Beta Patch 10: Tester Gameplay Feedback


With the patch a couple of days old, numerous beta testers (and their friends and relations) have had a chance to play through a few times, and some consensus is beginning to form on the latest changes. You guys know about the big documented changes to crafting, the removed cube and cauldron, and so on. What about the more subtle stuff that you have to play to appreciate?

So We Heard You Like Hit Points

The most obvious change in gameplay is the huge boost to character life. Every point in vitality now yields around 10 hit points (it was 4 previously), and as a result characters feel like they are way above the hit point curve, even without making any effort to stock up on vitality gear. Numerous players reports can be seen in this forum thread, and the numbers are crazy.

Players are reporting upwards of 2000 hit points on well-geared level 13 Monks and Barbarians, and this against monsters that are hitting you for 4-6 damage. Even without gear the difference is huge; I played a Wizard through this morning, and with zero crafted or bought armor (just the junk that dropped from monsters) my Wizard had over 450 hit points at level 8, which robbed the Skeleton King battle of anything resembling suspense. I hardly noticed the damage from his attacks, and as a result didn’t even bother to dodge his teleport hits.

For the sake of comparison, I ran a Clvl 9 Wizard through shortly before the last patch went away, and with zero equipment improvements (just wearing found gear) that char had around 150 hit points against the Skeleton King. That made for a very exciting battle, and I even died in it, for the first time ever against Leoric, when I was careless and let him get in two swiping attacks without drinking a potion between them. It was quite possible to get a Clvl 9 Wizard up to 400+ hit points in the previous patch, but only with a lot of equipment specialization. That you now get it by default is crazy, and makes the beta play like you’re wearing a life vest the whole time. I don’t think my new wizard was ever below 75% health, and I was making very little effort to avoid being hit.

Better yet, there are also considerably more health globes than in previous patches. That you don’t actually need more than like 1/5th of them, thanks to the huge hit points boosts, is another issue.

Click through for numerous additional beta play test observations…

Monster Improvements

Another hit point issue is in regard to random boss monsters, which seem to have a lot more life than they used to. Player feedback differs on this one, and I’m sure some of it is the fact that equipment is slightly rarer now, so damage is lower. That said, I had my three or four longest boss fights ever in the beta, in the early going in this patch. One DiabloWikiFrozen zombie pack I got in Catacombs level 1 forced me to retreat at least 3 or 4 screens, backing up and firing DiabloWikiMagic Missiles all the while, with an DiabloWikiArcane Orb cast every time I had enough DiabloWikiArcane Power to let one rip.

I don’t think I’d ever retreated more than one screen in the entire beta prior to this patch, and those were only when I had to dodge huge mobs, or else the early version of DiabloWikiArcane Enchanted.

I also saw numerous packs of monsters that were much more numerous than I’d come to expect. This was most obvious in the Cathedral levels, where I routinely got 10-15 zombies bunched up in one room, when in earlier patches there would have been no more than 4 or 5. The monster pack spawns were increased in the previous patch, but seemed further boosted this time.

These were in no way difficult to kill, as they’re slow and stupid zombies, but it’s fun to have larger groups of enemies for your puny low level character to wipe out.

Items and Crafting

The removed Nephalem Cube means you have to return to town to salvage items with the Smith and that’s annoying. Especially since he doesn’t buy white items, so you have to pick through your inventory, clicking only on the magical gear while salvaging, before you run over to one of the merchants to sell your white items. (The salvageable items display with a slightly brighter outline while you have the salvage icon active, which helps, but it needs to be a more obvious indication.)

As promised, white items sell for very little gold; from 1-15 were the prices I saw. Since the average gold stack by the end of the beta is 10+, and you find hundreds of those during each Cathedral/Crypts run, you can do the math. I took most everything back to sell in the early going, but that was largely due to my Nephalem Cube training conditioning me to pick up everything for salvaging. Over the course of the game, as I got used to the very low value of white items, I began to avoid picking them up on purpose, and only grabbed some during quick clicking moments after numerous items dropped at once.

