No Changes to Chat Before Release


Hot on the heels of our chat interface article earlier today, Bashiok has surfaced with a comment regarding the chat interface and how there are no plans to change it before release.

Just about everything is set as it will be at release. There will certainly be tweaks here and there, and some small improvements, but no, we don’t have any current plans to change the chat channel interface.

We understand the requests, and have seen some of the creative suggestions, but we’re in the home stretch and aren’t looking to delay the release of the game further. Honestly speaking only a small portion of players will care if the chat channels are like they are, or if they’re more like the huge screen-dominating feature in D2. We have to apply value to the additional time it would take to address a small amount of requests for a change, and it just doesn’t outweigh releasing the game.

The plus side is that if there is no more messing around with the interface, players will get the game quicker, whether you like or dislike its current form.

Tagged As: , | Categories: Blizzard People, Interface

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  1. I think the only good thing in that post is that they’re done with making any major changes to get the game released.

    Also, “a small portion of players” being affected by chat channels is a downright lie. Bashiok should refrain from posting anything beyond the facts.

    “The game won’t change before release” would have been enough.

    Oh, and let’s hope that the skill UI is still part of the “tweaks.”

    • Well no he was being honest, cause i dont know anyone looking forward to d3 that will even be using the chat system when most every gamer is already hooked up with some sort of voice chat system no one bothers to type out anymore, i sure wont ever use it, no need to be blind sided with rage, he is being honest it is a very minimal thing. and who cares how it works as long as it does work?

      • Maybe we should have a site poll on this, something like ‘will you spend time talking in in-game chat channels when the game is released’ with some variants on ‘if it was like D2/IRC’ etc 

        • It would probably be biased since anyone who is viewing this website is probably already apart of that “hardcore” Diablo audience Bashiok seems to know is the minority.

          • That’s why it would be interesting, because if previous polls are anything to go by, I’d expect the opposite. The majority of people who view this website are actually NOT in the “hardcore” group it seems.

            That’s not the same as the people who post comments though! 

      • I think you’re misunderstanding the premise of how it is false. It has nothing to do with being a feature that is being looked forward to, it is about the effect is has on community (those it affects) and its impact on game longevity.

        Chat has an indirect impact on everything in the game through community. Whether that is the auction houses, creation of games, etc. The only demographic that this will not affect are those that only play single-player, have no friends, and will never use any form of communication.

        In short, the portion that will not be affected will be far smaller than those it does affect. So either Bashiok is lying, or he failed to grasp the gravity of impact that chat (and its features) have on the community.

  2. I agree. Also: at least 1 expansion pack will be released, probably more than 1. A redesign of the chat can be introduced into the game at a later time.

  3. Agree with the above. I am super glad to see thing are pretty much SET IN STONE. S.O.R.?;)

  4. Honestly speaking only a small portion of players will care if the chat channels are like they are

    Yeah, right. Let me translate that one for you: “It’s [chat channels] not a selling point in any game so it doesn’t directly translate to money for us.”

    That’s crazy; how can they downplay the importance of social relations in games this much? I just don’t understand.

    • Cry me a river..

      • Yeah, because critically looking at a downplayed features from a designer’s perspective is right in line with “crying a river”.

      • Haha indeed – I’ll get my tiny violin

        • If you want “social relations” go join Facebook. I just want to play the game.

          • No, -I- don’t give a damn about them. I’m just claiming that they’re, whether you want them to be or not, a very large part of keeping players playing for longer than they normally would just clearing the game and moving on. Which translates directly to increased profits for Blizzard.

            By providing such poor channels, no clan support, no official PvP teams, no support of player-to-player trades and making the game soloable (to an extent, anyhow), they’re hurting one of the most important aspect to keeping players. 

          • As much as you nerd want to keep harassing Element about his post and tell him to cry a river, he is right.
             
            Social interaction is what Starcraft 2 is lacking and look at how that’s going, there is no community outside of the pro scene.

      • Cry about crying..

    • You will still buy it.

      So you will prove blizzard’s point. 

