Perfidiously Lethal Enemies - Are 'Certain Death' Mobs Bad Design

#1 Edited by Seppli (9740 posts) -

Every now and then, playing Hell difficulty with my Demon Hunter solo - though it happens much more frequently when I'm playing coop - there's going to be a pack of glowy mobs with perfidiously well-meshing skills - it's a given that your heroes will die. Over and over again. Likely Inferno is going to be way worse in that regard.

What I'm asking myself is, if I'm really okay with such balance, or if I find it broken and bad. These mob packs are being overcome throwing my corpse at them over and over, until eventually their healthbar is depleted - or by just restarting the quest and hoping not to be pitted against something as horrendously stupid powerful.

The art and fun in beating such perfidiously lethal mobs lies firmely in the realm of skillful execution, but with guaranteed and unavoidable cheap deaths being almost the norm for many a special ability loadout - I find it to slowly sour me on the experience, to point that I'm saying - it's in fact bad design. Difficulty and challenge should not be handed over to the Luck of Draw as much as Diablo III does it.

What's your stance on it?

#2 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

Don't blame the game and use more skill.

#3 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (998 posts) -

Diablo II was the same way, the randomizer sometimes screws you over.

#4 Posted by Fallen189 (4921 posts) -

Prisoner/Mortar enemies.

I hope you like dying

#5 Edited by Seppli (9740 posts) -

@laserbolts said:

Don't blame the game and use more skill.

I don't blame the game. I see what it is doing and why. It's simply Diablo.

I'm just not sure if I'm okay with that. If something cannot be overcome without dying, despite proper execution, then it's a cheap and unfair attack pattern - and I find myself being inceasingly displeased with that circumstance of classic Diablo gamedesign. It kinda grinds away at my fondness for Diablo III.

Wouldn't take much to eliminate the worst offenders from the random draw of enemy ability templates.

#6 Posted by ONIKAGEI (38 posts) -

Works the other way too, when I see a pack of Knockback, extra health and shield.. Free loot.

#7 Posted by Ramone (2931 posts) -

PERFIDIOUS

#8 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1543 posts) -

Make/find/buy more vitality gear.

#9 Posted by SpunkyHePanda (1521 posts) -

I haven't gotten to that point yet, but I've been led to believe that it's all about the equipment. Maybe go back to Nightmare and grind for loot. Glorious loot.

@Ramone said:

PERFIDIOUS

Stop being so perfidious.

#10 Posted by Freshbandito (611 posts) -

I'm not entirely sure you're using the word 'Perfidious' correctly but that's neither here nor there. It's less a flaw in design than a noted chance in the random mob generator, some will kill you, some wont, long story short; It's fine.

#11 Posted by ludorverr (67 posts) -

Have you tried running? Even if it's a tight corridor there are many things you can do to get past.

Maybe you should learn to accept that you should not be fighting every enemy and to only level on the ones you can kill.

#12 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

Yeah it gets a little ridiculous with the rare and elite enemies some times. Normal and Nightmare mode where very easy but and even Hells normal mobs and boss fights are easy but it seems like the rares are ALWAYS vampiric, arcane lasers, linked, and have plague lol.

#13 Posted by Subjugation (4693 posts) -

Plague/mortar = don't try to kill them in melee, but also don't try to kill them at range. Have fun! I ran into some teleport/fire chains blues last night with my friend and they tele'd into a perfect triangle around me and instagibbed me multiple times. Fighting a war of attrition is something that I'm kind of okay with but at the same time don't enjoy.

#14 Posted by ichthy (450 posts) -

Last unique I fought had desecrater nightmare shielding teleport. Half the time I had no control of my character, while the other half I couldn't even hit it, not to mention trying to avoid fire that was being spawn under me. Ugh.

#15 Posted by Giefcookie (575 posts) -

Its just a diablo thing I guess, corpse running past the trash mobs to kill the bosses. Now they just need to give the bosses random qualities. Immortal minion Horde Jailor for the last boss. Success.

#16 Edited by Tennmuerti (7721 posts) -

So far in Hell i have not met a single elite pack or champion spwan that took me more then a couple of tries. 9/10 of them i kill without a sweat. The 1/10 when the game screws my mele character over with bullshit like plague/mortar/shield/arcane/prison/freezing all it takes is an adjustment of my tactics, ie to no longer stand there in one place and punch them like a moron, but actually move about and avoid their shit, and if health dips and i got not heals/pots/etc just get the fuck out and try to kite until the cooldowns are up again. Even shit that immobilizes/stuns/roots/freezes you can be dealt with certain skills of most classes, any kind of invilnerability will override a CC effect making a difference between dying like a bitch and showing those elites the finger.

