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Diablo 3 Podcast #193: Monstrous @ Blizzcon 2015

Posted 24 Nov 2015 by at 11:12 GMT

Monstrous shares his Blizzcon 2015 experience, including much Developer chat time and even Chicken & Waffles with Wyatt! Also Patch 2.4 and Snapshotting. Featuring Monstrous, HolyKnight, and Flux.

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Patch 2.4 PTR Focused Feedback

Posted 24 Nov 2015 by at 08:43 GMT

Greyhollow Island

Greyhollow Island

Blizzard has posted several forum threads asking for focused feedback on specific aspects of the new content in Patch 2.4. The posts are interesting reads even if you don’t have time for the PTR, and there’s a lot of useful info in the replies, as players discuss early bugs and other issues.

The focused feedback threads ask for comments on Set Dungeons, Item Sets, new Monsters, and UI improvements. Here’s a quote from that last topic:

Buff Bar UI

This Focused Feedback thread is dedicated to revisions made to the Buff Bar and user interface. Several changes have been made to the user interface, as detailed in our PTR Preview here. Many buffs have been removed from the traditional buff bar area and either have indicators on the action bar, have been moved to the new buff holder icon, or removed entirely.

Here are a few baseline questions to get you started:

  • Are there any buffs that are showing up on the buff bar currently that you would rather have hidden in the buff holder?
  • Is there a point during regular game play where you feel you are missing important information?
  • Click through for focused feedback on Item Sets, Set Dungeons, and new Monsters on Greyhollow Island.

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    Diablo 3 Podcast #192: Tech Issues and PTR Patch 2.4

    Posted 19 Nov 2015 by at 08:00 GMT

    Tyr describes his awesome first Blizzcon experience, plus Patch 2.4 discussion, D3X2 renewed hopes, Set Dungeons debate, D3’s tech issues lead to Devs dodging questions, Legacy of Nightmares loses sleep, and more. Featuring Tyr, MJinSpace, and Flux.

    Click through for more details and segment starting times.

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    Wyatt Cheng: A Primer on Snapshotting

    Posted 19 Nov 2015 by at 01:00 GMT

    There have been debates on the good and the bad when it comes to DiabloWikiSnapshotting. Wyatt brings to light all of the things entailed in it. Plus the fact that it is built into the game and how important it is. Time your potions for this one its a long one.

    I want to clarify a few things about many recent discussions of snapshotting and make sure we’re all on the same page as to what that means.

    Snapshotting is very fundamental mechanic in Diablo III that allows the game to work correctly and according to player expectations most of the time. It’s a bit like having electricity in your home; you never really think about it when it’s working correctly, but you sure do notice when it’s not! By and large most skills should snapshot the state of your character at the time your ability is used unless there is a good reason not to. This is what allows you to cast Rend just before Wrath of the Berserker expires and retain the damage bonus. You hit that monster really hard didn’t you? Not only does Rend snapshotting the damage at the time the ability is cast allow for skilled players to time their abilities for maximum effect, it’s also what you would expect the skill to do mechanically—bleed a lot because you hit really hard! As another example, you wouldn’t want to have a character equip a very high-speed dagger, cast a bunch of projectiles, and then switch to a high-damage two-hander to artificially boost your damage by using the damage of your character at the time the projectiles landed. Projectiles should do the damage the caster had at the time the projectile was fired. They need to snapshot.

    All of this is the intended and necessary design of Diablo III.

    This brings us to the confusion we see when people refer to snapshotting as if it were a global bug. There’s a huge, important difference. While most skills should snapshot, some skills and items with long or persistent effects should instead update continuously. To use my analogy from earlier – sometimes the light switch doesn’t work and you REALLY notice.

    Whether a skill is subject to snapshotting is not a black and white decision either. If I cast a 5 second Rend, I expect it to do damage based on the strength of my character at the time that I cast it. What about a 12 second Haunt? Should that damage be determined at cast time? What happens when that Haunt lasts 5 minutes? Rain of Vengeance snapshots your damage at the time you cast it, but what if we were to make a Legendary that made Rain of Vengeance last forever? No, we’re not doing that, but if we did then we would probably want to make it so that each Rain of Vengeance cast while that Legendary is equipped updates continuously. There are some skills where snapshotting is debatable, and there’s a tipping point over which you no longer want to snapshot because of negative gameplay that results. Huge thanks to those who have detailed instances (such as Bane of the Stricken) where a change is needed.

