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Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 PTR Test Report

I hopped on the PTR last night and tested out a lot of new stuff. This isn’t one of my mega-reports since I only had a couple of hours to play, but I was able to try out new things with Nephalem Rifts, Demon Hunter skills, the gold interface, Cesspools, and more. So here’s my first, quick, Diablo 3 Patch 2.1 PTR Test Report.

Gold and the Gold Counter

Gold counter, lower right.

Gold counter, lower right.

Gold counter, lower right. Gold stacks still just have a little scattered heap of coins graphic, which makes it impossible to discern between 1000 and 50,000. (Bring back the gold bricks graphic!) But there’s a little gold counter on the lower right of the screen that shows how much gold you’ve picked up in one sequence of grabbing.

It’s most obviously seen in one of the new screenshots we got of DiabloWikiGreed’s Domain; that’s what that “692,775″ number means in the thumb on the right. Because the DiabloWikiTreasure Realm = riches!

Golden chest drop.

Golden chest drop.

You get that in normal situations as well, and if you play with the icons instead of item names (highly recommended), every stack of gold now shows a little white bag icon. Previously the bag icon only showed for crafting recipes, (and Follower items?) and they were orange or green, so it’s odd seeing a white one.

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One Life to Live: Greater Rifts=Greater Death
Screenshot031

Greater Rifts

After months of sitting in comfort, death is coming back to Hardcore. Surprisingly, I welcome that. I’ve lost only one level 70 since ROS started, had my cheat death passives almost never proc, and lived in relative harmony with the world of Sanctuary. However in one night on the PTR I was proc’ing SV and running for my life.

My one death pre 2.1 was due to load lag and a group who bailed on a loaded portal, had that not happened I don’t think I would have lost a single 70 as of now. With that background I was curious as to how hard DiabloWikiGreater Rifts could actually be. I was lucky to grab a key only first rift of the evening and I was quickly on my way to a greater rift.

Level one was a gigantic joke and I quickly exploded the piñata at the end and was rewarded a new key to level 14. It was a hard adjustment not seeing any loot but the explosion at the end made it worthwhile. Having had such success on the first rift I felt like the next one would be just fine. Loading into level 14 I was slammed by a pack right away. I was able to get a fetish army up and running to deal with them but not before I had proc’d Spirit Vessel. In a mere couple of seconds I was fighting for my life.

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Diablo 3 – Itemization – “Ask the Devs” Answers (Part 2)

Posted 8 Apr 2013 by

Part two of the second ”Ask the Devs” feature has appeared this morning.  It’s a pretty long read with the promise of more to come in part 3.


Q. Can class-specific items please have guaranteed class-specific stats?

Travis: Class specific items can sometimes fall into a weird place. For example, you’re playing your Demon Hunter, you see a Rare quiver on the ground, you identify it, and BAM! +300 Strength. At this point, you’re probably thinking (or even saying aloud) “Why is that even possible?!”

While we feel that randomness is an incredibly important aspect of Diablo games, we also agree that players need to feel like their next great item is just around the corner. Items can roll many stats that may not be valuable to the player who finds them, and that’s fine—but most items should feel like they could be good for someone.

Quivers rolling their primary stat as Strength doesn’t really play any role here; however, we don’t want to remove randomness completely and have it be a forgone conclusion that every quiver you pick up will roll with the exact stats you want. While we are changing it so that class specific items can’t roll the primary value of a different class’s stat, that doesn’t mean you will never see +Strength on a quiver. What it does mean is you will only see +Strength on a quiver if it came as part of a Dex/Str affix or a Str/Vit affix, which is providing some benefit (even if not ideal) to the class the item is intended for.

The rest is after the break.

Q. You talk about “game changing” items but mention only gimmicks that affect certain skills or builds. There is a reason people choose best in slot items. These items allow for the greatest damage and survivability possible so that the player can efficiently farm as high of a monster power as they can. Since damage affects any build out there to (usually) the greatest extent, would there be any reason to choose anything besides best in slot items?

So how will your itemization update approach literally “Best-in-slot” items? Will you make items to compete with the current heavy weights such as mempo, echoing fury, skorn, manticore, witching hour?

Travis: Best-in-slot is a subjective term. What is the best for one class or play style isn’t necessarily the best for everyone.

Currently, itemization has the problem that it is largely supported by a handful of affixes that increase your damage in varying degrees. Because almost all items can very easily be distilled down to their DPS value, it quickly turns into a numbers game. This is a side effect of the fact that there really aren’t any items that provide intangible benefits beyond raw damage. It is also an issue because there are no items that can improve your play experience or efficiency other than those that simply increase your character sheet DPS. We have plans to try to create more interesting item choices, and I’ve talked a bit about what those plans are in my previous blog, if you want to take a look.

Will there still be a “best-in-slot” item for a particular build of a particular class? Probably, but that’s never really been the problem. There will always be best-in-slot items for specific builds and setups. The problem today is that we have items that are universally best-in-slot, regardless of your class or build. Right now, items that are best-in-slot for a Demon Hunter are probably also best-in-slot for a Monk, and that’s one of the big things we’re looking to address.

Q. The game is filled with white and grey item drops. In practice white and grey items are pretty much ignored as equipable items after level 5 due to Blue and better items becoming available. White and grey items only real purpose currently seems to be to fill out the loot fountain effect, as they are neither cost-effective to vendor nor are they sellable on the Auction Houses.

