The Core of Diablo

Urdnot_Wrex

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I'd probably say that it's better to try & experiment yourself. Mixing two weapon styles wouldn't be recommended though.

As for stats, you either go with Dexterity for defense, or Vitality for HPs. For example, Aramaki just picked HPs and neglected DEX totally.

I'd probably recommend keeping STR just high enough to wear a more or less relevant armor based on what you see in drops (depending on your current level), and put about the same number of points in Dexterity and Vitality. Energy gets 0 because you can get it from items.

Ah so the two weapon slots are more to be used like "spear with x bonus" and "spear with y bonus" than with two different weapon types?
 

O_Bruce

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Ah so the two weapon slots are more to be used like "spear with x bonus" and "spear with y bonus" than with two different weapon types?
Alternatively, you can use second weapon slots for items like wands, which can have charges of necromancer curses (basically, debuffs on enemies). Or staff with teleport charges. Things like that.

About stats:

Strength:
- Required to wear equipment
- Adds % damage modifier to melee attack, effectivenes varies by weapon type

Dexterity:
- Required to wear equipment
- Adds %damage modifier to ranged attacks
- Adds % damage modifier to some melee attacks, effectiveness varies by weapon
- Dexterity is required to maintain block rates from shields. The more you level up, the more dexterity you need to maintain a good block rate. Blocking with a shield works only on physical attacks like melee hits and projectiles like arrows, but not magic.
- Adds small bonus to base defense
- Adds attack rating, required for chance to hit

Vitality:
- Adds maximum hit points
- Hidden property: Increases chance of healing potion healing twice the amount of life as usual. This is essentially a critical strike equalivement for potion healing. The more vitality you have, the more likely it is to occur. The exact formula I don't know - what I know it depends on amount of vitality and your character level

Energy:
- Adds maximum mana
- Adds mana regeneration rate. In practice, the ammount of time needed to restore 100% of your mana is roughly the same regardless. It's just that if you have 200 mana instead of 100, then 200 mana character will effectively regenerate more mana per second.
- Just like with healing potions, mana potions have a chance to critically restore mana. The chance depends on Energy instead of Vitality
- This is what I refer as "comfort stat". It is not needed in vast majority of the cases, as mana potions are easily obtainable.
 

Cahir

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From what I have seen and heard, this doesn't seem to be the kind of game where you go straight for the boss once you can, but more like you need to grind through the respawning trash mobs in some areas a bit more often until you gain some levels and get some good drops and then you can tackle the boss. Maybe you went there right when you could and were actually underleveled. But I should probably keep my opinions to myself until I have more than two hours in the game ;-)
Nah, it was actually my about my build. I couldn't really damage him much with my set of skills. After a couple of dozen of deaths, I gave up.
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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Hey, only level 5 and my first unique item!

Screenshot (210).jpg



I'm not going to use a club but it's nice anyway, even if I sold it.

It only occurred to me later that I could have kept it at the stash in camp, should I do that with cool stuff in the future? Is it cross-character? Or does it only make sense to keep spare potions/scrolls or items I might want to use with this character later?

I don't have the necessary levels yet to add lightning damage to my spear, so the skill points for now went into crit chance.
I*m using spear as primary and javelin/shield as secondary weapon, barely switching to secondary for now though, but it might be useful if I need to keep my distance and have better defense, and they're the same skill class.

For now I have simply added every gemstone I found to a slot that was open. Later I noticed I can't seem to take them out again if I want to use them on a better item I got, but I suppose I will find more.
 

Antimatter

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Nice, the knockback feature is really useful, too bad it wasn't good for your Amazon. Yes, the stash is where you should keep all unique and set items to gather a collection. Also, gems, runes, etc. It's cross-character.

There are ways to upgrade unique and set items, so probably don't sell them in the future.
 

Skatan

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Played D4 free to play this week and got a druid up to level 20, where the free to play ended. Figured I could share some early game impressions. I went in basically blind as I had never tried it before, nor watched any YT videos etc about characters, skills or "FASTEST LEVELING GUIDES!!!111".

