Blue Replies to the No-PvP Diablo 3 Crisis


Since Jay’s admission that we’re not going to see PvP this year, the Battle.net forums have looked a lot like the comments on our news post, except even angrier. As such, the CMs have been out with their fire extinguishers, defining harassment, writing essays on why some patches are great and others small, redirecting criticism towards the game and away from the people behind it, pointing out that death threats are a violation of the ToS, and so forth.

As this sort of thing is most definitely *not* a job for Bashoik, it’s probably good that the most sympathetic and polite of the CMs, Lylirra, is taking the point. As a clever sort of diversion/interaction, she thrust her head into the tiger’s jaws with a thread that’s now up to 26 replies, asking what the CMs could do better to serve the community. I’m not going to quote the entire thing, but here are some highlights:

Start by reading all the critiques made by players since release. And there are TONS of them. I get the feeling you guys are ONLY searching for positive feedback and ignoring the rest.
This perception actually really confuses me given how many changes we’ve made to the game based on player feedback and criticisms, and how frequently we actually say that we’re listening.

Here are a few quick examples that I can recall from memory:

  • Action bar lock for Elective Mode: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6036227117#8
  • Better AI for Followers and NPCs: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5596258121#2
  • WD pet improvements: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271506353?page=19#366
  • Durability loss from destructible objects: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5888889794?page=58#1154
  • There’s also changes made to drop rates, Legendary items, reducing repair costs, reducing the challenge gap between monster types, removing Invulnerable Minions, removing enrage timers, revising CC, improving resource spenders, improving how item affixes roll, adding Paragon, adding new shrines, giving more benefit to in-game events and Resplendent Chests, AH features, and more.

    Given that, I don’t understand why so many players say that we aren’t taking player feedback into consideration. Is there something we could perhaps do better to make this fact more clear?

    Well I’ve made alot of threads that were nice, but logical and productive too, but those just don’t get popularity, and certainly no blue posts.
    We try to read as many posts as possible, but the truth is that there’s no way for us to read them all. (We still give it our best shot, though.) Similarly, we’re not going to post in every thread, either — even ones that we do see or find to be really constructive.

    We may not always be able to respond to a specific concern for a number of reasons. Sometimes we don’t have any information to share, sometimes we’re not in a position to comment, and sometimes we want to see how a discussion progresses on its own. Whenever we post in a thread, the conversation will inevitably change, and there are times when it’s important that we don’t get involved. Usually, when a thread gets a “blue post,” it stops being a discussion between players and turns into a some sort of modified Q&A. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not always the best way to get valuable feedback.

    The only updates we’ve gotten on the future of the game have been from Jay’s twitter posts. I think you can understand why people are frustrated, it was intimated that PVP would be released sometime this year this does not seem possible anymore and what ensues is the current state of the forums with people asking about PvP every other post. I personally would like to know what 1.0.7 will contain (just a hint) or at the very least if we will be getting a dev blog on that patch. Some people seem to think it will be a class balance patch, not sure how true this is.
    That’s totally understandable. We do want to update players on PvP once all the details are finalized. We’re not at that point yet, but Jay understands that it sucks to wait and has been trying to bridge that gap via direct updates on Twitter. He’s a good dude and really cares this community, despite so many statements to the contrary. =/

    As for 1.0.7, you can expect us to provide something similar to the coverage we offered for 1.0.5, 1.0.4, 1.0.3, etc. once it’s further along in development. Whenever possible, we prefer to talk about changes at that level only once we’re sure we know what’s going to be in a specific patch (since it’s never a good experience to have to say that something got cut or was delayed).

    At times like these, it’s useful to refer to the old philosophical observation that love and hate are not opposites. The opposite of love is indifference; love and hate are both strong emotions that require you to care a lot about the person/thing in question. It is interesting that one can flip into the other so quickly, though, and that so many people who say they hate D3 and that the game is the biggest failure ever and is dead to them… are still watching every twist and turn in its development very closely, ready to swoop in with flames and rants about Jay Wilson’s dietary habits whenever there’s some bad news.

    We often hear complaints or debate about Blizzard “arrogance,” and not entirely without justification, but if they were as bad as some contend, wouldn’t Jay’s Twitter avatar, in the face of constant angry criticism, be something like the selections below?

    Comments

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    1. I am not dissapointed with no pvp. but so many people who are need to relax and have a cupcake. No need to get made at jay, i like jay. I am tired of people using him to yell at because they are just frustrated.

      the d3 team did a good job, and they are doing the game more justice as the time progresses. I am pleased.

