Diablo 3 Developer Q&A Full Transcript

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The promised Diablo 3 Developer Q&A on Reddit is set to kick off in just minutes, with a bunch of devs ready to type answers to player questions.

John Yang, Travis Day, Wyatt Cheng, and Matthew Berger, software engineer Roger Hughston, artist Richie Marella, and writer Brian Kindregan, on Tuesday, September 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. PDT.

Update: The start time has been pushed back to 3pm, and the chat is now scheduled to run for just one hour.

reddit-503-errorUpdate #2: Lots of Blue replies once things got going, but Reddit is crashing under the user load.

  • The active Q&A thread is here.
  • We’ll keep an eye on the /r forum-thing as it runs, and stick anything new and/or interesting into this post, with a full transcript to come once the dust has settled. If you’ve got a Reddit account you can ask questions, or if not stick them in comments and we can forward them along.

    Update #3: The chat has completed and the entire transcript is below, sorted by topic. It was a very long and fruitful event, with replies about most hot issues and some new info. All of the now-underperforming item sets are getting buffed in Patch 2.4, the Demon Hunter is getting a viable melee range build (sword+quiver!), lots of older 4 piece sets are getting buffed next patch, and much more.

    There were also lengthy theory replies about UI buffs not all showing, the disadvantages of solo play, economic issues of Gifts and Death’s Breaths, lots of replies about issues with set and build balancing, and much more. The entire transcript runs over 6500 words, so click through and dig in.

    Here are all the questions and Blue answers from the chat. We’ve sorted them by topic, for easier reference. Categories:

  • General and UI
  • Items, Crafting, and Kanai’s Cube
  • Bounties and Rifts
  • Story, Art, and D3X2 Expansion
  • General and UI

    As you guys are probably aware, there are several 3rd party overlays for Diablo. What is your stance on these applications? Would you ever consider building some of their features in game? (range display, affix display, DPS meters).
    Nevalistis: Blizzard monitors third party application use and players should be familiar with the terms of service. Diablo III does not support modding and it is not permitted.
    Why haven’t we seen any action taken on those using it then?
    Nevalistis: We don’t share the results of actions taken on other accounts, in large part to protect account privacy. This has always been our policy and it will continue to be.

    why arent you able to see all your buffs ?
    KevinMartens: So Wyatt just answered re: how we categorize buffs and some possible work on how we display them. I think it is interesting to note, from a behind the scenes development POV, that sometimes issues like this rise in priority as unintended consequences for otherwise highly desire features. In this case, the too many buffs to display issue has been a little more class or situation specific (monk auras, anyone?) but now that Kanai’s Cube is out, people can almost at will choose a wider variety of items with buffs on them which meant addressing the display problem rose higher on the priority list vs. new feature development.

    Diablo development works very much in concert with player feedback, as we have said before, but the priorities are often heavily influenced by our piling on of ever-more legendary powers and all of the ripples of work that come from that. Hope this is interesting for you to know!

    Certain builds require keeping an eye on your buffs to maximize your damage (for example Tal’Rasha, Taeguk, Convention of Elements). However, when playing in a party, these buffs can disappear once you get more than 8 buffs. Is it possible to allow players to choose which buffs they always want to see, so these buffs are easier to track?
    WyattCheng: The inability to see important buffs that affect your moment-to-moment gameplay is something we want to address.

    We have been avoiding simply adding more buffs because having a large number of buffs on the screen is not only visually unappealing, but it can be just as frustrating to locate the buff that you care about in a sea of buffs.

    I view buffs broadly in 3 categories:

    Category 1: “Always On” buffs. Really obvious ones are the Multiplayer buff, or when there is a Community event in place. These buffs are great to know, but they take up one of your precious buff slots. Monk Mantras are a slightly less “always” version of this. If I’m in a party with a monk wearing Inna’s, suddenly all players in the party have half of their buff slots tied up.

    Category 2: “Reassuring buffs”. These are buffs that you want to know they are on you, but they don’t affect your moment to moment gameplay. A good example of this would be Storm armor on the Wizard, or Frenzy stacks on a Barbarian. Many times you want to know the skill is working correctly, but you aren’t checking on the buff in the heat of combat

    Category 3: “Moment-to-moment buffs”. These are the buffs that actually affect you moment-to-moment and are usually the source of complaints. Focus and Restraint are a great example here.

    Overall our goal is to find alternate ways to communicate Category 1 and Category 2 buffs so that Category 3 buffs can take center stage on the buff bar.

    We don’t have anything to share at this time, but I assure you that with the introduction of all the extra powers players have from Kanai’s Cube, combined with new legendary items that make you powerful but require some degree of buff tracking (vyr’s / chantodo’s comes to mind) the desire to address this is greater than ever.

