Travis Day Diablo 3 Interview Live Stream

Earlier this week Travis Day spoke on the same live stream that brought us that great Wyatt Cheng interview. The stream is run by ArchonTheWizard, and Travis joined him for nearly two hours of chat. Travis had a *lot* to say, answering dozens of questions, chiefly about the upcoming itemization changes, but also touching on skill issues, class balance, his development time working on World of Warcraft, and much more.

Many of us found Wyatt’s time on the stream frustrating since he was so into the nuts and bolts of specific issues, but the streamer never asked any redirects or follow ups on those detailed issues. Travis’ conversation doesn’t suffer (as much) from that problem, since he’s more thorough in his replies, but mostly since the interaction is more general. This isn’t a critique of either dev — it’s more about the topics that were covered. Travis speaks more about future (and past) changes on a theoretical or high level sense, whereas Wyatt’s was more about specific examples of ongoing skill tweaks and nuts-and-bolts game changes.

Here’s the stream; Travis joins in to chat around an hour and ten minutes in, and continues until almost three hours.

The transcript below is *not* word for word, since it was a very long conversation with a lot of chat and digression. I distilled Travis’ comments into more direct, discrete points. This is hugely long; nearly 8000 words to cover the 110 minutes Travis spent chatting. If you don’t want to read the entire thing, I broke the blue quote format in a few places to put in a remark or two after the especially interesting revelations, so you can kind of skim down the page and check where there’s a comment if you want the really highlight points.

1:08:00 —
Will elemental effects do something again?
Travis: Yes, we’d like them to do things again at some point. That was a very cool thing in D2. It’s nice if they have effects, more than just cold slows things. But no concrete details at this point.

Can you tell us about itemization?
Travis: I’ve been been working on Diablo III for eight or ten months, and I worked on World of Warcraft before that. In terms of Diablo 3 items, I really value randomization on the items. I like the fun of not knowing what you’re going to get. That said, there’s definitely room for improvement.

Legendaries should be more game changing. There’s something to be said for having a Holy Grail of items that players strive to obtain. The very best possible gear. Just yesterday we were talking about just how crazy we could get with legendaries or sets. What are the bounds? How powerful can something be without breaking the game?

Extreme #1, anything that makes the player invincible forever and always. Obviously that would be too good. But there’s something to be said for gear that can be super awesome, but is a really big challenge to obtain. Like D2’s runewords, some of them had 6 runes and almost every rune was really hard to find. When we’re debating item qualities, I say that we don’t need to make everything bland just because players might get it someday. Diablo 3 is an ARPG, it’s supposed to be awesome.

We also talk about game-changing gear. Like for instance, what if a full item set granted a bonus of infinite resource? That sounds crazy, but maybe it could be there someday. We’ve also talked about an item that would grant no collision with monsters. That’s something we’re not really sure how useful it would be, but we like the idea of throwing in some interesting properties and letting players figure out ways to use it.

Click through for the rest of the transcript. It’s hugely long and full of good details. Here’s a *very* brief bullet point list of what I think are the key points:

  • Travis was not working on the D3 team during dev. He moved over from WoW after D3’s launch and is open to making many major changes, including totally overhauling items.
  • Travis thinks the IAS nerf in v1.03 was a mistake since it changed existing items. They’ve learned from that example and will not repeat it. (See how they dealt with the buggy DiabloWikiBlack Weapons, for example.)
  • He’s committed to adding many more play styles and options into Diablo 3. So players could decide to spend their evening of gaming in different ways and different areas of the game whether they wanted to farm for exp, general items, specific items, specific materials, etc.
  • He’s very focused on greatly improving legendaries. D2 style game-changing items. He thinks legendaries should almost always outpoint Rares of the same item type.
  • He wants to reduce the variation in weapon stats and eDPS, so that a higher % of weapons would be at least pretty good.
  • He feels the health globe system isn’t working very well and the end game health system needs adjustment since high end characters have enough life steal to make globes and potions irrelevant.
  • There are plans for much greater character customization tied into improvements to the Paragon levels. Travis didn’t share any details, alas.
  • Travis wants to set up Diablo 3 for long term sustainability, so even in 5+ years when there’s not a big team actively patching the game, there will still be fun to be lasting fun. (Quite possibly via D2-style ladder resets.)
  • Click through for the whole huge thing.

    Travis: We want players to find cool items on the first play through, not just something you work 100 hours to find.

    I also have a longer term goal of improving the overall game in a lasting way. If in five years when we’re not still working on the game, would there be enough variety and variation in the game that players could still have fun in different ways?

    I played obscene amounts of D2. Not constantly, but I’d go back to it every few months or years, and it was fun every time I went back. I want to ensure that the future of Diablo 3 is like that. Players can come back after years and still find fun and new things to do. I want it to stand up to the test of time.

    I want there to be items that are game-changing. That when you find them you want to make a new character just to use that item. Like, and this is a bad example, but what if there was a Witch Doctor mask that doubled all pet damage. Pets aren’t great, but that’s kind of the thing we’re thinking about.

    Another example that was a good idea but fell short. The Three Hundred Spear (db). It’s not good enough now since there are so many things a weapon needs to be useful. Enough DPS, a socket, etc. And that spear the damage almost always sucks, but I liked the idea of the big bonus to a specific skill. If all things were equal, a weapon that does 40% more damage with DiabloWikiWeapon Throw opens up a spec you haven’t played before.

    Or say, a wizard wand that allows you to have a second DiabloWikihydra. Maybe you use that with other items that boost other skills, or reduces the cooldown times or resource costs, etc, that can all leverage together. I’m still putting together ideas, but that’s the kind of thing we’re working on.

    Is there any discussion now about PvP?
    Travis: Um… yeah, there is discussion. But I can’t talk about it much yet. I can say I’m a huge PvP fan and I want us to figure out how to do it properly. I want it to be really good and in and sooner than later. Beyond that I can’t say much.

    Can you give us some more details on itemization? You said you could just ramble on about them for hours. And that’s fine.
    Travis. *laughing* I can and have talked for hours and hours on items. But I don’t want to just free form. Can you give me some more specifics? One thing I should make clear. Anything I say about item changes is going to be down the road a ways. Not very soon. I felt bad when we posted the itemization blog (March 5, 2013) since people thought it was coming soon. Maybe it was premature, talking about changes so far down the pipeline, but I wanted to communicate with the community since there hadn’t been any good info shared out for a long time.

    I perked up at his last words here, since he so casually criticized the PR and community relations in a way we very seldom hear from a Blizzard employee. This was far from the last time Travis spoke so honestly on that front.

    Is the end goal to have it so all legendaries are good? Or will there be legendaries with bad rolls that just get salvaged?
    Travis: There’s going to be a spectrum, obviously. One side point is that I don’t think legendaries are so terribly rare. People complained a lot when the game first shipped that legendaries were too rare. That was kind of a player issue with power and play style, since at that point I was running around with max Magic Find and I saw like a legendary an hour.

    There’s a massive discrepancy between player power and style. The gap between MF and none is a huge difference. So I don’t think the problem is that legendaries are too few and far between. The problem I think is the quality. That when someone does find a legendary it’s usually garbage. I think there will always be the legendaries that people don’t want, but I want them to be much improved.

    I think legendaries should be very good. . It might not be for your character, or for a spec you don’t play, etc, but it should be good enough that some build or style would find it really useful. I want players to see an orange drop and get really excited. To know it will almost certainly be better than a non-legendary they’ve got equipped in that item slot right now.

    I think the values of items and relative power need to be right. And I favor legendaries as the most powerful items. For instance, if the rares go up to 80 damage, then the legendary in that slot should go up to 100. If not to 150.

    Also, I think scarcity is fine. Some things should be super hard to find. The problem is when you have items that are hard to find and also terrible. The new design idea is that an orange will be to a rare what a yellow is to a blue now. You should expect it’ll be better in most circumstances.

    Sounds like he’s talking about really dramatic buffs to legendaries, if he expects them to usually outdo Rares. There are certainly some Legendaries in the game today (and a lot of sets, usually when paired up for some partial set bonus) that are BiS, but in many slots players can still find or craft a Rare better than 99.9% of legendaries. Especially players who aren’t super rich, since savvy players can often find great Rares at discounted prices while other players are focused overly on Legendaries.

    Unfortunately he never addressed the issue of making all legendaries roll even in the end game with upgraded stats. That’s something the devs have mentioned a few times and it sounds fun with a few specific items (they always mention Leoric’s Signet (db)), but as we noted recently when Travis brought this up in a forum post… just upgrading the basic stats to level 63 won’t make 99% of legendaries worth using. They need big buffs to their inherent bonuses as well, not just higher dex or vit, etc.

    1:15 —
    Can you talk about Thorns, or other affixes that aren’t much used now?
    Travis: Well, Thorns is just weak. We have plans to improve it, but we want it to be useful for some. Most people won’t like since it’s not their play style, but we want someone to value it. We mentioned this before, but we’re considering making it a property that would scale up in damage by your character’s main stat. So a Barbarian’s strength would go to boost up his Thorns damage.

    What are other item stats that are bad, that I can talk about? Like pickup radius isn’t great, but Witch Doctors love it.

    Okay, how about added bonus from health globes. That’s a pretty lame stat, but it’s not so much the stat as the game. The larger issue is that health globes are essential in the early game, but they become mostly irrelevant end game. We tried to make that stat better by adding a boost to potions on it, but it’s still not that useful to many players.

    Is the issue that players stack up so much Life on Hit?
    Travis: Yeah. I came onto the project after the game was done and shipped, so I can’t say exactly how or why everything is the way it was upon launch. But I think that health globes as a primary healing method was a system that was baked into the game long before the game was finished. So I think other things changed over time and maybe that’s why health globes aren’t so important in the end game.

    There are ways to make the stat better. Maybe we could make health globes tie into other skills. Like bonus healing from a health globe is as useful to a Monk as pickup radius is to a Witch Doctor. We want some affixes to be more useful for some classes than others.

