Scheduled Realm Maintenance, Console Version Was Almost a Twin-Stick Shooter, Official Support for Self-Found, Archon's 50 Milli

  • #1
    Scheduled Realm Maintenance - 06/18/2013
    There will be a scheduled maintenance this week.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    We will be performing scheduled maintenance beginning on Tuesday, June 18th at 05:00 PDT and we expect the service to be available again at approximately 11:00 PDT. During this time the game will be unavailable for play.




    Console Version Was Almost a Twin-Stick Shooter
    An interesting article came up on Penny Arcade, where the new Game Designer of Diablo 3 Josh Mosqueira revealed the game was almost made as a twin-stick shooter. This means that the right thumbstick was originally supposed to act as a shooter. Read the small excerpt below or the whole thing over at Penny Arcade.

    “That’s actually one of the first prototypes we tried,” he said. “We figured when we started that we had to find the right combination, but there are many people on the time who had the same expectation [about the controls]. But when we started prototyping the game we found two problems with that approach that would be pretty hard to solve.”

    “One, the twin stick shooter works very well when you have an overhead camera angle,” Mosqueira continued. “Because the angle of your location matches the angle onscreen. With a declinated camera, that means the top rotation on the stick, you’re covering more degrees than the bottom side, so you’re losing a little bit of precision.”




    Official Support for Self-Found
    It seems whether to officially support self-found mode has been an internal debate at Blizzard for some time now. Read below to see the developers' thoughts on the subject.

    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

    I think both opinions are valid here ("yes, support self-found mode" and "no, don't support self-found mode"), so I encourage you to keep the debate active. It's a good one, and I love getting to hear from each side of the fence -- specifically on why you feel the way you do.

    Before this discussion gets too far, though, I did want to bring your attention to the following discussions that Wyatt and Travis had with Archon earlier on this very topic. You can find the full chat here: http://us.battle.net...izard-5-23-2013

    What are the chances of us seeing a self-found mode sometime in the future?

    Wyatt: That's a good question. I am playing self-found hardcore myself right now; I may take a short break from it to level Paragon this week. We think that it's a fun way to play for some people, but not everyone likes playing that way.

    So I think, obviously people can play self-found kind of right now. I think the main challenge is that it would be nice to have a little bit of recognition for it, some sort of indication and validation from the server that your character is self-found. But we also don't want to do it in a way that complicates the UI. I know that our solution to this in the past has always been a little bit inelegant when we introduce things with checkbox options. People complain a lot about Elective Mode, that's a big one, or Advanced Tool Tips, or most recently Monster Power. We've sort of used options as a little bit of a crutch, to hide things from beginners, while still allowing expert players access to these things that we really want. On the character creation screen, do we really want to put another self-found checkbox on the front? I guess, maybe. To make a long story short: I think self-found is pretty cool, but we don't want it to get in the way of people who aren't interested in it. I know we use non-committal language a lot; because design is super-iterative. So it is a matter of trying some stuff out, and we like some stuff, and we don't like others, and we hate promising things only to try it internally and realize we're not happy with it. So, again, lots of non-committal disclaimers.

    We've talked about maybe marking your character automatically as having been self-found until you trade. So the moment you equip something that you didn't find yourself -- maybe if I just pull up your battle.net page, then on the web page it says this character has used the Auction House, or hasn't used the Auction House. So that's definitely a soft way to maybe do something like that. The other challenge for me when I play self-found is my gold. I hate having to remember how much gold I had, to not go below the amount I started at. That's kind of annoying, it would be nice if the game just said, "This is how much gold this character has". Then if I wanted, I could opt in to having shared gold with the rest of my account. I consider it great that my gold is shared across my account, most of the time. It saves me from having to transfer gold between all my characters, which is why we did it. But it definitely does make self-found a little bit of a pain. So maybe a little option, or something. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of options, I think it complicates the UI. But I like self-found, so if we can do something to help support and promote it, that would be great.


    Any thoughts on self-found mode?

    Travis: Wyatt's a big fan of self-found mode, we debate that internally. Not the validity of self-found style, but whether or not we try to support that as a gameplay style. Because at some point, yeah it's cool, but at the same time we don't need to support every style of behavior that emerges in the game, as a full playstyle within the game. We don't need hardcore, softcore, self-found, XYZ because someone liked them. I will say, I think people find self-found to be so enjoyable because honestly, the game is more fun when you pull the Auction House out of the equation. When you feel like the things that you have on your character are something you can be proud of, and not just something everyone assumes you purchased, I think you have a better sense of accomplishment. So I think there is a really strong psychological draw to self-found. I've thought about doing it before, because yeah, I can buy anything I want, my characters are Paragon 60, 70-something, I forget. But there is something really compelling about the idea of just finding things on my own. Especially because it just gets back to the heart of what made D2 items fun. You got excited when you found things on the ground, and that doesn't really happen anymore.

