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Diablo 3 Developer Explains Health and Potion Changes

Soulskill posted about 6 years ago | from the where-would-I-put-this? dept.

Medicine 177

One of the new features in the upcoming Diablo 3 release is a change from the traditional potion-guzzling, inventory-clogging system of previous games to a new scheme in which monsters drop health orbs on the ground that refill your health when you touch them. Lead Designer Jay Wilson says the change makes for more varied gameplay and a more consistent way to scale difficulty. He told the Multiplayer blog: "When the player has similar downsides, it means we can make a lot more interesting monsters. We don't have to kill you to challenge you. We can make a monster that affects your mobility, we can make a monster that has different kinds of attacks that are dangerous to you and that you actually have to avoid. And so it makes the combat a lot more interesting."

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Finally! (5, Insightful)

fructose (948996) | about 6 years ago | (#24604735)

Thank goodness! No more 10 minute sessions of inventory management just to juggle your potions around.

Re:Finally! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24605623)

Speak for yourself. That is what made the Diablo games different. In fact, the many hours that I spent playing Diablo and Diablo 2 gave me the inventory management experience to land me my dream job. You are currently reading the post of the Senior Late Night Inventory Management Specialist at Safeway Food and Drug, Whitefish, Montana.

Nic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24606377)

Is that you Nic?

~one of the other two people in montana

Re:Finally! (3, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | about 6 years ago | (#24606741)

I miss the days when inventory management was a challenge, rather than being simplified away into nothingness. Developers need to learn that just because you can simplify a game mechanic into meaningless doesn't mean you should; do it too much and too often, and you get today's dumbed-down pile of shovelware games.

And yes, I had the same reaction to the dumbed-down "inventory" system of Deus Ex 2 as opposed to the elegant, tricky system in the original Deus Ex. When a RPG launcher takes up the same "space" in inventory as a handgun, something is off.

Re:Finally! (4, Funny)

Duradin (1261418) | about 6 years ago | (#24606931)

I think there's a way for you to enjoy modern inventory systems.

Whenever you pick up an item, pause the game.
Then start up a game of tetris, easy for small items, increase difficulty as the item size increases.
Beat 99 levels in row. If you fail you do not have enough inventory space for the item.
Unpause the game. If you completed 99 levels, add the item to your inventory. Otherwise leave the item behind.

This way, the rest of us can actually play the game and you can still play inventory management.

Re:Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24606989)

I don't mind size differences, thats fine. But don't make me fumble through my bag for potions every few fights to put them back on my belt. If you want to limit my potion usage, give them a cumulative cooldown. Inventory management can be dificult without being a pain in the ass.

Re:Finally! (3, Interesting)

NoobixCube (1133473) | about 6 years ago | (#24607305)

I've never been able to decide if I like a weight based inventory (like The Elder Scrolls) or a slot inventory (like Diablo) more. Both systems have their pros and cons, but I think a mix would be best. Sometimes really small things can be very heavy, while large things can be light. A slot inventory that gets dynamically adjusted based on the weight of things you are carrying would be good. Small heavy things would reduce the available slots, while large light things might give back half the space they take. It probably sounds a little half-baked, but I haven't fully worked out how I'd implement it yet, so it IS half-baked :P

Re:Finally! (5, Informative)

maglor_83 (856254) | about 6 years ago | (#24608049)

See Baldur's Gate.
You have a maximum number of slots, and a maximum weight. If you go a little over the weight, then you slow down. If you go a lot over, you can't move.

Re:Finally! (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 6 years ago | (#24608067)

I feel the same way. Why not just automate the monster killing system so that they drop bombs on the ground that when you touch them kill all monsters on screen, so they can focus more on the WoW-like cartoon graphics? I loved D1, D2 was so-so. D3 shows Blizzard going too far down a road I can't follow them.

My reponse (4, Funny)

Kingrames (858416) | about 6 years ago | (#24604737)

Git offa ma lawn - ooh, shiny! *begins furiously looting*

Damn you and your addictive games, Blizzard.

Re:My reponse (4, Interesting)

Cornflake917 (515940) | about 6 years ago | (#24606983)

That's also one of the big changes they are putting in to Diablo 3. When you're in a multiplayer game, each item drops for a specific player, and only that player can see that item until they pick it up (and drop it). So no you don't have to loot furiously or out ninja-click your teammates to get shinyz any more.

For those who think I'm talking out of my ass: []

Re:My reponse (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | about 6 years ago | (#24609019)

Thank god.

All I could think of when I read the summary was "Elf shoots food."

Metroidiablo (4, Interesting)

Captain Spam (66120) | about 6 years ago | (#24604861)

Monsters drop health orbs on the ground when you kill them, instead of a potion system? So, in a way, what they've got now is Metroid applied to a dungeon crawl?

(yes, there's a billion other games that do that, Metroid was just the first to come to mind)

Re:Metroidiablo (0, Flamebait)

Millennium (2451) | about 6 years ago | (#24605045)

Not bad, but using Kingdom Hearts as your example would resonate better with the BAWWWWWers.

