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A Guide to Diablo: IncGamers site changes – Here’s what we’ve done

Regular readers will have noticed quite a few changes on Diablo: IncGamers since the launch of Reaper of Souls which was the motivation for us to make some of the changes we had been thinking about for a while.

When RoS launched we pushed the first stage of front page layout changes live. We know everyone likes to read their content in different ways so the site was changed to a similar layout to the main IncGamers site. Of course not every one will love that format so in the past week we set to work on the second phase which was giving you the option to read the content in the old format if you so desired.

In case you hadn’t spotted it, there are a couple of buttons above the news that allow you to switch to your preferred format.

change view

Probably the toughest job we had to undertake was the forums. We have used the same forum system for around a decade and there were millions of posts to port over. It was important to us to make sure that threads from the old forum were not lost, we’d have hell to pay from you guys if they went missing :) Remember the great forum crash of 2003? That was not pretty.

So why the change? There were numerous reasons, the next version of the same forum was bloated with features that were useless to the community here. Spammers were also a consideration and the previous software was starting to struggle with the rise in spammers over the last couple of years. We needed a system that could pro- actively catch them and then make life easier for IncGamers moderators to deal with anything that managed to slip through.

The end results once we switched were good. The forums are now easier to use, faster and more robust. It’s taken some time to iron out issues with posts moved over from the old system but I would say we are 95% there with most things now. The forum is now easier to use and has more features to track new content additions.

One of the main issues we had during the change was with your logins. We have a custom login system that ties your forum account to the main site. When we moved forums that obviously broke down and had to be recreated. One of the issues we came up against was the inability for guests to post in the news and members who were logged in seeing a captcha. This was not acceptable so it took a few days for me to sort out but thankfully it now all works.

Regarding commenting on news, originally we had the news post into the community forum but as things move quite quickly here as far as content is concerned, we thought it best to create a separate forum for the news discussions. This reorganisation prevents any community forum discussion being lost in a pile of news. Your discussions are important after all.

hardrock

Trophies

Regarding accounts. Some of you have been registered here for over a decade and we have been helping members who have had login issues since the switch because they no longer have access to the email they originally registered with. If there are any of you still caught in that trap then we can sort it for you. Send an email here and we will deal with it.

With the new forums came new features, and something we’ve wanted to do for some time is highlight pro-active members and also award trophies for actions by the community. Elly sat down over a few days to come up with the points and reward system. You may have spotted the icons on threads but so you know how it works I have posted all of the trophies below for reference.

There are still a few things to do but the core updates are now in place. Your feedback on anything we do is much appreciated and a special thanks to the PALS who have helped make all the changes possible with their contributions.

Threads

Thread StarterThread Starter -Points: 15 -You have started 5 Threads
Topic RaiserTopic Raiser – Points: 45 -You have started 20 Threads
Town CryerTown Cryer – Points: 90 -You have started 50 Threads
ConfabulatorConfabulator – Points: 91 -You have started 80 Threads

Setting the Agenda Setting the Agenda – Points: 120 -You have started 120 Threads

Likes

Primary Source Primary Source – Points: 1 – Somebody out there liked one of your posts.

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Ring of Royal Grandeur Farming Exploit?

You want? You take!

You want? You take!

The DiabloWikiRing of Royal Grandeur (armory) has become the most sought after item in Diablo 3, as its legendary affix is basically mandatory for all end game gearing decisions, given the power of partial Item Set bonuses. The hard part is finding one, as it’s one of the five legendary items that can only be obtained from Act One Horadric Caches. This is good in a way, as it’s the sole remaining item/profit-based reason players have to do *anything* other than RiftRiftRift. (Given the game’s design direction in recent months, I’m frankly surprised the RoRG hasn’t been turned into a Greater Rift Guardian drop.)

Most players hunt RoRGs with brute force, by grinding hundreds of Act One bounties as quickly as possible, which usually means split-farming on Normal difficulty. That’ll work, eventually, but is there a better way? A user in our Diablo 3 community forum named Horadrimm says yes, there’s a trick to it, by following a method players are calling the “Junger Rules.” Quote:

I got 5 RORGS with very minimal effort and so can you!!

How it works: The game has a pity timer, meaning that if you don’t get a legendary within an hour or so it drops one for you automatically. The goal the aforementioned method of farming is to ensure that pity drop is in your horadric cache and not in the world.

What to do:

  • Do not kill any mobs except those required for objectives.
  • Do not kill goblins.
  • Do not open chests including resplendent chests.
  • Do not destroy breakables (pots, barrels, looting bodies etc).
  • Do not pop fortune shrines.
  • Do not kill mobs from required cursed chest and shrine event objectives until the timer has run out.
  • Avoiding a legendary drop in the world increases the chance the pity timer drops one in your cache.

