Satisfaction with Developer Q&As
A huge discussion was started on the Official Forums on whether 'Ask the Devs' is the best possible way for developers to communicate with players. Lylirra gave a lot of replies in the topic thus the huge post you see below. For people who don't have the time to read it all, here is a little Table of Contents:
Those bring only false hope and no answers. Just stick to posting on the forums and answering the better threads here. That'd be just fine.
How much information we're able to share about a particular change or feature ultimately depends on where that change or feature is in its development. If it's reached the point where it's been implemented into our test builds, we can probably talk a lot more freely about it and discuss the ins-and-outs of how everything works. A good example of this is the mulitplayer improvements coming in 1.0.8. While these improvements aren't 100% final and may undergo some tweaking during the PTR, their design is far enough along that we can talk about them pretty extensively.
On the flip side, if a change/feature is still in its conceptual stage, where the actual design and implementation haven't been completely defined, then we won't be able to share as much. We can go over what we're planning, give you some of the reasons behind those ideas, maybe even bounce a few concepts off the community, but we probably won't be in a position to commit to the change/feature, tell you when it's going to release, or describe for you its functionality in great detail. This isn't because we're being "cagey." This is because the change/feature is still in early development and that information just doesn't exist yet. A good example of this is indeed the upcoming itemization improvements that were discussed in Travis' blog as well as the itemization Q&A. We don't have a timeline yet for when these improvements will be implemented, and many of the changes are still undergoing constant iteration. Sure, we may not have a lot of hard data to provide at the moment, but we can at least include you in the conversation and let you know what we're working on.
So, going back to the part of your post that I quoted, this really isn't an issue of "no answers." It's one of the answers not being what you liked or expected. Regardless, we're going to keep sharing our progress and providing more and more information as we go. As we start to refine our design and lock down how changes to itemization will be implemented, we'll be in a better position to answer your questions with more "hard facts" and less "design theory." That doesn't mean we can't have a dialogue on the topic in the meantime.
In fact, I seem to recall a certain community not only calling for itemization to be the next topic for AtD, but also for its CMs and developers to share more game info, even if it wasn't final... >.>
I believe I speak for the majority of the community when I ask for more forum involvement from the developers instead of Q&As.
The Q&As and forum involvement aren't mutually exclusive, they just provide different benefits. You're still going to see Travis and Wyatt posting. You're still going to see Q&As.
YOu do have to admit that the questions picked have alot to do w/ it though...
Regardless of what you may personally think about the questions, they were still upvoted by a large number of people within the community--otherwise they wouldn't have been included. Sure, the questions may not be relevant to everyone, but they are definitely relevant to someone. Or a variety of someones, in this case.
There were actually a lot of good, highly-voted questions for this round of Ask the Devs, so we still have more to answer. We're not going in order of "most highly-voted" to "least highly-voted," though. It's a mix, which means there's going to be some variation in the types of questions you see in each "part," as well as who those questions appeal to.
Don't you understand that that is a bad thing? You say that like it's a given, but it's not. Plenty of other dev teams are able to be open about their conceptual stage ideas and even incorporate player feedback into that stage. If you don't tell us anything until the stuff is pretty much set, then what's the point?
I'm pretty sure that's what we're doing. We can't share details we don't have, though. What we can do is share what we're discussing internally, even if what we're discussing is just ideas. We're still inviting you into that conversation and opening up feedback at an early stage.
The list goes on and, as with all design, nothing is ever final. This is just a snapshot of what we're working on currently with regard to itemization, and we hope to provide more specifics as we get closer to implementing these changes into the live game. In the meantime, we'd love to hear what you think about our approach, since much of what's cited above has been inspired by your feedback.
The only difference between the itemization improvements and multiplayer improvements is that we're able to talk about one in a little more detail than the other right now. We absolutely intend to provide more information about itemization changes as we continue development on them.
No one cares about other development teams that have never released a video game.
Come on, dude. If you want to speak disparagingly of other development teams, I suggest you seek out some other forums. We encourage respect of all design and/or publishing studios here.
Honestly it seems as though this pace has been planned for a long time. Slowly trickle out updates until the expansion then ask for more money for the work that should have been done before the game came out.
It more depends on the developers' schedules. They really enjoy providing answers, and they know that kind of communication is important (this is why Wyatt and Travis asked to start posting). Even so, they also need to spend time developing, which is where the majority of their time is going to go.