    Is it possible to add in the tooltip, or add any sort of indicator, to show that a legendary item has its power already extracted in the cube?
    KevinMartens: Thanks, jiminee, that would be useful and we will look at it.

    Will you ever fix the lag issue in higher GR with several classes/specs? Really ruins the fun in the game.
    Rogerhughston: Parroting what I said in a previous post, please keep letting us know combinations of skills and items that consistently cause the lag. Given the huge number of new legendaries, gems, cube passives, etc players are finding either the computationally expensive skills, or feedback loops between the skills/items/passives that can lead to spikes of computation that sometimes cause the lag. This is something we are always keeping an eye on; we want everyone to able to go crazy in high level Grifts without experiencing any lag.

    Have you, or are you considering a “Stat Squish” at some point? It would make the numbers a lot more manageable for players, and I’m certain smaller numbers wouldn’t hurt server performance.
    KevinMartens: We aren’t currently planning a stat squish or a change to damage numbers display though both have been discussed. This is something that we monitor.

    Rogerhughston: It is also worth saying that most of our damage and health calculations on the server are done in floating point numbers. Computationally the expense between large and small floats is the same, and most of the expense on the server is usually the raw quantity of the calculations we are trying to do rather than values stored in the floats themselves.

    Right now the gap in efficiency between solo play and group play is quite large, does your team have any plans to not necessary completely close the gap but at least narrow it somewhat?
    WyattCheng: I realize this is a hot topic right now in the community and I know a lot of people are eager to understand how we determine the right rewards for single player versus multiplayer game modes. I’d like to go in depth on this question especially.

    For us it is an issue than the efficiency of groups who are stacking XP% don’t get to wear their awesome, face-melting gear. The game should be about slaughtering monsters to get rewarded with epic loot. It’s a lot less fun when you don’t get to do the slaughtering.

    Exacerbating the situation isn’t experience farming itself, it’s how different the activity is from other activities in the game. I was listening to State of Sanctuary and one of the hosts actually mentioned this – in 2.1 XP farming wasn’t considered as big a deal, not only because the rate of XP gain wasn’t as large, but more importantly, XP was a natural by-product of trying to get legendary items, blood shards, or generally melting faces. Today, the activity that maximizes your experience per hour is no longer the same as the one that maximizes blood shards and legendaries with a powerful build. Because the activities aren’t the same, it forces players to choose between playing the core game as it was designed and wearing XP% gear in a specifically calibrated environment. We agree that these activities need to be re-aligned again, and that’s what we’re re-examining.

    Some people have asked if our intent in changing experience sharing in Patch 2.3.0 was to better balance multiplayer rewards. Functionally speaking though, there isn’t a difference before and after the patch. Players can still wear the exact same amount of bonus XP gear and perform about as well in Greater Rifts. The difference is that before only 2 people would be getting all the benefit. How the rewards are split is a separate topic from whether XP gear provides too much benefit.

    Let’s talk philosophy. We want people to play together. I think everybody understands that groups should be better than solo, but there’s debate about how much that difference should be. If I’m playing by myself and then a friend joins me, I should be a little bit better off, right?

    The issue is that this is only true when you and your friend are exactly the same power level. Realistically, in Diablo III, the power level of players varies widely. You may be in full Ancient gear with your 6-piece set bonuses and all the appropriate complementary legendaries while your friend only has their 4-piece bonus and a non-ancient weapon. Is it okay for your friend to join your game and your experience to be worse?

    We took a long look at the way the game has evolved over the last three years and made a judgment call: as much as possible, we want a friend joining your game to make your experience better, not worse. People shouldn’t feel they need to inspect you when you join a public game and your friend that stopped playing for two months shouldn’t feel like a burden for wanting to play with you. Generally, you should prefer to have company in your game than not.

    Then there’s the suggestion that we should remove the 30% bonus to experience gain in multiplayer. It comes from a well-intentioned place. However, once you examine all the sources of advantages in multiplayer groups, that 30% experience bonus is the least significant. It’s easy to pay attention to because it’s the most visible of the multiplayer bonuses, so it’s also perceived as the most advantageous.