Do you have plans for making such items useful? All previous uses for white and grey items did not make it to production D3 – salvaging white and grey items, socketing, enchanting, etc.

If you have no plans to improve them can you just remove them from the game above level 10? Or at least allow them to be filtered out of view via a setting in Options?

Wyatt: We aim to provide players with some sort of global context for the full spectrum of item rarity and power. In a sea of items, we want to emphasize that, at least in this universe, white items, blue items, yellow items, and legendary/set items are increasingly rare relative to one another. White items are currently the baseline, and all other items become rarer and more powerful beyond that.

If we removed white items completely, there might be a tendency to feel like blues are the new baseline. Some of you might think, “Well, that’d be really cool! I want blue items to be the baseline.” As developers, we want items to feel increasingly special, so that means some will always be more useful than others. If we just kept removing whatever tier of items is “worse” from the game and moving up the baseline, then there’s the risk that all items will become equally valuable, and that kind of homogenization (while totally appropriate for other games) doesn’t really fit with what Diablo is all about. That said, it definitely feels like too many white items drop right now and we are already looking at some significant changes to these ratios in the future. We’d rather drop less white items rather than removing them or adding an option to hide them completely, however.

We’ve also talked about allowing white items to have alternate uses—for crafting, for example, like you noted. It’s interesting, though, that some people are excited at the prospect of having white items with purpose, while other folks are almost offended that their end-game characters would want white items. If we were to introduce a system that made white items appealing to pick up, it would need to be something that has wide appeal since it affects everybody (and since different players have different opinions towards white items).

Q. Do you still plan to exclude DiabloWikiMagic Find and DiabloWikiGold Find affix from gear?

Travis: We’re still trying to find a better solution for Magic Find and Gold Find. In the past, we’ve talked about removing it from gear, reducing the effectiveness of it, lowering the cap, or even implementing diminishing returns.

The problem with MF, specifically, is that it makes it really difficult to design a game that feels rewarding to all of our players instead of just some of them. When players first started getting to max level and farming DiabloWikiInferno, we used to get a lot of feedback saying “I haven’t found a single Legendary item yet” and other people who would say “I find about one Legendary an hour,” and the difference was really how much MF they were stacking. While we like the idea MF, because of how it allows players the option to customize their character for item finding, we don’t like that, in many situations, it feels mandatory. We also want players to feel like their time playing Diablo III is always rewarding, and having an MF discrepancy of up to 300%+ between players makes that incredibly hard from the design perspective.

So, while we haven’t finalized what we want to do just yet with MF, we know we want to do something, and we want that change to be meaningful. We’ll be sure to let you know about any changes to MF or GF that might be coming your way, and of course we’d love to hear your feedback in the meantime.

Q. Question about Weapon Type: Are you going to change on how weapon type works in future patch? Except the minor IAS speed different from each weapons, current weapons type are boring. Because each weapon doesn’t have specific bonus or ability, players tend to seeks weapon with higher dps number and desirable stats, even if it is a dagger.

At least in D2, blunt weapon does additional damage to undead class. I am expecting some different for each weapon. For example, a spear weapon will increases the range of the character’s skill or mace does additional damage against undead and etc in the future patch.

Also, will elemental weapon going to be useful too in the future? Except cold weapon, other elemental weapons are simply useless except looking pretty.

Travis: Applying innate benefits to each weapon type gets brought up a lot. While we don’t currently have plans to make each weapon do something different, it isn’t off the table. At the heart of that question, though, is the desire for weapons to be more than just a DPS number and that is something we would like to add, but that will most likely come in the form of elemental damage.

Elemental damage is something we are actively trying to find a good solution for. The stat already exists in the game, but currently it’s just six different flavors of the same affix—Cold is the only exception in that it snares targets. One thing we are actively discussing is what kind of effects we could associate with each element and then add it not only to weapons but all damage sources of that type. We haven’t finalized anything just yet, but we really want to make this happen.

Q. Issue: Damage disproportion between physical and elemental type weapons. 
Question: Why did you design physical damage (DiabloWikiBlack Weapons) to be superior damage-wise to elemental damage weapons?

Reasoning: 

I’m asking about your thought process behind the fact that black damage on weapons: 

  1. Gets the bonus from the “+x% damage” affix and elemental damage does not; 
  2. Is used to calculate the “adds x% to elemental damage” affix while elemental damage on the weapon is not taken into account; 
  3. Is bugged – the MinMaxDamage affix adds min damage first and then checks if the new minimum weapon damage is higher than base maximum damage; if it is higher, the game uses the new minimum +1 as the new base maximum and adds max damage to this value, resulting in higher overall black weapon damage compared to elemental weapons.

It makes no sense that there´s damage differences when there´s no additional elemental damage effects (beside cold snare) in the game and monsters have no resists. This damage difference limits our gearing options as comparably rolled physical weapons will always outperform elemental ones.

Here’s two suggestions on how to fix this issue http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7810050948?page=11#201

Wyatt: We did not intentionally design physical (black) damage weapons to be superior (damage-wise) to elemental damage weapons. The reason that they are superior is actually due to two bugs.

The first bug is that “+x% damage” was supposed to work for elemental damage only. So, for example, “+5% Fire damage” was supposed to take any fire damage that you did and add 5% more. If you dealt 100 Fire damage, you would get 5% more Fire damage and deal 105 Fire damage in total.

