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Diablo III Systems Changes

The Diablo III Website announces some systems changes for Blizzard's upcoming action/RPG, as they are describe plans to revamp crafting, items, core attributes, and inventory based on feedback from the game's ongoing beta test, adding they are also implementing changes to the game's skill and rune systems that they aren't prepared to discuss just yet. How this might impact the game's release schedule goes unmentioned, though they do note: "No one will remember if the game is late, only if it's great." Specific changes they announce are the removal of scrolls of identification, the addition of a dedicated potion button, the removal of superfluous system objectives such as the Mystic artisan, the Cauldron of Jordan, and the Nephalem Cube, and that common items will no longer be salvageable. They also outline changes to attributes, as they are dropping Defense, Attack, and Precision, leaving characters with Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality. Here's more on the plan moving forward:

There’s a lot of work left to be done, though. We’re constantly tuning and making balance changes; it’s a massive task. Some of these changes can be seen in the beta, like changes to item rarity, the levels at which we introduce affixes, and how many affixes enemies can roll up. Some you can’t see in the beta, like balancing the difficulty of the entire game for four different difficulty levels, adding tons of new affixes, creating legendary items, filling out crafting recipes and itemization, working on achievements, and implementing Battle.net features. We’re also working on a number of other large systems changes -- specifically with the skill and rune systems. We're not quite ready to share what those are just yet, but we look forward to being able to do so in the near future.

We want Diablo III to be the best game it can be when it launches. To get there, we're going to be iterating on designs we've had in place for a long time, making changes to systems you've spent a lot of time theorycrafting, and removing features you may have come to associate with the core of the experience. Our hope is that by embracing our iterative design process in which we question ourselves and our decisions, Diablo III won't just live up to our expectations, but will continue to do so a decade after it's released.

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52. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 18:53 Fletch
 
LemonJoose wrote on Jan 20, 2012, 15:52:
It sound like these changes are driven by a desire to make the real-money Auction House more tempting by nerfing the crafting capabilities within the game, and reintroducing lots of crap loot to make it seem like there is still a lot of loot when they are probably going to be reducing the drop rate of good items to boost the real-money AH.

How hard would it be to bless players who frequent the AH with better drops? Or is that too paranoid?

 
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51. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 15:52 LemonJoose
 
This is clear evidence -- Blizzard is in the process of fucking Diablo 3 up. There is no reason after this long of a development timeframe to have to make such major changes in the game design. It sound like these changes are driven by a desire to make the real-money Auction House more tempting by nerfing the crafting capabilities within the game, and reintroducing lots of crap loot to make it seem like there is still a lot of loot when they are probably going to be reducing the drop rate of good items to boost the real-money AH.  
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50. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 15:40 LemonJoose
 
I'm sure 38 Studios and EA are thrilled to hear about this delay. Everything I have read lately about D3 is making me less and less interested in it. At this point I think the game runs a very serious risk of simply seeming out-of-date when it finally gets released. I know they are differnt types of RPGs, but people are getting used to Skyrim visuals, and there is honestly a ton of fun loot to pick up in Skyrim, so Diablo 3's main attraction as the "king of lootfest RPG's" is becoming less of a differentiator as other games also implement fun loot systems now.  
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49. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 10:57 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Late 2011 Diablo 3 team: "We don't want players to have to leave the action, Nephalem Cube and Cauldron will allow people to salvage/sell items and barely leave combat!"

Early 2012 Diablo 3 team: "Yeah... we think going back to town is important now, breaking up the flow of action for no reason. Also, you should have to spend time channeling to identify each rare/unique. Because that's fun to stand still doing nothing. Also, let's make white items complete garbage by removing both the Mystic(who could have enchanted the 'superior' white items, and remove the Cube so they cannot be used for crafting in any way."

Basically this is a dramatic slow down of the game in general, and definitely a nerfing/serious slowdown of crafting as well, considering how much material it costs to make anything in the beta currently. None of these changes seem all that fun either... mind boggling decisions.

The secondary class bonuses for the new/old Str/Dex/Int/Vit stats are ridiculous also: Greater HP from Health Globes from Int? Really? Glad it took you 5+ years to think that up.

Also, they indicate they will have to basically re-itemize the entire game because of these changes, the rune system is still up in the air...2013 is not sounding too ridiculous, really.

