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Diablo 3 Podcast #146: Patch 2.1, Story, and Blizzcon D3X2?

Lots on this show, including PTR Patch 2.1′s big changes, legendary item buffs, Paragon 1000 achieved, the Stash space emergency and micro-transactions, Diablo 3′s story and “demon soul hooks,” and Blizzcon 2014 Diablo 3 expansion announcement expectations. Featuring Flux, N3rdwords and Neinball.

Approximate topic starting times:

  • 2:30 — Paragon 1000 has been achieved. Does everyone have amazement?
  • 5:00 — Seasons and Patch 2.1 should go live simultaneously?
  • 11:00 — Legendary item buffs on the PTR. Looking forward to new items when 2.1 goes live, since Blizzard doesn’t hate the Monk (currently). Hydra build rules, but intentionally bugged on PTR?
  • 18:30 — Story implications of the Black Soulstone and why Diablo is free in Prime Evil form. Adria setting “demon soul hooks” is obviously a metcon, but is it parsimonious with the larger story/lore/plot? Both guests surprisingly say yes.
  • 27:00 — Is Diablo 3 + expansion packs self-contained? Will Diablo 4 be set a week later just continuing the same story? Or a totally new story, set centuries earlier or later?
  • 37:30 — Stash space insufficient = biggest problem in Diablo 3? One guest disagrees.
  • 40:00 — Most fans accept micro-transactions these days. Why isn’t Blizzard selling more stash tabs yet? Votes have shown most fans would accept this.
  • 47:30 — Diablo 3 expansion #2 announced at Blizzcon later this year? Everyone votes yes, though tentatively.
  • 52:00 — There are a lot of Blizzard games out and/or under development. Busiest days ever in Irvine?
  • 54:00 — Bonus secret trick to guarantee Greed’s Domain entrance?!?

  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in DiabloWiki.net provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated

    A fan assembled all six of the class-specific item sets in Reaper of Souls, took pics of them on each gender for each class, and provided views from all angles. It’s quite a useful presentation, and credit to Zeldrin for creating it.

    I found it interesting since I’d never actually seen the full sets so clearly. Everyone’s got a few or all of the items from each set, but usually mixed with other gear, some transmogged or vanishing dyed, etc. So here they are, unadulterated and straight from the D3 artist’s tablets to your screen. All the sets (except for Firebird’s, which adds a source) consist of six items: helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, and boots, so visually they are pretty much apples to apples comparisons. So here are Reaper of Souls Item Sets Illustrated:

    Barbarian

    DiabloWikiLegacy Of Raekor (armory), Barbarian set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Crusader

    DiabloWikiArmor Of Akkhan (armory), Crusader set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Demon Hunter

    DiabloWikiEmbodiment of the Marauder (armory), Demon Hunter set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Monk

    DiabloWikiRaiment of a Thousand Storms (armory), Monk set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots.


    Witch Doctor

    DiabloWikiHelltooth Harness (armory), Witch Doctor set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, legs, boots. (This set apparently lacks the light weight and flexibility of the huge slabs of unrefined steel that the other classes have strapped to their bodies, as both of these weary medical professionals are bent double beneath the weight of their assorted shark teeth, baboon femurs, and coconut shells.)


    Wizard

    DiabloWikiFirebird’s Finery (armory), Wizard set. Helm, shoulders, chest, gloves, source, legs, boots. (Firebird’s has a seventh item, a Source, which is the only difference in the slots filled by these sets.)


    Diablo 3 “Gear Sets”

    This whole presentation reminds me of the hot (pre-game) topic of DiabloWikiGear Sets. We’ve got a big wiki article about them, and “Gear Sets” was a regular news category from 2010-2012, with 29 news items so categorized.

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    Blizzard Battles the Ghost Town Effect

    Posted 12 Mar 2012 by

    The “Ghost Town Effect” was first identified as a problem with Starcraft 2′s debut of Battle.net 2.0. Its legacy has marred the platform’s reputation as many have rechristened it as “Battle.net 0.2″ based on its lackluster tools for matchmaking and socialization. This sentiment was not shared by all, but it spurred movements across the internet to bring change to the interface that was perceived as a step backward rather than a step forward.

    A while ago, Azzure wrote a fairly compelling article that identifies many of the problems facing the Diablo III community when we learned that SC2 chat would be utilized yet again. He posited that a game centered on co-operative play and interconnectedness would suffer without a robust socialization platform. Similarly, Flux posted a lengthy article on problems and solutions regarding the interfaces along with fan made mock-ups of how the chat could actually look.

    Flux said it fairly succinctly:

    I think the problem is a divergence of goals. Fans want a chat interface and channel system that’s useful for communication and socializing, which is why almost all of the complaints about the current system is how hard it is to use. The window is tiny, the text is plain white, there aren’t formatting options, the window can’t be resized or repositioned, etc. Additionally, the sins of the SC2 chat system are assumed to carry over to D3?s, so fans are assuming there will be no support for guilds, no private channel permanence or mod tools, etc.

    But it seems that a couple years of fan requests have finally caused the gears to turn at Headquarters, as Blizzard is beginning to make some much-needed changes, at least for DiabloWikiStarcraft 2. In a recent game update article, DiabloWikiDustin Browder identified “Contact and Communication” as a priority for their upcoming patch 1.5. While I know this is a Starcraft 2 article, it is pertinent to the issues that have been raised by the D3 community.

    Contact & Communication

    We’ve heard concerns about the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty social experience and many of these comments boil down to, “the service feels empty” and “I don’t know where to go to find people.” We have some simple fixes we’re going to put into the chat system to try to give players some additional connectivity. These aren’t huge fixes, but they may help players who want a more social experience.
    First, we’ll allow players to resize their chat windows to fill a larger portion of the screen. We’ll also remember the chat channel you were in as well as the position of that chat channel on your screen for when you next return to the game. This will allow players who want to recreate something that feels a lot more like Warcraft III or the original StarCraft to build their own interface that looks a lot like those older games.

    I would recommend reviewing the entire article on the update, as it covers more about game-matching options and how they will be tackling custom game creation. I find it important, as these changes can easily carry over to Diablo III – or at least prompt a reconsideration by DiabloWikiJay Wilson. The best case scenario appears to be the cross-IP adoption of the aforementioned changes to the platform, as it would waylay the concerns that have plagued Battle.net 2.0 since its inception.

    What is nice to know is that Blizzard is listening to their community. It may take a couple years to prompt change, but they get there in the end.

    What are the community’s thoughts on the Ghost Town Effect and Blizzard’s response to the arguments? Do the changes being made to Starcraft 2 sound like an adequate response to the community requests? ANd most importantly, would these be welcome changes to the current Diablo 3 chat system?

    Thanks konfeta for posting this in the forums.


    Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Controversy, Dustin Browder, Starcraft 2