Blizzard share their Philosophy on combating Diablo 3 Exploits


Following the recent Diablo 3 Gem exploit and rollback, Blizzard has released a further statement this evening on their thinking behind punishing exploiters and how they need to communicate more with players.

Earlier we reported on exploiters possibly rolling back Blizzard’s rollback, but according to Blizzard, there is no evidence of this happening. That is good to hear, and is probably why they removed the ability to rollback this afternoon which indicates it might have been possible.

Just wanted to jump in to say we’ve heard reports of people attempting to roll back their rollback. We’ve looked into it and seen no cases where people are actually trying to do so (regardless of claims in chat channels), but we’ll keep a close eye on it.

Following on from this, and the fact that Blizzard has been quiet about how players are being punished for utilising the Legendary Gem exploit, they released this update tonight.


We wanted to provide an additional update in light of the community feedback we’ve received. It’s clear that more transparency is needed in this situation, so we want to provide some additional details and the philosophy behind the steps we’re taking to combat this and future exploitive behavior.

In approaching this situation, we wanted to make sure any actions we took ensured the following key points:

Not punishing legitimate players, including those who may have participated unwittingly, such as other members of a 4-man party where only the Necromancer and Demon Hunter were exploiting.
Punishing the worst offenders. To do so, we will be issuing temporary suspensions over the upcoming Bonus XP weekend to those who are found to be the most egregious abusers, with a focus on those who continued abusing this exploit after we originally issued a public warning.

This may seem lenient, and that brings us to a philosophy we’re working on: improving our communication. This includes both currently and in the future. Diablo III is a game designed to encourage players to find powerful combinations of skills and items. While the effect of this particular combination was unintended, nothing in the game explicitly indicated that was the case. It is our responsibility to clarify intent, and we simply weren’t quick enough with our communications.

One more point we want to emphasize: We are not okay with exploits. We made mistakes in our communication and the speed of our actions, and for that, the community has our utmost apologies. Our intent is to continue to fix exploits and communicate clarity behind them as quickly as we can in the future.

Tagged As: , | Categories: Exploits and Cheats

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  1. Yeah, you made mistakes in your code too, LOL!

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    • so you are the best in coding and make no mistakes i presume ???

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      • In coding? uh, no? I’m also not a billion dollar corporation with decades of experience making games and hiring coders who just ran a 2 month ‘beta’ on said code and allowed it to go live in this condition, then try to blame the players for the existence of the bad code. This’ like Konami coming to your house and taking your cartridges for using the Konami code.

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        • Microsoft, Apple and Google all have bugs. Many of their bugs are far more serious than bugs that Blizzard has in their entertainment product.

          Programming large complex systems, written by multiple authors, is hard.

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          • idd Lanthanide but kids like ADest don’t understand that

          • but apparently finding bugs is not too difficult

            there always seem to be a group of players that find them even after all the supposed QA and beta testing

            it would be nice if Blizzard just came out and said they did a poor job testing and then thank these people for finding the bugs and then release a patch and leave it at that

            but to take no responsibility and call these players exploiters is such a load of BS

          • @jamesl:
            It mostly just comes down to man hours. Hundreds of thousands of unpaid testers (game players) are going to experiment with all sorts of crazy things that a few hundred paid testers simply won’t even think of.

        • lol whats up with the apostrophe on “This’ ” ? That’s some grammar bending stuff right there. Not to mention wrong, but whatever lol. Didn’t know a pronoun could be possessive. Oh, right, it can’t be lol.

          You only use that apostrophe when a noun ending in ‘s’ is possessive of something.
          Like, “chris’ shirt is green, yo”. You still have to type “this is a green shirt.” lol.

          I’m so high after reading, “this’ “. lol.

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          • Well … usually you’d take an “it’s” there. But taken “This'” instead ain’t grammatically wrong. Just not widespread in its use. (“This’s” would be grammatically wrong, though. But who cares ’bout grammar anywho?)

      • he doesn’t have a billion dollar company with a large experienced QA team

        and he also doesn’t have a test realm where thousands of players test things out

        apparently Blizzard doesn’t have those things either

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  2. How about Blizzard shares their philosophy on how they plan to return to Diablo’s Roots and create a real ARPG. Last time I checked they are the owners of the best ARPG IP on the planet.

    If D4 doesnt return to the roots of D2LOD and D1 then the Franchise will never be seen as a role-model in ARPGs ever again.

    D3 is a decently polished action game but it has nothing in common with the Diablo Franchise, except the name.

