The Diablo 3 Podcast #125: Reaper of Souls Beta Analysis

All the hottest issues of the Reaper of Souls beta test are debated, including the Crusader, Act Five story and avoiding spoilers, tactical combat overhaul, item binding and trading, Hardcore testing adventures, fixing Crushing Blow, and new class skills. Featuring Flux, Ynzerg, and Katniss.

Click through for segment starting times and more show details.

Approximate topic starting times:

  • 1:30 — Following streams? Avoiding spoilers? Interested in the RoS story? Is it being held out of the beta?
  • 9:00 — Beta patches vs. hotfixes. Big balance changes coming? Removing features already?
  • 14:40 — Crushing Blow, can it fit into Diablo 3? Hard caps? Make it ultra-rare or only on some legendaries that have other lame stats?
  • 20:00 — Loot 2.0 and binding on everything good in Diablo 3. Trading and BoA issues. Self found bonus rather than BoA or BoE?
  • 36:50 — Changes to the combat engine. More constant damage, more mitigation, more strategy, less spiky damage. It’s definitely working at this point in the Beta. Funny Flux’s hardcore death stories.
  • 47:30 — Is there a point to Hardcore play in the beta test? New class skills and skill changes look exciting?
  • 53:00 — The Crusader. Pros and cons from observing the play style? The fourth passive at lvl 70; a build-changer?
  • 1:04:00 — Updated release date predictions and final thoughts. Why the surprise Reaper of Souls beta start?
  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.


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    1. Enjoyed it as always, gents. Another (more cynical?) theory on the timing of the Beta release. Perhaps the devs had thought about a process like this, but had to get sign-off from legal on the lack of an NDA. Most corporate legal departments I’ve worked with are black holes of time. You will get an answer to your query…at some point. Could be tomorrow; could be next quarter. Maybe the devs at Blizzcon knew that a request had been submitted to legal and also figured it would take a long time to receive an answer. And then were pleasantly surprised to get a quick affirmative soon after Blizzcon.

      Wild-ass guess on my part, but I can certainly envision something like this happening.

    2. Hey guys … I enjoyed the podcast. I wish I was there because, I just have a different point of view.

      Brawlers get no love. (to say the least) LOL … You all chuckled right after it’s mention. But, if you loved D1 and D2 you’ll remember that it was a big part of the game. PKs would seek you out and try to ruin your day for a thrill. An almost every public trading game eventually became a brawl.

      I loved it. I loved the sound the game made when someone declared Hostility in D2. It added to the intensity because, I loved killing PKs. It was, for me, one of the highest points of any day playing d2.

      Because it wasn’t every day that you found THE best item in game. So, what else was there besides leveling and finding gear once in a while? Which brings me to my next topic.

      End game; You’ve been playing ROS now for almost a year and you’re at the point where You’re gear is pretty decent. You’re getting decent drops due to smart drops but, they’re not exactly what you wanted. There’s a couple of items you’ve been farming for; and it’s been months without a sign of them. Your friend has 2. He can’t even trade it with you. But, to complete the build you want .. you need and it simply doesn’t drop for you. Will you then sit there and say to yourself … “you know .. the idea of self found was cool but this is starting to bum me out. I don’t think I’m ever going to find this item 🙁 ?”

      How many of you actually ever found The Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac in D1? How many of you actually ever found a Zod rune in D2? Yet everybody had that ring in D1 and everybody had a BOTD in D2. Where did you get them from? Where did you get your Zod Rune? ebay?

      I was obsessed with playing legit and after seeing the power of the Obsidian Ring of Z in D1 … I made it my personal campaign to find one myself. I never did.

      I finally, almost 12 years after the release of D2 expansion, found a Jah rune and traded it for a Zod. I had been holding onto a socketed one handed axe for forever hoping that Zod would drop for me. Jah was good enough in the end.

      I think bound items will be a nightmare for endgame diablo players who want to perfect their gear. Perfectionists … will hate that version of diablo for certain. I know it’ll erk me to death.

      Which brings me back to my whole Brawling POV. As a brawler, at end game time, I will want to tweak my set up but, without the possibility of trading … it’s going to just come down to who found better gear and now who brawls best.

      I know from the chuckles that it just doesn’t affect you guys … but, it’s a part of the game that matters to some of us. maybe the minority but, it was daily life in D2 for me; and I liked it. Dead PKs was my favorite flavor of ice cream.

      • LOL … “12 years” oops … typo … I meant 2 years.

        *sidenote: today the servers are down for the Americas while they do game maintenance. So, I signed onto the European server just to casually level my monk … MP6, no big deal.

        I find the best drop I’ve every found in d3. LOL … go figure.

        1200 DPS Echoing Fury with Dex & socket. WHY!~

        I never find anything that good on my regular American D3 server in over 2000 hours of legit play.

      • Because, my friend… just like Katniss so beautifully has put it into words in this podcast… will not finding that item to complete your build erk you to death?! G-O-O-D!

        That is exactly what will accomplish two great goals for you in this game:

        1. That feeling of not quite managing to find the item you’re looking for, will make you farm, grind, and put more hours of playtime into this game, as long as you’re actually enjoying the gameplay.

        2. When that moment comes, be that in 2 or 20 months, and you find that item that you’ve been looking for… let me tell you, adastra.. that feeling will be not quite anything you’ve felt in a Diablo game since you’ve found your legit Jah back in the day.

