Blizzard has posted another Lightning Talk, with a developer reprising his quick presentation from Blizzcon onto video for the edification of everyone who didn’t witness (or couldn’t hear) the original live talk at Blizzcon 2015. This one features John Yang discussing 10 key Legendary/Set items that were exploited, or nerfed, or that players asked to be nerfed.
It’s a good presentation; John explains what the issue was with all the items, what went wrong to create it, how Blizzard fixed (or not) the problem, and the lessons they learned long term. The items included are: Shard of Hate, Focus and Restraint, The Furnace, Elemental Immunity Amulets, Mortick’s Brace, Sunwuko’s Set (Patch 2.1), Sever, Shi Mizu’s Haori, Naglering, and Unity. It’s not exactly a Diablo 3 Legendary Items Postmortem, but close enough:
Despite the “10 in 10” title, John’s talk runs just over 16 minutes… but it’s solid content and technically there are a lot more than 10 items covered, since that number includes Item Sets, 5 different immunity amulets, etc. So who is complaining?
I found the video very informative and interesting, and since I know a lot of you guys would rather read in a few minutes than watch in 16, I typed up a rough transcript/summary. Here’s the first item covered, and if you click through you’ll see the other 9 in similar detail:
Item #1: Shard of Hate
The sword was produced by a community design partnership, with fans voting on the name, powers, graphics, etc. The item turned out well and had a great initial response, as it was flavorful, powerful, and had great visuals. Soon though, many players decided that it was to powerful and many requests for nerfing were heard.
Bliz delivered that nerf, and as a result players who were using the SoH logged on to find their characters felt a lot weaker, which is a reaction Blizzard tries hard not to deliver. Ultimately, the item fell into almost total disuse (equipped by less than 1% of Barbarians) and Blizzard buffed the item, taking it back to the original function.
In retrospect, they wish they’d not been so quick to nerf, giving the game more time to grow and evolve.