    What to focus on in D4?
    ————————

    -D2Lod style itemization (ethereal/magic/rare/unique/crafted/Runes/Runewords/charms)
    -D2Lod style progression
    -D2Lod style character development and enhanced even further
    -60% of damage and defense comes from leveling up character and allocating skills
    -40% of damage and defense comes from gear
    -D2 style leveling to 99 (long leveling journey where only few reach 99)
    -At level 65ish you enter endgame difficulty even with average gear
    -At level 75 you could play endgame difficulty naked if youre skilled
    -Every act has several quests with rewards such as SkillPoints/Res/Life/Mana/Stats
    -D2 style combat pace with D3’s fluidity
    -Monsters/elements/resistances actually matter
    -D2LOD Classes a must (and new ones)
    -Fully Randomized Acts and Areas
    -No Race Track maps (like in D3)
    -Mystical World worthy exploring
    -Bosses Drop best loot
    -D2&D1 style music
    -Gothic NON-Cartoony art style
    -NON-Cheesy story (D3 story was pathetic)
    -NON-Rainbow-Pony Blunders
    -Serious and horrific/hostile gothic medieval world
    -More than 4 Players
    -No Raids (Diablo is not WOW)
    -All content soloable
    -SkillTrees
    -Passive Skills
    -Cool mechanical skills encourage group play and working together as a team
    -Capped Endgame-Difficulty
    -NO ENDLESS Difficulty
    -NO things like “Grift-Hamsterwheels”
    -Trading
    -NO Leaderboards for “endless difficulty”
    -Leaderboards tied to leveling your character (D2 style)
    -Leaderboards for Ranked PVP (unrestricted in terms of builds and gear)
    -Leaderboards for Speed Runs through story-mode (Think D2 Mrllamasc’s speed runs where you get ranked)
    -Player Reputation (if you are an asshole you get low rep, and if youre a pioneer in promoting a great and respectful community you get high rep)
    -Ultra-Rare Transmogs
    -The most OP Items and Runewords are hardest to obtain. (Think D2 style, except with high-runes dropping slightly more often). Best Carrot on a stick since gear isn’t everything like in D3. In D2 you could have average gear and play hell difficulty just fine.

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    • you forgot to mention that Blizzard should revive Deckard Cain and, if he has to die again, make it worth it so that we may truly weep instead of “wtf was THAT?!”

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    • and another thing:
      DISABLE CTRL+TAB and Windows key option in settings! This has been proven to be deadly in hardcore. (HotS has it, why not Diablo 3?)

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    • What’s a “race track map”?

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      • I think he means that all maps are designed like “paths” where you race from one pilon to the next. Frankly, he is right lol.

        I also miss big open maps within a mystic world, with the occasional lore here and there. Diablo 2 nailed it.

        When D3 originally launched, all maps were “static” which is one of the biggest blunders in Blizzard’s history. Not only that, now all Grifts and most Rifts are nothing more than “Hallways” leading from A to B. This is ridiculous in an ARPG like Diablo, Hence “racetrack maps”, because they resemble a race track, where as ARPGs use big open worlds worth exploring and farming.

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    • I’d love to do a podcast or some kind of deep chat on what Diablo 4 should/shouldn’t have, etc. I think it would be quite interesting to hear different peoples opinions on what is critical, nice to have, and such.

      Like I agree with a good chunk of this list, but there is some stuff here which I disagree with. But the reasons for it are a bit much to get into in a news comment.

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      • That could actually be fun, assuming it didn’t devolve into a shouting match or people trying to talk over each other. It would mean people would have to accept another persons opinion, albeit allowed to debate it. That might be difficult for some.

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    • As long as you don’t have to run through the story three times, that particular time-extending mechanic is an abomination. Like having to click for every attack, having a tiny stash/inventory, etc.

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    • And when they do this you are just gonna nag and whine that it is D2 with better graphics
      oh and you forgot to add NO PVP WHATSOEVER !!!

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    • I tend to agree with a lot of your points, but I think there are some things that seriously need to be avoided from Diablo 2 as well. Great game, still play it to this day, but it has some glaring faults.

      While I’m not saying D3 has those answers, and I’m not even saying Rifts themselves are the answer, something does need to be done about the Diablo endgame. D2 the endgame consisted almost entirely of running the same 3-4 bosses, on the same maps, with the same half dozen or so mobs, hoping you managed to click the good loot before the swarm of other players got to it, forever. There was even less variety to D2 endgame than there is to D3, at least if you’re looking at variety of things to look at on screen. Is rifting the answer? Likely not, but at least it’s not the same map with zero variety for hours on end.

      Another thing that needs to be avoided, or at least tweaked to have some real meaning, is stats. The stat system in D2 may as well not even have existed. Outside of a few outlier builds that almost never competed with “proper” builds, the only thing you ever did was Strength for gear, Dex for gear and/or max block, rest vit, nothing into Energy. Even worse, you were encouraged to horde your stat points until endgame because if you allocated them incorrectly you could completely lock yourself out of ever wearing the gear you wanted to wear without sacrificing other gear slots to make up for the misuse of points.

      Endless difficulty may be a bad thing to some extent, but there still needs to be something to make the game harder as you progress. Honestly, after you hit a certain gear “rank” in Hell in D2, you may as well stop. The game gets so easy you can practically play it blind folded, and as you mentioned, you can play it naked in some cases and still win (looking at you fishymancer). While having some kind of cap on difficulty isn’t a bad thing, having it happen before you approach 99 would be terrible in my opinion. Where’s the carrot on the stick? More stat points is fun and all but is it really fun enough to grind mindlessly with zero hope of challenge or progression? Sure they added Ubers to d2 but they were no fun honestly, they were mostly just a matter of cheesing them. I think a lot of players view difficulty caps with rose tinted glasses, the idea of eventually stomping the game is appealing because that’s what we always did, but let’s be real here for a second, that gets old fast. Stomping the game should be the endgame goal, not going through an entire 25% of your characters level span. It was the main reason I never bothered to hit 99 more than once in D2, there was just no reason to, there was no reward, and the grind treadmill was just as real in D2 after that point as it is in D3.

