Diablo 3’s Future: “Core Gameplay Elements” Under Construction

An enlightening exchange on the EU B.net forums. The OP is a fan who just heard that there won’t be any new DiabloWikiDiablo 3 Patches or added game content until at least November, and expresses his dismay. Another fan takes the counter argument, and gets Blue’d, which starts off the conversation:

That’s good news. They should Take their time and come up with something really great.
Vaneras: Whether or not this is good news is in the eye of the beholder, as some are obviously not too happy about having to wait longer than they expected to get new and improved content.

It is important to emphasize though, that patch 1.0.8 is not the last and final update to the game! In fact we are working hard on new and improved content for Diablo III, including loot 2.0, and I can assure you that you guys will get more detailed information about these things we are working on as development continues.

I know we have been saying this a lot lately, but the changes we are working on will greatly impact many areas of the game, including core gameplay elements, and we have to work meticulously and carefully to get things right because we want to be absolutely sure that they live up to your expectations 🙂

Do you have an ETA (ballpark figure is fine)? 3 months, 6 months, a year…
Vaneras: I do not I’m afraid. Providing ETAs has always been quite difficult for us due to our iterative development process… this is also one of the reason why we say DiabloWikiSoon™ so often.

ETA of the blog then? 🙂
Vaneras: That will not be possible I think because I am not yet entirely sure that we will be ready to share detailed information on all the things that is being worked on at the same time. Some information will most likely be available sooner than other information, so I can imagine that there will be more than just one blog. Also, the developers would like to do more Q&A sessions and talks about the game on various Diablo community sites in a similar manner to what we recently saw in Archon the Wizard’s stream.

All I can say for now is to keep an eye on our blog pages on a regular basis 🙂

I changed the title and added an underline for emphasis to part of the Blue quote that several people in comments noted as the most interesting. I won’t rehash my whole argument/prediction from the big Blizzard visit article, but this Blue comment is in perfect agreement with it. Major game systems are being reworked for the expansion and even if they had the man hours to produce a patch now, it would be kind of pointless to tinker with the current system, since so many things will be entirely different in the semi-near future.

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29 thoughts on “Diablo 3’s Future: “Core Gameplay Elements” Under Construction

  1. At least they feel the pressure to get this one right. I don’t think they want to redo items over and over and over again. Of course I want Loot 2.0 now, but honestly if the wait is worth what they’re saying it is, then I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • The one line that is important to note from the blue what they are working on is, “but the changes we are working on will greatly impact many areas of the game, including core gameplay elements,” This is really good news assuming this doesn’t mean just making the legendaries effect skills hopefuly this also means that they’re going back and creating character customization where we control our attribute points assuming they make all atrribute points useful for all classes in some way so that wizards aren’t dumping into int where something like str or dex would be HIGHLY useful for wizards too such as dex adding more crit or str adding more CD. Of course those are just my suspicions whatever else they’re cooking I hope its true to RPG elements and re invents the core of D3’s systems.

      • Good point, and I take that as code for, “it’s all integrated into D3X.” Which is why we’re not going to see any of it until after Blizzcon, at the soonest.

        At least that’s what I argued/predicted in the Visit Article, based on a lot of remarks like the one above.

      • I still don’t think bringing back attributes is any good. Rather, I think they should focus on making non-primary stats give significant gameplay changes so that they’re worth stacking for certain play-styles.

    • True.

      Just imagine if they had until November to fix the game and still ultimately fail? That would be the end of whatever reputation remains on them. So while I am bummed that it will take that long to see some changes, at the very least it is assuring that it will be a good one.

  2. First they promise content, but when they can’t deliver the content they promise to TALK about the content instead.

    And when pressed into naming a date for the talk they throw up excuses and lock the thread.

    Activision Blizzard, boys and girls!

  3. sounds all dandy and fine but talk is cheap and they strained words like: change, greatly impact and itemization quite a lot in the past; and we’ve all seen the progress – so wont get my hopes up

    after all we still don’t even have some kind of remotely structured pvp – and that feature was advertised on the box …

  4. Hey Dev’s! Want to fix Diablo 3? Heres an idea… Play DIABLO II please! Best game ever made and you foolishly strayed away from all the things that made it so successful. Diablo fans are not WoW fans, better get this straight or prepare to get blacklisted. I already boycotted Diablo 3 until you fix your game and show me you like Diablo fans again.

