There was a lot of general media coverage of yesterday’s big Diablo 3 Status Report. Most of the gaming sites just reported on it, but several that added some editorial made noises like this one from Atomic PC — concerned that all the game tweaks seemed to be aimed at the tiny sliver of fans who’d sunk the 60 or 70 hours into a single character to get to Inferno already. Quote:

    To sum up, Blizzard intends to keep changing core game mechanics, using whatever method it deems necessary, to appease a small minority of players; furthermore, even for those few players at that level, Blizzard still says, yes, you’re just going to have to farm previous Acts to progress.

    This is a known issue (feature or bug?) with most games, especially with MMORPGs. The developers always spend 90% of their dev time working on end game content to appease the very small % of their players who are using and abusing it. When a developer tries something different, as Blizzard did with WoW:Cataclysm — which put a huge focus on reworking all the beginning and middle content, and didn’t add that much end game — they are rewarded with endless fan rage about the boring end game.

    Unsurprisingly, the fans who play 6+ hours a day are also the most vocal and entitled about what they think should be in the game. You can see why developers must appease them in an MMO, since they have to keep fans happy and playing to keep the revenue coming in. It’s a little less clear why Blizzard is so concerned with them in Diablo III, though. As much abuse as Bashiok and the other CMs are taking on the B.net forums, it’s amazing none of them have snapped yet and said, “So sod off then, we’ve already got your sixty bucks.”

    I shall quote a few, to give you a sense of how things are going over in Blueland.

    Posted again, as it seems blizz removed this thread, why im not sure , perhaps i had caps in the title , cant remember was to angry.

    …Fact : Bashiok has recently made a comment (im sure the thread was deleted) with the comment …

    of course drops are affected by the AH

    of course ….? … so blizzard openly admits now , that server side, the drop rates are throttled depending on supply and demand, and the AH current in stock status…

    Is it just me , or is this openly admitting , the system cheats us.

    Hypothetically, assuming , i play a single player game only, ever. Because the game is online only, and controlled 100% by blizz, i have ZERO chance to find a legendary, because the server has now adjusted the rates on the fly, because others have already found it.

    This is 100% pure cheating.
    Bashiok: I specifically clarified the exact opposite of that in the text you quoted.

    No, you did not. You just added sugar, sprinkles, and your shiny blue text to the fact that you made a mistake and revealed what is actually true. Well done by the way, most people bought it.
    Alert Chris Carter. This sounds like a case for Mullen and Skulder!

    I dont care about the the conspiricy theory, what I dont get is that having the auction be a core part of the game and necessary to even get through hell, detracts from over long term playability of the game. Instead of playing the game I go to the auction and by my stuff, now look there is no point in playing the game. HMM DID THIS NOT OCCUR TO YOU.
    Use of the AH isn’t necessary. You can go to the Trade forum and get items direct from other players if you want. Or you can just find upgrades yourself – it’s just going to take longer. It would be very poor judgment to not include all factors when balancing drop percentages.

    That’s one of the more polite ones. Click through to see some really angry (and really delusional) fans, mostly raging about how Inferno and the end game items aren’t perfectly balanced yet, after two whole weeks.

    Click through for much more on this issue, with several additional blue quotes:

    Another on the same issue, with a longer Bashiok reply:

    i have ZERO chance to find a legendary, because the server has now adjusted the rates on the fly, because others have already found it.
    That’s not what was said or implied at all, sorry if it was confusing. The AH doesn’t have any affect on the literal drop rates of items depending on what’s available.

    What I said, and what is true, is that with far more players and an increased proliferation of item trade, we have to factor in how many items are being found by players and how quickly a player can gear up by ‘sourcing’ items from others through trade and the convenience of the gold auction house.

    If we say “a player should have X power in Y amount of time through drops” and completely ignore that the time factor can be reduced by simply having access to more drops through trading and the auction house, players would be gearing up far quicker than we’ve determined they should. It has nothing to do with the auction house per se, but the general ease at which players have access to more items than they would without it and us needing to keep that in mind while balancing drops. It would be rather poorly thought out if we balanced drops completely ignoring all of the ways players can gear up, and trading is certainly one of them.

    Obviously everyone wants the best gear possible as quickly as possible, and us attempting to mediate that through design that takes all factors into account is not always going to be a popular notion.

    Another one on why the devs should spend all their effort on improving Inferno, since that’s all the real fans care about.

    Why Blizzards 1.9% on inferno IS misleading..

    Apparently most people failed greatly at entry level high school math because if 1.9% of 7 million people are playing that would be 133000 people on inferno difficulty.