      Reputation is prone to abuse, I would avoid that even with the potential good it could do. Somebody messed up a run? Bam! Just…no. Let’s not become LoL where any little thing you do can basically ruin you.

      I would type more, but I have to finish getting ready for work. Certainly up for talking about this later though. Just a note, Prophet, not bashing your post, I do agree with most of your ideas. I simply felt the need to point out that D2 was not the paragon of perfection some people seem to remember it being.

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      • D2 was not perfect, but its “faults” were neglectable and people were able to live with it.

        – Endless Difficulty is necessary in my opinion because people like me enjoy sticking long enough to the game to be OverPowered eventually. Thats the whole point for me of investing time, so all newbs can look up to me. This gives me satisfaction, and they have a perfect carrot on a stick and want to become as powerful as I am.

        However, the path to being OverPowered should be long, interesting and satisfying. It is something that needs to be reserved for those players that invest the time and effort and get to become knowledgeable about game mechanics and all the hidden aspects of the game. The journey needs to be long and demanding, but rewarding in return to those that are willing to walk this path of determination and time-investment into the game of their liking. IMHO Diablo is a game that caters to such players, but that changed when D3 released, which is aimed at casuals and carebears, and also gives everyone everything right out the gate. (Lets not even get started about itemization in D3, its one of the worst itemizations i have ever seen in an ARPG) Mainstreamed stats, no character development, no individualism, all classes are ruled by sets which render all other gear obsolete. Crafted items are useless, magic and Rare and grey items are useless (wtf?), All classes rely on their weapon alone, and deal zero damage without a weapon in their hand. Skills are also the most ridiculous illusion of “choice” i have ever seen in an ARPG. What a joke… The skills I use are not chosen by me, but chosen by the developers through imposing sets upon us. They are obsessed in D3 with being in control of how we go to play the characters, there are absolutely no player created “builds” in d3, and if a slight variation emerges that was not intended by the devs, that variation gets nerfed.

        -Stats were a great thing imo, I loves that I needed to be knowledgeable about the game in order to allocate stat points in a “decent” way. I like that knowledge is rewarded in D2, and stupidity and carelessness is punished. Love it. Isn’t it like that in the real world also? lol…

        – Bigger and Shared Stash would have been awesome in D2, no doubt.
        – Stamina-bar was a silly idea, but thankfully it became unnoticeable past level 20ish

        – Potions are a cool idea, but I also prefer single potions that recover over time (POE style). I dislike D3’s potion system with cooldowns. I really hope D4 will have NO cooldowns at all, and will address spamming some abililities in a different fashion than using cooldowns on them.

        – I frankly liked Manual Gold-Pickup, but the gold should drop less frequently and if it actually drops, it should be in fewer but bigger piles of gold. I want a feeling of significance when picking up gold, where as auto-pickup, no one pays attention to gold on the ground, so I hope we will pay attention again to gold piles on the ground in D4.

        – Crafting should be done D2 style, where key ingredients found throughout the world need to be combined to create cool items with specific affixes. Things like “IAS Life Leech Gloves” (D2 style), or 20 FCR Class Amulets (D2 style). This causes diversity as those items are truly unique. Also the color of cube-crafted items should be Orange like in D2. This brings variety. I remember being shown gear of a player in-game in D2 a decade ago, and i was like “WOW what is that orange text item?, where did you find it?!” and the person told me “I crafted it with a specific recipe” and that blew my mind, as i didnt even knew you could do that. Loved that discovery.

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        • In regards to the needed capped difficulty for the reasons explained above, I also wanted to say that Difficulty content can exist to challenge the OP end-game players if they chose to be challenged.

          This could be done with key dungeons scattered throughout the acts that get harder the deeper you descend into them. In early game you would stay away from those locations as the monsters and traps in those dungeons rip you into pieces, but once you are in the endgame and high leveled (90+) you can revisit these dungeons and have “Dungeons Runs” if you want to be challenged despite being OP after investing the time to be OP. They could increase the odds of finding ultra rare items the deeper you descend, but it also allows people that want to remain feeling powerful after grinding it out, and simply play the regular content since they are OP now.

          This allows the people that invested time and effort to feel powerful in the regular endgame content, but also gives them an exclusive thing “to do” by giving them these special dungeons that get harder the deeper you descend. The difficulty in those deep aka “endless” dungeons should be designed in a way where the most OP players can reach the bottom level in the dungeons with a lot of skill, and perfect gear while being around level 94+

          Those dungeons should be themed according to the acts that they are located in, such as “The Pit” in D2. This would allow people to farm those acts that they enjoy most visually and monster-wise.

          These dungeons could also feature special chances for certain rare items based on there they are located. Every one of those deep dungeons could be “famous” for being good for finding certain items etc. This would allow endgame solo or group runs, while allowing players to play their favorite “tile-set”.

          I like catacombs in D3, but hate cave maps for example, so this would allow us to play the dungeon-tiles that we like, and would also put pressure on developers to ensure all tiles are fun.

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          • I meant to say Capped difficulty is necessary, and endless difficulty is bad lol.

