The Diablo 3 Podcast #121: Blizzcon 2013 Reaper of Souls Interview, Jason Regier and Travis Day

Flux interviews Reaper of Souls developers Travis Day and Jason Regier from Blizzcon 2013. Nerfed magic find, Loot 2.0 legendaries, class balance issues, gold sinks and the RoS economy, and more.

I typed up a full transcript for this one, and added annotations with additional info about the topics covered, follow up questions I would have asked if I’d had time, and much more. Click through to read while you listen and soak in the full content.

  • 0:20 — Show introduction and topics, plus related Blizzcon 2013 infos.
  • 1:55 — Clans and social features. Soul binding and trade restrictions on items in RoS.
  • 5:00 — The coming economy and uses of gold.
  • 7:10 — Class Balance and RoS legendaries.
  • 11:00 — Affixes and hardcaps and item stat diversity. Crushing Blow is back!
  • 14:30 — Giant affix values and upgraded gem bonuses.
  • 16:20 — Magic Find and Paragon points.
  • The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

    Clans and New Social Features

    I intended to start off with a question about game systems or some new feature, but the site readers had made quite a few requests for me to ask about new social features on and with the new Clans interface sighted via datamining as well as previewed in the Reaper of Souls Blizzcon video, and yet never mentioned in either of the Diablo 3 panels. So I brought it up right at the start.


    Flux: When I asked fans to suggest questions for this interview quite a few people asked about new and improved social features and guild support. And then in the Blizzcon RoS preview video you guys showed a new clans interface with chat that looked much like it did in Diablo 2 with animated characters on the bottom of the screen. But you haven’t offered more details about it in any of the panels. Can you tell me something about the plans for clan support in Reaper of Souls? Better ways to chat? Is there trading involved in there?

    Jason Regier: Well, we’re still working on the full feature set and what those will actually encompass.

    Clans interface teaser image.

    Clans interface teaser image.

    Travis Day: Groups really came over from Starcraft, They’re something that people know and love there. They are something for people to get into their shared interests. Clans are something that sort of existed in various games and they definitely offer you a new way to chat with people and get together to play games.

    Flux: So the whole chat interface is not being changed that much for Reaper of Souls? It’s just that in a clan you get more social features to chat with people also in your clan?

    Jason Regier: It’s not so much… you definitely can easily chat with people who are inside your clan, but it’s more about promoting an awareness that other people in your clan are online and there to play games. Especially for something like Adventure Mode, which is an easy “hop in hop out” type of gameplay.

    Flux: Have you looked into item trading as part of that?

    Jason Regier: Well item trading isn’t restricted just to clans. It’s something you can do anywhere. If you wanted to talk to other people in your game you could just do it. Items and the way that they are soulbound is a really big change in Reaper of Souls. A very big focus for us is making sure that items mean something for you. Like we’ve upped a lot of the power to make items interesting and unique. Travis could probably speak more on that…

    Flux: Just briefly before you go into that. To clarify, all legendaries are Account Bound now?

    Travis Day: Yes.

    Flux: And anything you put a gem into a socket also becomes bound?

    Travis Day: In the case of socketing it’s more that any time you socket a soulbound gem into an item it will bind it.

    Flux: In the demo here you get a binding pop up warning when you socket any gem… oh, so that’s just while it’s socketed. If you take out the gem then you can trade it.

    Travis Day: Yes. In the case of Rare items. As for legendary items, we really are trying to double down on making items as powerful as we possibly can. We say all the time, “game changing, not game breaking.” The constraints on that is that we want the player to feel powerful, but also feel that you earned it. If you see someone with a really awesome item, we don’t want you to think, “Oh, he just went to the auction house and bought it.”

    So all of our trading restrictions that we’re putting in place are to help you feel relaly good about earning your items. And also to give us the option to make them as crazy as we possibly can. When we removed the Auction House we were mostly trying to make the game experience the best it can be without needing one [an AH] and also to find as many ways to make trading still exist while protecting the integrity of the gameplay.

    We have a system now that allows you to trade legendaries that drop in a co-op game with anyone else in the game. What we really want is to make the game about playing with your friends. Not just jumping into a game [to trade] and saying, “Hey, look at my stuff.”

    Flux: So that would be items that would be account bound if you left the game, but can be traded while you’re still in the game?

    Travis: You can trade any items, including legendary and set items, within the game you find them. And even when you leave we basically give you a time window that says “Hey, anyone you were just playing with you can trade that item with.”

