“Black” Diablo 3 Weapons *Not* Going to be Nerfed

One long-time bug with Diablo 3 weapons is that the “black” weapons, weapons that have +minimum and +maximum physical damage calculate their damage incorrectly, giving a bonus to DPS compared to the majority of weapons that have some sort of elemental damage. This bug was mentioned in one of the bullet points on the v1.07 known issues, setting off much player worry and debate about what would happen to existing weapons if this bug were suddenly fixed.

MinMaxDam Affix is calculating the damage bonus on weapon incorrectly.

There must have been debate amongst the developers since no reply was swiftly forthcoming, but now one has been made and it should reassure those concerned.

We do our best to ensure that we alert the community in advance of game changes (just like we did for the Legendary Item Improvements), and in this particular case, I wanted to jump in to reassure everyone that “black weapons” (i.e. weapons with the MinMaxDamage Affix) are not going to be nerfed in patch 1.0.7, and we have no plans going forward to nerf them.

Known Issues are just that, bugs that we know about. They are NOT necessarily bugs that are going to be fixed. The MinMaxDamage bug has been a bug known to us since July of last year, however, we did not want to fix a bug that would effectively nerf a large number of existing weapons. That’s why we did not fix the bug in any previous patch that we’ve released since the bug was found, nor are we fixing it in patch 1.0.7. Currently, the plan is that at such at time that we address the bug, the bug fix will only apply to newly created items, so as to not adversely affect existing items.

I’m still curious though, in the hypothetical scenario that this bug is fixed, will it be a buff or a nerf? I think the theorycrafting folk would really appreciate clarification on what the expected proper behavior of the minmaxdam affix is.
If and when we consider making adjustments to the MinMaxDamage affix (whether it be a bug fix or some other change), we’ll be sure to let you know in advance or otherwise provide as much warning as possible. We haven’t decided on anything yet, though, or really even discussed much in the way of possible changes. So, while I definitely admire theorycrafting and appreciate why you’re posting the hypothetical, there’s not a lot more clarity to provide other than what I’ve already given. It’d just be speculation at that point, and that’s not a very good role for me or any Community Manager to really serve.

Players often point this out, but it’s very clear how the Auction House works to cement item features in place, giving the developers much less freedom to remark and rework and remodel their game world. We’ve seen much complaining about bugs being fixed that lower character skills, but at least those can be changed easily enough and didn’t cost millions of gold on the AH. If some whole class of weapons ever gets nerfed (or another class gets a huge buff and brings about devaluation of what’s currently great) there will be a far greater uproar.

It’s going to be very interesting come D3X (or perhaps a big patch sooner then that) when we get new classes and acts and game features, and especially when entirely new ranks of items come in that blow all the current gear away. (I’m curious to see how much v1.07’s potentially-uber, DiabloWikiBoA crafting recipes cause the AH prices for Amulets and chest armor to drop.) Such changes will necessarily greatly devalue all current items, which doesn’t mean much if you just play for fun and want an opportunity to find newer and cooler stuff… but can be a real issue if you’ve paid a lot of RMAH for your gear, or have plans to sell gear and cash out.

Are you guys eager for newer, bigger, better gear, or will you lament all your hard-won stuff becoming less effective and valuable, if only in comparison?


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  1. And this folks, is why tieing the RMAH to the itemzation is a bad idea, if anyone has problems with the itemzation, dont expect it to be improved anytime soon. Blizzard’s hands are tied.

    • Oooo Conspiracy theory time. What else is there alien captain?

      • I wouldn’t call this a conspiracy. Any company wants to avoid making its customers angry. When you nerf things customers paid for, people will (rightly) get angry. Therefore, a company wouldn’t want to nerf things customers paid for. It’d be pretty weird if Blizzard *wasn’t* thinking about these kind of ramifications when considering changes/fixes.

        • But, but, Blizzard was one of those companies that don’t give a damn about their customers!

        • ye pigeonholing the entire community into 1 out 3 of valid choices clearly is the better decision for the health and longevity of the game.

          lets have 7 elemental damage affixes which offer no skill synergy or combat mechanics ; except one of these elemental effects is just plain better for no conceivable reason whatsoever 😀 –

          we know about this bug and its ; innate superiority since July, though we also decided to not compensate other elemental damage affixes in any way or form – because that might take effort and – also we have to first ask everybody at Blizzard and their Mom’s for a thumbs up on such a drastic decision.

        • Actually in this situation it doesn’t need to be a limiting feature. You know going into buying something on the RMAH that at any given time it can be nerfed or buffed. It’s part of the gamble when you buy something at all in this game regardless if it’s gold or $$. If you spent $500 on an item and a week later Blizzard changes or nerfs the item it’s not Blizzard’s fault you felt it was worth the money. They didn’t set the price on that item. It’s the same idea as purchasing stocks. The price of the stocks rise and fall and it is out of your control, this is the same style of gamble you make when buying something for money in a volatile game.

