Blue: Pull Over and Read the Damn Map

That’s not only just what your girlfriend says when you get lost taking a shortcut — it’s the mandated navigation instructions in Diablo III, as Bliz EU CM Nakatoir explains.

I would love to still have the ability to walk around while watching the map, not though clicking but through holding the mouse button. Is this a deliberate design choice in order to keep the player “in the game” instead of looking at a map all the time?
You are very much correct in your statement that this was a deliberate design choice, Caelestis. We did not want to have the Diablo II scenario where people just stared at a dot on a map to guide themselves through an area. We made the map full screen, completely opaque and prevented commands from being sent while it is open to stop this from occurring. We also like the concept that your character has to take a few moments and stop so that they can get their bearings 🙂

If you’ve not played the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 Beta yet, realize that the small map is always visible in the top right corner, but that it does not show enough for you to find your way around a large area. You have to hit the “M” key to open the full map, as seen below. Now when it’s open, your character can not move or cast spells until you close the map again. This was not the case early in the beta; back then if you were moving by holding down the LMB (not clicking it; actually holding it steady down) you could keep moving as long as you held the button. This feature (bug?) was fixed a couple of patches ago, and we now know that was an intentional change since the developers apparently felt that the process of navigating through large, empty dungeons needed to be slightly more inconvenient. SIGN OF RELEASE!!1!

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56 thoughts on “Blue: Pull Over and Read the Damn Map

  1. If they made the dungeons linear there would be no problem of wading through empty dungeons half the time.

    • Are you suggesting they should make dungeons linear? That would be a terrible suggestion. I hate the direction video games have taken over the past decade with map design. I want to explore a dungeon, not stroll through a theme park attraction.

      • I think the response was supposed to be sarcastic, referencing how D3 has been dumbing down everything else about the game.

  2. It would be great if they would add some opacity control over the minimap. A small sweet for this bitter solution of having mini-map always open.  Plus extra if I have to stop for viewing the full map ( as the programmers decided so) i also demand of having control over minimap so i can switch this thing of with my hotkey – I dont llike being disturbed with it.

    In short :
    1. hotkey for opacity 90% ; 80%;70% … 50 %
    2. hotkey for turning this small minimap off/on  

    Do me a favorite and send the words futher since i dont have access nor I’m worth enough to mail directly to Blizz > : D

    stay cool.  

  3. Ahh and one more thing 
    3. Give me control over switching portraits of my team / minions / fallowers as was in the diablo 2 

    As I said I like only my UI clean of “garbage”.
    My choice, MY DECISION! Send this please further to them INC Gamers I would be more then grateful 


  4. Good idea on their part, I always had that damn map open on d2. Never got to enjoy the scenery much :p

    • I played with it on most of the time too. I learned to just see through it when I needed to I guess because it never really got in the way. But I’m glad they changed it for D3. Outdoor environments are set and the dungeons don’t have quite the ridiculous amount of rooms, so it isn’t as necessary anyway.

  5. And this is a problem, why exactly? I’ve always hated having the map open all the time. I mean, sure you get used to it, and it is nice to have that information readily available, however, it kills the immersion if I can’t really see my char from the bloody map. It also makes it kinda difficult to fight with it, especially against smaller and/or more dangereous monster packs, which meant I had to toggle it on and off all the time, which is inconvenient. 

    As opposed to that, D3’s system is a significant improvement. At least for me, it is less irritating to have mini-map always available for shorter distances, and having to stop and look at the bigger map for couple seconds still isn’t as irritating as having that map cover my screen, and then rushing to turn it off when some small, irritiating monster started killing me.

    Also, “empty dungeons”. Why did you mean by that? From everything I have seen, they are filled with monsters, in about the same amount as D2 dungeons of the similiar level.

    • I agree, hated having to have that damn map back in D2. I think its better this way with the mini map, and having to stop to look at the big map.

      Also.. “If you’ve not played the Diablo 3 Beta yet ” … sign of more beta giveaways!!!! :O

    • Once you kill everything and reach a dead end…the dungeon is empty and you have to run around trying to find that one tiny little patch you didn’t explore. Usually it’s not an issue but sometimes it’s a pain in the ass.

    • I can’t believe this is the mentality we are dealing with.  You lost immersion?  You pressed the key to open the map up!?#**$()%@!! your goddamn self.  No one stopped you from playing without it.

      This isn’t the only example of an option that was reworked in D3 where in D2 the person had to actually invoke the command themselves and now its restricted because the behavior wasn’t looked upon favorably.

      What’s wrong with enabling people to navigate the world in a way that suits them?  You aren’t forcing them to run around with the map open and neither are you forcing them to stand still while getting their bearings.  In this situation, everyone is doing the same thing the same way.  Increasing that’s the kind fucking options we are getting in D3.

