One life to live: Hardcore public games, hardcore public problems

I’ve been having a blast in 1.08. Since losing my plvl 71 monk I’ve played almost exclusively in public games something I had never been able to say pre-1.08. However there is one problem that I keep coming back to again, and again, and again.Groundhog_Day_(movie_poster)

By far the easiest way to meet up in a public game is through the any quest feature and monster slaying option. Upon clicking you find yourself in a random game with random players, and quickly slaying demons. Which is great! One of my greatest complaints was how I had no desire to play with other people since it wasn’t worth it. Now it seems as if it is far and above soloing in terms of both MF and XP.

With multiplayer games now being the creme de le creme( or some other french phrase) there is one major flaw and several minor ones that have to change to in order optimize the system.

The first is what happens when you leave the game. Often you can find yourself in an already cleared or soon to be cleared game. This is a waste of your time to play in, so you leave. Enter the menu and zone into…the same cleared game. Clearly a fluke right? Leave. Enter Menu…Same game..ARG! I counted last night I had this happen five times in a row before I entered into a fresh game. This isn’t a one time deal however, on a nightly basis this will happen (for me at least) every three games or so.

This also ties into not being able to judge how far a game has been cleared prior to entering. You have no clue if it’s fresh or freshly cleared until you wade into a empty festering woods. Which then sends you back to the menu.

So what needs to happen? Outside of going back to the D2 system of naming our own games and joining at will, we will we need two things. First we need to be able to choose what game we go into. Even a nondescript name like random1 Mp1 A1 could work, that way we can choose what game we are entering and try to enter one that we know is different from where we left. The second is some sort of timer that shows us how long the game has been going, or a count of the total amount of elites that have been killed. That way players could tell if the game is fresh or if it is on it’s way to being cleared.

Now I can’t say if this is a softcore problem, I imagine it may not be. However with the small hardcore player base we can get spread a bit thin, and being able to reduce frustration with multiplayer can only keep our community thriving and growing.

How has your multiplayer experience been thus far? How would you change the system?

One Life to Live covers the Hardcore play and life style in the Diablo community. It is written by Xanth and published weekly. Post your comments below, Follow me on Twitter @HCXanth or contact the author directly. For all the archived news about Diablo 3 hardcore check our Archives!

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21 thoughts on “One life to live: Hardcore public games, hardcore public problems

  1. This happens with softcore all the time, though less now that more people are playing mp. I enter a room, quickly type “Keywarden alive?” I get the yes/no response and I can stay or leave. Problem is that I often leave, join a new room, and like you said, find myself right back in that same room. I now switch Acts after exiting just to make sure. So even though I might only need the Act III key, I might enter Act 1 or 2 because it beats having to join/exit the same room over and over. This is happening less than it used to, but it’s still a problem.

    • My workaround for this to exit a game, switch MP up or down one level, then join a game.

      You may still enter the occasional cleared game, but at least this prevents you from rejoining the game you just left.

      Still needs improvement on Battlenet’s side.

  2. A suggestion that I’ve posted in my list of suggestions available here:

    “In any public game (even if it’s just 2 player), be able to report a player as AFK. The moment they enter combat, the AFK flag is removed. If any players in the game are AFK flagged, the game is taken off the list of public games for people to join.”

    The reason this applies to your complaint of ‘already cleared games’ is if it’s cleared, then none of the players are joining combat anytime soon since there’s nothing to be in combat with since everything is dead. So mark one of the people as ‘afk’ and until they get in combat with something the game is removed from a game you can join via the public game queue.

  3. This happens more time than I can count in Softcore. I’ll join a game, only to have everyone standing in town with a fully cleared game, I leave and reenter the same cleared game. Or I’ll join three separate games, all of which are fully cleared. There really should be a marker on the game that takes it off the list of games to join once a percentage of the map is cleared.

  4. D3’s matching system is complete crap. This has been an issue since day 1, even in softcore.

    In BattleNet 1.0/D2 we could name our games and see how long the games have been running. In BattleNet 0.2/D3, we have a completely asinine/stupid matching system with no options, no game information, and no control. The only way you can reliably do anything fun is, build a friends list, tell your friends what your agenda is, talk it out and come to an agreement, and then create private games. Finding a random, open, public game where the players are doing what you want to do is impossible, especially when the idiotic matching system routinely places you in empty/cleared games, sometimes the same exact empty/cleared game several times in a row.

    Also, the newly added keywarden, brawling, whatever, game tags are a slap in the face compared to D2’s game-naming/duration system. The D3 devs need to learn that taking away our control and automating things for us does not make things better when the automated system they come up with is completely asinine/stupid/annoying.

