Bashiok on 35 Small Improvements

DiabloWikiBashiok responded to a thread that has kept track of things people have commonly asked for that could help the game flourish. The transcript is rather long, so it will be after the fold! A lot of information is revealed, and it certainly addresses many issues of the issues I’ve seen posted throughout the boards.

There are a lot of topics covered, and here’s a small excerpt:

1) I want to have some sort of warning and/or confirmation box when I’m about to do something that will cause me to lose Nephalem Valor stacks so that I don’t accidentally move or change an ability and lose my stacks.

Sounds reasonable. We’re adding in an action bar lock which should help with that, but a confirmation sounds like a possible addition to that. I think we’d like to try to see if the action bar lock works well enough first.

2) I want a checkbox for “buyout only” so that I don’t have to use a janky work-around.

Us too! This change should already be in for the 1.0.3 patch.

3) I want the option to show numerical cooldowns on my abilities so that I can better time them.

We’re really trying hard to avoid quickly bloating the game options, and since this would be an option, we’re cautiously approaching it and a few other toggle/option requests. Short answer, probably not right now.

4) I want to be able to move and resize the chat window so that I can put it where I want it.

We would love if this was possible too, and we’re right now looking into making it happen. The issue is that our UI system was designed in a way that makes this a pretty steep technical challenge. The question right now is just when we’d be able to pull it off. Unlikely for any nearby patches.

5) I want to be able to increase or decrease the font size in the chat window so that I can make it better for my monitor/resolution.

This change is in for patch 1.0.3! Yay.

6) I want to see absorption effects on my health bar so that I can easily see and act on my remaining absorption shield.

We really want to avoid showing health numbers or effects on the health resource spheres, it’s just a UI clutter issue we’re really trying to fight right now. A lot of easy solutions are to pile more UI on top of things, and it tends to really snowball once it begins. We could look at other tells or effects for this, though.

7) As a Wizard, I want to see a buff icon for “Magic Weapon” and “Familiar” so that I can know its current status.

We’re adding a buff icon for Magic Weapon in 1.0.3. We don’t intend to add one for Familiar as it’s a physically visible object on your screen. Magic Weapon was actually impossible to tell if it was up in quite a few cases. We’ll be continuing to watch skills and buff icons, though, as there could be some situations where we need to expose more.

8) I want some way to retain my stacks of Nephalem Valor when I accidentally disconnect so that I don’t feel terrible if I disconnect with a 5-stack before a boss.

We would love that too. Seriously. We’re already in the process of determining how much work it would be, and as always it’s a balance of priorities. I think this is a matter of not if, but when, and right now we’re not sure when we could get it in.

9) I want a way to disable lore/story text from showing up in the chat frame so that I don’t have to always scroll after an in-game conversation.

This is actually already an option in-game! 😀 Sound -> Show Quest Dialog In-Chat (is what I believe it’s called)

10) I want to have my previous follower always automatically follow me whenever I start a new single-player session so that I don’t forget and have to go back.

Good idea. We’ll look into it.

11) I would like to be able to repair my items from the auction house so that I can sell them without going in the game.

We’re just changing it so you can sell damaged items in the next patch.

12) I want to see what tier an item is before I salvage it so I can know what materials to expect.

It’s something we’ve talked about, but no concrete plans at this time. There are potentially better issues to focus on first for crafting in general.

13) I want my pets/minions to not attack invulnerable targets and instead focus on vulnerable targets so that I can kill things faster.

Yes! We’re looking into how to pull this off. It’s a bit tricky just due to how monster states work, but it shouldn’t be too difficult.

14) I want the experience bar to hide once I hit the maximum level so that it doesn’t take up unnecessary screen space.

Our UI really isn’t modular, so it’d be a lot of work just to save those few pixels. There’s probably more important fish to fry at the moment.

15) I want to see what difficulty my friends are playing so that I can know if I’ll be interested in joining them.

We have some great social window and quick join improvements coming in 1.0.3, including showing the game difficulty they’re in, who else is in the game with them, a bunch of just nice usability and UI changes, as well as making the quick join window smarter by limiting who is shown to you by level and difficulty.

16) I want to be made aware of “elective mode” once I’ve become familiar with the game so that I can learn about and try more advanced builds.