    1:25 —
    I’m very interested in a self found mode.
    Travis: Um… yeah. Wyatt’s a big fan of self found mode. We debate that. Not the validity, but if we want to support that as a gameplay style. It’s cool, but we don’t need to support every sort of behavior that emerges. We don’t need HC, SC, self found, X, Y, Z…

    I think people find self found more fun since the game is better when you’re not using the AH. When you can feel proud of your gear, that you found it rather than just buying it. More sense of accomplishment. Strong psychological draw to it. I’ve thought about playing that way myself, but I haven’t really gotten into it. My characters are pretty high level, like Paragon 60 or P70, and I can buy what I want for them, but I’d rather find item upgrades. That gets back to the heart of D2, since items are so much fun when you find something to improve with. Rather than just buying or getting from a friend. Using the AH makes it easy to buy super powerful gear, but that has a bad side effect since then you know that everything you’ll ever find will be lame in comparison.

    That takes the game focus off of items, since they’re not really changing. Instead players focus on the EXP bar going up, since that’s the progress. But it’s very static and predictable; you never say, get three levels at once in a spike of fun. And I don’t think just gaining experience can’t ever be as fun as finding a new item upgrade.

    I think for a lot of players the self found mode is fun since it’s about obtaining regular item upgrades that you find yourself, rather than buying from the Auction House. That’s what’s fun. People enjoy self found since they want something from the game, and that’s a reward that we are not currently delivering for everyone. So self found is something we’ve talked about and we may pursue it someday. I think people should try it; make a new character and only use what they find themselves.

    TLDR, the heart of the issue is players who play self found want the item game to matter, and the rewards to be there, and when you’re self found the items you find on the ground are awesome. What players are doing with self found is creating a game mode that simulates what we want everyone to get all the time. We want you to be excited about finding items. Right now the AH sets the bar for what a good item is so high that 99% of players will never find anything better than what they bought.

    I want the self found feeling to exist for everyone. We want you to get excited by items you find on the ground. We want legendaries to be mind blowingly awesome. We want that in the game but it’ll just take time to figure out how to work that.

    Travis has a good point about the core issue motivating players to try self found, and I hope he’s successful in making all item drops much more compelling.

    That said, As with Wyatt earlier in this stream, neither of them addressed the core issue of an DiabloWikiIronbornmode; that it has to work like Hardcore, where there’s a separate player economy/ecology of people who are not using the AH, twinking, trading, etc. You can’t have a proper Ironborn system where you with your self found Wiz struggling along at 55k DPS joins a game with some AH-polished 250k DPS Monk. Even if you don’t take gear from other players or use the AH, if others are blitzing through enemies and you’re just trotting along behind, soaking up the exp and drops without earning the kills that’s defeating the whole purpose and purity of an Ironborn system.

    I think their silence/avoidance is pretty informative though. Either they don’t grasp the point, or they’re not interested in it, and in either event that’s a pretty godo sign we won’t see any such game mode any time soon. Sadly, if seems like if we’re ever going to see a proper Ironborn play mode, it won’t be until years from now, when they’re putting in ladder resets and other such long term, largely-automated, game sustaining modes.

    Improving affixes on items?
    Travis: One of the things we’ve mentioned is the appropriate primary stat rolling on specific items. For instance, no one wants dexterity on a Barbarian belt or strength on a Demon Hunter quiver… I want as much variety and variance as possible on items, but yes, there are lines to be drawn. We don’t want stats to spawn on an item that you’d never want. We’ve already changed that and it will be in some future patch. You won’t find items with the main stat roll that’s not your character’s main stat.

    1:39:30 —

    Can you improve weapon rolls?
    Travis: Weapon damage rolls. Random is hyper important to a game like Diablo III. But there are degrees. I think there are some areas of the game that are too random, and we need to reign it in some. There are so many moving pieces you need to roll for a weapon to be useful. You have to get elemental damage, percent damage, a great roll on both, and a socket, and crit damage, and a primary stat… and weapons can only have six things. And you have to get five of them for the weapon to be considered “good.”

    And “good” is a moving target, and it’s easy to find things in the Auction House, but you must have all those affixes on the same weapon for it to be top quality, and that’s a bit extreme. If you look at say, a chest armor, you want primary stat, and sockets, and maybe res, but those aren’t essential. But with a weapon you almost have to have a great roll on those five properties for it to be useful. Your weapon is the most important item on your character in terms of raw power. All of those stats go to make it useful, or not. You mouse over and see the big number and it’s more or less than your current and that’s that.

    We’ve talked about taking percent weapon damage and reducing it so it’s not so variable. Like it would be akin to the weapon speed bonus, where it’s nice if you have it but not essential and doesn’t make a huge difference. And variance is important, but the range of a good weapon shouldn’t be like, a factor of ten. If the weapon ranges from like 400 to 600, then 400 is still “bad” but it’s not 1/10th the use of the better weapon.

    I can’t give details since we’re still working on it, but it’s all under consideration.

    1:41:00 —

  • *At this point the streamer finds Steady Strikers legendary bracers, with a roll of +dex and +vit. Not ideal for his Barbarian, but for a self found character of about level 13, they’re a definite upgrade.*
  • Travis: Okay, so those are nice, but they’re not amazing. What do they do that makes them special? They add 2% attack speed, which you can’t get on other bracers. Okay, that’s nice, but eh… I really want every legendary to feel fun and powerful and impressive. Something unique about it. That it’s something you can’t just get with any old Rare item in that slot.

    When you think back on Diablo 2 about like, Windforce or Enigma… When players talk about items from D2 that they remember, the items did something special. Windforce knocked back, or Buriza pierced. People don’t talk about an item that had slightly more damage.

    Those bracers were good, with slightly more damage, but it’s not all that special.

    Will there ever be a ladder?
    Travis: We’re discussing and looking into it, but I can’t promise that we’ll ever have one.

    When a player sits down to play Diablo, you want them to think “what do I feel like doing today?”
    Travis: I’ve said that a lot. It’s a problem with how the game currently works vs. how it should work. Right now the game is lacking a lot of the randomization it needs. For starters, the items need a lot of love. Beyond that, like what you’re doing right now… you’re farming this one room with a per-determined set of spawning creatures. You’re basically like flipping a dungeon… that’s not really the spirit of the game in my mind.

    (The streamer has been repeatedly clearing Leoric’s Manor, farming the boss pack outside, the big knot of cultists at the front stairs, moving through the rest of the area, then exiting, creating a new game, and repeating it all multiple times to level up before moving deeper into the dungeons.

    Travis: If the play experience is different every time, it’s better. Right now that’s not what you’re doing. Also, there’s just a lack of things to do. In my perfect version of Diablo 3, we want to present the player with a spectrum of things to do. I want you to be able to sit down and do… Hellfire Rings were a good stepping stone in that way. But it’s only a start.

    You should be able to say, it’s Friday night, I’ve got like 5 hours to play. What do I want to do? There should be options to do something more involving. Or compare that to if you’ve got half an hour on your lunch break. What could you do then, just for a short term boost to your character?

    It shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion that when you sit down to play, you’re going to do a bunch of DiabloWikiAlkaizer runs. Or Vault of the Assassin runs. We need more things that players can do. You should be like, “I’m going to farm Belial.” if he’s got something specific you want to hunt. Or you can play just to get exp. Or to try to find specific set items.

    We want to present players with a lot of different options, and you can choose what fits best your desires and play time that day.

    This was about the most interesting and encouraging thing Travis said, IMHO. I love the idea of different runs for different purposes. Rather than just everything in the game being about gaining exp and maybe finding items along the way.

    It reminds me a bit of D2, where you’d do Mephisto for high odds of legendaries, but he couldn’t drop the highest quality gear. For that you’d do Pindleskin or other level 90 superuniques. Or you could do Hell Andariel for the best odds of some specific ring. Or run Lower Kurast chests for the best odds of runes. Etc. Diablo 3’s more randomized drops means that you’ve got many more places to find top items, but also you’ve got nowhere specific to go for anything specific, other than Key runs.

    Does the idea of endless dungeon come up in those conversations?
    Travis: Yes, we talk about that a lot. It’s funny, with endless dungeon, it’s… it’s something people will heatedly debate what that’s supposed to mean. I have my own take, but I’m not sure what everyone wants from it. My take is that players want a measuring stick, to see how far you can go, like they reached level 200 or something. But I think the real purpose is that players just want to play for a long time without repeating the same levels over and over again. They don’t want just more Alkaizer runs.

    Everyone’s different, but what they want… but I hate what you’re doing. Farming Leoric’s Manor over and over again. I know that what you’re doing is the best thing for your character, but it’s making me crazy. It’s exactly the sort of thing I don’t want players to have to do in their play time.

    This part was funny, as the streamer was on about his 8th clear of the same Leoric’s Manor, and Travis was obviously annoyed. Not at the streamer, but at the fact that this sort of play was actually the best thing to do. I found it funny to hear the obvious annoyance in Travis’ voice, but at the same thing… repeat running Leoric’s Manor with a low level character is like the single most D2-style play mode in the entire game.

    We didn’t do runs like that in D2 purely for experience, and certainly not at low levels, but that game was all about runs of small areas, over and over again, for exp or items.

    Increase to higher paragon levels?
    Travis: Um… I have plans for Paragon system, but they’re kind of involved. So yes, Paragon system will be improving, but I can’t go into details yet.

    Character customization. Maybe tie that into Paragon somehow?
    Travis: I would like to… Character customization, it’s an ARPG. The fantasy of being this character or progressing them. Your Barb is different than my Barb, or that guys’ Demon Hunter, etc. You want to be different than other people. A lot of that’s about equipment. Or Paragon customization. Or assigned attributes.

    Players want to be different. We don’t all want to be Kratos. We want variety in characters. I want to hook progression or customization into the Paragon system, but there’s a lot to do there. A lot of the ideas aren’t yet finalized. But I think players can expect one day to see that.

    1:50:00 —
    We went back and played D2 some months ago on the stream and I’d forgotten how much I loved the skill tree. You get more a sense of ownership and pride.
    Travis: That’s more to do with customization. You feel like he’s your guy. It was fun to do skill trees, but it was also full of black holes and traps. I think back on my early D2 chars, and I was playing really blind and didn’t know useful forums to find strats. So I’d just throw together skills and have fun, but it was a flawed system.