I'd be mad, but this is just making it easier to avoid Diablo 3 now, and it'll make the D3 alternatives: Torchlight 2, Path of Exile, Grim Dawn, RAW look that much better. Now, if only those games looked like they weren't as slow in development as Diablo 3 is...

 
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48. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 05:31 eRe4s3r
 
Indeed, there is also something to be said about polish and time. In the Digital Age we live in, you can take time to polish your game, and should. But every year we nudge closer to the "new" console generation your graphics are gonna be outdated, and come the new generation so much behind that no amount of polish will make it a great game anymore.

SC2 looked only decent because of the cutscenes and video, if you strip all that fluff at way, you are looking at a mediocre detailed game with units optimized in their look so much there is no fluff or detail left. And a graphics engine that is just plain outdated (no terrain physics, no height advantages, no deformation or dynamic destruction) The only amazing thing in all of SC2 was the level with the rising and falling lava, now that was really well done and something new. (Wish they had expanded upon this more... )
 
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47. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 05:11 Fletch
 
Verno wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 15:02:
Blizzard games are designed to be accessible so no one really cares. I'm more interested in them removing the completely arbitrary persistent connectivity requirements.

Do you think Diablo and Diablo 2 were accessible? I think they were extremely accessible. So why the need to dumb down even further? It's like driving 15mph through a school zone that's posted for 20mph. It may seem like you are driving 25% safer, but all you're really doing is pissing off the people behind you.

 
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46. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 05:02 Fletch
 
Creston wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 14:58:
Seems like a lot gets taken out, and not much put back in?

If Bioware did this, everyone would scream they were dumbing it down...

Creston

They are dumbing it down. Hmmm... I wonder what reason they would have for doing so. Why do PC games ever get dumbed down?

Oh well, I lost interest completely when they announced online-only single player and the auction house.

 
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45. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 02:31 Cornholio
 
THQ was stupid to shut down Iron Lore... at least we still have Grim Dawn to look forward to.

I bet they get that out before D3 and those guys work on the game in their off time from actual jobs.
 
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44. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 02:14 Prez
 
I Is it really 'overlong' if it results in an amazing product? Would it have been so with just a long cycle?

Of course that's rhetorical, since we can't answer that, but as great as Starcraft 2 was, it was in no way worth the 10 year wait following Brood War in my estimation. Understanding that not all of those 10 years were development years, but the development cycle was still ridiculously overlong for what was basically an (admittedly excellent) refinement of an existing property with a new story and amazing cutscenes.

Other companies have made games just as great or greater on far shorter development cycles, so it's not like it can't be done.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 2012, 02:20.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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43. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 00:31 Alamar
 
Prez wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 19:34:
Julio wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 18:14:
This one's starting to have a DNF feel to it.

Well, to be fair, Blizzard has a track record of releasing amazing products at the end of their ridiculously overlong development cycles, something that can't really be said about that moron Broussard's crew.

Is it really 'overlong' if it results in an amazing product? Would it have been so with just a long cycle?

Wildone wrote on Jan 20, 2012, 00:09:
It aint comin out this year, I TOLD YOU SO.

No you didn't...

-Alamar
 
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42. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 20, 2012, 00:09 Wildone
 
It aint comin out this year, I TOLD YOU SO.




AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA
 
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41. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 22:51 AnointedSword
 
They have that track record, but they never have screwed up like this either. I just read a post with this title---> "How does Jay Wilson still have a job?" I have to agree. There have been system overhauls back and forth and recently I might add! This is after Blizzard releases info for the CE version of the game? Clearly he is a cluster of wrong and needs to step down if he cannot get it right. I have been a Blizzard supporter for a long time, just look at my posts here. However, when I see wrong I call them out on it.  
If you were right, I would be agreeing with you.
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40. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 19:34 Prez
 
Julio wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 18:14:
This one's starting to have a DNF feel to it.

Well, to be fair, Blizzard has a track record of releasing amazing products at the end of their ridiculously overlong development cycles, something that can't really be said about that moron Broussard's crew.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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39. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 18:14 Julio
 
Maybe they are waiting until it is so behind the times that you can play it on tablets (only online of course).

This one's starting to have a DNF feel to it.
 
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38. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 18:11 RollinThundr
 
Pyloff wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 17:40:
shinchan0s wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 16:22:
In other words, they're dumbing it down for consoles.