However (and this is where the bug comes in), instead of looking at your elemental damage, the game would always look at your physical damage, and add a percentage of that as elemental damage. So, to continue with my example, “+5% Fire damage” would take 100 physical damage and then produce 100 physical damage, plus 5 fire damage on top of that. As a result, rather than making you want items that matched the elemental damage types you had bonuses for, the bug simply made black weapons the best.

The other bug is the way the MinMaxDamage affix works. As you mention, minimum damage is applied first and increases the maximum damage to be 1 more than the minimum value. This is correct behavior, since we don’t want maximums that are less than the minimum. The bug here is that the game always attempts to ensure that the maximum damage on a weapon is higher before maximum damage values are even applied, which results in inflated damage amounts. (We actually fixed this bug in the new version of the Ruby in DiabloWiki Patch 1.0.7.)

So, hopefully it’s clear that the current situation was not the intended one—it’s the result of two bugs that had some very radical and significant effects.

Now, this obviously raises the question, if this situation is due to two bugs, why weren’t the bugs found before release and now that they’re found, why don’t we just fix them?

One of the realities of developing software is that a) you’re not going to find every bug before you ship a product and b) when you do find a bug, there are multiple approaches to addressing it. Some bugs are very difficult to resolve, both in terms of time and resources as well as complexity.

In this specific case, we don’t want to change how existing items work, and fixing these bugs would absolutely do that. We know that acquiring and valuing items is an important part of the Diablo experience and do not want to change the mechanics of how an item property works when people have already invested in it.

We’re also looking to revamp itemization, and part of the revamp will include moving to fixed versions of the elemental damage increasing attribute, as well as the MinMaxDamage affix—put simply, we’d fix the bugs for new items. “Legacy” items will continue to use the current (bugged) version. The new versions will likely bear different language such as “Fire damage you deal is increased by 5%” to differentiate from the old mechanics. (That wording isn’t final, it’s just an example.)

Q. Are you going to at least try to devalue the DiabloWikiCritical Damage to be less affecting overall player damage?

Right now it’s just absurdly high compared to normal “white” damage. Every build is centered around these two stats really (IAS is just addiction to make the bigger yellow numbers come more often). This means there is no real build diversity when 95% of players want the same gear, while other “could be interesting” affixes are omitted. Sorry for bad English :<

Travis: There are no current plans to devalue Critical Damage. Yes, it is one of the single largest DPS increasing stats in the game across all classes, but that’s not necessarily a problem. The real problem is that Critical Damage is the only thing that all players want and we need to try to address that. It’s OK to say “Crit Damage is awesome, give me more!” but we would prefer it if some classes or builds wanted to prioritize something else over Crit Damage.

So, no we have no plans to nerf player items at any point. We do want to encourage diversity, but we want to do it right by providing more choice, and that is a much more difficult problem to solve.

Q. Diablo 2 had one time quest rewards (based on difficulty). Most of these were minor but you had the option to craft a random rare, socket an item, personalize and item, as well as destroy a soul stone for gems/runes.

Is there discussion on adding similar features to Diablo 3 to personalize gear? Ideas like make the item bound to account but allow you to put your toon’s name on it and maybe give some advantage of + damage or armor, give a random white/grey weapon and have it converted to a random rare, etc

Travis: These were pretty cool, but there haven’t been any discussions about adding these effects to the game. On the surface they were great, but they did have their own set of issues.

For example, adding a socket to an item as the result of a one-time quest reward feels really awesome, but over time it starts to become more of a burden instead of a benefit. When you have to level a new character through the entire game just so you can socket the new cool weapon you want to use, the shine starts to wear off really fast.

The ones that I thought were “cool” but not really burdensome were the ones that gave you permanent resists, but really those were artificial gameplay—your resists were permanently reduced and then you were given a potion to offset that a little bit.

We do like the idea of customizing your items, though, and giving players more opportunities to really feel invested in what they’re equipping. As Don pointed out in the last round of developer answers, we’re considering a few options, including:

  • The ability to change a portion of a particular stat on an item to another stat of your choice.
  • The ability to augment an existing item with a stat bonus of your choice.
  • The ability to create an item with one or several fixed affixes—similar to the Rare recipes introduced in 1.0.7.
  • We’ve also discussed adding other types of “socketables” with a wide variety of possible affixes that you can put in your socketed items instead of gems
  • Adding a socket isn’t off the table, either.

We just want to make sure that whatever we add makes sense for Diablo III, and aren’t just fluffy mechanics that only make it seem like you have more customization and control (but actually provide little overall value).

 


  • I’m going to ease away from the TLDR,.. but damn that is a huge wall of text.

    Crits, ias,. well,. they added these stats – if crit becomes the new focus they’ll nerf it – regardless if they say there are no plans for it.

    Magic find has always been a weird statistic,..
    It’s no longer needed really.

    • “magic find is no longer needed”

      It is true, and in my opinion it sucks. The balance between MF% and killing power was a huge part of customizing your character in D2. This was especially true because there were some uniques with HUGE MF bonuses, but lacked in the dps category. It was always fun to find that perfect optimization to get the best drops in the fastest time.

      Now in D3, MF on gear is not important and it saddens me. :(

      • The issue is that people were carrying around MF gear and swapping it immediately before killing a boss or champion pack. They didn’t want this behavior to feel necessary, so instead of locking your equipment while in combat or while you have nephalem valor stacks, they opted to phase MF out of gear with paragon levels. To MF on gear I say good riddance.