    So I had my Necromancer with this awesome skeleton army to tank, and skeleton mages to kill, and it was great in Normal. And then I got to Nightmare and it was not working very well, but I could push on. And then I got to hell and it was just terrible. My skeletons would die in one hit, I couldn’t kill anything to get a corpse to summon a skeleton from…

    I think that players remember the highlights and best things about a skill tree, but it’s an outdated system. People have fond memories, but there are tons of players who had a really bad game experience with it as well. For gamers in general, if you’re playing a game and you just hit a brick wall of difficulty and you’re suddenly dying over and over again, it doesn’t make everyone want to reroll and try improving their build. It makes a lot of gamers just want to quit and play something else. So permanence of decisions was great in some ways, but really bad in others.

    I call it the illusion of false choice. If A lets you do 1 point more damage and B lets you do 1000 points more damage, making that a permanent decision is just a way for players to ruin their characters.

    That’s a good argument for respecs and for better skill balance. It’s got nothing to do with skill points or skill trees.

    I think D3 did a fantastic job in making skills scale up and remain viable into the end game, which was something D2 sort of attempted (and failed) to do via skill points. And I don’t want to go back to the days of no freespecs. But skill points provided a level of customization and specialization and choice/value that doesn’t exist in D3. And I hope we get something of that system back.

    Making it so that certain bosses dropped certain legendaries. And soul bound/ BoP.
    Travis: Loot tables. I think they’re hard to define. I have no objection to like… The Butcher has much better odds of dropping The Butcher’s Cleaver. So long as I can also find it elsewhere. I don’t like the idea of an item only dropping from a single monster.

    That idea ties into what I was saying earlier. Maybe I’ll farm exp. Maybe I’ll farm for specific items.

    Binding is a touchy topic. I’ll say that years and years of time on WoW, we took it for granted. Binding. But on Diablo seeing all the problems we have to deal with that are different than WoW… there are parallels. There is value in soul bound. It helps contribute to the ownership. You earned it, you didn’t buy it from some dude in China for two dollars.

    I dunno. There are degrees. I think it’s possible that soul bound will come into the game in a larger way than now. Like the new crafting recipes. We wanted to give players a reason to play more instead of just buying from the AH. It worked since the materials were bound and the final product was bound.

    Useful since it lessens trading.
    Travis: I think what you lose by being unable to trade things is more than overshadowed by what you gain. Binding isn’t always the right choice. But I think the crafting recipes were good. 1. they got people playing the game again. You couldn’t just pay your way to victory. Can’t just buy them. Have to farm for the Demonic essences and crafting their items. It boosted play, rather than just boosting Auction House.

    It certainly has value. Binding. But you lose out on the trading. Trading comes up all the time in discussions. Talking about items or crafting recipes. When soul bound comes up immediately someone is always, like, “trading is important!”

    Is it more important to trade always, or feel pride in what you’re wearing? If you can just buy the best gear in the game, then that’s cool, but that’s a world where no one really cares about what they see on the ground.

    The fantasy of trading is fun and you switch stuff with a buddy, or bartered out an item. But the difference between that and what actually happens, with a fluid economy and Auction House, it fights against the idea that your time is valuable. Or the things you find are valuable. The fact that everything is tradable, goes to general psychology. The more we make you feel less special, the less special you feel.

    As soon as everything is tradable, your can’t help but base your time against someone else’s time. And that’s a shitty feeling, as you realize they can do much more with their time than you can with yours. Do I want to buy things, or actually find something that’s good for me and I’m happy with.

    I can’t say where we’ll end up down the road since we’re still debating everything. What’s more valuable, trading or finding things? Those two are at direct odds. You can find things that are awesome for yourself, or you can trade with people. And if you’re trading someone else usually has something better than you, and thus you’ll never really find your own upgraded items.

    I know it’s a touchy subject, but we like to debate it. I like to find great gear, but when I can go buy items in the Auction House, trivially, they’re way better than I can get.

    Ultimately I think the AH does way more damage than good. I was on the strike team for Diablo III testing before the game went live, and the AH was a really big unknown. No one really knew how it would work out. That’s just game design. You create ideas in your head but you never really know how it will work, since players do things you can never expect.

    I was surprised to hear this part, since his earlier talk about making legendaries so awesome, and allowing constant gear upgrades from what you find… seems to require a high degree of item binding. I mean that’s just obvious; if you change the game to make more better gear drop, then obviously that stuff will go straight into the Auction House, if you allow it.

    So you have to have item binding, if not on find then on equip. Or maybe you can make items only able to be sold once or twice? Or make them decrease say, 5% in value once they’re sold. Or each time they’re sold. There are a lot of ways to attack the problem, but boosting item drop quality and rate means nothing to the overall issues if you don’t make some binding type changes, since all that new better gear will just flood onto the AH otherwise, and we’re exactly where we are today, just with higher numbers.

    As we’ve talked about on a number of podcasts, the Hardcore economy is vastly more fun and functional than softcore, since there aren’t so many people flooding it, it’s harder to find good gear, there aren’t so many bots, but mostly since items leave the economy when players die. There’s never any item drain (or quality decrease) in softcore, and with paragon levels there are perpetually more high level chars with max MF finding better stuff, so the item supply is ever-increasing.

    The economy is the hardest thing to predict in advance?
    Travis: Yeah, players are resourceful. Unfortunately there are lots of players who like to make bots to play our games. And if there’s a valuable commodity that will make them money, they’ll flood the economy with it. That creates problems in terms of the right rate of acquisition of something, and how do we work out farming for players versus botters or people who exploit.

    That’s kind of why Demonic Essences had soul binding, since it was the way to fight it.

    We ban bots. We ban an outrageous number of bots. We just don’t always publicize it.

    Can we expect new affixes that do novel stuff, not just add numbers.
    Travis: Yeah. I’d like to think so. We always strive to find new affixes. The problem is ones that you’re talking about are the same ones other people think are crap. Like um… health globe radius. Or ignorable durability loss.

    At the core of the game there’s what you’re doing and what you’re getting. You’re killing monsters and getting loot. And generally if we don’t give you something that makes you kill faster or get more magic find, most people will look at it and think it’s stupid.

    That said, I think there’s room for more. I want every legendary to be memorable and unique and distinct. I think legendaries can do that. They don’t need to all be the best weapon in the game. Some can just do cool shit.

    I just think about what I’d like to find as a player. People ask what makes a good designer and I’m like, “I dunno, tell me when I’m one.”

    I think there are player and designer rolls. I try to take off my designer hat and put on a player hat sometimes. And think what would be cool. Players say they want more neat things, but if like 1/10 items I pick up has this neat thing on it, then it’s not fun or new or different anymore. If people have brilliant ideas that people want for item mods, I’d love to hear more about it. We always want to add more things you guys want to see. And it’s always hard to think up stuff that’s not just rehashes of current things.

    I try to read as many threads as I can. I can’t do too much since it takes a lot of time. I like to read things and hear what players are saying, but I don’t have that much time to contribute to every thread. But I definitely find good ideas from players.

    Like making the Call of Ancients last forever, I think I read that in a thread and I thought it was a great idea. So we’re going to put it into the game.

    Travis: No, Demon Hunter will never get any attention. We’re removing them from the game. I’m kidding, of course.

    Wyatt is way more the one to talk about this, but I can say… in a vacuum the Demon Hunter is great. The problem is less the Demon Hunter is bad but that in the end game the Barbs are way out of control compared to the other chars. I can say to Demon Hunter players what they won’t like to hear, is that they’re not really that bad. It’s just that other classes, Barbarians mostly.

    I don’t have huge solution long term, but basically Barbarians and CM Wizards are way out of line with the other builds. I’m not generally a fan of nerfing. I much prefer buffing. But when we talk about class and skill diversity, when you look at Witch Doctor and Demon Hunter, they have a lot of skill diversity compared to Barbs and Wizards. You have a lot of compelling, well-balanced skills. But then you’ve got the Barb and Wiz who have some skills that are clearly breaking the game in some ways, and generally it’s about proc coefficients that create a degenerate play experience that WW barbs have infinite rage sicne the procs on tornadoes is too high, which makes your Wrath of the Berzerker last forever, etc. So you’ve got all these things that are feeding into these few character archetypes that are way out of line with the rest of the game.

    So while those characters are way fun to play and I like the pay styles, they’re so efficient they overshadow everything else. I have a barb that I enjoy playing, and I use to do all kinds of weird builds, with Revenge and Overpower and stuff. But eventually I just tried out the WW/tornado thing, and it’s obviously better than everything else and then I felt like I had no real other choices anymore.

    I have to basically disagree with this. The DH was my first real Paragon level character in D3. I played her madly, tried tons of different builds, and by the time she was around Paragon 55 I got a little burned out and went back to level a Monk for a while. I started moving him up through the Paragons, by by Paragon 20 or so, when he had about 80k DPS, he was already *clearly* more effective than the DH, who had much better gear and over 170k DPS. As I upgraded gear the difference became more stark, and by the time the Monk had 120k DPS he was hugely better than the DH at 200k DPS, since he was so much more robust, hardly ever died, could hit so many more things constantly with more AoE, hardly had to waste any time kiting or retreating, had better burst damage for bosses, etc.

    I played a Barb not long after that and the difference there was even more stark, and while DHs have been boosted a few times in patches since then, most players who have experimented with all the classes (I have one of each to at least Paragon 30) are pretty unanimous in their view that the DH is the slowest overall, largely since she’s the most fragile.

    On a side issue, I think the DH needs a NDE or Spirit Vessel type death-cheating skill to make them more worth the effort in HC. Making the same class the most fragile and the most unable to survive any mistake is not a great recipe for Hardcore success.

    I think the Demon Hunter is the most polished in some ways. I can do different builds all the time.
    Travis: Demon Hunter is a good class. And I hear all the times that people think the Demon Hunter sucks. But I disagree. I think the Witch Doctor is a great char with so many options. I hear from people who think they’re way more fun than the Barb. Way more build options. But it’s just compared to the sheer power and speed of a Barbarian it’s lacking.

    2:14:45 —
    Is the solution to diminish the effectiveness of the Barb and Wiz? Or to make the gear required for those builds harder to get?
    Travis: Any class that has an ability with a vastly out of line proc coefficient with the rest of their skills… we see a great lack of diversity in the builds for that class. Because almost with every class people gravitate to those skills, and then get gear that capitalizes on their skills. And then there’s just no skill diversity.

    Chars like the Demon Hunter and Witch Doctor have good balance on their proc coefficients have a lot more build diversity. So we’re really working on fixing the proc coefficients.