          • It sounds like we actually agree on almost every point, but aren’t quite in agreement on exactly how the fixes should be implemented.

            I’m in 100% agreement, in particular, regarding the idea that the march to being overpowered should be long and difficult. Your response (and “slightly” sarcastic “quote” of me (or was that supposed to be a quip towards the current playerbase in general and not aimed at me?)) makes it sound like you think I was disagreeing on that? As I said, I don’t want endless difficulty, but the difficulty can’t cap at level 75 (in regards to your playing the game naked comment) if the game goes to 99, it needs to cap much closer to 99 or you end up with nothing but an empty slog. Once your power is at a point where increasing it doesn’t effectively help you clear better or faster, the journey to obtain more power basically becomes meaningless. It’s possible I worded my initial response poorly, obviously.

            I am going to have to disagree with stats however. Anything that locks a player out of something permanently is, in my opinion, bad game design. Punishing a bad player should never be the answer, rewarding good players should be the answer. This might sound like the same thing but the difference is there. Even putting that aside though, the character stats in D2 were almost universally just as set in stone as the stats in D3. I’m not saying stats are bad, I’m saying the way they were implemented was bad. When you give people options and then find out that there really is no option unless you want to gimp your build, that’s not customization, it’s illusion of customization.

            Completely agree on potions, and gold piles. To add to this, chests should be far rarer but should always be a joy to open. I want loot rains like in the A2 catacombs. Agree on stash, agree on stamina, 110% agree on crafting. I think crafting should be the source of the best gear in the game, assuming you’re willing to put in the time and effort to do it.

            Speaking of gear though, something I didn’t mention…Uniques. These need to be rare again. Back to D2 rarity levels, maybe even rarer, and they all need a special power or to at least enhance something that other items in that type don’t enhance. None of this stupid golden stat stick nonsense that D3 is infested with. Unique items need to be unique. Finding a legendary in D3 is basically the same thing as finding a yellow, 99% of the time you don’t care, you just want the materials.

            Key Dungeons are a great idea, I think a few mods (Eastern Sun comes to mind instantly) had something similar, at least in the vein of going back to old areas to find harder dungeons. Honestly, almost anything would help when it comes to D2 endgame. It doesn’t have to be endless difficulty, it just needs to be different. Variety is the spice of life and D2 really does lack that variety as it stands, at least at endgame.

          • @Sutasafaia

            I didnt quote you, and I certainly didnt point any comment at anyone directly. Sorry if you interpreted it that way! I am very glad you are contributing some valid points and your overall opinion! 🙂

            The capped difficulty in regards to being 75 and naked without gear was more about trying to make a point that more than half of your defense and damage should originate from your skill tree, character development choices, and character level, and not just the weapon and gear you wear like in D3. In D3 without a weapon in your hand you deal zero damage, even when you are a wizard or some other caster class that uses its magical powers, rather than a sword lol.

            I agree that stats should be able to be reset once per difficulty, or once for free and then you need to farm in-game objects to combine them into a reset-token. This gives your stat allocation a sense of permanence, yet allows us to work our way out of our mistakes by allowing us to do a quest or farm and forge a reset token. This basically forces you to play the game, to fix your mistake, yet doesnt simply allow you to do 1000 mistakes without consequences. I think this is a great compromise.

            Definitely agree that uniques and runes should be very rare and a privilege to those that invest time to actually play the game and get lucky with RNG. I definitely loved that the best items could only be found if you were in the endgame difficulty, and if you had a high enough character level. I loved that you had to be at least a certain level in order for an item to be able to drop. This encourages people to level up because they not only get more powerful, but also gain access to new and more powerful items the higher they level their characters. Loved it!

            I also definitely agree that D2 could improve on endgame. However, I absolutely loved to do Boss runs, so players like me always want this avenue of loot finding. Every Boss run to reach a boss and then kill it felt like a pull on a one handed bandit (thats this device in casinos that spins objects and if you get 5 coins you win the jackpot). I loved that chance and potential chance to win big time and get some super rare item. D4 needs to make sure that they allow this avenue of item finding from Boss runs, but can also offer alternative routes of Loot finding. There can be “Bounties” where you complete certain objectives, and when you complete them you get a reward with similar chances to drop the items that Bosses drop. Both types of “Runs” should be matched in terms of how long they take to complete, so they actually give us a valid variety of farming.

            Alternatively, they could vary slightly in loot chances for certain types of items, and thus allow “targeted” runs. For example, today I am looking to farm for a super rare Unique Bow for my amazon, and allthough I know most bosses can drop the item, I also know that doing Bounty X has the best chances to drop that item, so on that day I would focus on Bounty X runs. Then the next day, I wanna focus on a Unique Belt, and Boss X has best chances to drop any type of Belt, so I focus on that Boss. I could also just do any run really, and eventually be lucky enough and the item drops.

            All this ultra-Rare item philosophy only works if gear is only as important as it was in D2. In D3 gear is simply all that matters, so if the gear doesnt drop, no one can play end-game because sets are mandatory. But I really hope that D4 will ensure that gear isnt nearly as important as it is in D3 and that at least 50% or more of your damage and defenses originate from your character build and character level.

