Friday, January 22, 2016

If WoW Is Going to Keep Borrowing From Diablo...

Both Warcraft and Diablo are owned by the same company so we could not use the "stealing ideas" line that people like to use so I am going to use "borrow".  All ideas belong to the same company and we have seen cross over from one game to the other between many of the blizzard created products.  This is not a bad thing, not even in the slightest.  Some ideas from one game are just begging to be integrated into the other and blizzard is smart enough to realize that.

Coming with Legion we see a much larger scale borrowing from Diablo than ever before.  Sure we have had some things lifted from Diablo and added to Warcraft recently.  The largest one was adding even more randomization to the game.  From gear having additional stats, to a gem slot, to even being warforged reminds me of Diablo.  It makes one piece of gear come in many different variants.  Now as many as Diablo does of course, but still many, for Warcraft standards.

Another piece of the randomizing borrowed from Diablo are the baleful items.  Where they could be randomly warforged and had random stats on it.  And there was the added fact you could A) get them as drops or B) buy them when you saved up enough currency, and both would be completely random stats wise.  Same as Diablo where you could get say a waist piece as a drop or buy one with blood shards.

It was pushed even further with the most recent patch when the warforged baleful gear was no longer just 650 of 675 when warforged but it could be anywhere from 650 to 695 in 5 level intervals.  But they did not just leave it there, they also made mythic dungeons change from dropping either 685 or warforged at 705 gear to having a span of 685 to 725 in 5 level intervals as well.  Add in that those could have a gem slot or third or both or neither on any of those items meant that the amount of different drops could be 72 variants (I believe, you can check my napkin math) for each and every item making it even more like Diablo.

Next expansion they are pushing it even further with their borrowing from their other franchise.  They are adding the transmog wardrobe to the game which is a huge boon to anyone that like to collect things and even more so if they are an avid collect and like to have a large selection for their mogging pleasures.  But it does not stop there.

Random legendary drops, which I will have to write about another day as my thought on those would easily fill a post all on its own, are being added to the game in a very Diablo style.  As in they can drop from anywhere.  You could kill a boss in a dungeon or an elite mob in the world or a rare mob anywhere you run across it or trash in a raid or even just killing some rats out in the world and it could drop.  Just like Diablo where the absolutely most powerful items in the game can be attained from anywhere no matter what level of difficulty you are playing at.

There is more too.  Borrowing the idea of greater rifts come the new design for challenge modes.  Instead of you, the players, scaling down to the challenge, the challenge will scale up to you.  So as you get stronger you can push the challenge up further.  Then just recently we saw they are adding special abilities you can give the mobs in the dungeon to further the difficultly, and presumably up the reward of the challenge.  Such things as, all mobs enrage at 30% health increasing damage by 100% and one that has a constant AoE throughout the entire dungeon that does damage the entire time.  These, the greater rift challenge modes and the special abilities of mobs to add difficulty, are directly borrowed from Dialbo.

Then there is one of everyones favorite Diablo things coming to warcraft as well.  Treasure goblins that just run away and continue to drop goodies the entire time until they are killed, or they escape, are coming to Warcraft as treasure demons.  How they will work yet is still unknown, but the fact they are coming is known.  Another straight borrow from Diablo.

So what is the point of me saying all of this?  Well, if WoW is going to keep borrowing from Diablo there are some things I would actually like to see them borrow.

1) Loot Drops

In Diablo whenever you kill a boss, an elite, a champion, you always get loot.  Admittedly it is garbage 99 out of 100 times, but you always get something.  Never do you have to deal with the fact that you need to tier legs so damn bad at nothing you can even roll on ever drops from that boss even after, 5, 10, 15 or 20 kills.

In Diablo you might not get what you want, but you know you will always get something and there is a chance that you can get something good.  Warcraft needs that.  We no longer need a loot system with master looter.  Everything should be personal loot and every time you kill a boss you should win something from it.  Every... single... time.

Let the warforged be random, let the gem slot be random, let the third stat be random, let getting 2 or even all 3 of them be random, but make sure everyone gets some sort of reward for killing a boss every time they kill it.  You should always get at least one item off the loot table that is for you spec.

They can easily make it so many more pieces drop for each class on the loot list by adding addition rings, necks, back and maybe wrists and waists to each boss.  This way there are always at least 5 items that drop for each class and specialization.

Will some people gear up quickly this way?  Yes, just like some people gear up quickly now.  Will some people still kill a boss 20 times and not get the piece they want?  Yes, just like some people never get what they are going for now.