    There are skills that are like 20 or 30% better than others, and that’s fine. But then skills like CM or tornadoes are like 10x better than other. And that’s just way out of line.

    At the same time, when we did the nerf in um… v1.04 I think? When we made the one change to tornadoes that slightly reduced their coefficient… I’m not offended that Barbs can WW all over the place, but I don’t like that they can only do that with the tornadoes. So we reduced the proc coefficient some, and we know people will freak out. So we took that down and also reduced the cost of Whirlwind, since we liked that players could WW all the time, but we didn’t like that to do so players were required to use Intro the Fray and other skills to enable it. Since that meant zero build diversity.

    And that didn’t really work. We didn’t change enough so most people kept using the same thing. Long term, we just don’t want specific things to be mandatory to a character.

    Ladder seasons some day?
    Travis: Everyone keeps asking about this! It’s something we talk about. It’s possible someday. One of the things I want is for Diablo 3 to remain playable for the long term, even after we’re not working on new updates anymore. It’s like D2 where there was hardly anyone working on it long term. Like, 5 years from now we’ll probably not be releasing new content an patches for Diablo 3. We’ll have moved on to working on Diablo4 or whatever.

    Ladders work very well for that. They keep the game fresh and reset the economy for people who want to opt into it. That’s great, but it does come with some baggage. But we probably want to have that one day, but I don’t know when we’ll do it or how it’ll work.

    Oh, I just said Diablo 4. Okay, I’ll break news and guarantee you that someday in the future, there will be a Diablo 4. It’ll probably be twenty years from now. *laughing*

    Grace periods so if you teleport from town to someone else in combat you won’t get destroyed instantly?
    Travis: Probably not going to add grace periods in. Look, if you’re teleporting into an area and getting one shotted, you should be in an area you can handle. I’m sure someone won’t like that answer. Look, communicate. Talk to the guy and ask him if it’s safe before you go in. I used to play with my brother a lot and he was using a Witch Doctor, and he used to joke that he had to hit Spirit Walk before he teleported in, since I was always in some super dangerous hairy situation and he’d die instantly.

    Honestly, coordinate a little bit. It’s easier now with the new multiplayer changes. We do things like put marks above someone’s banner so you’ll know they’re in combat. I know people want it, and if you’re in Hardcore you should be a little more cautious.

    2:22:00 —

    Can you comment on the attack speed nerf?
    Travis: Attack speed nerf was controversial. I will say… ultimately, I don’t think it needed to be done. I think there was concern… I’ll take that back. Maybe it needed to be done to some extent.

    This is where I get the “player’s shoes vs designer’s shoes” thing in my head. I’ll just make a really sweeping statement. As designers we get offended by things that don’t fit within the box they try to create. And when something becomes way the best modifier in the game, when a blue ring from a vendor (with IAS) is better than a pretty good rare ring, that’s a problem.

  • * The attack speed change was in DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.3, on June 19, 2012, and it reduced attack speed modifiers on all items, except quivers, by 50%.
  • It wasn’t a problem in the context of “something is always the best of X” and it’s fine to have things that are really powerful. But the mistake with IAS was mostly that we changed things people had already acquired. So I think in Diablo we’ll mostly never do that again. We’ll make the old thing that’s bad not drop anymore, and a new version that drops instead. So it was a controversial nerf, and hindsight 20/20 I don’t know that it needed to happen, but… I wasn’t actually on the Diablo 3 team at that point, and I gave them my insight that it didn’t really need change, but they went with a change.

    It was controversial but it was a useful lesson. And now the Diablo 3 team doesn’t nerf things out from under players anymore.

    Can we see runewords in Diablo 3?
    Travis: I like the idea of what Diablo 2 style runes do. I don’t necessarily like the old implementation. I think runes and sets have some overlap. At the core there’s the idea that individually they don’t do much, but it gives me a grand goal to aspire to. In D2 that was to get the runes and the item with the sockets, and make this amazing awesome item. I don’t get it right away, but it’s something to work for, and there are incremental goals along the way.

    In that way I think runes are cool. Or I want the same thing from Sets. The whole set bonus is huge, like infinite resources, but you work towards that goal long term.

    You probably won’t see runes in Diablo III the way they were in D2, but that was a bloated system to find out what it did, had to go to wikis to read the functions, etc. So there were drawbacks but it was an interesting system.

    Interesting he didn’t even mention that runes were in Diablo 3 for about the first 3 years of development, until the entire skill system overhaul where rune effects were baked into the skills and skill runes as objects were removed. That was probably a good change on the whole, but I still miss the whole customizing skill points aspect of it, where there were going to be 7 levels of runes with increasing power.

    Skill charges on gear?
    Travis: Probably won’t see that. Our game doesn’t really have clickable items. Also our game has a more robust skill system. D2 I didn’t like the hot key binding and all the keyboard clicking and such. You could have an item with charges and you’d mouse over it and bind that ability to a hotkey. We don’t have that. We think 6 buttons and your potion is enough buttons to click on. I like procs and such, but I don’t like items with charges that you have to repair to replenish, it’s never the right time to use them, etc.

    There’s design space there and maybe one day, but I have no current intention of going that route.

    Making farming more fun?
    Travis: We need to provide the players with more things to do. More content. More areas to explore. Density changes helped with that. Ultimately there will probably always be “the right” thing to do for exp. There will always be something in the game that’s got like 10% more exp than elsewhere. That’s fine. But I want to provide players with more things to do and more reasons to play than just gaining exp.

    Imagine if there’s some system that has something like Demonic Essence, but it’s only obtainable in some restricted area. Like a super demonic essence. And they only dropped from say, Diablo and Belial. I’m not saying we’re doing that, but we can find ways for you to care about other areas and other thigns in the game other than just your exp bar. And we want to enable that and give you more things to do, but it’ll take some time to get there.

    Why didn’t the game include all that to start with?
    Travis: Um… I dunno. A lot of this is just my opinion, so I can’t say exactly how it all happened. A lot of game dev is learned by doing. A lot of things that seem obvious now were not obvious years ago when the game was being designed.

    I’m in the fortunate position of coming in afterwards and seeing the problems and making fixes. It’s easy to look at it once it already exists and figuring how to make it better. But at the time it’s really hard to see everything and work at it at the time.

    A lot of the time there’s a “trust me on this” sort of attitude from designers. Players often want things, or think they want things, that won’t actually be the best idea.

    Going for the larger issue and at the core of things is useful. Like rather than my specific idea, Wyatt will say, “what’s that actually about. What are you enabling with that?”
    Travis: Players often don’t realize the real root of the problem. They’re good at seeing the problem on the surface, and the quick fix, but players might not have a high enough level view to see the root cause of the problem. So even angry ranty comments are useful, since you can see the underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

    It’s like going to the doctor and you’ve got runny nose, and instead of giving something to stop the symptom the doctor can treat your actual cold or pneumonia.

    2:37:00 —

    Differences between working on WoW and Diablo 3?
    Travis: They’re very different games. Blizzard is an outstanding place to work. I’m lucky to work with so many intelligent and highly-skilled devs.

    Warcraft was… they were different since WoW was an MMO and we had to sustain an ongoing game. Constantly doing new content. Updates for their subscription fees. The biggest difference is WoW is a much bigger team, so it’s different to work with so many people. Diablo is a smaller team.

    The other big difference is I can’t break WoW. There were more boundaries for what was acceptable for items or rewards. The game has to be sustained. Anything you make… it’s like power creep. Anything we make now has to be outdone later. So the boundaries for what’s acceptable is more defined and has less flexibility.

    when I started on Diablo 3 I was talking to my brother who is a dev on WoW. His short reply to me about Diablo loot fixes and improvements, he said, “just do everything you ever wanted to do on WoW but couldn’t.”

    I think there’s a lot of value, but in WoW the most extreme thing I ever did was make heirlooms. I thought leveling up new chars was lame and I wanted that experience to be more fun. So I made those items as good as they could be without undermining the experience structure of the game.

    So in Diablo 3 we’ve got more room to make something bigger and more powerful. Like an item set that gives infinite resource. You want to become a murder train and be super powerful in an ARPG. But an item like that can’t be in WoW, it’s too powerful for the system. So Diablo there’s more freedom in that regard. Crazier ideas are still acceptable.

    2:41:50 —

    If someone aspires to do what you do, what advice can you give them?
    Travis: That’s really hard to answer. I never know what to say. I guess play a lot of games. Video games, board games, card games, etc. Play everything and learn the core elements and see what’s fun and how things go together. What do you enjoy about games. All kinds of games. Understanding what makes a game good or bad and trying to figure out what you can do to improve it.

    It’s really hard to teach good design sense. The best advice I can give is the ability to step out of player’s shoes and into designer’s shoes. You need to set aside your personal emotional response to something and see why you feel that way and figure that the way you play the game isn’t the way that everyone plays the game.

    That’s a big one. I know a lot of people who can’t make that leap. They think everyone plays the game how they play the game. That’s not true. Understand why casual games or other types of games are enjoyable.

    If you want to be in some other area, work in art or programming or the like, WAY different answer. You need to get training in those fields, or a degree, etc. But for design like I do, it’s more about figuring why a game works or doesn’t, and figuring how it works and how to improve it. Identify the actual root cause of the problem rather than just chasing after the symptoms.

    When I got hired at Blizzard I didn’t really have any experience. That was 8 years ago as a GM. Then I moved to QA for like a year and a half, and eventually got a design position when it opened up. If you really want to be a game designer, and I knew I wanted to do that since I was like 12 years old, I just had to bite the bullet. I packed up all I owned and went to California and got a job as a CM and just worked my way up.

    College degrees in game design?
    Travis: Not really. I don’t know anybody who has a degree in game design. People come from all over. I knew a great designer here who was a high school math teacher. So he was really good at balancing things and figuring if the math was out of line. Rob Pardo has a degree in something odd.. like criminal psychology? I forget. But it’s something you wouldn’t think applies directly to video games.

    You don’t need training or a degree that’s in the field. But if you don’t have experience you need to really work your way up and start at the ground floor. I know a lot of people who can’t get things since they feel entitled. They want to come in and be right on top. Start at the bottom, work your way up, if you’re good you’ll get promoted and work your way up.