    Flux: That’ll provide an incentive to multiplayer there.

    Travis: Exactly.

    Flux: And to not having assholes for friends.

    Travis and Jason: *laughter*

    Travis: It’ll get you playing with people and you’ll be like, “Hey, you’re a Wizard! I just found this cool wizard item. Here you go!” And you can get all his Barb stuff, so it works out for everyone.

    The opening of this exchange was intended to get into “is there a new trading system coming to replace/supplement the function of the Auction House?” There’s been a lot of speculation that we’d see such a feature once the AH shuts down, at least to somewhat automate the buying and selling of commodities like crafting materials and gems. And the thinking was that perhaps the devs would tie that into the Clan system, where you’d have some kind of mini-AH, perhaps only for stackables, to exchange those with your clan mates and save you the wasted time of trying to find Tomes of Secret and gems and such via trade chat/spam, or via third party selling sites.

    I didn’t actually ask about that since from their reply on the trading stuff, it seemed pretty obvious that no such system was in the works, or at least nothing far enough along that they were going to talk about it yet.

    I scrapped some questions about ladders for the same reason, since I’d talked to some of the devs prior to this interview, asked about ladders, and heard that they had nothing yet to reveal on them. Josh gave the on-the-record version of that reply when asked during a panel Q&A.

    The Economy and the Uses of Gold

    Another big community debate point has been the post-Auction House economy and whether gold will retain value, if we’d move to some kind of barter systems, etc. The devs have talked about new gold sinks, and the biggest of those seems to be the DiabloWikiMystic‘s enchanting. So I asked about that to kick off some econ discussion.

    Flux: You guys have mentioned some gold sinks like the Mystic’s enchants, are there no limits on her enchanting? Like Demonic Essences limit crafting rolls in the game today. Is there nothing like that for the Mystic?

    Travis: There are some throttles. If you want to enchant legendaries, if you want to reroll the best things in the game. You also need the disenchanting material for legendaries. So there are definitely some limits; there’s an increasing gold cost the more you repeatedly enchant the same thing. So you don’t need a ton of money, but if you have a ton of money there are things to do with it. Ideally we want to give players things to do with their gold that they’re happy about. We don’t want to tax people; we want to find things in game that seem like they’re value.

    Clown suit to Transmog fashion.

    Clown suit to Transmog fashion.

    Jason: I think DiabloWikiTransmog is a perfect example of that. It’s something players wanted in the game already. They didn’t want to be forced to have the look of an item just because it had better stats.

    Flux: I liked the clown suit you put together in that picture at the panel. With the yellow pants and the pink top. It was like Diablo 2 just came back to life there.

    Jason: You don’t have to try too hard to find those looks.

    Flux: Oh I’m sorry, I forgot. Diablo 2 was only black and dark and gothic.

    Jason and Travis: *snickering*

    This and other new info makes me think gold will have more value than I expected, though probably less than Azzure argued in our joint editorial. I figured gold would be largely useless in Reaper of Souls since the devs would design the game to make it useless. And they’ve done quite a bit of that with all the Binding on the most tradeable/salable items, but the Mystic seems like a bone they’re throwing to gold rich players. A fortune in shiny yellow metal won’t be a guaranteed success in RoS, but it at least puts you a leg up on rerolling items you do find.

    I was also intrigued by the mention of “disenchanting materials.” We don’t know much about materials and commodities in RoS, and there are big changes coming to them, largely due to the flat/scaling difficulty of Adventure Mode, which makes the current system of different materials on each difficulty level unworkable.

    Class Balance


    Flux: The Barbarian is *just slightly* more powerful and popular than any other class right now. That class seems like it’s getting huge changes from the datamining we’ve seen so far, but is the ultimate goal to get the classes more even in popularity? Obviously you’ll never get them all 16.66% burn rate, but do you guys want them all very similar, or are you okay if you make changes and everyone starts playing… the Demon Hunter, say?

    Travis: Class balance is something we’re spending a lot of time working on in Reaper of Souls. We really want… for example during the panel I alluded to “Everyone plays a Whirlwind Barbarian!” We really want players to play what they enjoy. If you want to be a Demon Hunter we want you to feel good about being a Demon Hunter. And we want all the Demon Hunters to have as many ways to play that class as possible, so you can find something that suits you best.