It’s already shown through the loading tips, but we’re looking to also add it as a tutorial tip that will show up whenever you begin a new difficulty from Nightmare-on.

17) I want it so that only my accepted friends can autojoin my game so that I don’t get surprised by “recent players” that aren’t my friends while playing.

Huh, well, yeah that sounds like a reasonable request. We’ll look into it.

18) I want the option to show numerical values around my health and power orbs so that I can make better decisions.

(see answer for number 6) I understand there’s a desire to see more numbers exposed, but again we’re really fighting UI and option bloat from all angles. I think a lot of additions are inevitable, but the game just came out 3 weeks ago and we’re looking at a product where we’ll be adding and tweaking for years and years.

19) I want to see a detailed view about all steps in the buying/selling process so that I can know exactly what the status on my purchase is (ex: “XXX Gold paid for YYY item, (newline)YYY item received, (newline), YYY item sent to stash”)

I’ll pass that along.

20) I want the game to automatically hit my next-best-potion type when I’m out of my current potion type so that I don’t have to reassign it during a long fight.

Yeah, we think there could be some ‘smarts’ added to the potion button too. It’s on a wish list, we don’t know when it’s something we could prioritize into an update.

21) I would like tooltips for damaged items to still show the item stats when looking at them from the sell menu so that I don’t have to log into the game to see them (maybe just put “damaged” somewhere on the tooltip?).

I believe this is resolved with the ability to sell damaged items in the next patch.

22) I want to be able to have ascending/descending orders by stat in the Auction House UI so that I can better find an item I want.

We’re looking at a number of AH UI improvements; there’s still a ways to go. The biggest issue is really adding more options when we’re already running into space constraints, but that’s our problem, and we’re working on it.

23) I want a “build saver” so that I can easily change between builds rather than trying to remember them.

We think that’d be cool too, it’s something we’ve been considering for a while. We don’t have it nailed down to begin working on it yet, though.

24) I want integration between the website’s “build saver” and an in-game build saver so that I can screw around with builds while not logged in.

Hah! That’d be cool. Probably on an extended wish list. 😉

25) I want to be able to move, scale, or hide any UI element so that I can make the UI convey me information in a more customized fashion.

Our UI isn’t modular, so this would be very difficult. We also don’t intend for the UI to be customizable to the degree of… well certainly not World of Warcraft, but any options we add for UI customization would be along the lines of minor tweaks. I realize a lot of MMO’s have very customizable UI’s these days, and people really like that, but it’s just not a focus of functionality for the game. We’d rather understand what improvements people would like, why, and try to tackle those specific issues.

26) I would like some way to get Tomes of Jewelcrafting in Inferno that’s not cumbersome so that I can combine my square gems without going back to Hell difficulty.

Ideally it’s something you can help address through just throwing some gold at the auction house if you don’t want to go back to Hell, but with commodities being down I realize that’s not an option. Our preference would be to see if use of the AH helps you meet those needs by just buying what other players don’t need. If not, we can look at some potential solutions.

27) I want a “Detailed Breakdown” option that allows me to compare stats such as resistances, magic finding, etc. so that I can better analyze item choices.

We’re planning to roll resistances into the defense comparison, and we’ll be evaluating other comparisons case by case. We know people really like the convenience of quick +/- red/green comparisons, but they’re not always as informative as they’re taken to be. In any case we’re approaching additions cautiously.

28) I want a private chat UI element so that it will be easier for me to hold multiple private conversations at once.

Similar to question number 4 it’s not something we’re opposed to, but isn’t easily pulled off due to how our UI works. We do want to improve the chat UI though, absolutely.

29) I want to be able to have a private chat room so that me and my friends can chat even if we’re in different Diablo sessions.

Customizable/private chat channels, yes, it’s something that’s been on our list.

30) I want a more complex query interface with “OR”/”AND” for stats so that I can better find an item I want to buy.

These are called boolean search terms, right? It’s an interesting proposition. To parrot my previous AH-related responses, there’s a lot of search improvements to be made.

31) I want to be able to see the stats of items that I’ve sold so that I can refer to previous sales when determining prices for new sales.

I can see how that could be useful.

