Wyatt Cheng on Pickup Radius Reduction and Nephalem Valor’s Removal


In addition to his article-sized discussion of health and damage changes in Reaper of souls, Wyatt Cheng made a post explaining why Pickup Radius bonuses on items are being reduced so much (from 5-7y now to 1 or 2y per item bonus on DiabloWikiend game gear):

DiabloWikiPickup radius was reduced because we’ve ultimately decided that the current values do more harm than good.

With the incoming changes coming to combat pacing, DiabloWikihealth globes are more valuable than in the current live environment. You don’t just want them to DiabloWikiproc passives, hopefully you’ll actually want them to (gasp) heal!

After many (many) hours of playtesting we concluded that large health globe pickup causes you to heal without even realizing why. One word we use a lot about on the team is INTENTIONALITY. We want to bring back some of the intentionality of picking up a health globe.

Remember back in Nightmare difficulty when you’d save a health globe and come back to pick it up later? Or maybe you saw a health globe drop and you’d brave your way past some baddies to pick it up because you wanted the heal? We love that dramatic moment, and we want it to happen more often. Considering it barely happens at all in the live game, even happening once in a blue moon would be great for the dramatic moment it creates.

All that said, this change is still being evaluated. So far results seem good. Of course, we wouldn’t want to inadvertently nerf some other builds such as DiabloWikiWitch Doctor passives that look at your pickup radius. If we like the change overall we’ll adjust the passive to make sure it doesn’t become useless.

I actually liked the limited (zero) pickup radius on the test characters in the Blizzcon RoS demo, since I didn’t care about picking up gold in short demo games with disabled NPCs, and also since I could spare health globes and return to them later when I got in trouble. (The demo wasn’t that hard, especially not for the OPsader, but the premade characters in the demo had no healing or health regen gear, and respecing to enable it via skills wasn’t the best use of limited demo play time.)

That said, it’s going to feel very different in the end game if/when my chars with good gear and builds still have to be that careful and run back for health globes, etc. Also remember that you can add to your pickup radius via DiabloWikiParagon Points in the DiabloWikiUtility Tab, and that bonus will be much more compelling when you can’t easily tack on 7 or 14 yards of pickup radius come RoS. (The current bonus is .2y per PP, so 5 points per yard with a maximum of 10y from all 50 points you can spend on that bonus.)

Click through for a couple of other short posts by Wyatt, one of them touching on his disagreement with the removal of DiabloWikiNephalem Valor.

Thanks for the shout-out. I must emphasize Diablo III is a team effort. It’s a great privilege to be able to talk about the game but there is an incredible team working hard and passionately on RoS.

I answered a question at Blizzcon about DiabloWikiNephalem Valor being removed, but that was a group decision. In fact, I was against it 🙂 There are strong arguments on both sides but ultimately we removed NV with me kicking and screaming. Fortunately for us we’re in development mode right now so we can do iteration on game systems like this. The team is hard at work figuring out how to improve this game we all love.

Hrm, without going into too many details:

  • I don’t like the idea that swapping skills mid-fight could become a thing. Right now we disallow skill swapping in combat, we’ll have to see how this plays out.
  • I remember early DIII days when repeatedly farming a chest, treasure goblin, vase, predictable elite spawn etc. by constantly creating games was very efficient. I think it’s bad for both the game experience and our server engineers if this style becomes more profitable than Bounties, Rifts, etc. This is hopefully addressed by making the reward of these other systems higher. On the flip side if you over-reward you start to bump against a different problem that the game feels more “grindy” when I’m more focused on objective-completion rewards rather than the chance of getting a sweet drop just around the corner.
  • I found skimming the easy bounties off of quick games in the Blizzcon demo quite profitable, for items, gold, and exp. I was twice able to level from 33 to 36 in under 20 minutes, wearing zero +exp gear, with bad equipment, playing solo, with no way to turn up the difficulty setting, and I gained probably 90% of that exp from earning 10 or 12 bounty rewards, for 50k EXP each, from the Purple bounty monsters I could quickly find near waypoints. I wouldn’t exactly recommend that as a long term strategy, but it was by far the fastest way to build up exp on the Blizzcon demo.

    Level 70 bounty reward bonus.

    Level 70 bounty reward bonus.

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    1. NV removed.. LOL. They could have improved it, like adding more stacks, allow skills swap.. maybe each time you swap a skill you gain a malus for, lets say, 1min less XP gain..

      • health globes fucking suck and so does the potion system, if you can even call it that. awful.

        i’m only replying to your post so my comment is the first one people see. LOL

        eat shit blizzard. you’re full of retards.

        • Thankfuly we have people of such a great intellect as yourself. I am sure that you in your great great wisdom would fix the entire game in a single day.

