The Ironborn #2: Voices of the Self-Found Diablo 3 Community

There’s been a lot of buzz in the forums since Gamescom about Loot 2.0 and the expansion, and how they’ll affect the game. Over the weekend, I had the chance to speak with some prominent members of the Self-Found community to hear their thoughts as well.

SirRight and BossDogg are vocal proponents of SF play on the official forums. Each has shared many ideas about how a self-found mode would work in practice. Since I had played a few games with them before, I asked if they would chat with me on Mumble, and they agreed.

The first thing we talked about is Loot 2.0 and why they feel self-found mode is still necessary. Click through to hear what the prominent Ironborn think about dealing with trolls, preventing cheating, Loot 2.0, D3:RoS, and more…

Preventing Trolling

In short, even with Loot 2.0 coming, self-found players are still a common target for trolls on the forums and in-game, who mock self-found players for their non-auction house gear.

“People get picked on when they join public games and get griefed by auction house users for not having amazing gear.”

But more self-found players are sticking up for themselves and the play style on the forums.

“As people rile us up, we dish it back at them – and as a result, our visibility is increasing. In fact, I see lots of familiar self-found players who are now posting regularly to the forums.”

The activity generated has caused other players to take an interest in trying out self-found. In fact, the developers have also invested some time into the play style, SirRight pointed out.

More and more, people are coming together around self-found.

Preventing Cheating

In addition to discouraging trolls, a self-found mode would mean everyone is on the same page when it comes to the rules of play, BossDogg said. Right now, we have no idea who’s actually playing without using the auction houses.

You can’t allow any way to cheat, because if you give people even a small way to do it, they’re going to abuse it.

In order to prevent cheating, items would be bound, either to individual characters or to the user’s account, and trading would be prohibited. Since vendors and crafting are separate systems from the auction houses, players could decide for themselves whether to use them.

I pointed out that even if there were a separate server for self-found characters, people could still run bots on their characters. But that doesn’t bother SirRight.

We don’t play this way for recognition – we do it for the play style and the sense of community surrounding it.

He hopes Blizzard will support it in some way in the future.

First Things First

SirRight stressed that he and many other self-found players care about the broader community – not just themselves. After all, while there are certainly trolls on the forums giving self-found players grief, some of us deal with it by being negative back – which can come across as a sense of entitlement.

We realize Loot 2.0 is important to everyone, not just self-found players, and we don’t want to take resources away from development. When Blizzard has fixed the major issues in the game, we hope they’ll consider adding a self-found mode.

At that point, I asked if there was anything that wouldn’t take up resources to create. “Doesn’t everything eat up resources?” I asked.

While that’s partially true, SirRight says, there are soft ways for Blizzard to implement self-found concepts – like turning off the subroutine functions allowing access to the auction houses. In the end, while they greatly prefer a separate server, both BossDogg and SirRight said even a self-found flag for matchmaking purposes is preferable to nothing at all.

The Self-Found Community

While there are small divisions in the self-found community over the exact rules to follow, there was no doubt in our minds that there is a self-found community around the game.

I can go to any D3 site and find topics about it, so I know people are definitely interested in it.

He went on to describe why the philosophy matters to him and others in the self-found community.

It’s fun to start with nothing and have to work your way toward achieving something great, and it’s fun to just enjoy the item hunt.

Loot 2.0 and Reaper of Souls

SirRight and I are both looking forward to Loot 2.0 and the expansion.

Any new content for the game is a good thing. Plus, Loot 2.0 will help the entire community, not just Ironborn players.

We couldn’t help speculating about a few things from the trailer – like why El’Druin passes through Malthael without harming him (I don’t think it has anything to do with his “righteousness”), or whether Leah might make a return (neither SirRight nor BossDogg thinks so).

BossDogg chimed in to say that he is still skeptical about whether RoS will fix loot in D3. Plus, buying into all the hype around D3C made it harder for him to stomach the game’s troubled launch. For now though, he is cautiously optimistic about the expansion.

If Blizzard does a good job with improving the game between now and when Reaper of Souls comes out, I’ll be more likely to bite.

For his own part, SirRight is happy with how Blizzard has improved the game to date – and that they seem to be listening to their fans.

This is a company that still supports the original Diablo and Diablo 2 servers to this day – we’re lucky to have a company that cares so much about their player base.

And that’s a wrap! Next time, I’ll be talking to other self-found players about their experiences, and exploring other concepts around the play style. Until then, good luck and happy hunting!

Waterfiend is a writer and avid gamer who follows Diablo 3 news religiously. Say hello at his forum profile.