    That number is incredibly misleading due to the fact that the 1.9% is based off of characters who have unlocked inferno, not accounts.

    In this same update blizzard has stated that the average person has 3 characters created per account.

    3 x 7mil = 21 Million Characters created (On Average)

    Now, if 1.9% of total characters created are on Inferno…that is 399,000 characters on Inferno.

    Let’s bring it back….

    7,000,000 / 399,000 = 17.54386% of the population has unlocked inferno (average) on one character.


    ~17.5% of people are playing on Inferno, up from the 1.9% that they made it sound like….

    I really think Blizzard should be focusing more energy on Inferno, instead of just throwing numbers out there that look all nice and pretty.


    Either way I am still gonna keep working on inferno, with the increasingly large group of players who are there.
    APPARENTLY! Man, that’d be way too few, right? I mean, you’re in Inferno, and so are your three friends, and so that shows 4/4 people are in Inferno. Anyway, let’s get to it.

    That number is incredibly misleading due to the fact that the 1.9% is based off of characters who have unlocked inferno, not accounts.
    Which it clearly states and isn’t misleading at all. Continue.

    In this same update blizzard has stated that the average person has 3 characters created per account.

    3 x 7mil = 21 Million Characters created (On Average)

    Now, if 1.9% of total characters created are on Inferno…that is 399,000 characters on Inferno.
    Fairly sound, despite variance in Inferno level players probably having more characters created than others. But whatever, it’s probably close enough.

    Let’s bring it back….

    7,000,000 / 399,000 = 17.54386% of the population has unlocked inferno (average) on one character.
    399,000 of 7,000,000 is 5.7% …

    But that’s still assuming each account only has 1 character to 60. Which is actually quite a bit of a stretch considering the types of players in Inferno and their knowledge on how to “quickly level” many characters to 60. It’s not only likely less than 5.7%, it’s likely less than 1.9%.

    I understand the desire to make it seem like you’re not the minority in Inferno, but it doesn’t matter. We spent the majority of the article discussing the difficulty even with a comparatively small percentage of players being there, and our intent to continue working on it. We fully understand the issues people have been discussing, and no small part of the article was intended to let you know we’re listening and have fixes on the way.

    lol, thats the response we get…. after weeks of exploding boards.

    This topic, that answer, LOL.
    The forums move pretty quick, you may want to look at some blue trackers for all the responses we’ve been posting.

    every one of my friends (including the bad ones) have unlocked inferno within the first two weeks. i don’t see how anybody who plays more than an hour or so per day hasn’t already gotten there.
    I think it’s part of an inherent flaw in a humankind’s wiring to see patterns and correlate skewed results as truisms that lead to far greater and more world-altering issues than who is or is not in Inferno.

    So we should take your spin-doctoring as truth?
    I think if you believe we’re just here to lie to you then it seems like quite a waste of your time, and I’d question if you are of sound ability to schedule your time and attention in the most appropriate ways.

    I don’t think you are here to lie to us. You simply skewed your results in way that makes the situation look better for you.
    If you’re unable to read “characters” and understand that does not mean players, I can’t help you. Honestly we couldn’t get the ‘players’ stat before the article needed to be locked down for translation, so we went with characters as it was an easier stat to pull.

    Nothing looks “better” or “worse” for us. We’re having to suspend or outright ban innumerable people from these forums each day because they’re incapable of providing constructive criticism, and instead resort to swearing at us … because the game is too hard. There are a lot of people playing this game, and a lot of them have communication issues. We’re trying to have discussions and post articles on problems we see and solutions we have in the works. If you get past the percentages you’d see we spent over half of the article talking just about Inferno. I simply do not understand how we’re mortal enemies as we work to try to make the game better.

    Is the reason you’re not showing us that number simply because it will prove your point wrong?
    I don’t care what the stat is, or proves, or doesn’t prove, it’s irrelevant. The fact that people are spending so much time caught up in the percentages… I’m actually not sure if it’s a good or bad waste of time. Either way it’s a waste of time, to be sure. We provided stats we thought people would find interesting and would spark some discussion, but I think this is really going too far. Even 1.9% characters is still a lot of characters.

    I love that part about how anyone who plays more than an hour a day should be in Inferno by now. Unless that guy is posting from some alternate dimension that runs on like, Cat Years, that’s off by several factors. If only we had some recent data that demonstrated exactly how long it took to… oh wait!

    The first person to hit 60 did it in just under 24 hours, though he dinged in Act 3/Hell, so maybe add a few hours more to get all the way to Inferno. It took closer to four full days for people to beat Inferno, but that wasn’t the question.