Re:Metroidiablo (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | about 6 years ago | (#24606243)

Not bad, but using Kingdom Hearts as your example would resonate better with the BAWWWWWers.

Didn't Xmen Legends or Marvel Ultimate Alliance do this as well? I seem to recall something like that, but I also seem to recall there being potions in at least one of those games.

Re:Metroidiablo (1)

rkanodia (211354) | about 6 years ago | (#24608563)

Good comparison, especially since those games are essentially Gauntlet Legends with new skins and RPG-lite elements, and Gauntlet Legends is essentially an arcade version of Diablo.

Re:Metroidiablo (-1, Redundant)

Millennium (2451) | about 6 years ago | (#24608973)

I think so, but Kingdom Hearts is the one that'll really get the BAWWWWWers going because it's all ZOMGKIDDY and EWWWDISNEY and all that BS.

Re:Metroidiablo (4, Interesting)

colmore (56499) | about 6 years ago | (#24605469)

Plentiful and common health potions that can heal the main character from near death to perfect health reliably and repeatably aren't the least bit realistic either.

This changes health management in two ways:
1 - health isn't tied to inventory
2 - the graphic for "health item" looks different

I hope nobody is complaining that this represents some grave cheapening of the game. It wasn't Fallout, where health items are rare, cost a fortune, and come with some of the side effects of actual drugs.

Oh any word on if Fallout 3 is still going to be scarce on the health power ups? The demos have looked combat-y (which is fine, it's certainly the most interesting bit of a game, at least visually) but is the game such a heavy shooter that they're going to need to throw downside-free stimpacks at the player all the time?

Re:Metroidiablo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24605613)

Please stop bringing realism into discussions involving games. They have absolutely no part in them unless you're a fan of ultra-realism vehicle sims, which aren't games to begin with.

Re:Metroidiablo (1)

chill (34294) | about 6 years ago | (#24605747)

America's Army was great and handled health nicely. Of course, games usually lasted no more than 5 or 6 minutes...

Re:Metroidiablo (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | about 6 years ago | (#24605797)

I never said anything about realism. The implication was a relatively major change in the core gameplay and strategies.

And to be perfectly honest, I don't think realism has much business in a game like Diablo, else you lose... well, the entire game. The fantasy races, the fantasy/demonic creatures, the magic, the setting...

Re:Metroidiablo (1)

Kingrames (858416) | about 6 years ago | (#24606027)

You had to use stimpacks?

I quickloaded every time my character lost a hit point, and hoarded those things like solid gold.

Re:Metroidiablo (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 6 years ago | (#24606591)

My problem is that it makes boss fights much tougher for marginal builds, with loads of health potions you didn't have to have a perfect build to take out a boss, you could widdle them down because you had a larger effective HP pool than they did. It cost you gold to build that larger pool, but it was doable. Btw an example of a marginal build I'm thinking of is a naked sorceress or dagger paladin both of which can be fun to play even if they are far from what the designers might have envisioned when designing encounters.

Re:Metroidiablo (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | about 6 years ago | (#24608855)

It wasn't Fallout, where health items are rare, cost a fortune, and come with some of the side effects of actual drugs.

Maybe FO wasn't this way, but in FO2, I ended the game with 40 super stims that healed tons of damage and then hurt you a little bit afterwards. That was more than enough stims to kill a person with the side-effects alone, and I don't know any drugs whose side effects include losing ten hit points. Not to mention that you could in one random encounter find the most powerful healing items in the game--which had no side effects--literally laying on the ground. I'm not going to say that healing items were as common in FO2 as they were in D2, but I never really had to ration my healing items the way I rationed my bullets.

I would be very amused if this turned out to be a prelude to an attempt to do away with inventory management as it's known in Diablo right now.

Re:Metroidiablo (1)

setagllib (753300) | about 6 years ago | (#24606397)

The first that came to mind for me was Zelda, where you also get regular free hearts so you virtually never need to bring a potion. And this feature has been in EVERY Zelda since the very beginning, so it's hilarious watching these developers act so clueless when hyping up their "innovation".

Re:Metroidiablo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24606829)

If they were really clever, maybe they could make some item (like, say a belt) that let the player carry around extra orbs so they could use them later.

Strategy in MY D3? (2, Interesting)

sabre3999 (1143017) | about 6 years ago | (#24604889)

It sounds as if they wanted to bring in a strategy angle for the PvE element with this new installment... I remember not needing much strategy at all in Diablo 2, just hack and slash and power through everything. Also, if I'm understanding TFA correctly, there are no potions (But as you get further and further into the game, you start having to go, 'Okay now I've really got to use this ground stomp thing to stun some monsters and get some distance from them to recover.') They also imply the monsters will be weaker to balance this out however, so it'll be interesting indeed to see how everything turns out.

Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3... Blizzard is going to make some cash off me when they finally hit the market.

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | about 6 years ago | (#24604999)

Sounds better to me at a glance, although it's been a while since i played the old ones. If it encourages more tactics, then I'm all for it.