        • lol who cares, the gearswapping was done by a tiny portion of players and they treat the “fix” for it like the holy grail of the game. Its just another joke on their part. It certainly never had a meaningful impact on how everyone plays the game so they take mf right out of the equation.

          So sick of them punishing everyone just because of something less than 1% of players are doing.

          • Totally agree, the problem is that current team couldn’t and woudln’t make MF work the way it is supposed to work. I played a . whole decade of D2 and when I added 30-40% MF you could really tell good items (rares and legs) dropped more often. Here crap drops no matter what MF you got.

            So no, MF is valuable it’s just that the dev team didn’t want us to have it work like it should because that would destroy the GAH/ RMAH “economy” and therefore it would mean no $$ bonuses to Actiblizz. Clear as day, ain’t it?

    • lol TL;DR:

      “we’ll just sit here for another 8-10 months and pretend like we’re busy doing SOMETHING and fill your heads with the illusion that we’re actually listening to you, so in the meantime keep heading over to the RMAH like the stupid idiots you are and keep filling our pockets with the 15% we leech off you everytime you do something really stupid like buy an item for $300. see you next year, suckeeeeeeeeers!!!”

      brain cells on this dev team are about as useful as titties on a hanar.

      PS: can someone please remove my duplicate post from page 3? accidental double post.

  • TLDR: We’re still discussing everything and can’t provide solid answers to any of your questions at this time.

    source: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8569308133?page=1#4

    • I saw that and thought in my head the exact same thing after reading this dev response.

    • Not even going to bother reading a single word of this drivel. I’ll take your word for it that they are still deadlocked in incompetence. So thanks for saving me some time.

    • Yep you said it. This dev team is still as useful as tits on a bull.

    • Their non-answers for so many things are an ironic side effect of them taking the questions that fans upvote the most for these Q&As. Pre-game they only talk about what they want to talk about, and only answer questions on specific things, and anything off those topics you get generic background info, or else straight out, “can’t talk about that yet.” replies.

      Those are frustrating as we want *new* info, but we sort of realize it’s how the PR game is played and that they’re not going to talk about X until they’re ready to talk about X. That’s less pleasing at this point, since we want them to be ready to talk about everything, with concrete details. And they’re not, but these Q&As are formatted so that they get lots of questions of that nature. In a way these would be more fun to read if they only replied to the Qs that they’re prepared to answer…. though then all the complaints would be that they’re ducking the hard questions/hot issues.

      • Exactly: So why even bother? Why not spend that time/ energy on actually improving the game?

        I know its a bizarre concept but the biggest problem is the complete lack of work ethic on this team.

        They all seem to go to work to avoid doing their jobs. Its simply unacceptable. 1000 Monkeys with computers could have released better by now.

        • +13
          chimpomon

          They bother because they have done a terrible job at communicating with the community and they have received quite a lot of backlash and criticism for it. They also bother because a large number of community members don’t see past the concept of ambiguous non-answers and are simply appeased seeing a blue response from the devs.

          It’s quite hilarious if you ever checked the /r/diablo sub when Travis Day first posted a response, i forget what the hell it was about, the majority of active users there began gushing with glee that “finally, blizzard gets it!” and with every subsequent post by Travis Day the praise would just pour out from them. Despite less enthusiastic posters pointing out that it’s all just the same pony trick that Jay Wilson used with a little more sprinkled empathy, the down-vote army remained in denial.

          Things have taken a rather bizarre turn with d3. It use to be an unending raging storm of vile hatred toward Jay Wilson and all things wrong with d3. Now that most of the very outspoken haters just got tired and many critics have simply given up hope of getting the game fixed it’s turned into some strange fanboy land for all the players that still like the game. Where Travis Day gives the exact same types of answers as Jay Wilson gave, but with slightly more empathetic first person thoughts, it seems many active d3 players look at him as some type of savior for d3. Reality is that nothing has changed though. Truly Bizarre.

          • So the official forums is fanboy land now full of “Hope & Change” posters? LOL I’m almost tempted to start reading it again just to get a laugh out of that.

          • Absolutely agree with you there chimpomon! When Travis showed up I thought “OMG, with Jay Wilson gone they ARE actually gonna do something to make sense of the game after all … And now this Wyatt person whom I respect just as much as Jay Wilson is AGAIN giving us non-answers and non-solutions to such explicitly stated problems.

            Truly bizarre – i.e. how can a team want their game destroyed and rely on a much smaller playerbase for profit????

            And another bizzare – how bad should you be at communicating with the players, it’s your job darn it, learn to listen Blizz team!!!

      • Pretty much what Flux said.

        And I’d see a good bit proof for that in what actually works the other way around: the polls they use(d?) to run on their official website. Instead of polling opinions on the quality or direction of any planned or implemented concept in the game, they would ask their players for their favourite dye color/follower dialogue/area naming/etc. – all that “we don’t care about your answers but need to pull off some happy one-big-family community crap” nonsense.

        Who better to ask about the things tha make players unhappy than the unhappy players? Of course, you’d only ask for that in case you’re actually interested in the answers, which …

  • Every time someone mentions a D2 aspect they liked, the devs seem to have no trouble explaining why they think it’s tedious/boring/burden and mostly “not what we think players will want”.

    But when it comes to their own D3 issues, they don’t seem to know shit.

