Health, damage, and self healing re-balance

The problem:
Currently health (and defense) values are relatively low, and enemy damage scales comparatively quickly, meaning that your character is much more likely to get one shot by a big attack or lots of small attacks quickly, than it is to slowly lose health and be unable to recover.

This is even more true with the values of self-healing as it is now, where with a little bit of leech and damage, my health is either 0% or 100% permanently, with almost no time in between. This makes the issue more obvious, but also has the consequence of making any on-demand heal almost entirely pointless.

Potions, for example, can’t really be planned and reasoned about - instead, as soon as you lose a bit of HP, you better hit that button before you die in the next 0.3 seconds.
A side effect of the healing situation, , and one I believe will become more obvious when multiplayer is in the game, is that having healers becomes pointless. Why do I need a character that is putting a lot of effort into healing, when simply hitting the mob heals me for more, and faster?

And finally, another consequence of this is that end-game gearing becomes purely a matter of how much defenses can you get - every character needs to have glancing blow cap, crit avoidance cap, loads of elemental resistances, as well as conversions from poison, necrotic, and void damage into phys or elemental damage just so we can resist them also.

There is absolutely no room for gearing for damage but defenses are just too important, which aside from balance issues, is just not as fun.

What I think the solution might be:
Increase health (or reduce enemy damage), and reduce self healing.

There is a tough balancing act between combat being slower and more methodical and combat just being slow and boring. With that in mind, we can imagine that with more health to act as a buffer before death, and less self healing, we will have more room for tactical decisions about the player’s health situation as well as room for active healing abilities.

Another result of this, could be that with less fear of being instantly one shot without any time to react, you will not necessarily have to gear strictly for defense.

Will be interested to hear some opinions on this!


I generally agree with your analysis (my build has massive healing on packs of mobs. so it’s either alive or one-shot), but I kinda like that the game is more focussed on defences than damage, so while I think it could do with some tweaks to the balance, I probably wouldn’t want them to be big enough to change that 'cause I like that it’s kinda played differently to PoE/D3 (nuke the screen before it nukes you).

It’s interesting that you mentioned that sort of style for D3 because I see at as almost entirely the opposite. Take D3 greater rifts for example. The competition there isn’t about who can survive the most punishment, in fact, once you get to a certain point (which is not very hard to get to) defenses are almost meaningless as long as you don’t play bad (stand in bad things, get hit by things you shouldn’t), and instead the competition is your damage output versus the rift timer.

Had about a 20 minute convo on stream the other day about this and how we need exactly what youve mentioned.

More life gained per level and we need to be closer to 3000 life minimum.

Mobs do less damage or we have more damage reduction choices

Nerf leech healing regen all of it to 1/4th its current state.

When we discussed this on stream we were using the node on primalist that gives more more damage reduction and more melee damage at low life but its usless cause your life is either full or your dead on primalist yet the node would be very fun to build around

But then you run into potential problems with other systems, like if you buff life you’re also nerfing protections & block while not touching ward or dodge, infact more hp means the Exsanguinious chest becomes even more valuable due to having more missing hp to be converted to ward!

If you’re going to buff hp by a factor of ~3, you should probably also buff protections by the same amount, which would then have an impact of making protections more useful to ward users since they can get more effect from any given protection affix compared to the unchanged ward.

Maybe we’re talking about the same thing, but I agree with you in that PoE & D3 are more focussed on getting as much dps as possible & killing everything before it kills you (maybe I’m being to harsh on PoE, I’m just thinking of the headhunter ranged builds that clear a screen or two easily).

Nah your going off % protection

Protection each 1 gives 1 ehp. Doesnt matter your health pool

For big hits that would one shot you, yes. But for smaller hits that you can leech/heal through you need to look at the % damage mitigated through protections.

If you have 3,000 hp & 1,000 protection then you can take a 3,999 hit & still live & as you say, 1 protection is equivalent to 1 hp.

