Blizzard’s DreamHack Feedback

DreamHack recently finished up and Blizzard were in attendance. Although they didn’t announce anything at the event they did hold a round table and Vaneras has answered a bunch of questions on what came out of that powwow.

Nothing new was announced at DreamHack.

We had a roundtable discussion at the event with a nice group of players who all signed up for it. It was mostly an informal face to face talk about the state of the game and its future.

People there shared their opinions on what they think is fun or less fun to do in the game, including what their goals typically are when they log in. We also talked about all the content that had been added since release, and whether or not that content has improved the game. We of course also talked about potential future changes or improvements that are wanted or needed the most.

The coolest thing about the discussion was that we had a lot of different types of players there, all with different opinions and interests, which helped balance the discussion quite well I think. There were a couple of guys in there who were very hardcore theorycrafters and min-maxers, some guys there were primarily interested is PvP, some people were very into lore and story, others who prefer a more relaxed game-play while hacking and slashing through hordes of mobs, we saw solo players as well as group players, and of course there were those with heavy interest in economy and crafting.

After the break answers to more questions, specifically focussing on botters and the such like.

Q: “We of course also talked about potential future changes or improvements that are wanted or needed the most.” Can you elaborate on that one a little bit, please?

Basically we asked everyone present at the discussion to name the one thing they would like to see changed or added to the game the most. This of course lead to quite a bit of discussion back and forth as everyone had different opinions on this, but here are some of the things that people wanted:

Some wanted PvP as soon as possible, any kind of PvP.
Some wanted us to do more things and mini-games like the Infernal Machine.
Some wanted more randomness in dungeons and the world.
Some wanted improved search mechanisms in the AH interface to make it easier to search and compare gear.
Some wanted crafting to be improved to make it more worthwhile, and example was to include unique personal gear akin to the Hellfire Ring.
Some wanted more hardcore challenges that would somehow reward them with bragging rights.

Q: You seemed to have missed a couple of, rather large, demographics. The botters and exploiters.

Are you seriously saying that you would like us to listen to those?

Q: Yes. To find out how they do the things they do, how they still are able to do what they do and maybe figure out how to end it.

I know the topic of bots is one of great import and frustration, but unfortunately there is very little I can say on this particular topic. What I can say is that we do not consider them legitimate players, and therefore we have no intention to treat them as such.

To end it is easier said than done, unfortunately these things tend to be more of an ongoing cat and mouse game. That being said, we are constantly researching them and what they do.

Q: If you’re not doing anything against them, maybe you should start listen to them, else they will end up becoming your only customers.

That is a rather bleak viewpoint on the situation, but I can understand why you feel this way. We are not ignoring the issue, in fact we are constantly fighting them and countering them whenever we are able, but as mentioned before I am not at liberty to share more specifics on this. Again, it is an ongoing cat and mouse game and it is not a simple issue to resolve.

Q: Many of the best hackers go on to become security experts and enforcers. They are, in many cases, respected people with legitimate points to prove – not just “gold farmers” or people out to ruin everyone else’s day.

Very true, many hackers do go legitimate, in fact this has been the case for many years now. But despite their experience and expertise, these hackers who did become security experts and enforcers still haven’t been able to stop hacking and other types of security breaches despite the fact that so many of them have been hired and are being listened to by big companies all over the world.

New hackers arrive on the scene as soon as another one leaves it, and new hacks appear all the time as soon as another has been dealt with… and they are becoming ever more sophisticated on top of that. Security vs. hackers is an ever-going cat and mouse game, which is unfortunately also the case when it comes to online games and bots.

Q: What you need to appreciate is that your community want to see something being done. That requires communication. At the moment, I, as a member of the community, am not convinced you are doing enough because you are simply not being vocal about it. Remember, no comment is a comment in itself, and is sometimes the most damaging.

I can totally appreciate what you are saying here, but sometimes it is just not that simple. Sometimes it is a matter of choosing the lesser evil… Basically the more information we share about what we are doing, the easier we are making it for delinquents and other wrongdoers to counter our efforts.

The lesser evil has been chosen, and as such all I can say is that this is an issue that we take very seriously, and that we have some extremely talented “security experts and enforcers” working constantly to combat this.

I really do hear what you are saying, and please know that I am not trying to dismiss your frustrations.  

