Blizzard Forum Action

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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25 thoughts on “Blizzard Forum Action

  1. Man, people actually leave stuff on the ground?!!?! I have OCD when it comes to loot: I just can’t leave it there!

    • I remember trash green items used to drop off Hell Mephisto and I stopped picking them up because they would drop so often and be worth like nothing.

      • Players left the vast majority of stuff on the ground in D2, but there are a lot of differences in D3, obviously. Salvaging, crafting, CoJ, bigger inventory, no charms, etc.

        Like Frantic said though, picking up everything is OCD, and bad strategy as well. Bad in terms of gold/time. You’ll make more gold in the same amount of time skipping white items and only bothering (to sell or craft) with blues and up, since the profit from whites is so low.

        • My wife didn’t care about gold vs time.  All she cared about was killing every last creature on a map and picking up EVERY item regardless of how many trips she had to take back to town.  I tease her by comparing her to Mr. Krabs on Spongebob.  She likes money.  Her and I both loved the grab all on Sacred, didn’t diminish the fun at all.

  2. They better have the servers stress tested with Beta before launch since this is online only.  I would be mad if it is online only and the servers are too unstable to play on for the first month.

  3. I’m just glad to hear that Hungering is back as a generator – this was the case in the Blizzcon demo.

  4. Does the difficulty increase with the number of players, as it did in D2? If so, then just have a similar thing with the Mercs in Inferno… If the player takes a Merc, bump up the difficulty a little notch. You may well still scythe through the enemies than you would were you alone, but you’d still have to be that extra bit careful.

    • mercs should make game a little easier, i would prefer, balance it without merc, and have penalty to magic find when having one.

  5. yes it does and I agree with your idea century. easy to use, easy to understand, easy to implement. merc = /players 1.X , no merc = /players 1 , with 1 teammate /players 2.

  6. funny error d3 community site info for alabaster rune version of Slow Time says that it increases alliies’ attack and movement speed for 0%. It must be a typo.

  7. you may not be aware of this, flux, but “The biggest issue for most of you guys…” really sounds from-up-on-a-high-horse-ish.

    • The vast majority of people reading this are without beta invites yet. Is that open to debate? Obviously that was the topic of most interest, hence I put it first.  It’s the one of most interest to me too, since I’d like more people playing. I’d like another invite myself, actually, so I could let some more friends get shared access.

      • i certainly do realize that that is what most people are interested in. i was referring to the way you phrased it. “The biggest issue for most of you guys…” kinda makes you sound like a snob that cannot relate to the petty problems of the common folk 😉

        • really? I thought it made it seem like he could totally relate to our problems, i.e. we don’t have no beta invites.

  8. Templar > Scoundrel and Enchantress
    templar tanks =>
    if you are ranged you need 0 points and skills in survivability
    if you are melee you need much less points and skills in survivability
    survivability = less dmg
    unless templar would do like only 10 % of the players damage and the other followers 50 %. otherwise it wouldnt pay of to choose scou and ench
    other option to balance it: big CD on dead followers

    • Insufficient data for this assumption. We don’t know how survivability will be for the Templar as he’s tanking, and all the classes in D3 should have enough escape and CC skills to succeed even without a tank.

      Of course we don’t know if the Enchantress and Scoundrel will be smart enough to stay out of combat and survive either.

      • “We don’t know how survivability will be for the Templar as he’s tanking”
        well… we know he is designed as potential ally for rangers. he is NOT designed to depend on the DH or whoever to jump in and draw aggro so he doesnt die (acctually we dont know that but how redicolus would that be?). => he can sustain enough damage to tank
        (and btw maybe ONE templar can tank for the WHOLE PARTY: the one guy i got to test it a little bit said that mosters dont get more dmg with number of players; just hp)

        “all the classes in D3 should have enough escape and CC skills to succeed even without a tank”
        but what is more efficient? the barb that has to boost his survivability with war cry or the barb who can take battle rage for +31% dmg instead of it because he has templar for survivability? less points and skills in survival = more in dmg

        • obviously analogies to D2 are flawed, but using a merc was suboptimal for a number of play styles in that game. You had to spend more time and effort keeping your merc alive, with positioning, potions, CC (mostly cold) attacks to support him, than you derived benefit. Other builds mercs were very useful and even essential. Hence I think it’ll vary, and one hopes the D3 team wont’ make the same mistake of D2 (as you’re implying they will) by having just one kind of merc by far the most useful.

          That happened largely since the mercs were poor AI and movement in D2, though. Obviously auras were their best benefit, but if the Rogue had used something like Vault to stay back and alive, or the Iron Wolf could have teleported or cast CC like Frost Nova, those would have been more survivable and thence viable for builds that didn’t need or want an aura tank.

  9. If they can’t come up with the perfect solution to the late game follower issue, I say make followers useless after normal as was first intended. Getting a boost when playing without a follower doesn’t sound like the perfect solution.

    • My opinion is that it would be a shame to spend so much time on a feature knowing that it will eventually go unused. If normal is balanced with the use of a mercenary, then I don’t see why the other difficulties can’t also be balanced in such a way. Passive bonus or mercenary, there still has to be balance for the advantage afforded so swapping benefits doesn’t really solve the problem. Penalizing the use of a feature also seems odd to me, if hard work has been put into creating something awesome they should want people to use it. I would guess that blizz is not worried about the mercenary skills (because they’ve already balanced normal around that…) but more so about item bonuses, though it really shouldn’t be a problem seeing as loot rewards have always resulted in advantage (unless this leads everyone to want the same exact gear for their mercs due to low customization.).

  10. If they are going to make mercenaries endgame viable then they should only have ranged mercs imo. Melee mercs are going to be impossible to get somewhat balanced between classes and speccs since their tanking ability benefits ranged glasscannons alot more than the rest.

    If templars can tank without dying when geared well they’ll be overpowered for some classes/speccs, otherwise they’ll be useless. I’d prefer no mercs at all in endgame, atleast a suitable compensation for playing without, since it would offer more variation in playstyle between classes and speccs, with mercs every class turns into a petclass :/

  11. I want followers around, i’m not like other hardcore players who will play nonstop for months maybe years, I will eventually get bored after hell and maybe if i’m lucky play inferno for more then my first 5 character builds. But if I put it down i would like the ability to pick it up and be able to get back into the good stuff and not worry about dying every 20seconds. *SHRUGS* I think Followers should be made worth while in end game.

  12. The big issue with followers is for Blizzard to make them all potentially interesting/useful for all classes. Maybe the Wizard would love to have a fellow caster around, instead of always wanting the Templar to tank, but if the followers are too strong/defined in their roles, he/she would always pick the tank option.
    I really like the followers, mostly because they don’t seem to be as braindead as in D2, but I can easily see the issue Blizzard is having concerning them. If they die too easily, you can’t be bothered having them around, but if they’re too good, you don’t want to be without them.
    In Diablo 2, for me, the mercs are a novelty at best – sure their benefits are nice, but if I have to spend more time sending healing potions their way, than actually playing, I may as well plan on not having them most of the time – which is what I do.

    Easy solution, make the followers cap at 59, making Inferno in-accessible for them 😈

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