32) I want invulnerable minions to not block projectiles so that I can actually kill an invulnerable minion pack. (More of an opinionated one :-P)

Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of just an issue of placement and projectile aim. We think Invulnerable enemies are a bit ridiculous right now anyway, but I wouldn’t say this suggestion is probably needed if we just make some overall changes to them.

33) I want to be able to disable companion conversations so that I’m not annoyed hearing them all the time.


We’re well aware. 😉

34) I want an option to skip all cutscenes/dialogue so that I don’t have to constantly press the spacebar to advance in the current game flow.

If you hit Esc during any ‘forced’ conversations, cutscenes, etc. you can skip right through them. We think it works pretty well. I’d be open to hearing any specific issues it’s causing, though.

35) I do not want my followers to initiate combat with elite, rare, or treasure goblins so that I can have more time to prepare to fight them.

We have some AI tweaks to do with followers, we know this can get pretty annoying (or deadly).

PHEW! Well, again, thanks for compiling that, thanks to everyone for your continued feedback. There’s a lot here we’re already aware of, working on, or have already implemented in a patch, and I realize there are a fair amount of other concerns not covered here that are also being addressed. We’ll have some additional information on upcoming patches and improvements in the weeks ahead. Keep cool.

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70 thoughts on “Bashiok on 35 Small Improvements

  1. So they think invulnerable enemies are a bit ridiculous.  I guess that’s a good sign, I’ll be interested to see what comes up in the next patch.  Too bad the UI isn’t modular- that pretty much guarantees that there won’t be any customizable options (although I’m ok with the way it is now).

    • Does anyone else think it’s ridiculous to be playing an action RPG by staring at the skill bar watching your cooldowns or triggered abilities so you can spam them as soon as they become active?

      Well, I do. 

        • Yeah, no kidding. Because odds are when that serenity cooldown or diamond skin cooldown comes off, it won’t fire off anyway until you start spamming the hotkey for it.

        • If that’s what you say, you don’t have Revenge on your skill bar. The lack of cooldown text doesn’t help either. Numbers are absolute, spirals are relative; what’s 7s to go for Spirit Walk is 30s for Mass Confusion. Can’t exactly judge seconds to go from a color gradient either.

          • Your perception of time is relative as well, so unless you have a big clock counting in hundredths of seconds plastered right above the cooldowns, any reference to absolute time is unnecessary. Your brain can learn to correlate different temporal relations. If you play the game without looking at the skill bar long enough you can even learn to time cooldowns without thinking about them. You just know when they’re ready without looking.
            I’m not arguing against the change, I’m arguing it’s not necessary.
            Also, revenge has no cooldown, and is activated by mob hits, and so it is pointless to bring revenge into this discussion (although I admit, perhaps, it has its own problems).

          • Maybe your brain can track minute long cooldowns with less than a second margin of error, mine unfortunately needs crutches. Despite years of practice juggling dozens of timers with tenth of a second precision. There is a big difference between intently staring at your skill bar and glancing at it now and then to sync your inner clock.

            Not sure what you mean by relative time perception. The goal is to relate cooldowns to game events and to each other then make decisions based on that information. If you are referring to the theory of relativity, I am luckily not typing this from a black hole in the heart of Milky Way. If you mean we as individuals perceive time differently, that has no practical implications. When you say 1 second I may decode a different meaning but that meaning is consistently the same with the same effect on my behaviour whenever you say 1 second. If you mean it is not the only way to measure time, I’m sure you agree it is more convenient than colibri wing flap frequency.

            And yes I agree with you, this change is not necessary. None of them are.

            “Also, revenge has no cooldown, and is activated by mob hits, and so it is pointless to bring revenge into this discussion (although I admit, perhaps, it has its own problems).”

            Revenge is the worst offender when it comes to having to stare at your action bar. There is no feedback animation in the game world, the only way to know for sure it’s available is to literally glance at it every second.

            (No reply button available below your post, does the forum limit depth?)

          • Meh, I just spam the revenge key constantly while I’m being hit. No need to look at the bar first.

          • Totally agree. 99% of barbs ARE staring at their hotbar. If you don’t chain your abilites, you’re dead meat.

