Sunday, January 17, 2016


A new Diablo 3 season has started, and I am enjoying playing it again.  I think Blizzard has done a lot of good things in terms of minor tweaks, and they added in some new and fun challenges in the form of Set Dungeons to give more content for people to work through.

Sometimes though I can't fathom what they are doing.  I am not one to be overly critical of Blizzard's designs - for example, the Auction House ended up being a real mess and made the game worse, but seeing exactly how that would shake out was difficult.  Sometimes you have to try things and sometimes those things go wrong.

On the other hand, some changes just reflect unbelievably sloppy work.  Gargantuan is a Witch Doctor ability that summons a dork who follows you around beating down the enemies.  It used to be that the basic dork swung for 100.  One rune made it swing for 130 and cleave to hit multiple targets.  Another rune made it swing for 575 and hit multiple targets, but it was only available 1/4 of the time.  That is a reasonable trade off, and although mostly people took the 575 version you could definitely make arguments for either one.  Blizzard decided to upgrade Gargantuan because it was pretty bad, so they changed the numbers a lot.

The basic dork went from 100 to 450.
The first rune went from 130 to 585.

Great upgrades!

The version where the Gargantuan is temporary went from 575 to ... 575.

So as it is now I have the choice between a dork that swings for 585 all the time, or a dork that swings for 575 and only exists 1/4 of the time.  Wut?

It isn't as though this somehow snuck by them because nobody noticed.  I visited the forums every couple of weeks and even then I saw people talking about how they obviously needed to update all the runes.  Because you can't take two options which are reasonably competitive, multiple one of them by 4.5, and just walk away thinking everything will be fine.  Doing so is just sloppy.  It isn't a design choice, it isn't providing people with the option to figure things out, it just means you have done poor quality work.

I am perfectly fine with situations where competitive players all end up taking one particular choice.  As long as the average player can look at the choices and needs to spend some time figuring out what is what, then all is well.  Figuring out which things are best is fun!

But figuring out if 585 permanent or 575 temporary is better isn't fun.  It isn't a thing you test, or a choice you make.  It is just a waste of space.

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