Blizzard on UI Issues with Buffs and AH Comparisons

A fan asks about two of the game issues that I personally find most annoying. The first is that buffs are inexplicably capped at 5, even though 1) this isn’t nearly enough, and 2) that many doesn’t even go the full width of the belt interface. The second is that you don’t get a comparison of DPS and HPs when viewing items in the Auction House. As these are both obviously needed fixes, I can only assume that there are technical issues with enabling them, which is more or less what Vaeflare admits, after halfheartedly arguing for the status quo.

1.) Show ALL buffs on characters:

I play a monk, I always have a barb friend with me and there are shrines all over the damn place (sometimes 2 are literally right next to each other). Showing only 5 of the sometimes 7-8+ active buffs on my character is RIDICULOUS. Help us take your game more seriously by presenting all of the necessary information to us.
Vaeflare: A few months ago, I went over a bit of our philosophy surrounding why we only allow five active buffs to be viewable at any time, but I wanted to let you know what we’re still very aware of this concern. We think that it would be great to be able to view more than five of your active buffs, and we’re looking into solutions that would ensure players are able to view buffs that are important to them, while also keeping UI clutter to a minimum. Ideally, we’d like to avoid situations where a portion of your screen is overwhelmed by buff icons (for example, just having your buffs stack across the bottom of your bar) and we’re still experimenting with different ways to present that information in a format that works well for Diablo III.

2.) Show a proper tool-tip in the AH and on message-linked items.

Very simple. We get this only when we are in a game lobby. Why? Show us the change in life, damage and protection when we click on an item from the AH or from the chat. Now, you may ask how accounts with multiple characters are handled. One little note could be added that states: “Tool-tip comparison is based on the SELECTED hero.” SIMPLE. DONE. It compares the item only to the character you have used most recently. Not that hard, folks!
Vaeflare: It may not sound hard, but it isn’t an easy code change. It often takes a great deal of work in order to update and alter our complex coding, and it’s actually been a notable tech investment to try to tackle this particular request for updated item comparison tooltips (which Lylirra mentioned here as well).

The good news is that we’ve been making a lot of progress, and this feature is planned for an upcoming patch. 🙂

The HPs and protection green vs. red aren’t real hard to figure out, but DPS can be impossible if the mods aren’t the same. Say you’ve got a ring with 5% CC, 116 Dex, and 6% AS. Is that better than a ring with +15 min dmg, 3.5% CC, 874 Dex, and 34% CD? Um… yes? It’s really hard to figure, especially since the relative value of all those properties change as you increase your totals.

Conveniently for the discussion, I happened to have a screenshot of an almost exact comparison my Monk stumbled upon some weeks ago. The shot is below and you can click for a full sized view, but basically the damage between two rings is almost identical, despite their very different stats:

  • The rare ring has +30-58 damage, 4.0% CC, and 9% AS.
  • The Unity has +29-56 damage, 4.5% CC, and 153 Dexterity.
  • So in this instance, on this character, 153 Dex + 0.5% CC is worth almost exactly the same DPS as 9% AS, but I only know that since I had both rings in my possession. If one had been for sale in the AH, I could only have guesstimated their relative merits. Sure would be nice if those pretty green numbers provided a shopping solution, but they do not in the AH and apparently they will not for some time yet. (My sorrow is without measure.)


    Tagged As: | Categories: Auction House, Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Interface


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    1. Complex coding… Serious tech investment… takes a long time… for an auction house tooltip and a change in the way buffs are shown.

      Wonder how long the coding will take on changing itemization and runes.


      • Yeah, I find this rather unconvincing. This really isn’t that difficult a concept, and the auction house already automatically shows items based on your character class and clvl, so there is *some* correlation of data going on already. Expanding it out does not seem like it should be some massive problem.

        My suspicion on this one is that the developers said “ah, it’s not completely trivial, it’ll take a bit of time, but we’ll get to it” and the CM’s have interpreted that as “really complex”.

        • False, this is a symptom of bad coding practices. I have a feeling that the real talented engineers at Blizzard have left long ago. Even now, only the bottom of the barrel are working on Diablo 3. It is most likely spaghetti code.

        • Exactly. In the software world, if reusing part of your code somewhere new is hard, you wrote it wrong. The implication that they have two or more different sets of code for displaying items is a waste of time originally but perhaps it does explain why they were so behind schedule.

          • I think it could be part of the reason. We know(?) that integration was a specific thing that took several months longer than they expected. Perhaps the D3 core team had ideas about how would integrate and tried to anticipate some of it, then when the guys properly got full time on the project they discovered a lot of the stuff just wouldn’t work the way the D3 guys had planned, and had to re-write/re-integrate it?

    2. Why wasn’t ‘in-AH’ comparison and show all buffs in the game to begin with? I honestly can’t think of a single good reason to NOT have those things in the game.

      The same goes for an “identify all” option, seriously, make it happen already!

      • ID is a lousy, old moldy mechanic. There’s no need for it anymore.

        • Yeah, other games after DII hadn’t unidentified items at all. What’s the point? You get it, you look at it, and if you like it, use it. As simple as that. Otherwise it’s just a waste of time.

    3. Obviously it may be annoying but there is an alternative to this that I use until the feature is added;

      Link the items into chat (don’t even need to be in a chat channel it will still link)
      Go into a game then click the item to view a comparison.
      You may need to remove a gems or do a bit of math for an accurate reading but it works.

      Note: Holding ALT while clicking a ring or weapon will compare it to the offhand/right ring

    4. Why does it take so long to get anything done? This game has been out for a awhile now and still it takes months to get the even the smallest improvments. I don’t understand what they are doing with all this time other then telling people every few months they are aware of the problems and are looking into ways to fixing the problem, but nothing every gets done.

      • People that work for Blizzard will one day graduate to being part of congress, with the rate of not getting things done and letting people down, it’s the only logical step.

        • I seriously chuckled at this because it’s true.

          D3 SEQUESTRATION IS UPON US ohhhh muh gawddddddd

    5. while you’re at it, also include the stack icon for Bash stacks.

      • That would be nice indeed – but just in case you are not aware of – you can see a yellow circle under your barbarian when bash – panish is active. Still having a buff icon display is much better.

    6. Uhhhh you can compare items from the ah… Just link them into a chat (I use monk chat since its always vacant,) and then create a game and check the links.

      Its a simple workaround to how it is now until we see it patched, bit of a pain but it works just fine.

    7. As nach said, link the item in the chat. And then go ingame. Simple. But rather tame consuming.

    8. RE the AH portion. I really want to see where I can do this for Followers as well or at least be able to see what they have without removing their equipment to my bad and perhaps accidentally selling/trashing it.

    9. I’ve never seen this legendary ring before. The chappelle’s show reference made me laugh.

    10. They said that during the development also a team of WoW was involved for “a fresh look at the game”.
      I don’t believe that beacause what seems hard to make possible in Diablo 3 is allready possible for years in WoW.
      Same with the pets from the WD which were totally useless in Inferno. In my opinion you should have noticed that allready at the internal beta tests or the WoW team should have seen that because they know how to deal with the hunters pet.

    11. The damage number gives your dps increase if you are using basic attack. For barbarian, it is possible to see damage go down on your sheet, but actual dps against monsters goes up.

      I have actually crafted items that were dps increase unbuffed, but fully buffed, they were a damage loss. Anyway, I don’t think that this fix is as simple as you think it is. The buff icon limit is pretty stupid and should be fixed asap.

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