Having to sell white items isn’t all bad, since it gets you to the merchants, and they’re not entirely useless anymore. In early beta patches they were bugged, or at least poorly designed, since their items on offer didn’t scale up with the level, remaining completely useless 1-2 damage type junk all during the beta. That’s changed, and the merchants now sell all kinds of really good loot, as good or better than what you find from monster drops, and not awful in comparison to the crafting creations. The patch notes said that merchants would sometimes spawn with rare items to sell. I checked them all several times, but never saw anything yellow. (Though others have.)

Despite all the hype the crafting system changes got in the new patch, they feel almost unchanged from the previous versions. The recipes no longer require any white materials, which feels like kind of a cop-out, to me. Like Blizzard had this crafting system that made sense, with the input of Common Scraps and Subtle Essences that seemed roughly equivalent to the resulting item. Now that you only need some of the blue or maybe yellow materials, it seems like you’re paying the artisan to make it from his own stores, rather than providing him with the ingredients. A site reader named Lordbrute has been emailing in his outrage over this change, so I’ll give him some quotage:

I have to tell you, I was really looking forward to breaking down items and using that material to make new items. They took away the ruin stones and words. Now with the change, I think the game is greatly lacking. I have not been fortunate to play the beta, but played more then my fair share of D2, and its common sense, you need common scraps. How do you expect to make an item with out it? You need the leather scraps, metal parts, pieces of wood, etc… To make an item, and then the magic substances. It’s going to take more then some magic powders, hoofs, eyes , and tooths. Even if only the blacksmith does all the work. He will still need base materials and a some of gold for the labor.

What can you say? He’s got a good point. That said, I doubt any of us would notice this if the crafting system were brand new, and we’d never heard of Common Scraps. We’d just accept the blue and maybe yellow material costs without complaint, though it might seem kind of lame how often you get blue and nothing else. The white materials made a nice pairing with the blue, since you needed a ton of white as the base for all crafting recipes, which made the blue or yellow or orange feel like the bonus ingredients that created the magic.

As for the results of the crafting recipes in the new patch? They’re damn near identical to their previous versions. A few have the attributes changed around, with different stats instead of Attack, but there are still plenty that grant vitality, which is quite OP, as mentioned above.

Difficulty Changes?

Not so much.

There are more monsters, and the bosses have more hit points, but the damage from monsters remains very low, as does their attack rate and accuracy, there are many more health globes, and all characters have a huge boost to their hit points. This results in more monsters to kill and a slower killing speed, but almost no danger to the player. It’s thus something of an illusion, with the game seeming harder or more dangerous, while it’s actually safer. More of the D3 Team’s efforts to make the game welcoming to noobs and casuals, I’d wager.

Comments

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  1. The first thing I did with the latest patch was look at D3 game guide quite thoroughly. I had a look at potions and the end game pot now restores 35,000 hit points (which is an increase by 10 times if I remember correctly?) and over all weapons yield a larger amount of damage. I also added up the max-max of a full Archon armour set and it was 500 (no shield) and now its like 2,200… It looks like they’ve literally just bumped up the values of everything, significantly though. That was one thing that really appealed to me about D3 even in the later game is the low value of numbers that would appear if you feel my flow. Now I can just imagine over 9000 damage fucking EVERYWHERE.
    Reminds me of WoW now. God…

    Edit:
    I would like to also add that the reason they’ve made mobs/encounters have more HP is too once again lengthen out the game play. Beforehand it quite was quick to run through but now I’m dreading it’s going to be cumbersome and something that should be left for higher difficulties. Which leads me to think it’s going to be laborious in hell given the current scaling change.

  2. The major changes are great, can see how good they will positively play out in full release, I don’t find the process of going to town annoying in the slightest, and i dont find it taking much more time then it did to use the cube/cauldron…. again, with picturing how I think it will play out in later Act’s i think it will have a positive effect overall
     
    I don’t really see why people are looking into the health pool/ health globes and essentially “DIFFICULTY” so greatly, It’s BETA, maybe you haven’t noticed that yet, :/. They’re probably just testing out number’s, see how it plays out, Blizzard probably intended to get feedback based on it being abit much, but there is no need to straight away scream and whine like little girls about it.
     
