Bashiok made a number of useful replies in the forums yesterday. Topics addressed include sockets instead of affixes, hypothetical runestone set bonuses, why the bored beta testers aren’t getting any more content added,
    +skill modifiers, and the lack of UI modifications allowed in D3. Two posts are quoted below; click through to read the others, because long.

    A fan pointed out that sockets in D3 are generally provided by magical properties, much like other prefixes and suffixes. Bashiok says yes, but that’s not a bad thing.

    Sockets are effectively customizable magical property slots, so in many ways sockets are better than just random affixes. You can choose the benefit you get on that item, and as you find better gems you can remove and replace them, allowing you to keep the item relevantly powerful without finding/crafting a complete replacement.

    It’s also worth noting not every item type can have gem slots, so crafting an item with a guaranteed socket is usually a nothing-but-positive bonus on that recipe. You get to choose the benefit for the socket instead of, in most cases, having it roll a random affix.

    Lots of the early access beta testers have played through all the content dozens of times and begun to complain that they’re bored while agitating for more content. This complaint is meeting with an understandable amount (zero) of sympathy from the millions of fans who are also bored of seeing the same stuff in every gameplay video, but who are willing to trade either kidney and half their duodenum for any beta access at all. Bashiok replied to a thread posted by one such angry fan and made clear that fan boredom isn’t unexpected, but that we’ve got 3-5 more months of Leoric runs to look forward to, like it or not.

    I totally understand that people are done with the content and want more, and I only see that as a positive outlook for the future. If people were completing the content, or worse not completing it, and then ambivalent or uncaring to see any more of the game then we’d have a problem.

    Yes we fully understand people would love to play more content, but no we’re not going to release any more during the beta phase. The test is mainly intended for server stability and hardware/software compatibility testing, and not for content bug testing. For that reason we really only need provide a small bit of content to get the majority of our beta testing jollies.

    We really do appreciate everyone that has been playing, and continues to play, but if you’re done and have done everything you can to help provide us with feedback/bugs, then we don’t want you to feel obligated to keep playing. As older testers drop off and server stability increases we’ll be adding more and more people. There’s no real downside in that.

    A fan asked about runestone set bonuses, e.g. if all your skills had Crimson runes, or Golden, etc. Bashiok says it’s been considered, but doesn’t give specifics, or let slip anything about the ongoing unattuned rune development issues.

    Yeah it’s something that’s been discussed, the main challenge with such a system is striking a balance between ‘fun bonus’ and ‘you must socket runes this way or you’re playing wrong’.

    The runestones as they are add an insane amount of customization, and we’re really happy with the way they’re playing out and the insane amounts of fun you can have with them. We think we have enough customization and system complexity for launch, but undoubtedly after release and as the game ages we’ll want to mix it up in some new ways.

    A fan asked about +skill bonuses on gear, and got an explanation of basic affix functions in Diablo III.

    To clarify the terms being used, we don’t ever foresee adding any ability to gain another classes’ skills through items. Some people call these +skill affixes, such as the infamous Enigma and granting the Teleport skill to anyone and everyone. So just to avoid confusion it’d be a good idea to define what you mean by +skill.

    What the OP seems to be referring to are affixes that are bonuses to the skills you already have. So in that case an item could drop with +% damage to Bash, and so that one line on the item tooltip would only benefit barbarians, of course.

    I should take a step back and say not every skill scales the same way, and not every skill benefits from the same stats – in general skills do scale with your level – but ultimately benefit the most from the items you find and equip.

    We do really like the concept of the affixes that benefit specific class skills, or potentially even classes of skills. As I’ve stated before we’re not done with affixes, and so it’s a matter of getting in as many as we can before launch. Having full power ranges of affixes that benefit all class skills is a pretty enormous undertaking, but in any case the underlying concept is something we would probably like to have in the game at some point.

    A fan complained about the lack of mod support/permission in Diablo III, and got a puzzled reply from Bashiok.

    …given Blizzard’s rich history of allowing user modification, and just how much it’s given to so many of their previous games, it’s hard to not feel let down by the decision to outright ban Diablo 3 modding. Let’s hope they have a change of heart on that point particularly.
    I’m still at a loss as to how this became an issue. Do people think mods were supported in Diablo and Diablo II? Or is there an expectation that since WoW we want to allow UI modification, and/or since our RTS games have all had map editors we want to begin adding that to the Diablo franchise?

    I guess it just comes across to me as a reaction based on the perception that we’re changing something, as opposed to just making more Diablo games.

    I think the question is about WoW type UI mods, not the D1/D2 style of game modifications, ALA Laz’s Median XL Diablo 2 mod. The weird thing is the bit Bashiok quotes appears nowhere in the thread. Perhaps someone edited it out of their post after he quoted it.

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