A few recent forum posts from the various Diablo 3 CMs worth are worth your notice:

    The biggest issue for most of us is wondering when more beta invites will head out. Bashiok spoke to that yesterday, and said exactly what you’d have expected him to say:

    For those looking to get keys now that a patch is out, please be aware that we’re still monitoring stability issues and will be releasing keys as needed once the service is a bit more stable.

    It’s not a real action/reaction situation. The patch is a big milestone for us, the beta, and the game, but keys are still going to be metered out as we feel additional testers are necessary for testing purposes.

    A beta tester offered some early feedback on the Demon Hunter’s skill changes, and got a reply from Bashiok about more recent info than we see in the beta.

    Thanks! Keep in mind that we’re playing around a lot with Hatred generation/spending. Overall we like it, but some of the numbers are just off – especially in the beta. The nature of testing and deploying an update just means the build you’re playing on is already a few weeks old.

    For example on the current internal version Impale costs 25 Hatred and does 275% weapon damage, and Hungering arrow is a generator.

    We’ll try to share those types of things when we can.

    Click through for other recent posts on a pick up everything option and balancing issues with Followers.

    A common request for Diablo III (and mod in other ARPGs) is a “pick it” style tool that automates item collection. Imagine that in D3, where items on the ground would be instantly snapped up, if you desired. Say you had check boxes to say if you wanted it to vacuum up blues, rares, legendaries, runes, gems, potions, etc…. Convenient, but so lazy that you’d hardly be playing the game at all at that point. Which is more or less what Bashiok said to a fan with a more basic “grab it all” suggestion.

    It would be nice to have a feature that would allow you to pick up all items and gold within the players immediate area, since you in fact have you own individual loot i do not see a balance issue, greed issue or player conflict. If you got room it gets picked up think of it as an expanded ALT feature. Basically, less time picking up loot more time killing baddies (because most items don’t get picked up because people just don’t want to waste the half second it takes per item greys, whites etc.). Of course I will give credit to Sacred for the ideas inception, but hey a good idea is a good idea.

    This is one of those user experience issues where some players really want convenience, and we have to sort of fight back against that for the betterment of the experience and enjoyment of the game.

    It potentially sounds ridiculous. Of course convenience means you’re able to have more fun, right? Actually it can seriously degrade even short term enjoyment of a game.

    We maintain that the act of clicking to pick up items is important for a few reasons. It obviously allows you to pick and choose what you actually want to pick up, and that’s actually an important player choice. And it happens a lot. You could argue that you want to pick up everything! For gold this is true, there’s never a reason not to pick up gold, but for items the reality is that in the long term it’s pretty unlikely that you’re always going to want to pick up every item that drops. In fact I’d personally guarantee it. And for all of the convenience options we have, all of the streamlining, making the game easy to approach (but difficult to master), and all that junk, the fact remains that Diablo is about clicking, clicking, clicking. It works. It has always worked, and we know that it’s integral to the formula of why it does.

    In my personal outlook, it’s a situation where – and this is potentially getting into the psychology of games a little – your direct interaction with the game, where upon completion of a goal (killing demons) you’re presented a reward (phat lewt) it’s important that you’re involved in actually receiving the reward. Hitting a button to vacuum it all up devalues that system, and ultimately the enjoyment of the game.

    Counter to Bashiok’s guarantee, a really greedy/conscientious player will pick up “everything” since you can very quickly salvage or sell (via the Cauldron of Jordan) everything you pick up. (Aside from potions and scrolls, which can start to stack up unnecessarily, even in the beta.) And all those sales and salvages, even if they’re just for a few gold each, would inevitably add up.

    Generally speaking though, no, you don’t want or need to pick up everything in Diablo 3.

    Finally, a fan asked about how Followers will work in Inferno, and got a common sense answer from Bashiok:

    Obviously if followers are allowed into Inferno we have to be able to balance for them, which could lead to situation where you really can’t be efficient without a follower. In that way it needs to be some kind of either/or choice, but that’s difficult to balance as the follower can have a large number of variables in its skills and items.

    We really just don’t have any specifics to share yet, but appreciate the continued discussions.

    Previous Blue comment on this issue suggested that Inferno players would get some kind of a full time passive bonus if they did not use a Follower, to counteract the benefits gained by using one. That seems a weird way to go about it, but the core issue is pretty much as Bashiok says. If Followers provide enough benefit to be worth using, then they become more or less mandatory, which is how mercs were in D2 end game — a design flaw the D3 devs have criticized. But how do you enable/allow Followers in D3, and make them survivable in Inferno, without making them so powerful that every serious player must have one? It’s a tricky issue, and part of why Followers in D3 were initially planned just to be a novelty/bonus for the Numpty difficulty.

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