A Few Things MMOs Could Learn From Diablo 3
Like a lot of people I’m currently engrossed in Diablo 3, shunning my MMO activities for the past week in favour of battling the demons of hell throughout the realm of Sanctuary. It’s a good game and I’m having a lot of fun although I daresay it’s not quite as tremendously incredible as I somehow expected. To be fair though, that’s probably more due to the fact that nothing could have possibly lived up the excessive amount of hype that Diablo 3 had heaped upon its shoulders, a grand accumulation of 12 years of nostalgia, impatience and seductive teasing.
But whilst D3 hasn’t herald the dawning of a new age for mankind, it is a leap forward in terms of balancing excitement, convenience and pure fluidity of gameplay. Blizzard have done what they do best and refined existing game mechanics into a beautifully streamlined experience which is both captivating and addictive. Given that Diablo 3 straddles the single-player and multi-player genres (with all the warts and pimples that comes with it, I might add), I thought it would be appropriate to list some of the features that the game offers that I think would really improve MMOs. There certainly is a lot they could learn from Diablo 3.
Give us lots of playstyle choice and customisation
One of the things I really love about Diablo 3 is the Rune system and Passive skills. They’re both a great way of letting me customise my character and style of play without forcing me down fixed specialisations or giving me talent trees that, in actuality, contain very little variety or freedom of choice. The new talent system coming in MoP for WoW is a start but, personally, I think we can do even better.
Limit the number of active spells and abilities we can use
Maybe I’m getting old and maybe my finger dexterity isn’t what it used to be but there’s only so many abilities one can feasibly squeeze onto their numerous hot bars at a time let alone process the pressing of during combat. I don’t need 40 spells and abilities available to use at any one time so why not limit the number I can use (six is fine, maybe eight would be better) and force me to think about my desired playstyle beforehand instead.
Classes should have unique resources
To give credit where it’s due, World of Warcraft is one the few MMOs that works hard to give classes resource systems unique to each of them and Diablo 3 just compounds how much sense it makes. Fury of Barbarians, Hatred and Discipline for Demon Hunters, Arcane Power for Wizards… it’s really is nice that each class has it’s own individual style of play. So c’mon MMOs, stop giving melee classes mana or every class the same boring ‘energy’ system – spend some more time coming up with resources that make sense for each class and mix it up a bit.
Whilst I’d agree that making all loot individual to players in MMOs would remove part of the social aspect of them, I can’t help but think it would solve a lot of the petty squabbling and arguments that occur after fight bosses in dungeons and raids. If I hear another person complain about someone else rolling for item they don’t ‘need’, I think I’ll scream.
Random items are fun
I love the random item system in Diablo 3 and simply can’t fathom why more games don’t do it. Sure, make epic or legendary items fixed but surely having a bit of randomness in items would make MMOs far more interesting?
Every MMO should have a Witch Doctor