    What needs to come back
    -Single Player *OFFLINE MODE* (Nothing we do here goes to our profiles, fair? Mean, this prevents people from cheating on your servers. What they do on their own time doesnt hurt anyone!)
    -Shrines (Monster and Gem Shrines)
    -Larger maps (Pretty self explanatory)
    -Ability to go Hostile (PvP for D2 was the best because you never knew who was good or bad)
    -Better Loot (No brainer!)
    -Merchants pay gold again! (Loot so bad they wont buy my stuff.. come on!)
    -Skill Tree/Stats (We have brains! Not only that, but it creates build diversity!)
    -Boss’s drop loot (WTF happened? Please smack the guy who said to remove loot drops from boss’s and prevent players from farming them)
    -Evil (Bring it back! I hate this PG BS version D3 is now. Diablo games are not WOW Games!)
    -Runes/Jewels/More Socketed Items (We used our brains to figure out recipes.. D2 you had to think for 2mins.. D3 is for idiots)

    Come on Dev’s! Stop using WoW games as reference to fix Diablo 3. Go back to DIablo 1 and Diablo 2 and do your freaking homework PLEASE!


    • I agree with all of those. We definitely need BIGGER maps or a system that randomizes the lay out in a way that makes them seem completely different every run through. Ability to go hostile would be a welcome change as well, it was fun you never knew when someone would back stab you so it always kept you a little on edge and wary, this is good gameplay. OF course better loot. They probably won’t put skill trees back in but I’d welcome skill trees back otherwise I’d be content even with just having skill points to assign to the skills from getting paragon levels for example. Yes, bosses should drop loot again, I want to kill diablo for loot not kill him once for story mode. We need runewords back, we need more socketable items to put in our armor that do cool/unique things. Playing Diablo2 will help.

  5. “the changes we are working on will greatly impact many areas of the game, including core gameplay elements”

    sounds very promising and exciting

    but I wonder what they mean by “core gameplay elements”?

    although I think ladders will definitely be added in the expansion, I don’t see how they would really affect core gameplay

    rune skills (like they had originally intended) instead of “all skills available” would be a huge change and would definitely affect core gameplay, but I see no way they could go back to rune skills at this point (but would be very happy if they did)

    synergies ?
    I liked ’em (I know most people didn’t), and they would hugely affect core gameplay, but it seems like it would require too much of a reworking of the current skill system

    skill damage not being based on weapon DPS ?
    I think that’s going to be in there somehow
    and if they can do that then maybe they can go the extra step and do synergies and rune skills

    traveling between all waypoints possible ?
    definitely open, and maybe considered a core gameplay issue

    I wonder if all the changes they make in the expansion have to work in the console version too ?
    I’m sure that’s a limiting factor

    well, I’m excited for the expansion

    • “although I think ladders will definitely be added in the expansion”

      Yeah, I mean even the 2008 demo had ladders, so it’s time… 🙂

      Seriously though, what would they track? Monster kills (not the UT kind)? That would be a great way to look for bots, but it wouldn’t make the game any more exciting. I think we’ll need interesting PvP modes first for ladders to be meaningful. Maybe we’ll get that with the expansion though. PvP is what I’m looking forward to the most.

      “rune skills (like they had originally intended) instead of “all skills available” would be a huge change and would definitely affect core gameplay”

      Would they? How much do you switch your skills around, even now that it’s free? I rarely do.

      The only thing Runes as drops would have achieved had they been in the game from launch is slow down the discovery of optimal builds somewhat. In the end, they’re only a minor gold/item sink, depending on how their swapping is implemented.

      “synergies ?
      I liked ‘em (I know most people didn’t), and they would hugely affect core gameplay, but it seems like it would require too much of a reworking of the current skill system”

      I like them as well, but not the way D2 implemented them. I like synergies when they are less explicit and include many game systems, like the synergy between Grave Injustice, Gruesome Feast and the pickup radius stat for the WD, which also includes itemization and potentially changes your priorities in a fight.

      Also, D2 had the problem that often you took synergy skills that completely sucked (even with synergies) only to boost the one skill that was actually good. This system can easily demote skills to simple stat increases. If they implement this system, then first they should balance the skills much better. I don’t want to take the Pile On rune of Wall of Zombies just because it would boost the damage of my Zombie Bears by 50%.

      “skill damage not being based on weapon DPS ?
      I think that’s going to be in there somehow
      and if they can do that then maybe they can go the extra step and do synergies and rune skills”

      I don’t think this is gonna happen, not the least because as you’ve said, it would affect many game systems. The itemization needs improvements, but skill damage based on weapon DPS is the least of our problems. We need more interesting affixes and more exciting Legendaries, with potentially even further increased drop chances.