    It still makes me facepalm that another in-depth look at the lack of ‘difficulty’ the first 25% of Act 1 (the tutorial) has made it to front page news, albeit based on ”BETA” testing Heath-pool’s.

    Edit: Yes, Blizzard probably did make the health pool’s larger in the current state of Beta to lengthen the ‘BETA’ gameplay, does that mean it will even stay in Beta? No? Does that mean it will be the exact same for release, and equivalate all the way to end-game with scaling? wtf no? lol…………

    • … 😐

      Why would they bother scaling up the level 60 versions of the healing skills and pots if they didn’t plan on keeping the new higher numbers. That would be asinine.

      • They have more of the game to test than just the beta, obviously.

        It doesn’t take much time to upscale everything from it’s original, and I’m sure the team would’ve been interested to see how big of a change this truly is for end game. It’s all about tinkering and finding the best flow.

        Asinine? It’s asinine that you guys keep freaking out over their testing their own beta.

        • You seem to confuse “accurately describing the current state of the beta in comparison to previous versions” with “freaking out.”

          What would be your idea of a report? “Lots of things are changed but since it’s not the final game yet, none of the details matter.” That doesn’t seem like a real interesting read, to me.

  3. Why fix it if it aint broken, Diablo2:LOD patch 1.10 and later IMO balanced things pretty much perfectly with regards to difficulty, scaling and game pacing.

    What are these guys doing with D3?? They have a template which worked perfectly for years. So Ill ask again? Why fix it if it aint broke???

    • …because it’s a whole new game with new systems… they have sheets of numbers and data from the previous game that they can look at for reference but it doesn’t mean anything in context.  It’s a new game built from the ground up.  We now have 3D models instead of sprites, lighting is no longer static, projectiles are now projectiles not just a sprite moving at xx px a second.  You’re saying that they balanced the game by 1.10 that’s 10 major patches later, so what makes you think they’re going to get it perfect out of the gate?  I have full faith in Blizzard to release the best game in the world…  But I also know that any good game takes ludicrous amounts of data to fine tune it to the perfect balance.

      • You do realize that not a single game system that you mentioned (3d models, lighting, projectiles) have anything, not in the slightest to do with the actual game mechanics??

        Hopefuly you also realise that it doesnt take ludicrous amounts of DATA to fine tune a game, but a ludicrous amount of TIME. TIME that Blizzard doesnt need to waste because Diablo2 did it perfectly….

        So let me ask again? Why fix something, if it aint broke?

        • InBlack… umad bro?

          Unless you made a 2D sprite game and a 3D game yourself, I’m highly dubious you have any clue of what you’re talking about. Leave it to the professionals.

    • You are absolutely insane to claim that D2 scaled well or was balanced at any point in time.

      • Are you serious? Thats the best reply you came up with? So according to you  Diablo2 sucks balls, but Diablo3 is going to be PURE AWESOMNESS WOWOWOWO ITZ DA BEST!

        Ok yeah, Im sure the thousands upon thousands of people who STILL play Daiblo2 would agree with you.

        • I, uh…didn’t say anything even remotely close to that? I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who could objectively say that Diablo II was balanced at any point in time. Perhaps you’ve never heard of the hammah of doom? Or a multitude of other issues that aren’t worth delving into?

          Saying one thing isn’t balanced isn’t equivalent to saying another is “going to be PURE AWESOMENESS” with whatever childish crap you put after it.

        • Just because Diablo 2 was an enjoyable game doesn’t mean it was well-balanced.  I know you didn’t directly say that, but it almost seems like you’re implying it.

    • You said D2 LoD was perfectly balanced in terms of pacing. Let’s ignore this man forever.