    That’s something we’re working on with the skills, we’re going through and revising a lot of the old skills doing really big numbers passes to just balance everything out better. We’re also trying to play that up with the items, we’re adding lots of affixes that reinforce certain skills so that you can find items that suit your playstyle. And also especially the legendaries, we’re trying to make those really embody or open up playstyles that players didn’t previously have.

    Jason: There are some legendary items; like for the Wizard class, there’s the Hydra skill. So maybe you didn’t really like Hydra, but if you got a legendary item that gives you two Hydras, them maybe that skill becomes appealing to you and you go and choose that instead.

    All of the legendary items and a lot of the items in the game we’re just trying to make it so that there’s a lot of diversity amongst the classes. I think when we play the game at the office, we sort of have our own groups at the office that come out and say like, “Oh this build’s the best. This is totally OP.” And then it’ll change week after week. I mean we see that in the live environment too, where something’s the best and then it changes over time. I think that’s a testament to the depth of the game. And the legendary items and all of the new itemization with Loot 2.0 is really going to play into that.

    Affixes and Hardcaps


    Flux: A couple of things on stats and items. Are you guys still thinking about hard caps on properties like Crit and Crit Damage and Attack Speed? As we’ve seen from datamining that’s gone in and out in various versions during development.

    Travis: That is something we were experimenting with early on in the dev cycle, but it’s been out of our plans for a while. We were sort of playing around, “Well what happens when you hit 100% critical hit chance? Can you go over it? Do you care?” We sort of came to the conclusion that in Diablo we want to give the player as much control over their character as possible. It’s not an MMO, we don’t have to balance things around some really tight bar, and if you want to stack certain stats, go for it. Ideally you want to have lots of different stats because they’re all compelling, so we’re coming at it from that angle.

    We’ve added a lot of new affixes recently, to sort of reinforce that. We added resource cost reduction as a percent, so you can stack that on your gear. We have cooldown reduction as we showed, we have a lot of affixes that make certain specific skills better, we recently reintroduced DiabloWikiCrushing Blow into the game.

    Flux: Cool.

    Travis: So we’re really trying to get as many cool affixes as possible so then it’s not really a big deal if you decide you like crit or attack speed.

    Flux: The problem now is the trifecta stats… everybody wants those since they’re the best and there’s no real diminishing returns or hard caps or breakpoints, so it’s always better to have more of them. But as you guys say, if there are other properties that are more compelling… You wanted to add something Jason?

    Jason: Yeah. Well first off, I wouldn’t read too much into the datamining stuff.

    Flux: That’s all we have, though….

    Jason: I understand that.

    Flux: It’s our whole little world!

    New primary and secondary stat display.

    New primary and secondary stat display.

    Travis: *laughing*

    Jason: It’s like reading tea leaves though. We change stuff so often at the office, like we just want to try out a whole bunch of new things and that’s really the iterative nature of life at Blizzard.

    For items themselves though, something you probably noticed from the slides at the panels is that we’ve divided up the affixes into primary and secondary categories. I think there were some cases before where you might have gotten an item with an affix that’s like plus to gold find, or health globe pickup and you’re like, “Oh man, that came at the expense of something I really wanted, like Crit.”

    Now these affixes are classified in different groups, so that you actually know you’re not losing one at the expense of the other. With that come some caps on how many primary stats you can have and how many secondary stats you can have at the same time. So we’re changing… we understand that the DiabloWikitrifecta of stats does exist on the current set of items and we’re looking to address that so there are more interesting choices for people.


    Flux: And hard caps would certainly incentivize making those choices. But you guys aren’t looking at hard caps anymore, in your current thinking? Or diminishing returns above 50% or something like that?

    Travis: Currently not. I’ve frequently said this when we talk about caps. If we do have caps it’s a very heavy-handed way for designers to address the problem. It also opens up its own bag of problems, which I refer to as “item jenga.” So it’s like, “Now I hit the cap on this item, so I need to replace this other item, and I’ve got to enchant this to get rid of the crit, but then I need to put crit damage on this one, then like every time you find a new item it becomes a burden.

    Flux: That can be fun though. I guess it’s a min/maxer kind of thing?

    Travis: I think it’s very fun for a certain mindset of players and I don’t personally mind it. What we don’t like about it is if you look what it does in WoW with reforging. There every time you get an item you’ve got to go to a website, punch in your stats and it says, “Here’s the things you need to do to your item!” And here’s all the stuff you’ve got to do before you can actually use it. And we really just want players to go, “Here’s a good item, put it on and go to it.”

