Blizzard's Announcements at PAX East 2015, Golden Card Creation
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Mar 4 Hotfixes, Level 100 Neutral Pandaren, Hearthstone at GDC, Blue Tweets, NerfNow
D3's Panel at GDC 2015
Josh Mosqueira talked quite a bit about the development journey of Diablo 3 at the GDC yesterday. He talks about some of the common design mistakes from Vanilla and how they tried to fix those. Bear in mind the whole lecture is aimed at developers more so than players. We made a summary of the topics discussed below, and Teaf uploaded the video to his youtube - watch it below.
Journey from Diablo 3 Vanilla to Reaper of Souls and the Ultimate Evil Edition (for consoles)
> Josh isn't the only responsible for the changes - the entire D3 team (and even other teams) were equally important
> Contrary to popular belief, they do have Deadlines ("expected dates" for releases) - supposed to launch in November 2013 - they went to Mike Morhaime and asked for more time to "get it right"
> Team came together to define the 3 fundamental pillars of any Diablo game
(1) Focus on the Fantasy - playing epic, bigger than life heroes, fighting the forces of Hell, with the promise of Epic Loot.
(2) Endgame for Everyone - no matter how many hours you play, there's something for you to do and get > this is where Adventure mode came from.
(3) Make online matter with the Cooperative and Social experience
Huge expectation - 10 years of work, with people from Blizzard North
> Extreme hype for the game, even internally
> Events everywhere to celebrate the release
> Huge sales - the team predicted 6.66 million units sold in the first year, they got it in the first couple days
> Server meltdown at launch really hurt the game
> Reaper of Souls had a near flawless launch
Launch was the lowest point of the game for the developers - letting the playerbase down.
> Other reasons for people being upset ("road to Hell is paved with good intentions") - the team was passionate but made some mistakes
(1) Original Launch Philosophy - stuck with D2's structure and mentality
- Long item reward tail aspirations (based on 10 years of D2) .... resulted in very stingy drops!
- Players like it difficult? No, they like efficiency!
- Rarity vs Power correlation was unclear
(2) Misunderstood Player Psychology
- Why we Play - Fantasy vs Efficiency
- Where we Play - Shop, not Play
- How we Play - Flip Farming
(3) Wrong Kind of Beta Test
- Too Short
- No End Game testing
- More of a Demo than a Beta
The console "translation" (not port) was a pivotal point at finding out potentially good changes for D3V/RoS.
Auction House - was a grand experiment, with good intentions to make safe trading a reality.
Biggest Lessons learned from D3:
> Making games is a hard endeavour!
> The importance of Pillars - when things are ugly, know and rely on your "pillars"
> Know your Fears - game designers make assumptions (and bad decisions sometimes) based on their fears >> "this is not Diablo" ... "afraid of being too generous" (in item drops)
> Randomness is not necessarily Replayability - devs want people to come back, and randomness can push them away
> Remember the Fantasy
> The Teams define the Game's Success - during D3V launch, it felt like a funeral due to player feedback; and he thinks they turned that around
PTR Buff May Return
The legendary drop buff on the PTR may see a return in a future patch, to help players test new changes and newly added items. Also they are looking for ways to handle the idea that people play in the PTR not to help testing and provide feedback but rather to just see more legendaries.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)I just wanted to make a quick post to say that I think shutting off the PTR buff so early was unfortunate. I can't speak for anyone else, but personally, I had thought this would be the PTR I'd really dig into some testing, see how the new and revamped sets work, post my feedback, maybe even get some idea of what set pieces I can start collecting on live to be ready for a new build when this patch actually goes live.We've received a tremendous volume of feedback on the new and revamped sets on the PTR, and we're making adjustments to several of them as a result. Ideally, these changes should address many of the concerns players are reporting about them.
Until these changes can be implemented, we’ve disabled the Legendary drop rate buff. We hope to have the new versions out for testing soon, at which point we may reinstate the buff.
As a side note, we've heard many players point out that the buff to the Legendary drop rate during recent PTR tests has had the unintended effect of encouraging people to log onto the PTR only to enjoy the drop rate, rather than to test and give feedback on new content. We're looking at ways to address this in the future.
Blizzcon Ring Visuals
The feedback on the Blizzcon Elemental Ring visuals indicate that it's too hard to identify which element is active without having to constantly check the buff bar. With that said, in a future PTR patch the ring will likely get some visual effects to help players identify which element is currently active. Read below.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)Having to look at the buff indicator is pretty annoying. How about adding a glow around your player with a color of the represented element?Great suggestion! We've been working on a visual effect that's similar to the one you described, so it'll be easier to see which elemental buff on the ring is currently active. This change will be coming in an upcoming PTR patch, so please let us know what you think once you spot it.