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | about 6 years ago | (#24605007)

You didn't need much strategy with the hand-to-hand fighter types...the spell casters however sometimes required some tactics to take down large groups or bosses alone due to being physically frail.

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | about 6 years ago | (#24605097)

You have a good point. I know that an increase in the need for strategy and tactics with the direct types will increase the fun factor for me, but if you now need strategy for them... well, you'd probably need even more for the magic slinging classes.

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 6 years ago | (#24606235)

A good, proerply gear spellcaster in D2 would pretty much instantly kill everything on the screen at all times, except for the things that instantly killed you. Not much stratgy there. Of course, I never saw the appeal of a game where the only real gameplay was to kill the same boss over and over for 80 straight hours to get a couple of good items, but no one can deny that it was in fact appealing to a great many people.

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | about 6 years ago | (#24606899)

Not sure if you're thinking of the old "tweaker" FO sorceresses, but they broke most of the "kill everything all the time" strategies with various patches that introduced widespread elemental immunities in Hell mode (and Nightmare to a lesser extent) and added casting delays to prevent Sorceresses from being able to spam their most powerful spells (FO, Blizzard, Meteor, Firewall) without regard for actual aiming or anything else of the sort. Given that you can't break cold immunity with Cold Mastery alone (you need a Lower Resist wand or a helpful Necro), you can't rely on one spell (FO) killing everything anymore, at least not with any degree of efficiency.

You might be able to do it with a cold sorc using a Lower Resist wand, but I have no idea if Cold Mastery works on cold immunes once Lower Resist is in effect. If it does then you'd have to use 2-3 spells (probably a combination of FO and Ice Blast or Glacier Spike) and some Teleportation to stay out of trouble (there are some enemies in Act V that are immune to being frozen/chilled). If Lower Resist doesn't make Cold Mastery effective against cold immunes, then you may as well abandon the Cold tree altogether and play a Charged Bolt/Firewall sorceress or something lame like that and exploit a Lower Resist wand for all that it's worth. You aren't going to do much better than that if you really want to play sloppy and dump mana all over the place (have fun when they hit you with Bloodmana too, urgh).

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 6 years ago | (#24608121)

My friend who was into D2 deeply had a sorc with 2 or 3 damage types, each of which could pretty much insta-kill the screen if the monsters weren't immune to that type of damage. There was actually one heck of a lot of strategy that went into deriving the build/gear to make that possible, but the gameplay was deadly dull. He really would do runs against some boss for 80 hours of gameplay to get some piece of gear he needed to make it all work.

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

duckInferno (1275100) | about 6 years ago | (#24609001)

Sounds like he was having fun, then. What's the problem?

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (1)

vux984 (928602) | about 6 years ago | (#24608621)

My experience in D2 with a variety of Sorcersses that were usually extremely good in 2 of the 3 trees... 30 skill in chain lightning + 30 skill in frozen orb for example plus a bunch of auxilliary skills / items for mana regen, resistances, etc.

I still found the end of nightmare / hell very hard. Sure I could kill everything on a regular screen almost instantly, and even most bosses were a cakewalk. But the big level bosses and their minions were hard (Duriel, Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal) -- but while hard, I knew they were coming and was appropriately prepared and cautious.

I usually died to the random unique bosses ... particularly those that spawned with that reflective lightinging/triple damage ability... they'd be in a crowd of crap...I just be wandering around minding my own business, and I'd fill the screen with death... only to have wave upon wave of that reflected crap come back at unsuspecting old me, and kill me dead in nothing flat.

It was one of the reasons 'hill runs' were so popular, there were no random bosses, just the one level boss (who was always the same, in the same place, and a cakewalk).

Re:Strategy in MY D3? (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 6 years ago | (#24606549)

It sounds as if they wanted to bring in a strategy angle for the PvE element with this new installment... I remember not needing much strategy at all in Diablo 2, just hack and slash and power through everything. Also, if I'm understanding TFA correctly, there are no potions

You're forgetting part of the "strategy". It was hack and slash and oh noes my health is low pop a big rejuvie potion. Don't attempt Diablo without at least 16 of em!

I'm quite glad about this change. Like the quote from the summary, " We don't have to kill you to challenge you." Since any time you got in any health trouble you could heal to full, almost nothing was a danger unless you couldn't kill it before you ran out of potions. Oh, but then, THEN, you run across the immensely feared and stupidly cheesy Multiple Shot Lightning Enchant Fire Enchant, and you, you idiot, were a Zeal Paladin. You click them once and go SPLAT!

That was "challenge" in D2. A ridiculously cheap insta-death. That's why I'd never play a Hardcore character. I mean I love Nethack, and sure it can hand you some quick nasty deaths, but they rarely if ever feel -cheap-. Pretty much every death in D2 felt that way.

So if the challenge in the new system is "oh noes my health is low can I find/reach a health orb in time", that's a hundred times better to me than "oh noes the boss can one-shot me".

Marvel Ultimate Alliance (3, Insightful)

urikkiru (801560) | about 6 years ago | (#24604961)

This is the exact system used in Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Which was also an evolution from a potion system in X-Men Legends 2. That said, it's actually a very *good* system. I approve.

