Blizzard Visit: Diablo 3 and Diablo Console Questions


As I mentioned on the last podcast, I’m one of a few fansite peeps who have been invited to an event at Blizzard this Friday, June 28th. I’ll be in the Blizzard offices all day Friday, and while the itinerary isn’t yet finalized, the tentative plan is to give us 90 minutes play time on the Diablo 3 Console, plus a 2 hour lunch with the devs, plus an hour-long Diablo 3 Open House conversation with the devs. (There’s even play time set for Hearthstone, which should be interesting as I know zero about it.)

The format sounds like of a group chat/conversation rather than a standard interview, but with the generous time allotted I should have ample opportunity to ask about any number of issues pertaining to Diablo 3, future patches, development ideas, rewards and regrets, etc. So if you’ve got questions you want answered, or general topics you want to be sure we discuss, this is an excellent time to let me know. Hit the comments below for that.

If you have questions specific to the console, to do with the controls, multiplayer or the user interface for example, you can add them to this thread in our new Diablo 3 Console Forum.

There will be an NDA, as always when visiting Blizzard, but I think they’ll just ask us not to post anything until early next week to give everyone who attends a chance to return home and prepare their coverage. So hopefully by next week I’ll be free to communicate everything I see and learn with you guys. Expect articles, videos, and some podcast coverage as well.

Comments

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  1. Stuff I would like to see discussed (not that I expect any of this to be discussed, but it’s what I would be most interested in):

    1) What types of perpetual content are the devs planning on implementing, if any (e.g., infinite dungeon, etc.). Do they consider this the second-biggest (after itemization, I guess) need, or is this really on the backburner such that we shouldn’t expect this post expansion, if ever?
    2) Have there been any considerations for procedurally-generated challenges (e.g., kill this boss with this type of skill/rune) with their own rewards? If not, is it because they haven’t considered it, or because they think it’s uninteresting?
    3) Are there any plans to boost drop rates such that the game is still interesting in terms of getting a (probably crappy) legendary once you can farm MP4-MP5? Right now, it’s hard for me to find upgrades, ever, and I’m still <100k DPS, but the lack of rewarding drop rates is really lame.

    • “That’s an interesting idea and it has come up in discussions but we don’t have any definitive plans right now.”

      Insert this answer for all questions.

    • hard to find upgrades? more like impossible. my wizard, who is paragon 73, has not found an upgrade since i was in Nightmare difficulty in my mid 40’s. everything has been bought off the AH.

  2. Well, the obvious question that I kind of doubt even needed suggesting: What is the status on 1.0.9 patch, that is if there will be any before the itemization patch.

  3. eta on drop changes? tired of getting 500 crap rares for every crap legendary

  4. Questions

    1.Will u ever stop profiting from bots and just end their era so we can have a proper market?
    2.Will we see public games and a better chat in the future? (THIS WILL NOT RUIN the auction house … people are itching badly for a proper social establishment within the game. At the moment there is 0 social interaction ( even whit the updated party bonus , people don’t talk to one another = no fun.
    3.Increase legendary drop rate on bosses , will we ever see it ?
    4.Support for multiboxers (since u allowed it) loot master ( party leader can see all drops from all players or sounds on drops from each character in party( at least for legendary’s , rings and amulets.

    that’s all thanks and good day.

  5. be sure and say “Hi” to Jill Harrington

  6. Any plans for a demo on the console version? If so, before release, at release, or after release?

    I ask this because I want to be able to try out the controls before I purchase the console version. I would like to get preorder bonuses, but I will not preorder unless I know whether I like the controls.

  7. Thanks for asking us for questions Flux and congrats on getting invited. These are my questions, in no particular order:

    1) Are there any plans to make Bosses more lucrative targets? If so, how exactly? At the moment, the additional 3-4 Rare items they drop compared to Rare monsters doesn’t really make them good targets, even at the end of one’s farming run, which was the original intention when Nephalem Valor was introduced.

    2) Will they make Unique monsters (the ones with purple names) more interesting? They don’t give NV stacks (except the ones that are part of a quest), their drops aren’t affected by it (except for the MF bonus) and there’s simply nothing unique about them, other than their names and flavor text. They simply have no role in the game, except for serious achievement hunters.

    3) Can we expect to see more interesting random content in the expansion, compared to the simple, randomly generated dungeons and events? The Crumbling Vault and Ancient Device is a good example of what I’m thinking about.