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    19 thoughts on “The Ironborn #2: Voices of the Self-Found Diablo 3 Community

    1. “It’s fun to start with nothing and have to work your way toward achieving something great, and it’s fun to just enjoy the item hunt.”

      -This, absolutely. This is why I like playing Ironborn.

    2. The pacing of rewards is really bad for self found past mp2. Certainly people do it, but the prospect of progress dies for me at that point. I think a self found mode that splits players up is a bad idea for that reason. You will end up with more people quitting and that community dying. If you could convert from self found to regular at any time, maybe that could work.

      For self found mode to mean anything, all gear must be bound on pickup. If it is not, you’ll have the same issues of d2. Third party sites and trading forums giving an “unfair” advantage as well.

      I don’t think self found is the answer. Curbing ah exploitation should be a big focus. Flipping should not be the way to building wealth in game and items need to leave the economy to keep new finds relevant.

      • You make a really good point: playing SF was brutal pre-patch 1.0.3. But it’s gotten a lot easier as the patches have rolled in. I don’t believe SF mode will split up the player base at all, since most SF players play solo, and AH users don’t like carrying people whose gear is vastly inferior to their own. Loot 2.0 is a step in the right direction for everyone.

        I don’t think it would hurt at all to have an SF mode, though I agree drops would have to be Bind-on-Account.

    3. quote

      We couldn’t help speculating about a few things from the trailer – like why El’Druin passes through Malthael without harming him (I don’t think it has anything to do with his “righteousness”)

      end quote

      they’ve already said “yes” to that question — but it looks as if they did have to think about it

      • Yeah, I saw that video after I wrote this. I just thought perhaps it didn’t hurt him because, well… he’s death incarnate. 😛 I hadn’t considered that Tyrael’s sword could harm undead beings, and thus might harm Malthael. But the sword isn’t supposed to “pass through or harm” righteous beings, right? So why did it pass through Malthael?

      • It probably didn’t hurt him because…. This is a computer game and promo video designers didn’t think that far.

      • Some Ironborn players don’t even like the shared stash/gold between their characters. 🙂

    4. Quite frankly, I do not get the SF supporters.

      If they want to play the self-found mode, then just play it as such. Why force it to other players that enjoy trading with AH?

      The whole thing exudes arrogance. They believe that SF is the superior mode of play and they plan to berate or insult players who bought their gear. “Look at me guys! I have 400k dps and I found all of my gear! How awesome am I?!” Please. The whole freaking game is all about RNG for godsakes. Your “self found” items just mean that you got lucky with the roles. It has nothing to do with your skill AT ALL. So SF is nothing to brag about.

      If it just so happens that there is an insanely difficult boss in the game that GUARANTEES an awesome drop, and you won and got the loot, THEN brag about it. Because it took SKILL to get your item. But no, D3 has nothing like that. The game is basically a roulette wherein you pray to get lucky. So by playing SF mode gives you absolutely nothing to brag about or feel special. You are just like a guy who rolls the dice and tries to compete with someone who does the same. “Haha, I rolled 6, you only rolled 4. I am awesomer than you!.” That is how far you are willing to go to boost your pathetic ego.

      And worst of all, the SF supporters accuse that using AH is cheating. That players who trade items aren’t respectable. But in actuality, trading is a skill. When you sell or buy an item at the right time, or you know how to separate the real useful from the useless is something that is commendable.

      The real issue here is the “I do not want to buy my gear, so the rest of the player also shouldn’t.” mentality. “I do not want to exert the effort to farm gold so I can buy items, or fork out real cash. So the rest of you are cheaters for doing so”. Basically, the basement-dwellers who has no life at all that could farm all day want to remove anything that will deprive them of their advantage. They hate it when a casual player is ahead of the game that they believe belongs to who can farm the most.

      If SF supporters want to play SF, then do it. But trust me, nobody will think so highly about you.

      • quote

        trading is a skill. When you sell or buy an item at the right time, or you know how to separate the real useful from the useless is something that is commendable.

        end quote

        no, its not commendable

        and that fact that you consider it a skill just shows the whole problem with the AH

        Diablo games (any rpg games) should not have “trading” as a skill

      • “If they want to play the self-found mode, then just play it as such.”

        That is pretty silly view. Why do we have the separate HC mode? I guess you are also playing HC with SC characters, because well “just play it as such”. Nobody is forcing you to play self found. If Blizzard adds this you can still play SC as self found if you want, nothing changes for you. On the other side, people that want to play self found can do it.

