A few Blue posts of interest, with useful info and less-useful lecturing.

  • The first one is purely informative, and it’s for people who tried to buy Diablo III from GAME retailer in Oz. As we reported previously, that company went out of business just before the game’s release and kept all pre-orders. Blizzard very nicely stepped in to cover the losses fans might have incurred, and they’ve posted a huge update with details about how to claim your refunds or game credits. See that post here.
  • There’s another informative post about adding money to your B.net account if you’re planning to use it in the RMAH. Basically, if you use some fraud-prone system like Direct Debit, it might take up to two weeks for your funds to be verified and become available for use. Use PayPal or a proper credit card linked to your Battle.net account if you want your RM available ASAP for the AH.
  • Elsewhere, as the Battle.net forums grow more um… shall we say… rambunctious? The Blizzard CMs are putting their virtual feets (and ban hammers) down and making an effort to get users to behave and play nice.

    Exhibit 1 came from Bashiok in this post, where a fan reported some bugs and made some pretty good points about exploits and broken game systems, and earned the following rebuke from the Basher:

    Posting a thread title in all-caps is a violation of the forum guidelines. Please read through them before creating a thread. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3074657442

    Oh, AND profanity is also a violation, regardless if the forum masks it properly or not. Keep it clean.

    He was well outdone by Nethaera, who offered a lengthy reply that was entirely about tone. Admittedly, the OP was intentionally rude and dickish, but like the guy Bashiok replied to, he made several good points. He didn’t word them politely though, and here’s a brief excerpt from the start of Nathaera’s multi-paragraph scolding reply.

    I’m going to respond rather than lock this thread or otherwise moderate it. Let me explain why. First, I think you genuinely are trying to provide feedback in your own way. You obviously decided to take some time to put together your thoughts and share them with us, which is appreciated. Second, I think you were almost successful in making it constructive.

    I felt though, that this thread is a good opportunity to explain how you all can provide feedback in a way that helps more than simply criticizes.

    Thanks to our blue tracker and our own very busy Diablo III forums there’s no need for anyone to actually read or use the B.net forums, but it seems pretty clear that after a week+ of fan bitching, the CMs are more than sick of the BS and trolling. If you’re brave enough to post there, you might want to watch your tone, since the forum ban hammer is one legendary item in D3 that’s actually retained its function and effect.

    Click through for the whole loooooong post by Natheara.

    I’m only level 41 on my Wizard in act 2 of Nightmare, and I’m already highly disappointed with this game. It echos and echos and echos, that’s all it does. There’s nothing to fill the game but emptiness. It’s boring, bland, it’s reminiscent in no way of Diablo I or II. There’s no incentive to play the game, at all.

    TL;DR at bottom.

    1 – Leveling:
    — Normal was fun, it had its ups and downs, but it was primarily played for the story. It was easy enough to stomp all over because the fact it was designed to be easy so people new and veteran could get their head around how the game works and to see the story at least once before Nightmare, Hell and Inferno arrived.

    Unfortunately, to this matter, leveling is pointlessly difficult for any and all classes, past Nightmare act 1. Yes, there is in fact people who have gotten to level 60 no problem, but these are people with countless hours of time on their hands to play the game and perfect their play style. I do nothing but die more than half the time, trying to play my Wizard, in act 2. I don’t have the best gear, but I also have reason for not having the best – because I do nothing but die. I can’t save gold to buy and or craft items. – –

    Matter a fact, why the bloody hell am I crafting and buying items to progress? This is not an MMO, I should be using what I find on the ground, a matter that I’ll address momentarily.

    In short, leveling is broken. You guys stated you wanted the adventuring process of this game to be uninhibited by anything that would otherwise slow down the action in an ARPG – but ultimately, and terribly, failed.

    2 – Item Hunting.
    — This is the BIGGEST problem that is being addressed on the forums, fansites, everywhere in the world. As a person who played Diablo II religiously for 8 years, I’m going to outline something for you guys, the virgins (not calling you virgins, of course, but as far as knowing how Diablo works) of the Diablo III dev team that missed every aspect possible of what makes Diablo, Diablo, as far as items go.

    a: Magic/Blue items – These items were originally intended to fill a gap in your slots until you found a set, rare or unique item, so that you didn’t end up running around like a headless chicken, screaming bloody murder because you couldn’t kill something or live against something.

    b: Set items – These were the bread and butter of the leveling process in Diablo II. While I will agree that it was a good idea to not make it so in Diablo III, lest we have a mirrored game mechanic, it was a bad idea to alienate them entirely.

    c: Rare items – The name is self explanitory – RARE. This did not solely mean that these items would be good, same goes for blue/magic items. Truly rare items in Diablo II were almost impossible to come by due to randomization.

    d: Unique/Legendary items – Here it is, the biggest issue in Diablo III – ITEMS THAT ARE INTENDED TO BE /UNIQUE/ AMONGST EVERY ITEM IN THE GAME. You simply, absolutely, DO NOT call an item Legendary or unique, and then slap people in the face with Rare.. and by god, Blue items, making them 4 to 1000 times better than the Legendary you just found.
    It felt absolutely awesome when I found a unique item, even if it were absolute garbage, at low levels, and high levels, in Diablo II. It also gave me a reason – if not, motivation, to level. It gave my character some sort of life, making him/her feel unique in a way, despite the fact anyone could have found that same item at the same time on the same day, hell, in the same game.

