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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31.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 3, 2013, 10:52
31.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 3, 2013, 10:52
Mar 3, 2013, 10:52
 
Game is still mostly crap. D3 is definitely not the sequel we hoped for.
30.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 3, 2013, 01:43
30.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 3, 2013, 01:43
Mar 3, 2013, 01:43
 
The game is still fun to me, I had put it down after playing it solid with all the toons together. I brought them all up through the ACTs at the same time so I could easily share loot across all toons. I used the gold AH 1x for a couple things to try it out, but am a fan of the vanilla experience.

I fired it up a couple weeks ago and continued playing all toons. I think I am in the 3rd playthrough? All my toons are between lvl 40 and 47 I think. I did get a weapon that is SOOOO OP from someone. It is ridiculous. Has that level requirement -17 on it. It is sick. I feel bad using it.

I am noticing the drops are ridiculous now. I don't recall ever getting this many drops or of this quality. I am routinely finding things to use with all toons. I sold a few things on the gold AH to check it out. Even was able to sell the items I bought for my DH a long time ago. Actually sold for more than I originally bought them for. hahaha

I think the biggest t hing that would help me continue playing is if they were to make the levels random. My only REAL complaint of the game is that they are static. Takes a lot of the fun out of what D2 was. I also like the Monster Level thing. I can solo Monster Level 2 and it is far more challanging. I die more, but it makes sense to me that a boss battle takes minutes rather than seconds.

Anywhoo. I have lots of friends still playing it and they have some pretty sweet gear. I just don't have the need to play it like I did with D2. If stuff was more random I would probably be more interested.
29.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 23:56
29.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 23:56
Mar 2, 2013, 23:56
 
I laugh at all the people here who bought this trash.

A little bit of patience and maturity would have saved you some $$.

Suckers.
28.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 22:55
Dev
28.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 22:55
Mar 2, 2013, 22:55
Dev
 
Flatline wrote on Mar 2, 2013, 18:41:
I'm not necessarily talking about sales as I am about interest and player participation.
Sorry, if you aren't talking about the former, then you aren't speaking the actiblizz language.
27.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 22:31
27.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 22:31
Mar 2, 2013, 22:31
 
What I always said abt D3 : F*ck Jay Wilson !!

And abt those - all lies and anyhow way too f*cking late
26.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 18:41
26.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 18:41
Mar 2, 2013, 18:41
 
Dev wrote on Mar 1, 2013, 23:48:
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”.

BULLLLCRAP. Because that's sure as heck how you've designed the game!

Flatline wrote on Mar 1, 2013, 23:21:
What's going on is that Blizzard probably never intended for the RMAH to be a dominant, permanent fixture. As D3 wanes, they'll back away from monetizing it so hard. Yeah sure it'll still be there, but they made their millions and can ease back on all roads leading to the RMAH, figuring that in doing so they can claim they listen to their fans and come out like the good guys.
Thats a good point. I never thought about them backing off from that a bit as sales declined. But I doubt its quite near the time for them to do that. They are still selling the game for $50-$60.

I dunno it seems like it's a perfect time to back off of RMAH. I'm not necessarily talking about sales as I am about interest and player participation. Just as player interest starts to wane is the time to scale back all roads lead to RMAH. It provides a surge of interest in the game from current and former players, and it brings in new people who are avoiding the game due to the RMAH backlash. So instead of 90% of inferno players being forced to farm forever or turn to the auction house, it might drop down to 5% visiting the RMAH, but that's a sustainable level of the population that won't get pissed off and quit.
25.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 12:42
25.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 12:42
Mar 2, 2013, 12:42
 
It was painfully obvious how D3 was going to turn out during beta. The forums were filled with self-loving pompous big shortz devs and moderators who didn't give a crap what anyone had to say -- they were going to make the game the way they intended. And you, the gamer, the player, the peon peasant of Big WOW, didn't/doesn't/won't matter.

And that's the reason I didn't buy it, even if it turned out great which I knew it wouldn't.
Yours truly,

Axis
Avatar 57462
24.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 11:38
24.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 11:38
Mar 2, 2013, 11:38
 
Didn't they say the "Legendary items should feel game changing" thing months ago? And wasn't that going to be in the game like two patches ago?

This is all just talk. None of this will ever happen.

Creston
Avatar 15604
23.
 
Re: More Big Picture Details
Mar 2, 2013, 11:04
23.
Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 2, 2013, 11:04
Mar 2, 2013, 11:04
 
nin wrote on Mar 2, 2013, 03:38:
It's seriously head scratching how D3 came out the way it did...I mean, I understand a lot of the D2 folks left, and another team had to pick up where they left off, but still...

Could it be this? One team designed a game that its sole purpose was to be fun. You buy it, have fun, you win, we win. Hooray!

The other team had one small difference, during the entire design they had to figure out a way to have an additional constant stream of income after the box sale. That one issue alone changed everything. This is Activision in your game, this is Wall Street in your game. That is the truth. No?

Isn't it funny how the first team sounds very indy by today's standards? Perhaps someday there will be a banding of consumers buying things only from companies that aren't public when possible, perhaps that is the way to rebalance it all.
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22.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 10:41
22.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 10:41
Mar 2, 2013, 10:41
 
Alamar wrote on Mar 1, 2013, 20:54:
Are you new here, or to gaming in general?