    Location-based viewing of friends.
    Travis: We’ve talked about adding features, so you can see players by location. It would be mostly applicable to like, web cafes. It would show you players from nearby locations.

    Travis: I love lots of different games. I’ve been playing a lot of Heartstone, since I have access to that at work. I like Netrunner. I paly a lot of Diablo 3. I play Smite. My fiancée streams for HighRes, and I play Smite with her on occasion. I played Neverwinter for a day or two and didn’t really get into it. I play anything. Anything good, how about that? I played Bioshock recently. Loved that game. I was ranting about how good it was.

    Path of Exile. Nah. I looked at it and didn’t feel interested. To be fair, I should try it since it’s very similar to our game. But I think enough other people here played it and we sort of gleaned everything worth taking from it.

    If anything his spoken words were even more dismissive of PoE than this semi-transcript. He didn’t sound insulting, just very disinterested. I wish the streamer had pursued that a bit, to ask what he didn’t think was of interest in it. The gigantic PoE passive skill system is one obvious point of difference, but I’m pretty sure Travis or other Bliz guys would just say that it’s interesting, but totally against the Blizzard philosophy of simple controls and interfaces, and not off-putting new players with what looks like huge complexity and consequences for game decisions made from noob-ignorance.

    On the whole, Travis’ talk was quite interesting. I was almost afraid to transcribe some portions, since I’m afraid that Bliz PR will see them and check to be sure that the bomb in his brain hasn’t been disabled, or they’ll send him off to some PR reeducation camp from which he’ll emerge spouting CM-style platitudes. Great to hear a D3 dev actually speaking his opinion on so many things and not temporizing or wishy-washy wording his way out of ever calling garbage “garbage.”


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    1. Making rares useless is bad idea. If they did that it means they need to keep making legendary items constantly. Whereas if rares could be better in terms of rAw dpa or ehp then they could keep the item hunt going.

      • YES. Uniques don’t need to be “better” than Rares, they just need to do things that Rare CAN’T do. They need to open up *new*, interesting builds, not simply make the existing ones more powerful. ARGH! It drives me nuts listening to this stuff. Why can’t they just let me design their game for them already! 😛

        • can I vote that up 100 times

          yovargas – new item designer for D3 1.10

        • Can’t say I agree to that :s
          If legendaries aren’t better and only different I’d just imagine people bitching about legendaries not being better and not using them anyway

        • Sorry but I don’t want the current stat stick rares to be as good as the potential new legendarys coming out because you all think that legendarys “should just be different”. On a weapon, if crit damage,socket,main stat,attack speed is still better than having the new legendarys this game will be deemed a failure again. Legendarys should based on their rarity be much better than rares.

          • So you think it’d be a good thing to get the point where all whites and blues and yellows become garbage gear because you’re only ever looking for BiS uniques? This does not sound like my idea of good itemization.

          • But if legendaries are “much better” than rares then everyone will eventually wear nothing but legendaries. It’s simple mathematics – given enough time, legendaries WILL drop and they WILL be better than your rares. That is a bad thing for all kinds of reasons.

            • I’m just thinking that either way something will be better, and legendaries not feeling legendary is just disappointing.
              “given enough time, legendaries WILL drop and they WILL be better than your rares.”
              Yeah, and given enough time, what is best will drop whether they be rares or legendaries right? Perhaps if only there was a ladder system or something to prevent the economy from going this far in any direction 🙂 *wishful thinking*
              Same response to yovargas up there I suppse, would you really want rares to be BiS then? Maybe it’s just a matter of personal preference then, I think I’d prefer uniques myself. I suppose the best could be some middle ground, if possible.
              In d2 lod uniques were generally better than rares and at least I had no problems with that, in fact I liked it. On the other hand there then was the runeword system for the very high end. But that said the itemization and stats on items are very different..

            • Ideally, what I’d prefer is that no item type be “BiS”, that it depend more on the build and what you’re trying to do and what kind of rolls you get. Travis gave the example of the 300 Spear which gives a big boost to Weapon Throw. Maybe a good roll on that would be the BiS if you wanna try and do a build based around WT but if you’re not doing that, then some really top-notch rares (and crafted items too!!) would be able to compete. Variety is the name of the game!

            • @ Yovargas: ah, that’s a good point 🙂

            • Ideally, there should be a use for most item types, and making sure that no item type is BiS by design goes a long way towards accomplishing that.

              What I’m saying is: legendaries do not have to be the most interesting AND the most powerful items, because if they are then what good are the other item types? Placeholders until you find a legendary? That’s kind of what Travis’ reply is hinting at, so I’m hoping they’ll find some middle ground where there’s room for both rares and legendaries.

            • He said legendarys will/can change builds. Lets take the + extra hydra orb/set for example, this will entice wizards to use the hydra skill and base their play style around it. To me this is acceptable and a good example how legendarys should be in the future. There is no rare that will ever be aloud to have +1 hydra and this is acceptable too as rares at best should be really good stat sticks. The question comes down to what basic stats would you give an orb that gives +1 or 2 hydra. It doesn’t have to have the highest possible stats that a rare could have and perhaps thats fine. But legendarys should nonetheless be POWERFUL in what makes them unique.

            • I think what we are all agreeing on is that legendary’s power should come from how they modify the skill sets players choose like in the example I mentioned above not necessarily from stats. So a player that has a orb that gives +1 or +2 hydras will NEED to use the hydra skill to take advantage of the legendary items power. I suppose that is the middle ground here, not high main stats/critdmg/socket/ that you’d find on good rares.

          • Rares with stats that are as good as legendarys (that sickle thing is a nice example) are MORE RARE then the legendarys itself.
            So its okay that they can be more powerfull if rolled perfect then a mediocore, less rare, legendarys.

      • Yeah, I think many of us agreed with Travis on pretty much all of his points, except perhaps the notion that legendaries should be the most powerful items in the game.

        We’re already in a situation where rare drops are trivialized by legendaries and crafts, so if anything the itemization changes should strive to change that. I don’t think rare drops should be reduced to “the items you use before you’ve found legendaries or crafted ilvl 63s”.

        Making legendaries interesting is a great thing, but maybe that – along with reduced variance on ALL gear – is all that needs to be done.

        • I’m considering going back to listen to that part again, since I’m not sure I interpreted Travis’ meaning entirely. He was talking about Legendaries in general and mixing that with talk about Legendaries for self found and low level chars. Like when the streamer finds legendary bracer, and Travis talks about how if that guy found a legendary two-handed mace he should be totally excited and know it was going to be awesome.

          I wasn’t clear if Travis meant that for someone playing like the streamer was, or for anyone self found, or for a paragon 80 farming Inferno. And as many have noted, Travis sounded so extremely pro-Legendary, to the point that every char would just be all in orange/green, that it sounds weird. Unbalanced.

          • It’s true that he jumped back and forth in terms of context and such. To me it was mostly his tone throughout the interview that lead to that interpretation, but if I were to give an example it would be around the 1h 10 min mark, where he’s talking about players having awesome and overpowered items to strive for, how rarity should correspond to power, how “an orange [should be] to a yellow what a yellow is to a blue” and so on.

            (Granted, I was running A1 while listening to the thing so I might’ve missed a few key points, but those were the parts that stood out to me).

    2. “I found it funny to hear the obvious annoyance in Travis’ voice, but at the same thing… repeat running Leoric’s Manor with a low level character is like the single most D2-style play mode in the entire game.
      We didn’t do runs like that in D2 purely for experience, and certainly not at low levels, but that game was all about runs of small areas, over and over again, for exp or items.”

      It could simply be a limitation of a 3D game, but when I would do runs multiple times in D2 it never got stale because of how random it was. Leoric’s Manor will always look the same, the only random factor is if it has an elite mob or not. Random levels is at the very basis of the Diablo franchise and I feel that they just didn’t deliver on this, and so runs become mind-numbingly boring after a time. At least for me, taking the waypoint to the council got boring because the layout never changed in D2. Diablo’s area sort of felt the same, but the areas leading up to it I thoroughly enjoyed, maybe just because of atmosphere and the severe lack of forced cut scenes. Once on normal for the story was fine… if the story had held even a shred of quality, but being locked into the story so that you are forced to reload between acts is just unacceptable.

      At first I thought the tile system for the outdoors was a magnificent idea. On paper it really does seem like a better way. They, however, executed this aspect of the game poorly. The areas are far too small, too uninspiring, and allow me to move through them without the element of exploration, aside from one or two dungeons along the way tide to the story. All of the dungeon tiles are very predictable, and can be navigated through without seeing more than half of the dungeon with ease. If they do decide on an endless dungeon they need to make it truly random. I just fear that this isn’t possible with the current hardware in the game, which is a fatal flaw. At the very least they should have multiple exits and entrances for each level and over a large area, while also incorporating outdoor art.

      • I agree, the feeling of exploration is another big change that needs to be looked into and improved. This can be accomplished by bigger zones and better tileset randomization

    3. That was a magnificent text wall. I did enjoy reading blue text that discussed the game with candor and actually mentioned specific details about design and gameplay. It’s like Travis is a person, and not a Blizzard PR terminal. Now to wait a couple years for any of this to be implemented, or not.

    4. Thank you Flux!
      That must have been a lot of work to transcribe the whole thing.
      Enjoyed it alot.

      • I agree. You work your balls off Flux and don’t get half the credit you deserve.

      • Yeah amazing work!

      • Thanks and glad you guys enjoyed it. I type really fast and there was a lot of side chat going on during this one, so it wasn’t too hard to record it. I did most of it in real time, just listening and typing a summary with some direct quotes mixed in. I had to rewind a few times to get the details right, but it wasn’t that big a chore.

        That said, I’ll be fine if they don’t do another 3 hour streaming chat any time all that soon…

    5. I appreciate his candor and look forward to these changes, but in the way I look forward to something far off, on the horizon.

      I think Travis seems to have a generally good idea of how to insert a bit of the ol’ je ne sais quoi into the game, but he also acknowledges Blizzard’s glacial pace and the fact that he can’t really warm it up.

      At my job, when we create product or have to amend existing product that isn’t meeting its goals, we do a triage situation where we address the biggest issues with available short-term fixes in the short-term, while also planning out medium-term and long-term redevelopments. Travis has outlined a crapton of things he would like to change — yet none of those changes are forthcoming. I’m curious as to why they can’t get some of the more obvious, quick things out sooner, rather than later — not everything he’s talking about requires new art assets or balancing.