      • I’d buy the game with half the current features missing. The fact that there’s a good chat, bad chat, or no chat is irrelevant to me because I have the 3 players I’ll be tagging along with forever on Ventrilo anyway. But as for everybody else?

        It’s cute, though, that the deep fanboys above are ready to literally bend over and accept half-assed features in a game that’s taken much longer than it should have to be released.

        It’s been proven many times that a good social system (which is exactly what D3 does not feature) is key to keeping people playing a game for long. Guess what: The longer players play, the more money Blizzard make.

        1+1 =’s 2 to me. Have a well-made social system (which includes clan support and clean chat channels). Keep players hooked up with social obligations. Make money through RMAH due to higher player pool.

        How can anyone not see this? It’s as basic design-logic you get. But hey, I’m just crying a river, clueless. For Bobby Kotick when the game is as popular as SC2 (really not) in a year from now, that is. Go ahead, folks. Go and upvote the derogatory comments. Show the world how shallow your thinking is. Show how much you love the game.

        • Agreed. The amount of fanboy shilling here is downright pathetic.

          • It is not Shilling, just simple truth. If you care enough to come to a dedicated fansite forum just to complain, I can about be certain you will buy it.

            The reason for the rage is they too KNOW they will buy it, and feel like they are going to buy something they don’t like.

            They care too much to simply..walk away. 

          • Yeah, totally raging right now.

            I love Blizzard games, but I can’t understand why they make such poor decisions. That upsets me. It has nothing to do with buying the game or not, I don’t know where the hell he took that premise from. 

  5. Hopefully this doesn’t mean the new skill/rune interface is set in stone. That interface is terrible and clunky.

    • This. If the skill ui is what we have on release, I will be very very sad 😥

    • All signs are pointing to this being our Skils UI, which is a shame.

      I’ve been pretty vocal about how poor the UI is on the forums, but having not been given a direct response to any of the 2 threads full worth of complaints about it I’ve given up worrying about it.

      The game will be worse because of this new UI, and people playing the game for the first time will notice how poor it is. Reviewers will notice how poor it is.

      We’ve given our feedback, it’s up to Blizzard whether they want to improve their game or not. 

  6. go go blizzard release D3 a patch it later. we are waiting too long

  7. This got me worried about the Skill UI. They aren’t changing that either, huh?
    Oh well, hopefully they’ll get around to that at some point in the future. 🙁 

  8. What  a bunch of god damn babies. Skype, Ventrilo, TeamSpeak. Nuff said.

    • Chat channels are for socializing with the community and with players you *don’t* know. It’s also great for PuG’s and BS’ing in game. How does Skype, Vent, or TS help the argument against horrible Chat UI….?

    • Right, because we should have to resort to 3rd party programs to do something that is in a game that is over 10 years old (d2).

      This is an online only game in the year 20-fucking-12. There’s no excuse for these shitty, Facebook style chat channels. All white text, tiny font, tiny window that you can’t resize, can’t /ignore people, no row of characters wearing their gear, no private channels, etc. etc. etc.

      And for Bashiok to say “only a small portion of players care about chat channels” conveniently ignores the multiple maxed out threads on the front page of the general forums. Hundreds and hundreds of posts saying that they want to see the chat channels improved.

      AND, “home stretch” means absolutely nothing. They said D3 was in the “home stretch” at Blizzcon back in OCTOBER. It’s means nothing.

      • You want proper chat channels to socialize, yet half your complaints are about not being able to avoid people. Nice.

        Don’t know if you have noticed but no matter what the news are, there is always an army of release hungry bored monkeys ready to fling poo at Blizzard, this is nothing new.

        Personally I don’t give a flying fuck about chat channels, if I wanted to socialize there is this site for Diablo and there is Teamliquid for Starcraft.

    • We should take out everything that has a semi-related third-party alternative.

  9. Sounds good and all, but they also said they’d fix a lot of the issues with SC2 after release regarding chat, clans, name changes, etc. and we’re still waiting on that stuff a year and a half later. It seems fairly likely that if chat and skill UI improvements don’t make it to launch, they won’t make it in until the expansion.

