did that already.

    And Guild Wars did it with it's "hard mode". Vindictus also features 3 modes: Normal, Hard, Hero, and allows for different modifiers independently off difficulty. Modifiers are something like enemies do 50% more damage, or no revive items (so only via skills, and only one class had (has?) one, and that is not a dedicated healer, there is no such thing in Vindictus).

    If you truly wanted a challenge, you did the end game raid bosses solo, or (probably even harder) the mid game raid bosses on heroic. Add 50% more damage and even a single mistake meant it's over.

    It is quite a neat idea, allowing the reuse of literally all content and not locking people out from ever seeing certain areas while still giving players a challenge. Maybe MMOs should go even further: Unlimited difficulty modes.

    Every time you beat a certain area/instance/quest, everything gets increased by a certain amount. Stats of the monsters, monster count, the amount of monsters you have to beat to finish the quest..

    Heck, it could even rise faster and faster. 10% more each time. So first try, you need to kill 10 monsters, each 100 health. Second try, 11 monsters 110 health. Third try, it's 13 monsters with 132 health. Then 17 monsters 171 health. This would scale incredibly fast. Soon, each monster would be harder then any static boss, and you fight like 271 of them at once.

    Maybe people would finally stop complaining about the game being too short and easy after they used every shortcut possible and playing 24 hours straight to be first, instead of actually, you know, using the content.

    Alternatively, get rid of all this and make a truly open world like UO did, with "random" distribution of difficult monsters and instances, and no single point of power. Levels decide everything right now. One experience point more or less out of millions decides whether you have any chance at all at doing something, because it determines your level, which in turn the skills you can learn and the amount of skill points are tied to, and which gear you can use etc.

    In UO, progress was nearly continous instead of this discreet steps. The difference between having swordsmanship at 99.9% or 100% was miniscule and not noticable in combat. Better armor was noticable, but between each tier, the difference was way smaller then even between max-level armor and actual "end-game" armor in most of todays MMOs.

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  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504

    Yeah I'm sure somewhere in the forums like ~6 years back there's a post where I mentioned CoH's difficulty system was the way MMOs should be going because it fixes the primary failing of their leveling systems.  Old news and D3 definitely isn't the first to have done this stuff.

     

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  • BitripBitrip Member UncommonPosts: 279
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Yeah I'm sure somewhere in the forums like ~6 years back there's a post where I mentioned CoH's difficulty system was the way MMOs should be going because it fixes the primary failing of their leveling systems.  Old news and D3 definitely isn't the first to have done this stuff.

     

    CoX definitely nailed it. They made group content not only challenging but also accessible. I don't think I've ever gone through as much group content in any other MMO.

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  • cowsmoocowsmoo Member Posts: 2

    Unfortunately you missed one key point which is a huge flaw in D3 combat and the main reason I stopped playing.

     

    D3s combat design is entirely based off of unavoidable damage. The scaling simply multiplies the monster hp and damage to make it more "difficult". Your success comes down to a number crunch: can I absorb enough damage and kill all enemies fast enough before I die. If not , go back to grinding ....

    There isn't any skill or strategy involved here, it's all numbers and RNG.

     

    Now scaling overall is a great idea. Like you said allow the player to choose easy or hard. Do I want to solo this dungeon or do it with 4 friends? THIS is what we need in mmos

  • doodphacedoodphace Member UncommonPosts: 1,858
    WoW has been doing it for years.....the only problem with that is this; as soon as an "easy" version is introduced, morons flock to message boards proclaiming "game is easy mode now", when in fact its hard modes are some of the hardest encounters in any MMO ever.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by doodphace
    WoW has been doing it for years.....the only problem with that is this; as soon as an "easy" version is introduced, morons flock to message boards proclaiming "game is easy mode now", when in fact its hard modes are some of the hardest encounters in any MMO ever.

     

    no doubt WoW has tried .. but it does not do it as well as D3 .. couple of differences:

    You can choose from normal to torment 6 in the leveling game for D3. Normal is easy mode, and T6 is hard even if you have good gear. And wow leveling has no options ... and basically easy mode.