    Here are the main advantages to playing multiplayer and farming experience:

  • Adding an extra person increases potential damage up to 100% or more, but monster health only increases by 50%. Similarly, in a 4-player game, monster health doesn’t scale to four times the amount in solo; it only goes up 2.5 times the amount. This is clearly a greater benefit than 30% experience.
  • Another source of advantage for groups is skill synergy. When groups are synergizing their group buffs and enemy debuffs to their maximum, the advantage provided blows the 30% experience bonus out of the water.
  • Finally, another source of advantage for farming XP is being able to have some people in XP% gear. As noted previously, the problem here isn’t that the XP% is averaged, it’s that the XP% gear has such a positive effect at all. The fact that it’s averaged now just means everybody benefits, which is better than only the people wearing the gear benefitting (despite everybody contributing). It also removes the social awkwardness of arguing over who gets to wear the XP gear.
  • If you feel that XP% gear shouldn’t be this good in the first place (regardless of whether you’re in a group), then that’s fair. My long explanation is to explain why we are happy with the 30% bonus in groups, but we are examining the other 3 major contributors to see what we can do there to shrink the gap between solo and group play while still keeping group play better – even when your undergeared friend joins.

    Why did you make solo play so unattractive?

    Sure, playing in a group should give some advantages but atm it’s just absurd… Mobs don’t scale linearly(I think only to 2.5 times their solo hp when with 4 people?) and with the recent changes to xp you can take one or two people wearing xp gear and you will still kill as fast or faster than a soloplayer while everyone gets way more xp…

    I really feel punished for liking to play D3 solo instead of in groups if I see others gaining paragon lvls three or more times faster than I do with the same effort
    Nevalistis: Wyatt has a much more in depth answer here, but I’ll try to trim it down to a TLDR:

  • We’re less concerned with the efficiency of this activity and more concerned that people don’t get to wear their cool gear
  • Experience farming doesn’t align with other activities you want to do (blood shard farming, finding legendaries), and we want to realign those experiences
  • You should never feel punished for playing with a friend who has worse gear than you
  • That said, group play should always be a little bit better, but it’s definitely still a question of how much better
  • This is definitely a super generalized version of what Wyatt said, so I recommend you read his full reply for the details!

    Above & Beyond are my favorite DJs, and the Diablo franchise are my favorite games. Who is responsible for all the A&B references in D3? We should be best friends.
    JohnYang: Don Vu (another designer on the team) is one of the biggest EDM-lovers I know and is responsible for most of the EDM references, including all of the Seasonal Conquest achievements that are named after songs.

    I heard about Bandit Shrines that spawned goblins on the PTR. Did those get taken out before the patch went live?
    Tyvalir: While these mysterious shrines are nowhere to be seen in the patch notes, we have heard of players who have sighted them in the live game…

    Hello, are there any plans on adding controller support into the PC version of Diablo like there is in the console versions? Thank you all for making such a wonderful game!
    MatthewBerger: Hi and thanks for the question. You’re not the first to ask this question and I would love to do so however we made very specific changes to the game to make the controller work on console.

    Not only did we add an evade move but we also changed how some of the skills function and how the camera behaves. Adding controller support for PC would require bringing those changes as well which is not feasible. So no sadly we won’t be bringing controller support for PC.

    Items, Crafting, and Kanai’s Cube

    Diablo III has been quite the ride. Since its release, we’ve had a new act, a new class, a new play mode, new character skills, new sets, changes to old sets, new bounties, new rifts, a new rift type, new gems, seasons, new difficulties… everything has changed, except for one thing: the ONLY option for a weapon socket is an emerald. Will this ever change?
    JohnYang: I am hugely in favor of this. In general I love balance in all things because that means more than one choice is good.

    For the case of gems in weapons, buffing Amethyst is a great idea, because the benefit it provides (+Life on Hit) is a completely different choice from the current leading gem – Emerald = Critical Hit Damage. Buffing Diamonds (+Elite damage) and Rubies (+Flat damage) is slightly less interesting because it will probably come down to one mathematically correct answer depending on the weapon and build. Lastly, our goal is to have Topaz be the gem to use for the Invoker’s set.

    Any plans on Thorns?
    The latest scaling buff was nice, but it’s still lacking faaar behind any other sets. Now that the Invoker Set only drops for Crusader, I expect there to be more changes to Thorns in the future.

    TravisDay: Thorns is something we have iterated on in the past and continue to evaluate. Patch 2.3 increased the damage bonus given from primary stats to its full value which makes it slightly better. Our current plan is to fully embrace the thorns theme of the Invoker set and we are working on a revamp for the set in 2.4.

    Now that each class has a couple of decent sets, can we get a small balance pass on them to even them out? I love the playstyle of full 6pc Delsere and Marauders, but I feel like I’m gimping my friends by using them and it’s frustrating.
    TravisDay: Set and legendary item tuning continues to be an ongoing effort. Each patch we help bring more playstyles closer in line with each other and this will continue to be our goal moving forward.