      I don’t know about you, but I played D2 for so long, because I liked hunting for Uniques and Sets and one problem with D3 is that Brimstone quality Legendaries are almost as rare as the slightly useful Uniques and Sets were in D2. Godly Legendaries are basically Zod runes for 99% of the player base. If you don’t play 18 hours a day, you probably won’t find one. I know the devs said it many times, that the AH wasn’t considered when they balanced the drop chances, but I have a really hard time believing that. D3 feels too much like a real lottery.

      Of course, another problem is that Legendaries have simply no character. Even though Goblin Toe was a low level and really s***ty item in D2, it was still highly desirable for some classes and builds, because it had Crushing Blow. D3 desperately needs items like this. When I find a Legendary I want to KNOW that for a specific character build it will be better than 90% of Rares because of a unique stat, even if otherwise it’s Brimstone material.

      “traveling between all waypoints possible ?
      definitely open, and maybe considered a core gameplay issue”

      This will definitely happen, probably combined with automatic cutscene skipping. The most elegant way I can think of to implement this would be a separate game mode, where you would be free to travel to anywhere you want and there would be no cutscenes whatsoever. At level 60 this should become the default game mode for everyone, but we should be able to switch back to story mode with an easy to access option, in case we want to stay a while and listen.

  6. I am surprised that Blizzard continues to work without deadlines, I don’t know how they do it. In any other work setting, having no deadlines is a recipe for complacency. They’re successful obviously, but there’s always room for improvement.

    • Blizzard has deadlines, though they’re more like internal goals, and they very seldom share them with the general public. And obviously they don’t always (often?) hit them, but their logic has always been, “when it’s done.”

      Fans always forgave them in the past (D2 was almost 2 years late), especially when the alternative is regularly displayed when other companies “make” deadlines by releasing crappy, buggy products. The only difference between D3 and other Bliz games is the public reaction, based on the (lower, IMHO) quality of the game.

      I argued in the visit article that they’ve got quite a deadline right now, and it’s Blizzcon 2013, at which they hope to debut D3X. Which is why we’re not getting stopgap patches now, since all hands are working on the bigger expansion project.

      • That is the thing, people forget how bad D2 was prior to 1.10. 1.09 was decent, but half the skills and classes were totally useless or had one skill set that was decent, rest was garbage.

        Give this game about another year and it’ll be fantastic hopefully. I think an alternate advancement tree would be good for skill synergy type of gameplay. It would not deviate from the current skill system, but allow a mixture of 40-50 points that could be in a tree system to allow diversity.

        • D2 prior to 1.10 was NOT bad. That’s just silly.

          For one thing, battle.net chat was completed on release, with chatroom channels, cusomt channels, etc. All of that is WORLDS better than D3’s system.

          For another thing, Baal runs are the most “boring” endgame that has ever existed in D2. Chaos Sanctuary runs as endgame were more interesting. Cow runs were more interesting. Both of those were more in the spirit of D2s “macro” gameplay where you kill a ton of monsters on screen at once.

          They should’ve stuck with cow runs imo. I don’t care if it doesn’t exactly fit the lore, or “was not intended to be endgame”. It was cool and extremely fun. Blizz gets caught up into balancing things or making sure things are used as intended and loses sight of having fun, and switching from cow runs to Baal runs is a prime example of that.

    • I am actually glad they work that way. Nothing good comes from deadlines, when suits push you to finish stuff just cause they promised so to the whiney shareholders. Quality suffers immensely.

      I always thought Blizzard releases hit after hit (Despite what others will say) and part of this is due to them not being stuck with a deadline.

      Of course, there’s the other end of the spectrum, too (duke nukem forever) but in Blizzard’s case it seems to be a good thing.

  7. I hope this means more than items. I hope it means skill tree, skill points and attribute points. And preferably a redesign of the rune system. And throw in a randomization of out door maps as well, plus much more. There’s plenty of feedback, and there’s the previous Diablo games to look at… Come on Blizzard, do it.

  8. Flux and everyone else,

    Let me get this straight.. So, Diablo III sucked and still hasn’t been fixed over a year later. No PVP. No REAL loot fixes. No new maps. Nothing but empty words, empty promises and a failed director that has been replaced.

    So.. we wait til Blizzcon 2013, to HOPEFULLY see an Expansion pack that we drop another $40 for that will HOPEFULLY fix the issues of the original game? I R CONFUSED.