    Jason: It sounds really interesting to have one change force you to change a bunch of other items, but that’s a pretty big disincentive to trying to change your build around. And changing your build around is something we want people to feel like they have the option to do. Especially with a lot of these new items. We’re adding items that give you pretty compelling stat boost to certain skills that might make you take a skill you normally wouldn’t want, just because the stat boost [from the new item] is so awesome.

    As a Wizard maybe I wouldn’t normally use Arcane Orb, but if I find an item that gives 20% bonus damage to that skill, I might check it out.


    Flux: And now there’s Frozen Orb too! Oh wait, that’s a Magic Missile effect…

    Travis: Ah, it’s an Arcane Orb effect.

    Flux: Which one is the Magic Missile effect? One of the famous D2 skills returning? I’m blanking on the name…

    Travis and Jason: It’s Frozen Orb.

    I was trying to allude to DiabloWikiGlacial Spike, the Diablo 2 Sorc skill that returns to Diablo III in RoS as a rune effect in DiabloWikiMagic Missile. This was one of the default skills in the Wizard’s setup in the Reaper of Souls demo, but I hadn’t played a Wizard before this interview or my memory would have been refreshed. And then everything would have been different! Or not….

    On the larger issue of simplifying item mods, I’m not a fan of their design choices, though I suspect most players are, so I can see why the choices have been made. Clearly most players just want to find items with bigger kill numbers, throw them on, and feel awesome. Making sacrifices for Magic Find, or engaging in a more complicated item game that rewards intelligent play and equipment choices is more than most players want to bother with. I loved that aspect of the Diablo 2 item game, where there were so many useful affixes and most of them had hard caps or diminishing returns or DiabloWikibreakpoints which meant you had to carefully monitor how much of each property you had, since too little wouldn’t have any effect and too much would go to waste.

    The only thing close to that in D3 is when you get a character high enough into the Paragon levels that they exceed the 300% Magic Find cap from their gear + passive bonuses. That’s a fun time since then you get to start switching out the MF gear, and you have to juggle the stats a bit to keep that 300% cap without going too far over it. That’s a pale imitation of the system we saw in D2 though, and hopefully the upcoming system in D3 will be more fun, even if Magic Find is basically out of the equation now.

    New Item Affixes and Mega Stat Bonuses

    Lots of attributes...

    Lots of attributes…

    Flux: So, speaking of slides and panels. I was just watching the Crusader and Gameplay Systems panel and you were showing off items with gigantic stat bonuses. Weapons with 877 to Intelligence and such. So will high end characters in RoS have like 7000 to their mainstat vs. the 3000 they have today?

    The numbers we’ve seen for crit and critical hit damage and other such stats on the new RoS items are lower or at least not increased from what we see today D3V. So the purpose is to put huge stat rolls on the new RoS items so they’ll totally outpoint the current gear, even if they’re lower on the trifecta stats? (This was the most rambling and mis-worded question I have ever asked in an interview. Mercifully, Travis got the gist of my point.)

    Travis: There’s absolutely a degree of that. Partially because what we’re really trying to do in Reaper of Souls, and moving into Loot 2.0, is we’re trying to shift the paradigm in a meaningful way. So here’s where items used to be, and here’s where we think they should be. And it takes a meaningful amount of change to get there. Because we’re trying to reduce the discrepancy between the top end and the bottom end players. But also we’re guaranteeing that every item is going to have 4 primary and 2 secondary stats, which means you’re way more likely to find items with a lot of power. So that’s part of how we’re encouraging people to transition into the new system.

    Gem Bonuses in RoS

    Flux: Related question: Are DiabloWikigem bonuses going to increase? Currently 50 of a stat from a gem is nice, but that’s when you’ve got 100 of that on your armor. In RoS if you’ve got 800 stat on your item, 50 from a gem is miniscule.

    Jason: There are absolutely going to be new tiers… that was a 100% accurate statement and yes, we will have really powerful new gems for you guys.

    Magic Find and Paragon Points

    Lylirra: Last question time.

    Flux: One more question… let me pick a good one.

    Travis: Pick your best.


    Flux: Okay, Magic Find and Gold Find via Paragon Points. One of the things you guys said when you were first adding in the Paragon Levels was that you didn’t want Magic Find to be an essential property on equipment, so you were going to give it via passive bonuses. That philosophy appears to be completely gone in the new Paragon system. You can add Magic Find, but it’s in the tab competing with what… Movement Speed, Pickup Radius, and Resource regen, I think. And most of my chars would like all three of those more than Magic Find. So is Magic Find going to become more important on gear? Are you switching how it works on gear?