    WoW hard mode raiding is hard .. no doubt about that .. but there is only TWO levels (normal & hard, now 3 .. LFR, normal and hard). That is not enough for really separate all the players. D3 has 10 levels of basic difficulty for adventure mode to rift, and then also infinite scale in greater rifts.

    So in WOW, someone can finish normal mode raid .. and still find hard mode too challenging .. and this won't happen in D3 .. because you can go up incrementally. Moreover, i remember when i was back playing WoW years ago, once everyone is geared enough, you can put hard mode on farm (i.e. not a lot of challenge, you have to pay attention, but chance of failure is not that high).

    D3 has no such problem ... no one can put the highest greater rift on farm .. even if they can do it once or twice.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by cowsmoo

    D3s combat design is entirely based off of unavoidable damage.

     

    What unavoidable damage? At higher GR .. the only way to go is to use CC, range and avoid damage. I am not at the highest level .. but at my max level ... either i run the whole thing without dying (by being very careful and use CC), or die like crazy and cannot finish.

    I doubt you actually play D3 much, or well. In fact, at higher GR .. is all about high dps while avoiding being hit (cause you will be one-shot).

     

  • muppetpilotmuppetpilot Member UncommonPosts: 171

    The trouble with D3's "difficulty" is that it simply uses enemy health and damage that scale infinitely.  At some point the game loses its relation to skill because very high GR bosses will one-shot anyone.  It's not that higher difficulty settings/levels require a better player so much as they require you to have so much raw damage/toughness to survive.

     

    The other thing is that this entire game is based on RNG, and to me that sometimes cheapens anything having to do with difficulty, as again, acquiring better items has naught to do with skill and everything to do with luck.

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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by muppetpilot

    The trouble with D3's "difficulty" is that it simply uses enemy health and damage that scale infinitely.  At some point the game loses its relation to skill because very high GR bosses will one-shot anyone.  It's not that higher difficulty settings/levels require a better player so much as they require you to have so much raw damage/toughness to survive.

     

    You apparently are not one of the better players. By GR high 40 or so, bosses will one-shot you already .. but the best players have figured out how to beat that by either clever combo of mechanics, or just play very well.

    All the top players have the same gear (you can go inspect them). The top 10 versus the top few hundred is really about how well you play.

    Plus, this is just a side point. Again, it does not matter what it uses, you can deny that it ranges from very easy to impossibly challenging. And that is why MMOs should take a page. You cannot complain D3 is too easy, can you?

  • gonewildgonewild Member UncommonPosts: 136
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    There is quite a bit of discussions of combat challenges, and many complains MMOs are "too easy". (BTW, we are talking about PvE .. because obviously e-sports pvp is never "too easy").

    D3 already has the best decision. Let players choose.

    On the easy end, you have normal mode .. which is even more trivial than WoW combat. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too hard.

    On the difficult end, you have almost unlimited scaling of Greater Rift. They have both the solo GR dungeons, and the MP one. The solo one, the highest anyone has reached is L60 in American. For the 4-man dungeon, it is L70. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too easy .. since no one can do 61 (solo) or 71 (4-man) yet.

    And no matter who you are, there is always something in between that fits your level of fun.

    Now you can complain about the style of combat. Personally i love action combat with physical effects and collision detection, plus the meta of gear driven builds. That may not be your cup of tea.

    However, there is no cause to complain about the level of challenge since no one here can defeat the highest difficulty (so it is certainly not too easy) and no one here would be bad enough not to able to do the normal difficulty (so it is certainly not too hard).

    Since the game is built on instanced dungeons, not unlike many pve game mode of MMOs, MMOs can just take and use this solution, and there will be no more complaints about the level of difficulties.

     

     

    .. .and oh .. i haven't even mentioned hardcore .. so not only it has the best difficulty design, it let players have the HIGHEST level of risk (nothing is bigger than permadeath, right), if you so choose. But I digress ....

    Bullshit dark souls is the game

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by gonewild
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    There is quite a bit of discussions of combat challenges, and many complains MMOs are "too easy". (BTW, we are talking about PvE .. because obviously e-sports pvp is never "too easy").