            I want to be able to level to level 80 or higher and be able to enter end-game difficulty even if i am not lucky enough to find the best gear just yet. I want gear to be rare, so when it actually drops I get actually excited about it! In D3 I dont care about gear because it rains from the sky. D4 needs to address this big time…

            At level 60+ we could be entering endgame difficulty and it should be very hard to play. I would say at 75 we would get more comfortable with the end game difficulty but it should never be easy until we get into the 90s. Once we get to 90+ I would love to finally feel powerful and be able to steamroll endgame difficulty (while excluding the deep and dangerous dungeons i was talking about earlier on). I think reaching level 70 should be about the same as reaching paragon 500 in D3, and reaching level 85 should be the equivalent of reaching paragon 700ish in D3. Then level 90 would be like reaching paragon 1200 in D3. leveling to 95 would be like paragon 2500 and 99 would be like paragon 3500.

            The experience curve on a graph would skyrocket past level 90 so it is reserved for people that play A LOT, yet is not making those players 10 times more powerful than people at level 85. Someone that is level 95 should be about 50% more powerful than a lvl 85 character and a 99 character should be about 70% more powerful than a level 85 character. The difficulty however, should cap out around player level 94ish so leveling higher is simply icing on the cake and a perk for those that endure the grind. Almost only pure E-Peen status symbol, yet still giving enough power and defense to justify the final grind to 99 for the chosen view.

          • @ sutasafaia ; DIABLO Prophet :

            Regarding stats: My idea (, in regards to D3 only, I should add, ) would be, to base attributes with elemental affinities. Runed skills are already linked to the elements by use, but fixing maindamage attribute by class takes out another element of specialization, here, necessary for the rpg-feeling, D3 was and is in dire need of.

            Regarding D4 I’d rather see three sets of four attributes, with all different aspects of any given skill rooted into one of the twelve corresponding attributes, rather than sticking to the four attributes for all rule imposed by the predecessors. (For example split into a physical, a social and a mental attribute set.) Designing the skills would then lead to an overweight on attributes being centered upon for the clean, ideal Fantasy variant of the class, while allowing plenty of room to specialize differently, up to including dirty variations of skills used by the clean, ideal papercut builds the devs wanna bring to live.

          • In addendum: By linking each aspect of a skill to attributes, it’s also opened up to design threshholds on attributes of secondary or teritary importance to a skill, opening up new secondary effects for the skill or “evolutions” of secondary effects already in use.

          • lol, fuck me… you guys don’t want a game… you guys want a JOB!!!! Sheesh, games are meant to be fun guys.. if all the fun you’re getting out of a game is spending lots of time so you can “feel better” than those “newbs” who don’t play as much as you, than honestly I think you’re doing it wrong! 🙂

  3. Goodness gracious, Blizzard philosophers at work again … -_-

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  4. 1. Just make a 4k remake of D2X (Diablo 2 Expansion), and no mandatory internet connection just like D2X.
    Then just fill in this 4k D2X remake with the new D4 folklore/monster content. Voila!

    2. I for one would blindly buy D4 and D4X on above (1) premise alone (again, no mandatory internet connection for Single Player games in hotels, etc.).

    3. FYI, we are still playing D2X via TCP/IP home network with our family, multiple licences of D2X.
    This shows how good D2/D2X game is; it is still a classic!

    4. We entire skipped the D3 game (did not buy it), because Diablo3 required internet connection before you can play, and forced patching.

    5. Again, no mandatory internet connection for D4 please!!

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    • Hate to tell you this, but I don’t foresee Diablo ever having an offline mode again. Keeping it hosted on their servers prevents a lot of hacking that would otherwise be an unending game of cat-and-mouse to try to stop.

      The only upside that offline play would have for Blizzard is that they wouldn’t need to do as much hosting of game instances as a fair amount of the population would play it offline given the choice. But there is a business decision there for the amount of time and resources you’d need to constantly invest trying to stop hacks vs the ongoing cost of hosting.

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    • so you just did not buy it bcoz you like to cheat
      thats the reason you don’t want the always online thing
      i just love this , if i don’t have internet i don’t play , its really that simple …

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      • Sorry, I didnt mean to say that you’re a cheater simply for liking offline mode. Offline mode is a great feature, but it is prone to being exploited as all the code and interactions become visible to potential hackers.

        I think in the future, all games will be online only, because internet is almost as available as electricity in urban areas.

        I also grew up when internet was already a home-staple commodity, so I personally never experienced playing games “offline”, yet I know that all games that established the very core foundation of the gaming industry were all offline in the beginning.

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        • God I hope you’re wrong! One of the biggest enjoyments of my childhood was messing around with games. Looking through the files, see if there’s some code that can be modified etc. I still think no offline mode for D3 is one of the worst decisions they could have ever made for the game. I would have loved so much to be able to tinker with this game… Ah well, maybe D4!!!

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  5. Eff me, just bring on D2 HD Remake.

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  6. @DIABLO Prophet I think we’re posting too big, there’s no reply button to your last post 😛 So now it’s down here. Enjoying this talk quite a bit as well 🙂

    The quote I was referring to was the – text, I thought it was meant to be a shortened, sarcastic version of my post or something. No harm done of course, I thought it was somewhat funny, and kind of sad that I know people who think like that.

