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Cantriped

Abolish Ascension

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The "Ascension" system was a terrible idea, and its implementation was even worse. Burn it and start over.

First, it entirely contradicts the purpose of being part of an "End-Game Update" by effectively removing the possibility of ever reaching the "End-Game". End-Game Content is the content designed for players who have finished progressing (I.E. gaining levels and equipment upgrades).

Second, it contradicts the stated goal of allowing players to participate in the "Fantasy of their role". Thanks almost entirely to the ascension system characters still have to specialize in specific towers or abilities, and characters are still effectively either builders or fighters. At the very least the Utility Tree should be removed. There isn't a single talent in it that shouldn't have been in either the Offence or Defense trees. Defense Critical Chance & Damage for example are clearly Defense talents, likewise Hero Critical Chance & Damage are clearly Offense talents. Putting these talents in the same tree does exactly what you said you wanted to avoid; it makes players choose between specializing in Building or Fighting. 

The Equipment overhaul mitigates the second problem somewhat, but eventually ascension levels will render a character's equipment entirely irrelevant except as containers for their shards.


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Strong disagree. I loved the endless progression in games like Diablo 3 with their paragon levels, and I like the idea behind it here, too. It's obvious the update has some flaws, balance issues, and the like, but as we're technically still in alpha, that's to be expected. If the ascension system stayed exactly as it was now, I would be wholly satisfied.

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Diablo 3 was a terribly designed (if beautiful) game, and I hated paragon levels. The entire concept of infinite leveling is contrary to the basic purposes of leveling systems. "Levels" as they pertain to character development have just two legitimate purposes.

The first purpose is to provide an smoother learning curve. Games with lots of abilities/game elements to master benefit from level systems by allowing the designers to limit the number of abilities/game elements the players are exposed to at once.

The second purpose is to gate content (aka: "You must be this awesome to complete this content"). The idea of infinite levels demands the developers be able to provide an infinite supply of content, and that simply isn't a feasible solution. Game developers cannot produce content as quickly as players can plow through it. Eventually players are going to hit ascension levels that trivialize all of the content accessible in the game, and every time the developers release something new, said players will plow through it again in a fraction of the time it took to produce.

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Aside from range gambits/Crit and hero health? ascension points don't make you that much stronger and i dont see anyone getting asc 3000 anytime soon. Sure it could be modified, there are allot of things that can be modified but ascension points is the least of my worrys atm and i am enjoying getting them.

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For average players, getting to level 3,000 would take years. But there were players hitting level 200+ just days after the system was implemented. Since one of the recent patches capped the XP to level at 2.5m, it is entirely reasonable that hardcore players can get between 5-10 levels a day. That comes out too 1,825-3,650 levels per year.

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While I agree that the Ascension system as it currently stands breaks the idea of one character per tower/role, I think it's a great early step that just needs refinement.  All it needs to do is separate the trees into clearly defined elements: your hero, your defenses, and utility.


Your hero should have 3 main point investments, health, ability power and damage, with a few other general improvements (not ones tied to one specific ability) such as crit chance/damage.  New additions could include armor, ability resource/regeneration, health regeneration in various forms (such as life per hit or life per kill or recovery over time) and maybe a few things unique to the individual character, like Squire shield block damage reduction or monk's double jump height.


The tower tree needs to also mimic this idea of generalization rather than specialization.  If I invest in range, it should apply to all of my towers.  The real trick is balancing what is needed for walls and what is needed for damage towers.  Ultimately you might just have to bite the bullet and make one of them capped (preferably walls since the only real buff to a wall is increasing its survivability.)  A really interesting idea (that would be extremely difficult thing to balance) would be a capped point investment that reduces the DU cost of all your defenses.  Though as I said, this would be really difficult to balance as you would have to make it invest so many levels for a single DU reduction it would be worthless, or the opposite and its incredibly broken.  Though you could make it reduce upgrade costs for towers, which would also be really great.


The Utility tree is where you can have a lot more fun.  Here you could put in things like gold or magic find, which apply only when the hero is active.  You could even have a stat that increases the amount of mana enemies drop from killing them.


The point is, the system can be expanded on to do a lot of really great and exciting things.  Sure, this first iteration has some flaws that need to be addressed, but as a whole it's an incredibly exciting prospect.

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I would be much more interested in/excited about a real talent system (ala older editions of World of Warcraft) which gave legitimate opportunity costs.

As much as I like it in principle, one of the issues with having a "Utility Tree" is there aren't enough mutable game-elements in DD2 which don't directly relate to either a heroes power, or their defenses power. XP Gain, Gold/Medals Gain, and Item Find are good examples... but what else is there really?

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actually levels exist to provide measurable progression.  Ascension is the one part of the patch that I think is a truly good idea.  Back in the days of D2, online gaming was in its infancy  we didn't have a ton of choices.  Because of this, game companies could make a game that had little to no progression  and people would stick around because there weren't too many choices.

Nowadays, there are a lot of games out there.  For a company to retain users in a market with lots of choice, a game has to accomplish two things.  It has to give players a goal, and it has to give them a way to measure progress towards that goal in a relatively short amount of time.  Otherwise they will lose players.

Now we have the ascension system.  A goal of gaining more power with a sense of progression measurable by a new rank every couple of maps.

The endgame concept is outdated.  when people reach the end of content they tend to move on.  Yes every game will have that elite small percentage at the top which will always stick around.  But they typically arent enough of a population to sustain a game. 