    D3 already has the best decision. Let players choose.

    On the easy end, you have normal mode .. which is even more trivial than WoW combat. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too hard.

    On the difficult end, you have almost unlimited scaling of Greater Rift. They have both the solo GR dungeons, and the MP one. The solo one, the highest anyone has reached is L60 in American. For the 4-man dungeon, it is L70. So NO ONE should complain that D3 is too easy .. since no one can do 61 (solo) or 71 (4-man) yet.

    And no matter who you are, there is always something in between that fits your level of fun.

    Now you can complain about the style of combat. Personally i love action combat with physical effects and collision detection, plus the meta of gear driven builds. That may not be your cup of tea.

    However, there is no cause to complain about the level of challenge since no one here can defeat the highest difficulty (so it is certainly not too easy) and no one here would be bad enough not to able to do the normal difficulty (so it is certainly not too hard).

    Since the game is built on instanced dungeons, not unlike many pve game mode of MMOs, MMOs can just take and use this solution, and there will be no more complaints about the level of difficulties.

     

     

    .. .and oh .. i haven't even mentioned hardcore .. so not only it has the best difficulty design, it let players have the HIGHEST level of risk (nothing is bigger than permadeath, right), if you so choose. But I digress ....

    Bullshit dark souls is the game

    nah .. dark souls does not have an easy mode .. so many will find it too challenging. D3 has both .. too easy and too challenging.

    It is not just about being difficult .. it is about being able to choose and so no player will find it either too hard or too easy.

     

  • muppetpilotmuppetpilot Member UncommonPosts: 171
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by muppetpilot

    The trouble with D3's "difficulty" is that it simply uses enemy health and damage that scale infinitely.  At some point the game loses its relation to skill because very high GR bosses will one-shot anyone.  It's not that higher difficulty settings/levels require a better player so much as they require you to have so much raw damage/toughness to survive.

     

    You apparently are not one of the better players. By GR high 40 or so, bosses will one-shot you already .. but the best players have figured out how to beat that by either clever combo of mechanics, or just play very well.

    All the top players have the same gear (you can go inspect them). The top 10 versus the top few hundred is really about how well you play.

    Plus, this is just a side point. Again, it does not matter what it uses, you can deny that it ranges from very easy to impossibly challenging. And that is why MMOs should take a page. You cannot complain D3 is too easy, can you?

     

    I have done up to GR 52 in groups, and am not worried about being whatever you consider to be "one of the better players" as I play other games and am only going to sink so much time into a game with very little end-game progression beyond rift, rift, rift.

     

    I don't need to go further than 52 to see that infinitely-scaling numbers, unavoidable damage, and the very fact certain gear is necessary for survival and in most cases is married to one existing optimal build, makes the game less about skill and more about rng/luck/whatever.  Oh and having less lag, too.  But that's not such a good aspect of this game, methinks.

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  • doodphacedoodphace Member UncommonPosts: 1,858
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by doodphace
    WoW has been doing it for years.....the only problem with that is this; as soon as an "easy" version is introduced, morons flock to message boards proclaiming "game is easy mode now", when in fact its hard modes are some of the hardest encounters in any MMO ever.

     

    no doubt WoW has tried .. but it does not do it as well as D3 .. couple of differences:

    You can choose from normal to torment 6 in the leveling game for D3. Normal is easy mode, and T6 is hard even if you have good gear. And wow leveling has no options ... and basically easy mode.

    WoW hard mode raiding is hard .. no doubt about that .. but there is only TWO levels (normal & hard, now 3 .. LFR, normal and hard). That is not enough for really separate all the players. D3 has 10 levels of basic difficulty for adventure mode to rift, and then also infinite scale in greater rifts.

    So in WOW, someone can finish normal mode raid .. and still find hard mode too challenging .. and this won't happen in D3 .. because you can go up incrementally. Moreover, i remember when i was back playing WoW years ago, once everyone is geared enough, you can put hard mode on farm (i.e. not a lot of challenge, you have to pay attention, but chance of failure is not that high).

    D3 has no such problem ... no one can put the highest greater rift on farm .. even if they can do it once or twice.