      What’s wrong with empowering the players to play the adventure their own fucking way?

      • Actually I believe most people played D2 with the large map open all the time. I sure did. It did distract from the scenery.

        The reason people played that way is because it was the most efficient and in some ways ‘required’.

        If Diablo 3 is intentionally designed around a map that does not let you behave that way, people will be forced to change their behaviour, and moreover the levels will be able to be designed with this limitation in mind. So the maps themselves may now be easier to navigate, or have more landmarks in them to help player navigation, compared to D2 where everyone more or less just used the map.

      • Totally agree aside from that salty language! This d3 dev team has me nervous.  Do they even listen to feedback? The large volume of criticism I’ve read in their beta feedback forums seems to be completely ignored or pushed aside nomatter how intelligent the argument.  All while proudly and stubbornly defending “innovations” that warp the game away from what made Diablo 2 great.  I’ve seen one awful change to another all while patting themselves on the back for their brilliance.  ANYTHING to be different from the amazingly successful predecessor, even if it means stripping features.  I haven’t seen enough to consider not buying the game but… the thought actually starting entering my mind after playing the beta and reading the forums.

    • It’s a problem because they’re limiting functionality. If I reach a dead-end in a dungeon, I like to be able to flick the large map open and closed as I’m running through a dead area. Removing such a simple, handy feature is annoying.
      Immersion? The first thing I’d fix is the the UI menu button. An image of a CPU breaks immersion more than the idea that you character can do everything on the run except check a map.

  6. Obviously they need to accommodate grandma’s poor eyesight and ensure that there isn’t very much onscreen clutter at once like having a map overlay, so of course they’ll force you to bend over and get fucked in the ass to look at the map.

  7. so can I take damage while the map is open?

    or does it pause the game.

    It’s the only major gameplay inconvenient I can think of, because I remember hearing there will not be Pause in the game, so I guess it would be cool to die while checking the map, I mean it’s not like there will be guys who will 2 hit me in diablo right?


      • the souls that shot lightning in d2 saw you before you saw them, let’s say I don’ see them press M and promptly get executed. sad story?

        Anyway, in my book you don’t take away the see-through map from an ARPG.

        But, blizz has been known to invent stuff so I guess it’s ok to believe.

        LE: Oh wait you don’t take away the see-through map from an ARPG, unless it’s really linear. Ah.

  8. Good idea! I played Diablo 2 for over 5 years and only a few month ago, when i restarted playing, I started observing more than this sequence:dot, monster = cursor kill kill kill, dot, dot, dot, monster = kill, you get the drift. It’s the same thing like watching movies with subtitles. You observe CRAP! Though I do understand that some players might analyze all environments meticulously and that they will desire only to be efficient afterwards. But who cares….bring the stupid game already! Tired of waiting!

    • if you’re incapable of observing a movie and reading subtitles simultaneously you may be autistic.

  9. It really seems more likely to me that they just couldn’t manage to create a map overlay that included terrain & quest markers while not interfering too much with the screen.

    The only two reasons people couldn’t see underneath the map in D2 were they had map opacity set too high, or they were using map hack (which added so many things to the map overlay that it made the game playable from the map itself).

    Mods: The Solve media box now requires us to click the ad to see the captcha response that we need to enter. Is that intended? I’d rather just donate to your website than have to do that!

    • It’s not that they couldn’t see underneath the map. It’s that they usually only paid attention to the map to navigate through the world and dungeons instead of looking at the terrain itself.

  10. When people come down to want to watch the map to playthrough, maybe the game has a problem, not the map itself.

    • You mean the same “problem” that in real life you are required to use maps to know your way around?

      We all used the map incessantly because we were more interested in figuring out the right way to get to the quest/next wp (without the right way being spoon-fed). After the first or second play through, you’ll inevitably be focused on the destination rather than the journey. Might as well provide the tools to make focusing on the destination fun too…

  11. Makes me wonder if we realy need this mini map. Can it be minimized or disabled in the options?

    I’m fine with how the big map works.
    It’s true, I indeed focussed on the dot in diablo2.

    • Not currently; the little corner map is always visible. It’s transparent and way up in the corner, so I never mind it being visible, but as you say, it would be nice if they allowed it (and all other interface elements) to turn off for few players who wanted that.

  12. I had the map open all the time in D2 to make sure I didn’t miss anything, not to find the fastest way to X location.  I constantly check the map in outdoor areas in D3 to make sure I get every nook and corner and it’s really annoying not to be able to move around with it open.  Dungeons are much more defined so it’s easier to just walk around and know you’ve got everything.