      • IMO they have to hold some changes/features back for expansions, from a business standpoint. Didn’t they want 2 or 3 xpacs?

        RMAH notwithstanding, expansions are their primary source of revenue over time for Diablo. Things like mystic/enchanment, elemental damage effects, skillrune modifiers, talisman, new paragon stuff — i think those could all be held for an expansion. Hell i wouldnt be surprised if the major itemization changes and PVP are introduced then, given Travis’ comments about how he’s taking his time with PVP to do it right, that some of the item stuff is a far way off, and that they don’t want to change everyone’s existing items.

        In regard to the main article, I’m especially interested about things like specific items or item types from targeted monsters. Never though I’d say this, but I kind of miss doing a whack of boss runs in a row occasionally. Or at least having that option. The comments about the endless dungeon pointing to a root issue in playability gives hope that he actually does ‘get it’ and can see some of these issues in a wider scope. Time will tell if the rest of the team goes along with it.

        I bet they do ladders eventually, but down the road to play on Travis’ comments about longevity. I think it would also be a good time to link in ironborn, where the ‘ladder realm’ does not allow use of the auction house, with characters transferring over the the standard SC/HC realm at season’s end, allowing for an influx of presumably ladder-only items into the regular economy and/or AH. Reset every year or whatever and there you go. As long as the item issues have been mostly resolved. Doesn’t help people that want a permanent ironborn, but I really dont see them actually implementing another population segregation option — which, as mentioned, is the only way to do it properly.

        All in all, very interesting. Really nice to hear a candid conversation, but i wonder what will get nerfed first: CM wiz, perma wrath Barb, or Travis’ interview availability.

        Big thanks to Flux for the summary transcript.

      • Blizzard has become a big dinosaur. Just having to sit and wait 3 years or something for an expansion is mind boggling.

    6. Hard to focus @ 3:15 A.M. Miami time. This gentleman seems to have a rather sympathetic understanding of D3 flaws, so what is the over/under on his employment with ********?

    7. In D2 you could go everywhere in the game, blow up act bosses, run the lvl 85 areas, do ubers, do a countess run, cows, etc. They need to open D3 up.

    8. How could Blizzard, Travis or otherwise, be so damn naive about how people were going to use the AH w/o any soul bound gear? Didn’t they ever play D2? Did they ever go and ask the guys who made WoW why they tried binding? They had a reason for it. I’m really curious as to what it was, way back in 2004. I can’t imagine they didn’t have the idea after watching the total disaster of D2 trading.

      And he keeps claiming random is great, but then Legendaries are going to be the best items in the games. Dude, buff rares. Seriously, buff rares, and make them interesting (set bonuses, for a start). Especially if you keep the same color scheme.

      A lot of good ideas, but still, I dunno if he thinks enough w/ his developer hat. Especially Paragon. He’s proud of WoW Heirlooms b/c it lets players speed through the “boring leveling parts.” Yeah, exactly. SO WHY CHAMPION AN EVEN LAMER LEVELING GRIND? Leveling is a time sink, always was, always will be. The sooner they get over leveling, the better off the game will be.

    9. I’m gonna say it, Travis is what D3 needs to be pulled back into the image of its predecessor. He states his enthusiasm to make this game better with great integrity and I’d say he could do it if anyone can. I can tell by listening to everything he said he has a good foundation and philosophy that I think represents what makes the game a true Diablo game. This was exactly what we needed to hear from a dev, he gave a lot of information about the direction they’re taking the game without actually giving away what they’re doing behind the scenes. I don’t think anyone finished that interview saying to themselves “BAH another stupid PR lingo BS” like we did with other recent dev talks.

      About itemization, I think tying legendary’s in to effecting players spells is a great starting point for uniqueness on them. For the example they used before, letting a wizard cast an extra hydra with an orb that has +1 hydra is awesome, but maybe having a whole wizard set that each piece adds +1 hydra so 4 total would be even better. I think this philosophy on itemization for legendarys/sets implemented and “dialed up to 11” is one of the right ways to improve high level items.

      For the most part he touched on a lot of right ideas for the game, such as “What do I want to do today” by adding in several ways to play or farm Diablo3, farming specific areas for specifics items and so on. Also, yes put in ladders, put in ironbound mode too. Make character customization better perhaps more/new skills. Put the imbue system back for whites to make them useful.

    10. Sounds like this guy should have been on the D3 team from the beginning. Though he probably wouldn’t be able to make a difference then. But I look forward to whatever he can change with the game now. Too bad they can never bring back the skill tree… I miss that sorely.

      • Don’t see why they couldn’t re-introduce it. They can have a skill tree, different to D2 and in that way they wouldn’t have to admit what they did with D3 wasn’t as successful as they wanted it to be.

      • He recognizes that its easier to see the mistakes with the game now than it would have been 5 years ago which he is right. I think he still would have been better for the game 5 years ago but I think the state d3 is in right now is what is motivating to really fix it.

        • While this is true to some extent – the crazyness of procs wasn’t widely realized for maybe 2 months after release – I think the majority of D3’s big issues were quite obvious to me after my first play through Normal. That’s all it took to see that, gee, I’m only using +mainstat/+Vit on ALL of my items, something’s wrong here (and only starts getting somewhat better in Inferno…

          By end of Normal you can also tell – most gems are useless in most slots; far too many runes are way underpowered; Thorns is wildly, comically underpowered; crafting is clunky and uninteresting; and, of course, the story’s quite a mess. By the end of my 2nd play through Normal, it was also pretty obvious that the game didn’t have nearly enough in-game gold sinks, that you should be able to skip cut scenes, and that the game should let you travel between acts without quitting the game, and the game social options were pathetically thin.

          • Indeed.

            I may not be a professional game designer but the flaws of the game were glaring to me on just one playthrough, I dont know why it took them so long to realise it.

    11. Fascinating read. From Travis’ comments Diablo 3 is really going down the right path. It’s already a much better game than when it came out. Definitely not as good as Diablo 2 yet. But improvements to itemization, (semi-) permanent character customization and character skills might change that.

      Especially the continuing itemization improvements. I remember playing WoW vanilla. I had great fun with it, but was always so disappointed with the itemization. A slight gradual increase in stat values sums up everything you need to know about it. Travis’ comment about such itemization being necessary in an MMO in order to sustain the game make perfect sense. And make it even more frustrating Diablo 3 itemization was originally designed with the same MMO philisophy. I used to think the poor itemization was due to Diablo 3 having been shipped before it was ready. Can’t wait for the further changes to be implemented.

      I disagree with the dismissing of the skill trees. The skill trees in Diablo 2 and (early?) WoW made every level gained a joy, it opened up so many different builds (underpowered skill? put in more points to compensate and dial it to eleven while turning heads with your unique skill), allowed so much differentiation compared to the current systems where every character has every skill at his disposal… etc. With the skill trees removed some time ago (from WoW as well, I believe?), it sounds as if Blizzard is currently still defending the prior decision to remove them rather than objectively looking at what skill trees can and used to offer. I can understand skill trees being an absolute nightmare to balance, but I’ve never played any game where it felt more rewarding to gain a level than Diablo 2 and to an extent, early WoW.

    12. So it seems that maybe in 2,3 years the game is playable. Too bad we could already have had everything and more since a year. Feels like the design process for D3 is just starting…

      only two things:

      1) “I want there to be items that are game-changing. That when you find them you want to make a new character just to use that item”

      Well, for this you will have to change the whole game basics, Mr Day

      2) Making rares worthless compared to legendaries is a very bad idea. One of the best items in D2 were rares, I especially liked my awesome rare rings with mana leech.

    13. Thanks for the huge wall of text Flux. Certainly saved some time. Overall some of the replies were much better than with Wyatt, but I gotta be honest – I’m still about as disappointed as one can be. Not because of the ideas Travis has for the game, but because of the pace and timing of it all.

      The more they talk about everything it seems like the more important things won’t even make it into an expansion. They fail to acknowledge the true purpose of Ironborn and ladders indeed sound like something in the very distant future where D3 development has stopped.

      It’s sad since I really want this game to shine and reach its potential, but right now all I have to look for are other ARPGs that always fall short of the excellent core gameplay and feel of D3.

    14. “Travis thinks the IAS nerf in v1.03 was a mistake since it changed existing items. They’ve learned from that example and will not repeat it. (See how they dealt with the buggy DiabloWikiBlack Weapons, for example.)”

      Apples and oranges. IAS on items had a huge balance problem. Physical damage on weapons being better than elemental damage is a bug. How they handled (does doing nothing counts as handling something?) the black damage bug really upset me, I think it sets a dangerous precedent: when people pay money for buggy items, everyone will suffer because the itemization won’t be fixed. Best argument against the AH ever, since the devs will surely make more mistakes eventually, as humans do.

      I like that they think about the player-side of things when balancing and in the future the stats of my current items won’t change, but I think that leaving legacy items in circulation is a mistake, either after bug or balance fixes. I think all legacy items should become automatically and irrevocably soulbound to keep them from contamination the economy.

      • I probably should have said how they handled Rubies in weapons, since they were giving bugged damage the same as black weapons, but when rubies got upgraded in a patch they just fixed the bug in the new ones. And since they were upgraded in damage everyone instantly moved to the new ones, since the were much better even without the bug benefit.

        That would have happened with all the early IAS items too, since v1.03 changed IAS and that was less than 5 weeks after launch. I’m sure there were a few items found in the first month of D3 that had such an amazing roll that someone would still be using it (especially with the extra IAS) but those items would be a miniscule % of the total gear today.

        • Oh yeah, the Ruby fix was cool. I was talking about the physical damage affix, which is still bugged to this day. The devs don’t plan to fix it anytime soon as far as I know and the reason given was that they don’t want to upset the people who paid money for those items. That was what upset me.

          As for the legacy items, I meant all of them, not just old Rares with the powerful IAS affix. Make all Legendaries account bound as well. Trading things like the old Natalya’s set shouldn’t be possible in my opinion. The set was indeed balanced, but the price of the legacy version skyrocketed, because it’s actually better for certain builds, even though you lose a lot of stats. Wsa this the intention of the devs? I doubt it. The junk legacy items should become account bound as well, even if just to clear up the AH’s Legendary list.