So things will still be mostly the same with one major exception.  Now if you have killed, for example, Gorefiend 20 times and never even seen your tier token drop and you have even used a coin on most of those kills to no avail, you start to feel disheartened, you start to feel as if you will never get the item but if the boss always guaranteed an item, even if you have gotten a ring 20 times so far, you know for a fact with 100% certainty that you will get something you will keep killing him knowing that sooner or later you will get it because you always get something.

With all this randomness added to the game, too much in my opinion, Warcraft needs something like that that gives people hope.  I've seen more people complain about loot in the game recently than I ever have before, even people that I never heard complain about it before, because they felt like they were running uphill all the time and never getting anything for their effort because of RNG.  Having people guaranteed to get something each time they kill a boss, or a named mob in the Diablo case, would really ease the RNG burnout even if it does not gear people up any faster because people will feel at least they are being rewarded for their effort.

2) Cube

You can turn a rare into a legendary item in Diablo with the cube.  You can reroll the stats on an item with the cube.  You can change one set piece into another set piece with the cube.  All that and more.

This would be yet one more thing to ease the pain of RNG that I know I dislike.  It would allow people to grind to get something, or have a chance at getting something, that luck just will not allow them to have.

You could put some random purple with whatever assorted materials they make us gather in the cube and attempt to upgrade it to a legendary if the world drop gods have not been nice to you lately.  You can take those bracers that have haste on them when haste is bad for you and attempt to reroll a better stat on them, with the appropriate materials of course.  Perhaps with the ring materials you can turn that second tier chest piece you have into the tier leg piece, if luck is on your side, or you might just end up with your third set of tier shoulders.

Have these materials be a range of things. Stuff that drops from the world, stuff that drops from dungeons, stuff that drops from raids and even stuff that is crafted.  Make it all capable of being traded, none of that soulbound bull crap blizzard loves, and it could revitalize the game some as people start grinding materials to try to turn that extra chest piece into a leg piece or change that epic pair of boots they do not need into the legendary one.

More people would be out in the world killing mobs to get materials to use or sell.  They would be gathering, crafting, spamming dungeons, raids, all to get materials to use or sell.  It very well could get people out and about and doing more things by giving them a way to over ride the dreadfully horrible RNG of the game.  Which is a great idea in my opinion.  Anything that takes away some RNG is a good thing, even if, in this case, it still adds another level of RNG in its own right.  But at least this way it feels like we have a chance or getting what we want, and that is all people like me want, a feeling like we could get what we want.

Now while I am on this topic I would like to add one thing I would love to see Diablo borrow from Warcraft.

1) Loot Lists

In Warcraft if you are looting for the tier legs you kill gorefiend.  Sure you might kill him 20 times and never get them but you know for a fact he does drop them and that is where they come from.  In Diablo the loot list for everything is the same.  From breaking a vase, to searching a corpse, to opening a chest, to opening a bounty bag, to killing a rat, to killing an elite, to killing a champion, to killing a boss or rift guardian.  Anything can drop from anywhere.

It is kind of nice when you happen to get your best in slot item because you just happen hit some breakable item with your AoE while mowing down mobs but it would be much nicer if you could narrow your scope of what you are looking for.

Leave it like it is where anything can drop from anywhere, but make at least bosses have certain drops on their loot list, to refine the drop chances just a little to increase your chances.  For example, say I am looking for the Dawn weapon so I can cube it and put it on my weapon.  I could spend the next 50 hours farming everything known to man to get it, and maybe I will, but it is all random, or I could go for butcher because it is on his loot list as one of the item he is more likely to drop.

Give every boss a chance to drop, at least, one item from their loot list and increase the chances of an item from the loot list dropping based on the difficulty level.  Say 10% at T1 all the way up to 100% chance at least one would drop at T10.  So if I wanted to farm Dawn and it was on the butchers drop list I could keep farming him on T10.  Even if he had 30 items on his loot list, for example, the chances of getting the one I want are still slim, but at least this way I would have a singular focus on what to kill instead of randomly killing, breaking and opening everything hoping and praying to get the item I need.

I, personally, would love Diablo if it had a more focused system.  And they could even give the elites and champions specific drop lists.  Like elites in Act 1 have one drop list, champions in that act another, and each set in each act would have its own drop list.  And then rifts would have their own, and greater rifts would have their own.  You get the idea.  Lots of items means lots of loot lists but it would allow people to focus on killing a certain type of thing.  So I could still get my Dawn from anywhere, like breaking a breakable (which is how I got it) or I could farm one specific place to try to increase my chances.  So yeah, I think I would like there being loot lists in Diablo just like they have them in Warcraft.

What do you think?

What else should Warcraft borrow from Diablo and do you think there is anything Diablo could borrow from Warcraft?