Well... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24604997)

How is that going to affect boss matches? Unless the boss monster has a load of minions, that could be quite a challenge!

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | about 6 years ago | (#24605163)

How is that going to affect boss matches? Unless the boss monster has a load of minions, that could be quite a challenge!

Indeed, I only hope the monsters drop these "health orbs" through specific orifices. Would give a new sense to beating the proverbial shit out of them. Mostly if that shit heals your wounds.

Re:Well... (3, Funny)

CHK6 (583097) | about 6 years ago | (#24605263)

I thought Chuck Norris was the only character that shit heals wounds. Who knew?

Re:Well... (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | about 6 years ago | (#24606303)

How is that going to affect boss matches? Unless the boss monster has a load of minions, that could be quite a challenge!

Usually destroying local boxes or other various destructible environments released orbs as well in other games. Perhaps this will be similar?

What about bosses? (4, Interesting)

jevring (618916) | about 6 years ago | (#24605063)

So, if there's an extended fight like, say, DIABLO...
A fight which you might not survive with just the health and mana you have in your orbs, what do you do? If you can't chug potions, you have to, in effect, execute the monster perfectly to even survive. I think that the orb system is better when you're hacking and slashing your way through several monsters that actually die, but when you encounter monsters that are not easy to get down, then you might need a heal or two. I certainly prefer chugging potions to relying on support classes (like priests, druids, paladins and shamans in wow) to heal you.

Re:What about bosses? (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 6 years ago | (#24605179)

Who's to say an "orb" doesn't fall out if you hit the boss hard enough? It doesn't necessarily have to die....

Re:What about bosses? (1)

jevring (618916) | about 6 years ago | (#24605267)

That is a valid point, and if they do it like that, it can solve some problems. However, currently, they have only stated that monsters drops these orbs when they die, and not all monsters drop orbs. It is completely possible, however, just like you say, that bosses behave that way, but I don't know.
I'm sure they can solve the problem I described in many creative ways. I just hope that they actually address it.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

mpathetiq (726625) | about 6 years ago | (#24605367)

Another possible option would to have a few minor henchmen around that you could defeat for orbs.

Re:What about bosses? (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | about 6 years ago | (#24605419)

That was my first thought. Every so often, the boss could do something that affects the environment, or spawns a handful of minions, that you can manipulate to replenish your health supply. The trick becomes surviving long enough for those events to occur and repeat, rather than training yourself to hit your belt keys at the most advantageous time.

Re:What about bosses? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24607425)

One would think that a smart boss would then realize it is better to not spawn countless minions that just feed you health and mana.

"Oh, hey, I've got him on the ropes here, now I'll just spawn another 20 bats to go harass him and it should be done with...

Wait a tick, are my guys dropping health for him, wtf? No wonder he managed to get all the way down here."

Re:What about bosses? (1)

jevring (618916) | about 6 years ago | (#24605487)

Both possible too. Or there might be a room before the boss with the aforementioned henchmen, and you could have a charging system that would let you keep 3-5 orbs stacked, ready to drop when you lost enough health. in a sense, you would buffer up your health, so that you would go in to battle with more than you already have. This could even be a special boss-only feature. Perhaps triggered by using some kind of shrine. The possibilities are endless, and I hope they will be addressed.

Re:What about bosses? (2, Interesting)

Creepy (93888) | about 6 years ago | (#24606883)

Even the gameplay movie they have up on their site (from E3) only shows monsters dropping orbs when they die. The way it currently looks, bosses have certain attacks and you need to run around a lot and avoid them and pick up orbs dropped by previously beaten monsters.

Back to listening to "Town" and "Tristram" by Matt Uelmen on B-net mp3 player [] - brings back memories (always did like the Bauhaus [specifically the end of Mask] sound of those tracks with the 12 string - all the new stuff released so far for Diablo 3 sounds more Dead Can Dance, but some of the earlier tracks also sounded like DCD).

Re:What about bosses? (1)

rukcus (1261492) | about 6 years ago | (#24608871)

The first thing I thought about when I read this was God of War. Health/mana orbs fall from killed baddies, but they also fell off bosses during the middle of the fight (after a small milestone, such as slaying a Hydra's head).

Devil May Cry also used this system.

Re:What about bosses? (5, Funny)

tknd (979052) | about 6 years ago | (#24606641)

I propose a much better system where the player dies after one hit or tap from a monster. And if the player wishes to be able to survive a second hit, he must either find the nearest mushroom or orange flower hidden away in some box disguised like all the others.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

phyy-nx (544808) | about 6 years ago | (#24606683)

Just like any boss from the Metroid Prime series, especially destroying its projectiles. Tried and true.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

dmatos (232892) | about 6 years ago | (#24605405)

Perhaps there will be no more "I'm a big bad lonely boss" fights. They could have the big boss periodically spawn little monsters to die and supply you with your precious health orbs. You would then have to use some strategy - do I keep wailing on this guy, or go refill my health?

