Blue Beta Comments and Replies

At some point Tuesday evening Bashoik and company stopped denying that the beta test was underway, and started answering some questions about the test and the larger game. Mostly old stuff, but a few tidbits worth a read.

A fan asked why skills weren’t working at light sources, and got a reply from Bashiok.

Skills are not light sources, all effects are baked into the skill effect. It’s partially because in multiplayer games things could get downright psychedelic with that many colored lights going off, but it also doesn’t work super well with the painterly art style.

Another fan asked about DirectX10-11 support, and Bashiok replied, with a bonus mention of Anti-Aliasing support.

We’re hoping to have time to get some DX11 support, mainly to allow us to get FSAA in.

Finally, another fan loved the look of the game from the live streams, but didn’t like the subtle music. Bashiok launched a rebuttal.

now if only the music was better…
Huh. That’s the first time I’ve read that.

Were you maybe expecting something besides what is generally the subdued mood-music in Diablo games? While World of Warcraft has huge epic orchestra pieces and driving melodies, Diablo music is far more subdued and moody. If you’re looking for big concert-hall filling scores, it’s just not what Diablo is about, although some bigger pieces certainly exist and you’ll get to enjoy them with the release of the game.

Diablo and its music is more about ambiance, as it’s a game that should mostly be filled with the sounds of slaughtering demons. Big epic tracks just aren’t very Diablo, and would very likely not mesh with the style of gameplay.

That’s just my guess as to what some people may be expecting. Diablo music is generally just mood-enhancing ambiance. But if you have other feedback, it’s welcome.

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21 thoughts on “Blue Beta Comments and Replies

  1. Yeah, Diablo music has always been very background stuff. Even the Tristam theme from the first one wasn’t really a song that forced you to listen to it. It was certainly a good piece, but it was a background piece. The best instrument in the orchestration of a Diablo game is an axe in a demon skull…or possibly a fireball shattering a skeleton. Although, I am glad to hear that they do have some pieces in the game at some point that aren’t meant to just provide ambiance alone.

  2. I don’t understand why FSAA is still a fracking issue in 2011.

    Half Life 2 and WoW = 2004 and support FSAA and AF just fine…

    • I did some research and it confirmed my guess that FSAA doesn’t work when using deferred shading technique. Using the technique reduces the load on hardware, but you lose the support for standard hardware AA. Many modern games like Crysis 2, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Starcraft 2 and GTAIV use deferred shading. I think they like to use it, because it allows rendering more units. There are some workarounds to getting AA working when using deferred shading, but apparently the best way is using the features in DX10/11.

  3. Yes, it was mood-enhancing ambiance, but it was also *music*. With melodies and rhythms. What we’ve seen so far is almost entirely lacking in either. Pounding drums were not rare in the D1/D2 soundtrack!

    • Totally agreed, haven’t heard a ton of the music myself so I can’t judge it, but I can judge the music from earlier in the series =)

  4. Everyone misses Matt Uelmen’s style, it tends to be unobtrusive yet still be a “presence” rather than just ambiance.

    The new music ain’t got nothing on stuff we hear from D1 and D2.

    • We heard some beta music, that’s it. How epic was the music up to, say, Rakanishu in D2? Just wait until the full game and we’ll see if they can match the music from the D1 caves..

      • Are you serious? The Matt Uelmen pieces “Wilderness” and “Rogue” (played in early parts of Act I) are some of the most haunting and immersive game OSTs I have ever heard, arguably the best ones in the entirety of Diablo II OSTs even.

        Just take a little listen
        And reminisce about the feeling when the first rare item dropped for ya some odd years ago when you first installed Diablo II and started playing a barbarian.

  5. Bashiok is correct that Diablo music is really all about being in the background and enhancing the atmosphere of the game, except that based on what we’ve heard so far, the music in D3 a bit too much on the ambiance side and it’s not as varied and significant as the D1/2 music.

    D1/D2 music is all about experimenting with a lot of different instruments, guitars and drums standing out the most. D3 music seems to be only regular ambient music that’s just not very memorable at all. I’m disappointed because of that.

  6. im thinking next thursday will be that special day. thatd be a 2 full weeks the f&f beta will have been out. plus the sc2 beta came out on a thursday. if it is coming out next thursday, its going to be a long 8 days.

  7. A note on DX11 as implemented in WoW.  1) It does indeed enable all of the graphical dealings others have mentioned above.  MORE IMPORTANTLY: 2) Substantial performance increase – note the 20+% performance increase on the same AMD 5870 and GTX 580 in DX9 and DX11 modes:,2793-7.html
    It is very possible that someone running a DX11 6770 compared to a DX9/10 4770 would experience this increase and subsequently be able to switch from medium to high settings.

  8. That first comment is interesting to me. It takes away a small but nonetheless ubiquitous mechanic from the earlier games. Many’s the time in D1 when you’d throw a couple of firewalls down to be able to see the room a bit better, or in D2 spam some Frozen Orbs to light the way when the darkness fell. I never considered it essential to the game but knowing it’s not there anymore, I’ll miss it. It makes sense, though, in light (see what I did there?) of the news that characters don’t have a light radius for similar artistic reasons.

  9. Can’t someone ask if they will add an option to take away those horrible annoying massacre messages popping up every now and then?

  10. “Were you maybe expecting something besides what is generally the subdued mood-music in Diablo games?”

    Starts his rebuttal with a false premise. We were expecting/hoping for music like what we heard in D1 & D2, and what we’ve been hearing is NOT the same.  It’s way more subdued and not memorable (well, memorable only in how boring it is).

    Also, yeah, hearing the sounds of violence is fine, but by the time D2 came around, I think the music had just as much presence as the “game sounds” if not more.  I watched streaming beta footage last night for like an hour, and after a while, those monk triple strike sound effects?  Guess what, they get kind of old.  Would’ve liked some good music thrown in there, you know, for ambience.

  11. Bashiok is an idiot if he doesn’t think the music in D1/D2 was a huge part of its success. Then again, it seems like everyone on the team completely missed that fact. Judging by how god-awful the music is thus far.

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