Blue on This and That

As Signs of Release™ continue to rumble about, there’s been a lot of activity from blue forum posts and Bashiok and Jay Wilson tweets. There’s been little to news up from it though, as the (apparently) impending release date has pulled in or dragged back a lot of fans.

This is a good thing on the whole; our Diablo 3 forums have been much busier the last few days, and that will skyrocket the minute we actually get a release date. The increased activity isn’t great for those of us hoping for “new” info from Blizzard, since new fans, or people who haven’t paid attention to D3 since they last got tired of waiting in about 2009, ask tons of basic questions, and those fat fish in the small barrel are the ones the CMs take their shots at.

DiabloWikiBashiok fielded a question about the DH’s DiabloWikiCompanion and the Barbarian’s DiabloWikiThreatening Shout skills. The weasel rune in Companion increases gold find by 10%, while monsters that die while affected by the TS rune DiabloWikiGrim Harvest have a 5% chance to drop more loot. Is this an unfair bonus for those classes?

The fairness comes in the trade off between taking one of the mentioned runes, and not one that allows you to deal more damage. It’s really the same trade off you make with items or gems. I guess if you were really looking to stack gold find and not worrying about anything else then maybe your class of choice would be the demon hunter, but that’s obviously pretty extreme.

For Grim Harvest it’s not the same as magic find, it’s a 5% chance to drop additional treasure of any kind. More often than not it’s probably going to be a potion, white item, or maybe gold.

Of course classes are in their intense balance testing phases right now, so there’s really no saying what may change before release.

Click through for more tweets from Jay Wilson and some forum blueness for your reading pleasure. (Or not; I found it fairly puzzling, myself.)

Jay Wilson’s been tweeting as well, and hit a couple of issues that aren’t unknown, but that might be little-known, as I’ve seen them asked about elsewhere.

In the final version, the treasure goblins will drop rare, legendary, set items, or only will drop low qlty items (magic)? –dsantos
They can drop higher quality items. –AngryRobotics

Will matchmaking try to pair players of similar gear together? –@TheCrazyValheru
similar skill ranking, which is affected by both play skill and gear. –AngryRobotics

Hey man, just wanted to say I got the BETA a few days ago, I love your game to death. Just 1 Q, will there be class intros? –RaptorsFan60
yes, each class has an intro in the 2D animated style that appears in the intro cinematic we released. –AngryRobotics

Blizzard CM Kaivax has been fielding a fair number of D3 questions of late, often about DiabloWikiHardcore, which he says he played a lot of in D2. I’ll take his word for that, though I do wonder sometimes, since most of his thoughts and opinions about HC in D2 disagree with everything I ever thought or observed of others during my years of heavy HC play.

He’s at it again today, and I can’t say if I agree or disagree with his comments on this one since I’m not sure what he’s saying. Honestly, can anyone distill this into something other than “could be yes or no?” Please do so in comments if you can. Quote:

So would you consider HC mode a mode based more on time or skill (or some combination of the two)?
Kaivax: Yes — if you look at the whole game as a difficulty curve, and there are spots where the difficulty suddenly rises, hardcore players will want to play the area just before those spots for as long as possible before taking chances.

But perhaps the curve won’t have sudden, steep increases. Perhaps it will be quite smooth.

And if it isn’t smooth, per se, it might still be difficult to anticipate where the big steps up in difficulty are. They don’t have to be at the pause between difficulty levels. Those sharp rises could be seven pulls in, or seventy pulls in.

I did like this last exchange between a fan and Bashiok; while it doesn’t tell us anything new, it does address the generally content-lacking state of their official dialogue of late.

Honest question. Why do you guys let all the rampant speculation go on in the forums? is it just to drum up hype? too much to stop? –jeremysnow2
What would you recommend we do? It’s a forum. It’s for discussing things people want to discuss, and they want to discuss that. –Bashiok

Thats fair, I suppose i get fustrated sifting through the missinformation getting to constructive/funny/informative posts. –jeremysnow2
I’m all for dispelling rumors, but at this point it’s really out of our control. Only a release date can fix it. 🙂 –Bashiok

that was a lie now I think about it. After release will be “PVP now?” “how about now?”. then “Where is the exp?” “how about now” –jeremysnow2
Good point… 😐 –Bashiok

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28 thoughts on “Blue on This and That

  1. Time to go on a gold hunt? Load up your DH 😆

    Depending on if gold sells for way above what items do, could be a problem. 