    15. In Diablo 2, players did not even have to give feedback. The itemization was outright solid and tons of new items that are ACTUALLY GOOD AND INTERESTING were added patch by patch. Game developers these days need people to tell them what to do and they still fail?

      In D2, there were legit choices to almost every slot of gear. Play a barb? Vampire Gaze/Arreats Face/ 3 socketed hels with damage gems/runeword items.

      D3? YOLO crit chance mempo.

      3 years down the road, you will still be stacking that ias / crit chance/ crit damage. This was how the game was designed from the start. Even + light radius in D2 is more meaningful and interesting than anything D3 had to offer (I thought light radius was bad in D2 back in those days, I am horribly wrong)

      • Yea, but it took a year to get a patch in D2, the massive influx of new items came in 2004 or so, 3 years after the expac was released.

    16. I’m most excited to see what they do with paragon/skills Since I have been a huge advocate for using that system to allow some form of “rune ranks” so to speak. Also I’m really interested into seeing what they do to counter and compete with CC/CD. I really hope whatever they do there will be at least 2 competitors viable to replace CC and CD. I’m really hopeful for the itemization patch, but it troubles me that whatever they do simply won’t be enough since the stat/damage system is so shallow and strict. Either way it was good to hear more stuff like this.

    17. They can talks how much long they want but if they dont put something into to Diablo3 items soon or next patch this game will die total and no one want ever play this game anymore..

    18. Thanks for the reading. Interesting read.

      • I miss an edit button…
        I am very interested in how Travis intends to change the paragon system. I think that more variety could be interesting, or some kind of customization or perks system. But maybe it’s just the bad influence from Skyrim…

    19. Very interesting read.
      As usual he says a lot of good stuff, I just wonder if we will ever see some actions based on his words.

      It was sad to read, that:
      It wasn’t a problem in the context of “something is always the best of X” and it’s fine to have things that are really powerful. But the mistake with IAS was mostly that we changed things people had already acquired. So I think in Diablo we’ll mostly never do that again.
      It was controversial but it was a useful lesson. And now the Diablo 3 team doesn’t nerf things out from under players anymore.
      Sometimes you really do have to nerf hard and fast. You only make the issue worse by waiting. IAS nerf was good.

      For example he seem to finally realize that WW barb spec needs nerfing, but it would have been much better and less harsh on the players if it had just happened 8 months ago.

    20. TL;DR: Diablo III will remain in beta for the next three years.

    21. Very good article , I posted it on reddit.

    22. QUOTE

      Ideally, what I'd prefer is that no item type be "BiS", that it depend more on the build and what you're trying to do and what kind of rolls you get. Travis gave the example of the 300 Spear which gives a big boost to Weapon Throw. Maybe a good roll on that would be the BiS if you wanna try and do a build based around WT but if you're not doing that, then some really top-notch rares (and crafted items too!!) would be able to compete. Variety is the name of the game!

      Yeah exactly.

      That way itemization can also become another tool for skill balancing.
      Have an underpowered skill? Now you can either buff the skill or add some legendaries that work well with said skill
      And with an overpowered build, it might be more sensible to nerf the legendary items people used with it, than nerfing the skills. If Blizzard wasn’t afraid of nerfing anyway.

    23. “I want there to be items that are game-changing. That when you find them you want to make a new character just to use that item. Like, and this is a bad example, but what if there was a Witch Doctor mask that doubled all pet damage. Pets aren’t great, but that’s kind of the thing we’re thinking about.”

      If only. And how are going to accomplish this when classes do not have character builds and there is no reason to ever re-roll and start over?

      You put said item in the game right now, 5 seconds after finding the item I’m re-skilled and running around with uber pets with my same old level 60. And 5 minutes after that, I’m bored and quit again because the game difficulty is currently a complete joke. Why do I need double-damage pets when everything already falls over dead?

      You have a lot work a head of you (complete game re-design).

      • Grinding 15-30 hours (legit) just to experiment w/ a new build/item set is a non-starter. It’s not character building, it’s a time sink, pure and simple. I’d rather spend that 15-30 hours practicing those new skills/builds/items w/ my current character.

        The problem comes from there being not nearly enough stuff to do at the end. No PvP, not enough Ubers/Key type events, not enough random quests, not enough quest/event variety, not enough “impossible” to get banner stuff and achievements. At least the gear grind in WoW ties into real goals; Heroic raids, timed scenarios, PvP rankings. I didn’t hear enough in this transcript to see that kind of future for the game. There’s the usual non-response about PvP, but there has to be a real end-game, something to do w/ the gear other than get more gear.

        And if you have that, multiple and varied (and difficult) goals at the end of the game, then you don’t need permanent characters and constant time-wasting rerolling, you just need to practice practice and practice at your new objectives. Then when you master that, you find a new facet of the game to master. There just needs to be more facets.

        • You can play it your style. But I don’t remember anyone complaining about having to create a new character to enjoy specific builds and weapons. It worked very well in D2, and tbh, there are numerous ways to level-up fast. How can pple see it as a problem. Besides, there is also re-rolling, so there is really NO problem with that. Understand it, once and for all. D2 approach makes you want to play again and again a character. D3, kills this.

          But I agree with you in a way. If they had managed to give a decent end game, then this would not be an issue, or it would hurt a lot less.

          • I agree, I would not mind re leveling a character just to do a new build, there was something exciting about that and the motivation was there so it didn’t feel like some pointless 15-30 hour grind, it was something you anticipated to achieve at level 70+

          • Exactly. D3 is supposed to be an action RPG. As such, there needs to be character builds, reasons to get excited and re-roll, and quest rewards. D3 has none of these, which is a large part of why D3 fails as at being an RPG.

            I can appreciate wanting to experiment with your current character without having to start over, but removing everything that makes an RPG an RPG is not the answer. Along with character builds, there is no reason there should not be quest rewards that give respec points, or items drops that give respec points, or crafting recipes that give respec points. If you have a 100 point skill point system, and while leveling up you get 20 respec points as quest rewards, plus find items that give respec points, and currency that allows you to craft or purchase repsec points, then you should be able to experiment without having to start over. Now, you probably won’t be able to completely undo a 100 point build without putting in the time to become rich, but you will be able to experiment. And honestly, while I cannot fathom why anyone would need to completely undo a 100 point build, I don’t have a problem with the game providing the mechanics to undo a 100 point build with the proper time/resource sink.

          • I hated re-rolling just to try out different builds. The respecs in 1.14 whatever were awesome. I could switch up my Necro based on what kind of +skills rolled on the various things I picked up. Or when I just got utterly sick of the Fishymancer (Poison/Bone was fun, but too many damn immunities).

      • Playing time equals gold equals money in Diablo 3.

        Nobody is going to start a lv 1 WD when he could run around with paragon100 mp10 character; every time you don’t play your max magic find character in your Diablo 3 playtime, you are falling back.

        Game’s flawed beyond any salvation. He talked about Diablo 4 already, why not go and make this.

    24. Well… Mr Travis has a lot of work ahead of him if he ever wants to have all of those issues fixed, like someone said, a complete Re-design of a game that was made by a commitee forcing to make the game catter down to the lowest denominator and which main game element (itemzation) has been poisoned by realmoney transactions.

      Good thing D3 is still in Beta, or maybe Alpha.

    25. nerf to CMs – finally
      borring gameplay in party, disabling elite affixes ect. Just add CM passive that it can proc only twice in second and all is made, no need nerf twister’s proc coef.

    26. Thanks again, Flux. You rock.

    27. So, a dude from WoW is doing itemization in D3… I kind of doubt anything good comes out of it. -_-

    28. My feelings are mixed. It is good to see they are eventually taking some huge steps on itemization. But it is so terrifying, how they talk about it. As if they just jumped in D3 development, and try to find out how to move on on items. As if they started to play Diablo the last 2-3 months or something. Hopefully I’m wrong.

      I find it pure irony, that some of his sayings sound like trying to reinvent stuff from D2. Very hard to find and very rewarding legendaries, like the rare runewords. Where is the ignorance and all that boasting from Jay Wilson’s team? Denying the community’s ideas and solutions in the recent past…

      Anyway, let’s see how this turns out. I’m trying to be as positive as I can.

    29. “I want there to be items that are game-changing. That when you find them you want to make a new character just to use that item.”
      Even in that case there is no need to make a “new character”. Thanks to the no-points-to-assign brilliant idea.

    30. There are to many problem with this game to make it a worth D2 sequel. Also, many problems are multi-dimensional, spanning multiple systems, for Ex. how damage scales from weapons, which makes skills and weapons a combined system, creating a lot of mess.

      In D2 skills and items were neatly separated into two layers. Your skills boosted item stats. In D3 items are directly linked to skills and in a more convoluted way.

      I find it shocking that they decided that single res should be lower than all res. This essentially makes single res useless. These are basic, simple design decisions and they fail hard. Don’t expect them to come up with a groundbreaking overhaul.

      Notice that this dude is a former GM, QA employee, who got promoted to design D3. It’s like an insult to the franchise. Really? QA guy will be designing D3? How unambitious is that?

      • nice point about the resistances I agree with, AR should be the lower number

      • The logic behind making single-res intentionally useless is pretty shocking in its ineptitude. It really is very hard for me to understand how they could make such blatant, obvious mistakes. And so many of them!!

    31. >DH are in a good place.

      Least synergy, worst in high MPs.

      >Wiz/Barb are overpowered.

      Hey, classes with synergy!

      Not our fault it’s all about crit.

    32. Haven’t read diablo.incgamers for a while. Good to know that nostalgia and rose tinted glasses is still a thing. The amount of objectivity is too small for my liking.

      They don’t grasp it? How about you dont grasp where Travis talked about whether they need to support every kind of playstyle and have different modes. In how many groups do you want to segregate people into? How would you implement it? You aren’t thinking about the things a designer has to think about, yet make it sound like they dont know what theyre doing.

      If it was up to flux we’d still be playing tetris in inventory and have weapon switch button and some other bs, that were all better off without.

    33. None of the stuff he talks about sounds like its coming any time soon. It almost sounds like all of this is getting pushed into an expansion with pvp as the hook. I just don’t see a lot of people running out to by an expansion to a game they still perceive as broken.