Instead of "end game", it should be called early game to cover the learning and initial gearing and late game for tuning and perfecting the gear and stats through continuous progress.



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"Measureable Progression" is almost always an illusion. When you gain a level, your stats improve, and typically so do those of your enemies; assuming you continue to participate in the highest tier of content available to you at any given time. In other words, your numbers improve on paper, but in practice the level of difficulty doesn't actually change if the game is properly designed.

I would be perfectly happy if DD2 were an arcade game that had neither levels nor equipment. Even when I was level capped, and had the best equipment I could ever hope to find for every character I cared about, I still played regularly. I play DD2 because I legitimately enjoy the core gameplay, not because I'm addicted to gaining better and better equipment or stats or any of those other systems designed to instill a false sense of achievement.

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True, it is quite often mostly Illusory.  However, even knowing its illusory, most people tend to draw some satisfaction from seeing that next number come about.  And there does (at least for me) seem to be something quite satisfying about returning to a difficulty i could barely clear previously and dominating it.

I see it as  a ROI (return on investment) for every X amount of time invested into the game, I receive Y as reward. 

Though your idea of arcade game is not bad, for me and many others, once content or story has been cleared we move on if we arent getting anything for our time.  I believe that the illusory sense of progress is critical for a game.

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I also find it to be badly implemented. Trendy wanted to avoid forcing you to spec in a single tower, and yet, that's exactly what it does.

Also, it has some silly stuff like health on the weapon manufacturer, or hero crit + tower crit on the same tree, while those belong to dps and tower trees respectively.

Ascension should give us simpler, yet more rewarding options. Let us pick hero damage, ability damage, health, crit and crit%. On towers, let us choose damage, health, crit% and crit, or give us one point for each tower every time we have a "tower" point with the same options we have now. This way we can have +health on blockades and +damage on damage towers without having to sacrifice either.

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@Nefhith quote:

I also find it to be badly implemented. Trendy wanted to avoid forcing you to spec in a single tower, and yet, that's exactly what it does.

I don't see how it is forcing you into being a single specified being.  Sure there are choices  and yes spec'ing into one specific one will make it better, but you can complete all of the content without putting a single point into ascension with the gear and shards you get from the current chaos levels.  Ascension is there as a way for players to have something to do while the developer works on newer content.  This type of system should have been released in stages with level cap increases based on the chaos levels presented.  

  The reason Paragon levels work in D3 is because there is an endless dungeon mode, Greater Rifting.  But that aside D3 has very bad itemization that relies on the player waiting until the developer makes something usable or better than something else season to season.  A terrible gimmicky catch that a lot of people fall into. *cough* primal ancient legendary *cough*

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Ascension is life. Without it I would probably be playing less for sure. I love it. It's not perfect, but a constant progression is nice. No it's not illusory, since playing more = your stats will go up a little.

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@aseh?! quote:


@Nefhith quote:

I also find it to be badly implemented. Trendy wanted to avoid forcing you to spec in a single tower, and yet, that's exactly what it does.

1) I don't see how it is forcing you into being a single specified being.  Sure there are choices  and yes spec'ing into one specific one will make it better

2) but you can complete all of the content without putting a single point into ascension with the gear and shards you get from the current chaos levels. 

3) Ascension is there as a way for players to have something to do while the developer works on newer content.  This type of system should have been released in stages with level cap increases based on the chaos levels presented.  

1) You just explained yourself what "forcing into speccing on a single tower" is.

2) Yeah and you can complete all the game's content with only 2 towers, but I *might* want to use the rest.

3) Ascension is a good system although poorly implemented that goes against everything they said before the patch and it contradicts itself.

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I'd like the Ascension system more if the bonuses you get would actually work.
Many of the skills in Ascension trees are just outright broken / non-functional.

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@Nefhith quote:


@aseh?! quote:


@Nefhith quote:

I also find it to be badly implemented. Trendy wanted to avoid forcing you to spec in a single tower, and yet, that's exactly what it does.

1) I don't see how it is forcing you into being a single specified being.  Sure there are choices  and yes spec'ing into one specific one will make it better

2) but you can complete all of the content without putting a single point into ascension with the gear and shards you get from the current chaos levels. 

3) Ascension is there as a way for players to have something to do while the developer works on newer content.  This type of system should have been released in stages with level cap increases based on the chaos levels presented.  

1) You just explained yourself what "forcing into speccing on a single tower" is.

2) Yeah and you can complete all the game's content with only 2 towers, but I *might* want to use the rest.

3) Ascension is a good system although poorly implemented that goes against everything they said before the patch and it contradicts itself.

    In no way does that even remotely describe forced.  Forced would be locking the skill once you select until you spend all subsequent 998 points to cap it.  Since that restriction is NOT in place, you have the option to spend your next point for the tree into something else.  Most people are probably going to be INCLINED to spend them in the one tower at first to clear the content.  But there is nothing in place to "FORCE" the player into spending that point in one skill.

  Gear and shards take care of all the heroes needs as far as a builder and dps are concerned. Ascension should be viewed as an augment for the heroes and nothing else.  If there was something similar to onslaught / survival in this game  ascension would play a much bigger role as it would the crutch to help people push higher and higher, but there is nothing like that in the game at the moment.  Ascension is just going to fluff peoples stats and make C5 an afk-able experience.

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