Patch 2.1 Live Chat Follow Up Questions


Nevalistis replied a bunch of Patch 2.1 live chat follow up questions:

Everything was “awesome”.
Nevalistis: “Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!”

(Seriously, that’s one of my biggest takeaways as I rewatch the video and take notes. LEARN SOME MORE ADJECTIVES, NEVA, GEEZ.)

This is exactly why I am surprised that anyone enjoyed the pre-recording. Lets not kid ourselves. It was done ahead of time.
I can most certainly assure you it was live. There’s some things we do a little in advance (such as creating the graphics and animations used before, during, and after the stream, capturing video for some of the talking points, etc.) but the actual show was shot in a live environment and nothing was scripted. The notes I have in my lap are all extremely general, mostly to make sure we cover specific points we wanted to talk about (reminders about Seasons, Greater Rifts, Legendary Gems, any details we wanted to make sure folks know about, etc.) and so I could read all the questions we took from Twitter/Forums. Sort of like cue cards, except they’re all short bullet points and acting as prompts for my terrible, goldfish-like memory. 😛

Other talks have new information
The PTR has been up for quite some time, and we’re ramping up for release before the end of the month. If you’ve been keeping up with the PTR, yes, it’s information you’re aware of because that’s what we’re currently working on. If you haven’t, a lot of this is probably new information for you.

Not sure if that’s the kind of thing she usually does for blizz but it seemed pretty natural for her.
Ahaha, glad I seemed that way. I was bundle of nerves. :X This is my background though! I attended school for video and post production as well as theatre and improvisation. I’m admittedly rusty, but I have a lot of training I’ve gotten the opportunity to use lately!

Well, given that it was labeled as a discussion, and that it was on twitch, I was expecting exchange between the devs and the viewers.
The majority of time was dedicated to player questions, but I understand your concern. I’ll take that feedback and add it to my notes for when we review what we can learn from this experience. 🙂

I haven’t had time to PTR (or even play that much) so watching the video over dinner was great. It’s nice to see the developers getting as excited as the player base about release. +1 to do more streams like this in the future.
We’re glad you found the stream helpful/enjoyable, this was certainly one of the goals! It’s also something we have interest in continuing to do if you guys liked it!

We’re stoked to get 2.1.0 in your hands, and can’t wait to jump into Seasons alongside you!

did they say that DiabloWikilegendary gems WOULD be viable for people who already had awesome gear?
Certainly! We didn’t touch on this point too much during the stream (and I think it warrants mention), but not each gem will be amazing for every build. For instance, if you’re not running pets, then the Enforcer gem probably won’t be a high priority for you. People who like using their Primary skills a lot will find Simplicity’s Strength more appealing, while those who focus on their spenders probably won’t. There will definitely be some experimentation going on in the community (as there always is) once they’re available and folks find what works best for them.

They got you running damage control huh?
I was the primary on this project (planning, scheduling, executing, etc. though I had plenty of help from our excellent Video & Post Production team and my own team), and saw a thread in which I could gather feedback and offer insight, that’s all. 😉 I think the stream went well, and it seems a lot of other folks feel the same way. I’m also seeing a lot of great, constructive feedback on how I can make these streams better in the future. That’s valuable, and I appreciate ya’ll taking the time to let me know how we can improve these initiatives.

I enjoyed the live stream chat (even while spending hours typing up the transcript) since it was formatted very much like our Diablo Podcasts. A host who steers the conversation with questions and guests who do most of the discussion, with back and forth exchanges. I find straight interviews much less interesting than conversations/discussions, and I think it’s more interesting to hear why and how people think about the topics.

The timing varies, of course. This wouldn’t be the sort of “interview” to run at Blizzcon when there was a ton of new info to extract, but after months of the PTR for Patch 2.1, there wasn’t any new info (except to people who haven’t been following the news). So the value came in hearing why and how the changes were made and what the Devs were going to do in the future.

And yes, this is just the sort of conversation we’ve pitched to Blizzard on numerous occasions. I really wanted to get a couple of devs on the podcast around the end of the D3 or RoS beta to talk about how the beta test had gone, what they’d learned and changed during the test, what had surprised them, how they implemented fan feedback into new builds, etc. Alas, those are the types of fansite requests that the CMs say sound awesome and they’ll check with the higher ups… and then it never happens. And then the devs do lame, short, superficial interviews with Wired and Gamespot type sites, answering basic FAQ type queries we fans already know the answers to.

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Live Chats

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  1. it was what i expected, not much new info given as usual (i think repeating stuff that was already officially covered elsewhere is a waste of time), some totally pointless questions and little bit of actually interesting tidbits (mostly insights on design).

    the fact they acknowledged that they can't just mess with numbers cause it would affect low levels/difficulties too much is a bit worrying though cause imo that's broken design and balancing the game with legendaries takes ages.