  13. Meh… They should keep the abilitiy to click and hold to move while the map is open. They have always had that in WoW ffs.

  14. Players should be able to play as they want. Blizzard sometimes forget their own principles: gameplay comes first.

    • That’s the old Bliz.  Post-Bobby Bliz has different principles:
      – Recurring revenue comes first
      – We’re the only publishers that know what they’re doing, so GTFO if you don’t like it our way

  15. Imagine this.
    Stopping to look at your map in hell Durance of Hate on hardcore.  A big map covers the screen while you try to figure out just where the heck you are, and BOOM your freaking merc kills a bone doll and you get insta-deeded.
    Mini-map overlay was there for a reason.
    Or have fun having to bring up the map to run away from said pack of bone dolls.  lol!

    • Imagine this.
      You know you can’t be looking at the map and fighting monsters at the same time. Since you don’t want to die, you don’t want to look at the map until you’re sure there’s no monsters nearby. When there’s nothing moving anymore, you wait a while, look around you, listen carefully. Only when you’re reasonably sure nothing else is coming your way do you look at the map. You strain your memory to take in as much of it as possible while you can. You try to make decisions about where you should go first, try to figure out what’s most important to keep in mind. You strategize, make plans, knowing they will be ruined in the confusion of battle where you don’t have the comfort of that distanced overview you do now. You begin to understand, as Sun Tzu did thousands of years ago, that you should never be without a plan and never rely on it.

      Does that sound boring? Or does it sound hardcore?

      • To me, boring. Sorry. I play Diablo to be a great big hero and have some nice escapism in gaming; not to be too realistic.
        Imagine this: your Barbarian was wounded in a battle, and now needs to recuperate for 6 real life hours before he can continue. Please come back tomorrow and continue your quest!

        …Sorry, while your Barbarian was sleeping, he was savaged by some zombies and killed. Better luck next time!

        Realism is fine in some games and in some ways; not everything needs to be perfect. First time I die because I run away from a mob, straight into another one, I’ll curse this “feature”.

  16. Biggest issue I have with this is that it seems like *exactly* the sort of thing that will be exploited with hacks without much difficulty.

  17. I find myself pressing M to turn the map on and off while clicking at the same time to move my character around in the beta, its the closest thing to having a map open while moving at the same time. Its ridiculous spamming the M button, but the only time I ever open the full map view is to see where other players are located or to see where I haven’t explored in order to find the next level. It was convenient to be able to walk and view the map at the same time because your multitasking, your moving and viewing the map, thus saving time from having to stand still and then choose where to go. When you play a game long enough you develop habits, this is defiantly one mixed among players.

  18. Also to add. When viewing the map to locate another player, being able to walk with the map open helps “catch up” to them due to Diablo’s fast pace. Not every character has the same movement speed or has a maneuver altering ability assigned (Teleport, Spirit Walk etc.) Having the map open while moving is a nice way to relocate if a grouped player is outside of the range of the mini-map, otherwise you might as well TP back to town and click their banner.
    (This argument points towards my own experience with random players through the match making system, playing with friends is completely different, where as they are more willing to “wait up” when your behind)

  19. I really don’t like how they change many things in game and say it is for sake of the game design. I know they are the designer, but they at least not should babble about it almost every day how they change things in game so players play the game as THEY want to, not as players want to. I swallowed the fact that boss runs won’t be so much rewarding as in D2, but the absence of the overlay map will be even harder to swallow.

  20. This was one of the more annoying discoveries I made playing the beta. Now that I know it’s intentional, I really don’t understand this decision. I seem to try to fight the mechanic every time. I even tried clicking far off, opening the map, trying to find my way and closing the map before my character stopped moving.

    Like others have said, I really only use the large map when I’ve cleared most of a level and have hit a dead end. So there’s nothing to fight, just a bunch of long empty hallways… which makes not being able to run while finding your way out that much more frustrating.

  21. Map problem. solution for Blizz , create navigation program (sorry if in english is another term)  Put waypoint on the map and then  sexy voice.. “after 3000 pixels turn to right..”  😆

  22. Totally agree aside from that salty language! This d3 dev team has me nervous.  Do they even listen to feedback? The large volume of criticism I’ve read in their beta feedback forums seems to be completely ignored or pushed aside nomatter how intelligent the argument.  All while proudly and stubbornly defending “innovations” that warp the game away from what made Diablo 2 great.  I’ve seen one awful change to another all while patting themselves on the back for their brilliance.  ANYTHING to be different from the amazingly successful predecessor, even if it means stripping features.  I haven’t seen enough to consider not buying the game but… the thought actually starting entering my mind after playing the beta and reading the forums. 😀

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