  1. We already had the best part of the cube. It was called reforging.
    The problem I see with a 100% drop rate is how much better enchanting would be compared to every other profession. And the inevitable balance issues. The cube works in Diablo because it has FAR fewer classes and abilities, and the game still has serious balancing issues.
    Would be fun though!

    1. Sadly that word "had" is there which means past tense. Still not exactly sure why they removed that. I liked it.

      They would balance enchanting by requiring more materials to be needed as they know more will be around. Or make those a major part of what is needed for the cube. Sort of like forgotten souls in diablo.

  2. Grumpy...I have to say this was one of the best post I have read thus far. No complaining, very
    I don't know if you or others who hangout here ever played Hellgate London but I have always liked how that game handled loot and upgrades. It was very similar to WOW and I think to some degree other Blizzard MMO type games however you have the ability to upgrade your weapons/gear by using resources you collect through gameplay. You basically place your weapon "into" the in-game upgrade device, apply your currency, click the upgrade button and your stats get a boost, not too much mind you but something until your next real upgrade drops from a kill. You also had the chance to get legendary drops too, of which I actually got a few. I actually played this game prior to my playing WOW and felt that HGL was better in a lot of respects except in the content area. WOW has a lot more content so Blizz did better than HGL. Unfortunately HGL died and they terminated the servers so you can only play the non-mmoish version from the CD.
    Anyway I agree with you, I too would like to see them overhaul the gearing aspect of this game, CHANGE I would welcome even if they borrow it from other Blizz titles. Hopefully the Dranor Xpac is there valley experience and hopefully they can redeem themselves with Legion and get us back up to that mountain top experience like the days of Ulduar.

    1. Getting one item and then continually upgrading it throughout the expansion actually makes a great deal of sense. It feels like perpetual personal progression with whatever you do.

      I think that is what they are trying to do with artifact weapons. However having to level them for all specs does seem a little but like a penalty for people that want to do more than one thing with their class. And an even bigger penalty for people who like to play alts.

  3. Bounty bags already have a unique loot table per act so the idea isn't completely alien to the game. Depending on implementation I could see boss loot tables working out okay. It could be another option for gearing in early progression vs cube upgrading or blood shard gambling. How's your progress going, you close to that tab?

    1. But there are only 4 or so pieces you can get in each act and act 4 can have any of the other bags pieces. For me at least that is a start, but they need to push it a lot further than just a couple of pieces. It would be nice to know what to do or where to aim when you are farming a particular piece. Some people love it the way it is but me, I would not mind a little focus to things.

  4. Moving to 100% personal loot would remove all the loot Ninjas and grief from the game, so that's definitely the way forward for all but 100% guild groups.

    Personally I'd prefer bosses to simply drop a token for each player each time they're killed, linked to the difficulty they're killed at.

    Then you trade X number of tokens in for the gear you need of that level. You use Heroic tokens to buy Normal pieces and they're worth double. Tier pieces / class trinkets etc cost more tokens than other pieces, etc. That way there's a direct link between effort and reward, and no RNG for the core gearing up that is so desperately needed to succeed.

    When you buy your gear with tokens there's a chance it is warforged, socketed, etc exactly as if you'd opened a tier token now.

    I would leave the bonus rolls exactly as they are, RNG and all, so that there's a small chance you get something straight away, and something unexpected and (hopefully) nice.

    RNG needs to be removed from crafting completely, and there needs to be a way of crafting something to change a secondary stat in the same way that you make something to increase the ilevel. It's reforging but tied to a profession to make them more useful.

    All gear that drops should have equal amounts of each secondary stat so you can switch class specs without having to calculate which pieces to swap, and when something drops you can see instantly whether it's better for you or not.

    1. Even for guild groups it would be fine with the changes they are making next expansion. If you have a piece that is equal to or higher in item level than the piece you won with personal loot or on a coin roll you can trade it to anyone in group.

      So yes, 100% personal would work, even in guild groups. To some extent. You would not be able to funnel to one person with another unless the other is geared enough to not need it. So that might hurt mythic people some. But in all honestly, who cares about them. They are 0.1% of the player base that does that to funnel gear, and really you can not design a game around the 0.1% unless you want your game to go out of business.

      The token idea you have is one I have been pushing for since, well, forever. It is like valor. Except you unlock what you can valor on based on your current progression. If you killed up to heroic gorefiend, you can buy loot up to him on heroic only. Now that is the absolute best gearing system in my mind.

      Changing crafting too as you said should be done. They can still do random stats, but the reroll thing should be "adds haste and removes another stat of your choice". Not random. So you can get "lucky" and not need to reroll a piece or you can go and buy a haste reroll and just add it. That would be better.

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