Re:What about bosses? (1)

cube135 (1231528) | about 6 years ago | (#24605659)

Or pieces fall of the boss that spawn orbs.

A heal or TWO!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24605465)

ha, my friend and I have been playing it for a few weeks now out of nowhere, and I healed like every 10-30 seconds on Diablo. Don't ask me to describe my character, I don't know. Amazon with Gemmed bow...

Re:What about bosses? (4, Interesting)

amuro98 (461673) | about 6 years ago | (#24605491)

Someone mentioned Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, which I think is a very good comparison.

While defeating enemies in the game would cause them to drop health and mana orbs, bosses would drop them on a regular basis while you beat on them (I think ever 25% of so.) So, you didn't have to be able to defeat the boss without dying - just able to knock 25% of his health off so you could heal up enough to keep on beating on him.

This could work for DiabloIII as well, though I can remember some fights where I wasn't even able to put a dent in the stupid boss the first few times I faced it, dying a good 4 or 5 times before I figured out the strategy for my combination of boss and character class.

Marvel Alliance Diablo gameplay (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | about 6 years ago | (#24608123)

The problem with Marvel:Ulitmate Alliance and God of War is that everyone basically play the same character.

With Diablo you have characters that wear more armor, have higher hit points, less likely to get hit due to physical distance, do less damage/second to a single target.

Against a boss with 4000 hit points, a barbarian would be ok with getting a full health bar after dealing 1000 points of damage but a Sorc would need a recharge (health and mana) once every 500 points of damage delivered.

Blizzard had better realize this.

Re:Marvel Alliance Diablo gameplay (1)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | about 6 years ago | (#24609021)

I'm pretty sure Blizzard is not clinically retarded.

That said, you're also assuming that "a full health bar" is just as easy for both classes. If a Barbarian has a lot more raw HP, the orbs may not fill him up as much - sure, he can do 1000 damage without needing a pit stop, but after grabbing five orbs he can only do another 250 before he needs another. Meanwhile, the Sorceror, with Frost Armor and Freeze Monster, is able to stay away long enough that those same five orbs yields another 500 points of damage.

Except even that's broken :D but, seriously, Blizzard made their reputation off good balance and polish. I don't think they'd make such an elementary mistake, especially such a mistake which would be caught trivially in playtests. And I can guarantee that Blizzard is already doing heavy balancing playtests because that's what Blizzard does.

Re:What about bosses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24605503)

Well this could be solved easily by having the boss droping orbs at some health interval or something like that. Or maybe every classes could have a self healing ability that could be limited to one use every X minutes or Y times per "level".

I'm pretty sure they will have that figured out.

I just hope the : "The game is made to be played with friends" part wont make the game unplayable in single-player.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | about 6 years ago | (#24605679)

...IANA Game Developer, but I'm willing to bet they've thought of that.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

shypht (1267660) | about 6 years ago | (#24605925)

Option 1: Every X% of the boss monsters HP that gets chopped off, he spews out orbs Option 2: Every X seconds, the boss spews out orbs Option 3: Boss monsters spawn additional monsters (generally easy to kill ones) I'm sure that there are more options, but those are the first three that come to mind. God of War had similar to option #1 for longer fights.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | about 6 years ago | (#24605983)

I'd be surprised if they didn't continue to have the life-stealing ability for weapons in D3. A D2 build with enough life-stealing rarely needs potions even in extended boss fights.

Well I'm pleased (1)

thermian (1267986) | about 6 years ago | (#24606115)

I really liked the Diablo series, but I have got to say that I got utterly sick of endless button mashing to apply potions.

It never really added anything to the game in my opinion, in fact I felt it was the worst part of it. I went on to play the dungeon siege games, and there I deliberately avoided using health potions, simply so I wouldn't have that button mashing experience again. I died a lot, but its more interesting if you have to retreat rather then apply an inventory full of potions just to stay alive.

Potions are not completely removed. (1)

teko_teko (653164) | about 6 years ago | (#24606529)

Another Blizzard post (maybe in the D3 website's FAQ) says that potions still exist. They're not completely gone, but probably are more rare. It will also be nerfed with a cooldown, just like in WoW.

IMO, this will make the game more interesting than just potion spamming. You actually will have to use some skills and strategies in order to play effectively.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

ceswiedler (165311) | about 6 years ago | (#24607713)

Now that you point it out, it does seem obvious that the makers of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo, and WoW will be unable to apply rudimentary game balance to their new mechanic. I'm sure they'll just take all of the monsters from Diablo 2 and make you fight them with these newfangled orbs. Really, when has Blizzard ever released a well-balanced game?

Please let me know when your next game is coming out, I'm sure it will be lots of fun.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about 6 years ago | (#24608171)

That reminds me of trying to fight the secret level of mephisto, baal, and diablo at the same time. Each boss could pretty much two-shot you unless you had some serious life-leech gear. Rejuv potions kinda helped in case they got off a lucky shot and you missed your life-leech. It would have been nice if potions, while not necessary, were available for hard fights. Sure, managing potions in normal fights was kinda annoying, but potions added a sense of urgency and strategy when fighting a boss that was a couple levels beyond your class. If they have it shit out potions mid fight, that might ruin the edge of the fight. In other words, the outcome of the fight is based more on the randomness of the computer than it is on me.

