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 end game gear):
With the incoming changes coming to combat pacing, health globes are more valuable than in the current live environment. You don’t just want them to proc 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 Witch 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 Paragon Points in the Utility 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 Nephalem Valor.
I answered a question at Blizzcon about Nephalem 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 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.