    The only Kanai cube missing is “Upgrade Legendary to Ancient”. Are there any plans to add that? Obviously it should be a substantial cost – like 5xRamadaladongs + 50 Forgotten Souls, etc. Either that or any thoughts about having an Auction House return for non-season only?
    TravisDay: There is no plan to add an “Upgrade to ancient” recipe. Ancient items were added to provide players long term goals to pursue while allowing the drop rates to be generous enough for the average seasonal player to have a great experience.

    when i reroll a legendary item,can it roll ancient ? if i use a gift of rama then reroll it , will the socket of the gift be lost ? thx
    TravisDay: When you use the reforge recipe the result can be ancient. It’s important to note that the chance to be ancient is unaffected by whether or not you put an ancient in. Effectively you are destroying and creating a completely new version of the item which means it will always have the same % chance to come out as ancient regardless of what went in, this also means that if you used a gift on the item that will not be on the new item.

    Any chance that the reforge legendary recipe “Law of Kulle” gets re-costed? As it stands, it’s kind of ridiculously priced. Even if it is powerful.
    TravisDay: Different recipes are intended for different audiences, this recipe in particular is intended for the most avid players. It’s primary purpose is to provide players who are only looking for incredibly rare ancient upgrades a very expensive way to do that. It’s very expensive but it is effectively generating a brand new item of the legendary of your choice with the standard chance to be ancient.

    Any chance for a “close-quarters” DH build? They have plenty of knife based skills.
    KevinMartens: That would be awesome! Geez, John Yang, why don’t you do something about that?

    JohnYang: Done! The Shadow’s Mantle set is the redesign that I’m the most excited about for 2.4 so far. The idea of a melee-weapon oriented build that doesn’t involve bows/xbows has always been in the back of my mind. Here’s what it currently looks like:

  • 2pc While equipped with a melee weapon, all damage is increased by 1000%.
  • 4pc Shadow Power gains all runes and lasts forever.
  • 6pc Impale deals 30000% weapon damage to the first enemy it hits.
  • The idea is that the set is extremely strong on single-target damage, but weak on AoE. To help with that, a new dagger will have the power “Every second, the damage of your next Fan of Knives is increased by 250-300%.” To help with movement, a pair of bracers has the power “After using Impale, Vault costs no resource for 2 seconds.” That item will allow you to Vault into position to Impale the high-value targets.

    Additionally, we’re also allowing Demon Hunters to use melee weapons with quivers because the fantasy of this quick-moving assassin build is about speed, not walking around with a shield 😉

    Right now, the monks, and witch doctors are mostly sought after for groups since they have the capability to tank. As a person that mains DH, I’m a bit jealous that these classes have the capability to switch between having a DPS build, and a tank build. Is there any chance to relook at the tanking mechanic in a such a way that it would be feasible to have a tank build for all classes?
    JohnYang: We don’t aim to necessarily have a tanking build for all classes and have no plans to redo the tanking mechanic, but we definitely want all classes to be viable and desired in groups. An example is the addition of Threatening Shout – Falter and the change to Pride of Cassius to work for group members in 2.3.

    Demon Hunters may be on the low side of group utility right now. In 2.2, that was okay because Slowball pumped out more damage than any other class, but with the removal of perma-CC that changed. I’ll keep an eye on Demon Hunter group utility and see if any changes are needed and can be made for the future.

    Currently there are a few classes that can mix sets getting 6 pieces of 1 and 4 pieces of another, is this something you want to see more of or is it something that you’d rather not happen more often?
    JohnYang: We gave the 5 legacy class sets a 7th piece because they all included a weapon, which is a very powerful item slot as far as legendary powers go.

    We didn’t feel that adding a 7th piece was needed for the other 6pc sets.

    Is the Hope of Cain recipe about as powerful as you guys intended? Did you mean to put it in in order to make Torment 10 rift farming competitive with Greater Rift farming?
    TravisDay: The goal of Hope of Cain was both to give players more control over what items they were pursuing and also to ensure that Deaths Breath would always be a desirable material. It’s doing both of these things quite well and we are very happy with it.

    Are there any plans on changes/additions to the Weight of the Earth set?
    KevinMartens: Yes and John Yang posted a longer answer on a similar set question to list out all of the set being worked on. Thanks!

    Is anything being done about the Arachyr 4pc bonus? All feedback and complaints on PTR were seemingly ignored.
    JohnYang: I’ve heard all of this feedback and I completely agree. I also dislike the fact that the Toad of Hugeness swallows monsters completely, making them unable to take damage for a short period of time. I want to change this in the next patch to be a simple Stun in the future, but I wanted to couple this change with some animation adjustments to the Toad to match. At the time this feedback came in during 2.3 PTR, it was a little too late to make the art changes in time for that patch.