    4) Can they show us anything concrete about the stats of the new Legendaries just so that we can see what can we look forward to? The example that Travis gave of a wizard wand or off-hand, that would allow us to summon two Hydras sounds amazing. Can we really expect bonuses on that level?

    5) Act 4 dungeons. They won’t stay like this forever, right?

    6) Automatic cutscene skipping. When?

    7) Are they still planning to balance skills separately for PvE and PvP? Jay Wilson said a few years back, that the skills were set up for this.

    7a) If the answer is no, how will they handle the astronomical player damage in PvP?

    8) Are they planning to make defensive and utility focused skills more viable for PvE? At the moment, with the exception of Hardcore, many of these skills can be more or less safely ignored.

    8b) Also shields, they have the same problem.

  8. My only question is – will you please allow me and then teach me to mod D3 so I can start fixing stuff now instead of a year from now?

    • So your real question is when will we get an offline version of the game? Fortunately, soon (real soon, not “soon”(tm)). Unfortunately, only for consoles, where there’s no dedicated modding community, not the least because modifying the game files requires you to void your warranty.

      • Actually, what I really want is an alternate version of D3 that was still online-only (to minimize dupes/cheats/ect) but that was re-designed entirely by me.

        Well, no, what I really want is for somebody to hire me as a professional game designer despite having no experience or qualifications. So my real question to Blizz is – would you be willing to fire your current creative lead and hire some poster named yovargas?

        • Hopefully the few new devs on the team will help steer the game in a good direction. Still, I wish you good luck . 🙂

  9. Can you increase the drop rate on 5L chest pieces?

  10. it’s interesting they picked june 28. my questions to them would be:

    -Any chance to have a collaboration with matt uelmen for the expansion? similar to what they did with jermey soule for mists of pandaria?

    -were they satisfied with the storytelling and the story in general for d3? if not are there any lessons they learnt?

    – Is having servers with no auction houses a possibility?

  11. Recently Josh Mosquiera said this:

    “In the future, we’ll be focused on preserving the core fantasy by cultivating the roots of the Diablo storyline, fine-tuning the heroes for what lays ahead, and creating new monsters and demons that will once again plant the seed of fear in your hearts.”

    What plans does he have to make this happen? Does it involve fixing story issues in Diabo 3 itself, or is he simply referring to working on the expansion?

  12. 1) Current status of the promised “appear offline” option? (see http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9309381555 )

    2) (How soon) will D3 be able to support user-created content, like the Neverwinter Foundry? Or new play modes like Descent races http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/434870/page/1 ?

    3) Help us help you avoid http://imgur.com/tK2Xc

    • It’s disgustingly sad at how far ahead poe is creatively and mechanically. If it was as smooth as D3 they would never have to even dream of a free to play model.

  13. Would just request that you make the case for Ironborn. Separate economies – both hardcore and softcore. It’s like they’re completely missing the fundamental idea…

  14. Ask if they plan on implementing any meaningful Gold Sinks ( for example cosmetic pets that cost a fckton etc ) and Item Sinks ( wether it would be through “leveling” gear somehow by sacrificing old gear – the higher the stats the better the xp, or making items account bound after lets say 2 auctions ).
    Also ask if they want to change the basic stat system in the xpac or in the item patch to something a bit less flawed.

    • I would very very much be interested in hearing if there is any hint of hope that they redesign the basic stat system as it is, IMO, the root cause of a huge number of D3’s issues

  15. Hi,

    2 things I’m curious about:
    -financial results of RMAH (if we can ever know it)
    -What will be the concept of leveling up to the next level cap when the expansion is released and how will parangon leveling be included in that system? Will there be a complete reset of our chars ? Will the parangon level be frozen up to the new level cap and then P.leveling resumed ?
    -Will they someday allow socketing *any* stat like to combine gems for @res or ccc ?

  16. Possible questions:
    Between now and the itemization patch after blizzcon, are there are any update planed in the mean time.

    Can you give us more examples of those cool item affixes that have yet to come out? Final or not final, doesn’t matter.

    Any ETA on a blog post about the itemization patch?

    Will current legendaries become legacy with the itemization patch?

    Can we get some more elaboration on how the paragon system will change in the future What’s-his-name in that one interview hinted at character customization having something to do with plevels.

    Any ETA on those auction house commas?

  17. Make us proud, Flux.

    I can’t come up with any questions, I’m in Borderlands 2 these days. But I’m excited and sure you’ve come up with any questions and I could think of, and then some.

  18. Chat channels

    Have they anthing planned that no one has mentioned in forums. Lets call it suprises.

