The Diablo 3 Podcast #91: Diablo 3 Year One, Beta and Launch Memories


Flux, Neinball, and Wolfpaq discuss the highs and lows of development, beta test, and early days of Diablo 3. The game was very different, and very difficult, upon release, and this podcast focuses the highs and lows of those early days.

Part two of this podcast will be posted tomorrow. In it the guys talk about D3’s community and remember the days of Bashiok, Jay Wilson, and other PR emergencies. Two more podcasts focusing on other aspects of Diablo 3: Year One will be posted later this anniversary week.

Approximate segment starting times:

  • 0:30 — Show intro, D3 freespecs, and D2 rose-tinted glasses.
  • 11:30 — Removed features during development make quite a lengthy list. Some are missed but most are unlamented.
  • 15:30 — PvP regrets. Dueling was the best Diablo III feature in Blizzcon demos. All 3 guests still dream of a proper timed team deathmatch system.
  • 23:00 — May 14th, 2012. Preparing for the big day and then launch! And then Error 37.
  • 27:40 — Early days of “gear wall” difficulty. Inferno was infernal.
  • 36:50 — Early days of “straitjacketed” by your build. Players trained by D2 and the easy Diablo III beta had a painful adjustment to Inferno requiring 4 or 5 defensive skills and buffs.
  • 41: 20 — Early days issues with itemization. No one found legendaries and when they did the items were junk. Plus hopes and dreams for future legendary item improvements.
  • 49:30 — Two-handed weapons. Useless in D2, useless in D3, for the exact same reasons.
  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in DiabloWiki.net provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    1. I think Arena PvP was still “working” in the BlizzCon demo until they decided to make all skill damage dependent of the weapon damage (during the Diablo 3 beta). At this point, it became “pay 2 win” which ultimately destroyed the “just 4 fun” aspect and balancing (if you can call it that).

    2. Sorry, there was nothing ever “difficult” about Diablo 3. Gear checks are not difficult. One-shots are not difficult. It is simply stupid design. The game has not changed enough to warrant me returning to it. The story still has not been changed. The meat of the gameplay still has not changed. The items still have not changed enough. The gear check mentality still has not changed. Character growth (or lack thereof) still has not changed. The dependency on the auction house still has not changed. They still won’t put in proper PvP as they promised (to be added with the expansion no doubt). So what is worth coming back to?

      The game is a shallow “arcadey” shadow of the originals, with no depth to gameplay, nor design, nor story, designed for the lowest common denominator in the name of “accessibility”.

    3. Man I wish the game had gold pets. Gold radius somewhat is irrelevant. The only similar effect is the demon hunter’s ferret, but his affinity for attacking makes him bad at picking up gold too. It seems like most people treat gold like rares and don’t bother going out of their way to pick it up. Why make your runs take 10% longer just to get an extra 1 million gold per hour when you’re finding legendaries worth 100 million every ~20 hours (not necessarily accurate).

      I enjoyed the original act 1 inferno difficulty, though the repair bills were too high. Act 2 and 3 difficulty were retarded though. This was made worse by the fact that you couldn’t even get ilvl63 items in acts 1 or 2. That I think is the biggest improvement they ever made to the game. Monster power would be 2nd, simply because it came later and replaced the need for this previous change. MP1 act 1 is awesome, and with the changes to monster density I can actually play it. It’s definitely my favorite act.

    4. I love my skorn on my monk, not useless at all.

    5. Hey Flux,

      do you know anything about the celebration buff on mf and exp which you were discussing just before 1 0 8 launch. Is it gonna be for the may 15 on? Thx for answer…..

      • I assume it will be. The data is in the client portion of the patch, but there aren’t any numerical values there, since those are server side. So we won’t find out exactly how it works until it goes live, and at that point I’m sure Bliz will tell us.

        • Thx really,

          i dont want to seem like a fan boy, but i really appriciate your (media) work on Diablo since its beginning in Blizz North. I still play all Diablos and take them as my alternative to reality.

          passionate Diablo player and student of philosophy from europe

          luk

    6. Nice podcast. Also, let’s not forget enrage timers and monsters HP regen.

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