  10. Looks like Blizzard at least noticed how mad are some fans about delaying release so they stand up and rush to it … or at least, they pretend to

  11. Looks like this sentence : aren’t looking to delay the release of the game further, will be the universal excuse to not improving stuff that must be done before release….

  12. Honestly, not too worried about this. Chat was nice in D2, but I’d rather be in the game than a chat channel.

    Also, I think the random matchmaking for public games looks very appealing, and I would prefer to meet people while slaying demons. If they don’t suck, new friend!

  13. I dont really care about chat, the more disturbing thing is that this means that we wont get a fix to the abomination of a skill interface.

  14. Good news!  Who the hell would want a general chat in this game anyway?  Do you really want to interact with the “community” of the Battle.net D3 forums?

  15. Blizzard is getting tired of (some of) it’s fans, lol.
     

  16. Bashiok, get your head out of the sand and drink a glass of common sense. Jesus Christ.

  17. it seems like they’ve gotten rid of the “when its done” philosophy and are going with an internal timeline 
    it looks like they’re feeling pressure to get it out the door 

  18. If Blizzard wanted to improve the chat channels they would, it doesn’t take long for them to do and it would have been done long ago if they wanted it in the game.

    I’d prefer if they took the time it takes to do a proper port of the console game they have now to a PC game. A console game for PC seems to be exactly what they want though.

  19. I’m going to miss the D2 Chat interface but I want to play the game.

  20. GREAT FUCKING NEWS. Dont care about chatbox (sure i would prefer the d2 style too) it can be fixed later. Now they should definitely focus on the release and fix little things with patches. this delaying shit has come to its end now and we start seeing results finally. gj bliz, trusted you all the time 🙂

  21. Blizzard:  “Hey what do you guys think about [insert iteration here]?” 

    Us: “Release the game already ok?”

    Blizzard:  “Ok, well here’s the chat channels.”

    Us:  “They suck.”

    Blizzard:  “Well we want to release the game like you said, so for now, they stay the way they are.”  

    Us:  “WTFOMGNOTHEYHAZBADNESSGIVEMEBETTERDAMIT!”

     lol.

    • More like this.

      Blizzard: no chat in game
      Us:  WTF! horrible decision we all want chat!!!!!
      Blizzard: SUPRISE! we decided to listen to the community and put chat in the game
      —release of patch 13—
      us:…. w t f is this? This is horrid
      Blizzard: We gave you a chat, we could care less how shitty it is we didn’t want to put it in the game in the first place.  Deal with it we aren’t changing shit we want to release d3.

  22. i don’t give a F about chat or runes or anything. all i want is a release date
    i don’t even care if the game is going to be a piece of crap i just want this torture to end

  23. Looks like we’re getting closer to a release now 😀

  24. This isn’t about first month selling numbers. This is about selling copies throughout decades. It strengthens the community. I myself never used the D2’s (or WC3’s or SC2’s, for that matter) chat system, but this feature is an important element to keep the players coming back. It doesn’t matter if they already bought a copy — if they keep playing it, even if but to idle in the chat, they’ll talk about it to non-players. I really feel this should important for Blizzard as it is for the community — but hey, never mind me. I’m just a solo player, and since apparently the chat is horrible, I’ll probably keep myself that way.

  25. Everyone saying “i don’t care about chat lol release wooooo1!!1!11!”

    You realize that he’s implying that the skill UI isn’t going to be changed, either, right? And that the skill UI is freaking horrible? And that “elective mode’ is freaking awful – you can’t even drag and drop skills anymore?

    Don’t hope for a patch after release to save the day, either. At least not for many, many months after release. 