Re:What about bosses? (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 6 years ago | (#24608603)

So, if there's an extended fight like, say, DIABLO... A fight which you might not survive with just the health and mana you have in your orbs, what do you do?

That's easy enough, bosses drop on occassion. Be it pure random chance (each X HP of damage you do gives a 10% chance of a drop) or number of hits, or straight damage correlation, or whatever.

"new" ??? (1, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 6 years ago | (#24605123)

to a new scheme in which monsters drop health orbs on the ground that refill your health when you touch them.

What exactly is new about that? I've played a hundred or so games that used that system, many of them 10 or 20 years old (you know, back when action games didn't have an inventory).

There's nothing new in Diabolo, not in 3, not in 2, not in the first one. It's an excellent and fun implementation of very old game concepts, but I've yet to see anything in it that wasn't done before.

So please, I know this is /., but try to get the facts right every now and then. They changed the system to a different one. Nothing new about it.

Re:"new" ??? (5, Informative)

idlemind (760102) | about 6 years ago | (#24605279)

Yes, it's new system for Diablo. It's not like they are claiming they invented it.

Re:"new" ??? (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | about 6 years ago | (#24605449)

It's new to the Diablo franchise, perhaps this is what the author meant. Potions, after all, have been a staple of the past two games.

Re:"new" ??? (2, Funny)

darkhitman (939662) | about 6 years ago | (#24605471)

I know this is /., but try and be less anal about vocabulary choice. If I say I'm switching to a 'new' email service, that doesn't mean that email service necessarily just popped into existence. It could just mean that I haven't used it before.

Re:"new" ??? (1)

Dr.Boje (1064726) | about 6 years ago | (#24605785)

It's new for the Diablo series. I know this is /., but try to understand the context in which phrases like that are placed, rather than rant about something silly like that.

Re:"new" ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24606925)

I know it's popular to dis the summary, but when step one of your criticism requires you to misinterpret what was said in a fantastically retarded way, then you fail.

Re:"new" ??? (1)

brkello (642429) | about 6 years ago | (#24607995)

At first, your post made me a little mad since you are implying that the article said something that it didn't. But then I noticed your low UID number and figured you are probably really old by now and didn't get your nap in. It's ok Grampy Tom. We all know Diablo 3 isn't innovating when it drops health orbs!

games and "health" (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24605207)

in the early 80s with tabletop games, "Hit Points" made a lot of sense. slash, you lose 20 hi point. erase erase erase. "I drink my potion of extra healing" roll 3d8.

Today, when you have ridiculously powerful personal computers running massive 3D simulations with thousands of concurrent interacting users - you'd think the game industry could innovate just a little bit around the idea of character "health". There are so many ways you could make these MMO games more intersting and fun by making the simulation of the character more like a real being... but somehow we have this near-ubiquitous meme that the characters in games have a single, one-dimentional, magically refreshable integer that rules the survival of the character.

Instead, we get "item creation" ooohhhh. Fun!

Re:games and "health" (2, Funny)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | about 6 years ago | (#24605495)

So... what is your proposal then? A health and hunger bar?

Re:games and "health" (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | about 6 years ago | (#24605675)

It's far from impossible to implement, I just think that most players wouldn't be interested. I mean, mech games from over a decade ago have had individual component damage, so that a lot of hits to your unit's arm would render it unusable/destroyed, but you'd still be able to fight. However, most players don't want to worry about stuff like trying to hide their character's vulnerable side, or using specific healing items for each type of damage they incur. Metal Gear Solid 3 featured this, to a point, wherein there was a specific sequence of items used depending on the injury (bullet wound vs broken bone, etc.) but it felt more like a minigame they tacked on, than a tactically implemented system. I'm pretty sure many players, myself included, would enjoy a damage system that mapped hits to the exact area where weapons make contact, and would inflect realistic injuries. Armor would then have to be judged based upon the areas of the body it covered, and the materials it consisted of, instead of comparing items for which one has a higher bonus to defense. Many more players, however, seem to not want to worry about micromanaging their character's physiology, and prefer the system of "Use a healing potion/spell when my health gets down to x%."

Re:games and "health" (1)

Deathdonut (604275) | about 6 years ago | (#24605923)

I'm sure other games have done it, but Fallout 2 comes to mind as one that included full effects from targetting/hitting specific body parts. I'll be curious to see if Fallout 3 goes in the same direction.

Re:games and "health" (2, Insightful)

Dr.Boje (1064726) | about 6 years ago | (#24606035)

I think a lot of that stems from the desire to keep the focus on bashing monsters' brains in. In tabletop games, you have all the time in the world to ponder your next move. In a game like Diablo, you have to act quickly or become "Ahh... Fresh meat!". Although I wouldn't mind a little more complexity to the way a character's health is calculated, I would be disappointed and perhaps a little agitated if it had a negative impact on my time spent killing things.