And this is with me playing a melee monk without a shield going for dps, lacking in HP and not having infinite spirit for heals either. I know there are setups that would have ar less issues with elites/champions then me.

So far gear + proper skill setup + actually paying attention to shit on screen have been able to compensate for elite/champion difficulty at least in Hell, then again I'm not in Inferno yet.

Moral of the story: don't stand in the fire.

#17 Edited by blueduck (964 posts) -

Yes it's bad game design and some the responses in there make it pretty clear they haven't gotten past hell mode yet, or even nightmare. When I first saw the system D3 has for the elite packs I thought they most likely had built in something that doesn't allow some abilities to spawn with others. They didn't. The fact is people who are playing in Inferno and getting far are constantly having to reset because some abilites are impossibles teaming up with others are impossible to get by. Example - Illusionist, Desicrator, Arcane Enchanted, and whatever else the 4th one happens to be lets say shielding . You can't beat that now maybe in months when you've bought enough gear off the Ah but not anytime soon. Oh yeah Hell mode is a total joke compared what the mobs are like in Inferno.

#18 Edited by McShank (1628 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

So far in Hell i have not met a single elite pack or champion spwan that took me more then a couple of tries. 9/10 of them i kill without a sweat. The 1/10 when the game screws my mele character over with bullshit like plague/mortar/shield/arcane/prison/freezing all it takes is an adjustment of my tactics, ie to no longer stand there in one place and punch them like a moron, but actually move about and avoid their shit, and if health dips and i got not heals/pots/etc just get the fuck out and try to kite until the cooldowns are up again. Even shit that immobilizes/stuns/roots/freezes you can be dealt with certain skills of most classes, any kind of invilnerability will override a CC effect making a difference between dying like a bitch and showing those elites the finger.

And this is with me playing a melee monk without a shield going for dps, lacking in HP and not having infinite spirit for heals either. I know there are setups that would have ar less issues with elites/champions then me.

So far gear + proper skill setup + actually paying attention to shit on screen have been able to compensate for elite/champion difficulty at least in Hell, then again I'm not in Inferno yet.

Moral of the story: don't stand in the fire.

@Seppli said:

Every now and then, playing Hell difficulty with my Demon Hunter solo - though it happens much more frequently when I'm playing coop - there's going to be a pack of glowy mobs with perfidiously well-meshing skills - it's a given that your heroes will die. Over and over again. Likely Inferno is going to be way worse in that regard.

What I'm asking myself is, if I'm really okay with such balance, or if I find it broken and bad. These mob packs are being overcome throwing my corpse at them over and over, until eventually their healthbar is depleted - or by just restarting the quest and hoping not to be pitted against something as horrendously stupid powerful.

The art and fun in beating such perfidiously lethal mobs lies firmely in the realm of skillful execution, but with guaranteed and unavoidable cheap deaths being almost the norm for many a special ability loadout - I find it to slowly sour me on the experience, to point that I'm saying - it's in fact bad design. Difficulty and challenge should not be handed over to the Luck of Draw as much as Diablo III does it.

What's your stance on it?

They are elite mobs, get over it. If you dont want to play a game that challenges you, then stop playing on a mod that is not normal. Your playing a class that utilizes itself as to stay away from mobs, try different combo's of skills, as when blizzard launches pvp to the game.. You wont win at all if you complain about just hell mode. All in all, listen to Tennmuerti as he just explained how you should learn to play :D.

#19 Posted by Valiom (51 posts) -

The worst I had was in Nightmare on the lead up to fighting Diablo. There was a pack of 3 Succubus with Vampiric Plague. Me and my friend could easily escape it and bring their health down, but Tryriel kept going into the plague holes and healing them right back to full health. Literally nothing we could do but have one person go hide Tyriel somewhere while the other killed them by himself. If I was alone and Tyriel was following me, I wouldn't have been able to kill them.

#20 Posted by avidwriter (667 posts) -

@laserbolts said:

Don't blame the game and use more skill.

Sometimes, that's not a good answer. Some of these situations you are dead before you know it.

#21 Posted by Forderz (243 posts) -

Playing as a 8k HP wizard in inferno difficulty, all I can say is don't stand in the fire.