    Edit: Could be dropped to 5% same as the Barb rune?

  2. ‘I did like this last exchange between a fan and Bashiok; while it doesn’t tell us anything new, it does address the generally content-lacking state of their official dialogue of late.’

    The game itself is also PvP-lacking, talisman-lacking, mystic-lacking, custom game-lacking… I think it’s the new direction they’re going with these days that is a bit lacking 😐

  3. Well I’m liking what Kaivax is saying about the difficulty curve/build up in the game.
    I’m wondering when I’m gonna feel the difficulty increasing in the game, either by harder enemies, or difficulty because of the lack on good gear drops and decide at what moment I need to take a step back and farm some gear on easier content. I’m seriously curious on how Hell/Inferno’s difficulty curve will be like and how much of a challenge it will be. I praise it will be very difficult.

    • But what did he say? It might get difficult sooner or it might get difficult later, or it might not get difficult at all.  Didn’t we all know that already?

      • He’s suggesting that success in hardcore will depend on a player’s ability to anticipate increases in game difficulty and plan accordingly. Part of that comes from “time” invested in the game and becoming familiar with the content, and part of that is “skill” at actually dealing with the difficulty jump once you know it’s coming.

        It wasn’t a direct response to the question, but to be fair the question was a bit of a false dichotomy to begin with. 

        • What he said. And part of the difficulty curve is random, b/c boss packs spawn w/ random modifiers. One thing they’ve claimed is that the difficulty is smoother; you don’t have blind-fold easy sections immediately followed by impossible Pit Viper bugs. Hopefully Inferno is challenging most of the time, w/ occasional spikes in tough (but fair!) nasty boss packs. If it’s brain dead easy except for the one-off MSLE craziness, that will suck.

  4. Oh Kaivax…
    Fan: Do you think it is more ‘A’ or more of ‘B’ (or maybe a little of ‘A’ + ‘B’)
    Kaivax: Yes.  -Proceeded by a restatement of the question-


    It was a good laugh at least. 

  5. How in the world will they make matches based on player skill? What statistics will they be keeping track of to allow for this?

    And yes, dragged back…kicking and screaming all the way in some cases…

    • I wonder that myself.  I’m curious if this was question followed something regarding PvP because I could see how that would work but not for PvE.

    • I was wondering this, too.  I dislike the idea of automated matchmaking, which must run on some undisclosed and ever-changing algorithm.  Give the players that same information and let them make a decision.  Save the Blizz. programers the pain of trying to set up blind dates.  When you hover over a game name, it could show:
      -battletag, class, lvl, and current quest of everyone in it
      -the gold total of each of their equipment, as a quick means of judging their gear (although this step does depend on Blizzard’s own hidden evaluation system of items)
      Merlin#1234, Wiz, 60, 235,000g
      HeadShrinker#1234, WD, 58, 187,500g

      • And they’ve said it’ll be similar to the SC2 thing, where you basically gain points for playing, win or lose, and don’t see your actual W/L record, etc. Everyone gets gold stars in this kindergarten.

        • Where do you get your info on SC2, you are certainly a Diablo guru, but seem to not know much about Starcraft. First, you don’t gain points for losing. You lose points. You can drop down leagues if you lose too many points. Also, it doesn’t show W/L in diamond or lower, but in Master and Grand Master it does show them.

          • Kinda like chess rating then. Pretty simple and works brilliantly as long as you get the number balance right.

        • Maybe you didn’t play much (any) SC2, but that’s not how it works, as Pong pointed out.

          Starcraft 2’s matchmaking system was very effective at figuring out a player’s skill and matching them up with someone of reasonably equal skill to give them an appropriate (and fun) challenge. I don’t care if they hide or show statistics; what matters is that I can log on to SC2, click a “find game” button, and be matched in usually under a minute for an enjoyable battle. 