    Travis: Actually, we’ve made some changes to how Magic Find works in the game. One of the biggest things we did with that… for example if I have 100% Magic Find from my gear, the cap today is 400%. Or is it 300%?

    Flux: It’s 300% from gear.

    Travis: *laughing* A year and a half working on the expansion, and I don’t even remember….

    So basically Magic Find will provide less and less of a return the higher the quality of the item is. [He means the item being dropped and affected by your character’s Magic Find.]

    So you actually only get 10% of your Magic Find applies to the legendary. So, since it isn’t that impactful a stat anymore, we didn’t feel like we needed all the restrictions we had on it. And we no longer needed to automatically just give it to everyone. Like we can’t have two people with like, five times different reward schedule, like on top of your character efficiency and the skills and how familiar you are with the game… we wanted to really diminish that gap. [The gap between the haves with amazing equipment, and the have-nots.]

    As a result we’ve made some changes to Magic Find, and we took it out of Paragon since it’s no longer as mandatory as it used to be.

    Flux: Okay, I guess that’s it. Thanks for your time, guys.

    Travis and Jason: Thanks. See ya.

    Apologies for not getting them to moo! 🙁

    I was going to ask for their best cow noises, but we were over the time window for the interview and they had other media to service. I did impose on them for a group photo, at least. Thanks again to the devs for their great answers and I hope you readers found it informative and entertaining.

    Interview Details

    The following can be safely skipped if you only care about the game info and not Blizzcon press behind-the-scenes activities.

    Travis Day, Flux, and Jason Regier.

    Travis Day, Flux, and Jason Regier.

    This interview took place Saturday afternoon, after Friday’s Reaper of Souls Panel and Saturday’s Crusader + Game Systems panel. That was ideal for me, since it helped me to avoid pointless questions about info that had already been revealed. I’d also had time to play a fair amount of the Reaper of Souls demo before the interview, so I was familiar with the changes, with the Crusader, etc.

    I took a lengthy list of questions to Blizzcon, many of them submitted by you guys, our readers. Some of them were answered in the Diablo 3 panels or by spending time on the demo, but many of them were still good, and lots of new questions had occurred to me during the first 1.5 days of the show. So I spent an hour before the interview going over my questions and whittling the list down to 15 or 20 juicy ones, with another half dozen quickies, and during the interview I got to ask about 2/3 of the juicy ones.

    The interview sessions at Blizzcon are booked for 20 minute time windows, and it always takes a few minutes to get to your assigned interview room, say hello, get your gear set up, and get started, so the 16 minutes I got out of this one was about the best that could be hoped for. I supplemented that by quick conversational questions to half a dozen other Diablo 3 devs who I bumped into walking around the show, in the chow line in the press room, etc, but that mostly helped me avoid asking questions that would just get philosophical replies.

    The question I had planned most to ask stemmed from early RoS demo play when I saw just how awesome and profitable Adventure Mode was. I wanted to ask how the devs thought the long term balance was going to be; if players were only going to play AM for the profits, if Story/Campaign Mode would be equivalent in value, etc. But I figured that would get a long reply about how different people would have different objectives, and they were making the game for a wide variety of play options, etc. And happily, Lylirra provided very much that sort of reply to almost exactly that question the day after the show, thus validating my decision not to spend a big chunk of my interview time on it.

    There’s an art to structuring useful questions in this sort of interview. I don’t claim to be a Picasso at it, but if you do too specific or narrow a question you get a short answer, or else they dodge the direct short answer by going into a long rambling reply about a related issue. If you ask too general a question they reply with the high-level system/feature type talk that is what general gaming sites want, but that informed fans like you guys find useless. If you ask something they’re just not going to answer (release date!?) or something stupid or that would make them or Blizzard look bad with the answer, they’ll evade or monologue.

    I thought this interview went well, mostly thanks to Jason Regier and Travis Day giving really good answers, and going out of their way to share more details and nuances and behind the scenes decision making in their replies. Thanks to them for the great replies, thanks to our readers for submitting many good questions, thanks to Lylirra and the other CMs for facilitating, and big thanks to Kevin Martens for looking over the interview schedule, seeing that I was initially set to talk to some story/art guys, and rescheduling me to grill a programmer and developer who were better suited for the type of questions I was likely to ask.


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    1. Sorry but the audio is terrible right from the start

    2. good interview, I appreciate the transcript!