Q: You all should work out the kinks in the game before you even talk about other things.

Restricting all talk to a single issue until said issue has been resolved is not realistic nor practical… the discussion of other topics should not be forbidden because some are experiencing technical issues.

Q: You really should have streamed or filmed this discussion. id really like to hear it.

Perhaps that is something we could do in the future, but it is important to emphasise that these discussions are not Q&A panels. Nothing is announced or promised in these roundtable discussions, and it is the players who do the most of the talking. Basically the idea of these discussions is similar to that of our forums, a place where players can come together and discuss our games and where we can ask questions when needed and gather player feedback :-

Q: I’m impressed with blizzards willingness to learn from the players. This is nice to see.

Nothing beats talking to people in person when discussing things, I guess because it is easier to explain things and avoid misunderstandings when talking face to face. The primary purpose of our roundtable discussion is indeed to listen to what players have to say, and we are grateful for all the feedback we get in these discussions 🙂
Related to this article
  • An Open Letter on Botting from the Diablo Community
  • The Botters of Diablo 3 – An Interview
  • Concerned Diablo 3 Farmer Interviewed on Economy, Bots and More

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    12 thoughts on “Blizzard’s DreamHack Feedback

    1. I’m not quite sure where this post happened, but I’m chagrined to see that a potentially-useful discussion was derailed by inquests into botting.

      I would’ve really liked to see a recap of said focus group, and Blizzard’s reactions and comments on the stuff that was said. It’s been a while since we had a dev post about anything.

      • And ironic since the blue talks about how face-to-face dialogue was productive and wide-ranging. As opposed to online dialogue that tends to get obsessed with one tiny issue… which is exactly what happened with this one.

    2. bots do not bother me, they live or die whatever, they are like cockroaches, you can spray the area, and keep a clean house, but eventually they pop right back up, and your kittens end up having cockroaches as meals to keep them down. but, they are resilient and release a pheromone when killed to attract more cockroaches. As you can see, hackers are exactly like this. Very hard to control.

    3. “Basically we asked everyone present at the discussion to name the one thing they would like to see changed or added to the game the most.”

      And not one of them asked for a improved item-system? Yeah, right.

      • Well, where I do feel that is one of the most important improvements they need to make I do not feel it’s the most important. May have been the same for those guys!

        Also, what I’ve heard from friends that have been at dream hack, people don’t sleep much there. They might just have been too exhausted to remember an improved item-system 🙂

    4. I find it hard to believe that anyone was interested in the story or lore, unless it was to fix the disaster that it was.

      • My thoughts exactly. Really wonder about the group of players that were brought in to represent the lore and story player base.

    5. If Blizzard *needs* their player-base to tell them they fucked up with the story, item system, skills, etc. then they’re either ignoring said players, or they’re past the point of no return in terms of development, or they’re just really that blind/ignorant.

    6. I’m sorry. but speak for yourself. The story was fine. The ONLY thing remotely wrong with it was the method in which Cain died. A major battle where Cain is a bad ass but his old age gets the best of him would have been awesome. It was a chance for the cinematic teams to do something amazing and they didn’t.

      Other than that, the story was just fine. Was it OMG amazing? No, but none of the diablo story thus far has been. What makes the Diablo lore work is the sum of all it’s parts.

      I respect your distaste for the story as much as I respect someones like/dislike for movies. Some of us like them, some of us love them, some of us hate them. That’s just the way it is. Aside from asking Blizzard to please do a better job, it is what it is.

      And ya, it really is a shame botting took over this conversation. Want to get rid of botting? Stop buying gold, stop using the stupid AH, stop using the RMAH. Not gonna happen? Then let Blizzard fight it the best they can. Otherwise, make them focus on whats more important.

      • There is nothing inherently wrong with the story, for a hack&slash game it’s entirely fine.

        The way it’s presented is a whole other topic. Just go through act3 and 4 and try to keep a straight face when Azmodan/Diablo pops up for the 100th time to spout something along the line “HARR, you may have been able to do X, but Y” 🙂

      • What memorable moments/lines were there in the story? It was just a clusterfuck of mediocrity.

        Where is the line that can still haunt you years later… “East…always to the east…” ?

        It isn’t there.

    7. “The coolest thing about the discussion was that we had a lot of different types of players there”

      Must have been a great night . What!!!! did you leave the complainers outside ?

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