  4. This all sounds extremely bad. You describe a slow paced game without any danger to the character.
    Just hope that they have a lot more beta versions planned, where monsters actually do damage.

    •  
      Adjusting numbers should be as easy as writing a new number, so this change doesn’t really tell us much about their intentions for the final game vis-a-vis your HP vs monster dmg…

      • I suspect the hit point increase is for one of two possible reasons (or maybe both).
         
        By increasing health pools and monster frequency, they can go for more “steady” damage.  If you remember way back, early on when the game was announced, they talked about changing the Diablo 2 model where your health globe was either completely empty or completely full.  By giving us more vitality, they make it easier to get us to 90%, 10%, or any percentage in between.  Which opens up some good strategy about when you’re using your heals/potions/globes.
         
        The other possibility is that this is all wrapped up in the itemization they’re working on.  Perhaps inflating the health pool allows them to play around with more item +heal numbers.
         
        Maybe it’s neither of these things, but I highly doubt this was done for the purpose of making the game easier.

  5. Hopefully they will be scaling the monster damage up somewhat to keep pace with these new higher numbers… I mean is there even a point to health pots now?

    • What bother with number inflation anyway?

      Lets increase the HP by 2.5 times from 4 to 10! Now lets increase monster damage by 2.5 times to make up for it!

      That’s one thing I like about D1 compared to D2: the numbers are all a lot smaller. This just seems more sensible to me.

  6. i think blizzard just got the names for the difficulty levels wrong.
    instead of normal, nightmare, hell, inferno there should be easy, normal, nightmare, hell.
    … and the option to begin the game on easy or normal.
    EDIT: … and the option to begin the game in hardcore mode 🙂

  7. I don’t get it. Many of the changes in this new Patch were made because of how the developers felt playing the end-game content. How do they expect people to test them and embrace them in the beginning of the game? Of course it will feel at least a little off…
    Another thing I don’t get is why would they make white items that crappy. I dont get any kick out of seeing the screen filled with shitty stuff.

  8. I played through beta once again and so did my wife. We have been in since the first month. The game felt like it took a huge step back with this patch. It feels like it was dumbed down to the point that it just isn’t even fun. You take no damage, you have tons of health, lots of white useless items, over simplified skills, less content, etc. I liked the cube and scrolls of companions. I liked that a boss could actually kill you if you were careless. Maybe they should just rename the game to Diabloville and be done with it.

    • I feel this way as well but we really can’t be that judgemental and discount hell, nightmare and inferno. I think inferno is going to be really fucking hard… but at this point in time it sure does feel that way.

    • I don’t know what boss could kill you if you were careless. Manglemaw?
      The skills aren’t over-simplified. The tooltips are.

      If they evened out the damage numbers, I would be happy with this change because there’s a lot more stuff to kill now which is more exciting than running through a half-empty dungeon staring at the same scenery for months on end.

    • Dude it´s just the beginning of normal, which is basically a tutorial. It´s supposed to be easy you know. Come back and tell us your story when you played through inferno.

  9. Do you guys all remember the first third of Act 1 in Diablo 2 in normal difficulty. That is what they should be aiming at. Easy enough so you can make some pretty terrible mistakes and not die, but then also at some points challenging enough so that you don’t get bored.

    It sounds bloody boring from the details people are providing so far. I have a strange feeling many people (ie all the ones that have played D2), will be playing through normal and nightmare in D3 without any challenge whatsoever. It may end up a matter of rushing your characters to the higher difficulties so that you can actually start getting challenged.

    • keep in mind the people playing beta have been playing for a while.  This wasn’t their first run thru.  I do remember D2 Act 1.  The first time was somewhat challenging.  After that, it ALWAYS felt too easy.  It was just about getting thru normal quickly to begin nightmare.
      I’d wager too that D2 players are going to be a bit better at D3 than we were their first time in D2.

    • Ah, but don’t forget:  Grandmothers.

