Blizzard Explains PTR Changes and no-PVP at Launch

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.


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  1. lol if that was their VISION for a great game at day 1, they weren’t wearing their glasses

  2. Arguing with children all the time must be tiring.

  3. \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\

    What a fu*cking joke, this game was such a let down on release and still is the biggest piece of shit I have everplayed, even zelda on nintendo had more depth

    its been dumbed down enough so the mass \children\ market could pick up and play it.

    I’d like to see your average 13 year player who cries on the fourms constantly to understand diablo 2, a game of huge depth and options with amazing music and enviroment and gameplay.

    Still can’t believe we were given instead this fu*cking cartoon thats about as deep as a puddle.

    The blizzard we have today are fu*cking clowns compared to the old team, fat boy jay wilsons comments about Dave Brevik \genius\ was the icing on the cake.

    I just don’t understand how diablo 3 went so very, very wrong. All they had to do was make d2 with 3d graphics with the same game system and feel as d2, everyone would of loved it and blizzard would of made a disgusting amount of money from it, only an idiot like wilson could turn a \golden egg/license to print money\ into the piece of shit we have been given.

    F*cuk u blizzard, what a waste ! I myself have gone back to d2, even after d2 years its still more fun to play than this shallow piece of trash.

    /rant over

    • Agree. The thing about a lot of people complaining is that its just sad how the potential of Diablo series just wasted into… something, that is like a video game in some game center from earlie 90s. Talking about the lore, atmosphere – the depth of the game. Blizz should humbly teach from 2K and the style how they created the re-new XCOM – Enemy unknown.

    • Wow, D3hater you’re really living up to your name!

      I too was like you, very disappointed at launch, but as of 1.04 I’ve fallen in love with this game. With 1.05 around the corner, and hopefully pvp soon to follow, Im enjoying D3 immensely.

      More so than I ever enjoyed D2 vanilla. Which was a big let down imo as well. At least unlike D2, D3 should be pretty damn good before the expansion is even announced.

      Honestly, I didn’t care much for D2 until LOD launched. Anyways, continue hating and posting on this site, I know that’s your thing. I’ll continue loving Diablo 3. You can hate on me for that if you want 🙂

      • What happened to you man? I remember your comments…you used to hate D3 so much!

        Im glad you changed your mind though. I too am enjoying D3 immensely.

  4. They basically through out everything that made D2 a great game and have been adding that stuff slowly in and I am sure that with the expansion we will see ever more of the D2 systems return with tweaks like charms for example. Now if they kept all that in in the first place then we wouldn’t have all this hate of course there will still be hate but we would have a far better game then what we have now. Then they could easily build on the systems that Diablo is known for which they have in some area but those areas are basically minor areas and they have gone the wrong way with most of the major areas that made D2 such a great game.

  5. I highly doubt anyone here could do better with the diablo 3 franchise. And frankly some of the choices of diablo 2 were questionable. but ended up working out at the end.

    it is also impossible to gauge how people will plow through the content. sure some of the early snapshots of diablo 3 were awesome. and early videos were awesome.

    I wouldn’t blame jay wilson, he had all this shit he wanted to put in, but… the heads were probably like “we need to have expansion material cut it”

    I am still happy with the final product and result and eager for the new crap to come!

  6. “Every game that Blizzard has released, though, has had some problems after launch […]. And that’s okay, because […]

    No, it’s not.

    Online game or not, Blizzard (amongst other developers, but Blizzard in particular) have driven post-release patching to an absurd extent. Constant bugfixes are a completely valid reason for ongoing patching of a complex game, revamping and adding missing game systems, however, cannot be explained with reason anymore.

    I do indeed believe the CM when she states that the development team released the game not before they thought it was ready. And that’s the whole point. This ‘delivering half-finished sh**’-mentality cannot be accepted as business model. Especially not from them.

    • Yet you bought it anyway. Obviously their business model is working.

      • Yep, indeed, it did work for D3.
        But what of the future? Could you reasonably be expecting the damage they’ve inflicted to their own franchise and company reputation, by handling this game the way they did, to not negatively affect future sales?

    • Silly.

      I didn’t encounter ONE blue screen and playing this thing for 1000 hours.

      “Not ready” is a lame statement when you see the polish of the engine, the art, the graphics and this new one server central play working as intended since 2 weeks after launch…

      You have no idea what non Blizzard garbage is out there atm. So stop pretending.

      When another game suddenly jumps to your desk top it is covered with the coat of love, but when Blizzard has a few hic ups at launch because 6 million players want to get in at ONE entry point, it is a catastrophe.

      grow up man: D3 was very polished from the start: they just add new playing options with an incredibly fast update rate.

  7. I for one was sick of waiting for D3 to be released. I have no problem whatsoever with what they released. I do feel it was obvious that they were pushed by management/investors to release the game. I was just happy to finally play it. Would some of you have preferred they delayed even more?

    An unfortunate fact is, until it was publicly released, their internal testing would never have come to the conclusions we the public did. By releasing it when they did, things were able to become apparent and development was able to refocus leading to where we are at now.

  8. Diablo 3 is shaping up to be the best Diablo game of all time.

    Certainly with patch 1.05 incoming. And pvp isn’t even in testing fase…

    It is always the same thing: Blizzard polishes its games until they shine so hard they dominate the complete scene.

    No one is gonna play TL2 or PoE within 6 months (their retention rate is already terrible on sites like Xfire).

    But of course Diablo 3 is going to be played just as long as D2 (if not longer).

    I bet you Diablo 3 will be absolute TOP within 6 months and even THEN they will produce new patches.

  9. path of exile, not an interest to me,

    torchlight, beat it, did not feel compelled to play again, maybe i will, maybe i won’t. certain things about combat irritated me. but some things about game i did like.

    online only, or not. does not matter to me. I rather it online only.

    d3 is continuing to improve and get better. but that is expected, they are using the money they made and are making to improve on it. diablo 3 expansion will continue to knock our socks off. why not sell an expansion, they cut a lot out, saving it for something, we might even get charms. might. we might even get crushing blow, might. and i can even totally speculate here, might get new content. because that is what blizzard was trying to do.

    they were not trying to make blizzard norths game, diablo 2. they were trying to make an entirely new game, just like how diablo 2 did when they were making it from diablo 1.

    if that made sense cool beans, if not i will try again later when not at work.

    • Cool post and it sums up quite nicely what Diablo 3 is bringing to the table.

      D2 with new graphics and a new engine would be terrible in a 2012 internet era.

      If played on local disk: it would be copied 20 million times and sell 500K max.

      If played in the same economic Ebay way as D2, it would be duped, copied and cracked as early as day 1.

      If the design would be copied 100%, no one would even touch the older mechanics of NOT being able to change a mis click on a silly skill tree, have a map that looked like 10 year old stinky cheese instead of a 3D surrounding and frankly spamming potions was that even cool ?

      D3 is simply a NEW game in a NEW kind of internet play with a NEW generation of players who wouldn’t even touch D2 graphs and playing style with a 10 foot pole…

      MMO’s replaced Diablo 2 quite fast after just a couple of years.

      This version of Diablo is much more modern and is far better adapted to more modern on line gaming (like fast play, fast group forming, no time waste and quick sessions with a RMAH to satisfy everyone (and everyone wants a cheat now and then anyway).

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