    As it stands now, I’m finding nothing, zero, zilch, just blues that triumph over the Legendary items I could be finding that I would just throw away or sell because of such. I don’t want rares and blues, I want Lege– god damn it, Uniques. Blues should have no place in this game aside from filling gaps. Rares should not be the staple in which your character gains its power, it should only be temporary. Unique and set items should be what makes up your character, despite your idealistic beliefs that you’re trying to push on to us. You guys make the game, but you don’t choose how we play it – otherwise the results are what you see on the forums now… ANGER AND CONFUSION.

    I mean what the hell was our feedback for if not to help better the game and fix it? You should have just kept the beta to the internal, never letting us in or saying anything to us.

    As it stands /right now/, Legendary items are not.. legendary. They’re jokes. Please do either two things; Rename them to something else, or remove them from the game – then proceed to name Rares to Legendary, and Blues to Rare, and Whites to pretty pony treats.

    As is stands /right now/, leveling is absolutely ridiculous, retarded, and boring. No incentive what so ever, and this is coming from someone who absolutely loved Diablo II.

    We understand you’re trying to make an “entirely new game” and not a mirror of Diablo II, but you guys are doing it wrong, 9001% wrong. The original Diablo II team is gone, and the franchise got left in the hands of amateurs and or people who didn’t care to listen to their fanbase and or beta testers and or the feed back that was being thrown at them in waves and waves on the forums, which lead the game to being ruined on release.

    The things that made Diablo II great, (no I’m not speaking off of nostalgia, because if I were, I’d be flaming and pointing out every single thing, speaking as if the game should be an exact mirror) are what you guys tore apart and turned anew in this god awful sequel.

    TL;DR – Make leveling make more sense. REMOVE THOSE GOD AWFUL “SHIELD” AFFIX ABILITIES FROM MONSTERS. Make Legendary items the item in which you build your character and rares the secondary and blues to sit in a corner crying that they’re as useless as white items.
    Nethaera: I’m going to respond rather than lock this thread or otherwise moderate it. Let me explain why. First, I think you genuinely are trying to provide feedback in your own way. You obviously decided to take some time to put together your thoughts and share them with us, which is appreciated. Second, I think you were almost successful in making it constructive.

    I felt though, that this thread is a good opportunity to explain how you all can provide feedback in a way that helps more than simply criticizes.

    So, here’s my advice:

    First, please refrain from big overstatements such as titles that claim that the game is a failure or that you are sharing “facts”. We see it often where flame wars occur because someone states something as innocuous as “We all feel x” or “this is fact” when it’s actually just an opinion. It’s better to make it clear that you’re sharing your own personal opinion rather than speaking for others. You’re more likely to get a more constructive discussion that way and get less hostility from other players who disagree.

    Second, it’s important to avoid overly emotional words such as “x is stupid”, “y is completely broken”, “z sucks so hard”. It’s not particularly constructive and may turn people off from what you’re attempting to say.

    Third, (and perhaps lastly) it’s important to be very clear about what it is you dislike and why. It’s equally important to explain what you like as well so that you’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater (so to speak). Clarity is key.

    Saying Diablo II is better than Diablo III is OK to do if that’s your opinion, but these conversations are pretty circular. Diablo III is not Diablo II. That said though, if there is something you enjoyed from Diablo II, it’s perfectly OK to say what it is and why you enjoyed it. That’s no guarantee that it makes sense for Diablo III, but it could be a potential consideration if the developers feel it makes sense.

    In short, we understand that there are a lot of emotions and passion tied up in many posts we’ve been seeing. We are equally passionate on our end about the game. It’s just important to reign in that passion and put it forward in a way that can be used toward potentially improving things that may need improved. We won’t be able to please everyone as much as we try, but we are working hard to do our best to make as many gamers happy as possible.

    “Seeing as you failed to address any of the OP’s points I think your post was far less constructive than his.”

    That’s not Neth’s job. She’s here to moderate. Bashiok is here to answer.
    Netheara: Actually, I do more than moderate. 😉 I’m not answering here because answers are being worked on and it may well be Bashiok who does the answering at that time. We all share responsibilities whether they’re front and center or behind the scenes.

    In this case, I felt that some direction would be helpful for further discussions whether they occur in this thread or in subsequent posts. I’d love to see everyone move on from overly passionate reactions to more constructive posting. It helps our team be able to distill feedback and pass it to the developers much better than having to work through the signal to noise ratio.

    I’d also like to advise everyone to please watch using profanity. I dislike having to delete posts simply because there was inappropriate language in it. I also dislike having to moderate people for attacking others. Let’s try to keep it civil.

    I do doubt you will see this or respond to it but how often do you see the game having updates?

    Also will the ‘patches’ or “ninja updates” have notes somewhere with the changes? I always do like reading up on those, be it beneficial for my class (monk) or not. 🙂 keep up the good work!
    Netherea: To your first question- Unknown. Updates will be done as we feel they are needed. (Outside of our internal development schedule which we don’t normally publicize.)

    To your second question- We will provide updates as we can. We currently have a Hotfix blog that we’ll update regularly as new hotfixes come in. For patches, you can normally find the notes in the launcher (when we do patches) and we also post on the blog as well. (When in doubt, check the blog on the front page or the sticky posts in the forums.)

    When can we expect a reply directly answering everyone’s opinions about the current state of the game without circling around the point?
    Nethaera: We’re working on something currently and will be putting it out in the ether soonish.

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