The only packs I can't kill are most scavenger type packs (small, quick and deadly) and almost any creature type with invulnerable minions.

And those fucking ghosts that channel their attacks.

#22 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

@avidwriter said:

@laserbolts said:

Don't blame the game and use more skill.

Sometimes, that's not a good answer. Some of these situations you are dead before you know it.

I know I was kidding.

#23 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

Perfidious: Treacherous, unfaithful, traitorous. I learned something today.

#24 Posted by supamon (1325 posts) -

Jailor Vampiric Desecrator

*sigh*

#25 Edited by Seppli (9740 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

So far in Hell i have not met a single elite pack or champion spwan that took me more then a couple of tries. 9/10 of them i kill without a sweat. The 1/10 when the game screws my mele character over with bullshit like plague/mortar/shield/arcane/prison/freezing all it takes is an adjustment of my tactics, ie to no longer stand there in one place and punch them like a moron, but actually move about and avoid their shit, and if health dips and i got not heals/pots/etc just get the fuck out and try to kite until the cooldowns are up again. Even shit that immobilizes/stuns/roots/freezes you can be dealt with certain skills of most classes, any kind of invilnerability will override a CC effect making a difference between dying like a bitch and showing those elites the finger.

And this is with me playing a melee monk without a shield going for dps, lacking in HP and not having infinite spirit for heals either. I know there are setups that would have ar less issues with elites/champions then me.

So far gear + proper skill setup + actually paying attention to shit on screen have been able to compensate for elite/champion difficulty at least in Hell, then again I'm not in Inferno yet.

Moral of the story: don't stand in the fire.

True, on Hell difficulty, the issue isn't really with 'beatabilty' in the most cases, but rather with the cheapness of certain setups, and the inevitablity of cheap insta-gib-like deaths. Some setups are so perfidious, even on Hell difficulty, that it's a slog and downer to grind them down. Especially when grouping, since it's harder to just burst the fuck out of the pack in question. Worst case scenario, you'll have to come up with a custom loadout for the encounter. Inferno will likely take that to the n-th degree, where-in resetting quests is the only rational path of progression, if your heroes have ill-fated luck.

Let's take Dark Souls, a similarly mean spirited game, but its difficulty is always designed with intent - with proper execution everything is beatable without dying - survivable encounters. Where-as in Diablo III, from Hell on out, certain special ability loadouts make cheap deaths absolutely inevitable. There's no recovering from an unavoidable insta-gib. You'll just come back and keep at shaving off HP 'til you succeed. Might be other classes are less frail than my lvl 58 35kHP/15kDPS Demon Hunter and suffer fewer cheap deaths - nonetheless Inferno will be Hell for everyone.

#26 Edited by Ubersmake (753 posts) -

I don't think so. If Diablo was an extremely scripted game, then this would be a knock against it. But the random elements are so ingrained into the design of the game, from items to item attributes to mobs, that I'm willing to give it a pass.

Also, if you feel this way about Diablo, stay the hell away from any roguelike in the future. No amount of skill will save you from the random number generator totally screwing with you.

#27 Posted by Ravenlight (8033 posts) -
  1. Play Wizard.
  2. Slow/freeze dem punks and pile on the AOE.
  3. Pop Diamond Skin or tele away if shit gets too close.
  4. Profit!
#28 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

A lot of this depends on your class/skills too. I was doing Act 4 Hell last night in a group with 2 monks, a barb, and me as a Demon Hunter, and we ran into an Arcane Illusionist -something- succubus pack. The melees had a miserable time and died over and over, while I was running around blowing up illusion packs with spike trap and sniping the minions, all the while not really getting hurt due to outrunning their projectiles and using smoke screen when I was cornered or needed to run across some lasers.

On the other hand, pretty much anything with mortar means I need to chain smokescreen, and usually die very fast as soon as I've run out of discipline/prep. The melees on the other hand love seeing mortar since it's easy for them to tank through it.

Point is, Hell and Inferno aren't terribly solo friendly. Sure, it can be done, but each class seems to have mechanics that they deal with easier than other.

#29 Edited by Seppli (9740 posts) -

@Ubersmake said:

I don't think so. If Diablo was an extremely scripted game, then this would be a knock against it. But the random elements are so ingrained into the design of the game, from items to item attributes to mobs, that I'm willing to give it a pass.

Also, if you feel this way about Diablo, stay the hell away from any roguelike in the future. No amount of skill will save you from the random number generator totally screwing with you.

