A selection of Blue posts from the day, as their CMs were busy as the proverbial beavers.

    A fan voiced a common complaint and asked why the skill UI has DiabloWikiElective Mode turned off by default, when no one uses it if they know any better. The whole thread is pretty long, so check it out for every post, some of which are kind of OT. I’m only quoting the core bits below:

    Why does Elective Mode exist?

    Make what is currently an obscure setting in the options into the default. Most players don’t even realize they can use multiple types of skills from the same category.
    Nethaera: We could, but this isn’t useful to players who are completely new to the game or the genre. So, instead, we made sure to add in the setting for those who are more experienced players.

    It would help to have a pop up in game to introduce ‘elective mode’ to players, instead of a pop up reminding people about loot in multiplayer 😉
    Nethaera: I’ll pass along the feedback. 😉 I’ve seen more than a couple of people say that it’s not a very visible option.

    It honestly seems like elective mode was added as a last minute addition and then not explained or advertised. There was no in game instruction about it or how it works. In fact not only did I not find out about it till someone on vent was discussing having multiple skills from the same page at once (which made me go huh?) but even after finding it I needed to get instruction from that person as to how the button assigning even works because it is not naturally intuitive.

    So yes, option for experienced players = good, hiding it under the bed, inside a locked box with the key in a 3 foot hole in the neighbors back yard guarded by a Doberman = not so good.
    I totally understand. For those that have taken the time to post their viewpoints, it’s appreciated. Again, we do love getting constructive feedback provided it’s kept constructive. In this case, feedback is noted and will be passed along. I can’t promise anything more than that.

    We haven’t run a vote specifically on it, but virtually every Diablo player I’ve seen comment on the topic uses EM, thinks it should be the default, and is puzzled that they had to hunt through unintuitive options menus to enable it. Look at the skills menu we had before the new one went in. Isn’t that a lot easier to use?

    I’ve seen a lot of theories about why EM is hidden when no one who knows about it fails to use it, and the only one that actually sort of explains things is, “someone at Bliz wants to force us to play with gimped default builds.” Why that would be requires more theories. One possibility is that it’s about balancing. If players can’t mix and match skills however they like, it’s much easier for the devs to predict and balance for build strength (and to avoid build weakness). Or perhaps some WoW dev stuck it in because they hate Diablo and hate our freedom?

    Whatever the reason, it’s abundantly obvious that if the default is Dictatorial Mode, there should be a very obvious tool tip pop up button, right in the interface, explaining that you can check it and choose skills from categories as you wish. The fact that this hasn’t been implemented shows that someone in the game’s development is putting his own preferences ahead of what would be best for the players, which is generally considered a game design no-no.

    A new player asked if it’s worth it to level up the DiabloWikiBlacksmith and DiabloWikiJeweler, and got a reply.

    I was wondering if its worth training and what level does blacksmith go to? ANd where do i get the jewel pages to train further?
    Kaviax: I’ve been prioritizing the jeweler over the blacksmith, but I’m playing multiple characters, and it makes sense to me to keep the crafters as highly-ranked as possible, because they benefit my lowest-level characters the most.

    One (unintentional?) result of the Auction House is that it’s rendered Jeweler training obsolete. He can unsocket right from the start, so the only reason to train him is to enable higher level jewel combining. However you can just go on the GAH and buy the higher level gems for a less gold than it costs to upgrade the Jeweler and upgrade the gems in the first place. You may choose to play the game instead of exploiting the system with GAH transactions, but they’re certainly there if you wish to take the shortcuts.

    Finally, someone’s demanding that Bashiok be fired. Yes, again. This one makes a bit more effort though, and gets a lot of (not entirely stupid) replies. Bashiok eventually offered an essay-length defense of his behavior before locking the thread. Click through to read it.

    Full thread here:

    I understand that you have limitations of what you can and cannot say. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to build a product over a decade and fall in love with it, have people play it for a week or a short beta period, and bash it like it is the worst game ever made.

    This game is incredible. Hands down.

    Yes, it has its flaws. But every game, ever, does. They are in the process of being fixed. Most people are excited for that moment.

    However, you are condescending and mean. You treat the majority of people on this forum as trash. Your initial answers are insulting and frequently are followed up with “I made it in jest, if you didn’t see that you are dumb.” You provide no real value.

    It is unbecoming of this brand to have someone like you as its main representative.

    I truly appreciate the time you have put into this campaign, but I think you are simply burnt out. You can no longer hold back your initial reaction and instead lash out at your customer base.

    I am truly sorry that I feel the need to post this. I expect this is my last post ever.

    Good luck and goodbye.

    Bashiok: 🙁

    Well, I haven’t seen a thread calling for my head for… jeez, I’d say early Wrath days at the latest. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I would be remiss if I did not call out that asking for “X should be fired!” is actually a technical forum violation, would normally earn you a short vacay from the forums, and you should direct all feedback to [email protected] (we really need a more generic address).

    Look, I don’t agree all my actions are always a positive for what I’m trying to accomplish. Sometimes I think of something funny, and in an endless pursuit to amuse myself I post it. Smart? Probably not. But like I said if I don’t give myself something to enjoy I might likely implode from the seething hatred directed at the game I’ve spent much of my career here working toward, and a game that I’ve seen countless people pour their lives and souls into for years. My ability to cope with that isn’t without flaws.

    I would say I misjudge, at times, my own knowledge of the game and outlook, against the perspective of the player/forum goer. My intent isn’t to be flippant, although that’s certainly a great word for it sometimes. I suppose it’s better to say that I return in-kind, and believe that as a community manager my job is not to pander and say what you want to hear, but attempt to interact as an equal. For some people that isn’t what they want. I should be giving important information or shut the hell up. I respect that perspective. I’m not going to comply, but I respect that it’s a valid perspective. There is a balancing act, though, of choosing when to post things that aren’t sterile and purely informative. My argument would be that we’ve reached that point.

    Anyway, all that aside a lot of us have been working very hard and focusing on a lot of non-fun and very non-informative things behind the scenes to address service issues, and plan messaging, and next steps and all these things that go with the job. I understand a lot of the tension is just feeling a bit in the dark, and having some first communication being me acting like a dork is not very helpful in showing we’re taking these things seriously (which we are). We’re now starting to see more people in Inferno, design issues are emerging, and we’re hitting that feedback loop where you’ll be seeing more of us and more communication abound, which should help. Within reason, of course.

    Bashiok, will you take a moment to discount the claims you made in vent? Was that really you, or just an imposter?
    How flattering someone is impersonating me. I don’t even have vent installed.

    Let’s turn our attention back toward the game, now.

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