A public dumping ground for words and pictures. Contact me at ThomasTamblyn@Gmail.com

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Diablo 3 boss modifiers

One of my favourite things about Diablo 3 is the boss modifiers and how fun they are. Molten, arcane and frozen are personal design favourites. On the other hand Reflects Damage and Extra Health are yawnworthy. Naturally I have ideas for more modifiers.

Unholy was my first idea. It came from pondering the elemental boss modifiers and how there's (for obvious reasons) no holy modifier. An unholy monster is orbited by a damaging gold/black flame whose size, damage and orbital distance increases with each revolution. (After reaching a maximum size it dissipates and spawns anew).

Things that suck about Reflects Damage include: no visual effect and a lack of interesting decisions when dealing with it. Iron Maiden was my attempt to fix this.

The monster will freeze in place for a couple of seconds (after a short spell FX) and sprout rusty spikes. While frozen it's immune to damage and it responds to attacks with volleys of very damaging spikes. This gives players something to react to and something that can be played around.

I like the metallic theme and naming it after the Diablo 2 curse, but you could also make it frost-themed as a reference to Chilling Armour.

Horde is already in the game of course, but I think it should be applicable to champion packs as well as uniques. On a champion pack, horde means that the pack has 1-2 extra champions in it. On the higher difficulties it's trading a boss ability for extra warm bodies. Sometimes it's fun to fight a larger number of slightly weaker enemies.

Arcane Enchanted is probably my favourite modifier designwise so I wanted to come up with something similar. Corrosive monsters will lob blobs of acid that slowly expand into large puddles of continuous poison damage before evaporating. This limits player movement in a similar way to arcane sentries.

My fix for Extra Health is to make it more interesting than a passive 50% hp boost. When a Returner monster dies, a spell FX plays over its corpse. After a few seconds it's returned to life at 50% hp. This can only happen once per monster. Similar overall effect to extra health, but more interesting to look at. And the first kill gives players a mini-victory to make the fight less of a grind.

The picture says Soul Drinker but I've since decided that Cannibal is a much better name. is a unique-only modifier. The unique sacrifices its own minions one by one, gaining extra size, damage and hp each time. The idea is that against a Cannibal players should prioritise the minions rather than the unique as usual. And allowing the unique to get to full strength should be one of those avoidable "oh shit" moments that makes the game so much fun.

Summoner is a cross between Illusionist and Horde. A Summoner monster does not spawn with any minions. Instead it summons a pack of spectral minions. The summoner will continue to summon minions every now and then, so players will have to fight through a constantly regenerating meat shield. You'll have to kill more minions in total than a horde, but fewer at a time.