          • Yeah, the forums limits depth. Encountered this before!
            Fair enough about needing the numbers! I do only have my perception to go on, and everyone has their own playstyle. There certainly isn’t anything better about the way I do things (and in fact mental distractions can cause me to mess things up).
            As for time being relative I definitely don’t mean relativity as that has no relation to this discussion. I meant that your brain can use various visual and auditory cues to track how long a cooldown takes, such as how far you’ve moved forward combined with how many attacks you’ve made, how many numbers fly over mobs heads, etc. I often listen to my favorite non-Diablo music as well and I may be subconsciously counting beats (some of these songs I’ve heard dozens of times before). I’ll admit I look at the bar sometimes, but it helps to refine what I understand about how the character plays. And yeah, I die in inferno just like (almost?) everyone else.

    • I could it being tweaked into 50% less damage shield or so. You can still kill them but slowly.

      • Yeah, I’m not sure. If it’s just damage mitigation wouldn’t it just feel the same as extra health?

        I would rather them had done invulnerable boss, where you would have to pick off each minion before the boss. I guess that would feel too much like the normal thing to do.

  2. I certainly agree with almost every one of these additions, and I think most of them would have been added eventually anyway, the game hasn’t been out long enough to evolve and let these improvements come in yet. But people and their opinions work much faster than natural game evolution.

    • ” but the game just came out 3 weeks ago and we’re looking at a product where we’ll be adding and tweaking for years and years.”

      and here i was expecting a finished product.
      no, they couldnt have done ALL of the things they ask for in the thread.
      but at least some of the critical issues should have been adressed PRE launch.

      like a AH with a complete search function.
      or a complete UI.
      or OPTIONS in the menu screen.

      there is a lot of indicators that show how rushed this game was.
      and quite some outright design sins were committed, but thats another story.

      once i hated bill roper for f*cking up FSS, now i hate jay wilson for selling us a disney flavored RMAH called diablo3. 

      • Are you serious? 

        Off course there are issues but bliz. Is allready adressing them.

        The game is the best polished game in years. 

  3. Great to hear the feedback from the D3 team!  Most/All of those were useful suggestions.

  4. Biggest update for me and my friends would be private chat channels.
    As an occasional auction house user, I’d love the ability to click on an item of mine and have it display similar items up for action so I can better gauge value.

    • Every blue thread we quote links to our blue tracker, and the post there always has “view original thread” links to go to the version.

  5. =========
    34) As a max level player, I want an option to skip all cutscenes/dialogue so that I don’t have to constantly press the spacebar to advance in the current game flow.
    If you hit Esc during any ‘forced’ conversations, cutscenes, etc. you can skip right through them. We think it works pretty well. I’d be open to hearing any specific issues it’s causing, though.
    Really ? 
    Halle freaking lujah ! 
    Its so annoying to enter Act 4 and listen to that angel conversation every time 
    I did not know pressing Escape would let me bypass it
    I knew I could skip cut scenes that way, but didn’t realize it also worked with conversations, DUH ! 
    Can’t wait to try it when I get home 

    • Esc works just like space bar. You still get the confirm y/n box. But you only need to hit it once, rather than several times like during NPC dialogues.

    • would be nice if they removed the extra yes/no layer, so we only needed to press space to skip cutscenes

  6. Would love a way to send mail or conversations to my friends when they are offline, but that’s probably too MMO.  🙂

  7. This is a pretty amazing reply by Bash and very clear and promising sign that a damn good game is only gonna keep getting better. 🙂

  8. That was a good thread with lots of good feedback.  Its nice to see that in the midst of all the QQ threads.

    Its sad to hear that the UI isn’t modular.  I already guessed that since cooldowns aren’t dynamically shown in the tooltips.  This is really surprising to me, in such a modern game. Starcraft 2 has an awesome UI system that is completely customizable in the Editor. I’m disappointed that a similarly-modern UI isn’t in Diablo 3.

  9. A lot of nice changes there, I hope they do improve AH functionality such as sorting by auction time, searching for any stat on any item slot, and more.
    But what will make me really happy is if they add the option to toggle the mini-map =/ 

  10. Funny thing with this is that the style of feedback, “As a xxx, I want yyy” is now a common standard for specifying requirements in software projects.