The question is, what would Diablo lose, and what would it gain - by limiting monster generation RNG to more sensible choices?

For me, the answer is simple - it'd lose a whole lot of cheap deaths and frustration, and add a more consistent challenge, as well as keep its addicting pace high - rather than lose me over time, cheap death by cheap death - with 'a bullshit corpserun too many'.

Yeah - frustration is a key ingredient in fabricating longterm motivation - but does Diablo III really need that much of it delivered by unavoidable cheap deaths and bullshit corpseruns?

#30 Posted by myketuna (1631 posts) -

@Seppli: I definitely see where you're coming from. Sometimes you get caught between a rock and a hard place. I should know. I'm a Barb. There's no distance play for me except using the Weapon Throw skill (which I love and seem to be the only Barb in the world that does).

Anyway, I personally love the randomized bullshit the game throws out sometimes. I find it fun to come back and get right back in it. But I hate Demon/Dark Souls because I find THAT to be bullshit. This fact now amuses me.

#31 Edited by ichthy (450 posts) -

The problem is by the time you hit inferno, it's quad modifiers, which means everything is likely to be bullshit. Frozen arcane vortex illusion with arcane illusion minions? Waller frozen knockback chains? Now you're not even getting screwed by the RNG, because any combination of four modifiers is ridiculous.

#32 Posted by happypup70 (167 posts) -

death is a small hurdle unless you are playing on hardcore. If you are playing on hardcore you have to be as cheap as the mobs, run away, disconnect restart and try again. The game is about being random. Facing a rare or elite monster requires skill and patience. When I hear "that's a worthy opponent" I know I need to run and regroup. So far I can kill them all. I am on act one of hell right now for reference. Sure I die, but at least I don't lose experience, like in diablo 2.

#33 Posted by fox01313 (5033 posts) -

Tried the hardcore mode up to level10 before getting through act2. Between the lag spikes killing me while the fps goes down & a few of the more menacing mobs, I'm fine with whatever the game throws at you though I think I'd rather play the game on the harder difficulties before going more into the hardcore mode.

#34 Edited by kindgineer (2485 posts) -

@Seppli: If you run into a mob that is literally out of your league, leave the game and refresh. I think the sudden death mobs are some of the best because they give me a form of absolution when I take them down, and a sense of fear when I have to back away.

PS: You also have to ask yourself what you believe is a change of "Difficulty." I can easily tell you just modifying a mobs HP levels and Damage levels doesn't do it for me, but this sense of fear that something around the corner can just lay me down is what strikes that trepidation in my heart. Keep calm and Carry on, duder.

#35 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

The only time I fought an unbeatable enemy was when I faced a group of meteor spamming vampiric mortar jailer guys.
 
Rest was doable, but it took a lot of skill swapping, had to resort to fear, charm and hit and run tactics.
Sure its freaking annoying but I like it, keeps me on edge because the game will get pretty dull if I just murder everything.

#36 Posted by GetEveryone (4454 posts) -

@Freshbandito said:

I'm not entirely sure you're using the word 'Perfidious' correctly.

#37 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

If the game includes a situation in which the player is guaranteed to die no matter what they do (provided it isn't their own fault based on previous decisions), that is bad design. The generator is random, not stupid.

#38 Posted by ajamafalous (11591 posts) -
@DrDarkStryfe said:

Diablo II was the same way, the randomizer sometimes screws you over.

#39 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

If I was a Hardcore player, I might agree.

However, I am not, and as such, I actually enjoy it. Sometimes you can get really hard combos and it gives an "OH FUCK"/darksoulsy vibe. It's fun. It's what makes nightmare mode for me. If it wasn't for them actually, I probably would have quit after my first run.

#40 Posted by stinky (1545 posts) -

thing that bugs me, on nightmare currently, Act 2, some mobs have the strangest powers. why can a group of flies cast a spell to make the ground around you into walls?

shouldn't there be some separation for who can do what?

#41 Edited by Seppli (9740 posts) -

Finally tested out the claim of invulnerabilty to 'Smoke Screen', and it's true. Does wonders for my Demon Hunter. I feel way less squishy now. It's a way to get out of utter bullshit situations. Should really be more precise in their tooltips - and it let's me burst for so much longer.

Not that I'll stop running into complete bullshit mobs. They'll still happen, just less frequently - now that I found my 'Get out of jail free' card.

Current build meshes like a motherfucker (only with bow or 2handed crossbow though).

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.