    2. It’s pretty simple: people complained about big stuff, and mostly little stuff has been fixed.

      -PvP
      -More social aspects to the game
      -Making the game not so single-player
      -Balancing out the classes
      -More end-game content other than “here, grind for another 100 levels”

      Sure, there’s definitely been improvements, and D3 is well on its’ way to actually being a good game. The Hellfire thing was a great bit that brought me back to the game for a solid 2 weeks. I had a TON of fun at that time. Some legendary/set items are more interesting now. Paragon levels definitely add SOMETHING so if you accomplish nothing during a session, at least you can look over at your level bar and say, “Well, at least I got that!”

      I know what the replies are going to be, the length of time it took, how much longer it would have been if they released a “full” game instead of what we got, etc. But the fact is, the game we got was, gameplay-wise, in Alpha stages at release. The game now feels like it’s ending it’s ending its’ Beta stage, and we’re all clamoring for when it’s going to actually be released.

      To take that out on the CMs is just dumb, they’re not going to change anything. But they shouldn’t be surprised when people are pissed that the game was in development for a long time, it’s been out a decent amount of time, and we’re still looking at a very unfinished product.

    3. Hm… Its hard to label what was them listening to player feedback or just plain shoddy development, like the action bar lock, terrible legendaries (which are still terrible btw), WD pets being useless on inferno, losing durability on destructable objects, and many other problems that he lists on “hearing player feedback”.

      For a game in development for so long you dont expect so many oversights like that, so I really dont think they can brag about hearing player feedback on issues like that since not spotting them in the first place was just incompetence.

      Now the reason why PvP isnt out is because they were too busy fixing the broken and shallow game and again, for so much time in development and with such a huge franchise name I think players have the right to expect great things for the game and Diablo 3 didnt even get close to “good”, its just barely hitting “average”.

      So in the end, the PvP delay goes all back to the bad development of the main game, and its weird that PvP was a big part of the Diablo 3 marketing since most events about the game had the PvP Arena as the main event, I remember Force Strategy Gamming being so hyped about it, makes feel bad for him.

      There is something rotten on the Diablo 3 development team, I cant point out if its Jay or some behind-the-scene suits that poured too much corporate greed into the game design (like using an WoW strike team into the scene to mess things up, like itemsation and this Main-stat crapness) and turned D3 into this abomination, when I watch the 2008 video I always think: What the hell went wrong?

      Something did, and it was behind the scenes and we will probably never know.

      • That 2008 video brought so much joy and wonder into the hearts of many PC gamers. It is sad to think about what this game could have been if not for these behind the scenes issues. So very very sad.

      • Well said. I agree with you especially on not catching the dumbest mistakes ever prior to release and then having to take almost half a year to fix things that had no right to be in the game in the first place (how many times did you lose NV stacks bc some skill on your skill bar just disappeared? What possible reason could there be for that to be able to happen in game? Even sadder is how long it took them to correct such a massive gamebreaking bug.)

        I think Diablo 3 will go down in history as how not to make a video game

        • “how many times did you lose NV stacks bc some skill on your skill bar just disappeared?”

          5-7 times maybe, I’ve never been clicking my skill bar. But those times were damn annoying.

        • How many times did I loose NV stacks by clicking on my action bar? Never actually, I didn’t even notice they changed it.

          • Oh I had this lovely little bug take away my NV stacks around 25 times. 15 or so before I had a clue what the hell was causing it as it would always happen during some crazy fight. Only took them 4 months to fix it… something that had absolutely no place in the game to begin with.

      • This should be posted on the official forums. Would love to see the blues answering to it. But then they would probably just ignore it and hope it gets buried on page 75.

      • Yes I remember Force Strategy hyping the crap out of the game then abandoning it before anyonelse…

      • Well said, To be honest I agree, I couldn’t say if the blame should all be put no Jay Wilson I think its a collaboration of individuals and philosophy on design. I think it also may have had to do with the game testers as well that weren’t giving proper feedback. I think corporate greed is another reason as well.
        On the topic of corporate greed – I consider video games to be very artistic in nature because it takes creativity. Creativity can be sapped by the suites. I think Blizzard was so successful in the past because they were smaller and did what they wanted to do.
        The 2008 video had so much potential – it really looked like a better Diablo2/X was really coming, finally. Then someone pointed out the rainbow thing and its like a jynx was on the game, a crack was revealed.
        Blizzard has HUGE CORE philosophy issues in their development a lot of them pertain to mass appeal now. WoW is the best example of how the game turned from the best getting by to everyone getting candy. After BC the rise of the casual began.

    4. yea ! thank you rushter for fixing the comments/login issue

    5. People are complaining about Diablo 3? When did this happen? Why wasn’t I informed!?

      Yeah, no one could pay me enough to be a CM. Promise something that gets changed… fanrage. Promise something that gets delivered… fanrage over whatever didn’t. Don’t promise anything… fanrage/abandonment issues. Try and explain the specific limitations of the CM job… endless fanrage.