    • It’s quite clear that the best solution is naming games, but they obviously aren’t allowing that, probably because of the chance for people to grief people and spam offensive game titles etc. Same reason chat was out of SC2 at launch and is still not a ‘proper’ chat system.

      Until Blizzard’s company policy on this changes, expect a shitty experience with these crappy half-measure fixes.

      • At this point, for PuGs, you don’t even need game names, just a games lobby. A list of games, searchable kind of like the AH, using tags, times, NV stacks, Key Warden, etc. I understand not giving out game names (you know most of them will be obnoxious, racist, disgusting crap), but a games lobby w/ some info before you quick join would be amazing. The tags are a good first step. Unfortunately, as the case w/ most of D3, they take one good step forward and two steps back.

  5. That is why I make a game and set it public so I guarantee I am the 1st in the game and it usually doesn’t take long for others to join. And I don’t start till we have 4 to be fair but I know I am in the minority. But more times that not I would rather run with people I know and are on mumble since it makes the experience even better. There are more than a few severs out there just need to keep your eyes peeled.

    • I agree with most of Muggs’ sentiments. Just taking the initiative to lead the game/open things up is often the best way. If you’d rather follow than lead, then you’re bound to run into some problems. But even having one friend or two often leads to meeting friends of friends and before you know it you have a regular group to run with. It actually can kinda suck when you have to start excluding people because there are some more prime candidates or there’s that one person that always logs on and asks to join up JUST as you fill the fourth slot.

      However, I will say I agree with adding an overall timer to see how long a game has been open. That would even just help with keeping track of efficiency, too, for players.

  6. Was just considering writing a little thread on this exact matter at the HC forum, but you beat me to it, Xanth!

    The fact that from playing not more than 4-5 multiplayer games since release, to playing 100% in public games now, really show to me how strongly determined the developers were to make this game a great multiplayer game again, and I, for one.. am not complaining! =)

    True, the problem you have described is very noticable in HC, especially since the armount of total games on during any time ain’t that grand, but I found that switching to different criterias, such as MP3 instead of MP2, gets you into a fresh new game as soon as you revert to your old critera!

    All in all, I am loving HC more than ever, now with 1.08.. and things have become so much more conveniant, that mt top HC char is actually a PLVL 11 Demon Hunter! That’s right, the squishiest class in the game, but since we can team up 100% of the time now, and get great rewards for doing so, this has become a pure pleasure, and a much more entertaining gaming experience! =)

  7. I would like to be able to set a range of monster powers so I don’t have to go through each one hoping there is a game at that specific MP.

  8. Forgot to add, I am sick of doing act 1 games. I have 40 a1 keys… and act2 is more dense with elites by double, and roughly the same exp per hour.

  9. I haven’t played public games but I would have thought that if you were looking for a game with a key warden tag or something that it would put you in a game that had the key warden still alive and if the key warden was dead, it would put you elsewhere. That sort of mechanic makes sense to me.

  10. What I do to skip this problem is that I always create the public game. This doesn’t work if you are a “leecher”.

    I think its not that hard for blizzard to fix this problem even without you seeing the games. They need to their system to sort the games by “time” . You will never enter 5 times in the game you left unless there is no newer game created and in that case you should just make a new public game.

  11. Multiplayer hardcore has been fun. I definitely get more rare drops and even a legendary dropped for me in hardcore yesterday.

  12. I still find mp games frustrating, and solo games still more efficient. Yes the MF and XP bonuses now make mp games optimal, but in my experience it’s a paper bonus.

    Too often someone’s selling, or we’re taking on every small pack and clearing areas not heavily populated to being with. I can’t seem to coordinate a group to go for massacre streaks. People die and just not seem to play as efficiently. Add to that the tendency for joining groups that have already cleared areas like Fields or WH and it take the shine off the mp XP bonus. Getting 5 stacks simply takes longer in mp games.

    So basically I still find it better to play solo in most cases, which is fine because at least the game is more fun to play now. Starting a public game is one option I suppose, but you still wait and thus waste time, and the other issues I run into remain. 🙁

    Shame about Act IV though. Blizz needs to buff that even more. Maybe buff just the drop rates to make it the leg grinding spot.

  13. My workaround is simple: create your own game and open to public. Voila! You will literally never relive that problem and Bill Murray’s soul can rest in peace.

  14. I have never run into this problem (in SC). However, when I create a game, it often takes a quarter to half an hour to get players. Curious that I have the opposite behavior as you.
    Anyway, I often enjoy mp games…

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