  26. I think some of you have become obsessed to d3 and most of you guys have way too high expectations. Superhigh expectations almost always leads to disappointment when the game is ready. I would suggest you to lower the bar a littlebit with d3… eventhou its the game by the best game company and the best series of the games, diablos. It will be the best online game of the decade by far for sure, but dont expect anything like its made by a god. D2 came kinda behind the bushes and suprised all the people being the really working online hack n slash, d1 made its legendary name just by being the great game, i remember showing d1 to my friend who was into sega etc. games that time and he immideatly said the game is just genius, pretty much everybody felt it immediately when they tried D1, eventhough blizzard was a small company and Diablo didnt have a name at all. Now its different than what it was with d1 and d2, everybody expects something incredible and wont allow the game speech for itself. cheers. 😀

    • “And by the way, we want you to have high expectations for Diablo III and all Blizzard games. That’s what pushes us to try to make the best gaming experiences we possibly can. If Diablo III wasn’t a worthy next installment in the Diablo series, we wouldn’t release it. That’s the way we do it. That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

      -Jay Wilson

      http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4079872821 

    • I had really high expectations back in 08-2010. I lost most of those expectations over the next few years the more they kept dropping stuff. As of now I have low expectations, that the game will be worth it’s 60 dollars, but mainly for combat, pvp, and story while the endgame customization will just suck. I expect to be pleasantly surprised, but no longer feel the same about this game as I did in 2010. 

  27. There is another reason behind their decision. It would take a coder a couple hours to make the change. Fuck Bashiok for thinking that the community is stupid enough to believe the shit that comes out of his mouth.

  28. “Just about everything is set as it will be at release.” Yummy. So we are at the point where there is actually no “rushing out of the door” possible anymore. Release date announcement around Cebit (06.-10.3.) Release date possible now starting mid/end of April or later. I can see it…omg…I can see it… !
    DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT ? DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT ?      – James Brown, Blues Brothers :mrgreen:

  29. Meh, hopefully they’ll improve the chat features over time.

  30. Blizzard should take a leaf out of Mode7’s book. The chat interface in Frozen Synapse works very well and took near-zero developer effort to implement.

    They came up with a lovely, lateral solution: The in-game chat is not like IRC, it _is_ IRC. They run a standard server somewhere and the game has an IRC client built-in. It works well in the game, and you can also connect with a standard IRC client.

    Great result, low effort. Why reimplement IRC?

  31. I honestly can’t believe this game is actually going to come out in a few months. It sounds like some sort of miracle. Just to see Jay talk about it directly is crazy town.

  32. Gotta love the attitude that “only a small portion of players are pissed about X”.  Multiply X times the number of bad decisions that they have made, over the past year, and that’s a lot of pissed off players.

  33. Don’t worry about the fact that we totally rebuilt the game over the last 3 months. That is not what is causing the delay. We really can’t change the chat channels because that would really push us back!

  34. I thought Blizzard wanted to make the best game possible? It’s strange to suddenly hear that “only a small portion of players will care about the chat” & “we aren’t looking to delay the release further”.

    How long can it take to improve that chat? 1-2 days at most. I mean, Bashiok said there wouldn’t even be public chat in D3 a few days before it arrived… So obviously, the chat they have now, which looks like crap, was done in 1 day.

    Blizzard have no clue these days. I guess they are starting to feel stressed, since they seem unable to get things done right. 

    • Or maybe they are simply not the “awesome game designers” many of their fanboys proclaim them to be.
      The people that made the great games that gave Blizzard its reputation are long gone and whoever is left is simply riding the dust left by those people’s coat tails.

      • Yeah, I haven’t seen anything impressing about Diablo 3 to be honest. Must feel strange for Blizzard to sit there and experiment with art style for 2 years, then provide arguments about “won’t delay the game further” when people want a better public chat that should take very short time to fix.

        They had same kind of argument for StarCraft II. I remember they even told us they were cutting content from Diablo 3 (Ureh) because they wanted the game out quicker. It’s not what people want to hear when they have been working 7 years on a game already. 

        And yeah, the UI is still not good… Has a dang of console vibe to it too.

  35. Who cares about chat in D3 TBH? Seriously, if you want to socialize and search for an online GF go to Facebook and play Farmville or whatever.

  36. The problem is that they failed to show off a nice UI in the first place..something that would give a diablo-esk social style like d2 atmosphere kind of thing..(not with the bot spamming as that is third party crap that came after)

    Bashiok is probably using facts from Sc2..what he or the team doesn’t understand or could care less to realize the fact that Sc2 chat UI is just as lonely as a ghost town can be and that cause a lack of incentive to even use the damn thing.