The game is pretty beautiful though myself I got the stuttering effect which I have read others had too. Since I had the Steam freetoplay I couldn't use a fix that required the Bnet app (have it not run in the background). Lowering to minimum graphics I could see my FPS was pretty good but still got one sec good, one sec syrup, one sec smooth, one sec slow all the time. Quite annoying. Playable, but far from a great experience. First I thought it might have been server capacity, but I really don't know what I can be. I found some refering to computer heating a lot and that could potientially be the issue for me since I've had similar experiences in other games, although that was on higher graphics levels pushing the computer to it's max (I have a gaming laptop).

The characterization seems ok. My druid dude went all out on electricity spells, the basic attack and the active lightning storms. I had one point in barrier armor and one in cyclone armor, the rest was all in electricity. Forcing the player to use basic attacks to gain spirit (mana) was not very appealing to me. The druid in D2 was either pure caster or melee and forcing a player to be both is not my preferred way to setup a skill set in a game like this. To be honest, I kinda hated it. I had hoped as I leveled up I could gain some passice mana regen, but alas I did not. Overall, the skill sets felt too passive overall. Having only 4 buttons to click, base attack, mana attack and two shields, felt a bit lackluster. The old Sage from D2 was now a passice mana max increase for example. Why Blizzard? My guess is to accomodate console users maybe, but who knows.

Stats don't matter much it seems. Why we don't get to place our stats at levelup in modern games is beyond me. Choosing between health or pushing strenght or dex to be able to wear new equipment was an important part of D2. In your first char(s) you tended to have to be more flexible while amassing gear, then when you got great leveling and end-game gear you could afford pure VIT chars etc. It was part of the experience, that you didn't only play for your current char, you played for your _next_ character too. I have played D3 a bit but TBH I don't remember as much from how that game did it. So to summarize I wish they've let the player choose stat distribution on level up and made the stats matter.

The skill tree having you placing X amount of points to unlock next tiers is ok. To be honest I prefer the Grim Dawn way of doing it though, where you place points that still give passive effects to gain access to next tier and then you place points in the skills you want to use. Being forced to put points in basic skills you might not end up using, or perhaps actually end up having to use, takes away a bit of the freedom to tailor your characters in the way I personally prefer these styles of games. Since the free to play ended at level 20, perhaps this change later on and I just don't know about it. I only write about what I saw myself.

Items felt incredibly lackluster and there's just too little of it. It was rare to even get white drops! I spent quite a bit of time with the same old weapons and armors because there just weren't any drops of new items. Also, all merchants that had anything worthy to buy ALWAYS had them priced beyond what I could afford at that time. After it happened the 5th time I started laughing cause I got this feeling it was made to do just that. If I had 23000 the axe that was pretty good was priced at 25000, when I saw a pair of pants that were better than my white generic 350 armor and I had 73000 in my inv. they cost 75000 and my current pants sold for 1200! Hah, it was funny and stupid at the same time. So never ended up buying even a single item. Of course compairing to D2, starting a new char running the vendors is a valid strategy and needed sometimes. I missed that.

Mobs where rather scarcerly populated at times. Anytime I found a shrine with some cool effect I could at most fight one or two groups of enemies before the timer ran out. Sometimes I couldn't even fight one. Strange choice. This is though one of the few things I've read other players say too, that enemies are too few and far between. The overall enemy difficulty was ok, but the MMO style of maing everyone the same level as you is not my preferred way of style. I prefer when areas have more fixed level. Not sure if they only level up or also down, but it felt like they were always character level or clvl+1 except for like 2 places I saw in the map that had higher level mobs and I never visited. Enemy design was nice and varied but even though I enjoy "grimdark", it was a bit too bland on the color scheme, a bit to grey, brown and dark.

The bosses were varied and each had their style. I don't mind them adding the dash and having the charged attacks you should avoid, but the cooldown feels forced. A better implementation would have been to kept the stamina bar and have dash/dodge use stamina instead. Again a dummification of the base game mechanics I find takes away from game play rather than adding or making it more fun. Why? I have no idea why this kind of streamlining and cooldowns are so prevalent nowadays.

Cinematics IMHO were way, way too many and too long. It felt I couldn't walk 2 minutes without having to sit through the crawling slow-movement NPCs talking forever. I ended up escape-quitting most of them except the proper cinematics cause I just cba so most of the times I had no idea what I was doing or for whom. At times I found I was being followed by some NPC that apparently in their quest had said they would accompany me and I just didn't read it. The stuttering and slowdown made these in-game scripted breaks very slow and the clicking past dialogue lagged so I clicked by most of it, some by mistake and some on purpose. The text box could have been made bigger too for easier reading.

