Blue Tracker

| Thursday, 16 September 2010 | |
Philosophy: 2Hand And Dual Wield
View original threadby Sharkeyca | 30/08/2010 01:48:33

Game Philosophy: Dual Wield, Two Handed Weapons, and Sword and Board.

I was wondering what the "big picture" philosophy that the dev team are going to adhere to in regards to dual wielding, two handed weapons, and shields. Hopefully, this is general and broad enough that the dev team can comment on it w/o "spilling the beans" too much before Blizzcon.

First of all, my personal philosophy on how to handle this particular game itemization/skill question.
A: Melee Characters
- Two characters, one dual wielding, one using a two handed weapon, of equivalent level and equivalent gear quality, should do equivalent DPS or KPM (Kills per Minute), and have equivalent life expectancies.
- A character using a shield and a one handed weapon should have lower DPS/KPM, but have a higher life expectancy.
- The skill system should be designed so that a player can build a character around dual wielding, two handers, or shields, but not all at the same time. Otherwise, there's no meaningful choice when it comes to gear or skills.
- The damage portion of balancing should be done around skills and skill damage, not normal attacks. If normal attacks were that effective, there wouldn't be much point in special attack skills.
- Ergo, skill damage should scale with weapons and gear relatively equally whether a character is dual wielding or using a two-hander. This does not have to be a natural trait of the skill itself, but part of passives, runes, or some other mechanic.
- Two one handed weapons should have similar item budgets as one two handed weapon. A shield should have a mostly defensive item budget (more defensive stats and bonuses than offensive ones).

B: Spell Casters
- Casters probably shouldn't be dual wielding real weapons (artistic/style choice more than anything).
- Instead, caster weapons could be broken down as follows: Two handed (probably staves), one handed (wands, swords, daggers, etc), off handed offensive (off hand orbs, fetishes, tomes, etc), and then caster shields.
- Pure DPS/KPM casters would use staves or a one-hand/off-hand combo. Defensive minded casters would probably want a caster shield, which should still have good defensive stats on it.
-As per above, a two-hand staff caster should be doing equivalent DPS/KPM as a caster using a one handed weapon and an off hand frill/orb, and have similar life expectancies. A shield using caster would do less DPS/KPM but have a longer life expectancy. Ergo, a staff should have a similar item budget as a one hand spell weapon and off hand orb combo. Shields should have lower offensive caster stats than an orb, but more defensive stats.
- Unlike the melee example above, there should be little or no skill build difference between a staff or dagger/orb using caster. Shields might be tricky; at the minimum, there should be some benefit to defensive skills and abilities if a caster equips a shield. Whether to design a "caster tank" build is Blizzard's prerogative.

So, is this the general philosophy that the dev team is working towards? If not, what do they believe is a better idea? Should dual wielding be a "glass cannon" approach to melee characters, while two handers are the "middle ground" between dual wield and shields? Will casters dual wield? Will caster shields be "stat boards," where the defensive properties are meaningless or non-existant? What about the monk? Will he have two hand builds (spears and staves), and will his defensive skills benefit from a shield at all?

And finally, what is the coolest looking weapon you guys have designed thus far?
View original threadby Bashiok | 02/09/2010 21:44:13

Q u o t e:

Obviously we haven't announced an official date. Good on Gamestop for actually putting it on a Tuesday so it could at least be credible.

But, no.

Anyway, when was the last time a Blizzard release date leaked through any retail POS system? Legitimate question. I'm curious. Because I don't believe it's ever happened.
View original threadby Bashiok | 02/09/2010 22:11:12

Q u o t e:
srsrly, why did I get banned?

I banned a couple people for saying ridiculous and/or stupid nonsense. Don't do that.
View original threadby Bashiok | 02/09/2010 23:03:25

We don't have a lot of skills that require specific weapon types. The monk is the exception as he does have a few combat staff or fist weapon specific skills, and we expect players won't pick both at the same time so there is a bit more skill customization there. For the barbarian though, his skills really only require that a melee weapon be equipped, which will probably be the case all of the time for everyone playing a barb. The witch doctor and wizard, none of the current skills require a weapon at all as far as I'm aware, although you obviously want to have one equipped.

The general philosophy and intent for the differences between the three main melee types is to make them all viable, but with obvious trade offs. For dual-wield versus two hander, it's currently balanced so that it's essentially an aesthetic choice. If you think it looks cool to run around with a big two hander, do it, if you get two awesome one-handers, then use those. Obviously that comes down to tuning affixes and such as it's one item versus two, but that's the intent and how it is balanced and works in the game right now. Compared to using a shield it should be viable either way, but you're obviously gaining some survivability with a shield. The drop in damage output should be accurately offset with a better chance to live, ability to take some greater risks, etc.
View original threadby Bashiok | 02/09/2010 23:11:29

Q u o t e:
Thank goodness for that. As a follow up...Are there going to be weapon specializations? I.e. Sword, Mace, Polearm etc...

There are ways to improve your use of specific weapon types. And that's all I have to say about that.
View original threadby Bashiok | 02/09/2010 23:04:46

Q u o t e:
I'm not a troll, so my reason for being banned was unjust. You're just abusing your power.

If you were the one saying we're all just corporate Activision shills and we're here for a cash grab etc. etc. etc. then yeah, banned.
View original threadby Bashiok | 02/09/2010 23:28:19

Q u o t e:

sry dude, i just couldn't resist ^^

That's ok. It was an intentional quote. :)
View original threadby Bashiok | 02/09/2010 23:27:35

Q u o t e:

y u mad bra?
somebody's butt hurt.

Not at all! It's a very simple and quick process to remove things that I don't want to read, such as what you were posting, so I did.
View original threadby Bashiok | 03/09/2010 00:38:05

Q u o t e:
When you say aesthetic choice between dual wield and two handers, do you mean literally just the art, or also the "feel" of the weapons? Such as a fast, constant damage for dual wield and slower, high burst damage for two handers (balanced for similar KPM or DPS, natch)?

There's obviously a difference in the way they play, yeah. Two-handers are bigger, slower, but feel more powerful. And dual-wield is much faster and bashier. What I meant was from a damage perspective they should be balanced so that no matter what you use, two hander or dual wield, you're going through enemies at the same pace. One slow two-handed swing would equal a few bashes from dual wielding.
View original threadby Bashiok | 03/09/2010 00:53:40

Q u o t e:
Will we be allowed to specialize in more than one type at the same time?

View original threadby Bashiok | 03/09/2010 02:26:38

Q u o t e:
Good deal. Here's to Barbarians dual wielding wands!

Barbs can't use wands. :)


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