      One thing bugs me though: with all items having 4 primary affixes and 2 secondary ones, it means that the trifecta will be competing on 4 spots instead of a maximum of 6 nowadays?

      Doesn’t that mean that there’s actually a bigger chance for trifecta items to drop?

      • Imagine for simplicity that you have stats A through F and that the equivalent of your trifecta is having both stats A and B roll.

        If you are competing for 4 spots you can have 15 different combinations (english is not my native language so this may not be the actual mathematical name in english; bear with me on this one please) of stats possible (ABCD, ABCE, ABCF, ABDE, …, CDEF) of which only 6 are “trifecta” and have A and B simultaneously. That is 40%.

        If you are competing for only 3 spots you have 20 different combinations of stats (ABC, ABD, …, DEF) of which only 4 are “trifecta” and have A and B simultaneously. That is 20%.

        As you can see, having less possible spots for the same number of desirable simultaneous picks is actually WORSE for your odds.

        • yes but there will be fewer affixes available, as they will be separated in 2 groups (primary and secondary)

        • You forget to remove secondary stats from ABCDEF. The result depends on the number of secondary stats. With 4 secondary stats (CDEF), you have 100% trifecta (AB is the only possibility). With 3 secondary stats (DEF), you have 33% trifecta (AB vs AC and BC). One should estimate the number of stats, the number of primary and I’m sure that are not equiprobable so it is not possible.

          • We don’t know yet how stats will be grouped between primary and secondary so the whole point was:

            – to demonstrate that fewer slots does not directly equate to higher odds of getting the right picks
            – to raise awareness that the discussion is pointless at a stage where we don’t have yet enough information

            It seems to me people are jumping into several conclusions already – that all items will have 4 primary and 2 secondary and that the primary group will contain so few affixes that trifecta will be easy to roll – that at this point cannot be taken for granted at all.

    3. I could hear Flux’s eyes roll when they brought up the Hydra yet again.

      • There are so many instances through out various interviews, where someone will ask them to talk about items, and they go into robot mode and start spewing out game changing legendary items. Yes, we get it, and they ARE awesome, but it’s like you’re not even considering the question sometimes!

    4. At 15:40, they mention that ALL items will have 4 Primary stats and 2 secondary stats. This is the dumbest thing ever.

      This is going to destroy the item hunt , it is going to be ridiculously easy to find ‘good items’ (All items come with main stat/maybe mixed with vita and 3 other stats, 1 of which you are going to enchant and refine it. It comes down to an item having only 2 good rolls and you are done.

      No more super 6 stats roll items. When I first read about primary/secondary stats, I was under the impression that all items always get secondary stats ‘free of charge’. I am obviously clueless and wrong after listening to this podcast.

      TLDR: You will be super geared after playing for a month with insanely dull items with 4 stats and quit the game AGAIN. And I am looking forward to nothing for D3 in 2014.

      • Actually they removed mixed stats from the game so no more dex/str combinations and such

        • That actually makes it even worse lol.

          I do not see a single positive thing about this new primary/secondary stat system if the secondary stats ‘eat up’ the primary affixes.

          Are they THIS clueless and not know what this would do to the longevity of a Diablo game in the long term?

          • Primary stat could be:
            crit chance
            crit damage
            attack speed
            all resists
            Cooldown reduction
            Resource generation
            Specific Skill bonus
            Bonus damage to elites
            reduced damage from elites
            reduced damage from melee
            reduced damage from ranged

            And there may be more…
            as you can see its not that easy getting exactly what you want

            • And dont forget you dont have an auction house now, you want a trifecta? find it yourself…

            • I have yet to see a legendary item without main stats on it.
              Granted, you WILL want items to have it due to the stat inflation and it being hands down the best stat to have while things like cc/cd seems nerfed or unchanged.

              It boils down to like 3 other stats , 1 of which you will enchant and ensure it is something you want.

              It is not about getting exactly what you want, it is about the item game being dull.

              For this primary/secondary stat system to make sense, they ABSOLUTELY need to ensure that there are plenty of top tier affixes that may appear as secondary stats and not just worthless junk.

            • You also want speed boost on the boot’s secondary stat so getting good boots will be more difficult than other pièces of gear… life on hit and life per second are primary or secondary?

            • I’m amused that sockets are in the secondary stat list. I guess that’s good for top quality items so you get crit and dps and other stuff in primary and then get to tack on a socket from secondary… but for hats and weapons at least, a socket is essentially mandatory. And I guess we’ll all be able to get one now via the mystic.