As much as the AH is arguably a failure, it is somethings hundreds of thousands (I counted and verified identities) of gamers asked, begged, and pleaded for...

This doesn't seem accurate. People begged and pleaded for an in-game method of facilitating trade. They did not beg for an auction house specifically that Blizzard could take a huge cut from. Player driven bazaars in lobbies would have accomplished the same thing without exposing millions to the perfect rolls of items that they could never obtain outside of a centralized auction house.

Blizzard made the auction house because it wanted a piece of the pie. They could have easily gone other directions that would have accomplished the same thing with a similar level of polish and accessibility. They did this because they wanted to, not because gamers wanted it.

The underlying mechanical issues in the game are not really fixable without a drastic overhaul. There is nothing under the surface of Diablo 3. it's all style without any substance. Go play Path of Exile, it's not a perfect game but it has alot to get into and there are numerous ways they actually innovated and brought more depth to action RPG. Until the devs of Diablo 3 realize the simple fact that the game doesn't have much replay value, it will just be simple touch ups to appease people in the short term, much like they did with WoW for years.
Avatar 57682
21.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 07:41
21.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 07:41
Mar 2, 2013, 07:41
 
The quality of the drops in my opinion should be more important than the quantity of the drops. One of the reasons I stopped playing Diablo 3 was because of the lackluster drops that left you noncompetitive with the content you were playing. You had to farm a certain acts before you could even progress to the next or you had to burn cash in the auction house. It kind of hurts that you find yourself stuck at a point in the game without any means of progressing because the gear you have is inadequate by design.

What they need to do is have bosses drop tokens bound to your character that can be used to buy or craft gear you need. Either that or something to ensure you get a class/level relevant item.
20.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 05:27
20.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 05:27
Mar 2, 2013, 05:27
 
Its been out for almost a year. Pathetic that it takes this long for them to change the core gameplay from farming gold and using the auction house. It's pretty clear that Blizzard has no intention of making that change given their focus on the RMAH. It's all about the RMAH, not making the game fun.

Saving face for launching the inevitable expansion. Diablo 3 was good for a few days, then you realize there's no depth unless you like being a human version of the bot gold farmers.
19.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 05:04
mag
19.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 05:04
Mar 2, 2013, 05:04
mag
 
God, I hate Diablo 3. When dry it shreds your mouth, but the instant you put it in milk it turns into soggy mush.
18.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 04:48
18.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 04:48
Mar 2, 2013, 04:48
 
I honestly think that 90% of the people in this topic, do not understand diablo3's problems, and have not read the content of that bluepost; but its ok we can splurg stuff on bluesnews and look clever anyways right?
Everyone on Bluesnews is synical, get over it.
edit: i cant spell, this is my disclaimer.
Avatar 23977
17.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 03:38
nin
 
17.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 03:38
Mar 2, 2013, 03:38
 nin
 
Antdude wrote on Mar 2, 2013, 03:25:
Amazing. Now, after months of reflection, they're finally getting around to considering all the things that we begged them to do before and after the game launched. Now, the random loot table needs revamping. Now, the RMAH needs a second look. Now, Legendaries should feel special.

I haven't fired the game up in months and I can see I've missed nothing.


Honestly, reading the above that Blue quoted - it's like they don't understand why D2 was successful.

And didn't we hear something similar to the line "we want Legendary items to feel game changing" like last May/June or so, when people were complaining that higher level blues were making legendaries obsolete?

It's seriously head scratching how D3 came out the way it did...I mean, I understand a lot of the D2 folks left, and another team had to pick up where they left off, but still...


16.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 03:36
16.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 03:36
Mar 2, 2013, 03:36
 
I'm curious to see how they'll handle this, because I honestly don't see what their options are. It's easy to see what some of the problems are, it's easy to imagine how the problems could have been avoided. But solving them now, at this stage? That's one hell of a trick to pull off.

Here's a tougher question to ask: what is the best way to cripple the AH, assuming you give a damn about the (apparently, many) players who like it?
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15.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 03:25
15.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 03:25
Mar 2, 2013, 03:25
 
Amazing. Now, after months of reflection, they're finally getting around to considering all the things that we begged them to do before and after the game launched. Now, the random loot table needs revamping. Now, the RMAH needs a second look. Now, Legendaries should feel special.

I haven't fired the game up in months and I can see I've missed nothing.
14.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 01:39
14.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 01:39
Mar 2, 2013, 01:39
 
I don't care about what you do going forward, you wont get another dime from me.
13.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 00:55
13.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 00:55
Mar 2, 2013, 00:55
 
Makes you wonder what they'll introduce or fix in the future expansion, especially with Jay no longer there to crack the whip. It certainly seems like they've been trying to back up on a lot of design decisions since he left which is the silver lining in this debacle.

Unfortunately, a lot of the damage has long been done and I'm sure there are many players who are simply turned off at the concept of returning to Diablo 3. Especially now that Path of Exile has been in open beta for a little over a month and feels more like a revamped Diablo 2 system which is what players such as myself wanted rather than what we were given.

They'd have to make some fairly drastic changes to bring me back.
Avatar 50040
12.
 
Re: On Diablo III's Future
Mar 2, 2013, 00:19
12.
Re: On Diablo III's Future Mar 2, 2013, 00:19
Mar 2, 2013, 00:19
 
what?! has pigs begun to fly? probably a little to late now though
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31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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