I actually already passed along that thread to our designers. Great post: super constructive and to the point. Thanks for sharing!
The questions were hand picked and even then not answered directly. give us something, ANYTHING, to have some faith that you guys are actually listening and working on community suggestions that matter.
Which ones weren't answered directly?
(Also, many of our ideas come from player suggestions, discussion, and feedback. This is something we're always quick to point out because we really do value your interaction and input.)
This thread on the other hand, I was expecting to be ignored by Blizzard, and meanwhile, it's probably the most blue-active thread I've seen... ever. Can't say I disagree with it, but I'd love for it to continue in the future, possibly with threads that have more relevance to D3 itself.
So, more like this maybe: http://us.battle.net...ic/8156835610#3
(Even if we're not in a position to comment on how the post might affect design?)
I think a lot of the unhappiness is due to the "lack of response" on these forums. I use Diablo Fan for my information (they are nice enough to take every blue posts and update them more frequently than this web site).
Hm. Our Blue Tracker updates immediately: http://us.battle.net...m/blizztracker/
Is it just easier to navigate the blue tracker on Diablo Fans? Or do you like that they call out some posts on the front page? (Serious question. Knowing this would be great feedback for our web team.)
Quite frankly, it's just not as "easy" as Diablo fan. I log into their web site, and I immediately see what's the latest blue post and when was their last reply. On your Blizz Tracker, I see "Date: 1h28 minutes ago". It doesn't tell me if you posted more than once.
In Diablo Fans, it shows how long it was posted. It includes other blues as well. If you guys had pertinent information, they will make a resume of important blue posts.
Perfect! Our web team loves user stories like yours, so I'll definitely pass this on.
I would love it if in part 3, they pick a question, and they answer it like this: "Here is exactly what we are going to do to address this concern: First, we are going to ..... Then, we will ..... Finally, we'll ....."
We did exactly what you described with our blog on multiplayer improvements. We did the same for crowd control changes and even defensive bonuses. Those are just a few, very specific examples.
There are going to be situations where players ask us for details that aren't available yet, though. We can do one of two things in that situation: a) ignore the question or provide as much information as we have, even if it's not much more beyond "this is what we're thinking" or "here's what we recognize as the problem." Right now, we're still discussing different options for what we can do to improve MF/GF. We don't have any perfect solutions just yet, but that's doesn't mean we don't recognize the concern. Like Travis said, we're going to keep you updated, and once we have that "here's what we're doing, this is exactly how it's going to work," we're going to share it with you.
I'm sure she knew based on that timing that my post was'nt directed at hers.
I'd like to point out that almost all the posts that you've made on this thread aren't on your Blue Tracker. Check it.
Yup! I haven't been flagging most of them to be tracked, because otherwise they'd overwhelm the main forum page tracker:http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/
I mean, I can. But there are other conversations in which we've posted, and I didn't want overshadow those with my replies. (We know our system can be improved.)
Great! Now tell the devs to do this kind of stuff five hundred times faster. Please look to PoE devs as a guide for how fast you should be.
Noted. 500 times faster.
Just keep in mind that, in many cases, it's much easier to iterate quickly in a test environment than it is once a game is live--that's really what betas and PTRs are about. Our beta forums aren't available anymore, but we were patching multiple times per month. Similarly, it's not uncommon for us to push out multiple patches in a week for PTR. Different environments, different timetables. (Also, different games, different timetables.)
Possible for you to release multiple patches in a week, but do they have any noteworthy content? Nope. Not like PoE does. Their game has greatly improved in a year, this game has barely improved in a year.
It sounds like you've made up your mind already in many ways. If you're not enjoying playing right now and don't want to wait, I completely respect that. Maybe take a break, check out other games, and just keep an eye on what we're doing. That's totally fair! We're going to keep improving Diablo III and building it into an even better game no matter what, and hopefully what we're working on will really appeal to you. If you're not sure it appeals to you just yet, that's cool too; like I said, we'll be sharing more info as new things develop, and you can make a more informed decision then.
I'm stoked for the changes coming in 1.0.8 (PTR patch notes, check it), but I get that not everyone is. We want you to be just as excited as we are, but if you're not, and you're just not enjoying your time -- definitely let us know so we can see what we can do to make things more entertaining and awesome, but also feel free to jump around and find something you DO enjoy. We're not going to be all like "you will play this game, and you will LIKE IT...RAWR." We're going to keep supporting Diablo III in the meantime, adding improvements, and just focusing on making it the best game possible.
