Friday 21 June 2013

A simple problem in D3 with a simple solution: There is too much disparity between the damage coefficients of runes.

By and large people play the most efficient build instead of the build that’s the most fun to them. These efficient and not-as-fun builds exist because damage coefficients for runes have too much disparity. I think if damage coefficients were brought closer in line, people would have more fun because they would be “allowed to play how they want” more often. The coefficients do need to be different across runes, but Blizzard has simply made the gap much wider than it should be.


WD Firebats

There are essentially only 2 choices here: Cloud of Bats or Plague bats. If you play a WD you can easily tell why. Run CoB or Plague for a while and then switch to any other rune and your efficiency just tanks down off a cliff into total shittiness. There is good reason for Blizz to make the coefficients different – if they were all the same we’d have the same issue. We’d be stuck choosing the rune with the most utility and get bored of it. If vampire bats (the one with lifesteal) did the same damage as Cloud of Bats…no one would ever use cloud of bats in lieu of the sweet lifesteal and increased range.

I just think Blizz has gotten the difference between the damage outputs of various runes way wrong. Maybe they test and balance them at lower gear levels than we have. Maybe there are other reasons. But here is how it goes today:

I fucking hate Cloud of Bats. I’m a bug zapper. I stand still and hope shit flies into me to die. I’m not bringing the pain to anyone, I don’t feel like I’m wrecking the hordes of hell. I really wish I could use other firebat runes, but with the exception of plague bats – it’s not realistic. If you’re used to farming MP9 with efficiency, you can’t just switch down to fucking hungry bats or some shit. I’ve tried. Compared to what I’m used to with CoB, it’s just painfully slow and the whole experience pisses me off.

I don’t mind at all giving up a bit of efficiency to gain the utility available in other runes. What I do mind is when the simple change of a rune makes the game go from “Gliding along with efficiency” down to “I can barely fucking kill anything.” *The variability in damage between runes is too damn high. *

And it’s not just WD. It’s everywhere.

I think Blizz should incrementally buff the damage of unpopular runes week over week. As time goes on, people will discover that these buffs make a certain rune broken-powerful via some weirdass method. That’s when you stop buffing that rune and start budging up the others. For example I’d like to see:

WD Firebats Current:
  • Dire bats – 220% wpn dmg
  • Vampire bats – 385% wpn dmg +lifesteal
  • Plague bats – 578% wpn dmg + dot
  • Hungry bats – 350% wpn dmg + seeker
  • Cloud of bats – 501% wpn dmg + 100% over time

Change on Week 1:
  • Dire bats – 320% wpn dmg
  • Vampire bats – 450% wpn dmg +lifesteal
  • Plague bats – 578% wpn dmg + dot
  • Hungry bats – 450% wpn dmg + seeker
  • Cloud of bats – 501% wpn dmg + 100% over time

On week one, CoB and Plague stay the same. They’re already the most popular. But people start messing with other runes. Looks like a decent amount of people like Vampire bats now, cause they can just tank a lot of damage that they used to have to avoid. You don’t kill quite as fast as CoB, but the tradeoff for lifesteal is worth it. In fact it lets me finally dump my Skorn for a proper Witch Doctor sacrificial knife+mojo, since having 5%+ lifesteal from gear is no longer necessary.

Change on Week 2:
  • Dire bats – 420% wpn dmg
  • Vampire bats – 450% wpn dmg +lifesteal
  • Plague bats – 578% wpn dmg + dot
  • Hungry bats – 550% wpn dmg + seeker
  • Cloud of bats – 501% wpn dmg + 100% over time

Awww shit we broke direbats, it’s the only rune anyone is using because they found a weird trick build. Gotta knock it down to 370%. Still nobody is using hungry bats. It’s just gonna have to be re-imagined I guess. We’re done changing firebats and now 4 of the 5 runes are useful. Not bad progress for 2 weeks of simple changes to damage amounts.