So, as I play Diablo 2 over the last couple of days, I definitely have had some thoughts on stuff that I think could be a little better, from a casual point of view. Don't know if more serious players would not like these changes, but as far as I can tell, they could be all implemented as toggles. I thought I'd list them out here to see what people thought about them, and if they are good ideas that not in the remaster, maybe we could bring them up to the developers? I'm sure some of these things could be added as toggles.
- Will the remaster feature Diablo 3-style button mappings for keyboard and mouse? I saw the screenshots for controllers, and they look like the same button layout as Diablo 3, but can this also be used for PC? I really hope so because having to switch skills with the function keys and then cast them with right click has really tripped me up in dangerous situations. I hope this is an option for PC players without a controller.
- One aspect that has tripped me up a lot and has become tedious and unfun for me is potion management. As I play the Sorceress, I am finding myself chugging potions constantly. I even have to spend a lot of time re-adding potions to my belt from my inventory in mid-combat. Would there be any way to address this?I can imagine the game re-adding potions of the same type into your belt automatically as you use them, but I guess that defeats the point of having more belt potion slots? Having said that, the belt potion slot issue is only significant in normal mode – all the nightmare and hell belts have 4 rows, so this is only an issue that affects the quality of life of new characters. There are other ways to address this too. I really like how Torchlight 2 did it – you still have actual physical potions rather than a potion cooldown (like diablo 3 does), but it removes the management of potion slots on the belt and inventory. I find this more enjoyable to be honest, but I guess some will feel differently.
- Should stamina be removed from the game? I can see speed-runners wanting to keep this mechanic in the game, but I don't see a real purpose for most players. As I replay Diablo 2, I felt the pain of stamina a lot in the early levels, but as I got to act 3 and 4 in Normal difficulty, it has been an non-issue and it's something I never think about now – it may as well not even exist. Should a mechanic exist to just to make playing new characters less fun, slower, and more tedious? Something to think about?
- What do you think of the Amazon look? I never really expected her to look so… old and masculine. Looking at old screenshots of official Blizzard art, I don't think the designers intended for her to look that way. She was cute before :/
There's other thoughts I had as well, but they would really alter the game and it wouldn't be Diablo 2 anymore. I can see them as controversial, but I will list them out anyway to get my thoughts out. I think I would like some changes done to these points, but I can see some valid reasons for why they should remain untouched.
- I wouldn't mind reducing the cost of early game spells or improving mana regeneration to effectively reduce the amount of potion chugging that's required. Perhaps the tediousness that I feel is more related to the UI of how potions work in D2 than the cost of the spells though. Still, I thought spells like Fire Bolt could start out at 1 mana and could increase to 3 mana at around level 18, where 3 mana is actually more affordable and isn't 6% of your entire mana pool. For a long time as I played, my general feeling was that spells cost too much and did too little, and that's still an issue now in Nightmare mode although it's more manageable. It seems like having a larger mana pool improves how regeneration actually works – and I wonder if that can't be tweaked. I know this issue eventually solves itself as gear improves, and as one utilizes rune words such as Insight, but I feel like these were added to the game to band-aid the problem rather than address the more underlying mechanics. If anything, they go so far to make mana a non-issue that poor regen mechanic only serves to make early leveling more tedious.
- I also feel like early-level gearing could be improved – gear generally feels like it's not very relevant. I didn't even find a unique or a set in my entire normal playthrough until Baal actually, but even yellow items were extremely rare for me, and most of them were just not impactful or relevant. If it wasn't for early-game rune words like Leaf and Stealth, I think I would have really struggled more than I did. It kind of feels bad that an insanely large % of items feel irrelevant to the player – feels a bit off.
- Should the way defense is implemented on gear be changed? I found a Heavenly Garb as I defeated Baal in normal, and I got really excited. But then I actually put it on, and even with Frozen Armor, the defense value made very little difference to how often enemies would hit me compared to the Stealth Quilted Armor I had on. This situation felt bad to me. The stat felt irrelevant, which in turn meant that running had no tangible penalty since I was going to be hit all the time whether I was running or walking. The best defensive stats seem to be "block chance" and "damage reduction", and the latter is a fairly rare mod and takes the place of how one might think "defense" intuitively should work in the first place? "Defense" feels more like a Dodge Rating than actual defense. Fixing the issue would be a huge change though – you'd have to rename "Defense" to "Dodge Rating", and then rework all the items in the game to utilize damage reduction instead of their current defense stat. As I said earlier, a change like this would not feel like Diablo 2 anymore, but it might make the item pool more impactful and interesting? Something to think about.
Anyway, those are the thoughts I had. Again, don't want to ruffle any feathers – I'm sure people will disagree with some of these points. I just thought I'd write some observations down as I replayed this great game after a decade or more of not having played it. One thing is for sure – it's definitely going to be a difficult balancing act to modernize or clean-up bad design decisions in the game vs keeping the game fun and pure – not an easy task.
- Are there actual rules on how to make healing potions?
- MOD REQUEST Permanent Effect Potions
- 22 years after I first played Diablo, I have finally beaten it
More about DiabloPost: "Questions and suggestions about the remaster" specifically for the game Diablo. Other useful information about this game:
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- PoD Perlite Elemental Martial Arts Assassin Guide
- There was a time where Diablo 3 did not have loot 2.0 and ridiculous scaling, why do we never talk about the era around Paragon 100, Inferno MP10, rares being good and the trade scene being huge?
- All the good/bad memories about the D2 holy grail that I completed last night(long post warning)
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