Diablo

A quite significant change to mercenaries

Content of the article: "A quite significant change to mercenaries"

Hi,

Before we go into the actual content here, I'd like to thank the dude that's green and the team in general for what this mod has become. I think they did what they said the mod would do : increase build diversity, improve replayability and add quality of life features.

Great. Let's not change that ! But change what ? Let's have a look 🙂

Many players want mercenaries that survive

Lately, I've bee thinking about mercs. Maybe you saw my recent post asking about your thoughts. As it turns out, many of us agree that mercs are hard to keep alive. Maybe we should fix that to make the game better. But how does that contribute to build diversity ? With such a change, wouldn't people pick the same mercs as before, with only one or two possibilities per build ? I guess so.

But then, what would build diversity mean for mercenaries ?

A clear sign of build diversity would be :

  1. If all mercenaries were good, at least on some builds (PoD improved this a lot already).
  2. If, for a given build, one could use different mercenaries based on her/his playstyle.

For this second condition to be met, we'd need mercenaries to be chosen based on playstyle, not optimality. For that, they should be pretty close in power for a given build. Wao. That's a lot to ask. How could that be ? I mean, for any given build, there is a "best aura" to get, and this aura clearly depends on the mercenary you pick (from their native aura, and also from gear). So, of course there is a "best merc" : it is the one that gives the best aura(s) !

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Let's fix auras then

All right. So what prevents us from seing more diversity is mercs and auras being tightly linked. I mean, if any merc could have any aura, then one could pick a different mercenary based on his playstyle. Great ! But what's playstyle ?

Well, one way to look at it would be the following (could be something else) :

I want damage I want tankyness
I want a melee merc Act5 Act2
I want a ranged merc Act1 Act3

As you can see, mercenaries could have their own strengths and weaknesses regardless of their aura. Now that's something to build upon !

Ok. So here is the idea for auras

Remove native aura from mercenaries, but create a new item type (talisman) that can only be worn by mercenaries, and grants one (and only one) specific aura (any aura that existed before on mercenaries actually).

  1. Reinforce the strengths and weaknesses of mercenaries, as suggested before (the strengths and weaknesses could be different though, like maybe we could have physicial vs elemental damage, or anything really).

All right. So that fixes merc diversity for each build. Great. But

But what ? Oh, yes. We were initially talking about merc survivability. Hum.

Well, maybe we can put that on talismans too !

I mean, talismans could each have one of the following defensive abilities :

  • 5%-25% chance to teleport on player, when struck
  • 5%-25% chance to cast bone armor level (X), when struck
  • 5%-25% life stolen per hit
  • When dead, revives after 15-45 seconds
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All right. Maybe those aren't the best defensive ideas, but you get the point. Btw, if you have any ideas, feel free to share them 🙂

So what does mercenaries choices look like now ?

Chose any merc based on

  • playstyle (melee/ranged, damage/tankyness)
  • and available items (which may or may not give auras)
  • Chose a talisman
  • with the aura you like (maybe, meditation)
  • and the defensive ability you like

Now, as you can see, that's great. It isn't hard to start thinking about new options.

It also has its own limitations. You won't find Ice on a2 mercs, or Phoenix on a1. That's still something that gives each mercenary its own set of specific auras. But maybe that's acceptable. Maybe we don't want mercenaries that are completely interchangeable. Maybe all we wanted was a bit of *increased build diversity and improved replayability**. Maybe we want more PoD.

Closing thoughts

Good ideas, bad ideas, anyways, see you on reset ! 🙂

Cheers

Source: reddit.com

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