I get the support for developers, but publishing studios?
I loves me some publishing studios. They're full of rad people, too! Rad people deserve respect.
A lot of people seem to not believe you on this one. Perhaps if you show real time up vote totals if you do this again you'll avoid that?
For the next round, we definitely want to add in the number of upvotes.
Beyond that, though, it's definitely one of the requests I passed on to our web team, to have the up/down votes display to everyone. That way, you can see what we see, no middle-man needed.
Seriously? Your response is "thanks for the $60?"
That's not at all what I said. Your misinterpretation makes me :(.
can you ask bobby kotick if no major changes are allowed to be made because the console gold master copy is ready for pressing and would cost too much to change at this point?
The console version is currently only slated to ship with content up to 1.0.7. Not sure how that fits into your argument, but there you go.
The attitude of "don't like it? don't play" is proof of all of this. Basically all you are telling us is: "You already paid for it. If you don't like, it we don't care."
That would be a valid point if we didn't a) support the game after release or have plans for future improvements.
There's a HUGE difference between "Don't like it? Don't play it!" and "Don't like it? Let us know why. We want to make Diablo III the best game possible, and we're going to keep supporting it until it gets there. We'd love to have you playing alongside us during that process, but if not, we understand. Thanks so much for the criticisms, we hope that our efforts will have us cross paths again!"
But please, keep twisting my words to support your own message. =/
EDIT: By the way, you seem like a cool dude/lady, so I don't know why we have to continue going back and forth like this. Thank you for being passionate and awesome, and thank you for your perspective. Sincerely!
You want to make the game the best possible but dismiss people constantly while pushing your own agenda. Right.
We want to make the best game possible. Can we make the best game possible for everyone? Probably not. There are a lot of varying opinions out there about what makes a good game vs. what doesn't. Are we going try? Definitely.
Will we still make decisions that feel right to our developers and align with their goals? Yes. Will we keep reevaluating what that is in light of community feedback? Absolutely. While we're responsible for the vision and design of Diablo III (in a way, I guess that's an agenda), we're also creating the experience for our players. This doesn't mean we're going to implement every piece of feedback we get, but it does mean we value that feedback considerably and use it as a touchstone whenever making/considering changes or adding new content.
A lot of the stuff in 1.0.8 is actually inspired by conversations we saw in this very forum. Speaking of, 1.0.8 is up on PTR, would love your impressions after you've gotten the opportunity to play.
Your culprit is in bold. No need to thank me
You're the bold to my italicize.
Best when read in context, though: Will we still make decisions that feel right to our developers and align with their goals? Yes. Will we keep reevaluating what that is in light of community feedback? Absolutely.
How about single-player offline for PC? There's an important one, so I can play this game again.
No current plans. It is something we continually evaluate/re-evaluate, though. (I know that's probably not the answer you wanted to hear, but I still wanted to make sure your question was addressed.)
I applaud the effort. But I seriously doubt the efficacy of the devs to actually deliver.
It's a difficult balance, for sure, but it's still something we work towards. I'm not saying we have a mastery of it, either, or that the pendulum won't swing in one direction or the other from time to time. Being able to iterate on content is incredibly valuable in that situation.
It's also hard to find instances where the two are in sync.
I'm sorry they don't seem more obvious. We could probably do a better job of highlighting that.
I could give some examples, if you'd like, but that's totally up to you.
I have a thought! If you don't have any details then DON"T ANSWER THE QUESTION! I would rather not see political double talk and wait until there is something they can answer directly.
I respect that, but your opinion is not one shared universally. We have plenty of people also saying, "We don't care if you don't have exact details, just tell us what you're working on!" This applied especially to itemization.
I think it's better for us to err on the side of frequent communication, even if we're only discussing possible changes and don't have exact implementation worked out.
Which Is Your Favorite Change Coming in Patch 1.0.8?
Whether you’re looking to experiment with runs outside of Act III, are eager to farm Elites in multiplayer, or just want an easier way to find Public Games that suit your personal play style, we have a lot of changes coming in 1.0.8 that should make your time in Sanctuary just that much better. Our PTR patch notes contain all the gritty details.
We'd love to know: Of all the changes coming in 1.0.8, which is your favorite?
Leave a comment below to let us know, or respond on Facebook or Twitter! Also remember that you can jump on the patch 1.0.8 PTR in order to check out all of the latest changes firsthand.