So overall experience was ok. I focused above on the things I would have personally preferred to be different which of course make it sounds rather negative. The game is cool, graphics are great, the ambience etc were well made but this trial didn't push me over the fence to buy it. It probably did the opposite actually. The stuttering in itself was enough to not want to buy the game.

Anyways, that was my short review of the experiences of a level 20 druid. Cheers.
 

O_Bruce

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I had no idea Steam version, or at least the trial one, had a stuttering problem still. This was a thing in closed endgame beta and was seemingly gone in open beta just before the game launch. I really had no idea it was still the thing

I just want to address some things that are not in the "personal preferences" category:

1. Oddly enough - and I mean really oddly - stats begin to matter when you unlock Paragon Board, and that happens at level 50 (out of 100, you get 4 paragon points per level). First, by moving through the boards using the paragon points, you more often than not are picking bonuses to core stats (those are the most common). Second, some glyphs you can put into the special sockets in boards often come with properties such as "for every x points of [core stat] purchased within the range of the glyph, you gain y effect". Finally, rare paragon nodes usually have optional stats requirements to either unlock new properties or strengthen the existing ones.

2. Your items problem is an early game problem. I do agree that it's lackluster when your weapon gives you, for instance, +5% to basic skill damage. It stops being lackluster when it gives you +90%. In the late game, affixes and their synergy with your build are a huge deal. Also, you progress in the game and in character level, you'll find progressively more and more items. In the endgame, the problem was you were finding so much, to such a degree that in the current patch, you get crafting materials exclusively from lower-tiered items instead.

Vendors are expensive, but on the flip side, you can sometimes find an actual upgrade to your gear, and in the endgame a great base for legendary power.

3. As for dodging and cooldowns, I recall hearing arguments from both sides, so for and against cooldowns. Cooldowns can be seen as dumbed down because they are limiting, resource-based skills can be seen as dumb as well, because they encourage spamming, double so if the resource is easily regenerated. Neither side has any good faith in their argumentation.

I do however think your post was insightful
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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In terms of "they always have the same set of stats", then yes, they are. They do unlock more hidden properties the more items from each set you are wearing.

Ah, thanks, what I meant was more like how do I recognize what is part of a set item, are they always golden too and do they have special names, that kind of thing.

Until now I have sold every blue weapon or armor piece that's not relevant for my current character.
 

Antimatter

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Set items are green. You'll understand when you see them. White and blue items are safe to sell. Yellow (rare) should be usually safe to sell as well, although sometimes you can find a really good one that might be better than unique or set items. Later on in the game, some magical (blue) items such as rings can become invaluable as well.
 

Skatan

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I had no idea Steam version, or at least the trial one, had a stuttering problem still. This was a thing in closed endgame beta and was seemingly gone in open beta just before the game launch. I really had no idea it was still the thing
Interesting! Maybe I was just unlucky with my specific rig then, or maybe what the free to play weekend does is to give access to an old build of EA/beta D4 that retains the old errors? Talking to some other friends they said it sounded just like open beta, but of course I'm just speculating wildly here.

...

3. As for dodging and cooldowns, I recall hearing arguments from both sides, so for and against cooldowns. Cooldowns can be seen as dumbed down because they are limiting, resource-based skills can be seen as dumb as well, because they encourage spamming, double so if the resource is easily regenerated. Neither side has any good faith in their argumentation.

I do however think your post was insightful

Yes, take my "dumbed down" not as a critique on what people like or don't like. I mean dumbed down as in limiting the game mechanics to make is easier to code them and to adjust the game play around them. It always comes with a risk that players finds exploits or other ways to 'break' the game mechanics to their benefit when you make them less hard-coded like that, but IMHO that can also be a big part of the fun aspect of such games. I'm not saying it was fun for all players of course, but when barbarians ran so fast in D2 they could force other players to be disconnected from out of sync it's hilarious and stupid in equal measure. So yeah, doing things like adding cooldowns make the game likely more easily controlled in a way or adding ie diminishing returns on "reduce cooldown reduction" so you can never reach close to 100% probably leads to a more smooth overall experience.

