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Blizzard on Diablo III

The Diablo III Forums have a Message from Mike Morhaime reflecting on Diablo III in the two months since the action/RPG sequel launched. He recaps and explains the game's growing pains after launch, and goes on to discuss its future, saying they are working on a way to make the game playable without playing Diablo tycoon on the auction house, reducing issues related to the game's always-on requirement, and they are "also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the 'item hunt'." Here's a bit:

You’ve seen some of that work already in patch 1.0.3, and you’ll see additional improvements with patch 1.0.4. On the game balance front, this update will contain changes designed to further deliver on the team’s goal of promoting “build diversity,” with buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Another topic we’ve seen actively discussed is the fact that better, more distinct Legendary items are needed. We agree. Patch 1.0.4 will also include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways you probably won’t be expecting.

We’re also working on a number of interface updates, including social improvements that will allow players to more easily view their friends’ achievements, more quickly join games, and more efficiently communicate with each other. In addition, we’ll be making updates to the auction house in the future to provide players with better information through tooltips and notices, offer improved search functionality, and more.

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29. Re: Blizzard on Diablo III Jul 19, 2012, 13:54 The Pyro
 
Admittedly I haven't played much D3 (open the open beta), but AH complaints remind me of several other multiplayer RPGs I've experienced. There's just too many items for sale. Too much supply forces prices downward, and the result is that players can buy items in the AH long before their characters could have found similar gear by just playing the game. Half the game is basically an item hunt, though, so half the enjoyment just evaporates as the player continues to get item drops that are consistently below the quality of stuff he can afford in the AH.

This sort of phenomenon is almost inevitable. You can't reduce the quantity of item drops, because that's half the "fun" of the game. But if you want to fix the AH system then somehow you've got to tackle the supply-side glut.

IMO there needs to be a more compelling item sink than the existing crafting system. Maybe crappy items could be used as material components for high-powered skills ?
 
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