    New secrets levels thats hopefully more interesting than whimsyshire.

    Jay likes his new job

  19. yeah I definitely want to hear more about the “regrets”. I think it’s fascinating to see Blizzard facing up to and admitting their many mistakes with D3, all of which generally boil down to them not listening to their fans during development and thinking they knew better than their customers

  20. Other than Ironborn (and a bunch of other gamemodes/races etc)…

    I’m very interested in hearing what they think of microtransactions. I’ve recently thought about it and mentioned it in the comments a couple times but have never really seen anyone bring it up with the devs.

    I could see it being a valid source of income for them if they sold a bunch of “quality of life” services and cosmetic stuff (not pay2win). Main example I would like is buying additional stash pages and character slots.

    In a mode like Ironborn it would obviously mitigate the lack of RMAH income for them aswell.

    • This! Id happily pay for POE style extra tabs premium etc.

      • PoE is free to play, so i’m ok with paying for extra stash. D3 already charged me 60 bucks. If they start microtransactions other than their 15% AH fee, my ragelevel would hit post-first-playthrough dimensions.

  21. General Questions

    1. In diablo 2 LOD players had the ability to gamble, craft, imbue, socket, upgrade, and re-roll items to get what they needed to keep playing. This was all on top of item drops, meaning, a player did not have to rely on specific drops to build a good character.

    Q – Will diablo 3 players see more options in the future besides the limited crafting we have now (archons are the best with everything else not worth the cost), drops and the almighty Auction Houses?

    Console Specific Questions

    1. Offline play was a very requested feature for the PC version of the game, much gnashing and wailing of teeth ensued when this did not happen. Its still a talked about topic to this day.

    Q. Is the console version of Diablo 3 with Offline play meant to fill this gap and was this the idea when the console project first started?

  22. There are unanswered questions on the D3 forum FAQ.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9280998875

    Covering these would likely be a great idea.

    Especially – Hard Drive Requirements. I know people that won’t pre-order without that information.

    Unanswered questions:
    *Note: I freely admit that I can miss things or not know everything. If you know an answer to something(that is official) please let me know so I can update it!

    Q: Will options like in the PC version be on console?(turning on damage numbers etc)

    Q: What are the Hard drive requirements for PS3 and / or Xbox 360?

    Q: What happens to a Hardcore character if I save it to a USB then it dies on my console? Can I just reload it and bring it back to life?

    Q: How exactly does the controls work. For someone like a DH how do you control the range of stuff like spike traps or RF bombardment?

    Q: Will the game feature Offline LAN capabilities?
    (I’m guessing no, but blue confirmation is good.)

    • +1 for your 4th question, I’m curious about that one as well.

      3) If they allow you to save characters to external drives and later restore them, then you’ll be able to restore Hardcore characters this way. Things like this come with an offline game. It’s your decision if you want to do this or not. There won’t be a HC economy you could ruin this way, so it’s not a huge problem. They could probably prevent this by making the game remember an unique ID about your dead HC characters and prevent you from restoring them after they die, but I don’t think they will do this for the above mentioned reason.

      5) Why not? I mean split-screen coop is nice, but it’s clearly more limiting than a “true” multiplayer game, because of the shared camera. We already know that you can create games online. Doing the same on a LAN doesn’t require too much extra effort, the game just needs to use your friends local address instead of the WAN address for the connection. Since D3 already has a way to see whether a player is on your LAN (“Players Near You” feature), doing this should be easy. Another reason including LAN play should be easier on the programming side is that the game doesn’t need to do NAT traversal. Basically, I can’t think of a technical reason why they couldn’t do this.

  23. I like where they went with the new crafting plans as a self found player.

    Any plans to tweak old recipes so they aren’t worthless?
    Can we expect more recipes to round out the rest of the character?
    Anything new and exciting about crafting in general?

  24. Here’s my question to the dev’s.

    Would you consider trying to make the 2 off-stats add half damage.

    Example for barb.
    1 str = 1 attack power
    1 dex = .5 attack power
    1 int = .5 attack power

    This would seriously open up the items in terms of usefulness and let players actually build armory, dodgy or resistant heavy characters instead of having to go all primary stat for their dps.

  25. Any chance of old dungeons being revisited (eg for D3X) to make them less predictable. This would require 3D modelling work to allow each large tile to have 4 possible exits unlike the max of 2 or 3 that most of them have now.

    Or does this go against their design philosophy? Do they want it to be a little predictable? The second half of act 3 is 100% predictable and one of its draw points apart from monster density was that you never had to backtrack. Would it be reasonable to expect a more unpredictable map to have higher monster density still to compensate?