But hey, finding broken builds is part of the fun for me even if it's just a silly exploit that only saves you some time.

Thanks for taking the time to respond! I'm sure my experience would have been quite different if I played the full game and if I hadn't had the stuttering.
 

Antimatter

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The mercenary is a great addition. You can equip them and continue to upgrade their items as you find new ones. You'll be able to switch to another mercenary in the future if you are willing so, each type of them will be different, with different skill sets and different item setups. The XP is not shared, they just get the same number of XP as your main character does. When you put items with Magic Find + chance on the mercenary, this chance affects their kills. Your own Magic Find + chance affects their kills as well, so for example, if you have the merc with additional Magic Find + chance items, it's sometimes worth letting them finish the monster (as only the final hit defines the loot dropped).
 

Urdnot_Wrex

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So their chance doesn't affect my kills but my chance affects their kills?

Sounds a bit counterintuitive and also difficult to control who kills especially on a ranged character, but I guess I'll figure it out. Right now I don't have items with magic find chances anyway, but good to know, thanks.
 

O_Bruce

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Aramaki the Druid
Final update

The first area of Act V rolled pretty easy to defeat monsters, including Imps. While to some character build they can be annoying, for wind druid, they were no problem. Neither was Shenk.
1703174379212.png


Aramaki continued his trek to the summit of the Mount Arreat, clearing optional areas around the way, until he reached the Cristaline Passage. Here, the very first group of monsters proved to be an unexpected challenge:
1703174585526.png

On Hell difficulty, this variant of minotaur demons always is immune to physical damage. Additionally, they have tons of HP, hit hard, and have a Frenzy attack, which increases their movement and attack speed. Additionally, this particular unique specimen is also immune to cold damage, so only Elexa could harm it. That didn't make Aramaki useless, however: he was very much busy with re-summoning his pets, as they were swiftly being slaughtered by minotaurs. What can I say? Most people would just re-roll the monster spawn by save & quit methods, and this is an utterly sensible thing to do. But O_Bruce is lacking common sense, so he powers through.

Onto saving Anya:
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She is grateful as always. But more seriously though, I can't recall when the last time it was that I found her reward actually useful.
1703175055687.png

I thought I could use Larzuk's quest reward to make a socket into a rare druidic pelt, had Anya provided me with something useful. So, instead, Larzuk added a socket into Elexa's Kuko Shakaku, and Aramaki inserted Shael rune into it for additional attack speed. More attack speed equals more or less more elemental damage, which is Elexa's job description.

The world mocked Aramaki for this decision soon enough:
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The mockery, however, was not very successful. The Eaglehorn provides a lot of physical damage, which isn't quite what is fitting for Elexa. Aramaki decided to keep the bow, though, because its raw damage could be useful against some powerful, fire-immune enemies.

Onto the Nihlathak fight. Luckily, it went more smoothly than anticipated:

Later on, traveling through Ancient's Way, Aramaki found something good for Sorceresses:
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And it's eatheral, no less! That makes it a more valuable drop due to its rarity.
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The fight against the Ancients:

Satisfied with his victory, Aramaki entered the Worldstone Keep. Well, fate laughed at Aramaki once again, since the Ancients weren't the true bosses. These were:

Cursed unique minotaur, extra fast and immune to physical and fire damage:
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And this freak of burning hells:
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Not to mention their minions. What happened was, that Aramaki encountered these two groups almost immediately after the first turn left. Aramaki was forced to fight two strong monster packs at once (with no place to run, due to the possibility of running into yet another unique/champion), whose bosses were both immune to physical damage and one element respectively. What resulted is Aramaki needing to babysit Elexa into attacking the right kind of enemy with her elemental arrows, all while being forced to constantly re-summon his pets due to them dying very regularly. This was, without a doubt the most difficult and tense fight yet.

And just to remind you, a normal human being would be content with just save & reload in such instances. But me? Nah. Anyways, I don't usually do this, but this time around I decided to record the fight against the last two waves of Baal's minions:

And now, the fight against the Lord of Destruction. Sometimes, Baal can be really annoying to battle against.

And so, rise, Guardian Aramaki. Deckard Cain looks so proud of you!
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