The Diablo 3 Podcast #29: Weekly News Attack, August 4, 2011


Flux and Elly tackle a very busy week’s news, touching on the Auction House, big changes to skill runes, and disappointment at the lack of a Diablo 3 Beta test start date.

The twenty-ninth episode of The Diablo Podcast is now online for your listening pleasure. Once again it’s Elly and Flux running down the news items of a very busy week. We certainly weren’t scrapped for topics this time, and had to tightly restrict our list of topics lest we greatly overstay our welcome.

Issues touched on include the impending Diablo III beta test and why its small size is a good thing for impatient players, though that topic is by disappointment over the lack of a beta start date from Wednesday’s Activision/Blizzard conference call. We of course discussed the Auction House and the attendant RMT controversy as well, and Elly had some thoughts about the ongoing changes to skill runes. There’s even a site technical info update, with info about the incoming new server. It goes to eleven, as do the rest of Flux’s bad jokes. There might even be a moment of dreadful karaoke, though I sincerely hope Elly snipped that bit in post-show editing.

The Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in DiabloWiki.net provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

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  1. I believe the way Jay said the potential new rune system will work is when a rune drops it is unattuned, and once you pop it into a skill it becomes a rune of that skill with one of the five rune types. For example, I pop my lvl 1 rune into Hydra an it becomes an Alabaster Hydra rune. Or it could become an Obsidian Hydra rune. It is then permanently that rune and can’t be socketed into any other skills. His reasoning for this change was to make runes more inline with other D3 items where there is a large randomness and luck factor, which adds fun and challenge to the game. He also noted that lvl 1 runes would be so common people wouldn’t care if they got a few bad rolls and it would encourage more experimenting with new builds. On top of all that the runes could also be given a random attribute modifier (+10 attack, etc) for even more flavor.

  2. If you don’t know what rune type it will be, how can you tailor the skills you want with the desired effect?  If it’s random and you want a specific type, does this now mean you need to re-roll your character to fix a coincidental mistake ??

    • That’s correct. As bashiok put it this is called the “sticky glue” effect. Where if you mis-socket your item (by shoving it into your eyeball for example) it will become permanent and can’t be removed. Thus, you will need to reroll your character or walk around half blind (half the screen will be blacked out when you play).

    • If you’re looking for a specific rune type and you don’t get it, it doesn’t mean you need to reroll a character (and considering that “respecs” are completely free, there’s actually NEVER a need to remake a character unless you choose to do so).
       
      An undesirable rune can still be taken out of that skill and replaced with another new “blank, unattuned” rune.  The first failed rune, however, can’t be put into any other skill because said skill is locked to that rune.  Three potential options arise:
       
      1) They make it possible to salvage runes for crafting;
      2) They make it possible to “wipe” that failed rune into a blank state again through an artisan, where upon you can try again (which takes the whole “random item” factor out of play since you can wipe as often as you can afford it to make whatever rune you want); or
      3) You sell it since it’s worthless to you, either to a vendor or via the auction house
       
      I’ve tried to share my thoughts about this new theoretical system in a couple places.  Most people seem to embrace the idea of “random = good, longevity.”  Like most people, I agree that random mods/affixes are a nice addition…  less popular is the random rune type.  However, no matter how I phrase things, the general reaction is that these are good overall ideas, and I’m in a very small minority.
       
      *sigh*  With all the uproar about removing skill points, adding an RMAH, and there being no offline play (which upsets me more than the theoretical rune system)…  well, my voice is lost in a sea of whining and entitlement.  Just like how I’ll have to learn to deal with needing to play on b.net, I’ll have to take whatever rune system Blizzard gives me and settle.  That’s probably what upsets me most.  Rarely did I have to settle in D2…  D3, it seems, is a whole different story.
       

      • To fix the problem that would happen with the “wipe” they could just say, when you wipe a rune all of the runes properties stay except for the one that ties it to the skill.

        • If the wipe were to remove only the link to the skill while the rune properties remain, the end result would be that you’d have:
           
          a) a rune with a set-in-stone color that’s now able to be exchanged among skills as often as you’d like.  Except for the random affix, that’s exactly what we have now.
          b) a new gold sink.  As if there aren’t enough of these already.
           