    6. I say we organize a one-day boycott of Diablo 3 so that Blizzard can see their numbers drop and will get a clue. If you are angry/pissed/enraged/disappointed/unhappy for whatever reason with the game just don’t log in on a certain day. As players, all we can do is organize and let our actions speak louder than our qq’ing. Blizzard will not begin to listen till we learn to hit em’ where it hurts: their wallet. This isn’t about retribution…it’s about showcasing our frustration in a language comprehensible by a corporation.

      • I like the idea, but you might already have paid for the game so technically Blizzard wins.

        • But Blizzard can’t generate future revenue and prospect on the success of the Diablo 3 platform if we boycott them and create bad publicity for the game. Bad press goes a long way and will cost Blizzard in the long-run regardless of whether I paid for the game already or not.

          • The game has already enough bad press and an even worse word-of-mouth status (currently on “avoid it, its horrible”). There is no need to boycott it.

            Its a shame we cant get a graph of actual server activity to see how bad the situation is but I dont think its farfetched to assume that the drop has been very worrying for blizzard otherwise they wouldnt be rushing with all these features and patches to keep people interested mere months after the game was launched. Hence why we have PvP delayed. So I dont think there is anyone delusional enough to keep believing that there wasnt a massive drop on the playerbase. More than normal games suffer, D3’s abandon had other reasons for its massive drop.

            And on a franchise known for replayability, something went wrong on its design if so much tune-ups were necessary right after the release.

            • If they show us a graph, Jay Wilson will double the number of players playing…

            • After the disappointing release, maybe ActiBlizz should have hired an unbiased gamers panel to see why D2 players are still playing after all this time, and D3 players are dropping off like flies just months after the release.

              If they really care about the community, or at least about future profits, it’s probably a good idea to care about what your consumers care about. Never felt like they really cared about what we wanted…just said here’s what we’re going to deliver, take it or leave it.

      • I haven’t played since shortly after it was launched. I won’t play until things are actually showing improvement. Instead of saying “we should do this”, put your money where your mouth is and actually take action.

        You are responsible for your own actions.

    7. I think the game has changed a lot since release, and the changes have been for the better. Sure, D3 was not at all what I hoped for, but in hind-sight my expectations were pretty dumb. After all the patches I enjoy the game but don’t play all that much.

      The biggest issue for me is the boring itemization and wonky class balance, and that probably wont get fixed until we see an expansion. They can’t really touch it without seriously aggravating people who have spent a lot of time and/or money on D3. So I guess they’ll listen to some feedback and fix what they can, but the core problem will still remain (for me atleast). Oh well, D2 classic is mostly nostalgia for me, the lasting memory is still LOD. Maybe D3X will be awesome? OH GOD IT’S HAPPENING AGAIN!!!

      • My thoughts exactly.

        Problem is, they can’t just change the shallow itemisation without completely devalueing current items. Even if it would change things to the better long term, the short term uproar would be massive.

        Itemisation was one of the things which had to be good on release, before an economy could shapen. Too bad they got the WoW guys involved. Their itemisation is good in WoW, but not working in D3.
        I play from time to time and its always kind of fun, but there is no longevity. They cant get me kept motivated. Ill rather play some LoL or SC.

        I have hopes for D3X, and i’ll stick around. However, while i hope for the best i prepare for the worst. We will see.

    8. “There’s also changes made to drop rates, Legendary items, reducing repair costs, reducing the challenge gap between monster types, removing Invulnerable Minions, removing enrage timers, revising CC, improving resource spenders, improving how item affixes roll, adding Paragon, adding new shrines, giving more benefit to in-game events and Resplendent Chests, AH features, and more.”

      Wow, never realised how many nice things we got. Keep up the good work D3 team.

      • As others have pointed out most of these issues should never have been issues. If the game had not been released in the sorry state they vomited upon us.

    9. if only there was a way of marking a thread as read by a blue, so they technically don’t have to reply just open it. That would give me peace of mind that they actually do stuff.

    10. As charming and constructive as the new CM may be, she appears to be just as oblivious to the actual issue as Bashiok was:

      Fiasco III’s problem that’s causing all the agitation is not the marketing, not Blizzard’s community interaction or the CMs’ ways of communication – it’s the poor execution of the game concept itself and the glacial productivity rate of its developers. That’s nothing that’s mainly/partially wrong on the end of their customers’ perception, nothing they could just inexpensively rationalize away. Making amends for or just undoing what this game has done to the Diablo franchise, would require quite a bit more serious in-house consequences.

      Besides all aspects of practical handle for a CM, I do think that there’s a good bit of both arrogance and wanton ignorance at work whenever Blizzard’s representatives try to shift the focus away from the product’s obvious shortcomings towards a more nebulous issue of ‘miscommunication’. After 20 years in the business, the whole ‘help us poor customer-care novices improve our community interactions’ excuse doesn’t fly anymore.