          Allow us a glimpse of your great mind and tell us how would you do it oh great one.

          • Give me 6 months to a year and I would not only fix the game but have a functional arena system added in as well.

          • What can I say? Blizzard apologists stick together because you can’t handle objective criticism.

            • Because “fucking sucks”, “eat shit”, and “full of retards” are phrases found so often in objective criticism. I think you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the definition of the word “objective.”

              Here, I’ll save you a little time so that you can return to trolling as quickly as possible:

              objective |?b?jektiv|
              adjective
              1 (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts

    2. With the removal of pick-up radius, noone has 20 yard arms anymore. Would it be a good idea to reintroduce the scroll of petting zoo? (Goblin shrine not included).

      NV removed = a good idea as it creates more game diversity, juxtaposed to going to area X+Y first to get 5NV every game.

      • I thought about saying that in the post. Want gold pets back now!

        • Gold pets are most antidiablo feature ever, go back to your WoW

          • While I agree with gold pets not being very diabloesque, it’s amusing hearing someone tell Flux to go back to WoW.

            Also, I enjoyed the gold pets in the beta, as well as the salvaging of gear in the field if I didn’t feel like returning to town to sell things.

          • Did I miss something? What is the connection between gold pets and WoW?

            • Not sure. WoW has pets and cute furry animals. Many of which are playable races. Hence pets in Diablo, especially if they are cute and/or furry, are WoW-like?

              They could turn all the gold pets into skeletal lizards if need be; I want the function. The fact that some of them were cute bunnies and stuff was just a bonus, partially since it pissed off the self-appointed and humorless Diablo thought police types.

    3. I like that NV will be removed because I did not enjoy the feeling of having to farm 5 champs just to make farming “worth my time” and then on top of that I had to farm a considerable amount just to make those first 5 champs worth my time as well and as a player feel “locked in” to farming. My first 10-15 minutes should be as just as valuable as the same 15 minutes 2 hours from then.

    4. Close Proximity should be a factor for health globes, indeed. Good idea, as long as they solve the tanky melee/squishy ranged character issues this would cause.

      As for gold pickup, I’m not even entirely sure anymore gold needs to be dropped and picked up at all: There is no good reason/possibility to NOT pick it up, picking it up after every kill doesn’t add that much long term fun, and in D3 more than ever gold is more of an account-based numeric value than an actual piece of valued loot.

      Being consistent with their debatable ‘simplified/streamlined gameplay’-approach, they could as well take that final step and just credit gold for kills as it’s the case with experience, whithout even letting it drop from the slain monster.

      But, why not remove gold drops from regular monsters? An easy change, that would make other sources like treasure chests, quests, goblins, champions, bosses and so on appear a little bit more valuable, remove visual clutter and be in tune with the idea of making the whole currency a bit more rare and valuable. All while still retaining the progressive reward nature of gold, just to a more reasonable extend.

      As for removing the Nephalem Valor band-aid solution: good riddance!
      (I don’t even want to think about what they’re planning as an alternative, though, based on experience with their ideas …)

      • It would be a miracle if Blizz really solve the problem with squashy ranged characters,if you are DH or Wiz player then you better say goodbye to your character since you won’t be able to pick up any globes anymore and you will be dying every couple of minutes now

    5. Good.

      If they really want to force skill-pseudo-permanence, just make it come at the expense of “starting over” an adventure mode. That way you lose your progress in “completing 5 bounties in an Act” or whatever.

      My main issue with NV at this late stage of D3’s lifecycle is that it served as a disincentive to log on and kill stuff for 5 minutes when I had only 5 minutes free. Sure, you could do it, but you were effectively penalized for not playing for 15 minutes instead.

    6. So many things worry me about major changes. I like NV very much … thought it was a major improvement to the game and I can’t see how it wont be missed a bit. However, I always want to swap out my skills for different styles of monsters …

      • They’ve reduced MF so much in function that getting it for free from NV doesn’t make sense anymore. Which means the change is really about exp gain and game length. And clearly they didn’t think forcing players to farm up 5 random bosses before the real game started was a great design when factored into Adventure Mode. I think I agree….

    7. If they have issues with the health globe pickup radius, why not just seperate it from the gold pickup radius? Allow the gold pickup radius only to be affected by the stat, have health globe pickup radius be a constant and make the passives use the gold pickup radius plus a base in order to keep it balanced.

      I would have thought that would have been the obvious way to go about it.

    8. I do not care about the nerf for globes, but there is no and newer was a reason to have gold drop on the ground, let alone have a pickup radius for it. Either make the gold pickup radius separate or auto pickup when you move.

