Tuesday 19 February 2013

Dear Blizzard: My "Make Diablo 3 Legendary" Wishlist

I love Patch 1.0.7. The non-AH avenue of acquiring BIS gear, the opening up of different farming paths and runs (DE vs Exp), the initial foray into PvP; this game has been steadily improving with each new patch and it's very heartening to see it mature into the Diablo sequel we've waited so long for.

While the story is, unfortunately, a lost cause, there are a few fixable items on my wishlist which would transition Diablo 3 from good to Legendary. These are overall improvements to the game itself and won't be addressing class based balancing (otherwise I'd go on and on about Spirit and Mana regen).

1. Swapping skill and gear sets

D3 has reached a point where every class has multiple builds for different circumstances (mainly, low MP farming, high MP farming, Ubers, multiplayer, PvP). My Wizard for example, goes CMWW for Ubers and high MP, Archon for solo farming, and Blizzard for multiplayer low MP farming. Instead of having to spend time at the beginning of each game individually re-selecting skills using the clunky skills UI, I'd love to be able to assign my skills and gear to a set which I could easily change to via my inventory window. To prevent abuse, swapping between sets can only be done in town and will reset your NV stacks. To further prevent accidental removal of NV, you will also need to click on a small "Swap" button to confirm the swap.

2. Inferno completion mode

Once you've beaten the storyline in Inferno, the following features should be unlocked:
  • Waypoints can be used from Act to Act;
  • All bosses respawn on creation of new game;
  • All quest dialogue removed.

This opens up all kinds of new farming routes and allows us to enjoy the hard work put into designing each and every Act. I want to be able to Key run without having to constantly restart my game or hunt elites for DE/Legendaries from Tristram all the way to Arreat (I won't include A4 because I hate the mobs there). As for removing the dialogue, getting through Inferno means I've already been subjected to the story four times. I can live without the constant reminder of how lame Azmodan is.

3. Custom games and multiplayer improvements

One of the big things holding D3 back is its lack of social gameplay. For an always-online game, it's more or less a solo affair unless you're killing Ubers. Obviously custom-named games has been requested by many and for good reason. I'd also like to throw out a suggestion: a barebones voice chat feature built into D3 itself. The voice chat would be:
  • An opt-in only feature, selectable from the options menu;
  • Available only between party members to prevent spam;
  • Muteable/blockable to prevent spam.

This would make multiplayer so much more fun as you can coordinate Uber strategies or alert members of elites/gobs in real time. Or just casually shoot the shit with a fellow Neph. Because right now, it's very difficult to be social via keyboard when you're busy spamming buttons to stay alive.

4. Gem viability and variety

It goes without say that Topaz and Amethyst weapon bonuses need work. Increased Attack Speed %, Life Steal, Resource Regen on Hit, Bonus % Against Elites, Crit Chance % - all viable options to replace the current Thorns and underpowered LoH bonuses currently available. And since there is such an excess of cool bonuses for customizing weaps, why not throw in a Sapphire and Skull into the mix with some non-stat armor bonuses like Increase Pick Up Radius, % Damage Reduction, AR, Move Speed, etc.

5. PvP

Yes, Deathmatch has been put on hold due to balance issues, which is understandable. In the meantime, kill counters and a greater variety of unique arenas (A3 style OP-fire pits, high/low grounds, etc) would be awesome and hopefully not too difficult to implement since they've been previously shown to exist.

(Optional) Auction House improvements

While d3up is amazing, it'd be really nice to have a simple damage/health/protection comparison between your gear and items in the AH. And while we're on the AH, it'd be a lovely improvement to further refine the searchable criteria for Legendaries. Some people might enjoy manually scouring the AH for 6% Cold Energy Twister SoJs but to me, it's inefficient for both the buyer and the seller not to have the necessary criteria up for searching.

I'm a big fan of the Diablo franchise and I really want to see D3 fall under the list of Blizzard games that withstand the test of time. After seeing the quality of improvements from the last few patches, I can't wait to see what the Blizz team has in stall for us!