    Generally the Auction House, or the items your friends give you, whatever the case: whatever the items you're getting, usually they're coming from somewhere else, and they're usually so powerful that you know everything you ever find is going to be bad by comparison. That really does take away a lot from the gameplay experience, instead it puts the focus on the xp bar moving up which is great, but that's a very rhythmic sort of thing. It's not like sometimes your xp bar decides it's going to give you three levels, for no reason, and you get really excited! Your xp bar just sort of slowly moves along, and you make progress. But finding the cool item or the good legendary is what really mixes up your gameplay experience. I think that's really important, and I think for a lot of players that's lost. I won't say all because a lot of players don't use the Auction House, a lot of players play the game through story mode and then they're done, they play it like any console game. That's fine, too. But what's important to us is that you have fun. That's something that players want something from our game that we're not currently delivering, for some of them. And they try to find their own fun. So I think there's something there that we've talked about and it comes up a lot, and we may pursue something like that one day, it's hard to say. But it's totally a legitimate play style, and it's cool, and I think anyone who hasn't tried it should give it a whirl and make a guy and commit to: I'm only going to wear things I find on my own, and see how they feel.

    I think you should try it.

    Travis: I've considered it as well.

    Since I've tried it, it's pretty much the only way I play right now. For right now I think the game works better in self-found, but it sounds maybe like your theory is, we can address those issues and maybe not have the need for so many players to play self-found?

    Travis: I guess what I'm getting at is, I think self-found is very cool. I personally feel like the game does feel better when... TLDR: the heart of the issue is that people who play self-found, what they're really doing is saying to themselves, "I want the reward game to matter, I want to get excited about things I find on the ground." We would say yes - we want the game to always to feel like that for everybody, right now it doesn't and it needs work. What that ends up meaning I can't say, I don't know, we're still working it all out. But what players are doing when they opt into self-found, is basically they're playing the game the way they want the game to be played. They want that to be the right way to play, you want to get excited about finding items, and we want you to. But right now the Auction House sort of sets the bar for what a good item is so high, that 99% of players will never find something better than what they bought for 100,000 gold on the Auction House. That becomes a crappy feeling, so I'm saying I want to get the self-found feeling for everyone, ultimately. And I don't know what that means, I don't know how we do that, necessarily. We want items to feel exciting, we want you to get excited about loot on the ground. That's why I'm putting a lot of my time, trying to think of legendary things that are mind-blowingly awesome, because we want you to have those things in the game. It's just gonna take time.

    I agree with you, that it would be better if everyone got the reward that you get from playing self-found without having to add a new sector of the game so to speak. I would probably switch back to playing regularly if I did feel like I was earning most of my gear, and to improve most I would have to find it myself.

    Transcript courtesy of Diablo Somepage: http://diablo.somepa...-and-travis-day




    Archon's 50 Million Budget Barb
    Archon has posted another great guide, this time a budget one for Barbarian. The gear is selected for the Whirlwind spec, but the stats are great for a lot of different situations. Archon presents very detailed explanations on the gear he selects and showcases the stats at the end. Check out the video below.
  • #2
    I really dislike how he states "I'm not a big fan of options", and elaborates that it complicates/clutters the UI as a result. If anything, the game needs to continue to receive an increase in options.

    This is the common philosophy that blizzard has, and many companies share, that giving the players options and more information just creates unnecessary burdens and doesn't help to improve their games at all. That's like saying having an option to change your resolution size is a hindrance to the game. It's the same sort of arrogant stance they had with the buff/debuff UI elements, stating that if there's more than a few on the screen it makes the game increasingly unplayable visually.

    That's why there's this thing called "options", and you let your players decide for themselves if they wish to use it or not. It's really annoying how they keep making "big brother" decisions based on their own "preferences" , instead of just enabling the option to use them or not in game. It's like they only see things in absolutes, like having a toggle is worse than not having the option to begin with.
  • #3
    I agree with the above post. The best things about options is that you don't have to use them. If players want to mod their interface it has no effect on me, I don't use them! It's kind of tinfoil of me to say this which is out of my character however I believe that game developers fear any slight advantage that UI mods may provide and don't want players to feel forced to use mods.
  • #4
    Game design is all about making choices on behalf of the players. The reality is that most people don't know how the game is most fun and don't want to be responsible for that decision. Every time you add a new option it creates a design burden on the game - now you have to support that option forever, which inevitably comes back to bite you in the future. You're splitting the playerbase again and again, with every new subgroup experiencing the game in a different way. What will the game look like in a few years when there are five different modes you can roll your character into?

