The Diablo 3 Podcast #136: D3v2 and the Reaper is Approaching

Reaper of Souls is approaching fast, with Diablo 3 version 2 and new awesome legendary items to keep us busy until then. Paragon levels and Pools of Reflection, plus Diablo 3 ladder teases. Featuring Flux, Katniss, and Neinball.

Lots of content on this bigger than usual show with Reaper right around the corner. Click through for the full show notes and start times for each topic.

  • 0:20 — Intro and amateur voice critiques.
  • 2:30 — Recent play experiences in D3v2. Everyone is battling borderline addiction. Monk is now useless… or not? Everyone is a fan of the new Demon Hunter improvements.
  • 6:45 — New legendary items with special effects.
  • 12:45 — Experience gain is delightful now. Paragon levels for the win?
  • 18:50 — Recent game improvements vs. how we thought they would be when first announced? For instance, red/green item quality ranking has made us too dumb to read the fine print.
  • 21:00 — What is everyone doing to prepare for Reaper of Souls? Flux is grinding exp. Neinball and Katniss are hunting keys and Hellfire Rings.
  • 28:30 — Economy shifts lately. D3v2 changes + end of the Auction House + BoA everything = crazy price swings. Speculating and making profits?
  • 38:00 — Does the Auction House need to shut down now that all the best gear is BoA? Katniss says yes. Neinball heaps sarcasm.
  • 50:30 — Pools of Reflection. Awesome, but very different for players below Paragon 120ish. Are they functional “survival bonuses” in softcore?
  • 58:00 — Diablo 3 ladders. Being teased by devs? Coming soon? What features should/must ladders have in D3/RoS?
  • 1:09:00 — Reaper of Souls plans. First thing you’ll do in the expansion? Crusader from level 1? Current character from 60 to 70? Flux, Neinball, and Katniss are all going to the launch party, so their launch days will be mostly marked by hangovers and long flights home.
  • 1:16:20 — Launch party plans and excite. Much giggling like school girls.
  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    13 thoughts on “The Diablo 3 Podcast #136: D3v2 and the Reaper is Approaching

    1. Launch party sounds fun, I’ll probably try and convince my brothers to head to my place for much drinks (coffee+baileys, getting too old to stay up all night without it!).

      Since I’m guessing everyone is giving up on the abysmal drop rates for the organs. Hit me up for exp runs! T1-3, my barb.

      • BTW, note that RoS is going live at 9pm PST. Midnight East Coast. So you guys can be playing at home during the last 2 hours of the launch party. Or at least staring at a loading screen. We party attendees will be trying not to think about that, I suspect.

        Maybe Bliz will have a 50 foot video screen on the stage and can get volunteers to run some Rifts and Bounties and such? (Though they’d need to get to 70 first, with their real chars.)

    2. I’m not really in favour of the “no trading” thing, but I have to say that the “trading detracts from personal progression” thing is something my friends and I felt way back in D2. It was a genuinely nice feeling to get a cool item that wasn’t personally useful but it was good for your friend’s Paladin or whatever, but we all got to the point where we’d kind of be like “Man, I appreciate it but everything I’m wearing is from you and it kind of feels pointless to even play because you’ll just give me better stuff next time I see you”. It feels almost like playing a game but your friend completes the first half of the game for you, or if in WoW if some guy comes up to you and gave you a drop from a HC raid when you’re still on LFR. You start playing Dragon Quest and your friend who’s been playing for a week drops into your game (with magic) and gives you a weapon that lets you one-shot everything. Those things would all be akin to putting in a cheat code, really detracting from the sense of personal achievement. I don’t want my friend to do a difficult boss for me in Dark Souls II, and while it’s not as black and white, getting fed items from your Diablo sugar daddy can have a similar feel.

      What Katniss was trying to say about the AH comparison was that one complaint about the AH was that the whole point of Diablo is to find new items, yet here is this thing that effectively removes the item hunt from the game. Imagine if the AH actually just gave out these items for free, albeit from a much more limited pool. That’s what it’s like having a higher levelled friend who keeps doling out freebies, or even an equally levelled friend that fill in those gaps in your equipment that are providing the entire reason for playing. So yeah, I don’t think no trading at all is a good thing, but I just wanted to say that I’ve heard Katniss’ point, and points like it, for decades now.

      • “What Katniss was trying to say about the AH comparison was that one complaint about the AH was that the whole point of Diablo is to find new items, yet here is this thing that effectively removes the item hunt from the game. […]”
        I’ll have to disagree to the first part, left from the comma. Trading, as well as setting character developement goals, accumulating strengths through skill and item specializations, while on the other hand being able to decide between different ways of dealing and/or circumventing weaknesses that not being able to take skills of other damage types or unique utility in addition to a constant juggle with pre-/affix-holes, sometimes still remaining, after finally acquiring the last piece of the characters perfect item setup are providing in plenty, were also and always integral and important parts of D2s gaming experience, while, although in a rudimentary form, are still found in wider representation in the first instance of the series (, especially when taking the unofficial Expanion into account), than they are available to play around with in even the current 2.0 patches of D3.