    First off, the guy who invented this was apparently named Junger, so now it’s called the “Junger Rules.” Which is fine, but how the hell did they avoid the obvious pun and call it the “Junger Games?” So that’s what I’m calling it, since I’m all about obvious puns.

    As for the technique, the theory is that since the game has a “pity timer” that increases your chances of finding a legendary item the longer you go without finding one, you can exploit this by obtaining a Horadric Cache after not finding any Legendaries for some time. Hence not killing Goblins, not opening golden chests, avoiding random Elites, etc. This is a sacrifice since it’ll lower your total legendaries found, but boost your chances of finding that all-important RoRG.

    Does it work? Some players swear it does, others say it doesn’t. And thus we’re plunged back into the conspiracy theories that are inevitably spawned by item hunting in a game where we don’t know exactly how item drops work. I think the principle is sound, as the pity timer is real, but I’m not at all sure the stated rules are how it should be done.

    First of all, we don’t know when items in a Horadric Cache are determined. The Junger Gamers say the legendary pity timer works when you find the Cache, but that seems contrary to what we know about how Horadric Caches determine their item drops. Remember early in RoS, when players were storing Caches up in Normal and opening them on Torment 6? That was a real exploit, easily observed since it caused Imperial Gems to drop from Caches found in Normal. (Which made it seem that items in Caches were determined when the Cache was opened. NOT when it was found.)

    Blizzard confirmed that exploit by hotfixing it and adding an internal tag to unopened Caches that tracked what DiabloWikidifficulty level they were found on, and the level of the character that farmed them. (So if you find bags with a lvl 70 and open with a lvl 60, all the items will be lvl 70.) Bliz later expanded on that in Patch 2.0.5 when they boosted the chances for legendary items to drop from Caches found on Torment 2 and higher.

    Furthermore, Bliz recently confirmed that items from Caches roll their smart drop according to the class of the character that opens the cache. It doesn’t matter who farms the cache in terms of what items drop. That matches my experience and testing as well, as I once farmed a bunch of caches with my DH and my Barb, and then opened them with a WD and got almost all INT gear, plus several Witch Doctor-restricted items.

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    Voices Rise Against Diablo 3′s Always-Online DRM

    Posted 4 Aug 2011 by

    We touched on this in a news item Monday morning that quickly went to 95 comments. That post collected early complaints about the Real Money aspect of the DiabloWikiAuction House, the lack of mod support, and the always-connected-to-B.net requirement for gameplay.

    Since then, the conversation/debate has moved on, and largely focused on DiabloWikiRMT and issues of (lack of) character customization stemming from the removal of skill points, the huge simplification of DiabloWikitraits to passive skills, and the evolution to DiabloWikifreespecs. The issue of Diablo 3′s DRM though, the fact that you MUST be connected to an online service to play a game you paid $60 for, that is not an MMORPG, has grown more troubling in the eyes of some.

    I didn’t think too much of the issue at first, since I assumed the developers were going with something like Starcraft 2′s system, where you can play single player offline, so long as you log in to B.net now and then to authenticate your copy of the game. There is no DiabloWikiLAN support in SC2; if you want to play with someone else, even if they’re on a computer right beside you, you must log on through DiabloWikiBattle.net. A lot of fans found that annoying, but mostly in the form of getting disconnected from B.net mid-game and thereby not earning achievements for the mission.

    That’s not going to be a problem in D3.

    Either Blizzard was treating SC2 as a half-step towards their “all your base” plans for D3, or else they figured that since SC2′s end game and long term play was meant to be multiplayer, it would be enough to force people to use B.net for that. Because that’s not what they’re doing in Diablo 3. To play Blizzard’s upcoming action RPG, you have to be connected to B.net. All the time. Without fail. If you disconnect, you are done playing.

    1up.com and ShackNews do a nice job covering the issue, but I think DiabloWikiJay Wilson, via an interview with GamePlanetNZ, really hammers home the reality of the situation.

    Gameplanet: At what point did you decide that Diablo III would be only playable online?
    Jay Wilson: It was a decision we crept into over the duration of the project. A big part of it is just to give the players the best possible experience. We felt like we’d reached a saturation point with online play and networking that prevented it from being a big concern. 99.9% of people out there have internet connections, even planes now have internet connections, so the old argument of ‘I want to be able to play on the plane’, well, the plane has internet now too.