    I like to use chat but bnet2 is nothing in comparison to the atmosphere of old battle net. I’m not referring to nostalgia, even though its related, im refering to the social aspect of it.. 

  37. Well, it’s abit hypocritical of you to bash on Bashiok for putting a category of how many people will extremely dislike the chat system to the point of not enjoying the game ( Yeah ok…. rightio lol) and to turn around and say the number is massive
     
    I think the big difference is — Yes “Alot” of people could see the chat being alot better, BUT a large percentage of those people will be thinking along the lines of:
    “Mmmm, welll for the first 6 months or so, I will be hammering the crap out of this game I won’t even have time to sit around in chat either way ( And If I really found the need to do so, it is available to me) — There is a good chance in 6-12 months past release the chat may be upgraded?
     
    But honestly, do you see yourself getting your hands on Diablo 3, and not getting lost in the world of Sanctuary for a gooooood 6 months or so, depending on your ambitions, well that’s how it is for me atm
     
    At the end of the day, Blizzard generally know more about the size of the population as in people who live on the forums, people who just check once a month, people who don’t even bother checking forums ( who have all played Diablo and waiting for Diablo 3) and those people who will be joining Diablo for the first time, I think you’re underestimating the large number outside of this community that Bashiok is referring too
     
    So in summary, Yes, the chat system could improve alot, but, once the game is out, Do you really think that you will care for 6 months to ANY amount of years?? I for one will be lost within the world for many many months/years before i notice chat 🙂
     
     
    Let’s hope for a release very soon 🙂
     

  38. D1 had a chat like this, without the character profiles. It was just as good as d2 chat. To be honest, did you really use the d2 chat other than those times when you were trying to sell items ? its was just quick come and go and you were in the game, not sitting in the chat at all. And if you had to speak with your friends just ./w…

    • sure the community diminished over time, but I remember during classic D2, the class-specific channels were always full with vibrant discussions on strategies, builds, class-specific trading, and just great times … This will be possible with the current D3 system, just not as user-friendly.

    • People used D2 chat ALL THE TIME.

  39. @Jarpy’s post,

    Frozen Synapse’s chat was very similar to that of the original Starseige:Tribes,  It also used IRC in game, and it was perfect!  I’m sure people would love an IRC-style chat in D3

  40. All of you people complaining like s***holes on chatchannels and UI can come to my house. I have a pet, a dog, who has a scrotum for you to suck. Who the F gives a damn about skill interface? You will have the ****ing skill window  closed for about 99,99999999999999999% of the playtime.  Moreover, like someone has already stated, no one is going to use the chat channels anyway. The ones in SC2 have been ghost towns for almost a year. Plox Blizzard, release the game a.s.a.p and ignore the whiners.  

    • They’re ghost towns because they were designed very poorly.  Thank you, though, for making it evident that you don’t understand the dynamics of a gaming community enough to have a valid opinion on the matter.

  41. To me a decent chat channel was such an integral part of the Diablo experience … much the same as trade chat banter in wow … or the barrens chat 😀

    but anyway … was expecting a full chat lobby .. regional channels .. ebing able to see each others characters and equipment? Diablo 2 had it right … why change whats not broken? u can improve on it but atmo the tony screen in the corner is very generic .. and doesnt rlly inspire a community like the old chat channels of D2  

  42. Ok, I was hoping i could get a little clarification. What is it that the chat system does NOT do currently that has everyone here up in a snit? i am not part of beta so i have to rely on information from the internet. From what i have seen so far the only thing i’m not sure it does is give players the ability to create their own chat room and give the option to password it or whatever. you can view someones chr, check their skills, see their achievements and see their equipment (unfortunately you cant tell what they had for lunch… yet). something else that might be helpful but in no way makes the chat rooms unusable (as some people are making it out to be) is the text color and the ability to resize your window. Its difficult to gauge what the real issues people have with it when all they say it “it suck” or “its broken” i’m a computer tech and it is the most frustrating thing when someone hand me a computer and says “its not working”… What is not working? can it turn on, can it boot to your OS, can  you search your hard drive, is it a particular program, is it the internet, is it your email? most of the posts here just look like angry people lashing out without a clear idea of why they are enraged. 

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