Could it be a little more realistic? Yes. Do I want it to be? No. In a real-time video game, trying to make gameplay elements too realistic can destroy the fun of the game, and that's NO GOOD! On the other hand, in a turn-based strategy game, more realistic gameplay elements can enhance the fun of the game. All in all, I think we can expect another mind-blowing, more-addictive-than-crack, FUN masterpiece from the brains at Blizzard and I can't wait.

Re:games and "health" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24606393)

The reason we stick with that "one-dimensional" indicator is probably that it's simple and flexible. There's only so much data you can keep in mind when you're playing a quick-paced, reflex-based game like Diablo; a more complex health system would be more likely to bog things down than to make the game more fun.

Re:games and "health" (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 6 years ago | (#24606857)

Today, when you have ridiculously powerful personal computers running massive 3D simulations with thousands of concurrent interacting users - you'd think the game industry could innovate just a little bit around the idea of character "health".


Back in the day there was a game (well a game/screensaver) called "Lunatic Fringe". It was sort of like asteroids, but instead of a health bar for your ship, you had several health bars. On was for your guns, one for your engine, one for your turning jets, one for your long range radar, etc. If you were shot or ran into an asteroid you took damage to one or more of them and those parts of the ship began to malfunction. If your guns were slightly damaged they might fail to fire one time in ten. If they were severely damaged they might only fire one time in ten. If your turning jets were damaged you sometimes you could turn the ship and sometimes you couldn't or it would turn the wrong way. The gameplay was absolutely awesome!!! Ever since I've been looking for a game that incorporated this same gameplay element.

For a new Diablo style game you could start moving more slowly and erratically staggering. Your spells could fail. Your attacks could go in the wrong direction, hitting no one or the wrong person, maybe even allies. Your blocks with your shield could become less frequent or stop as an arm was disabled. Your vision could blur or become jumpy.

Just count me as one very strong vote in favor of your idea.

Re:games and "health" (1)

Markspark (969445) | about 6 years ago | (#24607639)

fallout 2 had this, very you could get hurt in different parts, affecting you in different ways, and the same went for the enemies, hope for some of those goodies in fallout 3 also.

it's going to be a good game year, and a bad school year..

Re:games and "health" (1)

TriezGamer (861238) | about 6 years ago | (#24607821)

If you don't mind the rogue-like style of interface (or gameplay), perhaps you should consider Dwarf Fortress?

Free and constantly under development. It's a bit rough around the edges, but it's a great game with a fun community -- and the scope of the project is both immense, and slowly taking real shape. []

This game exemplifies the problems and advantages of such a system incredibly well.

It has two modes --

First: a Civ mode called Fortress Mode where you try to survive in an environment of your choosing with a starting crew of 7 dwarves

Second: Adventure mode where you play a single entity in the world.

In both modes, every single entity tracks damage to individual body parts, and each part is rated on a scale ranging from healthy to completely missing, affecting every aspect of the life of the character. After one of my cats attacked an infiltrating kobold, it lost an eye and a leg, as well as suffering major head injuries. It spent the rest of it's life wandering aimlessly in my fortress and passing out randomly from the trauma until a goblin killed it during a siege.

Re:games and "health" (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 6 years ago | (#24607987)

Sounds interesting I'll check it out. I lost a good 6 months of my life to Rogue and Angband back in the day. Oh well, here we go again.

I Call Shennanigans! (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | about 6 years ago | (#24605531)

We can make a monster that affects your mobility, we can make a monster that has different kinds of attacks that are dangerous to you and that you actually have to avoid. And so it makes the combat a lot more interesting.

There were monsters that had attacks that could affect your mobility in Diablo II. There were certain attacks you really had to avoid unless you were in the top tier of players in Diablo II. It doesn't sound any different to the person who didn't try to pimp out their toon to the max so they could easily walk all over everything. And honestly, not everyone could, not with how the games economy was so horribly screwed over by the botters.

Re:I Call Shennanigans! (2, Insightful)

Chelloveck (14643) | about 6 years ago | (#24606437)

"We don't have to kill you to challenge you.

Really? You mean now there's a goal other than fighting until either you or the bad guys are dead?

We can make a monster that affects your mobility

To make you go slower so it can kill you easier.

we can make a monster that has different kinds of attacks that are dangerous to you

It can kill you by hitting you, by zapping you, by freezing you, by burning you...

and that you actually have to avoid.

Or you'll be killed.

And so it makes the combat a lot more interesting."

I may be dense, but it sounds to me like it still boils down to, "the challenge is to avoid being killed".

Re:I Call Shennanigans! (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 6 years ago | (#24607313)

Really? You mean now there's a goal other than fighting until either you or the bad guys are dead?

To make you go slower so it can kill you easier.

It can kill you by hitting you, by zapping you, by freezing you, by burning you...

Er, no, I don't think you get what they mean. They don't mean "We don't have to hurt you through successive attacks in such a manner that you will eventually be slain unless you take action in order to challenge you." They mean kill, like a killing blow, as in who cares if you have full health you die right now.