    9. Did Wyatt played the game? Who change skill mid-fight in inferno? the cooldown makes sure you don’t change. That said it’s a game, don’t penalized people who want to play different specs in a session and have fun.

      As for the pickup radius I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, split globe and gold, put gold and abilities together and give them a lot of potential yards through gear and a base value of 5, give globe a 1 yard base and small upgrades through affixes, or no affixes at all and give it a 1-5 base.

    10. I hate both changes. I like gold flowing to me and I like the idea of NV.

    11. 10 pickup radius seems fine on paragon alone seems fine. It’s half thing of the deep, looking the glass half full.

      And I like the idea of removing the nephalem stacks. The idea of having to hunt for five stacks to do “X” (keys, ubers) is annoying, imo. I never really used the bonuses for farming, since WW white mobs was cheaper and faster…

    12. I’ve actually always not liked that health globes and gold were on the same pickup radius.

      However, pickup radius is my favorite stat after primary stat, vitality, and resist all. (Next comes movement speed.)

      I simply hate having to run around picking up all that gold. The ‘automatic healthglobes’ were often useful too, and honestly did a lot more for keeping my character alive than some other stats do, especially in hardcore.

      I don’t mind them reducing it from gear, but perhaps increasing the amount you get from Paragon would be good. I still want 20+ yards whenever I can get it.

      • I think they probably combined them to make the affix seem more worthwhile. Same way they put +health on orbs to yield bonus from potions also.

        Related topic; why did they put pickup radius on Fleeting Shrines (with faster movement speed), instead of putting pickup on Fortune shrines? Wouldn’t the later make more thematic sense?

        They should probably combine them all into one mega shrine in RoS, since it doesn’t seem like Fortune shrine will be worth the trouble, given the changes to Magic Find… (In fact, I don’t think I saw a fortune shrine in the Blizzcon demo. I did see Fleeting and all the others, I’m pretty sure, though they were hardly noticeable amidst the Super Shrines.)

    13. Do these devs play ranged characters? Pickup is integral to farming quickly with dh and wd to quickly regain resources. Why are they nerfing the stat value? I agree that too much pickup can be bad, but can’t I just, you know, not gear for it??

      Or put a toggle or something so I can reduce pur for globes but not gold? Like a really cheap enchantment I can put on my belt that reduces pur for globes but not gold so my barb can conserve globes while still vacuuming gold.

    14. Pickup radius for gold should be higher than for globes. This can’t be hard to program, right? When my radius gets small, picking up gold becomes ridiculously tedious, but most of us prefer a small radius for globes, it seems.

      I’ll miss NV. It’s been so gratifying seeing huge explosions of loot rain from enemies, even if the vast majority of it is terrible. I like that it gave you a way to still enjoy some MF/GF while wearing good gear.

      Ironically, as someone who strongly supports freespecs and always has, I find that with all 5 classes I quickly settled into very specific builds that felt personal to me. I haven’t really looked at famous or cookie cutter builds in any detail, esp. since they often assume specific gear pieces and I play mostly self-found. I just find that specific combinations of skills just fit really well for me, and I like that I’m able to try small variations and tinker with different skills and runes until I get it just right.

      • I really hope that loot 2.0 really works like said since without NVs 95%of items I find are blue & almost never found a legendary with less than 2 NV & Less than 200MF which they are also nerfing

    15. I’m one of the few that enjoyed pot spamming in D2, it was a reward for good playing not having to go back to town to fill up. The globe solution to other peoples poor play is a dumbing down of the game overall.

      NV always had a cheap temporary feel to me, like cardboard over a broken window. The old MF% system needed work, it was very 1 dimensional especially in such an item focused game like this. I’m surprise they’ve never done %chance to mf affix. If they made MF% a flat 100% and allowed players to only affect the chance of it proc’ing then you could have more fun with monsters and shrines giving a temporary mf% chance booster with it being such an OP stat in the game.

    16. An easier fix would be to not pickup globe at full health.

    17. I hope they will remove pots and make as if we had infinite supply. Maybe this will happen since we saw legendary potions in datamined data.

    18. So . way back when they did’nt want you stopping to travel back to town every few minutes to id etc . Now they want you to stop mid game , and run back for a health potion ? That’s not breaking the game up at all .

      “Remember back in Nightmare difficulty when you’d save a health globe and come back to pick it up later?”

      Nope I don’t remember because none of my chars ever did that .

      For all the changes the game needs they are using resources to spend time on pick up radii / radiuses . I’ve never seen anyone complain about this , unless they had too little and had to keep running around a gold pile to pick it up , now they are making it smaller , right ……..

    19. So they are making useless stat even more useless. I’m not even talking about MF nerf lol. GG Blizz.

    20. One step forward, two steps backward. That about sums up how RoS is shaping up.

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