Diablo 3 Avatars Coming to the Official Forums
D3 forum avatars are definitely something we want to do. I can't speak to a specific timeline, though, since that's something our web team is owning. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Nephalem Stacks and Drop Rates
Playing on Inferno with a full five stacks of Nephalem Valor is required in order for the keys, plans, and demonic organs to drop. Assuming you have five stacks of Nephalem Valor, the drop rate of keys, plans, and demonic organs is 5% on MP0, 10% on MP1, and 20% on MP2, all the way up through a 100% drop rate on MP10. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
How Magic Find Works
How magic find works is a question we see on the forums from time to time. It’s not the most intuitive stat, but there are some places to find out more information about it that I’ll link below. To answer your question, though, Magic Find increases the chance that an item will be magical (i.e. legendary, 6-affix, 5-affix, 4-affix, etc.) when it drops, but it does not affect drop rates in any way or item stat ranges (i.e. when an item roll determines it will have 100 – 130 strength, Magic Find does not help increase the amount of Strength).
Positive Attitude is Essential when Defending the Game
Just gonna put this thought out there:
Even though you may think you're doing the right thing by standing up for a game you enjoy, sometimes it's just as bad (if not worse) to poke fun at the people who feel differently.
It's really not about the message, more the delivery. Love or hate Diablo III, you're welcome to express your opinion provided you do so a) constructively and civilly. This applies to players who wish to criticize the game, as well as those who wish to criticize the players who criticize the game.
Trick of the trade: focus on the issues, not the people. It's much easier to have a discussion when you're debating the value of ideas rather than the value of an individual. (Blue Tracker/ Official Forums)
Guides on Playing with Self-Found Gear
Playing with only self-found gear can be pretty fun, and I personally found the sense of progression was heightened as a result. I don’t know where your goals lie with your new character, but maybe completing Inferno with a second Barbarian could be a fun experience. You’d have something to compare and contrast the game experience to, and also benefit from returning to the class that originally caught your eye.
Spinley's PTR Features Video
Forum member Spinley recorded footage of some of the new features included in the 1.0.8 PTR. Among them are Identify All, Multi-crafting and the new Party Alert system icons. You can give him some feedback over at this topic. You can also watch his Density Changes video here.
Why does it seem like the only people that are answered by the Blues are jerks with bad attitudes?
Because of whiny little kids that want to get it the game the way they want it. I dont even know why blizard deals with the fourms
I hope they shut them down. They dont need grow up dudes with a 7 year old brain with no job and a bad outlook to shape games.
They did fine without them trying to tell them how to shape games in the past ( Van WoW, BC) why start now?
I dislike almost everyone who asked questions in that thread.. People need to grow up and learn how to respect each other or get demolished under the weight of society when its their turn to make an effort in their life.
Why does it seem like the only people that are answered by the Blues are jerks with bad attitudes?
because if they don't answer to people who are dumb and jerks. their jerkyness spreads throughout the whole forums and taint the whole place.
Only think you can actually do as a player/fan of diablo/forum poster. Is post your opinion and be positive about things and be civil. The idiots slowly will shut up and they will AUTOMATICALLY start talking good things too. its the nature of beings on the internet, they follow someone and repeat what he says with the same tone:
"The game is shit. POE is better.AH is crap.D2 is better.60$ wasted.blahblah"
worst is when people say "+1" ... I feel sorry for those people.
I tried (in vain), twice actually, to calm the nerves of those who seemed to be horrendously upset that their questions had non-existent answers... despite pushing for non-existent answers to magically appear.
Didn't work. The rage continued. Tough job, community managers.
Why does it seem like the only people that are answered by the Blues are jerks with bad attitudes?
It's the same reason your post consists entirely of vowels.
you realise the ownly vowels are AEIOU
I also realise (because of unambiguous evidence that is easily found) that Blizzard often responds to civilized, rational discourse. However, that particular thread was about people's response to the dev Q&A, and (thanks to the internet and people) was almost entirely full of people confusing "Blizzard didn't do exactly what I wanted" with "Blizzard never does anything anyone wants".
In the end, though, a lot of CM activity is functionally equivalent to election campaigning... it's highly visible, contains at lot of (perfectly understandable) vagueness and is largely about 'intent' and 'philosophy', but it's really only aimed at the relatively small percentage of people who genuinely want reassurance, rather than the majority who are either looking for fodder for their blue-powered hate-machine or already have a perfectly good understanding of what Blizzard's up to.