    Besides, a self-found mode is actually counter-productive to player choice because it's all-or-nothing. You have to choose which way you want to find all of your items and completely discard the other option. What if you want a mix of both self-found and the AH? Tough luck, you're screwed. Making one unified game that is as fun as possible for everyone is the way to go.
  • #5
    Quote from Zeyk23

    What if you want a mix of both self-found and the AH?


    Please tell me I didn't just read this..........
  • #6
    being biased and having 1 perception toward the matter wont be a good way to tell devs you want more features.
    "i want more, therefore i think its a must" is a bad way to start.

    The game is already hard for new players, and even hardcore players who are looking for efficiency.
    Quote from Zeyk23
    The reality is that most people don't know how the game is most fun and don't want to be responsible for that decision.

    Exactly my point.
    Most players don't want to try out new features, they don't want to experiment, they don't want to be responsible by choosing rune A instead of rune B. They would rather go online, copy someone elses spec, game play and they eventually get bored with the game. So what good is in adding more and more.

    the UI however, I don't necessarily dislike it. I like it, it works for what it is right now, but I think it could have definitely been done better.
    The RPG element and multi player element are at the moment too vague. This was posted on the forums sometime ago by Edriel
    And i think it somewhat represent a version of what it could have been for singleplayer.

    Singleplayer example of having a map that could eventually even be integrated on a simpler level for multi:



    and the current one that we have for multiplayer is good, but I think it could be pushed more to serve the public games and multiplayer functionality better.


    I dunno if having more options is good or going to further the game, and i dont know how far the tech for the game has grown over the past years but certain questions need to be asked in order to fix or improve the systems.

    Does the current UI work? (me things yes)
    Does the game need a whole new UI system? ( me thinks probably not)
    Is upgrades/new systems something you would wanna see in the expac as a major feature or something that is low priority compared to everything else you have in mind? (me thinks it could be a main feature of the game, that would be good for console as well! )
    Cheers,
  • #8
    So I take it some of you guys upset about lack of options have never played a Blizzard game before.

    Anyway, in this specific case, he's right. The majority of players enjoyment is destroyed to more or less of a degree by the AH in Jay's own words. Asking people to self-select into a special restricted mode is not the answer; this is not a niche minority that wants a niche challenge mode (hardcore). Fun with finding item upgrades is core to Diablo, something every player should experience without having to make such a drastic decision on their own.
  • #9
    On one hand, you have to be able to see it from the company's point of view. Gameplay options (particularly irrevocable ones like that) generate support workload, and naturally there will be highly vocal dimwits who will misunderstand the consequences of the various options and do their best to generate as much forum-crap as possible instead of admitting they didn't read the fine print.

    On the other hand (the one with IMO written on it), Blizzard needs to get over this option-phobia. Put them behind a "you must have a level 60 character" requirement, or behind a big fat dialog saying "Fiddling with these checkboxes will dramatically change your gameplay experience. If it doesn't work out the way you wanted, man the hell up and get over it, don't whine on the forums.". Most gamers never look at that stuff, they just derp their way through a couple of difficultly levels then go back to their lives. The rest of us are (mostly) grown up enough to appreciate the caveats that come with messing with gameplay options, right?
  • #10
    Quote from Catalept
    The rest of us are (mostly) grown up enough to appreciate the caveats that come with messing with gameplay options, right?


    I think it takes 1 angry Troll to ruin a game for millions. Mostly because others ( maybe majority) with no self control or having no decision making power end up spewing back and repeating whatever the angry troll said. And they judge their "game experience" based on that. Sadly everyone who is complaining most of the time not for the greater good of the game, but just to complain are still playing the game as well as us. =|
  • #11
    What Travis Day and Wyatt Cheng are saying these days is a lot of political bla bla, now that Blizzard has - finally - recognized that the AH is a crap shot for a hack & slay game like Diablo. I mean, everyone with a little brain - and especially a professional game designer - should have foreseen the AH debacle, but they all kept quiet because the finance guys wanted the AH as revenue stream.

    Now that the AH is more or less out of the equation, they are struggling which way to go and what to implement or improve over Diablo 2's systems. The options are on the table, and there's a lot options (mainly from the community). Let's take, for example, the "self-found" mode. Travis Day says that players who opt for self-found basically "want the reward game to matter and get excited about things they find on the ground." That's correct, but they don't need a special mode/option for that because no one holds them back to do so. Asking for self-found means more: Those players want to find stuff themselves *and* they want to COMPETE with other players in that mode, so what they want is basically the LADDER!