In D2, because you could pop a Rejuvenation potion that instantly healed you to full whenever you wanted, most of the time attacks that merely hurt you by hitting you, zapping you, freezing you, burning you, were all no big deal. The only attacks that were ever really dangerous at all were those few that would either kill you in one shot, or would do so much damage so rapidly that you'd have to burn through your entire inventory of potions to survive for more than a second or two. Diablo's Lightning Hose, random Multiple Shot+Fire+Lightning enchanted mini-bosses, the necromancer bosses' Corpse Explosion, Duriel's charge if you weren't a heavy armor class... and well not really a whole lot else.

It was a combination of immensely easy on the one hand, and incredibly cheap on the other, with insanely fast transitions that would leave you saying "WTF just killed me?!"

The new system sounds like a huge improvement. By having orbs drop from enemies, this means they can control the pace of health recovery, and it means that slow hurting attacks can be dangerous if you can't get enough health orbs to recover in time. By not letting the player have access to basically 16x their health pool (or more), it eliminates the need for insta-kill abilities just to make the player sweat.

If D3 is able to be challenging without being cheap, maybe I'll actually try playing Hardcore (die once, dead forever, like in the Rogue-likes Diablo inherits from).

They wanted to eliminate Inventory Tetris? (1)

IdeaMan (216340) | about 6 years ago | (#24608293)

Bleh.... Just make it like Anarchy Online: Heal up differently depending on whether or not you are in combat. Combine that with potions that stack up into the thousands and you don't have to worry about moving them around. In AO they have two different sets of healing but I don't think that's necessary. Just make it so that it has a moderate initial bonus, then heals slowly but progressively gets faster unless you take damage.

What they did will cause progress to slow down through an area with little health vs how much damage you take. I mean, are they going to remove the ability to go to town and heal up? Will the character not heal slowly over time?

How are support classes supposed to pick up the healing mid-fight? Do they really want an Amazon that is being harried running into a big pack being tanked by a barb to try to heal up?

I agree with you about the stupid instant death things. Those undead stygian ankle biters were a real pain in the neck. It's ok to have monsters that can kill you in one hit if you can prepare for it ahead of time by changing your equipment or tactics, but having 1-hit KOs on random mobs with the lighting set to 1/2 second in front of you is just ludicrous.

Behold the Disneymancer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24605829)

So... basically it's going to play like Kingdom Hearts *shudder*

Re:Behold the Disneymancer! (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 6 years ago | (#24606209)

You say that like the gameplay was the bad part of Kingdom Hearts.

Re:Behold the Disneymancer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24606939)

There was no "bad part". It was all bad.

My mature, well thought out response (5, Funny)

Alzheimers (467217) | about 6 years ago | (#24606283) click click click click ooh shiney clickclick click click click click click click click click...

PhysRx Engine (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | about 6 years ago | (#24606957)

It's about time games took health seriously. I guess the Nintendo Wii is starting to have an effect on PCs as well as consoles.

Well Just Great (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about 6 years ago | (#24606991)

After having only played the Diablo demo, and missing Diablo II entirely, just when I am considering an actual Diablo purchase I get this. How in the hell am I gonna go through the whole game getting scads of potions and hoarding them for that really difficult encounter that never comes??? That's how I play RPGS, people, I gather potions and never use them!

I guess Diablo 3=fail or something.

Re:Well Just Great (1)

thedrx (1139811) | about 6 years ago | (#24607505)

In Diablo 2, you mostly don't have to hoard potions, as the health and mana ones are dirt cheap -- eventually, it's possible to let go of the hoarder mindset.

And then, you have the rejuvenation and full rejuvenation potions, which heal both health and mana, instantaneously, and which you cannot buy. I usually hoard tons of them 'for tough spots', which of course never come.

Town portal healing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24607509)

So I don't have health potions. Big deal... as long as they don't take my Tome of Town Portal. I can still get instant healing from Akara/Malah/whatever....

I'm just here for the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24607521)

...nerd rage and I'm getting a kick out of it.

So does this mean.... (1)

SkOink (212592) | about 6 years ago | (#24607745)

That TPing back to heal means we _finally_ get to waste Deckard Cain? :)

Orb monster drops? WTF no! (4, Insightful)

Tavor (845700) | about 6 years ago | (#24607753)

We don't have to kill you to challenge you. We can make a monster that affects your mobility, we can make a monster that has different kinds of attacks that are dangerous to you and that you actually have to avoid. And so it makes the combat a lot more interesting."

As opposed to what... ice-based attacks that freeze/slow? Poison that drains health? And what, avoiding those *&^*&^ Pit Lords and Abyss Knights at the River of Flame? Yeah, I don't see anything new here, ffs. As someone who likes fending off PVP'ers in the middle of fighting demons, I'd prefer being in control of my health, rather than being dependent on monster drops.
Just having a system where potions in your inventory were dropped to your 'belt' hot-bar automatically would be an improvement far beyond the orb system.

*Upcoming*? (1)

MattW (97290) | about 6 years ago | (#24607935)

For loose definitions of "upcoming".

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