    • It's not really broken design, it's a direct a result of the fact that items are important for builds, which I think is a good thing. Of course we could argue about how important items should be, it's a scale after all. The more important they are in the endgame the less the devs can balance that endgame purely by skill changes.

      • it is kinda broken though. they can't buff skills because they'd have to re-tweak all the lowbie stuff every time they did. if they had skill ranks or something that wouldn't be an non-issue and they could mess with numbers at will.

        and items (sets) are totally way too powerful and that definitely doesn't help but yeah, that's a different story.

        • D2 had skill ranks and yet the game was about getting specific items for your build. Sure, some worked without them, but those were the exception, and mostly because of huge balance issues. For the rest of the builds most of your power came from items.

          Even if you have skill ranks the items still have to have some kind of an interaction with the skills to boost them, otherwise they're pointless for the endgame. If you want to be able to balance skills for the endgame then you simply can't have powerful items that interact with them in meaningful ways, the two is mutually exclusive in my opinion.

          Again, I don't think this is broken design, just the opposite. This design will keep players playing the game with the goal of finding new items. The real downside is for the devs, because they have to make new items constantly to keep the game interesting (this is where the D3 team was slow to react since RoS) and use them to balance the endgame.

          • "This design will keep players playing the game with the goal of finding new items."

            This only works for the people, who are into grinding for the grind anyhow. Other types of players enjoy the primary gameplay for a while but are in need of other ways to set goals in character developement, to keep them interested in the long run. Just adding new items only increases the feeling of there being nothing worthwile to do, resulting in playing a short time after each patch or perhaps one to two times a month only.

          • @Silverfang

            What is your goal in ARPGs? How would you change D3 to implement those goals?

            Keep in mind that every game design decision is a compromise, you can't please everyone. At one point you have to choose what your game should be about and stick to that, otherwise you don't have a core to build on.

            I understand that people play for the enjoyment of combat as well. While I primarily play to find items and try builds I also enjoy the simple pleasure of slaying hordes of monsters. For me though D3 is probably the best ARPG in this regard.

          • "D2 had skill ranks and yet the game was about getting specific items for your build."

            of course, we're talking aRPGs here after all. but they were still nothing compared to the over the top stuff we have in D3 (not until 1.10 runewords and correct if I'm wrong but the game wasn't being worked on by blizzard north at that point anyway). they were sought after yeah, but you could still do without them.

            the way things work in D3 is pretty much: get full set + supplement legendary or suffer in mid torments. add blizzard not being able to buff skills properly due to lowbie stuff and here we go, broken design. this particular blizzard team is simply not very good at designing systems in my opinion.

            (you can have perfectly powerful and desirable items without them having to interact with skills or be ridiculously OP otherwise btw)

          • @HardRock

            I'm a roleplayer with penpaper background, hooked on the arpg iso-playstyle since D1&2. Prefered playstyle: Every nook and cranny. What I'm looking for in an arpg foremost is interesting character developement, with items complementing the choices made during character developement. If items allow for building up quirky characters, all the better, but else only important to boost the character, if I'm stuck at a certain challenge and lacking to much power to be compensable through simply playing differently or more carefully. (With D2, I usually did a few meph-runs in nightmare, to get the gear necessary to get ready for hell – mostly played sp-hc without atma or similar tools, though with runemod. Were only farming more, if the build I wanted to play needed specific items to work out, else took the areas being doable but a challenge to me or cleared whole acts at a time. Similar with TQ, Sacred 1&2, Nox, …)

            With D3 now, there's the primary gameplay that's best on the market. But there's no(!) character developement system at all. The characters stay, as they are designed. With all possible skills always available anf of the same strength, than another character of the same class. And that's it. No decisionmaking by the player, to build out different strength and weakness. Just switching skills and items around and change your character into any build/setup possible. Without any difference in skill availabilities and -strengths, whatsoever. That's very far from any root usual for a rpg, even considering the arpg-genre alone.

            Legendary affixes may perhaps at one point turn into adequate surrogate for the lack of a character developement system. And with Patch 2.1 it starts looking like it could really be possible to reach. To get there, there'll have to be a lot more affixes available, though. At minimum there should be three alternative ways for each and every damaging skill to be modified, each with different complementary legendaries/sets providing the best synergy. (And to be honest: Even than rng will probably be source of more frustration, than making me eager to keep farming for the items. Times of no upgrades leads to time off the game. It's mostly the splendid primary gameplay that drags me back every once in a while.)

            K!A.o.S.

            PS: Just as comparison: D3 is out since may 2012 now. Since then I'm just nearing the 1700th hour of gameplay. With D2 I have been around approximately 7500h after two and a half years. (10-12 hours each day for about half a year after release, then around 3-5 hours each day during the week and 8-12 hours over the weekend. Returning to 10-12 hours a day for around a 3/4 year straight after LoD-release.)