    It is clear that the devs still try to dodge the ladder at the moment because it would basically make the established, now one year old economy completely obsolete. It would be a total reset. They are afraid of all the people who already invested hundreds of dollars in their chars. How would they react if they implement a ladder now? So, if we get the ladder, self-found or whatever, it won't be before the expansion because THEN they can actually "reset" the economy and no one would really complain.
  • #12
    I think the game should just have four modes, rather than two. Hardcore with AH, Hardcore without AH, Softcore with AH, and Softcore without AH.
  • #13
    Quote from Diablofan0815

    What Travis Day and Wyatt Cheng are saying these days is a lot of political bla bla, now that Blizzard has - finally - recognized that the AH is a crap shot for a hack & slay game like Diablo. I mean, everyone with a little brain - and especially a professional game designer - should have foreseen the AH debacle, but they all kept quiet because the finance guys wanted the AH as revenue stream.

    Now that the AH is more or less out of the equation, they are struggling which way to go and what to implement or improve over Diablo 2's systems. The options are on the table, and there's a lot options (mainly from the community). Let's take, for example, the "self-found" mode. Travis Day says that players who opt for self-found basically "want the reward game to matter and get excited about things they find on the ground." That's correct, but they don't need a special mode/option for that because no one holds them back to do so. Asking for self-found means more: Those players want to find stuff themselves *and* they want to COMPETE with other players in that mode, so what they want is basically the LADDER!

    It is clear that the devs still try to dodge the ladder at the moment because it would basically make the established, now one year old economy completely obsolete. It would be a total reset. They are afraid of all the people who already invested hundreds of dollars in their chars. How would they react if they implement a ladder now? So, if we get the ladder, self-found or whatever, it won't be before the expansion because THEN they can actually "reset" the economy and no one would really complain.


    You nicely twisted and bended everything into what YOU want from the game.

    Self-found players merely want to progress without having to farm 100 years for an upgrade, something that regular players can get from the AH.
  • #14
    Quote from Diablofan0815

    It is clear that the devs still try to dodge the ladder at the moment because it would basically make the established, now one year old economy completely obsolete.


    Blizzard's always said they were opposed to a straight up ladder because unlike PoE, they want to cater to more than the few hundred top players (since they actually have a million some). Some kind of item reset sure, but purely for the sake of a relative handful of spots would, in their minds, be pointless.
  • #15
    Quote from FoxBatD2

    Blizzard's always said they were opposed to a straight up ladder because unlike PoE, they want to cater to more than the few hundred top players (since they actually have a million some). Some kind of item reset sure, but purely for the sake of a relative handful of spots would, in their minds, be pointless.


    The ladder plays a huge psychological role, too, no matter if you belong to the 24/7 gamers, or not. Ladders bind players to the game, and in light of cash-cow WoW, I'm not quite sure Blizzard wants that. Again, as I said, they are dodging the ladder because of the AH and very likely WoW, too, but hopefully that will change soon.
  • #16
    Quote from Diablofan0815

    Quote from FoxBatD2

    Blizzard's always said they were opposed to a straight up ladder because unlike PoE, they want to cater to more than the few hundred top players (since they actually have a million some). Some kind of item reset sure, but purely for the sake of a relative handful of spots would, in their minds, be pointless.


    The ladder plays a huge psychological role, too, no matter if you belong to the 24/7 gamers, or not. Ladders bind players to the game, and in light of cash-cow WoW, I'm not quite sure Blizzard wants that. Again, as I said, they are dodging the ladder because of the AH and very likely WoW, too, but hopefully that will change soon.


    I think he has a good point. One single ladder doesn't work for a million people. Just look at SC2 and all the different leagues, that works to some extent; but in D2 there was just a race to 99 and maybe the first few 100 spots, but after that... it essentially doesn't matter. "Yay, I'm the 3724th player to reach paragon 100!" - really? Nope. The main incentives to play ladder was access to ladder-only stuff (certain rune words), having a reset that brings you on par with the top people because everyone starts at zero, and of course just the fact that you could (i.e., had to) level up a new character from the start.

    When people say "we want a ladder" it's less the "let me get the top spot" that sounds appealing - not everyone can play 24/7 after a ladder reset (and those who take vacation for a new ladder season are the exception, and obviously they won't sustain their level of playtime once the vacation is over). It's the other effects like reset and certain restrictions that are appealing to all the 99% who know right from the start that they won't stand a chance for the #1 race.
  • #17
    Yep, special ladder-only items and other incentives are another reason to support the ladder because they bind the player to the game, and that's what you ultimately want as a game developer.
  • #18
    I agree with the OP.
  • #19
    Easy! Make an achievement for finishing Inferno with items that have only been found by your account (so that you can play with your other characters from the game and give your Barb things found by your DH etc). Of course this would need some kind of Ladder Reset which is something else entirely...
  • #20
    technically you CAN have a separate self-found mode now.

    i'm a US player. but if you open options in the launcher you can choose to play from EU or Asian servers.
    sometimes i play on EU and just dont ever enter the AH there. boom! self-found mode!
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