  • When the early reports about D3 started rolling in before release, I was concerned about 3 things:

    1) Auction House would ruin the game (at least for me)

    2) Reducing weapons to DPS would make them anonymous and boring

    3) Reducing all elemental damage to anonymous color changes would make it boring

    In D2 there were lots of interesting tradeoffs with weapons. Do I want to get a really fast one hand scimitar, get crushing blow + fanaticism, and be a blender? Or do I want to get a polearm with huge range, max whirlwind, and mow through wide swathes of monsters? Or can I stack up enough IAS to effectively wield the slow but very powerful battle hammer?

    Seeing stats like 50 damage, very slow, range 3 vs. 15 damage, very fast, range 1 was fun and gave a distinct feeling to the weapons and how you might build around them.

    In D3 it is just so frightfully boring. 37 DPS vs. 41 DPS. I don’t know or care what the weapon type is, what it looks like, etc. It just doesn’t matter at all.

    Same thing with elemental damage. In D2 Fire = high damage, good average, Lightening = high damage, variable damage, Cold = low damage, slow, Poison = high damage over a period of time. With monster resists, you had a lot of tradeoffs to juggle. In D3 it is 15 DPS of random element. Woohoo.

    The auction house has been discussed to death, but in the end it is why I quit playing. Getting most of my equipment upgrades from the AH made the game really boring.

  • Also WTH with the class specific item answer?! NO we don’t want Int at all on Dex items and we don’t want Strength at all on them. Get rid of mods that aren’t ever going to be ideal for class Specific items so there are less crap random affixes that get in the way of the desired ones. The only situation where I see those combos working is items like Tal’s Chest armor or Inna’s Pants where other classes unfortunately want them because of the attack speed that they offer when little else does.

    • It’s not like having those “off-stats” there is COMPLETELY USELESS. You still gain armor and some resist from the existence of Str or Int (respectively) on your quiver, and having it might be a good thing for your build, especially if that item can’t roll +Armor or +All Res. Not all DHs want to be glass cannons and the ability to at least use some other stats, even if it’s a very small minority of tanky DHs or whatever have you, should still be available. I think the answer there is fine even though it doesn’t even come from the same line of reasoning as I proposed. I think he is just stating that you shouldn’t expect it to be SUPER easy to get an item with absolutely no wasted affixes every single time.

    • I asked the same question too. Why just completely remove the unnecessary stats of a class-specific item? After all, we could still have the RNG effect with our different equipment slots, no?

      Then I figured that there is a reason why.

      They are definitely bringing back the Enchantress and we will get the feature to augment or edit an undesirable stat and add them to the desirable one. (ala Reforging of WoW).

      They cannot say it now because they are probably waiting for the Blizzcon reveal. Maybe.

      • In the answer they said that they’re removing straight up +STR and +INT affixes from Quivers (for instance.) There are also affixes that add two attributes at once, e.g. +int/dex, +str/dex, and +vit/dex to quivers. They’re not removing those, since those aren’t bad mods for the item type, and in fact those are among the most useful, as quivers with up to 300 dex/vit are quite popular and possible only through getting the +dex/vit mod.

        I don’t think that’ll make enough diff on class specific items to really matter, as there are still so many other garbage affixes possible that dilute the pool of idea mods, but that sort of RNG is what makes items in a diablo game tick.

        • I know there are those 2 stat attributes I don’t get why they don’t just up and get removed from at least the class specific stuff. I mean I’d rather have straight up armor and all resist rather than half of that with strength or 1/10th of that with intelligence. The vita is always warranted but you hate seeing it not be dex/vita with a dex item and get int/vita.

          I dunno maybe I just wish other stats were more useful for other classes str did more and int did more for dex classes etc.

          • I would expect that they’re going to remove all of the stat combinations that don’t make sense, eg you won’t get +int or +str, and you won’t get +str/+vit or +int/+str on quivers any more, but can still get +dex/+vit or +dex/+str.

  • In summation, I feel Blizzard made a huge mistake bringing in a different dev team, or at least different dev leaders, to make D3. It seems like they lost many of the key elements that made gameplay so interesting and replayable.

    PS: Blizzard can tell me as many times as they want that skill points were a bad system and caused pointless grinding to re-roll characters. The facts are that I probably created at least 50 different D2 builds. Right now I have one of each class with zero desire or incentive to make another. This is the same problem I had with Guild Wars, and I quit playing that for the same reason. These issues were not difficult to predict IMO.

  • If they had taken half the time spent discussing everything in hypotheticals and played the game on commercial servers with actual characters trying to actually acquire gear for actual progression, they might have clearer answers to some of these problems.

    Players not feeling “like the next good gear drop is just around the corner” would be immediately obvious if they legitimately played the game.

    The white item argument seems nonsensical. They think it’s really important that drops are useful (upgrade just around the corner), but are going to let players ignore a whole class of useless items. Skills/items/customization should combine to make a wide variety of playstyles viable given enough invested effort; what we have currently hamstrings variety instead.

  • Generic Dev Answer: You make a number of interesting points! Although it may improve the game, we are unfortunately unable to make any changes at all because some people have paid real money for their items. Please keep up the futile suggestions. You have given us so many good ideas!

  • Remember when all the attributes were intended to be potentially useful for all the classes? Ahh those were the days…

  • To me, an interesting question for fans and Blizzard would be:

    “What enhancements/changes would be required for a D3 expansion to sell well?”

    Currently I do not plan to buy the expansion whenever it comes out. Things would need to change a lot – probably more than Blizzard is willing to change.