    Kanai’s Cube has introduced a fascinating branch of gameplay: legendary affix “combos”. Specifically, the interaction between Madstone, Uliana’s 6 piece bonus, and Gungdo Gear sets the mind ablaze with possibility. It reads and plays beautifully, and was a major incentive for me to dig through the game’s item trove to find additional “combo” pieces. Is this a favored design facet and will we see additional legendary powers that interact so well together?
    TravisDay: The cube has certainly opened up more build possibilities than before which is really exciting. Our goal is to continue introducing items that will expand on or enable builds.

    Are there any hidden recipes with the Cube that have yet to be discovered?
    KevinMartens: No comment. (This is technically a comment but does it mean anything about recipes? Does it???)

    What are the updates going on with Area Damage? Last patch it was said from developers it may/may not get a full rework. Currently it does not function 100% as the tooltip states. It is specifically disregarding certain damage bonuses which nerfs some classes more then others. The PTR fixed a few of these issues but then broke them again in the last week of the PTR. What was going on internally that last week that reverted these fixes?
    JohnYang: The functional issues with Area Damage are composed of several different, but related issues.

    In patch 2.3, we fixed most of the issues, e.g. Area Damage working with Wrath of the Berserker – Insanity and similar skills and items. However, a few issues remain which I believe include Area Damage’s interaction with Delsere’s and Bracers of the First Men. These remaining issues were deemed too risky from a code standpoint to hotfix because the code touches the order that damage bonuses are calculated and applied, and it was causing other bugs with elemental damage bonuses and damage amplify debuffs. We plan to fix all remaining issues in the next major content patch when we have PTR time.

    Sorry that it’s taking so long. We appreciate your patience.

    My question would be the next: With so many newer and stronger class sets, some of the old class sets (e.g. Firebird’s Finery, Jade Harvester) became extremely weak. Are there any plans to rework these sets in the near future? (possible 2.4?) I really like Firebird Wizard, but it is just so underwhelming right now.
    JohnYang: Yes, 100%, absolutely. Internally, we have already updated, revamped, or redesigned completely many of the 6pc sets that are currently not seeing use. The ones that are already done include Shadow’s Mantle, Might of the Earth, Jade Harvester, Firebird’s, Akkhan’s, Invoker’s, and Marauder’s. Sunwuko and Inna’s is being worked on. The goal is to bring all of these sets up to the power level of the current top 2.3 sets/builds.

    You all will see these updates in the near future in patch 2.4.

    Patch 2.3 is a ton of fun, but any thoughts on making Uliana’s more group friendly?

    Exploding Palms of the same rune apparently do not stack among grouped monks. In a group of 2+ U6 Monks, both/all of them need to cube Madstone to share a rune. Otherwise, at least one monk has to change runes AND bracer elements to remain effective.

    Wouldn’t 2+ Delsere’s(4) wizards be able to stack the same Slow Time damage? Why does Uliana’s(6) effectiveness hinge on other players’ builds?
    MatthewBerger: What I want to know is why i’ve only had one piece drop for me so far.

    Favourite item?
    JohnYang: Convention of Elements. The item rewards you for changing your pacing and playstyle slightly to maximize the benefit you gain from the item and it feels really good when it pays off.

    Additionally (for those who don’t know), this item was designed by the crowd and attendees at BlizzCon 2014 via the Design a Legendary event so it’s nice that we have an item that’s designed with help from the players and is named after the convention.

    Rogerhughston: Rogar’s Huge Stone.

    Will there be more builds that work without 6pc sets in the future? I’m playing a shenlong monk at the moment and it’s glorious. I really think this is the direction you should take itemization in.
    WyattCheng: Right now a lot of priority has been making sure there are multiple 6-piece sets that are fun to play for every class. We’re making great progress on this front not to mention the supporting legendaries and Kanai’s cube allow for a fair amount of build variation and player creativity.

    That said, I am working on a little something something for those who don’t like six-piece sets for 2.4 😉

    No promises yet. Things VERY OFTEN get cut during development or internal testing.

    Why has the number of lower level class specific items (armour & 2-handed weapons) the blacksmith can forge been reduced so drastically?

    The only things that seem to have escaped the cull are the one handed weapons and off-hand items for ranged classes[DH/WD/Wiz].
    MatthewBerger: We thought that there was too much overlap and redundancy in the crafting choices and we wanted to make each choice more meaningful and be clearer to the player.

    We also wanted certain weapon and armor types to be only discoverable in the world.

    Will cubed legendaries from season 4 roll over to non-season once it’s over?
    RogerHughston: Yes.

    Hey guys! Thanks for this Q&A. This patch has been great, a real blast. Especially with the introduction of Kanai and Kanai’s Cube. It was incredible going through the Ruins in search of the cube, and coming upon a lore book that speaks of this legendary warrior. Then, I would get chills realizing that this was based on a real person, and their memory. My question is, what was the character creation process like with Kanai, and how were you effected during Kanai’s creation? Thanks again for an amazing patch!
    MatthewBerger: Thanks for the kind words.