    As you can see, general discussions about snapshotting don’t help as its existence is an important element of the game design. As you continue to play on the PTR and experience new item and skill behavior, please let us know when you encounter specific skills or instances where you feel a skill should update continuously rather than snapshot at the point of cast. Thank you for helping us make patch 2.4 awesome! :)

    Examples brought up:

    Bane of the Stricken – Updates now with your overall attack speed but NOT with the attack speed of specific skills (bracers of the first men). This is something we’re investigating but no promises and we may leave the design as being based on your overall attack speed.

    Iron Maiden – Fixed in PTR Patch 1.

    Uliana’s with Power Pylon – Under investigation

    Chantodo stack speed – Under investigation

    Could you also please address Potions and zoning snapshotting stats, such as Thorns.

    Thorns snapshotting was due to the passive Iron Maiden – and is fixed and should work correctly next PTR patch (no ETA)

    Uliana’s having to snapshot power pylons and spread it around the entire floor is terrible design. Has this been fixed so that Uliana can just be competitive on its own?

    Will investigate.

    What do you guys think of snapshotting now that Wyatt has brought everything forward?

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    Diablo 3 Podcast #192: Early Pals’ Access

    Posted 18 Nov 2015 by at 08:36 GMT

    The newest installment of the Diablo 3 Podcast is now online, a day early for an exclusive preview for our Site Pals’. The podcast will go live for everyone early Thursday morning, but Pals can view it now via this thread in our Pals’ Forum. Support the site and earn perks by becoming a Site Pal.

    Tyr describes his awesome first Blizzcon experience, plus Patch 2.4 discussion, D3X2 renewed hopes, Set Dungeons debate, D3’s tech issues lead to Devs dodging questions, Legacy of Nightmares loses sleep, and more. Featuring Tyr, MJinSpace, and Flux.

  • 0:30 — Tyr describes his first trip to Blizzcon and the great excite of meeting D3 devs over brews in the Slaughtered Calf Inn.
  • 9:00 — Set Dungeons in the words of their designer, plus player feedback. Debate over no perma-HC death in them. Should Greater Rifts get a similar death penalty difficulty upgrade?
  • 22:00 — Tyr’s other Blizzcon activities. Overwatch will be the next huge thing? Earning the Blizz Store gold pin and merch self-loathing.
  • 37:00 — Quin’s interview with Wyatt Cheng and dodged questions… for technical reasons? D3’s antiquated engine can not keep up with the current super-busy state of the game.
  • 46:00 — Infinite free content in D3 patches instead of a 2nd expansion? Mike Morhaime’s plan to win back skeptical fans.
  • 53:00 — What would be the point in an expansion instead of just patches? Major game changes. Tyr expects to (eventually) see another full expansion, based on his Blizzcon dev conversations.
  • 1:01:00 — Legendary Gem augmentation, for all your excess rank 50+ gems. Too much of a “rich get richer” feature raising the baseline so much higher than most players can reach?
  • 1:05:05 — Item Set improvements in Patch 2.4. Tanky Demon Hunters coming soon?
  • 1:08:00 — Everyone loves the new wilderness island tile set.
  • 1:10:00 — Legacy of Nightmares deep dives debate…
  • 1:24:30 — The guests get to opinion on the added stash space… is the real issue technical issues and botting?
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    Seasonal [4] Greater Rift Video Watch #5

    Posted 14 Nov 2015 by at 08:00 GMT

    Greetings all and welcome to the next installment of the Seasonal [4] Greater Rift Video Watch. This time post Blizzcon 2015 we have three videos from players during the season plowing through some greater rifts.

    First off TopTop strafes his way through Khazra and Unburied to complete a greater rift 70 on the US. Next Danta takes a group in to battle their way through a greater rift 85 and completes it to tackle Voracity for the win. Lastly Drahque takes his clan-mates in a 4 man team to tackle and clear a greater rift 86 to face off with the Crusader King for the win.