    I find myself agreeing even more with your latest post, especially regarding the whole stat point thing. A required farm for resetting would be another item hunt, and I think Diablo could use as many of those as possible as long as they have meaningful reward at the end. Reset items would of course be some of the most valuable items in the game I would think.

    As far as boss farming goes, I am certainly not saying to remove it. As you said, there just needs to be more things to do. That was why I had mentioned rifts (or something similar) in my first post, providing some means of completely random enemies, zones, etc to play in so that you can avoid running the same few maps, bosses, and enemies into the ground. Basically yet another end game option. Loot grinders live or die on their variety of end game activities so basically anything we could possibly think of that offers some meaningful (or at least a chance at) reward is basically another toy to play with.

    Also in complete agreement that the game should be “finishable” without a single unique item. It’s a hard balance to maintain though. You want unique items to feel impactful and important, but you also don’t want them to be required. You want them to feel incredible to use, possibly opening up entirely new builds based on what that item can do. The sky is the limit on them. I liked how Borderlands did their version of uniques (can’t for the life of me remember what they were called anymore). You could play the entire game without ever seeing one but when you found one it was basically your new best friend.

    That kind of brings to point the other uniques though: set items. I am torn on these honestly as to where I would want to see them balanced. In D2 many of the sets were basically worthless outside of a select few, and most of the time they were only really used to get a nice stat/resist buff along with maybe a cool power. In D3 sets are the be all end all character makers, and you more or less have to use them in one form or another. Somewhere in there I’m sure there is a happy middle ground but I think they are going to be immensely difficult to balance. Assuming a six piece set, it would still have to be powerful enough to be worth giving up six uniques (or powerful rares, as the case may be) but not so powerful that it becomes the only option. I sometimes wonder if sets should have been limited to only small sets that offer powerful defensive options and leave the powerful offensive options to uniques. Or even more drastic, remove sets entirely. I do like sets though so I would be sad to see them go. Sets like Bul-Kathos swords in D3 don’t seem particularly harmful to me, they take Whirlwind and make it easier to play rather than taking it and making it god mode. Hard to say honestly.

    Regarding ultra rare gear and it’s importance, I touched on it above but I would say not to make it all that important, and certainly not required for a skilled player. I love the idea of people having rare gear actually feeling rare, like walking into a game with The Grandfather actually makes people look twice. Especially regarding things like rare cosmetic drops, I would even go so far as to say there could be unique cosmetic drops. .001% drops that could show up anywhere in the game, that only one player can ever have. That might be a bit too extreme (and be a waste of the art teams time if only one player ever has it) but in the case of cosmetics I like the idea of having a look nobody else could ever replicate. Obviously that’s just a personal fantasy though.

    Just to toss this out there, I do know what a one armed bandit is 🙂 I enjoy them quite a bit when I actually have a little extra time and money to waste.

    Reply
    • To be honest, I am not a fan of “special powers” on unique items, as they inevitably fore an item to be the single best item for a particular build and slot, and thus render all other uniques as much worse options.

      I honestly loved items in D2 with “+To all skills” or “+To Class Skill” as this allowed many uniques to have that affix and have the remaining affixes do other things. This allowed us players to use a variety of uniques for a particular slot, depending on what our goal was in-game. (Magic Finding vs faster kill speed etc.) Also sometimes we chose a particular uniqye because it gave us much needed resistances or much needed bonus to mana pool etc.

      “+To all skills” did something beautiful, because it enhanced our player choices in our skill trees even further and thus promoted our own builds, rather than dictating or forcing us to use a particular build. D4 needs to recapture this aspect of promoting our own player-created builds by giving us items that can roll with affixes such as “+To all skills” that make whatever build we created even stronger. Its simple and beautiful 🙂

      This “+To all Skills” also allows the devs to have control over our character power because the skill tree can be limited to 20 skills allocated per skill, and then allow items to push beyond that threshold just like D2 did.

      The next important thing for me is to be able to find items at any level, that can be potentially end-game viable even when i find it at level 10 or 20 while leveling to 99. Certain low level items were very good end-game items in some cases. D4 needs to bring that back, so everything we find along the way to 99 can be exciting and powerful in its own way (not necessarily powerful in terms of damage boosting, but other perks such as MagicFind or Resistances).

      MagicFind also needs to come back as a potential affix that can roll on items. They really need to stop using this streamlined Affix crap from D3. I hate that all our gear has Main-Stat, Health, Resistances, and damage mods. Its just boring as hell in an ARPG like Diablo.

      Mainstat, which is linked to classes also needs to go. Its a ridiculous illusion of “diversity” and actually ruins the loot-hunt because it forces the developers to use “Smart-Loot” to prevent a Barbarian from finding a Sword with a “mainstat” that isnt his natural mainstat. So yes, Mainstat needs to go and all attributes should be valuable to all classes in one way or another. I personally loved that Dex boosted Shield-Blockchance or allowed you to equip certain ranged-weapons and Strength allowed you to wear heavy armors while also boosting damage for the Melee classes such as the barb. They need to get their shit together and truly understand how D2 worked and recapture this magic in D4.

      D2 itemization complexity was the best Itemization model I have ever seen in an ARPG – D4 needs it badly! – Last chance for Blizzard…

      Reply
    • In regards to “Finishable”.