    I wonder if sales projections will be bad enough that they will instead go for a re-branding release and make something like “Diablo Infinite” (AKA Diablo 4)? They could keep some of their investment, such as the graphics engine, artwork for armors, weapons, etc. Massively overhaul the underlying systems to be more interesting, remove the AH, and apologize to no-one because it is not an expansion.

    • PS: Mods – would you consider making a poll with this sort of question? I’m curious what the community thinks re: an expansion.

      Something like:

      What enhancements/changes must be in a Diablo 3 expansion for you to buy it?

      A) New classes, skills, and Acts (content)
      B) The above plus minor changes to the game systems, such as how magic find works or how often legendary items drop
      C) The above plus major changes to the game systems, such as the option for higher drop rates in return for no access to the Auction House
      D) Other changes required
      E) Will not buy any expansion

  • My hope grows for this game when I initially see the devs have something to say. Then I read them…

  • I can’t read this shit. The whiners of the community, and the softness of the devs may finally ruin the game.

    ITS FUCKING RNG YOU IDIOTS. YOU CANNOT MAKE CLASS ITEMS ROLL THE RIGHT STATS FOR THE CLASS, ESP WHEN THE DAMN AH IS INFLATED ANYWAYS.

  • I don’t know if it’s the questions people are asking, the questions Blizzard elects to answer, or the idea of a “Dev Q&A” on the whole, but so far through three Q&A rounds (well, technically two), I’m really unimpressed with the devs’ ability to relay their thought processes.

    It’s one thing for me to disagree with the design choices they make, but it’s another to feel like their decision-making process is an undecipherable black box. For example, how did they get to this point before deciding that elemental damage should have its own unique effect? How did that not come up earlier? Why wasn’t that question answered? Similarly, it’s pretty blatantly clear that “adds X% to damage” is not at all the same as “increases damage by X%” so I don’t understand how that mistake was made and blatantly carried through. Explanations for that would be of more interest to me.

    Overall, though, the only things I’ve learned through these Q&As have been vague platitudes about what they feel about certain things. Instead I want to see a defense or critical evaluation of the stat/affix system as it stands right now — where they think it succeeds and where they think it fails. I’d rather have them produce design documents and self-evaluations/scorecards, because we can get vague platitudes from the CMs; I’d expect something a little more cranial and introspective from the devs.

    • +1
      DrVictorinox

      I think it all boils down to their infinite need to feel that they have to balance everything. It is very hard to balance different play styles into the equation that you get when there are play style changing affixes. So, what is the solution, make everything very bland and uninspiring but at least the excel kiddies at Blizzard can model that everything is happening and make sure that there is no whining on the forum.

  • So they’re still en route discussing workarounds instead of adressing the core design issues responsible for workarounds being needed… Well, well … …

  • In short, nothing is off the table

  • Tldr; we won”t change items significantly until the expansion to avoid a class action lawsuit from rmah users.

    The answers regarding known bugs with black damage weapons are especially disappointing, as are the comments about weapon type and elemental bonuses being discarded (except cold).

    • I hate RMAH conspiracies, but I think you’re right. Black weapons are bugged, fix them. This isn’t reinventing the item system, this isn’t something that needs an expac.

  • I just feel like Blizzard really messed up D3 in every way possible. Every bad thing they could have possibly done to the game, they did. I don’t know what else to say or think, except that I don’t think a few itemization changes are enough to save the game at this point. Elemental damage being interesting would have been nice from the beginning.

    • I suspect stuff like real elemental damage and weapon ranges were planned but got dropped due to being so far behind schedule-wise.

      I suspect a lot of the development time was spent on the new skill system and auction house, neither of which I like.

      IMO, they should have kept most of the D2 systems for combat, itemization, skill trees, etc. If D3 had been all new classes, skills, storyline, graphics, and content it would have been done 2 years earlier and would have made me a lot happier.

  • +17
    DerpMcGee

    I’ve played d3, poe, and tl2, and tl2 is by far the most enjoyable, especially with the synergies mod. You can really tell the people who made torchlight 2 know what makes an arpg fun. Although d3 has very fun combat, the lack of skill trees, choice, and poor itemization killed it for me.

    D3 had great programmerd but crappy game designers who tried to reinvent the wheel. Now they are having to backtrack becuase there philosophical musings on the arpg genre were both unnecessary and wrong. I strongly suggest tl2, its $10 on steam and has satsfied my dungeon crawling needs.

    • Hey I’d love to play TL2 but it’s not available for MAC yet!!!

      We MAC users are waiting!

  • Aaaaaah! So we’re finally growing tired of beating around the bush, hm?
    However, “both: time, resources and complexity” – seriously, Wyatt!?

  • Why do they even bother with these? All they do is evade questions and spout the usual PR bullshit.

  • 1st answer bugs me. Why do they consider Str to be worthless to demon hunters, but Dex/Str affix to be acceptable. None of the stats are 100% worthless, they all fall on a gradient, but drawing the line HERE doesn’t make much sense. Here’s how I would order stat affixes in value:
    __Int < Str < Vit < Dex/Int < Dex/Str < Dex/Vit < Dex
    Int gives you a teeny tiny bit of all resist, and Str gives you a little armor. Int is so weak it's basically worthless, but arguably it does help you. Seems like they really should get rid of all of the above except Dex and Dex/Vit if they're going to get rid of any. This is just classic Blizzard though. They find a change that should be made, but they don't commit to fully making the change and instead you get stuck with a ghetto half-solution that sortof makes things better but not really.