But what if you take a hit of 500 damage? You’re mitigating 25% of the damage so you only loose 375 hp, so your 1,000 protection is then equivalent to only 125 hp.

If you had 1,000 hp & 1,000 protection, you’re mitigating 50% of the damage so you loose 250 hp & that 1,000 protection is equivalent to 250 hp.

The lower your hp, the more effective protection is against non-one shots & conversely, the higher your hp (or ward, which is why ward builds don’t bother with protections) the less effective your protections are.

So by tripling your hp without tripling the protections you can get you’re pushing hp builds into the same kind of defensive space that ward builds occupy - protections are less effective so you want to rely on leech/regen/life on hit. But you’re not giving the hp build the same tools that wards builds have in terms of hp per hit.

This conversion is useful but kind of off topic - we are talking more about the theoretical design of the system rather than the specific details of how to best implement it, and should probably stick to that

I know what you mean, but the details can trip you up if you don’t consider them. If you take the theoretical suggestion that buffing hp & nerfing leech/regen would make combat better, you need to consider how that impacts on other systems as I mentioned above.

Buffing hp by itself makes protection less useful which would impact the classes that lean on protection for defence because their protections (from skills, passives & gear) are now less effective while ward-based & dodge-based classes aren’t affected (as much).

1000 HP and 3000 Protections against a 3,999 hit = 1HP
3000 HP and 1000 Protections against a 3,999 hit = 1HP

There are only 2 situations in which lower life and higher protections is actually more efficient and not equal

  1. Against DoT’s
  2. When a source of Life Replenishment is added into the equation.

In All of the examples you gave me you proved it would take the same amount of hits to die, increasing everyones HP pool will not change that.

Back to OP,

Increasing everyones HP pool, Reducing Damage mobs give, and nerfing all sources of current life replenishment to the ground would give the wanted intended effect of having control of your hp(and i like this as potions would be WAY more important) Right now im never in combat watching my life slowly go down. Its EITHER your dead or you currently still Replenish life from whatever source faster than the mobs can do damage to you. You never really notice the middle game(although 1 could argue that the sentinel when it achieves 90% DR sees this to some effect)

Is there ever a situation where you have no life replenishment of some sort? I don’t think it’s reasonable to say “there are only 2 situations”, when one of those situations covers the majority of the game (you’ve taken a hit & are leeching/regening/life-on-hiting back up to full hp).

And you’d probably want to do something to potions if you’re significantly increasing hp, I can’t remember whether they buffed the per-lvl health you got from potions, but they’d need to do something to it if hp were buffed that much. Or make them drop more, or heal over time or something.

Edit: However, I agree that it would be nice to be able to have gameplay involve more of the range of hp than alive/dead, I just don’t think that a simple tripling of hp would do it without tweaking other things.

Ward Builds…
Also there are situations where Life Replenishment is so much that Taking HP or Protections Doesnt Matter since its a 1 to 1 ratio. Prime Example is the Death Seal Hit Damage Lich. All that matters in that build is getting the Highest Ehp you can and its easier to stack straight health than 7 different protections.

Right now there are several builds where you can get Such godly amounts of Healing Per Second or Leech Per Second that it doenst matter if you go protections or just straight hp

Anyways back to OP again,

Im not against giving more protections to everyone along with higher HP, IF it has the intended effect were asking for here of having more control over the flow of our HP in combat.

I don’t disagree, but the details can be figured out after you’ve decided what your intended consequence is. Naturally different mechanics would have to be adjusted, but the overall consequence in my opinion should be that HP plays more of a role, while needing less effort (through gearing) to maintain.

The idea of having people who can focus on healing (and there are many mechanics and skills in the game to support this playstyle) and actually be useful in a group sounds like the way to go, rather than diablo’s version of a healer (which is essentially a buff-bot that can give permanent immunity or permanently stuns all the enemies)

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