          The thing is, maybe gold sinks are what Blizzard wants the most of all out of their systems.  Eliminating as much gold from the economy will trend into people using the RMAH even more.  Blizzard says, “Cha-ching!”
           
          So…  If wipes destroy only the link to a skill, we have the same system that we’ve known about for a year.  If wipes reset all the rune properties, you can keep wiping to get the exact mods you want for a specific skill so long as you have the funds to do so (thus eliminating the random mods factor entirely).  No rune wipes will lead to more “meh” runes, which I guess isn’t all bad but devalues a good number of them in the AH.  Vendor fodder.
           
          Something no one’s mentioning is that if the current rune system simply adds the random affix, rune complexity increases dramatically.  The drop odds for a perfect rune for your chosen skill could be so drastically high that the basic “only 35 possible runes” notion becomes a moot point.
           
          Say a tier seven rune has a 1-in-20,000 chance to drop.  You want a Crimson rune for your specific skill, so that makes it a 1-in-100,000 drop.  You also have a damage soaking build, so the best random affix you could have is a defensive one…  if there are ten possible random affixes, that’s one in a million.  And if you’re min/maxing and want a perfect affix, that might push the drop odds as much as 1-in-25 million.
           
          The difference between finding any ol’ tier seven rune and a perfect tier seven rune with the exact stats you want is huge.  If they decided to add random affixes, runes would be very complex, and much moreso than if they did “blank, unattuned” runes with any form of wipe.  And if they added a gold sink so that you needed to pay an artisan to remove a rune from a skill, that would even out the proposed idea of rune wipes AND eliminate everyone’s worry about switching skills while on the fly.
           
          Everyone’s allowed to have their own opinion.  I just think people hear “completely random runes” and start thinking that it’s the best way to go without considering every aspect of it.

  3. Unless they was being sarcstic, there as overwhelming support for the RMAH ?

  4. Can you trade items for items? Or is it just RMT and in game gold money?

    • The AH system only supports sales for gold, or for $. There’s no barter. Though I think they might need that ultimately, if gold becomes too common to be valuable as a medium for selling higher quality items. Such as in HC; people might only want L14 gems, or the like.

  5. Great podcast, I’m of the same opinion as Flux.  If I find something good I’ll more likely sell it then use it and can’t really find myself using the RMAH to buy anything.  Which in the end won’t support the system, people have to sell and buy for it to work…  It’ll require a lot of faith in the system to work.

  6. Okay, so if skills can be reset and random runes can be displaced, then it would be alright.  But still, with all the recent changes and info..  I can’t honestly say I’m quite as excited as I once was, for the games’ release   :oups:

  7. Firstly, Nice podcast. This is something i thought of while listening in regards to RMT On the point of RMT, Elly says that it could (possibly) eventually make the gold trade market redundant. And was questioning why you would sell an item for gold when you can make real money. Thats a fair point but…I dont think gold trading will die because… 1. On the first play through normal, with a new character, players need gold to upgrade their artisians and so forth…You cant upgrade them with real money…So in order to craft higher quality items, or venture into dangerous areas where loot is better, it could be argued that you often need to invest gold into consumables or materials, in order to get rarer gear. 2. Other players will not use the RMT due to a boycott of paypal (if they use paypal that is) Or simply because it the idea doesnt appeal to them. I think most smart traders will use BOTH because you could buy items for game gold and then resell them for real money and so forth…Or another alternative view point is you have two markets to look at, so more chance of scoring a good deal, or finding what your after. I myself would only buy on the RMT market with cash I had made from previous RMT sales, but majority of my trading would be done on the gold market. Anyway those are my points hope it all makes sense, Cheers and keep up the great work

