Now that we’ve had several lengthy Q&As with the Diablo 3 developers, sharing updates and info on the development process and the numerous features and changes they’re working on, fans who were previously full of bitterness and complaints over the lack of communication have pivoted neatly to be full of bitterness and complaints that these new As aren’t what they want, or that the Qs suck, or that they simply wish they didn’t have this the insight into how complicated it is (for Blizzard, at least) to develop content patches for a major video game.

    CM Lylirra offered an extensive reply to these comments while somehow managing not to break into furious sobs while screaming, “There’s just no pleasing you #$*&ing people!” Or perhaps she did, but if so she didn’t let that reaction color her typically upbeat response.

    Those bring only false hope and no answers. Just stick to posting on the forums and answering the better threads here. That’d be just fine.
    Lylirra: How much information we’re able to share about a particular change or feature ultimately depends on where that change or feature is in its development. If it’s reached the point where it’s been implemented into our test builds, we can probably talk a lot more freely about it and discuss the ins-and-outs of how everything works. A good example of this is the mulitplayer improvements coming in 1.0.8. While these improvements aren’t 100% final and may undergo some tweaking during the PTR, their design is far enough along that we can talk about them pretty extensively.

    On the flip side, if a change/feature is still in its conceptual stage, where the actual design and implementation haven’t been completely defined, then we won’t be able to share as much. We can go over what we’re planning, give you some of the reasons behind those ideas, maybe even bounce a few concepts off the community, but we probably won’t be in a position to commit to the change/feature, tell you when it’s going to release, or describe for you its functionality in great detail. This isn’t because we’re being “cagey.” This is because the change/feature is still in early development and that information just doesn’t exist yet. A good example of this is indeed the upcoming itemization improvements that were discussed in Travis’ blog as well as the itemization Q&A. We don’t have a timeline yet for when these improvements will be implemented, and many of the changes are still undergoing constant iteration. Sure, we may not have a lot of hard data to provide at the moment, but we can at least include you in the conversation and let you know what we’re working on.

    Click through for much more from this post, if you (for some reason) want much more along these lines.

    So, going back to the part of your post that I quoted, this really isn’t an issue of “no answers.” It’s one of the answers not being what you liked or expected. Regardless, we’re going to keep sharing our progress and providing more and more information as we go. As we start to refine our design and lock down how changes to itemization will be implemented, we’ll be in a better position to answer your questions with more “hard facts” and less “design theory.” That doesn’t mean we can’t have a dialogue on the topic in the meantime.

    In fact, I seem to recall a certain community not only calling for itemization to be the next topic for AtD, but also for its CMs and developers to share more game info, even if it wasn’t final… >.>

    I believe I speak for the majority of the community when I ask for more forum involvement from the developers instead of Q&As.
    35x3zpLylirra: The Q&As and forum involvement aren’t mutually exclusive, they just provide different benefits. You’re still going to see Travis and Wyatt posting. You’re still going to see Q&As.

    Or, in picture form: http://i.qkme.me/35x3zp.jpg

    YOu do have to admit that the questions picked have alot to do w/ it though…
    Lylirra: Regardless of what you may personally think about the questions, they were still upvoted by a large number of people within the community–otherwise they wouldn’t have been included. Sure, the questions may not be relevant to everyone, but they are definitely relevant to someone. Or a variety of someones, in this case.

    There were actually a lot of good, highly-voted questions for this round of Ask the Devs, so we still have more to answer. We’re not going in order of “most highly-voted” to “least highly-voted,” though. It’s a mix, which means there’s going to be some variation in the types of questions you see in each “part,” as well as who those questions appeal to.

    Don’t you understand that that is a bad thing? You say that like it’s a given, but it’s not. Plenty of other dev teams are able to be open about their conceptual stage ideas and even incorporate player feedback into that stage. If you don’t tell us anything until the stuff is pretty much set, then what’s the point?
    Lylirra: I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re doing. We can’t share details we don’t have, though. What we can do is share what we’re discussing internally, even if what we’re discussing is just ideas. We’re still inviting you into that conversation and opening up feedback at an early stage.

    For example:

    The list goes on and, as with all design, nothing is ever final. This is just a snapshot of what we’re working on currently with regard to itemization, and we hope to provide more specifics as we get closer to implementing these changes into the live game. In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you think about our approach, since much of what’s cited above has been inspired by your feedback.
    Lylirra: The only difference between the itemization improvements and multiplayer improvements is that we’re able to talk about one in a little more detail than the other right now. We absolutely intend to provide more information about itemization changes as we continue development on them.

    Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Or damned if they do, but don’t do it right?

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