    The most important thing was to make sure that we were paying homage to him. For example we didn’t want players to click on Kanai while he was sitting on the throne, that didn’t feel right to us.

    There is also a hidden event surrounding Kanai that is based on what month it is. That event really was a way for us to play one last time with him, to have him adventure with us again.

    As to how it affected people on the team; there are no words I can use that would properly convey how important this was to us. The hole this has left in our team is one that cannot be filled and shouldn’t be filled.

    Thank you for the kind question.


    Bounties and Rifts

    Since the release of bounties there have been many instances where a bounty will become bugged and unable to be completed. Could we perhaps get some sort of mechanism to talk to Tyrael and get a new bounty if one becomes ‘stuck’?
    MatthewBerger: We are in the process of disabling bounties that are broken to make sure they don’t roll. Once we’ve fixed them we’ll be reintroducing them back into the pool of available bounties.

    However we don’t have any plans to add a mechanism to reroll a stuck bounty. We wouldn’t want this to become a way to flip bounties and instead we want to make sure all bounties that can roll are functional.

    Are you aware of all the broken bounties through some sort of technical means? Or do you need community feedback on which ones are broken? I can list like 10 off the top of my head.
    MatthewBerger: We get both report internally as well as keep an eye on forums. Feel free to list them and we can compare them against our list.

    Story, Art, and D3X2 Expansion

    What is going down in the Skovos Isles? Lorath and Tyrael are always going on about it. Is this a hint at upcoming new content?
    BrianKindregan: Sanctuary is full of deadly surprises, so the New Horadrim that Tyrael is sending out to help humanity have high rates of fatality. Skovos seems to be a particularly rough place to get assigned.

    But many other parts of Sanctuary are equally dangerous, so Skovos is just the topic at hand between Lorath and Tryael.

    So how about those Skovos Isles, guys?
    BrianKindregan: Skovos is a dangerous place!

    The designers who worked on Greed’s realm did an absolutely amazing job. I think the feeling of moving up and down vertically adds some really cool vibes to the area. Is there any chance we’ll see more tile sets and zones like this in future content patches?
    RichieMarella: Greed’s Realm is one of my favorite zones to work on. The verticality came from wanting to show this vast treasure realm with mountains of gold and riches to really support the theme of the zone. It also worked out nicely for gameplay giving it a nice feel of going up and down. The art team loves giving alot of verticality to different parts of the game because it shows alot of what the theme of the area is all about. If the theme of any future zones we are working on calls for it then we would love to add it. Im happy you noticed it.

    What is your stand on the ‘feel’ or atmosphere of the game as opposed to older Diablo games? I hear a lot of critique saying that Diablo 3 feels more ‘epic’, Warcraft-ish than its gothic, dark predecessors. Do you agree? Is this how you meant the game to be?
    RichieMarella: With Reaper of Souls I think we definitely brought up the gothic atmosphere of the game. Adding epic expansive areas to the game like Battlefields of Eternity in addition to small cramped dark dungeons gives it a nice variety. We don’t want every area in the game to have the exact same tone.

    what has been your favorite model to work on in Diablo?
    RichieMarella: My favorite model to work on is the Unhallowed Essence set for the Demonhunter. I play a lot of this class and it was really fun and satisfying to complete the set I worked on.

    Economy and Misc

    Any plans for gold sink? I’m 20 hours into my S4 character with 600m+ gold.
    TravisDay: We want gold to be a more valuable resource to players and have some designs in the works to this end in our next patch.

    Wtb stash tabs, willing to spend billions.
    wyattcheng: So the tricky thing about a gold sink is that we don’t want to add a gold sink that causes people to feel like they need to drop everything to farm gold for hours on end. A good gold sink will pull gold from the economy without making you feel like you need to completely change what you’re doing and spend hours upon hours doing it.

    Stash space has become such a critical issue in the game that players are are using “hacks” like mule characters, putting legendary gems into unused sockets to free up space, etc. The silence of the dev team on this issue (or worse, the condescending “if we give you more you’ll just want even more”) is really frustrating. When are you planning to address this issue?
    Nevalistis: Stash space comes up a lot — it’s something we discuss regularly, and we definitely feel your pain. While we’d love to just provide everyone with more stash space, it’s not currently viable from a technical and infrastructure standpoint. We’re always looking for ways to help make it easier for players to manage their stash, and the problem only gets trickier with each new Season, so we hope to find the right solution in the future.