        To conclude the argumentation: Until D3 there was far more to the series than the primary gamesystem of the hack’slay item hunt. And for some players these secondary gamesystems of Trading and Character developement were essentially the reasons, that kept them actively playing the game. (Not to mention the PvP-part, integral to the game from the start, although hopelessly unbalanced for quite a while in the beginning.

        On the trading form of the auction house and its misdeeds to the game, we’re in agreement again. Especially in conjunction with the hard and constant gearchecks, the progression curve on release buggered the player with, and the wide range of values affixes could roll, thus really overusing their dependancy on good RNG-rolls, literally forced using the AH upon the players. And as the only (: on the same server…), central accumulation place and way for items to be traded, the inflating effect ran up, up and away in a rather astonishing pace, fast transforming the discovery of obtainable items into a rarity, while dropping the chances of finding an upgrade by oneself near to nil.

        Although inflation is a general progression of trading in a secluded environment with more new income to the pool of objects to be traded, than ever going out, I’m confident that things would work out far better, if only the statistical toolset of showing the statistical middle of the last ten, hundred, thousand, … trades of the item in question, could be made available in a special chat channel for trade, from whereas each player may set up a small scaled, fixed number of offers and demands, with or without entering one his ideas of fair prices for each.

        Viewable and accessible then only to other players in the game and perhaps to guildmembers, if implicitely and actively demanding a view of an individual players offerings (by typing in a special chat command only active in guild channels,), or perhaps even to guild and community members in a “point and click”-version of the same function, while a character featuring offers and demands is actually (and solely) participating in the respectively related chat channel, could provide a simple and working trading environment, while the fracturization into tiny, overlapping markets resulting from this approach centered on each individual character essentially entertaining one his own, “transportable” trade board, should put strong stoppers into the whole inflation process. Allowing both interested and offering parties to freely enter the prices their willing to pay or trying to obtain for the offer, or (why not?) even offering items for items, as it was quickly established by players as the actual working flow of trade in D2, when confronted with it’s trade capabilities and the lack in worth of gold, the predecessor to D3 featured, there’s an opportunity for real individualization of each buy through the simple tool of providing a free haggling scenario, simply emancipating both parties to freely decide their steps in negotiations for a proper price.

        As I’m getting quite sleepy for a while now, I’ll take a break here. If there’s any interest in it, I could further elaborate on my thoughts on a workable trading option for the D3-community or solutions to probable issues going along even with, or coming up especially through useage of this concept on trade, at any future time. Just not before getting quite together a handful of sleep ^^


        As a Sidenote:

        The length of the initial remarks betrayed me as sometimes still having to motivationally cope with the fact of having an actual arpg at hands with D3, that ain’t providing any character developement decisions to the player, whatsoever. All that’s left is outlining an, always and quickly interchangeable, skill setup. And that’s simply not enough for me – not in the long run. Taking into account the recent patches and their more interesting ways of complementing chosen skill setups through accumulation of certain affixes, mostly available only from certain legendarys, I should cerret myself into “still too heavily weigthed on the itemization part with no secondary gamesystem on the horizon, that could possibly balance this out.” Well… Not really an unexpected outing of myself, is it? ^^ On the other hand I’ve never been drawn to the trading part of D2, though.

        • Please translate the “cerret” of the last paragraph by mentally speaking it out as “correct”.

    3. Great podcast, guys! Enjoyed it tremendously while grinding those paragon levels with the last few days of the 50% PXP community bonus! 🙂

      I have to say, I am in complete agreement with Katniss on the issue of the AH and the way it detracts from the enjoyment of the game. I too, feel that while helping friends, spouses, clanmates and whatnot with items is a good experience and a good feeling, it definitely does exactly what Travis Day mentioned on that TWITCH gaming session: it removes a huge range of possible upgrades one would be able to find him/herself, and thus gimping the actual enjoyment the game can offer to the player.

      Now, Katniss, correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you are a longtime SPF member just like me, and have been there through that decade of the glory days (LoD) where we played, competed in tournaments, gathered grails and just had a good ol’ community fun without such a huge emphasis on trading.

      Why did it work? Because we throughoutly enjoyed the complexity, the gameplay and the action and RPG elements the game had to offer, and we used thew wonderful platform offered here on (then in order to find likeminded people, who did not want anything to do with playing online, playing muliplayer, or playing in a world where ITH swords, Enigmas, Zod’s and Grief’s are duplicated to an extent where it has become an accepted part of the game.

