The Diablo 3 Podcast #104: HC vs. SC deaths, Loot 2.0 Fixes, and PK Issues


Xanth and Aahz join Flux to discuss high end Hardcore vs. Softcore play, Sharagon level wants, Loot 2.0 fixes, unaffordable gold sinks, Hardcore PK dangers, and D3X release date predictions.

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  • 2:00 — Recent play experiences. Xanth’s approaching Paragon 100 with his HC WD. Flux’s Paragon 13 DH = mission accomplished.
  • 4:00 — How would Hardcore chars play differently without the life-saving passives? Is the Demon Hunter less fun in HC since she must play so carefully and cautiously, compared to the Wiz/WD/Monk with their death-cheating powers?
  • 15:00 — Sharagon level discussion. Has everyone come to want it by now, after several weeks of consideration? Give a reason to play your Alt? Does it only really matter to Hardcore players who have to reroll upon death?
  • 19:05 — Loot 2.0 Fanifesto discussion. Presentation trumps content, or at least greatly promotes it. Is the era of data via text coming to an end? Would moar sparkles make finding legendary items more fun?
  • 30:00 — DiabloWikiNephalem Valor stacks adjustments. Bigger bonuses for longer games? New deeper dungeon content?
  • 34:00 — Softcore vs. Hardcore play styles. Benefits and drawbacks to pushing higher DiabloWikiMonster Power levels and dying a lot in softcore? Would softcore Diablo III be completely destroyed by D2-style experience penalties upon death?
  • 40:00 — DiabloWikiGold sinks added in the future are meaningless to rich people who use the AH, and not affordable to people who are self found.
  • 45:00 — Legendary item drop survey questions and results. What DiabloWikiMagic Find amount turns up Legendary drop rates to noticeable? Which legs are the most/least common? What are the general issues and opinions about Diablo 3 legendary frequency and drop rates?
  • 1:03:40 — DiabloWikiDiablo 3 Expansion release date prediction time.
  • 1:09:00 — Xanth rants about a new multiplayer griefing Monster-Killer technique. Also, Moo.
  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in DiabloWiki.net provfides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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    1. Two points after listening to this:

      1) Perceptions of Nephalem Valor are that you cannot have high enough Magic Find until you have a fairly high Paragon level. Isn’t that what the 300% cap and MF on items supposed to address? Just wear a higher amount of MF on your gear when you’re a lower Paragon level.

      2) As a casual player, the legendary drop rates discussed here sound ludicrously high. Yet all the guests were describing it as frustratingly low. That just makes it clear that, no matter how high, there will never be legendary drops at high enough rates to satisfy people (just like gambling). BTW, I think you guys are misjudging how often you saw a D2 Unique (worth more than vendor food) from Mephisto.

      • Yeah, there’s simply no way to balance things out between people who play several hours every day and those who play several hours a week. You could do more account binding, but that has its own set of issues. I would put myself into a category of “casual+”. I’m not anywhere near the top of the Ladders, but I play at least a couple hours nearly every day. I no longer get excited about legendary drops, as I’ve tasted disappointment many, many times. As Steve H. points out below, though, it would be nice if more inferno legendaries were useful and not immediately brimstone.

    2. QUOTE

      Two points after listening to this:
      
      1) Perceptions of Nephalem Valor are that you cannot have high enough Magic Find until you have a fairly high Paragon level. Isn't that what the 300% cap and MF on items supposed to address? Just wear a higher amount of MF on your gear when you're a lower Paragon level.
      
      2) As a casual player, the legendary drop rates discussed here sound ludicrously high. Yet all the guests were describing it as frustratingly low. That just makes it clear that, no matter how high, there will never be legendary drops at high enough rates to satisfy people (just like gambling). BTW, I think you guys are misjudging how often you saw a D2 Unique (worth more than vendor food) from Mephisto.

      A few an hour would be great if they were actually good. When 90% are auto brims and 90% of the remaining ones end up being brims… it’s not great.

    3. Im at paragon 56 or something and I’ve been at 300MF since paragon 15 or something. I play a few hours every week, these days, and I’m not too excited to play because for all this time and effort at max MF, I haven’t got anything worthwhile, except for this one sword that earned e 10€ or something. Not enticing enough for a bad end game.

    4. Anyone else ever consider that Magic Find itself is a big part of the problem and needs to go away? If a developer can set the drop rate of legendaries to so that players receive on average 1 per 4 hours played – with some variance because of RNG, of course – and the player can boost that to up to five times as high – 5 per 4 hours played, that is – the perception is going to be wildly different.

      The other problem is, and the bigger one in my opinion, is the splintering of focus it provides. The game’s purpose is to have fun killing monsters and have fun collecting loot. They are not supposed to be competing interests, but magic find as an equipment affix and as a level-up bonus makes it so that players need to choose between getting as much magic find and as many opportunities for RNG to provide them with equipment as they can with a given play session, or having as much fun as they can simply killing monsters with that play session, and the two aren’t often the same. People feel like they should be playing builds more powerful, spend more time in the same areas, and work the AH more often than what they personally enjoy because they actually have to find a balance between killing monsters in the way they find most fun and the joy of acquiring gear.

    5. QUOTE

      Anyone else ever consider that Magic Find itself is a big part of the problem and needs to go away? If a developer can set the drop rate of legendaries to so that players receive on average 1 per 4 hours played - with some variance because of RNG, of course - and the player can boost that to up to five times as high - 5 per 4 hours played, that is - the perception is going to be wildly different.
      