  2. Isn’t there a disclaimer warning you that item stats may change at a moment’s notice?

  3. This argues against the statement, that if you don’t like the auction house then don’t use it. Well, looks like it still affects my game.

    • Agree Vlood. The “don’t like the auction house then down use it” argument has always been bogus. Items drops have been massively reduced because of the AH, the devs have said this many times. Further, the itemizaton system needs a complete replacement, not even an overhall will be enough. But again because of the wonderful AH we’ll not see it for 1-2 more years.

  4. Why are they called “black” weapons?

    • No element. They’re black because they don’t have the background graphic behind the dps. I guess.

      • Yeah, because cold weapons are blue, arcane are purple, poison are green, etc. So no elemental = no color = black. Not the most imaginative name, really, but these things start somewhere and just perpetuate themselves.

    • and they’re the best weapon to have when if you have other items that grant extra elemental damage

      like Zunimassa’s Trail boots with 7% poison damage
      or Tal Rasha’s Allegiance (7% elemental)
      or Triumvariate (5%/5%/5%)

      because the extra % damage is calculated from the non-elemental damage on your weapon

      so if you have a black weapon that has 100 damage then Tal Rasha’s would give you 7% of 100 the full 100

      but if your weapon was 100 damage (25 physical/75 elemental) then Tal Rasha’s would give you 7% of the 25

  5. Being hesitant to change items due to the RMAH is a cop out by Blizz, especially since that should be the business model — every once in awhile you release shiny new items to invigorate stagnant RMAH sales. Especially since they’ve already done two patches that dramatically affected item prices (IAS and leg patch) and all items lose worth over time as the market gets flooded anyway.

  6. The design is a bit dumb in some cases. I.e. my witch doctor is using manajuma´s carving knife one of the best weapons for a wd imo, yet since it adds poison dmg i don´t get the 8% extra dmg i would have gotten with zuni boots had it been a socalled black weapon.

  7. I’m wondering how they’ll implement the expansion. Will they create a new “realm” for it, meaning that there would be a clean slate (and clean AH) for everybody or will they just integrate it to the existing realm?

    I’d actually prefer the former. Come to think of it, I’m not even sure how they could integrate the expansion to the current game because it will surely have new items which probably aren’t usable by people playing the base game. So the AH would be a (an even larger) mess.

    • That’s an interesting question I hadn’t thought about. It does seem to me like the easier solution from a management perspective would be to allow people to port their existing characters over into a new expansion realm and leave all other things separate.

      • I am guessing there will be a one way port from vanilla to expansion. You can move character + its inventory with a click.

        Separate stashes for vanilla and expansion.

        Big question is how gold is moved, if at all. Probably a separate interface to 1 way move gold from vanilla to expansion. Would be very interesting if gold doesn’t port 😉

  8. This game is such BS. Fix the damn bug.

    • They will fix it but as they say, in a way that doesn’t affect existing weapons. If they fix it now, imagine how many people will rage and clog their support lines. How do you explain this fix to casual players? Why did my dps go down, but my friend’s stayed the same?

      It’s like a car that has a bug in the computer that allows it to get better gas mileage. It was unexpected and only affects certain cars. Only blue cars have this bug. Do you recall the blue cars so all cars have the same resale value? Do you recall all non-blue cars to implement the bug? How do you explain this recall to consumers?

      What you do is implement the bug in all future cars, but do it gradually so you don’t kill the resale value for existing non-blue car owners.

      • Not saying my solution is moral, it just has the least impact on current users of the bugged and unbugged items. If you ‘fix’ anything at this point, it’s going to negatively affect some people. If the fix only applies to future drops, no damage is done.

        • “bug has been a bug known to us since July of last year”

          well that’s the funny part

          they knew about the bug 3 months after release

          they could have fixed it then
          they changed ias, they changed skills, why not change that ?

          I really don’t understand that
          if you know about a bug, fix it

          and it sounds like a really easy bug to fix, it doesn’t require additional graphics or any network testing, just how damage is calculated

  9. In general, I think putting out a big patch or expansion that made all current gear basically useless due to higher monster difficulty would be very irritating. People will be excited if newer, better gear is available, but not if monster changes make their current, hard-won gear useless.

    That said, I would have little sympathy for those who spent real $$ on pixels that dropped in value. RMAH = bad idea.

  10. I thought the bug fix would have been:
    +min-max [Poison/Arcane/etc] would be treated just like black damage.

    That would open up gear possibilities for a lot of people.


  11. What an embarrasment, I can’t believe they actually have the face to openly say that they will not fix bugs on weapons just so they don’t affect peoples (bought) items.

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