      To tie in to that point, I am very much indifferent to the idea of ladders, seeing as I do not feel the need to compete with anyone else for who’se got the biggest EPEEN (yeah, you neckbeards going to the Blizz party win that category anyways, heh).
      At the same time, I want Blizzard to give us a feature a large part of the community has been craving for, but NOT to the extent where there would be ladder only items.

      Vanity rewards? Sure.
      Actualy items which non ladders players cannot get? Brings me all the way back to the 2000’s where us players prefering to play offline on our own terms, were exculded form the most powerful “ladder only” runewords until some wonderful people managed to develop mods to enable those offline as well.

      The biggest irony? I can GUARANTEE that a much larger percentage of BotD, Grief and Enigma’s in in single player (at least on the SPF here on incgamers) were legitimately gathered, assembled and put together, compared to the ones on bnet.

      To conclude, the time to pay2win and bot/dupe to win is over.
      No one’s EPEEN size matters, and it’s all back a full circle to playing in order to enjoy the game, as simple as that.

      I for one, LOVE IT.

      PS- would love to participate in one of the following podcasts as the SC noob that I have become, after having played HC only for a year, and having turned back to SC upon entering the ROS beta.

      PS2- I love you guys, but that advertising informative banner is EXTREMELY intrusive, and is especially hurting my neckbeard eyes, seeing as I AM a PAL. Please take care of that.

      • I agree with most of what you say, but I am in favour of ladder-only items. I don’t care about the epeen thing either, but the idea of these special items would tempt me to play, and it’d be nice that they’d then enter into the dimension of my non-ladder characters at the end of the season. It just feels like the extra items you get from playing in Torment, or just like the rewards you get in most RPGs for doing something in a certain way. I’d completely agree if ladders cost money to enter (like playing Man vs Machine in Team Fortress 2) but these items are equally available to all players.

    4. The problem I have with everything being bind on account and not being able to give items to friends is that it doesnt work very when different people within the group have big differences in play time. The few who play loads and for who most items that drop are not worth equiping would be happy to give them away – those who play less would be happy to receive the upgrade.
      The fact that you can’t do this means those who have the extra time have “good” items and want to play say torment 5 – the others “can’t” because either they die or they just add to the monster hp without helping to kill anything so they dont feel good and it isnt efficient for those with the better gear.
      Overall I think people would value playing together higher than any percieved loss in self progression…

      • The problem with that is that if someone really doesn’t play that much, it’ll take them ages to even get to level 70, so most of the stuff their more hardcore friend is getting can’t be equipped by them anyway. Even with how D3 used to work, I played way more than my friends – most of who didn’t even get to level 60 – and the things I found were too high a level for them. Equally, when I did get lower levelled stuff for them (by levelling alts) it came to the point where everything they were wearing was from me, so the game was next to pointless for them to play.

        In other words, I think the possibility of twinking a friend who rarely plays the game just so he can play for a little bit with you as you (probably) slum it on his lower level (unless you completely and utterly kit him out) isn’t really a very likely thing nor a situation that something should be designed around.

        It is a shame, though, that we can’t have our cake and eat it. Opening up trading would benefit complete strangers selling stuff to each other more than it would benefit actual friends. It does detract from the nice feeling of “Oh, Bob would like this item”, even if Bob will only end up running around with you for half an hour a week. It’s a shame there isn’t a solid way of the system determining between complete strangers and actual friends.

    5. I also spent the past week or so farming Nekarat to make my first two Hellfire Rings. It was pretty miserable (COTA runs are much more fun) and it took me forever to get a Writhing Spine, but hey, +35% XP. And major twinkage for my Crusader.

      And I blew well past my goal of P101 in the process, so now it’s time for a nice break before RoS.

    6. Always a good podcast (I assume; this is maybe the 3rd or 4th one I’ve heard). I’m not saying this to curry any favor (it’s BOA now anyway, so it’s not like I can get anything in return), but I remember Centarius’ voice not for how it sounded, but because I thought the stuff he said was really smart. I use the phrase \Actually, I don’t know that [XYZ] is true\ all the time as a lawyer, and maybe it’s because I’d just listened to the Jalen Rose podcast, which, God love him, sometimes is like listening to Oswald Bates (, but it was a fun and interesting discussion, and I thought he was a big part of it.

    7. Man am i disappointed i thought you and stutter rap from last week were going to have a lisp off you got served style =( good podcast none the least

    8. I, too, must say that even way back in Diablo II I avoided taking freebies from other players. Hence, I think Neinball is just speaking out of temporary anger over the AH going bye-bye…because players for well-over a decade have been saying trading and carebears can ruin your experience.

      I strongly believed in self-found in Diablo II just like I strongly believe in it for D3. So major respect to Katniss for pointing out how trading can short-circuit the progression curve.

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