  11. I find it a bit funny that a number of response boil down to “Sorry we can’t do that because our UI is bad.”

    • To be expected, really. During development they decided to spent $$ making their UI system, instead of $$$$. That means that it is now less flexible when they want to change things later on. Presumably they made this as an informed decision and were fine with the implications.

    • If their UI is bad it’s intentionally bad. Fans were asking about modding the UI back in 2008 and Bliz always said no way, that they were going to control how we saw the game and not enable all the player mods you see in WoW and other games. The undertext always seemed to be that they wanted to not display every bit of info in numbers and such to avoid turning the game into a cooldown bar-watching exercise like WoW has become. 

      Basically maintaining some difficulty in D3 by withholding UI mods, same as the new skill UI makes switching skills slower, the lack of a weapon switch hotkey prevents specialized build switching, etc.

  12. Curious as to what they’ll do about invulnerable minions. A nerf is clearly needed.

    • Removal is needed. They need to do a LOT of work to boss mods, but most of the “it’s coming in a patch” is auction house stuff. Why bother? It doesn’t work half the time anyway.

    • Options I’ve seen:
      1) Nerf minion strength (i.e. damage, attack speed, whatever it takes).
      2) No resistance to CC.
      3) Minions don’t have inherited champion abilities (other than immune to damage).
      4) Minions take ~20% damage.
      5) Damage done to minions instead deals ~20% damage to boss mob (may need to give boss mob some more health to balance AoE damage?)
      6) Ranged attacks have 100% chance to pierce minions.
      No, they should absolutely not implement all of these at once, but some combination may still be challenging while not being nearly impossible in many cases. I think I would prefer the one involving damage goes directly to boss mob, but that may be stepping on health-link’s toes. Though, to be fair, this is the “yellow” mob equivalent of health-link (but obviously far more broken), so maybe this is an ideal solution? 

      • I honestly think #3 alone would do the job. I’ve also noticed that a lot of packs seem fast even though they don’t have the mod. 

        In general, no creature should be immune to CC… You don’t need CC for trash mobs so what’s the point in making the mobs you do need it for immune?

        • I agree with your point. I will also state that they aren’t totally immune to CC, just extremely resistant to most forms. Lashing tail kick with the +KB rune does knock them back (depending on mob size, sometimes off of the screen). Stuns work, but only for about 25% of their normal duration. Same with freeze I think. Blind also works, but the total blindness only works for about 25%. Then if its caused by blinding flash they have a 30% miss chance until 3 seconds have passed from when you cast it. Haven’t had a chance to try anything else.
          I do agree though, that resistance still makes them deadly, and that something about them should definitely change. Maybe a combo of #2 and #3? Then they’d just be harder hitting trash mobs who don’t die until the main one dies. No other surprises.

          • Invulnerable minions are affected by CC – they’re just affected at the same level as anything else in your difficulty level, and in Inferno that’s not a lot. If they were fully CC-able (i.e. normal-difficulty durations and effects) even on higher difficulties it would actually become an interesting and tactical battle to get past the minions and hit their leader.

        • “You don’t need CC for trash mobs”

          How far are you in the game? I use CC all the time on “trash mobs” in Inferno.

  13. So Blizzard prefers a pretty, imprecise UI to a slightly bloated UI that gives us very useful, often critical information? Can’t say I agree.
    Nice responses otherwise, do hope Invulnerable Minions get modified in a way that makes them a fun affix like Frozen or Arcane Enchanted as opposed to just flat out removed.

    The monster affix list needs to undergo heavy expansion anyway; it’s a decent start, but I see repeat modifiers way more often than comfortable.

    • Learning to interpret the UI and gauge things like the amount of damage you can take based on the size of your red health globe is just another skill involved in playing D3, imo.

  14. I can’t believe they didn’t hire someone who knows how to do a good UI when designing Diablo 3 from the get-go.  From the Auction House to the Chat Interface to the Skill Interface to the opening menu and beyond…it’s just terrible.

    I don’t understand how someone was paid good money to design any of it… 

  15. Thats quite a list of improvements needed… especially for a game on development for so long…

  16. I like this list. A lot of the things I agree with they say they are doing, and the ones they say they won’t do I don’t really give a crap about anyway, so it’s all good for me.