  10. what mistakes can you make when theres no points to distribute? using malee atacks without skills for the whole time? cmon…

  11. Exactly.

    Look at the early Diablo II bosses: Corpsefire and Treehead Woodfist probably wouldn’t kill you (maybe Treehead if you were really new and underleveled/geared, I guess).

    But Bishibosh, Blood Raven, Rakanishu, Griswold, and the Countess were all more than capable of killing a new player if they weren’t careful (and Rakanishu was pretty deadly to everyone before they nerfed lightning enchanted). Well, maybe not Bishibosh after they took away his ability to bring other Shamans back to life.

    This just reeks of catering to the spoiled entitled gamer that will just quit the game if they aren’t immediately awesome at it. I just hope that if the massive health pools stick that the later difficulties (ie. starting in Nightmare, not Inferno) are actually difficult. That way even their lowest common denominator target audience can beat normal, but there would hopefully still be plenty of game left for the people that actually want to play a game.

    Though if it ends up being that you pretty much can’t die on Normal difficulty, that’s going to be very boring every time you roll a new character.

    • So the game should be the hardest right when you begin, and get easier as you go along? Isn’t that kind of…the opposite?

      • Are you on crack? Did you even play Diablo2??? Glitch makes some very valid points, Diablo2 was easy enough on normal not to discourage new players, yet hard enough to be challenging.

        • Well, I agree, but that isn’t what he’s saying.
          It makes no sense to say that the beginning of the game should be the hardest it will get in terms of environment, monsters, and numbers, not in terms of having to learn.

          • I don’t see anything in that post about the beginning being harder than the end.

            Only about the beginning having some kind of challenge and it going up from there.

  12. Wizards Orbs had damage greatly reduced. I had 8-11 damage on my pre-sweep Wizard. Now the best I found while maxing out is 2-3 damage. Also, staffs now shoot stuff and with increased damage.

    I still get no Shock Pulse graphics. I wonder if anyone else has this issue.

  13. So Blizzard’s response to complaints that the beta was too easy is…. an even easier and more tedious beta.
    😕 🙄

  14. Guess they didn’t learn anything from WoW. By the time you hit the endgame you will be dealing 5 digit numbers in damage and you will have 4 digit HP. Why would you scale health and damge both on level AND gear? Why not give only minor advantages for leveling up? It is something you HAVE to do anyway for some reason, so why give huge rewards for it?

  15. I hope blizz developers read this website.

    • I hope so too, because the official Europe D3 beta forums do not have any topic about this.
      There is only 1 post I could find there, and it was from someone who had the opinion that the balance is better now :s

  16. Woot? I hope they are not driving the car against the wall on the finishing line. Would be a damn shame after so much time. I really think the game should not be easier than Diablo 2, I mean, Diablo 2 was pretty easy on Normal.

    • I don’t mind if it is slightly easier on normal, it has an extra difficulty anyway so there is some more room between the difficulties.
      But there is a difference between a little bit too easy and freaking far too easy :p

  17. Bashiok’s mom was dying too much, so they increased the HP pool so she can finally kill Leoric.

  18. I LOVE the HP change and it really doesn’t surprise me at all. I experienced the mega HP inflation in WoW, and it definitely was for the better. It’s a weird thing to explain. Essentially damage is a lot more manageable and interesting while fights play out more smoothly. It’s good to have a broad spectrum of damage rates.

    This way you can have piddly enemies doing 4-6 damage, and a Skeleton King smashing you for 600 damage. Communicates relative power nicely that way. (Of course, they actually have to do this. No idea what’s going on with beta’s damage figures, lol) But, yeah, that’s the idea. Inferno Diablo (or Lillith lol) could have a variety of attacks, a cheap move doing 500 damage per second or a massive attack that does 20k. Otherwise you’re stuck with a lot of moves that all more or less do the same amount of damage — or at least feel like they do. Get it?

    • Except that you’re at a very low level with no monster hurting you at all. And yet these same monsters are powerful enough to have taken over the area and killed warriors and townfolk like crazy. You’re powerful when you start off but you’re not supposed to be a god.