      By “Finishable” I personally mean to be OP and be finally able to farm items effectively. This is only interesting end-game if trading exists. I want to be able to farm efficiently in end-game after finally becoming OP so I can become in-game wealthy. Thats the whole point of keep farming gear beyond gearing my own characters. It’s so I get rich in-game.

      This wealth could be used to have “Clan Housing” in-game where castles exists for our clans and the members that reach end-game can invest that wealth from farming and trading gear into things like making the clan-castles look badass or add cool vendors to the clan-castles as well as other perks. Be able to purchase bad-ass cosmetics, purchase bad-ass props for the clan-castles, or purchase stash-tabs etc.

      Being OP in the end-game difficulty should be simply another “stage” in the game life cycle that allows long-term-players to keep playing for a long time.

      Seasons should also exist that allow all these things to be experienced over and over again obviously (I am a seasonal or Ladder only Diablo player myself).

      Imagine if Clans could compete in D4 against each other in various disciplines such as PVP or PVPVE and clans get to be ranked and receive visual perks to let everyone know how badass the clan is etc. This is E-Peen stuff that games like Diablo really need IMO.

      I would say The leveling Journey from 1-99 should be about 70% of the gaming experience for most players and the remaining 30% should be for hard-core players that stick around once they reach levels 90+. Those remaining hardcore base should have something to do just like I explained above. This will be the perfect carrot on a stick for the casuals and noobs and should attempt to make them want to reach the very end of what Diablo 4 would have to offer.

      Player Hubs or Towns would be an amazing thing, where everyone gets to mingle and trade and have fun while not farming gear and leveling up.

      Trading needs to be done on a item-for-item basis with a trading platform that only allows you to trade items for other items, and those items should be all “categorized” into “Rarity-Levels”. If you find an item with a rarity classification of “7” then you can trade it against an item with the same rarity classification only. So you have to play the game if you want to actually trade.

      No more Real-Money-AH or Gold-AH crap. This only did a lot of harm as players simply bought their items for gold or real money and thus were robed of the actual game experience of actually playing the game to get loot. in D4, they must make sure that players farm gear first, before being able to trade the found gear for other gear they didnt find themselves.

      I want to be able to play a Barb and find a Bow for an Amazon, and then be able to trade that Bow for a sick Sword on the Item-For-Item-Trading-House. I want that anything I find, actually gets me excited!

      I am a barb and find a sick Wand for a Sorceress, and I get super pumped because I know that Wand is ULTRA Rare and i can trade it for a ultra rare 2 handed Hammer for my Barb. Sometimes we will find The gear we directly want, but sometimes we find some other sick and rare uniques for other classes and then can trade for the items we actually want. This promotes Community-Interaction and D4 needs that!

      Reply
      • But yes, the game should be “finishable” even if you dont have the best gear for sure! As long as you level your character high enough and have some basic decent gear you should be able to “finish” the game. The curiosity of what “could be” if you stick around longer and keep farming should be causing people to want to play beyond “finishing” and farm and optimize their gear and builds for much much longer. 🙂

        Reply
        • My biggest criticism of your posts is that everything comes back to Diablo 2 without looking at what the rest of the genre has done in the interim. For example, Path of Exile has a very strong end game and itemisation, and games like Titan Quest did something a bit different with the skill trees and classes. I believe that if Diablo 4 is going to be truly great, it needs to look at the genre as a whole and advance, rather than just making something that is effectively Diablo 2.5

          Reply
          • I am fighting so hard in favor for D2 because I believe that D4 needs to use D2 as a base in many ways, and once that is established they need to push it to the next level by looking at how the genre evolved in the past 17 years. They also need to enhance what D2 achieved in terms of mechanics and itemization as well as mood and tone. If they get the “Core” of the game right, they can do almost anything “to push it to the next level”, but first that true “Diablo Core Game” needs to be established.

            They also need to make sure that Diablo 4 feels like an actual Diablo game. This is their number 1 priority in my opinion, to stay true to the identity of “Diablo”.

            I am fighting so hard in D2’s favor because we all know that you need to fight twice as hard to force a tiny 25% of the things Diablo 4 needs, in order to win back real Diablo players. This causes people like me to come across as someone that wants D2.5, but in reality we want D4 which is a real Diablo game, that embraces Diablo’s history from the past 17 years.

            Diablo 3 strayed away so far from D1 and especially D2LoD, that it basically alienated 99% of the Diablo gamers that already existed and were waiting for D3 to push Diablo into a new era of awesomeness. Unfortunately, They simplified every single aspect of the game, threw itemization out the window and replaced it with a system for mentally handicapped folks. Then they made all maps tiny , linear, and static (D3 Vanilla & current “adventure mode”). Rifts aren’t really “random” and they just reuse the already existing static maps and chain them together in a rift, so based on the tileset, you basically always know where the exit is of the rift segment. This is just boring and lazy ass-development.

            Diablo 3 is the sole failure responsible for Blizzard losing the ARPG crown, and various other studios capitalizing on this failure beyond your imagination.