  17. Awesome post. A lot to look forward to. I’m glad the UI isn’t moddable and hope they keep it that way – makes people stay on an even field without having to worry about doing more research on addons than the actual game (read: wow)

  18. The only thing I got from this is  ‘our UI is really bad, and we can’t do anything with it, basically’. Also, I think 9) is incorrect, but I might be wrong.

  19. “As a player, as a player, as an advanced player, as a player…” god not ONE professional ninja turtle 🙁

  20. frankly i dont mind getting 1 shot in Inferno, but when you have a minion that is off the screen and i CANT see him and either does a charge/teleport straight to me and kills me, thats just stupid.  It gives me from 0 to .3 secs to react to it… second thing is, for someone running around in Inferno who usually gets 1-3 shot.  Running South of the map really doesnt give you any view of what you are about to go against.  i mean stuff is supposed to be hard (i get it).. but if you just cant see anything, whats the point of wanting to explore southern areas of the map? At least open up the option to zoom out more or be able to rotate the screen. 

  21. 34 is most annoying thing ever and they think its fine. They force us to play all content not just bosses for nv and then you have cutscene on every corner or even some bs cinematics. I have strong pc but esc every cutscene take time nearly half of cutscene played. Its just so terrible design for fast grind game as diablo should be. It reflects how badly their testers played this game iam 100% sure that not as random d2 fan. In d2 were freedom and here stupid dialogs over and over just remind me such as stupidly linear game really is. At diablo fight you have to skip cutscene 4x everytime after 100 kills still same … what they expect we want to see it every time omg ?
    Make it option to off or burn in hell.
    On top of that i just found lvl 60 340 dps legendary wand in act4 inferno. White items are better.

  22. I’m a reader of this site and I’m aware of most of this game’s flaws, but — and don’t let Blizzard hear me — I’d still pay another $60 for Diablo III v2.0, for improvements that already should have been there since v1.0.

  23. “We have some AI tweaks to do with followers”
    Like not having my Scoundrel get off by standing in clouds of poison until he keels over?  That would be appreciated.

  24. AH influence DROP in game, 100% drop is NOT random (even with u have 500MF) and with RMAH all drop are controlled by statistics!
    one word GREED Blizzard GREED!

  25. Im maybe blind, but i miss possibility of item comparison for my follower. I think not very difficult implement and handy.  If it is already in game pls let me know thx.

  26. It would be nice if you could see the gain/loss stats when looking for items on AH like you see them ingame.
    I mean if you want to replace some item it would be nice if you could see how it affects your current stats prior to buying it, instead of buying it and then starting a game to see it actually is worse than what you have equiped.

  27. Just throwing this in… (In relation to issue # 32 )
    Replace “Invulnerable Minions”, by “Phased-out Minions”, meaning they don’t take damage, they can’t be targetted, they can be passed through (like other players), and they just deal damage. That would fix quite some issues.
    You could run through the pack, and go hit the boss, ignoring them minions. They would just be damage dealers, not pathing blockers.

  28. i would like to toggle on/off the minimap…i don’t have a widescreen monitor and it takes too much space :-/

  29. I really hate invulnerable minions. The fact they were addressed in that long list is very nice. I would be happy if projectiles could pass through them. I see them as more of an extension of damage coming from the main monster, but I really dont find them “fun” right now.

  30. As a Solo player who doesn’t give a fig for chat windows, the auction house, or friends lists, can you start work on making your game better, rather than focusing on crud that many of us will never even use?

    • Instead of focusing on the way they are making the game better for other people and asking them not to, how about just making your own list of things you’d like to see improved in the same non-flame manner as this one was presented?

  31. I want to be able to hide the minimap. It always seems to be in the way, and when I need to look at the map I press TAB anyway since the minimap doesn’t show enough of the map to be useful to me.

  32. I seldom write remarks, however after reading through a few of the responses on this page Bashiok on 35 Small Improvements | Diablo: IncGamers – The Unofficial Diablo 3 Site News and Forums.
    I do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright. Is it only me or does it look like like a few of these responses appear like they are left by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing at additional online social sites, I’d like to follow anything fresh you have to post. Could you list of all of your social sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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