    Can we get a way to craft Ramalandi’s gift via cube? Even if its hyper expensive…
    TravisDay: This is a popular request but we have no plan to do anything of this sort. Ramaladni’s Gift is a very useful item and also completely unique in what it does, it’s great that players want them and I would prefer to have more things like the gift that are totally unique and exciting to find.

    What are your thoughts on the current situation with Death’s Breath? This one material is the sole limiting factor in progress, acquiring more has become the most important thing we do, and our primary goal in farming.
    TravisDay: We are mostly happy with the current state of Death’s Breath. The goal of any resource is that it is valuable, we added a lot of recipes to the cube that are meant to serve as sinks for different materials. Before the addition of the cube people largely considered them useless, after we added recipes to make them appealing people say they want more than they have, my response to this is usually “Awesome!”.

    Why did you reintroduce the crafting problems you removed from the game once with the act specific crafting materials?
    TravisDay: Targeted materials serve a great purpose in giving players more direct control over their ability to earn or attain something they want. The reason we removed them initially wasn’t because we didn’t like them, it was because the way in which they were implemented were causing players to do unfun things (like flipping a game repeatedly to kill 1 monster). We are very happy with the new version of those materials and contribute to giving players more diverse activities for distinct rewards. If you want to upgrade your gems run Grfits, if you want Deaths Breath normal rifts are a great source, if you want to extract powers via the cube run bounties.

    Love the patch, good work! Which one of you guys has the highest paragon so far?
    MatthewBerger: I think John plays in his sleep.

    Any chance we will be able to retire non hardcore characters and save them in something like the hall of fallen heroes? I hate deleting countless hours just to make a spot for a new seasonal character.
    Wyattcheng: I feel your pain. We have some ideas to alleviate some of the agony with deleting a character just to participate in a season. No promises.

    What’s the best player story you’ve heard? Also, thank you. My dad and I bonded over Diablo and it’s why I know English.
    Rogerhughston: I usually tell the older guys on this team this story to make them feel old; but my dad and I bonded over D1 as well when I was a kid. I still remember the day I was getting picked up from elementary school and was surprised to see my dad was picking me up instead of my mom. I got in the car and he said he took a half day and bought two copies of this Diablo game he’s been hearing great things about. My mom wasn’t amused, but we stayed up late that night and many nights to come playing the hell out of D1. Good memories =).

    How many energy drinks were harmed in the making of this patch?
    JohnYang: I drink 2 coffees, 1 red bull, and 2 diet cokes every single day. My pre-workout also has 135mg of caffeine.

    I have been told that I should consider cutting back.

    Do you guys plan on having this season go for four months as well? Or are you planning on re working the season lengths?
    KevinMartens: With the addition of Season Journey, we will closely monitor the length of play that is right for this season. Each time, we feel like we are getting more information to dial in the right length. Keep giving feedback! We are looking for it.

    If we could go back in time to the launch of Diablo 3 what would you guys have done differently than you actually did?
    KevinMartens: We would have a long public beta and I think a ton of issues would have been found before launch.

    Is there a murloc Level?

    My friend Tommy says that if you spin around every area and pick every shrine in certain order on torment X, you unlock Torment XXX where you can enter the murloc level. But that won’t happen unless you beat the game on seasonal hardcore with only starting items on torment X.
    KevinMartens: Tommy sounds great.

    Anything that caught your eye? Melee Demon Hunters using quiver with an axe? Almost every lame 6p set buffed for Patch 2.4? Coy replies to questions about Skovos?

    Looking at the whole thing it seemed a very worthwhile chat with a ton of material covered, albeit without ideal answers to every issue. (My least fave was their philosophy of why MP will continue to be vastly more exp than SP.)

    What did you guys take away? Any issues you still want more info about?


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    1. Ok I'm just gonna whore out my question here, but please upvote this guys – thank you 🙂 https://www.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/3j9p38/hey_rdiablo_were_here_for_a_quick_qa_about_patch/cung3ik

    2. 12 minutes in and there's one Blue, by the story guy with a Metcon of D1 stuff.

      Do they have to translate each reply into 8 languages and get PR approval for the global release, or what?

    3. Given the lore section, I hope we get to see more than an area in the expansion. Westmarch was awesome and so was the the ruins and Pandemonium, however after seeing the ruins of Sescheron in 2.3 my expectations have been significantly raised (either way, the expansion is going to kick ass). I wish we can see many areas of the game, even if they’re not totally huge.

      Here’s a quote of Ureh (Ureh was the central place of the novel Kingdom of Shadow starring Humbart Wessel, then of course Zayl the Necromamncer).

      “Ureh in Diablo III

      Ureh was thought to have a very high probability to be a playable town in Diablo III. A concept art piece, shown on the right, was named Ureh and there are various official concept art pieces of Ureh seen also in the image gallery as well as being included in the introduction cinematic.