        I’ve personally put together both a Faith, a Beast and some other high end runewords only with self found runes (and this is before 1.13 any my first Zod), and I can personally tell you that anything can be done, if only one put enough time, thought and dedication into the game.

        Katniss, as an old Single Player Forum elite member, I thank you for spreading your wealth of knowledge of what REALLY makes a diablo game enjoyable to the masses on this podcast.

        And as you guys put it, from one extreme to the other. First we single players / self found players got the shaft with terrible drops thanks to the massively self destructive AH and RMAH ideas. Now the traders can get the shaft and some balance can be restored between the two camps, at least until Blizzard caves and goes back on the idea, just as they did with freespecs and pretty much anything else in the Diablu universe that was deemed “too challenging”.

        • Vega … my man, I feel you. I like your passion. And, You have a point. Until you just don’t find the item and give up.

          Heck, You might end up hunting until diablo 4 comes out 11 years from now and never find it.

          I never found zod. I never found the Obsidian ring of the zodiac. I played a lot.

          I’m telling you. Along with all the cool changes, there are some really bad changes coming. We need to speak out now for free trade and be vocal about it. You my dude … you will be very unhappy when you just never find the gear you want.

          • You’re right to certain degree. But what Blizz always says – play with what you found. In RoS I’ll be looking forward for this Seismic Slam leg but I’ll still be playing with SS, even without it. Adapt to what you have, you can maybe even find nice build, cause the lack of certain affix. And then after year I’m finding my desired leg and then game starts from the begging and I can strength my build up.

            Other way, is to play with your legs. Try them. Don’t stick to one build but change it. Play other classes. At least thats the Blizz point. I personally like it.

          • As I said, buddy… I have a REALLY strong gut feeling that Blizzard will go back on this BoA everything decision after a period of players complaining and missing the feature, even though I fully support it and would like it kept that way.

            Btw, haven’t you found a Zod post 1.13 either? They really increased the chances for high runes dropping back then, and really trivialized the whole experience and rarity of actually finding one. I believe I found about 3 in the year or two I’ve played 1.13.

            Guess that all “bad luck” will even up and you will find your dream item in RoS a lot quicker than you realize 😉

    3. Here is the best solution to trading: You can trade an item only with friends who were in your friend list before finding said iem.

    4. Flux, Katniss, others etc…I understand the issues that people are starting to have with item binding and loot 2.0 and many things could possibly change from now until release. I was wondering what do you think about Diablo 3 reintroducing treasure classes for items / legenderaries? Right now, there seems to be no mid-game for item hunting. Nobody plays lower difficulty levels to farm items that could be useful later. It is a straight rush to 60 (or 70) and farming highest monster power possible. The one thing I remember about Diablo 2 was that ability to start a character, get him to mid-levels, and be able to do a few runs and get a little better gear, but at least have some viable options for item runs in nightmare before hell. I liked that if I wanted to a get a stone of jordan, my best chance was hitting Anderial in nightmare difficulty. I also could run mephisto on nightmare to get some good to upgrade with before running into hell. I think with all these different legenderies, it would be nice if there was a treasure class system implemented so people wouldn’t just run to the hardest difficulty and just keep farming. Maybe make Act I areas drop more swords or helms. I think they could tie it into the monsters somehow as well (the obvious being the legendary butcher clever weapon dropping from the butcher). If all these items had TC and the monsters tied to them, it could make finding that one item a person wants a little easier, or at least give them a little direction instead of just running Act III mp10 a hundred times a night. Just a quick thought, thanks!

    5. Great cast. I have been following you for awhile now but haven’t felt the need to comment on anything yet. Regarding the BoA discussion.. it feels like you always end up, like blizzard, with the two extreme choises. Either bind everything or nothing (or the gray area you talked about: BoE, I choose to not count that one for the reasons you mentioned in the cast).
      Couldn’t it be nice to have like x (like 10 or whatever) of your friends to be marked. A friend has to agree to be marked (1 to 1 relationship). All items you pick up that normally are BoA are tradeable to the marked group of friends, freely. A friend in that group may also trade that item freely, restricted to that group.
      If you farm with some people that aren’t marked. An item can be traded within that group plus your marked friends.. no time limit.
      This means that the item will have to be connected to some player IDs that are visual within the game.
      You can switch marked friends freely but only friends connected to you when the item drops will be able to trade the item.

      One of your guests said that he plays with the same group of people most of the time.. so he can still trade with the friends that matter.
      The bots aren’t a problem..
      Can you please give some feedback.

      Thanks again!

    6. Katniss seems to be the only one rolling with the good ideas, Flux seems to understand the basics, but has a very passive ambivalent nature about Diablo now, and Neinball commits all kinds of party fouls, I can’t begin to start on how many declarative fallacies he has committed. He acts like he’s a pro, like everything he says is super important. I have been listening to this podcast since the honest days of the interview with Schaefer. Back then I remember a more critical Flux who was willing to challenge the system, now it’s all agreeable superfluous nonsense.

      Also, I find the irony heavy that it now makes an effort to make fun of the people who are upset at the current design, as many who call themselves educated on game theory are nothing more then mouth breathers who don’t even remember their previous Diablo experiences, you call yourselves fans but you cant even remember basic mechanics of the previous games.

      It really is a disgrace.

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