    D2X eventually had a patch to greatly increase Hell mode difficulty. One of the things that changed was randomising what monsters could appear where so you couldn’t predict what you would encounter. Is this something they see happening in some point in the future?

    What is their take on life steal and life on hit as it currently works? Are they happy that this is the primary form of managing your life total? Are they happy with the role that health globes are currently playing in Inferno?

    • Here’s some of what Travis Day thinks about the health globe system (third paragraph at 1:15 in the transcript and the question that follows): http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/travis-day-diablo-3-interview-live-stream

      Personally, I kinda disagree with him. I think health globes and the related item affixes are mostly fine the way they are. Sub-MP6 my characters are sustained by health globes and I do fine if I play well. A small amount of pickup radius (a total of 10-15 is enough) and +10-20k heals go a long way to make globes good alternatives to leeching. I feel that the globe + potion heal affix is really undervalued at the moment. It’s cheap to pick up a considerable amount of it. Of course, the less item slots spent on this the better. It also makes potions much better oh s*** buttons.

      Not considering specific builds and attack speeds, I think Life on Hit would be a good alternative if it would be cheaper and wouldn’t be affected so much by coefficients. With good gear (150-200k+ DPS) concentrating on Life Steal is the better choice, but before then (so for most of the game really) globes do absolutely fine.

  26. 6 months ago I’d have a ton of questions and suggestions. At this point the only thing I’m curious about is the expansion feature list. I expect nothing of substance from patches unless they can generate more revenue.

    It’s been said a million times before, the core dps mechanics and skills are not fixable with a patch. The base damage calculations/skills needs to be completely reworked for the expansion and then they can throw in the fluff legendary items etc.

    • agree with you here. my guess is the q and a will focus on the console and most recent patch. the game is set, there will be no radical changes at this time. it’s been over a year, so people should know exactly what they will be getting from the console version.

  27. I have a few questions

    Will elemental damage ever be changed to how it was in Diablo 2? Ex. Poison in Diablo 3 is Direct Damage, in Diablo 2 it was DoT. Interesting mechanic for monsters to have at least.

    Were some features that would have been released with Vanilla Diablo scrapped so there would be more of a features list for upcoming expansion(s)? Not complaining, as that would make sense in my mind.

    Any news if they will revamp dps (get rid of it, it’s boring and not fun!!!) and primary stats. Every stat should be useful for each class. If that were the case stat point allocations and lock some items under stat requirements.

    Who is Ormus??????? There has to be more to that character then is let on. Or not.

  28. ask them to get rit of pvp completely and desing more awesome PVE stuff.

    – infinite dungeon with great loot and a boss every 5 lvls (begins @lvl60).
    – guild system with chat feat like the general chat in D2.
    – more diamonds , skulls , rune(words) …
    – will there be an enchanting system ?
    – somthing for the white and blue items

    the rest is fine for me as is.
    i really don’t care about the so called broken things as all the haters are saying.

  29. Ask them if this was a serious answer or a joke: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7005433457#6 considering that everything in the auction house have commas in them when buying or looking at items.

  30. Q: how long will it take to see the first hacks&cracks on the web for the unprotected console version?

    Please answer in hours not in days …

    Q: why Blizzard thinks D3 doesn’t need a protection for console play ?

    Please ask this question multiple times.

    Q: is it true that the zooming out view is adapted to the distance of grouped players or is this just an impression … And was this larger zoom out system was the reason for postponing arena play in the PC version ?

    • 1) My guess is that there won’t be any major hacks. No RMAH means that there’s no reason to farm with bots. If you want to dupe, just backup your character to an external drive, give the item you want to dupe to a friend and restore your character. Hardcore characters can probably be restored the same way.

      2) They don’t think that. They rely on each platform’s copy protection. Newly bought PS3s and X360s can’t be cracked (as far as I know), so you won’t be able to run pirated games on them or access the game’s files. If you have an older hardware then that’s another matter, but neither Blizzard, Sony or Microsoft can do anything about those consoles now.

      Now you’ll say “but they could have ported Battle.net over to the consoles, thereby preventing piracy and hacks!”. Personally, I don’t think so. I happen to know a little about console development and think that some of Sony’s and Microsoft’s restrictions prevented Blizzard from doing that. I could be wrong about this, but I think that they shot themselves in the foot on the consoles with how they set up Battle.net.