      Unfortunately, Jay Wilson confirmed [1] in late 2009 that Ureh will not be seen in Diablo 3. Jay explained that there were simply too many locations and too much content, and that some things had to be cut in order to “get the game out sooner.” From what Jay said, it’s hoped that Ureh will be seen in one of the Diablo 3 expansion packs, since it sounds as if preliminary work was done; more than just concept art.

      Ureh in Diablo III Expansion

      Since Diablo III most likely will have two expansions, and there’s already considerable work having gone in to Ureh, both in concept art as well as modelling it for the cinematic, it is likely it will be one of the locations we’ll see in an expansion. The sort of location it is would also support it, as it’s highly mystical in nature, and really anything could happen there, story-wise.”

    4. So glad to hear that 2.4 is the patch of the revamped old sets. Leapquake, Jades, and Akkhan? What will I play in S5?

    5. Ok, those in the know – the "hidden" Kanai event – what month might that be?

      • “There is also a hidden event surrounding Kanai that is based on what month it is. That event really was a way for us to play one last time with him, to have him adventure with us again.”

        Maybe this is the answer:
        “Unfortunately October 17, 2014 Kevin lost his battle with ASPS cancer and passed away.”

    6. after reading their comments on group vs solo play i have zero confidence going forward. it sounds to me like this is something they will not fix and probably do not even see as a real issue. right now if you enjoy playing the game solo you are at a major disadvantage and the fact they cannot see how bad it is bothers me.

      • I know where you coming from. I too play solo almost exclusively (I have one friend who plays Diablo). I could use a little boost in exp. On the other hand it doesn't bother me that much since I have noone to compare my leveling speed with. For me the solo play is the baseline. I even feel a little pride seeing how far I can get on my own.Obviously devs mean for the Diablo to be co-op game so they design it that way and I understand the reasons (like avoiding gear-checks before joining a game).

    7. Could the details of the Kanai event be discovered through datamining? Are there any strings?

    8. 2.3 is a really cool patch,but I was really excited to read about the old revamped calss sets. Especially Shadow Mantle melee DH and Invoker Thorn Crusader. Great news, considering that DH is not my favorite class to play,because I like to stay closer to the area of the fights,not in the next room,or somewhere out of the screen. Now I will roll DH as my 1st for S5,and ofc Crusader again. I cant wait to go full tank mode,thorn machine:))

    9. I'm positively hyped about reworking Shadow's Mantle. It looks awesome (although I'm afraid it won't be THAT powerful when it goes live). Right now it's really underwhelming. And I'm not even comparing it with Marauders or Unhallowed. I'm mostly playing close quarters build with Strife, Shuriken Cloud and Fan of Knives. Shadow's is lackluster even comparing to my oddball build 🙂

      • I always assumed the DH melee build would require an item that reduced Fan of Knives' cooldown to negligible amounts. I guess that's sort of possible now with some gear, but it's not really worth doing. Not enough damage or range on FoK, even if you could spam it.

        So I guess I'm fine with Bliz taking a very different approach, though trying to shoehorn Impale into it seems weird.  I'm curious to try it out next PTR, at least.

        • Actually there's a bunch of skils that don't require a bow, even two generators. Impale is quite good mid level single target spender. And if they allowed to use Strafe-Stinging Steel("Throw out knives rather than arrows…") without a bow the build would be golden 🙂

    10. It’s ridiculous for people to be making a choice and complaining about it. \I want to play solo, but I feel punished for doing so\ is based on poor logic. Someone else getting something you don’t get is not a punishment. This is the same argument children make when asking for ice cream when they see another child with it. It doesn’t matter what someone else has, what matters if what you have. Is the exp rate solo too low? Then maybe that needs to be buffed.

      Next, if you think solo is far worse, play multiplayer. If you don’t like multiplayer, then just play solo. You have 2 options, weigh the pros and cons, and make a choice. Complaining about the choice isn’t productive.

      The reason it isn’t productive is that Blizzard, rightly so, is incentivizing group play. If solo and group are equivalent, most people will play solo so as not to be dragged down. Playing multiplayer will feel punishing because you’ll be carrying people who want to accelerate their progression. Diablo is a multiplayer game with the option of solo play, so it makes sense for solo to be weaker. I don’t think the disparity is large at all when you have followers and the unity exploit. If all you care about is exp, then play multiplayer. If you’d rather chill and play solo, just do that.

      EXP items are a non-issue imo. If people want to wear them to level faster, so be it. Blizzard shouldn’t have exp items in the game at all; they should go the way of magic find, but while they’re in game, people will use them.

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