        Anyway, from Diablo 2 release in 2000, we have SC and HC modes. Until now there is no progress in this regard, so it is about time to get a new mode. Even better would be if self found was an option at character creation so you can combine it with SC and HC (so you would have softcore self found and hardcore self found).
        Path of Exile has a great league system where you can select any combination of the “options” (hardcore, self found, open world pvp, etc). I hope something like that would come to D3 despite the split community downside.

    5. I play self found, and I’m pretty ambivalent about a separate mode. I’m not opposed to separate servers, but I doubt I’d use them. I’ve invested too much time in my monk to start over. I’ve cleared MP10 with him (overg-1771), and have two of the three MP10 ubers down (ZK and SB remain . . . an interesting challenge).

      Really, the only two self found features I think I’d take advantage of are 1) anything that could help me actually prove I’ve found all of my gear (some people automatically default to “you’re lying” whenever the discussion comes up . . . I’ve got a youtube vid showing my AH tabs, but even that’s not enough for some people), and 2) a way to separate my stashes so I could start another character without the benefit of my monk’s gear, gold, and recipes.

      I don’t really have any interest in competing with anyone, I don’t group with others so I’m not worried about that, and I don’t have the slightest problem with anyone else using the AH. I’m not offended when a “self found” player sells stuff on the AH, or even when they only use the AH to buy mats or gems. I don’t think I’m better than anyone by playing self found (I do it because I like the sense of progression . . . I think there are much better “skill checks” if that’s your thing). People should play however they have fun. So a lot of what self found players are asking for really doesn’t apply to me. I’m not opposed to them getting the things they’re asking for, but they’re not high on my personal “want” list.

      The one huge benefit to separate servers I see is the ability to play in true “self found leagues.” Such leagues already exist, and from what I’ve seen the players really enjoy playing together. But it’s only a matter of time before the trolls or ultra competitive start joining these leagues using gear which isn’t remotely self found. So it would be nice for the players wishing to party with other self founders to have a “verified” way of doing so.

    6. QUOTE

      And worst of all, the SF supporters accuse that using AH is cheating.

      i don’t think AH is cheating. after all, it’s been approved by blizz. however, i do think it is noobification, pretty much like the rest of the game.

    7. My biggest problem with the AH is that it really ruins the game for those that use it. Lots of players quit not long after using the AH because they bought their gear and completely skipped the item hunt. Suddenly the game got boring because they were never finding new stuff.

      It also made multiplayer much harder. I’d find people to play with on MP4/5 and suddenly they were on MP8/9. I pretty much gave up on multiplayer due to it.

      I would welcome a new mode..but like someone else pointed out…the game is still so bot friendly that Ladder/SF modes would still be fairly ruinable.

    8. Most of the stuff coming in RoS, for me, is secondary to having an Ironborn mode.

      From what I’ve read it feels like most of the counter arguments are from people who don’t get the basics of Ironborn. Gonna caps this since it’s constantly overlooked.


      Not all that different from softcore vs hardcore. Do I think SF is somehow superior? No. I just think it’s way more fun and rewarding. The AH bypasses the whole point of the game for me, which is the loothunt. If you want to play the game as is and enjoy it with the AH, go ahead, it’s up to you. It just happens you are already covered. Does it somehow make your experience worse if people who want to play SF get their own mode?

      To anyone saying it would divide the playerbase. Perhaps. Who cares? Will you even notice? I haven’t touched the game in like 9 months. 7 of my friends quit within the first month because the AH screwed up the whole experience for them.

      One solution for the 3rd party site problem is making items account bound in Ironborn. Granted not everyone wants trading disabled altogether – personally I wouldn’t mind it.

    9. Self-found: Only a big deal because d3’s a game with 1 gamemode and 1 variation on the same gamemode. If d3 had 20 gamemodes and one of them was self-found-only mode, no one would be making a big deal. But no, people (being uncreative and needing approval from their pears) come together and make up self-found. The only easily understandable and reasonable 2rd gamemode. Possible due in part to not requiring anything from the developers. It can be played online and with everyone else and doesn’t require mods or hacks because it’s only in your mind.

      • If you are trolling, well done. 🙂
        If not, you don’t have a clue of what you are talking about, and you should stfu.

    10. Self-found flag seems reasonable. There is planty of players who are balancing between SF and occasional AH use. I would end up playing on AH server, though I feel that SF multi-player (because the way I play taking everything from the ground, pacing myself) suits me better, rather than always rushing forward. Or maybe scavenger flag 🙂

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