      • I finally got to reading it fully, and yes, it seems next patch will not fix itemization, and likely nothing will be done to alleviate the core problems of the game until the expansion. Well, lots of other better games to play, and his quip about Diablo 4 just shores up the whole “D3 is dead” mentality by the vast lack of development done and long patch times that the game has had this year. Sure they got out 8 patches, but probably 4 of them were not even worth calling a patch, and the others mostly were useless drivel (that are going to change, see paragon levels, itemization, PvP, Balance, skills, etc.).

        So, looks like almost nothing has changed, and it will all be better in the expansion.


      • I dont perceive it as broken. Nor do “many people” therefore you will see “a lot” of people buy an expansion :).

    34. Let’s be honest, the item fixes they need cannot be done in a simple patch. Items still won’t work that well unless they:

      -Kill or hard-cap critical hit damage
      -Change main stats from percentage based increases to more additive/linear increases
      -Throw out weapon/helm gems and start over
      -Kill Magic Find once and for all
      -Change critical chance and attack speed to a rating (kind of like Armor or Resist)
      -Overhaul the resist system, not just affixes and values but on what it actually does. Seriously consider switching to two resists; physical and other
      -Redo two handed weapons, again
      -Redo shields, again. Consider shields block a percentage of damage, which makes them better for big, spiky damage, which is the majority of damage in Diablo.
      -Overhaul weapon elemental damage, and fix the black weapon bug
      -Completely redo crafting
      -Add Bind on Equip to every Legendary, to purge items w/o destroying all trading
      -Kill percentage life leech, and nerf life-on-hit, hard
      -Make higher item levels exclusive to higher monster power, and give a better progression curve so it is possible to work up the ladder w/ limited brick walls
      -Have multiple art styles at the same item level, so there’s better visual variety w/o sacrificing power. Yes, it’s not the end of the world if you recycle Nightmare/Hell art at ilvl 63

      And no, you can’t do ANY of that in a patch. That’s expansion level stuff. Even WoW isn’t stupid enough to overhaul everything mid-expansion.

      • “Redo shields, again. Consider shields block a percentage of damage, which makes them better for big, spiky damage, which is the majority of damage in Diablo.”

        Shields are fine. What’s not fine is that life steal goes through the roof as you get more damage, as you’ve said. Because of this it’s much better to just improve your damage as much as you can, while maintaining a bare minimum EHP and life steal. Shields are ignored, because you can do this without them. Nerf the armor and all res affix on other armor pieces and shields will become useful for higher MPs. I think PvP will increase demand for them as well.

        I also disagree, that the majority of incoming damage is spiky. 99% of monsters you encounter aren’t Elites and their damage aren’t spiky. Personally, I think that all the really powerful monster attacks can be dodged simply by moving away or at worst by using a mobility skill. I rarely felt that more damage mitigation would have helped me against Molten Elites, Dark Berserkers, Fallen Lunatics, Heralds of Pestilence or the like. On the other hand, in situation where my DH or Wizard became a pincushion for enemy archers I very much wished that shields would be better alternatives. Again, they are not, but I don’t think shields are the problem.

        “Have multiple art styles at the same item level, so there’s better visual variety w/o sacrificing power. Yes, it’s not the end of the world if you recycle Nightmare/Hell art at ilvl 63”

        Or let us combine the appearance of an item with another’s stats, ala WoW transmogrify.

    35. glad to see they think tornadoes for both barb and wiz are out of wack.

    36. I laughed at this

      “Grace periods so if you teleport from town to someone else in combat you won’t get destroyed instantly?
      Travis: Probably not going to add grace periods in. Look, if you’re teleporting into an area and getting one shotted, you should be in an area you can handle.”

      Or maybe it’s because I close Diablo 3 once in a while, and my pretty powerful PC is failing to run the game at full FPS because it’s forced to load game assets on demand instead of caching them ahead of time.

      • +1

        The memory management of D3 is truly horrible. It’s not even smart enough to precache the skill effects of players in a game or the attacks of monsters when you enter an area. Everything happens case by case during the action and not even in a separate thread, which slows the game down horribly when you enter areas for the first time. I died because of this. This is acceptable for a beta, but not for a full game, not in 2013.

        I got the distinct feeling the nobody tested the game on a consumer level HDD, because with an SSD you won’t notice this as much.

    37. Being a bit out of the loop, as I was rereading the “Sword of Truth”-Saga the last weeks and just skimmed the news, so please bear with me…

      That was an interesting interview with a lot of promising points in it. But stuck out most was the dance around not mentioning the pen&paper-roots of the diablo-series and western style rpgs in general. I hope that was because they’re in wild discussion about how to strengthen the root and Travis not wanting to raise any hopes in something that can’t be fixed yet. But his talk about skilltrees led me to believe that there’s a want to ditch this root entirely, which would from my point of view only work for a proper rpg by dropping stats entirely (, at least from the player side of things). This wouldn’t work for an arpg though, as upping one his stats is a big part of what makes up an arpg and letting big parts of that root (sinking points into skills, for example) drop out naturally results into a gamesystem feeling hollow and superficial.

      Some parts of the presented ideas seem to compensate for that effect (like the double damage for pets on an item), but are generating pidgeonholes in the area of itemization again. This could quite fast pile up to balancing out these pideonholes on top of “just” balancing out stats on items and skills in conjunction with them, thus making the game even harder to manage for the developers without adressing the real problems underneath, resulting only in a shortterm boost of interest from the playerside. In conclusion I would rather see changes in the utility of [a] certain skill(s) rather than an outstanding damage buff to differentiate Legendarys from yellows and blues. (Also I would like Legendarys to “learn” in one way or another: Legends can grow over time.)


      PS: Wherever I’ve spoken about Legendarys above, Setitems where included in thinking.

    38. I don’t understand how he think DH is Okay.Did he really try to play DH in Inferno.My main is a DH & I like playing it but really it dies more than other classes & I keep kiting all time & I have to play on a lower mp to try avoiding that.they really need to find a way to improve DH so that at least they don’t die as frequently

    39. QUOTE

      I don't understand how he think DH is Okay.Did he really try to play DH in Inferno.My main is a DH & I like playing it but really it dies more than other classes & I keep kiting all time & I have to play on a lower mp to try avoiding that.they really need to find a way to improve DH so that at least they don't die as frequently

      The DH is great. Everyone should be at the DH’s level, not the other way around.

    40. QUOTE

      The DH 
      great. Everyone should be at the DH's level, not the other way around.
      Because we need more doubling of it.
      DH = least synergestic, most heavily nerfed, least effective when played as intended and least effective in higher MPs class.
      Making everyone like them = making everyone suck.
      Not sure if serious or just trolling.
    41. I think he just means that the DH doesn’t have some uber mode like Archon or WotB, so a lot of the skills are more appealing because there isn’t one flashing neon skill that says, “Pick me, dummy!” instead of just face rolling all over the place.

    42. QUOTE

      I think he just means that the DH doesn't have some uber-cheese mode like Archon or WotB, so a lot of the skills are more appealing because there isn't one flashing neon skill that says, "Pick me, dummy!"
      Wyatt mentioned a lot of proposed buffs during his chat segment, (Impale, Entangling Shot, Chakram) so it's not like they think the DH is perfect, but in relative terms, I get the sense that they're very glad she doesn't have ONE stupidly over-powered build right now, as many other classes (BARBARIAN) do.
      *can of worms opened*

      Just stop. Less options does not equal more and never will. None of their skills stand out because they’re all low damage/synergy.

      Damage buffs alone rarely make a useless skill useful, as most are fundamentally flawed.

      DH is also the most nerfed class.

    43. QUOTE

      I think he just means that the DH doesn't have some uber-cheese mode like Archon or WotB, so a lot of the skills are more appealing because there isn't one flashing neon skill that says, "Pick me, dummy!"
      Wyatt mentioned a lot of proposed buffs during his chat segment, (Impale, Entangling Shot, Chakram) so it's not like they think the DH is perfect, but in relative terms, I get the sense that they're very glad she doesn't have ONE stupidly over-powered build right now, as many other classes (BARBARIAN) do.
      *can of worms opened*

      Pretty much this. The DH does not “suck” just because the Barb and Wiz have one wildly OP build. The DH quite possibly has the widest array of solid, useful skill options and thankfully none of them are so obviously powerful as to make the game a breeze. Instead, they make the game a fun challenge which is what Inferno was supposed to be – and still should be – for all classes. Here’s hoping the next balance patch introduces some good challenge back to all classes/builds. (And let’s also hope they don’t give the DH yet another cheesy crit-based “synergy” to compensate for the weaknesses she has.)

    44. I’m not posting the facepalm picture again.

      If you want a balanced class to point at, pick the Monk. No one ability for people to misunderstand and kneejerk over, more than one offensive skill and approach worth using, and the class functions without flattening everything. Of course it hardly functions as intended, what with it supposed to be a combo class and it mostly just holding one button while cycling cooldown abilities but hey.

      I mean, the whole point of games like this is to be overpowered which means really, every class should have several skills like Wrath of the Berserker (not Archon, you have to build your whole character around it then it still only works in low MPs unless you have a top 50 worlds Wizard). No such thing as too much power and all.

      But if you insist on going full World of Warcraft, even though that’s done nothing but make people mad (including the same people wanting this in the first place) your balance point is never the bottom, but the middle. And that means Monk, not DH. Incidentally I’ve seen several people scrap their DHs and use most of the gear on their Monk. They all have the same reasons – the class actually functions.

    45. QUOTE

      Of course it hardly functions as intended, what with it supposed to be a combo class and

      it mostly just holding one button while cycling cooldown abilities but hey.

      Oh yes, that sounds exactly like a class that’s working well…..

    46. DH is probably the most fun to play since you can actually die, you have to pay attention to what’s going on and have actual reflexes.

    47. QUOTE

      DH is probably the most fun to play since you can actually die, you have to pay attention to what's going on and have actual reflexes.

      You mean that it requires a bit of skill to play?? That sounds awful! Wouldn’t want any of that in a Diablo game…..

    48. QUOTE

      Oh yes, that sounds exactly like a class that's working well.....
      Actually, the point is to be fun. God modes aren't that fun IMO. Neither is "mostly just holding one button while cycling cooldown abilities
       but hey, I guess I'm a weirdo.
      Power wise they're fine. Style wise they aren't.
      DHs get both wrong.
      Powerful =/= godmode.

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