Wyatt Cheng on Missing Diablo 3 Cosmetic Items


Fans kept a thousand+ post thread going all season, trying to crowd source knowledge about where to find some ultra-rare cosmetic items. During the struggle CM Nevalistis kept popping in with encouragement, while refusing to provide hints/spoilers for the struggle. It was all great fufallen-pennantn, until fans began to suspect that the items were actually impossible to find. And then finally Wyatt dropped in to confirm that yes, the search was impossible.

In Patch 2.4.1, we introduced a number of new cosmetic items to the game including a few extremely rare items such as the Cosmic Wings and Rainbow Portrait. Among the items intended to be extremely rare are Steffon’s Heavy Lance, Mace of the Crows, and the Harvest Pennant (also known as the Fallen Pennant). As 2.4.1 unfolded, we were surprised to learn that nobody appeared to have found these items. Weeks passed, we checked and double-checked the data, and ran some internal tests — these items were intended to be rare and hidden, but had we perhaps hidden them too well?

Unfortunately, it turns out we made a mistake. Instead of making the items extremely rare, they did not appear at all. The development team is sorry for this huge misstep on our part — we know that our mistake caused many players to spend hours trying to locate items which we now see in hindsight was a wild goose chase.

cosmeticsHow did this happen? Testing something that is intentionally extremely rare means we need to use some dedicated testing techniques. Our team uses a combination of code reviews, simulation and cheat codes to verify functionality. Sometimes things can appear to work correctly in parts, but malfunction when they are put together. For example, in the case of the Pennant, we were able to verify that individual portions of the criteria to obtain the Pennant functioned correctly, but the end to end process resulted in the Pennant being unattainable once the patch went live.

The dev team messed up and we’re sorry. We erroneously told our community team (including Nevalistis) that the Harvest Pennant could drop. We can’t make it right overnight but we’d like to start with two changes:

1. We’ve certainly learned our lesson, and going forward when things are intentionally this rare, we’ll have new testing procedures to make sure a similar mistake doesn’t happen again.
2. Although we cannot provide direct restitution to the individuals affected, we’re going to have a 48-hour Double Blood Shard Community Buff for this weekend.

The post is from Friday, so that weekend Double Shards buff was the one we just enjoyed last weekend. These ultra-rare items will presumably be findable in the next season, once the bugs are fixed. You’ll find them, won’t you? Don’t you want to be pretty?

The items were findable when the current patch was under testing months ago — click through to see them from the v2.4.1 PTR.

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  1. F*cking trainwreck of a team and game.

  2. These stories are absolute cat nip for dii readers.

    The dev’s are choosing to not test the game thoroughly, it’s often suspect they play the game at all anymore. On another note, I believe they should do away with these ‘middlemen’ aka CMs. They’re essentially punching bags for the player base, offering little to no information, and all too often confusing people in the process.

    • The CMs exist because someone has to do the job. If you want to have all the developers also do the CM job, then they will have less time to develop.

      If you want to hire the same total number of people, but have some of them work directly on the game, and others manage the community, then I can see the merit in that suggestion. However I’m sure the average CM gets paid probably 30-40% less than the average developer, so it’d cost Blizzard more. Also the skill sets are different, if you look at the various things that CMs do outside of replying to questions on the forum (making website content, for example).

      • Only the developer has the expertise to comment, from a technical perspective of course. A CM describing where a cosmetic item resides is not ‘robust’ community engagement. The player can Google themselves, or simply perform a quick thread search to find said information.

        What skill sets do CMs have again exactly? The ability to copy/paste questions from the community and copy/paste Blizz’s replies within the forums? Is the function of the CM to aggregate information to pass on to the Devs? I’m pretty sure the Dev’s can see this information just as quickly themselves. I also believe Blizz can REDUCE overhead by axing these useless intermediaries. They DO NOT require a liaison to potentially butcher explanations of the design process with which they have absolute zero contribution to.

        What people want are folks such as Wyatt to explain their methodologies, or rationale for said decision making. And what the community especially wants, is to not feel ‘ignored’… D3 players have been a rather disenfranchised bunch for far too long now.

  3. Why do they waste their time with cosmetic items anyway? Is real itemization just abandoned at this point?

    • Nobody asked for this crap. Nobody EVER sat down and typed up a long huge suggestion post on the forums ASKING for cosmetic items on Diablo 3.

      • I think they were going to use them for micro-payments in the second expansion, but then they canned it and just decided to give them out for free.

    • I think “real itemisation” was abandoned a very long time ago.

  4. ok I hope this finally puts a stop to people saying how polished Blizzard’s games are

    its not like this is the first major bug or problem with D3

    • the real problem with D3 is the f*cking idiot and nagging community
      they nagg about everything D3 related
      get a life idiots

      • There’s a lot of problems with the game. And we love the franchise. It shouldn’t be alarming to see loads of complaints. I do think there’s a fine line between a well articulated complaint and trolling on the forums more broadly.

      • So the problem with Diablo 3 is the people who play it? Not the game itself? Nice logic. Oh it’s not my broken down piece of shit car, it’s the road it’s having to drive on. Yea, blame people and not the game itself. The game with horrible itemization, too much reliance on RNG, cookie cutter lack of actual builds, and total reliance on set items to get anywhere in repetitive rifts, over and over and over again. Grow up. Stop attacking people personally over their opinions of a GAME you didn’t make and had nothing to do with the development of.

    • Why do you hope that? They are more polished then most other games 99% of the time. They acually take their time to polish their games to before release. It’s not like a bug with one cosmetic item is going to change that fact. And that’s a good thing, not sure why you would want it the other way around..?

      Still I agree this was a big mistake by the Diablo team. 🙂

  5. “They acually take their time to polish their games to before release.”

    LOL, define “polish”
    is it the AH clock bug ? the AH gold dup bug ? the state of items at release of the game ? the “awesome” job they did with PvP ? the god awful story ? the cut scenes you couldn’t skip ?

    see. that’s the kind of fanboy nonsense I’m talking about
    if this weren’t made by Blizzard and wasn’t called Diablo you and others would readily admit the problems
    but because it is made by Blizzard you’re blinded by your Blizzard bias

    I’ll admit it that when D3 came out it had nice graphics, but that’s about it

    yeah, the game was polished when it first came out, that’s why there was so much criticism LOL

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