    2nd answer: agree with the Blue in some sense, but I doubt they will truly succeed. Right now the game boils down to kills per minute, which is a factor of aoe dps and move speed. They might come up with items to increase pet dps or add additional effects to abilities, but in order for these to become BIS to certain builds, they have to increase dps or decrease travel time. Either way, this is going to boil down to numbers game anyway, and there will still be a BIS. For instance, if you make 1 item that's BIS for a CM Tornado Wizard and another item that's BIS for an Archon Wizard, both in the same slot, the Archon item is probably superior. Using an Archon build means better exp and item farming rate outside of infernal machine. In order for the CM Tornado BIS item to be good, a Wizard playing that spec would have to have some advantage over the Archon Wizard with their respective BIS item. Again, this will just boil down to kill rate, so they're really not accomplishing their stated goal by diversifying items. What they CAN do is make it so items modify the way an ability behaves beyond a rune, or give an effect that's more significant than fire walkers or manajuma's such that it actually changes the way you play.

    3rd answer is terrible. White items aren't just useless, they're ANNOYING. I pick up at least 2 white items every act 3 farm session just to have to pick them out and throw them back on the ground. They aren't even worth vendoring, they aren't salvagable, and sorry Blizzard, but white items were NEVER the baseline. White items are basically the tutorial of the tutorial of what items are for the game. "Here's a hat, put it on. It gives you stats." Then you find blue items, which are basically white items that vary in more than just damage and armor values. Blue items make up the majority of your equipment when leveling and are good to vendor and salvage, whereas rares (which aren't rare at all, just uncommon pre-nephalem valor and common after NV) are special. Once you get to 60, rares ARE the baseline and blues are trash. Blue items are barely worth vendoring but are still worth salvaging at 60. They, however, are no longer the baseline but simply crafting matts or gold with an extra hassle. Blizzard did the same thing in WoW where gray items are used in the single digits, then greens used while you level, then blues once you get max level; however, after the 1st expansion they even went further and lessed the difference between green and blues while making purples the standard for level cap. Blizzard should really understand that grays and blues do become outdated because of their design choice, and it would be a CONVENIENCE feature for players to have the option of hiding these tiers from their display. There's no need to remove gray items, just let us hide gray, blue, or yellow items IF WE CHOOSE. Now if they do give white items a use, then this isn't as necessary, but if that ends up just being the ability to salvage them for an even smaller amount than comes from blues, they shouldn't even bother.

    4th question: MF and GF are stupid and should go. The rewards for monster power are fine. The rewards for paragon level are a bit annoying, because of how long the grind to max level it, but they're acceptable. Please remove MF from gear completely.

    5th question brings up an issue I have with the game. There's really no reason to have damage types at all. As I said before, Blizzard saw how immunities were more harmful than good to the fun of the game, but chose to leave in resistances. The fact that skeletons take reduced damage from poison doesn't make my choose to use a fire attack on them instead, because I can't change my skills thanks to nephalem valor + skill change cooldowns, and I don't usually have room in my 6 skill build for redundant attacks of different elements. Resistances, and thus damage types, are basically a non-factor. The fact that cold damage was brought up as superior is laughable. Cold damage does snare, but it has lower damage to compensate, so most people actually wouldn't want cold damage probably. Black damage is the real winner of the game and dwarfs all the other types. This is another feature of D3 that should really be removed completely. I am okay with them adding additional effects to the different weapon types. It would definitely make rares more interesting, but also might make for some interesting new legendary item choices.

    7th question: it would help if they removed the reliance of critical hit chance from so many skills and runes. Barbarians, Wizards, and Monks all heavily rely on critical hits to either extend their Wrath of the Berserker, reduce their cooldowns and keep arcane power full, or spawn tornados. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples. Adding other options besides critical chance is unlikely to be done well. For one, if they don't change the crit-reliance of skills, crit skills will probably still dominate. 2nd, good critical damage requires seeking two different affixes on gear (and socket on weapon). If they add a single affix that is supposed to be a strong alternative to critical damage, it will be too easily to use effectively because every small amount helps. Critical hit change and critical hit damage both make the other more effective.

    Last question: Blizzard really needs to make sure anything they add like this is repeatable. In softcore, there's no draw to level characters again, so having a 1-time quest reward be anything significant is a mistake. Hopefully they can add something similar to infernal machine or gem socketing for these effects if they make it into the game.

    • “Why do they consider Str to be worthless to demon hunters, but Dex/Str affix to be acceptable?”

      because it’s thanks to their idiotic “weapon damage directly affects spell damage” and “Dexterity boosts spell damage for Demon Hunters”. that’s why a +300 Strength quiver found by a DH goes to the trash.

    • Isn’t 300 INT the same as 300 STR, since 300 Armor equals 30 All Res?

      • in lamens terms yes, but in practice its on a sliding scale, and its more that your resists and armor should stay on a 10:1 ratio, so if your resists and armor are exactly at a 10:1 ratio, then yes, 10 armor = 1 resist.

        • That’s how I understand it as well, which is why it confused me that Vileguy prioritized STR above INT. Effectively, they are equally good for a DH.

    • Also, reintroducing secondary effects for elemental damage (remember, their original design had this) would indeed encourage constant skill switching, which would go against Nephalem Valor, but you could still capitalize on them by weapon switching (or equipment switching, if you have armor with that buggy +elemental damage affix). Of course, then a weapon switch hotkey would also come handy…

      In any case, I feel that at this point they should do anything they can do to make items more interesting.

