Thursday, November 24, 2011

Blizzard is ruining my fun

A month ago or so I went to the Diablo 3 site to look at the material there.  I found all kinds of stuff that looked bad and worried that Blizzard wasn't going to get the game into decent shape.   Abilities that increase your damage dealt by 160% are not reasonable (Zombie Dog + Zombie Dog passive + Zombie Dog Explosion!) and they had a bunch of abilities that did fixed damage totals rather than scaling with gear.  I had hopes that Blizzard would rectify these errors before launch and avoid shipping a game with awful scaling issues like Diablo 2 and WOW had.  Despite that I had great fun using the character builder to create a hideously overpowered Witch Doctor and figured that this is what I would use as my starting character.  After all, who doesn't want to summon a horde of hideous mutant dogs that explode on command?  (Mostly I wanted the 160% damage increase; I am a numbers junkie)

I went back to the site today and was both saddened and gladdened by what I saw.  Gone are the fixed damage abilities, huzzah!  My faith in Blizzard not being a pile of idiots is vindicated.  Much to my dismay though my ridiculous Witch Doctor combo is deader than the hideous abominations he was intended to summon; the Zombie Dog combination is now granting 32% more damage rather than 160%.  I can't help but feel that although 32% more is better than 0% more it isn't going to let me crush my enemies like ants in the way I had hoped.  In the early version of the game it was easy to figure out what ability combinations to use because there were obvious loopholes and balance issues despite the vagueness of "Hits an area for X damage" ability descriptions.  I could tell what the best builds were without even knowing how big an area that was!  Now all the numbers seem to be massaged into place and I can no longer determine the optimal way to play the game without having played the game.

Sadly(?) I will have to actually play the game to master the game.

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