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On Diablo III's Future

A post to the Diablo III forums by game designer Travis Day responds to a thread about Blizzard's action/RPG sequel titled "The Salvation of Diablo 3" with some frank insights into how the game came to its current state, and their approach to supporting it going forward. Travis discusses the rewards of a challenging game and how they overdid the challenge in the shipping version of the game, item diversity and reliance on the auction house, character customization, item glut, get hunting, skill diversity, and more. The takeaway is that they are still listening to feedback about the game, and still working at revamping things to better match the expectations of themselves and the community. This excerpt explains plans for addressing complaints about gear, which will be further explained in a blog update next week:

Too many items

I cover this topic in some depth in the upcoming Item Blog that community is in the process of getting ready for release next week. I will briefly say that we agree that too many items drop and we have plans to eventually reduce the rate that players see items, while also taking measures to improve the general quality of items you do see. The end result should be fewer items that are better instead of tons of items you don’t want.

Legendary and Set items

This is a topic I’ve touched on some in this thread and it is also a talking point of the upcoming Item Blog, so I’ll just say that we agree and we want Legendary items to feel game changing.

Finding your own gear

Whenever we talk about what the fantasy of Diablo is and what we want the core gameplay to be, never do we say “we want players to farm gold and go buy items off the auction house”. The AH definitely has made an impact on Diablo 3 and we talk about it constantly, but our conversations are usually in the context of “how can we get players to find their own loot instead of just buying it”. The new crafting recipes and Demonic Essences were added to provide a little bit of this gameplay but we have a lot of ideas for the long term about how we want to go about addressing this. At the end of the day, it is our intention that players are able to find their own items, because we feel the game is just more fun that way. There are several reason why it might not feel that way right now. One is the inherent randomness of our loot system. Another is the fact that the AH completely removes all friction between player trades. And another is when players DO find items they should be excited about, they are often disappointed because this items are not very good. All of these are very important and we hope to address them over time.

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