          • I was describing their stated plans for D3’s PvP ranking system. I’ve not played a second of SC2, but I have heard many complaints about it, in terms of the system not showing real rankings and sorting everyone into countless tiny leagues. Don’t recall all the details, but they went into a lot of specifics in that big team liquid “SC2 2.0 sucks” thread.

          • The SC2 matchmaking/ladder works beautifully for what it was designed to do. The old SC1 ladder didn’t mean much if you were 127,852 and won a few games and now you’re 127,849. Scrubs can compete to win the Bronze league, and have easy to see goals (Top 10 Bronze, Silver, Top 10 Silver, Gold, etc.) I guess the whiners think they should be in Grandmaster (actual professionals), but aren’t that good. The one gripe I agree w/ is the myopia of 1v1 balance. Most scrubs (myself included) enjoy 2v2 etc, even random, more than 1v1. Team is so much more fun for me. But they don’t bother offering prize money for team games, and they never really talk about it much in e-sports circles. It’s a shame. I can only imagine the crazy combinations and tactics pro players could cook up w/ multiple races.

          • @Flux: Your phrasing implied that it was SC2’s system you were talking about. In any case, I found teamliquid’s complaints about how rank is displayed to be very unconvincing. Their issue was essentially that a couple of random players can’t look at each other and figure out who’s “better”. They ignore the fact that a global ranking becomes statistically meaningless after you get down past the top players (because the measurement gets complicated and the number of players in that range of skill goes way up), so the numbers assigned to you in WC3’s system aren’t a true indicator of who’s “better” anyway. They’re lamenting the loss of a way to display their e-peen, essentially.

            In any case, the algorithms they used for SC2 matchmaking were surprisingly good at finding matches that were a reasonably good challenge for you – a huge step up over WC3. I honestly don’t care about any displays of how good the computer thinks I am so long as the system will make it easy for me to have fun games. I find fun in actually playing the game, not in bragging and stroking my e-peen afterwards.

            @cacophony: The issue with multiplayer balance is that there are simply too many variables to make it anywhere near as easy to balance as 1v1. What might be fine but close for 1v1 balance has an exponential effect in multiplayer, and you can’t really account for that without compromising the 1v1 balance. Some games are built around team balance, but in those cases each individual component of the team is usually a bit more easy to balance than an entire race in SC2. Often in games balanced around team play each member of the team will be a part of a rock/paper/scissors setup, so that you want your team composition to effectively counter the opponent’s composition, but in SC2 (and SC1 and WC3, for that matter) balance is designed such that each player is putting together a “team composition” of their own. TL;DR: Fun as 2v2 and 3v3 may be, it’s just not feasible to expect them to be as balanced as 1v1, and competitive play requires balance.

    • It can be based on a few factors. most common is win to lose ratio. Gear value could also be used to determine match ups. maybe even the combination of the 2. I personally find it as a positive feature for the pvp asset since most people won’t be playing 24/7 gathering all the best gear to pvp and dominating someone with crap. If I were sitting with the best gear on I would hate to have to fight scrub matches just for an easy win. I’d rather have some fun.

    • The hidden matchmaking rating you get in SC2 is win/loss based, but also based on who you were up against when you won/lost, your point total, your activity, and I’m sure other factors they don’t divulge. It will be the same for D3’s pvp I’d imagine, but “progression based” without a ladder to show you where you really stand sadly. It would be nice to have some ranking, even with the tiny divisions… It makes me wonder what happens when you have earned all the rewards they give you in their “progression” system.

  6. I would be extremely disappointed if I saw people in HC inferno running around in a lot of MF/GF gear and still walking all over that damn cake.
    In regards to the time/skill comments; I think he’s trying to say that you are supposed to be challenged by the higher difficulties.
    Perhaps he is trying to get across that there is a level of preparedness that you can achieve, but you may still encounter a frozen/teleporting/molten/psychotic/psychadelic mini-boss that will kick your proverbial in your current gear/build.
    Maybe he’s saying you have to learn to adapt.
    This is opposed to leveling your character to God-status before going to fight Diablo for the umpteenth time.
    Just my thoughts. 

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