Flux, Xanth, and Aahz discuss the major issues, pro and con, surrounding the Diablo 3 Auction House, especially in light of the v1.08 gold dupe bug. Also, how does D3′s story stand up after a year’s evaluation?
This is part two of TDP #93, but the episodes are edited to stand independently. Approximate segment start times:
1:30 — Hacks and gold botting. Increasingly in Hardcore? Economic ramifications of cheaters.
5:30 — Story. Everyone was disappointed by the main story but most loved all the smaller details. Why? Flux thinks it’s intentional; that the main story was made like a Michael Bay film, so anyone could understand it while paying no attention. Everyone tries to explain Magda. No one can.
20:50 — Auction House. People say they don’t want it, but 3 days of AH downtime while they fixed the v1.08 bug had people going crazy. Could players really stand to go back to the barter system? (No. No no no.) Lack of currency for sales? WUG was hell. The AH does a great job establishing fair market value to facilitate trading. Will the v1.08 in-AH item tooltip compare/display change prices and sales?
35:50 — v1.08 gold dupe bug and Blizzard’s recovery efforts. Restore vs. rollback? The gold duping underscored the problems with the AH, and then the next 3 days of AH-downtime underscored how utterly addicted to the AH are so many players.
Earlier this week Travis Day spoke on the same live stream that brought us that great Wyatt Cheng interview. The stream is run by ArchonTheWizard, and Travis joined him for nearly two hours of chat. Travis had a *lot* to say, answering dozens of questions, chiefly about the upcoming itemization changes, but also touching on skill issues, class balance, his development time working on World of Warcraft, and much more.
Many of us found Wyatt’s time on the stream frustrating since he was so into the nuts and bolts of specific issues, but the streamer never asked any redirects or follow ups on those detailed issues. Travis’ conversation doesn’t suffer (as much) from that problem, since he’s more thorough in his replies, but mostly since the interaction is more general. This isn’t a critique of either dev — it’s more about the topics that were covered. Travis speaks more about future (and past) changes on a theoretical or high level sense, whereas Wyatt’s was more about specific examples of ongoing skill tweaks and nuts-and-bolts game changes.
Here’s the stream; Travis joins in to chat around an hour and ten minutes in, and continues until almost three hours.
The transcript below is *not* word for word, since it was a very long conversation with a lot of chat and digression. I distilled Travis’ comments into more direct, discrete points. This is hugely long; nearly 8000 words to cover the 110 minutes Travis spent chatting. If you don’t want to read the entire thing, I broke the blue quote format in a few places to put in a remark or two after the especially interesting revelations, so you can kind of skim down the page and check where there’s a comment if you want the really highlight points.
Will elemental effects do something again?
Travis: Yes, we’d like them to do things again at some point. That was a very cool thing in D2. It’s nice if they have effects, more than just cold slows things. But no concrete details at this point.
Can you tell us about itemization?
Travis: I’ve been been working on Diablo III for eight or ten months, and I worked on World of Warcraft before that. In terms of Diablo 3 items, I really value randomization on the items. I like the fun of not knowing what you’re going to get. That said, there’s definitely room for improvement.
Legendaries should be more game changing. There’s something to be said for having a Holy Grail of items that players strive to obtain. The very best possible gear. Just yesterday we were talking about just how crazy we could get with legendaries or sets. What are the bounds? How powerful can something be without breaking the game?
Extreme #1, anything that makes the player invincible forever and always. Obviously that would be too good. But there’s something to be said for gear that can be super awesome, but is a really big challenge to obtain. Like D2′s runewords, some of them had 6 runes and almost every rune was really hard to find. When we’re debating item qualities, I say that we don’t need to make everything bland just because players might get it someday. Diablo 3 is an ARPG, it’s supposed to be awesome.
We also talk about game-changing gear. Like for instance, what if a full item set granted a bonus of infinite resource? That sounds crazy, but maybe it could be there someday. We’ve also talked about an item that would grant no collision with monsters. That’s something we’re not really sure how useful it would be, but we like the idea of throwing in some interesting properties and letting players figure out ways to use it.
Click through for the rest of the transcript. It’s hugely long and full of good details. Here’s a *very* brief bullet point list of what I think are the key points:
Travis was not working on the D3 team during dev. He moved over from WoW after D3′s launch and is open to making many major changes, including totally overhauling items.
Travis thinks the IAS nerf in v1.03 was a mistake since it changed existing items. They’ve learned from that example and will not repeat it. (See how they dealt with the buggy Black Weapons, for example.)
He’s committed to adding many more play styles and options into Diablo 3. So players could decide to spend their evening of gaming in different ways and different areas of the game whether they wanted to farm for exp, general items, specific items, specific materials, etc.
He’s very focused on greatly improving legendaries. D2 style game-changing items. He thinks legendaries should almost always outpoint Rares of the same item type.