    You haven't been keeping up with WoW much, have you?

    WoW raids have LFR (Easy), normal (normal), Heroic (somewhat hard, but not crazy), and Mythic (hardest raids on the market).

    The normal mode vs heroic mode was put in place to address the exact point I highlighted of yours.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by muppetpilot
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by muppetpilot

    The trouble with D3's "difficulty" is that it simply uses enemy health and damage that scale infinitely.  At some point the game loses its relation to skill because very high GR bosses will one-shot anyone.  It's not that higher difficulty settings/levels require a better player so much as they require you to have so much raw damage/toughness to survive.

     

    You apparently are not one of the better players. By GR high 40 or so, bosses will one-shot you already .. but the best players have figured out how to beat that by either clever combo of mechanics, or just play very well.

    All the top players have the same gear (you can go inspect them). The top 10 versus the top few hundred is really about how well you play.

    Plus, this is just a side point. Again, it does not matter what it uses, you can deny that it ranges from very easy to impossibly challenging. And that is why MMOs should take a page. You cannot complain D3 is too easy, can you?

     

    I have done up to GR 52 in groups, and am not worried about being whatever you consider to be "one of the better players" as I play other games and am only going to sink so much time into a game with very little end-game progression beyond rift, rift, rift.

     

    I don't need to go further than 52 to see that infinitely-scaling numbers, unavoidable damage, and the very fact certain gear is necessary for survival and in most cases is married to one existing optimal build, makes the game less about skill and more about rng/luck/whatever.  Oh and having less lag, too.  But that's not such a good aspect of this game, methinks.

    and yet .. the highest group GR is 70 .. which is quite beyond what you have done. Can you imagine how they do it .. if not for great play. Have you read about the kind of group synergies that are needed to get up to 70.

    How about solo GR .. how high did you get? Are you anywhere close to 60?

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,775
    Originally posted by doodphace
     

    You haven't been keeping up with WoW much, have you?

    WoW raids have LFR (Easy), normal (normal), Heroic (somewhat hard, but not crazy), and Mythic (hardest raids on the market).

    The normal mode vs heroic mode was put in place to address the exact point I highlighted of yours.

    Nope .. i quit quite some time ago and have no desire to go back.

    But again, WOW does not have a slider during leveling, and even 4 levels are not as good as having essentially 100 levels of difficulties. The fact that WOW moves closer to a D3 model says something.

     

  • cowsmoocowsmoo Member Posts: 2
    Sorry but who cares about what GR people are at? I didn't realize this discussion was only for the elite. It doesn't matter, the poor design is apparent throughout the entire game.

    the fact you are relying on this defense is ridiculous. So the game is only challenging at the hardest content ? I must not be a top tier player so I don't deserve any challenge in my gameplay ?

    When you get in range of a ranged monster and he sees you, he's already hit you. He has to do his animation, launch the projectile, it has to travel through the air to get to you, but you already got hit. No amount of player skill will let you dodge that projectile.

    This was a big discussion in beta, it persisted through vanilla and I don't believe it's any different now.

    How does a melee avoid electrifying? Jailer and nightmare? You can anticipate and react afterwards, but player skill cannot avoid the damage. Backing off and regaining health before re engaging is not skill

    If you still don't believe the game is just a huge gear and stat check, then please explain why bosses have enrage timers ?

    The fact is D3 is a failure compared to D2, and one major reason is its combat design
  • CalmOceansCalmOceans Member UncommonPosts: 2,437

    plenty of MMO have this mechanic

     

    EQ had this, before WoW even existed, you could pick risk Normal or Hard in DoN, same in many other expansions

    EQ also has dungeon scaling based on lvl, in some instances it will look at the average group's strength, and put the mob's level, 1 or 2 levels higher


    I'm not a big fan of it, because it is done to bring design cost down, it means less content. The people that progress, now have to do the same battles / zones, instead of getting new content. It's a copy paste system that saves money but it's not very beneficial to players.

    It's not like it's something new, MMO have been doing this for over a decade. There was at least one other game before WoW, other than EQ, that used dungeon scaling, I just don't remember which it was, but I remember being able to choose difficulty setting.

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