    So, it took 24 hours non-stop by a player rushing furiously and playing with a team of others devoted entirely to assisting his progress to get to 60. What’s normal play speed, assuming you’re actually playing to level up, and not exploiting bug-like quest experience reward tricks? Hard to say, since everyone will progress at a different pace.

    I’m fairly competent at Diablo III, and I’ve been playing all I can, but have spread my time across five characters. I just hopped online to check, and my highest is a level 44 Demon Hunter, who is right at the end of Act 2 Nightmare, after 26.5 hours. I’ve not rushed her, but I’m not doing full clears either, and while she received some twinks early on, she’s mostly lived off the land, has only died twice, and has never repeated any content. And she’s not even halfway through, in 27 hours. Since Nightmare is taking much longer than Normal did, I bet Hell will be the same, so I would not feel confident in saying 55 hours total play time. And I bet a lot of people are going that much slower than I am.

    So no, you won’t be anywhere near Inferno in an hour a day since launch. You’d need more like 4-5 hours a day for that. Which is about half what the really fanatical fans have spent, which is why they think everyone else must be nearly to Inferno by now also, and why all they care about is balances and fixes to game content that was designed to be unbalanced at launch. If anyone wants to speculate on the psychological nature of people who will devote 10 hours a day, every day, for two weeks, to playing the same character in the same video game, and how that might predispose them to react when presented with adverse stimuli relating to that character in that video game, feel free. I’m sure that’s the entire topic of conversation these days around the Red Bull cooler in the CM section of Blizzard Irvine.

    What’s that you say? Moar?

    Blizzards Logic @ Article

    So I’ll attempt to be as constructive as possible (even though I’m sure trolls/fanboys/etc will still flame me, tell me to quit etc etc). It won’t be easy considering the new article though. I also have yet to post since the game came out since my thread may never get replied to / lost forever/ Blizz ignores all articles seemingly / etc. I’ll put a tl;dr at the end too.

    I have been a Blizzard fan since Rock n Roll racing on the SNES. Yeah, they made that awesome game. D3 does feel as though it’s been corrupted by Activision to me but I’ll lightly touch on that later if you care to continue.

    I have a level 60 wizard that’s been in Inferno for well over a week, hitting the Act 2 one shotting wall of death as most have(if your curious I’m confident I could progress more but I’m deathly bored of kiting and farming the AH (not gear lols). I also have various other characters (all classes) at various levels up to 60. I’ve spent a significant amount of time killing 5 NV butcher etc etc. It’s been in a lot of other threads but I’m going to quickly point out the very fail statistics Blizzard gave us. First of all, any gamer attempting to call themselves a gamer is well aware the Asian populace likes the progress fast and life threateningly so. (who hasn’t heard of an exhaustion death?) Saying 1.9% of (keyword here fyi) CHARACTERS have unlocked Inferno sounds completely ridiculous to any competent gamer that knows of the determination our Asian fellows have. Let’s not forget the most glaringly obvious flaw of there statistics. They say 1.9% of CHARACTERS have reached Inferno(here comes some math guys sorry) while on average each ACCOUNT has 3 characters. Simple math shows us that its more likely close to 6%+ ACCOUNTS have reached Inferno. Way to hide that nugget Blizz.

    I’d like to make this clear as it seems almost every time I see a WoW avatar they are complete fail. They think stuff like kiting is skill/required for difficulty, WoW balance style for skills belongs in a non-mmorpg, artificial/broken difficulty needs mad skillz and are avid believes in Blizzard Knows Best. I am the complete opposite of all of these.
    (I’m aware my first two paragraphs were not constructive and essentially starting flame, but oh well, grow up and accept generalized facts. Sure not all WoW avatars perpetrate this, but a significant amount sure do.) Kiting requires some degree of skill to successfuly survive but it’s pathetic that its the sole goal of Inferno. How does staying out of the range of elites (which technically makes all there affixes pointless to even have) the entire duration of killing them make them difficult? It’s like if we could kite Diablo down a never ending corridor. Any noob could probably lay Hydra or some other turret type/ dot etc and teleport away/vault away/ w/e else when he blinks to us. How does this equate to skill? It completely nullfies the mechanics the developers are so proud of with the affixes they gave elites. I can kite with the best of them (for you WoW veterans how about that hunter quest kite back in the day? ;p) and all but frankly its boring as hell. I lay hydra, and/or blizzard… maybe throw some arcane orbs down the hall and run away, often never having to worry about the affixes whatsoever. Some affixes of course make this more difficult like teleport, fast, invul minions but oh well I’ll just skip them right? (tip: make loot rewards higher for killing far more difficult affixes i.e. invul minions, fast leapers or w/e)

    Onto my main point in this article(lol far down..): Blizzards fail logic at skills. As follows from the article:
    “If any single skill or rune feels absolutely required to progress, it means that skill is working against our goal of encouraging build diversity — and those “required” skills need to be corrected.”