  • Reading these sometimes feels like reading about a game where the developers are still working on core design ideas, not a game that was shipped nearly a year ago.

    • Yeah, in addition it sounds like a small group of guys who got left with the flaming post-Jay remnants and are trying to figure out what they can realistically do. D3 is no doubt a ton of code, and most of the devs have probably been pulled off to work on D3 port to PS3/4 or Titan.

  • Why does it feel like every time they release these Itemisation Blogs it feels like a brain storming session from a ARPG 101 Brainstorming Tutorial session? They really don’t know what they’re doing…. Amazing!

  • +1
    steveman0

    “We also want players to feel like their time playing Diablo III is always rewarding, and having an MF discrepancy of up to 300%+ between players makes that incredibly hard from the design perspective.”
    There was certainly no other game that had this same issue and rebalanced accordingly to make the system work really well. Nope, not one. … ~_~

  • Only reading the first part…”players need to feel like their next great item is just around the corner”…FAIL.
    An act 3 mp 10 lvl 63 1h mighty weapon with 250dps with +increase health from globes, +int, +dex is a FAIL.
    How the hell do you expect players to feel they will find a huge item around the corner if there are 1.000.000 rares and none of them are worth of selling neither using?
    Fail Fail Fail…

    • My gosh every answer piss me more…Find a good item on the next corner? Shitty stats being useful? Grey, white, items being useless? Yep and rare and legendaries…
      10+1 years and you cannot see AH will make devalue every item you find…remove AH to create chat spam “more” and 3th party sites…Just create a Ironborn mode, improve the good items drop rates/itemization…

      D3 does not feel like you will find an upgrade on the next corner, that’s for sure…

  • As much as I try to stay positive I just can’t deal with this shit.

    “When you have to level a new character through the entire game just so you can socket the new cool weapon you want to use, the shine starts to wear off really fast.”

    FFUUUU.. SO INFURIATING! They twist everything into “what a burden” and in the end there’s no reason to play the game at all. As artificial it may be, at least it’s something to do. Exactly how “shiny” is it to run act3 for the 8000th time?

    Also just put filters in the options for all item types will you. Yes. All items. You heard me. WHY NOT? Stop talking and do it. It cannot be difficult. Don’t give me crap about accessibility. A couple new checkboxes in the options menu doesn’t make it any harder for anyone. While you’re at it how about those buff icons.. ah, what’s the point.

    These trivial things are taking months/years and I’m positive a ton of players would find them extremely welcome additions. I can’t really see a valid reason why anyone would feel opposed to them if they can be easily switched on/off. Just dumb.

    I can’t believe a game I haven’t even played in months can make me this mad and frustrated.

  • Let’s just hope they listen to the community and make D3X what D3 should have been! I guess we just have to wait and see if they can fix the game, luckily we will see D3X within the next…. 3 years?

  • I wonder if they’ll ever add a /nopickup equivalent.

  • While I’m actually still enjoying the game, I would totally support the shuttering of the AHs. Both of them. I feel like, while initially the idea was interesting, it’s the biggest problem with the game.

    Why go hunt? Buy off the AHs! I personally refuse to sell or buy from it and just play more purist, but it’s annoying with it looming over or I play with folks and they’re just steamrolling with high end gear they didn’t find themselves.

    I’m all for trading, but…buh. Damn AH >_<

  • Each patch is better than the last, but they still need a full blown expansion/do-over. Considering some of the total game revisions WoW has gone over (removal of spell power, throwing out talent trees, arena ratings, etc), I think at least SOMEBODY in their offices has some, ahem, guts. Whether those people can rescue this mess from its Jay Wilson curse is a big question.

    Big, total revisions they should at least entertain:
    -Get rid of MF gear, PERIOD. Should have never made it past D2.
    -Get rid of Crit damage, at least on most gear. It’s way too powerful.
    -Change main stats from percentage increases to linear increases. When you have so many DPS stats based on percentages, the gulf between good gear and great gear grows out of hand too quickly.
    -Make most end gear bind on account or on character. The issue isn’t the AH, it’s the lack of item sinks, even in D2.

    • I completely agree. This game is just dying for a make-over. I get the feeling Travis Day is just biding his time until the expansion when they can wipe the slate and start anew. I just don’t see how else they’re going to do this.

      • Oooh I sooo much hope you are right. But sadly at Blizzard’s pace we will have to wait quite a while for an exp…

    • Agree 100%

      MF was interesting in D2 because you could also farm things like runes or craft gear that required no MF to farm in the first place. Skills also had inherent damage, so a MF character made sense.

      MF is incompatible with the D3 game system, and paragon levels feel like a burden. They discourage alt play, which is what keeps the game fresh — swapping classes.

      Item binding or some compelling item sink was desperately needed in D2 and arrived in the form of ladders. The problem is even worse in D3, as it is magnified by the AH. It is great to have convenient trading, but lack of binding items is a huge problem and makes farming gear less rewarding the longer the game is out.

      Crit damage stat is neat for PVE gameplay, but imho too random for PVE and horribly broken for PVP. Damage variance is way too high and makes any spell that breaks up damage into ‘ticks’ very good for smoothing out the spikiness. Hence, the dominant builds and characters today (CM wiz, barb, cyclone monk, etc).

      Unfortunately, these huge issues are not easily fixed so late in the release. I don’t think they will attempt to fix these problems until expansion, and even then, I have big doubts they will do it correctly.