            People like me have a passion for Diablo, and we will always be vocal and fight for one of the best ARPG IP’s on the planet. We want Diablo 4 to return to it’s roots and establish a true Diablo Core game, and push all of it to the next level. But this cannot mean that we throw out everything D2LoD and D1 accomplished. D1 and D2 are the most fundamental base for any Diablo game now or in the future. If someone doesn’t understand this, they should not work on Diablo ever.

            D3 was created by a team of WOW developers with a Director that knew jackshit about ARPGs, and disliked so many things about D2 that he went ahead and demolished the best Franchise in the ARPG world. I am not saying he was a bad guy, I am saying he was not suited for that position. It was like hiring a baker to cook 4 star multiple-course meals. Just because someone works in the food industry doesnt mean that he or she can cook meals, and frankly a baker bakes bread, this is where his or her skill lies, and not cooking 4 star meals. end of story.

          • Don’t get me wrong, I’m passionate about the Diablo franchise as well, everyone on this site is, why we be here if we weren’t?

            I’m just saying, just because Diablo 2 did something a certain way doesn’t mean it is the best way to do it, especially now. I mean look at the differences between D1 and D2, they changed a lot of stuff. They made a couple of bad decisions in D2 as well, but that was part of the experimentation involved in development.

            To me personally what made D2 great was that it was so far ahead of everything else at the time in terms of mechanics (I don’t play ARPG’s for story), I think for D4 to be successfully it has to push ahead again in terms of mechanics. I fear that by holding on to too much of D2 that the devs run the risk of tying their hands behind their back in terms of advancing those mechanics to a fresh and interesting place.

            Rather than looking at D2s systems and going “we need this” I’m simply arguing that the dev’s need to look at D2, step back, and look at WHY those mechanics were enjoyed. Take runewords and sets for example. People love these systems (sets are a bit more questionable at times). Why? There’s a few reasons.
            1) They create a predictable item in an unpredictable system. This allows players to plan around the item. This is why they are often the basis of builds. Uniques allow this as well, but they don’t really offer the next point.
            2) They create a mid/long term goal for the player, collection. Having to collect pieces of something in a random system is like a quest in itself and makes people feel really good when they get the next piece of whatever they are trying to get. For sets, this has a nice immediate bonus in the form of partial set bonuses. Runewords don’t quite have that benefit.
            3) D2 had something that D3 lost in terms of sets (aside from runewords entirely…), which is “discovery”. D2 sets had those little hidden partial set bonuses on particular pieces of gear themselves. It was an absolute treat to receive one of those unexpected bonuses. D3 didn’t have that, the set bonuses were laid out straight in front of you the whole time, which was just… joyless? Runewords also had discovery of there own in that you had to discover the runeword itself. However I’d argue that very few people actually discovered a runeword without help and it was mainly that you looked up the list and what they did.

            So for example, with the above information, you’d distil that down into some development goals within the loot system (in regards to set/runes/or an extra or replacement system): Predictability, while being surprising; Goals, in that you want the player to work towards it.

            Using those goals you could create a new system like finding a unique item and being able to collect materials to turn it into a more advanced version of that unique. Or even providing choices there in that a unique could be turned into one of two different versions, depending on the upgrade recipe you used on it.

            It is critically important for D4 to offer the types of goals created by collecting stuff to be successful. Without item collection, the end game won’t work in a loot driven game; or at least, won’t nearly be as strong as it should be. There absolutely should be other end game goals, such as reaching max level, competing with other players, killing end game bosses, and other stuff; but it is important to not neglect the loot system itself.

            I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but hopefully it will help you understand where my thinking is at regarding D4.

          • Wow, it’s so rare to find someone on this website who isn’t wearing the most rosiest of tinted glasses when discussing Diablo games. “We want a new Diablo game!” “Ok, what would you like in this new Diablo game?” “All the same shit we had before, only better!” “Right…we’ll uhm…get right on that… thanks for your valuable feedback %n!”

          • @ DIABLO Prophet :

            “I am fighting so hard in favor for D2 because I believe that D4 needs to use D2 as a base in many ways, and once that is established they need to push it to the next level by looking at how the genre evolved in the past 17 years.”

            Most important would be, to bring the game back to its character based, not account based rpg-roots. The basedesign should be centered mainly around one focus point of D2s game design: It’s throughout logical coherence in a degree of complexity that still kept the game manageable for both players and devs, while reaching the stepping stone of starting to have an organic feeling to it, rather than a static one.

            The development Blizz should orient themselves most beyond that, should be to integrate and evolve the basic ideas of D3, though, to keep (, or rather rebuild, ) coherence in the series. With evolving basic ideas, I mainly talking about the step taken with runed skills and further aspecting these, until every skill aspect can be manipulated by the players individually, if they desire to. Up to the degree of changing one aspect of a skill to another aspect (as runed skills are basically doing in D3), having different evolutionary stages for each skill effect aspect (, maybe different by class, if an aquired aspect is available to more than one, ) and up to the detail of having interaction rules between the different aspects, perhaps even changing slightly depending on the base aspect interactions the respective skill is based upon.

            (My idea to center at least part of it in, are aforementioned three sets of four attributes, instead of the previous one set, we got up to now. Think of a physical, social and mental attribute set, each with an interpretation of the classical thaumaturgical four elements fire, air, water, earth as attributes as an associative backgound behind …)

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