  8. Oops after listening further through the podcast I think you guys do mention a couple of those things 🙂

  9. I agree a nice podcast, which gives me even more reason to think about RMT. You say only high level items will be worth anything. This won’t be the case at first since there will most likely be people wanting to buy lower level items because there’s less of them at the start. So I could say to myself “ok fine I won’t play until 6 months from now”. Now let’s skip ahead 6 months. At this point we can assume almost everyone will have a level 60 character. This will make the lower level items useless I agree with that. But won’t everyone having a level 60 character now just shift the problem from lower level items to higher level items? At level 60 everyone will have the same amount of chance to find said high level item. Nothing of this is based on effort or playing together with other people. Since Blizzard has stated that there won’t be any difference in item drops for every individual between playing in a 4 player game or a 1 player game. It’s all based on pure luck at this point. So everyone and his mother (including me, maybe not my mother though) will be farming bosses for said high level items with the same chances of getting lucky enough to find it. Which means I will have to wait another 6 months until the high level items become worthless. But I doubt there will be a time where everything that drops will be worthless. Say I want to play this game for a long time (i.e. End Game)… or at all even, which I do. I’m still faced with the exact same problem, regardless of when I start playing.

  10. to bad unicorn jokes get to old.

  11. I also find your point about buying items with money you’ve traded vs buying items with money you’ve brought in from real life interesting. I would have no problem with me and other people just buying items with money they’ve earned from trading, because they’ve put effort into finding those items in the first place. But this would have to mean everything you find is only worth something within the confines of the game, which is impossible with the RMAH. RMT or even 3rd party trading, because let’s be honest here it’s the exact same thing, means everyone who wants to not have to deal with the fact that an item might be worth a lot of money is forced to think in this manner. We don’t have a choice really. Because there’s no way to play offline or on something like an account bound item server, we are forced to deal with this personal dilemma if we want to play the game.

    As for time spent working for money vs time spent playing the game. I work so I can make money so I can enjoy a game. But with a potential dollar sign attached to an item I can’t truly enjoy finding an item without having to think “do I want to sell this or not”, which I feel is what a games is supposed to be about, just enjoying the game for what it is. And again, I’m not given any choice here. I either play on their servers where I’m constantly faced with this dilemma or I just simply don’t play the game.

    • That seems to be the dilemma facing softcore chars, long term. When the best items ONLY sell on the RMAH, how do you obtain such items other than finding them for yourself? How do you get fair value trading such items if you have a surplus of one? You can’t, for gold. You’ll have to use the $ system if you want to trade, or else try to find another player in game who has something to barter, since gold won’t be a viable currency for such exchanges.

  12. As Dune said in his first post of explanation — I agree with blizzards implementation on this one. I like them being more ‘in-line’ with randomized items, such as rares, uniques, ect. At least something will be random since you automatically get skills, attributes, passives… damn what else? lol.

    Edit: On the in-game gold market getting redundant — as characters level up more and more will want to make real $$$ and not get in-game crap, imo. That’s going to be life when the game gets into it’s ‘teen’ months, or sooner.

  13. My Goood….I haven’t heard so much QQ-ing since I can’t even remember when -_-
    It is a gaaaame – if you want to play and have fun then just play – you don’t have to cry so much if others want to pay for items characters etc. That is how they see the experience  – they don’t want to play for the loot and building up characters but just for the arena or so aaand they hence go and buy equipment. On the other hand if you want to play for the leveling, loot and quests then just do and stop QQ-ing so much over all bull.
    And there is no relevance whatsoever in seeing if one bought an item or self found it! What would the relevance be?!? just laughing, probably only once, in his face that you found the item and he did not ta na na na na na?! That is the reason?! That is beyond childish, and underargumented.

    I will repeat as I previously did > how one combines all elements that will make D3 will be alot more relevant in the context – to make best use of all sides that create value – if one wants to buy items from auctionhouse then by all means let him buy – he will not buy from blizzard he buys from other people playing like you me etc. If you feel like others should not have an item then do not sell it.

  14. Shynta I dont think its that people are complaining/crying so much. (at least in this thread) It’s more the fact that there are so many factors to the equation (pros and cons) and nobody really knows how exactly it will all pan out, since we haven’t got our hands on the game. People are just worried because we all anticipate this game so much we feel like we have some creative right to it (which we shouldnt) but its only because we’ve invested so much time into following and anticipating it over the last few years, that a bad game design decision could render all of this waiting useless (thats the paranoia). Sure, It will become apparent once the game is released but its good voicing an opinion as long as your open minded..and willing to see both sides.  I personally DO have faith in Blizzard, regardless of so many negative comments/attitudes i do find on this site often…I guess time will tell though.

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