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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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    How Diablo 3 Auction House Botters Got Rich

    news-d3ah-botters-richFascinating and very long article by a self-confessed Diablo 3 Auction House botter, talking about how he made over 100k Euros in a year, entirely through buying low and selling high on the AH and RMAH. The article is huge and goes into great detail about everything, including the scripts he used, the multiple machines he had running, and how easy it was to avoid Blizzard’s very lacking anti-botting measures.

    The botter’s first attempts were by using a very simple script to scan Auction House listings, one item at a time, and automatically buy ones with stats that exceeded his set parameters, and with a price below his maximum value. This required him to know which items were powerful, what the best stats on them were, how much they’d sell for on the RMAH, etc. It took a lot of work and daily updates to the search scripts, but with millions of players using the AH, many of them without a clue about the actual value of their items, it was shooting fish in a barrel.

    I remember in these months I used to search a lot for rare rings or rare amulets. What still comes to my mind is a criteria searching for rare amulets with more than 7 critical hit chance and more than 50 critical hit damage and buying any that cost below 1 or 2 million gold. I sold amulets with these criteria on the RMAH (Real Money Auction House), for tens and sometimes even 100+ euros. Stuff like 7+ crit chance, 50+ crit damage and a high main stat like strength or intelligence + vitality was considered pretty good back then. Trifectas ( crit chance + crit damage + increased attack speed) was even more rare and expensive.

    Another popular thing I remember botting the old fashioned way was Chantodo’s force wizard sources. These were great because almost no one seemed to know that the property “Arcane power on critical hit” was actually rare and very valuable. So you could just adjust your bot to search for chantodo’s force sources with arcane power on crit and above a specific damage, choose the minimum price under which the bot would buy any item it found, and you were good to go.

    That was the very earliest version of the system, which was active in late 2012. The technology was quickly improved and with better coding his bot became able to search many types of items at once, all with different selected stats and minimum values in them, with different pricing criteria, and he figured ways to keep it refreshing constantly, so it would scan literally every single gold item sale that appeared within seconds of it going on the market.

    On January 1st I started selling those sweet sweet presents. And the results were staggering. The money started flowing in immediately. Before, I was searching for 1 variation of 1 single item, for example any Mempo of Twilight with Critical Hit Chance, below the price of 1 million gold. Now, I could search for 100 different variations of Mempo of Twilight, plus hundreds of variations of all other worthwhile items. In the first days though, I only had one bot account, which I was using to bot some legendary items in the “armor” category. Even with this small sample of all possible items though, it was soon obvious to me that I had to buy a very powerful PC which could run more than 1 diablo window, and would also search the Auction House which much higher FPS (Frames per second).

    He also made a fortune buying items that people mislisted in gold instead of RMT. That seems impossible, but the article has literally dozens of screenshots of spectacular items listed at 150 or 200 gold, when clearly the seller meant to list them at those prices… in EUROS! And no, the conversion rate of Diablo 3 gold to real money wasn’t exactly 1-to-1…

    First I bought one more account and started using 2 accounts which were botting for legendary Armor. Why another one botting the same subset of items? Take another look at the screenshots above.

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    More Diablo 3 Developer Interviews

    Posted 18 Jul 2013 by

    As we reported from the Diablo 3 Fansite Summit last month, the Diablo 3 devs were planning to submit themselves to an increasing number of interviews to give us something to talk about and think about over the summer. I’m sure you guys saw our interview posted earlier this week, and if you want more, here they are.

    The first is a text only interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day, and Kevin Martens. It actually went up a few weeks ago, but we missed posting it at the time, so here it is now. (I blame the fact that it was posted on my birthday when I was very drunk otherwise occupied, and out of town visiting relatives.) The interview can be seen on Diablo Somepage and it’s got some good info, plus an almost farcical number of, “we’ve talked about that but can’t give you any details yet” type answers. One quote:

    Diablo Somepage: There had been some talk about making the end Act bosses more interesting. I guess it comes down to the balance of the elites versus the bosses, what do you want people to be really striving to go for? Is that something you’re interested in doing, and if so would short-term smaller fixes, like letting them give a Nephalem Valor stack, or provide a big chunk of experience if you kill them with 5 stacks — would those be the sort of things that might be considered?
    Kevin Martens: Right, so a couple of notes on bosses. Why you fight bosses versus why you fight elites, has sort of a different balance than previous Diablo games did. Bosses aren’t so much about the challenge in D3 vanilla, as they are about the celebration or the story moment that you have defeated another Lord of Hell. That is different than other games, certainly other games we make right now and other games we’ve made in the past. That’s sort of deliberate; whereas the challenge generally comes in with the elite monsters, which are intended to often be harder than the bosses. That said, every time we make something as heavily scripted as some of the boss fights are, we always think of better versions after we ship, and we always love to go back and fix some of that content. That’s not a super necessarily high-priority thing to do.

    When you get your hands on the console game, you’ll find that improvements have been made to some of the boss fights; some of those could possibly be rolled back into the PC version in the future. And certainly new bosses that we make in the future, we’re going to try to learn from what we did with those ones, and make them better. I don’t think we’ll do any like quick, short-term things, in a patch to just give them a stack of Nephalem Valor or something like that. You’re not rewarded in such a way to require you to go kill them very often anyway, it is still better to kill the elites and rares as per my earlier philosophy statement. But yes, they could be better.


    Elsewhere, an interview with Josh Mosqueira, Travis Day and Wyatt Cheng was posted on Diablo Fans yesterday. I assume it was conducted over the phone or skype just like ours was, but there’s no audio, so just read the transcript. It’s a straight Q&A that got an unfortunate number the “we’ve talked about that” type replies, but this bit about Paragon Levels caught my eye:

    DF: A thing that Travis mentioned once – adding efficiency to the Paragon system. Have there been any talks on what those additions can be?
    Travis Day: Yeah, the Paragon system was spectacular for what it was trying to accomplish. Sometimes random can be a cruel mistress and the paragon system’s primary intent was to allow you to feel like you’re acquiring progression and even if you’re not getting too lucky with your item drops. We want to take that and expand upon it even more.

    We’ve definitely talked about things like taking Paragon and decoupling it from your character specifically and making it something that is more account-over working. So that any time you invest in the game is rewarded and you don’t feel like we’re taking anything away from you if you want to try new characters or try out different play styles within the game. That’s something we’ve looked into a lot.

    Also, maybe potentially adding some sort of customization within the paragon system. Sort of in the vein of a throwback at a Diablo II start location. We’ve looked at things like that. We definitely have plans to flesh it our more in time. We don’t need to design it from the ground up. What it does, it does well, and we just need to make it more encompassing.

    They’ve mentioned shared DiabloWikiParagon level bonuses before, and with several mentions I’m thinking it’s more like “coming in D3X” than “on the drawing board.” I’m not at all sure I like that idea, though obviously it depends on how they implement it. Later for that debate though. (Literally. I’ll post an article for debate and a vote, once I’ve given it some more thought.)

    More generally, it’s nice to see all the new dev interviews of late, huh? There was another one with a streamer last week, if you missed it. It would be even better if they could actually give us some hot new info, but looks like we’ll have to wait until Blizzcon for that. (Which is why I went more for conversation and discussion than just a straight Q&A in the podcast, since I didn’t want to just get a bunch of those rehearsed-sounding “we’ve talked about” type replies you guys are always (justifiably, IMHO) complaining about.