Even though the action RPG genre can be aggravating sometimes, i’ve sunk way too many hours into Diablo and Diablo 2 in their day to ignore Diablo 3. It’s an extremely polished game, especially in terms of visuals and presentation. Plus you get to spend half the game hanging out with Tyrael! What’s not to love? Well, a few things – so i have a few suggestions.
Item Auto-Pickup Conditions
Are speedy character builds such as “Spin Barb” and “Tempest Monk” intentional designs? If so, item pickup is what breaks their rhythm in a mundane way.
What if players could script a series of rules to automatically pick up and ignore certain item types? A one-page checklist would allow players to grab legendaries, rares, and Flawless Square gems by simply running over them – while ignoring blue and white items. If new players find this confusing, it can be hidden like Elective Mode or locked until lvl30 or lvl60.
Advanced players would love this feature, and pickup timing can be tuned to display the legendary orange beam for a split second before it’s bagged. (Seeing that beam is definitely an awesome moment! Whoever came up with that effect deserves a raise.)
Version 1.10 of PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale represents a comprehensive tuning patch that affects every character on the roster. Our goal was to identify the biggest imbalances in the game and carefully address them without diluting any fighter’s intended combat persona.
The update went live this afternoon, alongside the release of DLC characters Zeus and Isaac and the new Graveyard level. Detailed patch notes have already been posted online earlier in the week. I’m mirroring the complete verified list here, because frankly i’m proud of these changes and i hope the fighting game community embraces them.
• AP burst victims in online matches no longer erroneously receive the 30 AP bonus.
• Blocking another attack while in block stun reaction no longer zeroes out X velocity.
• Characters can no longer block or dodge for 5 frames after landing during an air attack.
• Characters can not perform supers until frame 12 after landing during an air attack.
• Characters now remain grounded for the first 10 frames of jumping (previously 9 for Kat, Ratchet, Sackboy, Sly Cooper, and Spike).
• Air F+Triangle has 11 additional frames of startup.
• Air D+Square now gains 20 AP (previously 10), and victim’s reaction is reduced by 3 frames.
• Level 1 Super now causes an initial stagger reaction on frame 36.
• Level 2 Super’s Triangle attacks are sped up.
• Level 3 Super attacks become active 3 frames sooner and recover 6 frames earlier.
• Level 3 Super attack volumes have been adjusted to be more centered around Big Daddy.
• Level 3 Super victims swim faster and no longer get stuck upon entering Infinite Avoidance.
• F+Square -> Square hit volume enlarged to hit small characters more consistently.
• Neutral Triangle firing rate has been sped up by 4 frames (moved to its recovery instead).
• Ground neutral Circle recovery has been reduced to 20 frames (previously 28).
• Level 3 Super tornado movement speed has been increased.
Quite a few players have been asking for information on the AP Burst / Infinite Avoidance System in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, so here’s a quick overview. As most fighting game players know, a “combo” is defined as a series of attacks that can neither be blocked nor escaped once the initial attack connects. Basically the victim remains locked in hit stun until the combo ends, which can take a very long time in some games.
In PASBR, whenever a combo generates 100 AP or more, the victim instantly enters infinite avoidance state. They’re automatically ejected at a 45° angle and remain invincible the entire way up and down until they land – unless they attack or perform some other offensive action to relinquish their invincibility before landing.
When infinite avoidance occurs, whichever character triggered it receives a 30 AP bonus. Ideally, you want to perform a combo that adds up to 99 AP, then finish it with your strongest attack (which earns around 30 AP for most characters). That would cause AP burst at 129 AP and you’d end up with 159 AP after the bonus.
Of course, most characters can’t quite reach 159 AP because the vast majority of attacks are valued in increments of 5 or 10 AP. However, many characters can rack up 90 or 95 AP, making it possible to achieve 150 or 155 AP combos.
Well, i guess the cat is officially out of the bag. I finally get to show you guys the game i’ve quietly been working on for the past eight months!
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is a new four-player fighting game developed by SuperBot Entertainment, studio presidented by Chan Park and game directored by Omar Kendall. I’ve been working in the combat design department under lead combat designer Paul Edwards.
I spent a fair bit of time playing Torchlight recently, which prompted a retroactive review of the experience. In expressing my assessment, i couldn’t help but notice that the majority of my reservations were symptomatic of a larger issue – the alarmingly inhospitable expectations woven throughout the action role-playing genre’s identity.
Fancy words aside, the main problem for me is the amount of braindead grinding needed to access the coolest toys in the game. Naturally we’re all going to find some snazzy piece of armor and want to complete the rest – or hear about a rare pet/hireling that we can’t resist. Should it cost fifty hours of repetitive chores to unlock these scraps?
Action RPGs tend to be engaging at the beginning because we’re constantly seeing new things and making meaningful decisions at a fast pace. Ultimately that rhythm grinds to a halt, and the amount of dead time between exciting new discoveries stretches into hours. Daring to want that last component of Griswold’s Legacy means killing a thousand recycled monsters beyond the last unfamiliar pixel you’ll ever see.
After i finished all of the story quests in Torchlight and reached lvl35 with my first character, i discovered that the fastest way to obtain unique items was by scamming the gambler NPC in town. I promptly maxed out my Barter skill, equipped as much Decrease in Vendor Prices gear as i could round up, and filled my inventory with stacks of Dogfish/Catfish. Then i sold, bought, and resold the entire stash hundreds of times, twenty clicks at a time, and used the profits to buy irregularly priced socketed unidentified items from Duros the Blade at a steep discount. Over 1/3 of them were uniques, yet it still took forever and a half to assemble Magnus’ Trove.
It was probably the least fun i’ve ever had playing a video game. And then there’s the fishing. Don’t get me started about the fishing. How can any of this fluff be considered gameplay? Don’t these arbitrarily time-consuming activites seem like they were contrived purely for the sake of boasting X number of replay hours? Personally i find it disingenuous, and i think it tarnishes an otherwise excellent game. There has to be a better way, right? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but i can offer a few suggestions.