A couple of interesting blue forum posts covering some controversial issues. The first addresses the lack of PvP in the game upon launch and goes into a larger discussion of whether or not the game was rushed with a lack of polish and features, as many have alleged given the constant major changes we’ve seen in patches since then.

    This is just “we couldn’t fit it in by release; so, we are going to act like we worked really hard on all of this things post-launch to show the players we are listening.”
    Lylirra: In terms of PvP, we didn’t feel like the system we had at the time we launched Diablo III was up to par, so we elected not to release it along side the actual game. We continuing to work on PvP, though, and are currently looking to release it with 1.1.0 as a free content update (as we’ve said before). We also hope to share more updates in the near future on its progress.

    In terms of the actual game, our development team had total say on if and when Diablo III was ready for release, and we shipped it only after we felt it had met our vision for what a great game could be on day 1. Every game that Blizzard has released, though, has had some problems after launch — either in terms of design or actual bugs. Even with lots of internal testing and a public beta, certain issues can be very difficult to find or predict and only come to light once millions of players have logged in, pushed the limits of the game’s design, and shared their feedback.

    And that’s okay, because one of the things that has always stood out about Blizzard is that we’re never satisfied with our games and will continue to work on them for years after release to make them more balanced, more engaging, and (hopefully) more fun. Patches, hotfixes, class balances, new systems — this is all part of the normal process for supporting a Blizzard game and its community post-launch, and we’ll continue to grow and improve Diablo III for a long time to come. Paragon, Monster Power, and Infernal Machine are great examples of this, but they certainly weren’t features we sat on for the initial release of the game. They were ideas we explored after watching how players progressed and seeing what we could do to make the user experience better and more fulfilling.

    Just keep providing us with your feedback and talking to us about what you like (and, more importantly, what you don’t), and we’ll do everything we can to make this game one of Blizzard’s greatest.

    Another thread complains about the Hellfire ring’s “nerf” and the general issue of bug fixes on the PTR. Click through to read that one, and add your thoughts in comments.

    Lylirra: Whenever we open up a public test for a particular patch (and this goes for most Blizzard games, not just Diablo III), it’s rare that we are completely finished with implementing all the new content we intend to release. It’s also rare that we have completed internal testing of that content. This means that, yes, you will often encounter bugs while playing. And, yes, some of those bugs may seem incredibly obvious in that “Oh my god, how could you have possibly missed this?” kind of way. This is completely normal.

    We test concurrently along side with the PTR. By this, I mean that we will often push content to the PTR that hasn’t yet been reviewed by QA. In the case of the Hellfire Ring, we made a mistake during initial implementation that caused its proc damage to scale inappropriately high. When QA tested the ring, however, they caught the bug, our designers fixed it, and it never made it to the live game. That’s what testing phases are all about.

    Really? REALLY?
    Lylirra: Yes, really.

    By participating in the PTR, you’re witnessing not only the testing phase of a particular patch, but also its ongoing development. And, in many cases, you get to see it happen in real-time. Encountering bugs is something every PTR participant should expect and accept as part of the process, and that anything you see on a PTR could be changed or removed entirely as well.

    If that doesn’t sound enjoyable to you, than playing on a PTR may not be your thing. And that’s totally okay. We provided the PTR to players not only because it’s a helpful development tool, but also because we know that many players love jumping in early and seeing what’s coming down the road — even if it’s not yet finished or polished.

    What’s with all the lies?
    Lylirra: While we exercise caution whenever we choose to change aspects of the game that can reduce player power, we’ll still go forward with those changes if we believe it’s best for the long-term health of the game. We’ve also always called a spade a spade when it comes to nerfing. If we nerf something, we’ll say we nerfed it. No need to mince words.

    So, when we note that the Hellfire Ring change was actually bug fix, we mean it. It wasn’t cop-out. It wasn’t a way for us to nerf the ring’s damage without saying we nerfed it. The ring wasn’t working the way we originally designed on the PTR, so we corrected the issue and now the proc damage is where it want it to be for the full release of 1.0.5.

    That all said, these forums are for players to constructively discuss the game — they are not an arena for your ad hominem attacks. Please keep that distinction in mind when making future posts.

    The conspiracy theory QQing about the Hellfire ring is a bit silly; it’s called the “patch test” realm for a reason, and we’ve seen tons of other things changed during the weeks of v1.05 preparation. Besides, the Hellfire ring, as initially implemented, was absurdly OP and obviously buggy; I agree with most of you guys (scroll down that post for vote results) that the ring’s stats are too low and it’s a poor design as an uber quest reward, but that just makes it all the more obvious that they didn’t mean the procing fireballs to deal millions of damage per hit; vastly more than any other attack in the game.

    You can certainly complain about the Hellfire ring, but don’t sabotage your own arguments with a tinfoil hat, while advocating game design that would be bad even if it wasn’t due to a bug.

    You may also like