He wants to reduce the variation in weapon stats and eDPS, so that a higher % of weapons would be at least pretty good.
He feels the health globe system isn’t working very well and the end game health system needs adjustment since high end characters have enough life steal to make globes and potions irrelevant.
There are plans for much greater character customization tied into improvements to the Paragon levels. Travis didn’t share any details, alas.
Travis wants to set up Diablo 3 for long term sustainability, so even in 5+ years when there’s not a big team actively patching the game, there will still be fun to be lasting fun. (Quite possibly via D2-style ladder resets.)
One year ago I was going to bed early to wake up and play through the night. I couldn’t get out of work that day but I wasn’t going to be hindered by that. A year later I am still logging in, still searching for loot, still having fun. Diablo 3 and Hardcore have changed a lot in a year, lets look back and see how much.
A fan brought up an issue I’ve been talking about with friends of late; the best Diablo 3 Farming spots in Act One (and Two) in v1.08.
Fields of Misery Caves
Make sure you guys are clearing out them caves, Scavengers Den, The Lost Mines etc. It is packed with mobs.
Grimiku: I was in the habit of skipping these as well, but a couple of group members suggested we clear them out the other day. I was pleasantly surprised with the results, and now I try not to miss them. I like the variety, and exploration aspect they add. I’ve got to agree with some of the other posters in this thread, though, the Decaying Crypt in the Fields of Misery is particularly awesome.
Anyone have a fun farming route that incorporates side dungeons? What about a favorite side dungeon you’re always on the lookout for?
I’m becoming more and more of a sucker for the Act 4 Hell Rifts. Talk about packed with mobs! Grimiku: I keep hearing that these are a lot of fun, but I haven’t been to them since patch 1.0.8. Maybe I’ll try to do an Act IV run tonight, and see for myself.
Yeah give us back the watch tower please. Always full of packs (3-7). Very sad it got nerfed to the groud because we were having so much fun in there.
Grimiku: We’ll pass along the feedback, thanks!
I’ll expand on the OP… almost *all* the caves in Act One/Two are worth doing now. The other surface areas in Act One that have like, Goat caves and such. Go in. They are wall-to-wall with dudes. This was especially true of Act Two caves/dungeons when v1.08 was early on the PTR, and I exulted over the Act Two potential since the surface deserts were pretty good, but the dungeons below them, and elsewhere in the act, were off the proverbial hook.
Something for you, I am making.
Sadly, I’ve come to realize over the past week+ of v1.08 being live… that those Act Two dungeons were all nerfed in monster density. They’re still pretty good, but the density is far less than it was early in the PTR. As a result I think Act One is better than Act Two (at this point) in terms of having more fun areas with high monster density that can be profitably farmed.
Another related issue… the (arguably) best area in Act One and in Act Two, is the area with the Keywarden in it. (Imagine if Xah’Rith the Keywarden was in say, the Fields of Slaughter, or the Keep Level 2?) These v1.08 Act One and Act Two keywarden area buffs are awesome if you went to Stonefort enough to store up a bunch of Keys of Terror back in the “farm Act Three endlessly” days of v1.07, since now you can accumulate Keys of Hate and Keys of Destruction almost by accident. Even if you’re doing it on a low MP level. And that’s cool since after all… can you ever really have too many Hellfire Rings? (Not in Hardcore, you can’t.)
Yesterday, Wyatt Cheng spent an hour chatting on a fan via a Diablo 3 stream. It’s more of a casual chat than an interview, but there are some good nuggets of info, which I’m transcribing below. (Wyatt was followed by Travis Day for an even longer chat, which you can read here.)
The transcript below is *not* word for word, since it was a long conversation with a lot of chat and digression. I therefore tried to distill and abbreviate Wyatt’s comments into more direct, discrete points.
Can we see some sort of self found play mode?
Wyatt: We’ve given it a lot of thought. Right now I’m playing some self found Hardcore; alternating time on that and my higher level Paragon softcore characters. We like the idea of self-found, and of course players can just do it themselves, but ideally there would be some kind of recognition or insignia to denote self found characters.
An issue is trying to do it without cluttering up the UI. There’s a balance between giving expert players the options they want while not complicating things for other players. (Such as with Elective Mode and advanced tool tips.) Do we want another check box on the character creation screen?
I do think it’s a very cool way to play, but we don’t want to force it on people who don’t want to play that way. I know we’re non-committal about things a lot and some of the fans get frustrated, and I apologize for that. But our development process is super-iterative, and we’re always changing things around as we tested them out. And I don’t want to promise anything we might eventually test internally and then decide not to implement.
We’ve talked about making some kind of self-found insignia that would be on every character by default. So you’d create a character and they’d be self found until you traded or used the Auction House.
Gold sharing is another issue. Playing self found requires you to note how much gold you have to start with, so you don’t accidentally spend more than your character accumulates. We’d like to put in something that would let players show each character’s gold individually, but there’s no ETA on that.