      In any case, I’d be interested to hear what they’ll have to say on this, but I don’t expect too hear much on a public forum like this. Kudos to Flux though, if he has the cojones to ask questions on this topic. 🙂

  31. I am surprised that incgamers was even invited.

    I think its a trap and they will try to assassinate Flux.

    • It’s an elaborate ruse!

      • As they’ve had to get my name, address, dob, etc, as part of it, perhaps they’re just going to send a hit squad here, rather than executing me in Irvine where the paper trail could get complicated.

  32. A lot of my questions are already here (offline mode, itemization, etc.), except one (I think):

    When I’ll be able to dye Inna’s Pants and Ice Climbers? (You could ask when we’ll be able to dye legendaries, but the main issues, imo, are baby blue Inna’s and Ice Clibers…)

  33. how about the state of arena pvp?

  34. If I could ask them a question it would be how could they miss the mark by so much on legendary items. How is it that there’s a level 60 legendary that rolls a % chance to deal around 80-100 bleed damage over 5 seconds (band of hollow whispers)? Why is there a 2handed sword that can roll +discipline (Blade of Prophecy – can’t be equipped by DH obviously)? I’d love you forever Flux if you asked them this question. I could see them trying to say “we agree that itemization needs improvement”…to hell with that. This is not some small oversight, this is HUGE. It’s kind of insulting to the fan base to release the game with so many legendaries like this.

    • The game is made largely by a group (Blizzard Irvine) that didn’t understand what was so great about previous Diablo games. If they did, they would have never allowed themselves to make Diablo 3 this way. Blizzard Irvine is a different gang than Blizzard North, and that’s it. Old Diablo is long lost, because most of the people that made it are long gone.

    • A lot of odd stuff is remnants of earlier dev periods. Probably at one point bleed damage was useful to stop monster hps regen (as it was in D2) or something like that, and then later iteration removed that function but no one was fastidious enough to remove every item stat related to it.

      Generally no need to blame stupidity when incompetence is a ready solution.

  35. So IncGamers if off Blizzards “blacklist”?

    • Bliz PR has been communicating with us since late last year, when they provided us with a bunch of swag for contests, and they’ve linked out to our original articles a few times this year as well. Just like a real fansite!

      As to what changed on their end, we weren’t given any explanation. We didn’t change our tone or style of coverage.

  36. QUOTE

    Bliz PR has been communicating with us since late last year, when they provided us with a bunch of swag for contests, and they've linked out to our original articles a few times this year as well. Just like a real fansite!
    
    As to what changed on their end, we weren't given any explanation. We didn't change our tone or style of coverage.

    Well it is good to see you guys finally get the recognition and respect you deserve from them; meanwhile still standing your ground. Just hope it continues.

  37. Can’t believe nobody asked that.

    – What is the current situation on proper PvP? Last update on PvP was Jay’s blog post about them scrapping Team Deathmatch mode and starting from scratch on some more interesting Team-based PvP system.

    What have they managed to get done since then? Can we expect a PvP mode before expansion as a free update AS it was planned AND advertised?

  38. Just got one question for you to pass along:

    What are your plans for strengthening the roleplaying aspect of the game?

  39. – Like with D2X id like to know if they have plans for a 4th mercenary/follower based on the new act (D3X).

    – Will the co-op still be focused on 4-players (PC, D3X).

    – Will they introduce different forms of potions instead of having just Healing (In D2 there were many potions types, i can think of a ton of ways they could be utilized into a new hotkey slot in combination of the traditional healing. ex. antifreeze potion: break out of frozen state with moderate CD after use).

  40. Question for the console versions,

    Has a lot of the skill cool downs been reduced for the console versions? For Barbarian, Leap cool down looks like it changed from 10 seconds to 5 seconds in the E3 videos.

    Thanks.

  41. The environment seems custom built to swap in even more events over time which leads to my questions:

    1) Are they going to add new events to the original acts when they release the expansion?

    2) While I am totally against the regular sort of DLC that drives people crazy, would they consider releasing extra content in the form of new events. eg. Blizzard releases the June content pack – if anyone in the party owns that pack there is a chance of encountering July content pack event. etc.

    Personally I would love to see altered environment tiles as well just to give the place a different look occasionally. I mean we have pretty much seen it all at this point!

  42. My leg was twitching some hours ago. Perhaps that was when Flux bumped into some executive at Blizzard HQ.

    • Damn … The damages for pain and suffering may now rip out the money held back to pay for the hosting servers. *rip* diablo.incgamers … The conspiracy was a success.

      *lol*

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