      • I assume they misspoke on this since surely there will still be items with only 1-5 mods.

    5. Great interview but too short 🙂

    6. Awesome job, Flux! This was an extremely enjoyable read. No other site does it better. Your T-Shirt effin’ rocks too. +1!

      • I meant to mention that. I’m wearing a diablo 2 expansion t-shirt with the Blizzard North logo on the front. In all fairness, I do not own a RoS t-shirt, so I’m wearing the next closest thing?

        • That t-shirt put a big smile on my face.Does it come with a picture of David Brevik with both middle fingers raised on the back?

    7. Good job as usual, Flux. Oh, by the way, I’m not sure if you new this but there’s going to be an item that lets you cast 2 Hydras…..

    8. It is not a chance to cast an hydra on monster’s death?

      Really good read. Thanks for the transcript and the good interview.

      • Yeah, that was the initial implementation of that item mod but they changed it during dev. And will probably change it some more… As you saw in the comment about datamining, they throw stuff in all the time just to test it out.

    9. Crushing Blow!!!



      Very nice interview, Flux! Lots of new information!

    10. The reforging in WoW is a hassle because most every class has a pre-set of raid gear they end up, it’s not nearly as random, so deciding what to reforge is never all that interesting. In D3, you SHOULD at least, have quite random combinations of gear to consider and juggle. As opposed to WoW where an Arms warrior is: get this helm, these pants, this axe.

      But I think a lot of people made good arguments for staying away from hard-caps, so it’s not a big deal.

    11. Also, thanks for asking my trifecta caps question, Flux. I think the realization it was gone came pretty early in the show for me, but still, I think it brought out some other forms of useful discussion.

      “…and big thanks to Kevin Martens for looking over the interview schedule, seeing that I was initially set to talk to some story/art guys, and rescheduling me to grill a programmer and developer who were better suited for the type of questions I was likely to ask.”

      Wow. What a bro. This is a lot different than the Kevin portrayed in the RPS interview/harassment.

      • I was sitting at a table in the food area of the press room Friday evening, all packed up and ready to go down to the show floor (and record the live podcasts with Rankil and Neinball we posted that night) when Kevin sat down with his food and greeted me and asked what I thought of RoS, etc. While we chatted me mentioned that interview thing, that he’d been the one to reschedule me, which I thought was very cool, and nice attention to detail.

        AFAIK about Kevin he’s quite friendly and chatty and competent. Has been in all interactions with me at least, though I’ve never done a formal interview with him.

    12. I was hoping if anything out of Blizzcon we’d have more of a solid release window. I like the changes coming through and it’s great to have their design ideas out and in the open but my goodness can I just play it? Blizz your such a tease!

    13. “Making sacrifices for Magic Find, or engaging in a more complicated item game that rewards intelligent play and equipment choices is more than most players want to bother with. I loved that aspect of the Diablo 2 item game, where there were so many useful affixes and most of them had hard caps or diminishing returns or breakpoints which meant you had to carefully monitor”

      Again with this point. Artificial complication with diminishing returns and breakpoints does nothing to reward ‘intelligent play’. Just rewards anyone willing to plug their numbers into a calculator or do rote calculations themselves. It takes intelligence to look up the point where more MF is not worth it or to know how much STR you need for a piece of equipment? Really? All it does is alienate fans who just want to play the game… and I guess make elitists feel better about themselves because they can be more efficient than casuals due to the fact they are willing to look up a bunch of hidden caps on a website or plug their stats into an online calculator.

      • Maybe “intelligence” isn’t the right word, so… attention to detail? Interest in fine-tuning? Precision?

        Whatever it is, I like it more than just trying to find items with bigger numbers to 3 or 4 do-everything stats, which is the current system in D3V. Hopefully that dumbed-down-ness will be reduced in D3X with all the new awesome affixes they keep speaking of.

        • That we can agree on. Need more than 3 or 4 do everything stats but I don’t think that necessarily means caps or diminishing returns have to be implemented. Other more compelling or ‘build changing’ mods like crushing blow or skill specific mods hopefully could do the trick.

          • -We need no hard caps, so that people dont need to calculate the worth of affixes, just compelling affixes.-

            Does not compute.

            The second after a item with crushing blow pops into existence, people will feel compelled to calculate its effectiveness versus the alternatives.
            Calculating the average elite hp for the desired mp and coming up with a number of how much “25% chance of crushing blow” will do dps.
            Because there just too many options.