      The other problem is, and the bigger one in my opinion, is the splintering of focus it provides. The game's purpose is to have fun killing monsters and have fun collecting loot. They are not supposed to be competing interests, but magic find as an equipment affix and as a level-up bonus makes it so that players need to choose between getting as much magic find and as many opportunities for RNG to provide them with equipment as they can with a given play session, or having as much fun as they can simply killing monsters with that play session, and the two aren't often the same. People feel like they should be playing builds more powerful, spend more time in the same areas, and work the AH more often than what they personally enjoy because they actually have to find a balance between killing monsters in the way they find most fun and the joy of acquiring gear.

      Yup. Most people don’t understand though that when a game has MF as a stat the base drop rate ends up being the drop rate WITH mf, that is to say without it your droprate is nerfed.

    6. The “problem” is that magic find is a game mechanic, it’s not just a stat, 300k DPS with 550% MF should not be possible, sacrifices should need to be made just like they had been in D2, MF is not supposed to be mandatory and your “killer” should never be your MF’er… They screwed the whole thing up by completely overlooking the “gameplay” behind magic find and instead turned it into another number on the character sheet that you need to “cap”.

      MF doesn’t need to be removed, it just needs to have a point, turning it into a stat anyone can cap so long as they play long enough was a really stupid move and to me shows how wrong the thought process is behind everything they are doing, having a Barb with 7k armor, 600 all res, 550MF, 300kDPS, 1k life on hit, 2k life per second, 3% life leech and 60k health that has the best group buffs isn’t “overpowered”, it’s just horrible game design.

    7. Then, DPS, EHP, %res all, MF, armor… should be stats with a fixed number of points that can be attributed and items provide skills and non-numeric advantages?

    8. @ 33 mins, Xanth says combat was slower in D1 and D2.

      Wat?

      I remember a D2 classic where uniques had no min level. You geared up a level 6 sorc with 2 sojs and a tarn and ran around act 1 herding up huge amounts of monsters and killing them all with frost nova.

      Or for a long time, the cow level was the farming spot. That was awesome. Herding up insane amounts of cows and smashing them all.

      If anything, it wasn’t frenzied ENOUGH.

      If you want longer fights … that is what wow is for.

      Haven’t you ever just CHARGED into a crazy huge pack of mobs, and blown them all up with corpse explosion? And how awesome that feels? Why would you want to get rid of that? There isn’t enough of that!

    9. I also don’t get this massive obsession with finding items and being as efficient as possible, to the point where if you are not being efficient, you just don’t do it.

      I’ve listened to lots of podcasts and never ONCE did I hear you guys say, “yah we just loaded up the game and ran around having fun with new characters.” Or “we got together and had fun trying to do x.”

      That’s what would keep me going at this point in d3 if I played that long.

      To be honest it often sounds like D3 is a joyless, annoying chore when you guys talk about it. I couldn’t keep playing like that the way you guys do.

      Like…I still play D2, maybe an hour a day. Currently I’m building up a level 90ish sorc in hardcore ladder, for the purpose of making enchanting games for noobs in normal and nightmare. Those are always fun because I usually get someone that tries to PK me. But my time is spent leveling in groups and then helping others in game and maybe some fights…..its more social to me….its not about the items at all nor being efficient.

    10. QUOTE

      The "problem" is that magic find is a game mechanic, it's not just a stat, 300k DPS with 550% MF should not be possible, sacrifices should need to be made just like they had been in D2, MF is not supposed to be mandatory and your "killer" should never be your MF'er... They screwed the whole thing up by completely overlooking the "gameplay" behind magic find and instead turned it into another number on the character sheet that you need to "cap".

      Why should there need to be a division between a player’s “killer” character and their “finder” character? Why can’t that be the same character? The fact of the matter is, there’s an overriding principle of RPG-like games, and that’s the concept of improvement of a character should be done primarily by playing that character. It’s the reason players have an issue with twinks, with being rushed through or skipping content, and with Shareagon levels. Right now, the best way to improve my P3 Barb is to play my P30 Wizard. There’s something off about that, and any forced division between a “killer” character and a “finder” character will create the same effect.

      I played Sorc in D2: I didn’t need a “killer” and a “finder”, they were one and the same. The fact that perhaps a Barb player and an Amazon player couldn’t say the same is a reflection of poor game design as well.

      MF doesn’t need to be removed, it just needs to have a point, turning it into a stat anyone can cap so long as they play long enough was a really stupid move and to me shows how wrong the thought process is behind everything they are doing, having a Barb with 7k armor, 600 all res, 550MF, 300kDPS, 1k life on hit, 2k life per second, 3% life leech and 60k health that has the best group buffs and passives in the game isn’t “overpowered”, it’s just horrible game design.

      The concept of the game is that if you play long enough, you’ll get whatever gear and stats you need, eventually. If that’s a problem for you, maybe it’s the Diablo series itself that you don’t like?

    11. That and if there is a division, either both or neither are killers and finders.

    12. To touch on loot in D2 vs D3 and frostburns especially reminded me of the disparity between the 2 games and their loot systems…

      I, personally still play D2, and find it much more enjoyable. Yes it feels unrefined and clunky compared to d3, but the loot system is why i’m there.

      You can find frostburns, chancies, magefists all in normal, and they still have usefulness in Hell. They’ll always be items that will have value, whether in a trade, or for your twinked character. This is what is missing from D3, the ability for low level items to still mean something. as well as white items (need a Runeword like system, or else they’re pointless.)

      I have limited experience in D3, with one character level 60. But D2 i’ve done everything, and I still have no interest to continue making characters in D3 because i find no real replayability.

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