    How in the world could someone disagree with me that this is not the most fail logic possible on skills? Because a skill is strong and absolutely required in Inferno, it must be nerfed to encourage “build diversity”. Seriously, laugh out loud. Why should they be working towards nerfing instead of buffing every single classes large pool of completely useless skills? I could go into why there were far more intelligent fixes for all the nerfs they made but that’d create a large diversion from my point of the article. No matter what any white knights say about keeping Inferno difficult, not nerfing it, they are steam rolling whatever else people are failing at, etc they can in no way deny how many completely useless skills there are for there class.

    How can we look at this anyway but inept developer philosophy?? It seems to just enforce the “gear is everything” notion. Yes, I don’t disagree with us farming gear for the next act/difficulty. There are significant problems with the item system that the article also ignored but other posts are already tackling that. Feel free to go flame them for pointing out the flaws. (I will at least say… please Blizzard…. please.. make the difficulty that requires level 60 drop only level 60, for the love of video games, please.)

    They also lightly touched on it in the article but overall heavily ignored the problem of Inferno. It’s not hard. Yes, it’s about to happen, I’m going to make a direct comparison to the glorious challenge that is Dark Souls as so many others have. Sure they are completely different games but that doesn’t mean Blizzard couldn’t learn a thing or two. Inferno is heavily artificial difficulty. What is artificial difficulty? Simple. adding 0’s to damage/health, the end. This creates what we all know as a gear check. Sure gear check is understandable in a Diablo game, welcomed even. But with the glorious Auction House people have quickly collected incredible amounts of resists, health and armor. Yet they still are forced to kite. Wizards were severely punished for coming up with an alternative to stacking vit/res/armor. I’m sorry that some of you have this notion of how Wizards should have tank gear but I’ve always seen mages as nothing more than glass cannons. Think about any fantasy game (outside of World…) you’ve ever played. Don’t you usually cut through a magic wielding foe like a hot knife through butter? Was Force armor really that overpowered? Allowing us to be invulnerable? Lol you didn’t use the build if you thought that. Personally, while you likely won’t believe me, I came up with the build all by myself (Galvanizing wards atrocious health regen gave me the idea). I also realized the Critical Mass build myself (at least for me, with games like Diablo I enjoy it so much more not looking up any information. Builds/solutions to puzzles / etc etc is so much more fun to me figuring out without anothers ideas). While both builds could have used fixes, they were nerfed into oblivion and CM for sure is now total junk. FA can be used with tons of mitigation/health pool but it’s still pretty irrelevant on Inferno A4 (GASP how do I know about A4? public game.)

    I’m sure there’s many holes and many questions flamers will direct at me if this thread even gets replied to within this thread but oh well.

    tl;dr Blizzard should be worried about buffing all the useless skills instead of nerfing all the so called “op” ones. We want build diversity. Please make ALL the skills ‘op’ instead of making the ‘op’ join the useless (this is satire interwebs.)
    Bashiok: That really doesn’t make any sense as there’s no correlation average or otherwise between number of characters created per account and number of characters that have unlocked Inferno. In any case your simple math is backwards. If 1.9% of characters are in Inferno and each account has approximately 3 characters, it’d be 0.6% of accounts have unlocked Inferno. Again, it’s a faulty stat, though, as it’s unlikely the account average includes all or no Inferno level characters.

    Anyway, carry on.

    They also lightly touched on it in the article but overall heavily ignored the problem of Inferno.
    Bashiok: Literally 3/5 of the article was about Inferno. If it didn’t have the magic words you wanted to hear that’s another thing, but we’re starkly aware of how people feel about Inferno and our intent to make adjustments. I’m not naive enough to assume that it would suddenly allow everyone to stop their complaints until we can get a patch out, but don’t claim we’re ignoring it.

    So yeah. Very few players are into Inferno yet, but a lot of those who are really think it’s important that Blizzard… well I’m not sure, exactly. Most of the posts on this issue seem to be mostly about denying that only a tiny percent of players are into Inferno yet. I’m not sure why anyone really cares about that; I didn’t before all these posts about it sprung up. But anyway, you get the idea.

    Main page vote is now live here to survey just how far you guys are into the game, so stay tuned for that.

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