            Not even starting with the proposed 4 + 2 affix system.

      • The game already has diminishing returns on virtually all stats, for example the more mainstat you have, the less a mainstat point is worth, cause they treat it as a percentage.

        Breakpoints also exist, atleast i heard about them from the CM guys about ias, but those were mostly for hardcore people even in d2 days.

        What is the important part are the hard caps, those give the most effect, cause they give the player a clear (they are not hidden) number to aim for, say resist all, if you could gather 3-4 legendaries that give you the resist cap, wouldnt it open the rest of your slots to more fun items instead of stat sticks?

        The biggest issue there is with itemization is that there are too many stats/affixes possible on too many items. That is why comparably d2 didnt need that many (i know one, someone can surely clarify) hard caps as would be needed to make d3 more fun.

    14. So we can assume the chat system will still suck even if they introduce clans.

    15. Great QA, thanks Flux.

      Was there any news on the NPC shops being enhanced or a Gheed like feature?


      • They’ve said better blacksmith crafting recipes are definitely coming, but haven’t given details. That would definitely have been one of my next few questions, had I had more time.

    16. Christ, I thought you needed a college degree to work at Blizzard. WHY HAVEN’T YOU MORONS TAKING BASIC CALCULUS? Trifecta will always work against their designs at this rate. “Oooh, two hydras!” Guess what? Hydras can’t crit. BRIMSTONE! Trifecta, similar to life steal, is mathematically superior to the point where it blows tactics and strategy out the window. It’s okay to be slightly mathematically better, but not to the point where there are no choices. And they’ve learned this lesson, many times over, during WoW, and even D3 (PermaBarbs). The new Tiki mask has a root on Horrify; that’s nice, but w/ a good Mempo, I don’t care (softcore). Everything blows up too fast before I have a chance to root them. Trifecta and compounding main stats are a mathematical burden that these idiots cannot dig themselves out of, b/c they never did a goddamn derivative in their lives.

      • Oh, and Crushing Blow falls completely into that “mathematically superior to tactical play” category. Especially on higher Monster Power (which looks like it’s staying, only w/ a bunch of crazy names). Crushing Blow is going to be OP, again.

    17. All legendaries being soulbound sucks plain and simple. It is like they are on a pendulum for loot drops and once they were too rare now they are going to be so common that everything can be soulbound and you can still progress. Where is the happy medium in there where they drop and you might have to trade for something special.

    18. So that’s what you look like. 🙂

    19. The most exclusive piece of info: Flux has earrings!

    20. lulz…flux wasn’t kidding. travis and jason comments sound similar to other dev before they transformed a once decent IP into a full blown self-esteem booster.

    21. Great interview.

    22. Listening to this podcast makes you cast 2 hydras.

    23. Dude, bonus point for the Blizzard North t-shirt. Bolzy!

    24. Flux!

      I just have to add that You all have done a tremendous job covering Blizcon for those of us who could not join in. I am so impressed by this web site; especially as I find myself reaching out more and more through posts here.

      Not only did you all ask the right questions, I just enjoy listening to and reading all the different contributions by your team here at this site.

      And Flux, while I have your attention, if indeed I do, I’d like to ask two questions of you; in the hopes that one day, in the not too distant future, You’ll find away to address with some of the diablo3 team.

      (I heard you mention that you had a long list of questions from your forums but, with my work schedule … I’m often behind current time line requirements)

      first concern is with storage space: with the closing of the AH and items being bound to account, collector style players will suffer. I realize from just he graphic layout of the stash, the way it is right now … that they will most likely offer two new tabs to store items in ROS. But, I don’t thing that’ll be near enough storage. I think many people now and many more players in the future will suffer from lack of space in a way that hasn’t been addressed at all. The quickest solution I see would be to unlock unlimited characters for play, which essentially would unlock mules for players. D2 had this ability to have multiple account also allowing anyone to have unlimited mules.

      Will you one day consider asking about this? I suggest a few options.
      1. unlock unlimited character creation with the release of ROS.
      2. Have unlocking another(each individual) character creation as an ingame reward.
      3. If they’re truly worried about server space, (Bliz crying poverty) as they had originally claimed; make it a pay to unlock feature (last resort)

      I play so often and work hard at this game and I have so many friends who have one major complaint: storage limitation


      The other thing I’d really like you to ask about is Jewels. Will we, can we, have them back in future?

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