Everybody liked Diablo and Diablo 2 - warts and all. I don't mind a little streamlining here and there, but this is getting ridiculous. At this point, planning for a mission to Mars wouldn't take as much TIME and MANPOWER as it apparently does for a Blizzard game! It's a hack-n-slash game - just make it fun!

Why is this taking over 10 years to develop? Why announce it in 2008 if we're going to have to wait until 2013 to play it?

What's the point of separating Starcraft 2 into 3 parts when they're spaced out by 2 freaking years? Brood War was released in the same year as the original! By the time Legacy of the Void is released the game will be 6 years old which is like 100 in videogame years. Nobody will care.

Why did they bother to REDUCE B.net's functionality and practicality?

And yes, the game IS late. It's been 5 years since they announced it. What a tease!

Yeah, I'll still buy Diablo III when it comes out - but I'm starting to think it will be another huge disappointment like Starcraft 2. The new designers they have, quite honestly, stink.

Good points, maybe I'm getting a bit paranoid but these are making a lot of sense.

The easy answer is Blizzard is poorly managed. Why Davidson & Associates then Sierra, now Vivendi/Activision has allowed it to go on for as long as it has is the tough question.

There is no valid reason they need 5-10 years per installment in their 3 main IPs (Warcraft, Diablo, SC) By the time D3 ships if it indeed is going to be pushed back yet another year it'll will look like a decade old game graphically, (not that it isn't close now really) and will be surpassed in quality and innovation by other developers.

Blizzard has indeed Jumped the shark.
 
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37. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 17:40 Pyloff
 
shinchan0s wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 16:22:
In other words, they're dumbing it down for consoles.

Everybody liked Diablo and Diablo 2 - warts and all. I don't mind a little streamlining here and there, but this is getting ridiculous. At this point, planning for a mission to Mars wouldn't take as much TIME and MANPOWER as it apparently does for a Blizzard game! It's a hack-n-slash game - just make it fun!

Why is this taking over 10 years to develop? Why announce it in 2008 if we're going to have to wait until 2013 to play it?

What's the point of separating Starcraft 2 into 3 parts when they're spaced out by 2 freaking years? Brood War was released in the same year as the original! By the time Legacy of the Void is released the game will be 6 years old which is like 100 in videogame years. Nobody will care.

Why did they bother to REDUCE B.net's functionality and practicality?

And yes, the game IS late. It's been 5 years since they announced it. What a tease!

Yeah, I'll still buy Diablo III when it comes out - but I'm starting to think it will be another huge disappointment like Starcraft 2. The new designers they have, quite honestly, stink.

Good points, maybe I'm getting a bit paranoid but these are making a lot of sense.
 
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36. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 17:34 Wildone
 
So 'not this year' then?! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAH Q1 2013 AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  
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35. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 17:30 Bhruic
 
No announcements, no news, not even big fat previews or hype.

There's been plenty of news, just not of the "major" variety. They've also released at least one trailer, although it was less a gameplay one and more their typical "movie" style. But they've mentioned quite a few of the new units in the game, for example.
 
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34. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 17:02 eRe4s3r
 
What worries me more is 0 news on SC2 Episode 2 or its scope. It was hyped fatly in may 2011 and since then, nothing.

SC2 released july 2010

No announcements, no news, not even big fat previews or hype. This game is more than 6 months away, and who even cares about SC2 in another 3 or 4 years (when supposedly this mysterious 3rd episode comes out) by then the game will look like utter crap compared to any even half-way modern game made in 2015 not to mention that Blizzard (as usual) will be overtaken by better RTS games and SC2 will look and play, when episode 3 comes out, like Dune 2 looks and plays today.

No idea what insanity rode them when they decided this and then they don't even manage to maintain a 1 year cycle which is the most i would give episodic games. And SC2 wasn't exactly a genre revolution to begin with, if you look for innovative game design, Blizzard is not the place to look.

What a sad thing
 
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33. Re: Diablo III Systems Changes Jan 19, 2012, 17:00 Dev
 
shinchan0s wrote on Jan 19, 2012, 16:22:
What's the point of separating Starcraft 2 into 3 parts when they're spaced out by 2 freaking years? Brood War was released in the same year as the original! By the time Legacy of the Void is released the game will be 6 years old which is like 100 in videogame years.
The point was to explain to fans why it would have 1 campaign, not a campaign for each race. Whether this was justified, I dunno.
 
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