Could we see some sort of self-found ladder?
Travis: Maybe. Again, sorry to be so non-committal, as they often are. It would be cool, and it’s come up internal discussions, but he can’t say more than that.
Nice that Wyatt replied with interest, but this desperately needed a follow up question. The entire point of a self found, Ironborn mode is that the characters are separate. It MUST work like Hardcore, to create an ecology of characters who can play together (but not trade) who are following the same rules. If you are in there growing chest hair by surviving with an Ironborn, you can’t be in a game with a character who has 10x your DPS and EHP from Auction House goods. It’s unfair, and would taint the entire experience since your “self found” drops wouldn’t really be self found, since someone else did all the work. So pity Wyatt didn’t mention that, and the streamer didn’t ask for clarification.
Click through for coverage of the hour Wyatt Cheng spent in the chat, with interesting info about upcoming itemization changes, overall skill balancing, lots of Auction House theorizing, and much more.
In a new video from Blizzard which was posted on the Playstation Youtube channel, the development team discuss the challenges they face with the control system doe the Playstation 4 Diablo 3 version. Does it look easy to you?
Click the thumbnails to see larger versions of all these images.
If you enjoy Fan art and want to contribute to this growing community, please stop by the Fan Creations Forum. Many artists visit frequently, posting works in progress looking for feedback and conversation. You don’t have to be “arty” to join in. If you have any questions, comments or have some fan art related news on the web please send me a PM and I’ll get back to you.
Flux, Neinball, and Wolfpaq discuss the Diablo community and speculate on why passions often run so high, and why so many self-professed “haters” stick around to complain and troll, rather than moving on with their lives.
This is the second half of the show begun with TDP #91, but you need not listen to that one first since the topics are entirely separate between the shows.
Approximate segment starting times:
0:10 — Intro and Diablo 3 community overview.
4:40 — Is the Diablo 3 community really that much more negative than other gaming communities? Why do people who claim not to like Diablo 3 stick around to troll people who do play it and to say that every other upcoming ARPG will be 10x better? Why does this not occur with WoW and Starcraft, even in the downtimes for those games? Is it a testimony to the enduring enjoyment (and rose-tinted glasses) of Diablo 2?
12:00 — Diablo 3 didn’t live up to impossibly-high expectations? Would Diablo 2.5 have been more popular? An update rather than a full sequel?
20:10 — Expectations for upcoming changes to Diablo 3? Anything big coming up before the expansion adds massive content and changes everything?
We have a quick 1 year anniversary vote for our Facebook fans that’s asking How long have you been playing Diablo 3? There are five options from “since release” all the way to “stopped playing” – select your option.
The Magic Find bonus is 25% added to your total, and since it works like a Fortune Shrine it can exceed the 300% hard cap from Paragon + item bonuses. My Monk was running 425% in an MP1 farming game once I was fully stacked, when the usual max on MP1 is 400%. And I found eleventeen legendaries! (IMHO 25% is a pretty meek bonus. We’ve been waiting all year. Why not 100 or 200%?)
The experience bonus is better. Just like an Enlightened Shrine it’s granted on the Nephalem Valor + Multiplayer side of the newly-multiplicative equation, which and it adds to those and multiplies all of your EXP bonus from Monster Power and equipment.
The screens below show a brand new Wizard I made to test. She was sitting at 25% to Exp and MF on MP0, but when I restarted the game on MP10 she was at 25% MF and all the way up to +275% Exp, thanks to the 1.25% x 200% for the Monster Power setting. (I dinged to level 2 at the start of the zombie fight outside the town gates, and dinged to level 3 after killing two of the zombies in the Inn, putting her already a full level ahead of normal MP0 pace.)
Your character does not show a shrine bonus, just the special buff icon, so presumably you could double either or both bonuses by hitting the appropriate shrines. And then zoom zoom for two minutes of bliss.
Monster Power 0.
Monster Power 10
Update: Blizzard has updated about this bonus, and there’s good news; it runs until next Tuesday, so you don’t have to sit up playing all night in a mad quest for Paragon 100. Quote:
One year ago today, the gates of the Burning Hells opened and Diablo III was unleashed onto the world. Since then, millions of heroes have been created, billions of hours have been spent in games, and trillions of demons have been slaughtered without mercy. We’ve grown and improved a lot since release, both as a game team and as a community, and thanks to your feedback, passion, and unquenchable bloodlust, we expect the next year to be even more epic.
To celebrate this milestone and the community that made it possible, we’re giving away free buffs! (Who doesn’t like free buffs?) Players who log in to defend Sanctuary between May 15 and May 21 will receive a 25% boost to their Magic Find and +EXP stats. The buff is only available while logged in to the game, but it will apply to all characters as well as stack with other similar bonuses — the +EXP bonus will stack multiplicatively and the Magic Find bonus will stack above the 300% cap!