    • Yeah, but at least they finally seem to be on the right track. “We are working on core mechanics” sounds much better then “We reworked Legendaries so now some have a cool sparkly effect” or “We reworked skill balance by taking the skills that sucked and doubled the damages” or “We agree the AH sucks, so here, have these BiS BoA items”.

  9. “Providing ETAs has always been quite difficult for us due to our iterative development process… this is also one of the reason why we say Soon™ so often.”

    Oh how I wished my company could say this…

  10. Do you any of you play MoP ? I’ve been wondering about playing retail WoW for a while now (mainly because of the F2P up to L20).

  11. Srsly… Noone care anymore.. Too late…
    I won’t buy the Expansion for sure.I won’t let these guys to scam me again with 50++ Euro no way… I’ll pirate it to test them new toons…

    I can’t forgive you Greedyvision sry. After years of waiting, delaying because of the PvP … the final result is … Insulting? Brawling ? WTF ?!?
    Are you serious ? What we should do in this game ? Endless farming of Act 3 ?
    The bots already do that… no tnx.

  12. I have to go back to what I have said a few times before.

    Diablo 3 is in beta.

    You paid full price for a beta. We’re in beta mode until the next content patch. That will just be the the next beta iteration. D3X will be another beta. Even D3X2 will be a beta. They won’t complete this game until WELL after the second xpac, maybe 5-7 years from now.

    They are going to do massive revamps of items and skills, probably filewipe your progress two or three times along the way, and try to make you like it.

    Modern gaming companies have conditioned people to purchase betas at full price, and then plan out the completion of the game over not one but TWO xpacs, and expect you to pay full price THREE times before they actually release the game.

    Wait until 2018. Until then, go play d2. That game is complete.

    • By your definition D2 was in beta until 1.10 came along and you seem to equate a complete game to one that doesn’t have support any more. Also, balancing and adding new content during a game lifetime isn’t a new invention, it’s been happening for more than a decade. You either have double standards for D3 or didn’t pay attention to how things have worked in the game industry for a long time now.

      • I’ve said repeatedly that D2 was in beta until the final patch came out….

        What the hell does “you seem to equate a complete game to one that doesn’t have any support anymore” mean? How are you conditioned to think like that? When I would go to the store and bought Super Mario Kart for the SNES, it was a FINISHED game. It didn’t need “support”. It was done. Complete. A full game. And we played it for hours and hours and hours.

        And you act like there is something WRONG with this idea, that I would be happier with a half-baked game that I pay full price for and then have to pay full price two more times and its still not complete and then maybe, 5-7 years later, they finish it…

        This is why I say you’ve been somehow conditioned or brainwashed to think buying an incomplete game, buying what is a beta, is a good thing…

        • You’re comparing a game that was made by a couple of people at most under a few months to one that was made by a team of hundreds over years. It’s like comparing NASA’s space program to making paper planes at home. The game industry, like everything else, has became much more complex over the last 20 years. That complexity means that it’s increasingly hard to do a perfect product lunch.

          Although I find it unlikely that this tendency will change in the short term, the only thing you can do to combat it is not buying games until they’re patched or get all their DLC content released. I do this as well by the way and very often. In the case of D3, overall I’m happy with my day one purchase, because even though it desperately needs improvement, I still played it 250+ hours, much more than anything else lately and mostly I had fun doing it.

          What will definitely not help your case however is coming to fan forums and baselessly accusing people of being brainwashed idiots, who can’t think for themselves and telling them what to do. If you honestly worry about the quality of today’s games, then you should work on your reasoning, because this way you won’t win over many people to your cause.

          • Heh, product lunch. I meant to say launch of course. 🙂

            Another thing: don’t think for a moment, that hardcore Diablo fans who were disappointed by the game won’t remember what they got from Blizzard with their day one purchase. I’d bet that many people won’t make the same “mistake” when the expansion will be released. Even though I’m mostly happy with how the game turn out and positive about the coming updates, I plan to wait a few weeks or even months before I decide if I want to buy the expansion or not.

          • Nintendo is a vastly superior game company to Blizzard. Nintendo releases HIGH quality games, games that are completed upon release, and they don’t miss deadlines by years. Ocarina of Time is a great example. So is Super Mario 64.

            Take the rose tinted glasses off when dealing with Blizzard. Yes, they release quality games. But they are a flawed company in that their development time is ridiculously long. They are quite a few notches below Nintendo. If Blizzard was tasked with building a Zelda game, it would probably take them 10 years.

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