    We felt like there was enough pervasive online technology that the best possible experience we can give players was to offer them persistent characters that can play multiplayer at any time, that we can store forever, that don’t get deleted, which is something we had to do for the previous system because of storage concerns. And also just the enhanced security we can offer in a game that’s only online. A big problem with Diablo II was security, and security is a lot better when we don’t have to ship all the server infrastructure out with the game.

    Gameplanet: What happens if you drop out during mid-play?
    Wilson: If you completely drop? Your character could die, but we don’t have a case where the penalty for that is harsh, unless you’re playing a hardcore characters, in which case I wouldn’t do that with a bad connection. But then, hardcore characters are generally the type of characters people want to play online because they play them for bragging rights. You can’t really brag if it’s on a home computer where you could have cheated to create the character. So yes, you could die, but the penalty for death isn’t really harsh, it’s essentially a small durability hit on your items, which costs a little bit of gold, which isn’t too bad. There’s no corpse runs or anything like that, and even if there were like in Diablo II, they were not that harsh. You could log out of the game and log back in, and your body would be there waiting for you.

    Gameplanet: Has piracy affected this decision?
    Wilson: It’s a factor, but it wasn’t a deciding factor. Player experience is pretty much always our deciding factor. We ask what do we think will be the best possible experience we can give to players, and we really felt an online one was the best one.

    Gameplanet: Did you toy with the idea of allowing offline play, but locking the player out and requiring them to start again for online play?
    Wilson: That was the Diablo II way, and what drove us to this was how bad of an experience we thought that was. It was so common in Diablo II for people to start up a game, finish it, get to normal difficulty and want to play with their friends online, then realise that they can’t actually do that without starting over. We did have the offline Battle.Net experience, but if your friends are on Battle.Net, which is where most people were, you didn’t really get to actually play with them, so that was one of the things that drove us to that decision.

    Despite Jay’s blithe contention, considerably more than the .1% of the Diablo community is displeased with this scheme. A protest thread on the B.net D3 forum has run to 10 pages, and there are several angry/baffled threads about it in the almost-too-busy (I certainly haven’t had time to read all the new threads lately) Diablo 3 community forum on this site.

    Before this week’s information taught me that I would not be allowed to do so, I expected to play D3 online at least 95% of the time, but I was going to make at least one single player character. It’s not hard to see why you’d want to, even if you live in a metropolitan area with a reliable internet connection. B.net outages. ISP downtimes. Periods of high latency. When you’re traveling and your hotel has spotty wi-fi or wants to extort $15/day to use it. If you want to create 50 different chars and experiment with dozens of builds without using respecs. When you just want to play without having to go through a chat room, or suffer B.net ads, or be interrupted by the people on your friends list. Etc.

    For evidence, look at our Diablo 2 strategy forums. The busiest one, for about the last 6 years, is the legendary SPF; the Single Player Forum. It’s home to many of the most dedicated D2 players; people who made made 100+ guardians, who have completed the grail (more than once), who experiment with every odd variant and play style, etc. You don’t have to play offline SP to be in the SPF, but most people there do, since it’s just easier and more reliable than having to log on to B.net.

    So what do you guys think? Is online-only in D3 a good thing? No biggie? A horrible idea? The one thing that may drive you to pirate a hacked copy of the game? Chew it over; our next site vote will address this very issue. Thanks to Blascid for some of the links and motivation to write this post.

    Update: Related news from Mtv with quotes from a befuddled Blizzard dude.

    “Internally I don’t think [DRM] ever actually came up when we talked about how we want connections to operate. Things that came up were always around the feature-set, the sanctity of the actual game systems like your characters. You’re guaranteeing that there are no hacks, no dupes. All of these things were points of discussion, but the whole copy protection, piracy thing, that’s not really entering into why we want to do it. I’m a huge purveyor of online sites and from my standpoint, I don’t look at DRM solutions and go, ‘Wow, those are awesome.’ I look at those and say, ‘Wow, those kind of suck.’ But if there’s a compelling reason for you to have that online connectivity that enhances the gameplay, that doesn’t suck. That’s awesome.”

    He also repeats the usual canard that D2′s SP chars couldn’t be played in MP games — does the entire D3 team really not know about the open realm B.net servers, or that D2 allowed TCP/IP and LAN play?

    I didn’t mention it initially, but this seems to go to a common point; that the Bliz guys are just so insulated in their world of Facebook and smart phones and always online gaming that they don’t realize what a lot of their customers are doing. It came up during the whole mandatory Real ID on B.net snafu, where no one at Blizzard seemed to have the faintest clue that lots of their customers didn’t want all of their real life friends to know exactly when and how often they were playing video games. And here again, the Blizzard employee mindset seems to be, “We’re online gaming all the time and it’s fine. Isn’t everybody?”