    11. Jay deserves no respect from the community. He spent 4 years telling people what was fun and how bad Diablo 2 was (the very game that earned him a job in the first place… RIP Blizzard North). This guy told Ex blizzard Staff “f__K that loser”. Honestly Diablo 3 doesnt hold a candle to previous blizzard titles and is driven purely by corporate greed.(I’m looking at you RMAH)

      Honestly Jay Wilson deserves every bit of hate he gets for pissing on the Diablo community with this travesty.

    12. So many great posts on here I wonder why we aren’t listened too sometimes. Maybe flooding their channels with feedback would be a way to get heard?

      “…I don’t understand why so many players say that we aren’t taking player feedback into consideration. Is there something we could perhaps do better to make this fact more clear?…”

      How about making some decent monk skills and wizard cm/crit build nerf? I want more than 3/4 builds per class please, with the amount of runes this should be nearer to their two billion hype crap at the start. They seem to ignore most pressing matters and wonder why we’re mostly using the one with everything passive?

      “…Usually, when a thread gets a “blue post,” it stops being a discussion between players and turns into a some sort of modified Q&A. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not always the best way to get valuable feedback….”

      That forums for you, use polls instead with very specific Q/A maybe? Remember the one improvement only thread? Look how many people listened to that “write one and only one improvement” down.

    13. Wasn’t PVP supposed to be a feature of the game out of the box?

      This is turning out to be the longest public beta Blizzard’s ever had!!

    14. PvP is going to blow huge dick. You heard it here first.

    15. Lol, at this point they’ve poured so much money and resources into Diablo 3’s development, it’s a lose/lose situation unless by some f*cking miracle they can dig themselves out of this hole.

      At what point are they just supporting a dying wasteland of a game that’s full of botters….unless that’s already happened.

      Unfortunately, continuing supporting and developing for D3 is probably the only option, since abandoning development would be even worse and would basically be Blizzard “admitting” they made a terrible game. Guess they can’t really back out now.

      It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion…. and Jay is the captain?

      • Well the reason that they will continue to dump money into “fixing”/devlopement of the game by pushing out patches that “add content” (which should had been there in the first place) is because the CEO knows damn well that investing into the brand IMAGE that Blizzard has upheld for the past 15 years is the most important thing and it pisses me off when those Blizzard forum mods say crap like “Well D3 isn’t like WoW it’s not supposed to get post release support” Bullshit don’t act like we are getting some special treat cherry on top – Tell that to fucking Mike Morhaim you fluffed up garbage blizz mod.

    16. I do not see the big deal with no PVP.

      Everyone will just be 1 shotting eachother anyways. Even if they reduced damage vs players by 50%. All you softies running around with 40k hp are going to get blown up. Kind of like pvp is now in WoW, except its 5 shot instead of 1.

      Let blizzard take their time and hopefully get it right.

      • 50%?

        With average gear my barb was getting hammer of the ancients crits for around 1 million. I’d bet dollars to donuts that’s why PvP isn’t out… because it’s a non-trivial undertaking to make competition meaningful at end-game gear levels.

        Thinking about the problem takes MUCH more effort than posting the same “me too” complaints (sorry, I mean “witty and constructive comments”) over and over again, so look what we have.

      • There are two ways PvP will go, the way it SHOULD go and the way it will go at first. At first everyone will be whining because they’ll all be 1 shotting each other with 250k dmg and 40k HP then they should wise up.

        This is how PvP SHOULD balance out when people wise up – noone values high vit,life % Life regen gear, armor etc over damage/PvM gear, if it proves that focusing on survivability attributes/gear can negate the huge damage people will value items differently

    17. you’re being too generous to blizzard and their CM’s. It’s their job to handle it. Fans are really annoyed the outcome of D3, i’ve been visiting this website weekly since announcement of d3 and my god did my spine shiver, i was in college then, a young nerd i was and every game i played, i devoted my faith in diablo. The promises, the projected features they gave in each yearly panel so many weren’t included. PVP should of been an absolute essential part of gameplay it was the main reason of why d2 kept going. They took everyone out of d2 and binned it. I’ve currently got a post up with videos, recorded physical evidence of D3’s features which in the end weren’t included for absolutely no reason at all. The replies i have so far are negative on blizzard activision’s part. Clearly, something has gone amiss.

    18. In the list of achievements since release…

      We also got rid of the error 3006,3007 and a whole host of others.

      Arent you thankful?

    19. This is so stupid because Diablo franchise was never known for it’s pvp. Could care less about Diablo pvp. The resources spent on pvp could have been spent on actually fixing issues and created more pve content for players.

      • Which is why they should have released it broken on launch and not made a big deal of it with these special battlegrounds. They hyped up a dumb feature and now they are reaping the whirlwind.

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