Bashiok replied to a couple of more questions in the thread we newsed up yesterday, about the big State of the Game article coming from Blizzard on Monday.

    As many people have noticed in the game, and debated in the forums, and talked about on the podcast I recorded about an hour ago, there are several spots in Diablo III when the difficulty seems to take a big jump. At those times players are finding it very hard to advance, especially players who are playing solo and farming/crafting their own gear.

    In those cases, such as the big jump up to DiabloWikiInferno, and especially to Act 2 Inferno, it’s now much easier to hit up the DiabloWikiGAH and spend some gold on an item than it is to find/craft that item yourself. Especially since you really need to be in about Act 3 of Inferno to find the quality of gear you need to survive in Act 2 of Inferno. It’s like that old joke that you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience.

    I appreciate there are still a lot of questions, but the post on Monday has quite a bit of info and is coordinated to be posted in about a dozen languages. I really can’t get into too many specifics without ruining the efforts that have gone into ensuring a simultaneous release. I do hope it’s informative, though.

    Have a good weekend!

    This is a bit frustrating as answers go. So, is it your intent that people gear through Auction House? It seems you’re saying “yes” but it isn’t clear.

    I’ve been farming Inferno Act I quite a bit, rolling 5 Valor stacks at various times, and I have to play for a very long time to see anything that passes as an upgrade. In fact, I think almost every piece I am using is from AH, and I run with people that share all of our drops. It doesn’t feel like AH is part of gearing, it feels like it is the only source of gear. I’m sure it is possible to gear without it, but I can’t imagine the time investment required to do so.
    This isn’t a new concept. In Diablo II gear was randomized and so absolutely ridiculously rare that you could almost be guaranteed to never find the exact item you were looking for just by farming for it yourself. To be the best you had to trade items with others, as you might find an extremely rare item, they may be willing to trade for yours. If you wanted to get ahead within any reasonable amount of time you had to trade. Now, Diablo II had one thing going for it which was the mass proliferation of dupes for the rarest items, which completely tanked its economy and quickly allowed anyone to gear themselves in the best possible items for nearly nothing. In Diablo III you don’t have that luxury, you need to actually find the rare items, or trade for them.

    Now, you have a couple options, you can jump into our Trading Forum, post up your item/s and then meet someone in-game and barter a trade. You can also use the in-game Trade channel, and again barter trades. Or you can use the auction house system. How you trade items is up to you, bartering out of game, bartering in-game, the AH for gold, or real money once it launches. We’re not forcing anyone to do anything, and if you don’t ever want to trade with other players that’s your choice as well, but due to the nature of drops in Diablo games, if you want to be the best you need to trade.

    The difference in Diablo 2 was that you could solo act 4 and 5 with gear you farmed yourself.

    In Diablo 3 you have no chance in act 2 and onward unless you buy gear from the auction house. The best gear drops in the later acts (Jay said there was one tier of drops in each Act), so there will be a looooong while until I even have a chance at starting farming the best gear.

    Basically I have to gear up so I have a chance at gearing up so I have a chance at getting the good loot.

    In D2, I could start farming the best loot the game had to offer by myself.
    Good point! Yes, Diablo III has an additional difficulty level, Inferno, with a very steep difficulty curve. One bit of misinformation is that loot is static in where it drops, but in fact the loot table bands are quite large. For example the “Inferno Act I loot” has a chance to drop in Hell Act IV as much as it does Inferno Act II. You will need to farm Inferno Act I to get a shot at those higher level items to drop so you can continue progressing.

    I think Inferno and maybe the item economy need some fine-tuning yet, but players seem to have unrealistic expectations. If you could easily or reliably find or craft the top quality gear you needed for Inferno, wouldn’t that be too easy? What’s the point in having difficult content if you can pass it with easily-found gear? You can’t demand that Inferno be super challenging and then complain that you can’t find the gear to power through it less than 2 weeks after the game launches. What, is the game to know that you’re the one special person who deserves the super great item drops, and it’s just all those other people who the “rare items are rare” rules apply to?

    Also, if those items were readily-available they’d clogging up the GAH, which would only exacerbate the problem. Then you’d be able to find the best items easily, and buy the best items very, very easily. That’s not progress.

    Finally, we’re getting a lot of those infamous rose-tinted glasses about D2 again, with these demands for instant gratification. Yes, you could find the top end game gear in D2… but not 12 days after release. You can find it in D3 also; after all, it’s other players who are selling that stuff in the GAH now. But it takes time, or luck, or both. It did in D2 also.

    In D2C it was really hard to find top quality items. It got easier in D2X, especially once there were runewords and so many elite Uniques, but even then, many people played D2X for YEARS without finding a rune higher than about DiabloWikiVex, or many/any of the Treasure Class 90 uniques, etc. Eventually those things became more common, cube recipes were added to allow rune upgrades all the way to DiabloWikiZod, duped runes devalued the economy, etc. But finding any of that stuff yourself took months of play with very good MF chars, and no one has invested anything like that sort of effort into D3. Yet.

    Diablo III’s DiabloWikieconomy and game difficulty will look VERY different in July or August than they look now. What do you bet that the people now arguing that they can’t find the top .0001% of gear will be the same people complaining that Inferno’s gotten too easy and that top gear is too available, three months from now?

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