      Plus Blizzard had said several times previously that they were trying to go away from damage/difficulty spikes in favor of more consistent damage/difficulty.

      • Well that has more to do with them adjusting mob damage to reflect the new HP rates. Perhaps they haven’t done that yet or perhaps they’re okay with it being a cake walk. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of damage increase in full release.

  19. Possibly because of the additional monsters, the XP pool is now larger than it was. Previously, doing a complete runthrough of all areas (but no repeats) with a new char, I would level to 10 while killing Leoric. Now I level to 10 BEFORE killing him. I kinda like having my passive skill slot before the End Boss (not that it really makes a difference in his killability, heh).
     
    If this continues through the whole game, though, you will now be finishing Normal at a higher level than previously. Wonder if that was intended.

  20. What’s the actual length of the beta?

    I read 25%, 33% or 50% of Act1 Normal, that’s quite different.

    Anyone?

    • It’s been said that The Skeleton King is comparable to Blood Raven in Diablo 2 in terms of how far you are into the Act.

    • Blizzard has said it’s half of Act One. I think it’s closer to 40%, and wrote up a big article a few months ago comparing what’s in the beta to the full list of act one areas. It also seems that the Skeleton King is presented way out of his natural sequence; he’ll likely be found maybe 2/3 of the way through the act in the final game, which means his stats must be way watered down in the beta.

      http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/are-there-big-changes-between-the-diablo-3-beta-and-the-full-game

      You can’t really compare the games apples to apples though, since early d3 is so structured and scripted and the potential difficulty spikes are very low. The first fallen shaman boss pack you get in D2 takes more skill and strategy and reflexes and positioning than anything in the entire d3 beta.

  21. The larger health pool kinda bums me out. 10 points per vit is kinda unnecessary I can understand maybe 5 instead of 4 from prior patches but 10 seems a little over kill. Harder healthier bosses does sound more entertaining tho. That means a longer more “epic” fight with the said boss. The cube removal does kinda suck but I can see why they would remove it. I think the changes are a little more moving towards the side of fun but I just hope end game doesn’t become like the D2 bot runs where you can just afk and get a sandwich while you kill Baal.

  22. Stat increases like this also have the added bonus of making gearing up more meaningful and less easy to “fake it” in the harder content, being Inferno of course. For example, as a Barb, a full set of Hell gear could put you at 15k HP but Inferno would require around 35K HP for you to survive any reasonable amount of time. If you were able to get into Inferno just by going from 3500 HP to 4000 HP, it might feel less satisfying. Or not! Whatever. 😛

    Of course, you have to expect they’ll eventually realize this wasn’t the best idea and revert it.

  23. Mayby this can work well.. In D2 you had to spend all you possibly could into vitality, after you reached enough str and dex. But now we can collect some vitality gear and then go all out for whatever other stats we need.
    Not all gear has vitality on it so.
    Now a monk can collect gear with dex and str on it for maximum damage.
    I think this is just noticed at all cause ppl were so used to collecting vitality gear and continuted to do so in patch 10.

    • You didn’t and couldn’t really “collect” any type of gear, though. All the best equipment, especially armor, comes from the crafting, and there were only 1 or 2 available recipes for each type of item. They’d be like Clvl 3 req: 20 armor, +16-20 vit, 1 random mod. Or Cvl 9 req, 35 armor, +22-26 vit, 2 random mods. Everyone who twinked used the first one early on, and then put on the 2nd one once they were high enough level. No armor you could find was even remotely comparable in quality to what you could craft.

      As a result, every char with good gear had the same pants, same shoulders, same belt, same chest armor, etc, with rare exceptions for some rare finds from the Skeleton King drops.

      A lot of those items had vitality bonuses on them, which is why every char had very high hit points, but it wasn’t like people were intentionally choosing +vit armor; it’s that the only good armor you could make had +vit.

  24. @Flux   Ah ok. Well i was not invited to beta so i didn’t know : /

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