Thursday 9 January 2014

Thoughts on improving Frozen Orb

Let me be the first to say that I am very excited about that fact that they are trying to bring back Frozen Orb. It was my favorite skill in D2 and is probably my #1 awaited feature in RoS. That said, after using FO in the beta, I am kind of disappointed.

Frozen Orb in it's current iteration is pretty much just a reskinned Celestial Orb with cold damage. That's it. It really doesn't feel like the D3 dev team took the time to understand why everyone loved FO in D2 and implement it accordingly. It's not horrible in it's current form, it's certainly functional, but it could be so much more. My recommendations to make it an extremely fun main skill:

  1. Make the shards matter. I feel like this is the most important aspect. Right now the shards seem to hit very few times and do significantly less damage than the orb. They also hardly ever seem to hit an enemy on the edge of the radius more than once if that. Shards should be flying everywhere and you should be able to tell that they are hitting things and damaging them. In D2 the shards did just as much damage as the orb itself!
  2. Reduce the center orb radius and slow down the orb so that shards can actually hit things. Right now all of the emphasis is pretty much on the center orb and since it uses the same speed as Arcane Orb it feels like they just fly into nonexistance almost immediately. When you are just flinging these really quick orbs straight at things, I don't know how else to describe it, but the feedback received in my pleasure center of my brain just isn't the same as it was in D2. It doesn't feel like I'm firing out swirly orbs of death all over the screen, it just feels like I'm burst spamming the center lane with arcane orbs.

I feel that if Blizzard wants to bring back the magic that made D2 Frozen Orb so amazing, then they really need to do more than take an existing rune and color it blue. Especially with such an iconic spell like Frozen Orb, the current design just doesn't do it justice. Blizzard please update this spell!