          • As short addendum: In my view, D3 is more a different developement route gone from D1, than really a successor to D2. A D2"b", so to speak, though up to date from a technical standpoint. Where D2 has been developed to embed and represent typical rpg-tropes in a system of coherent logic, D3 is back to throwing skills together by funfactor, though not grounded in a coherent, logical base.

          • "At minimum there should be three alternative ways for each and every damaging skill to be modified, each with different complementary legendaries/sets providing the best synergy."

            Yup. This has been my thinking for ages now which is why I've disliked the skill-specific Legs idea for so long. And maybe they'll get there but at the current rate they're going it's going to take them forever (for some unknown reason; it's not like most of the skill modifying mods are really clever and hard to come up with – I wonder how hard they worked to come up with "remove cooldown and add resource cost to Condemn" as an exciting new Leg).

          • @yovargas

            What I hope for most there, but ain't seeing it coming, are less specific, complementary affixes, spawnable only on rares or even simple magic items. (Preferable different types of affixes for each, if both rare and magic items would be accounted for.) These should be supplementary in nature (not changing any skills mechanics) and broader in nature, perhaps boosting a whole category a bit or few skills fitting certain themes, and should be enough to provide (at least) rares on some slots with an endgame value again. (As it's done with simplicity and other gems (and legendaries), for example, which is WHY I ain't seeing it coming.

          • There is also a lot details in skills, I still would like to fiddle around with. For example influencing the radius of firebomb explosions (, independent from rune), upping magic missile missile speed (, independent from upping animation speed through faster attack rate and perhaps while downgrading damage of each missile appropriately) and similar detail manipulations.

          • I would surely love it if Rares and Magics (and even whites!) had some point beyond being salvaged but that ship has clearly past. Their philosophy has gone entirely to Legs, all we can hope for at this point is for Legs to become more interesting. And IMO there are far more interesting ways to do this than just boosting one specific skill.

      • I agree with you in principle but what's broken right now IMO is items boosting some specific skills with other skills getting no boosts at all. This leaves some skills pathetically weak compared to others if you get the right items.

        • With Seasons the promise is that we'll be getting new Legendaries every couple of months. Additionally patches will very likely add new affixes to the Legendaries that don't have any yet. Yes, it took some time, but the devs finally realized where they should be concentrating their efforts.

      • Or they can dump the low level garbage completely and be honest w/ themselves about what the 1-70 journey is like anymore. W/ Paragon, there's no damn use for the silly 1-70 grind at all. Give out skills for completing quests/bounties/rifts. Leveling had its time and place, and they're gone now.

        • On the other hand 1-70 takes a few hours at most. Also, personally I still enjoy it. What I've found is that often I still try out new things while leveling because there's no pressure at all to use cookie cutter builds and that when I reach 70 I still tend to use my leveling build until I absolutely need to switch to something more effective.

          • "On the other hand 1-70 takes a few hours at most."

            Is there a way to accomplish this solo that I don't know about? Cuz my personal experience has been 15-20 hours to lvl70 playing the game at a normal pace.

          • @yovargas

            IIRC in AM it shouldn't take that long if you keep doing bounties on the highest difficulty you can handle.

          • Yup, been doing that the last couple weeks to try and finally get my last two chars to 70 and it's definitely not that fast. As a guy who plays max 1-2 hours a day, it could easily take me a week or more to go 1 to 70 even with a little gem twinking.

          • Full disclosure: I haven't been playing D3 for a couple of months now, so my memory of how quick the leveling was in AM could be off a little. That said I do know that I still enjoyed the process the last time one of my HC characters died. 🙂

          • I'd also taken a break. Honestly wasn't 100% I was gonna come back this time but 2.1 got me curious enough so I'm trying to finally get everyone to 70 before it hits this week. 🙂

  2. All during D3v we bitched about how boring the legendaries were and wished we had build-changing legs. Like the uniques in D2 that you found and were like, "Oh I've got to make a Javazon now!" Or a Sorc using Hydra, or whatever.

    And now RoS has them. Lots and lots of them. They might not be perfect, but it's very much what fans kept asking for, so there is that, at least.

  3. My dream world would be a "pindle solution" (a.k.a. decent number of legendaries/hour, even if garbage) and those build changing legendaries implemented.

    Because some people didn't see a Shard of Hate or Kridershot yet – and they are promising more cool stuff. So yeah, I fell like asking for better drop rates now… (In seasons, a slightly higher drop rate would be nice, but, in fact it seems to be lower due to seasonal items, i.e.).

    PS.: I wouldn't mind if the 1-70 "grind" took 5 min, or if they broke it entirely. o/|Gieb hammerdin or riot|\o 🙂

  4. I think the upgradable legendaries is a good point in character development. My dream world would be to have legendaries which drop really often (average of one per pack so that you have a chance to get one you need) that you can upgrade to finally get the legendary power (and doable at T1 or T2 not only for the T6 0.1% players like it is for legendary gems).

  5. They should do a spot on the Diablo Podcast!

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