    TopTop(Jon): GR70 (14:45) DH clear – Rank 1 US

    Check below for the other videos.

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    Wyatt on Changes to Legacy of Nightmares Set on PTR

    Posted 14 Nov 2015 by at 05:37 GMT

    Are your pitchforks ready? Wyatt Cheng has posted about changes to the “no set” set Legacy of Nightmares that are being made on the PTR with bonus damage being deduced from 800% to 100%.

    Hi everyone,

    I wanted to pop in and let everyone know that our next PTR patch is changing the bonus damage from Legacy of Nightmares (aka the new “no set” set) from the current 800% to 100%. Please form an orderly queue for pitchforks on the left.

    One of the things that we use the Public Test Realm for is to test ideas out—sometimes even crazy ideas. In our original images and communication, we had listed the bonus at a decidedly not-crazy 75%. But in the spirit of crazy ideas, we went live with 800% to give us a chance to gather data at radically different values and, eventually, find the value that’s best for the greatest number of our players. We need a lot of creative players testing the limits and the best way we could accomplish this was to turn it way overboard. Of course, drastic changes like this are inherent to what a PTR is used for, and players need to be prepared for these outcomes.

    So why 100%? Well consider the way greater rifts scale. Every greater rift tier the monsters have 17% more health than the previous. If we were to lower the amount from 800% to say, 700%, this is basically equivalent to dropping by a single greater rift tier. One look at Legacy of Nightmares on PTR will show that this isn’t nearly enough. Even dropping from 800%=>400% only represents a change of 4-5 Greater Rift tiers – such is the nature of exponential growth (4.41 GR tiers to be exact because 1.17^4.41 = ~2). The reduction to 100% represents about 13 Greater Rift tiers in raw damage. Once you take into account further optimization and exploration that will happen this seems like the appropriate amount for LoN to come down.

    We don’t want Legacy of Nightmares to become required for top-tier builds. We want it to be a viable option among many. We think Legacy of Nightmares is really going to shine in allowing lots of build variety for “fun” builds. The last few patch cycles have seen a massive number of builds emerge that are focused on activities other than pushing Greater Rifts. We’ve seen creative uses for In-Geom, a resurgence of builds that incorporate Sage’s set, the use of Manajuma’s to run around as an Angry Chicken and many others. It is becoming increasingly clear to everybody that items and builds are not just about what can clear the highest rift possible. What is good for speed runs? What’s good for public games? Or at the end of the day—what do YOU think is FUN? The hope for Legacy of Nightmares is that it will open up space to allow players to explore lots of Torment X-viable builds that play differently than the status quo. We hope to see you invent something of your own that you know might not be the best in the world, but rocks in public games or is a style of play you can call your own.

    So, I want to call on you, the brave PTR tester, to continue to experiment alongside us and find the most fun, most powerful builds and help make the Legacy of Nightmares the best it can be. Thanks for your willingness to work alongside us in this whole crazy process.

    He was then asked:

    Btw, hypothetically speaking, would you consider changing other items/skills, to allow Legacy of Nightmares to become better balanced across the board?

    As it currently stands each class gets a different proportion of it’s power from the 6-pc sets vs. complementary legendaries. The classes performing the best with LoN right now are the ones who draw the largest proportion of power from the orange items vs green. We have talked about shifting the damage for the “set-oriented builds” which, if done properly, would allow LoN benefit more classes and builds since it will always be tuned around the high water mark. Unfortunately these types of adjustments need to take a back seat to trying to get all 24 existing sets to a good place, which already has enormous complexity as it is so I can’t imagine we will realistically be able to do much of this reallocation of power among the 6-pc sets.
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    Devilian Closed Beta Event 3 Key Giveaway

    Posted 14 Nov 2015 by at 01:50 GMT

    devilianA quick heads-up that there’s a beta key giveaway on PC Invasion for the MMO/ARPG Devilian which some of you may want to try. The keys are for this weekend’s third closed beta and if you want to grab one then head to this page. That is the end of this public service announcement :)

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