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  • published the article Artisans Update, No Ethereal Items?, Book of Cain Preview, New Official Fanart, Meteor Runestone Effects
    Artisans Update

    Blizzard is considering an option to reset your Artisans:


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Artisans are based on progression at the account level and as such there is no way to reset their levels at this point. That being said, we are considering adding an option or ability to reset artisans for people who truly want to start from scratch.

    And as many of you already know, the Official Community site is getting updated soon with new Artisan information.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Coming very soon to the #D3 Game Guide.



    No Ethereal Items?


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Will the ''indestructible'' stat return in forms of changing items or as stats on dropped items or will it return at all?

    There are no current plans to add ethereal (indestructible) items to the game... mostly because we do not think it feels super awesome to have an item that does not need to be repaired.

    There is of course the possibility that we might add self-repairing items to the game at some point :-)



    Kotaku's Book of Cain Preview

    Our own Scyberdragon will be doing a review of this awesome book soon, with much more detail.




    New Official Fanart

    Blizzard published a whole lot of great fanart today:










    As shown earlier today:


    Here's a quick rundown of all the meteor runestone effects shown (which is all of them):


    A super thanks to Doomscream for the heads up.
    Posted in: Artisans Update, No Ethereal Items?, Book of Cain Preview, New Official Fanart, Meteor Runestone Effects
  • published the article Unattuned Runestones Scrapped?, Channeled Skills Issue, Facebook Sweepstakes, DiabloWiki Updates
    Unattuned Runestones Scrapped?

    After a few iterations of the unreleased unattuned runestone system, Blizzard has decided that it's not solid enough to be released for testers. From the sound of it, unattuned runestones will not make it into the game:

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    We actually have moved on from the previously discussed unattuned system. We've been trying many different ideas out, but we're not quite comfortable enough with any of them yet to invite you in and see what you think.


    Channeled Skills Resource Cost Issue
    Nothing has changed here, but it's worth mentioning because it's an interesting debate:


    Official Blizzard Quote:




    Some beta testers are finding that DoTs (generally, skills which do damage per second over X seconds) are scaling w/ a weapon's DPS, not the flat damage. Instead of the WoW method (lowering the time between "ticks," and then adding a whole tick after a threshold is reached), the damage is just flat out scaling w/ weapon speed. However, it only applies to DoTs or other non-weapon speed based skills (pets, channeled spells, Ice Armor reflect damage, etc).

    First of all, GOOD. Continuous scaling makes it less of a headache to balance and see results instantly from upgrades in gear. However, will these effects be obvious in skill tooltips? Will it tell us when a skill uses a weapon's damage or DPS for calculations, plus how this all works in dual wield? Take a monk, dual wielding fist weapons, using Exploding Palm. He applies the DoT bomb; the DoT damage scales w/ weapon speed, but which weapon? Do you alternate hands to calculate damages?


    The tick rate of channeled skills is currently scaled by your weapon speed. This has the side effect of making the resource cost go up, which we’re okay with. It’s consistent with the philosophy that faster speed weapons consume more resource but may do more damage. Channeled skills might still be better with slower weapons though because on a channeled skill, you have as much mobility as you want, so the “mobility” and “overkill” advantages of faster weapons are eroded with channeled abilities, so all you’re left with is increased mana cost for increased damage.

    We've been thinking of changing the tooltips and going with “ continuously does X% weapon damage”. The reservations we currently have are:
    Even though we say continuously, there’s a pulse rate under the hood, so do players want to know this pulse rate?
    If we did show a pulse rate, we’re adding more complexity to an already complicated tooltip.


    However, the benefit of being able to directly compare 135% weapon damage on Disintegrate to X% weapon damage on another skill is super high, so we love that.

    Stepping back and going big picture, we’re currently working on greatly simplifying tooltips. It’s too early to give details at this point, but our general feeling is that we provide way too much information in the skill tooltips in general.


    Facebook Beta Sweepstakes Reminder
    Tomorrow will be the second-to-last wave of invites for the Facebook Beta Sweepstakes Blizzard is doing. To be clear, however, that does not mean they will not continue inviting people into the beta.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Interested? Good! Sign-up is easy. Simply follow Diablo® and complete our official entry form between now and December 12 for your chance to win.


    Diablo Wiki Update
    By PhrozenDragon
    What's New?
    Apoc has implemented a new way to better display NPC information. Essentially NPCs in the wiki now work just like items do, where all the relevant data for an NPC is stored on their data page, such as DiabloWiki.com - Data:Npcs/Captain Daltyn Data:Npcs/Captain Daltyn. At the moment the change is more preparatory nature than anything else, but down the road it will allow the wiki to use NPC information with much greater flexibility.

    The template documentation plan mentioned two weeks ago has been completed, modeled after Wikipedia's structure, and Talkerst has begun implementing it in the wiki. You can see some examples of this new documentation on DiabloWiki.com - Template:Weapon DPS Template:Weapon DPS, DiabloWiki.com - Template:DocStart Template:DocStart (the documentation template itself), and DiabloWiki.com - Template:Booksource Template:Booksource.

    A new gem list as been added, based on the item list showcased last week, and is implemented on the DiabloWiki.com - Gems Gems page. The gem information is also up-to-date and has ben expanded to explain in more detail how gems work.

    The item lists are almost complete with just Mighty Weapons and a few class armor pages remaining.

    I've also started adding some excellent new fan art from our dedicated fan artists to the wiki. http://diablowiki.com/Tepes' Tal Rasha" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Tepes' Tal Rasha"/> Tepes' Tal Rasha, http://diablowiki.com/Wargasmic's Demon Hunter" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - Wargasmic's Demon Hunter"/> Wargasmic's Demon Hunter and http://diablowiki.com/MuppZA's Lord of Terror" class="wiki-link">http://media-diablofans.cursecdn.com/attachments/16/736/wiki2.gif" alt="DiabloWiki.com - MuppZA's Lord of Terror"/> MuppZA's Lord of Terror have been added, and I expect to add quite a bit more in the near future as I still have unread threads in the fan art forum. If any fan artists want to upload their own art, feel free to do so.
    Posted in: Unattuned Runestones Scrapped?, Channeled Skills Issue, Facebook Sweepstakes, DiabloWiki Updates
  • published the article Patch 7 is Coming Very Soon
    Patch 7 is coming very soon! It looks like a patch to introduce the new RMAH testing and some minor hotfixes.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Diablo III Beta Patch 7 – v.0.4.1.7391
    Released 12/1/11


    General

    • A trial version of the Diablo III Currency-Based Auction House is now available for testing. To learn more about how this feature will work in the beta, please review the FAQ: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/4024156/
    • In order to fully test the Currency-Based Auction House and its features, all characters have been wiped. Please note that this wipe will also affect gold, achievements, followers, and artisans.

    Bug Fixes

    • The Blacksmith will now properly unlock for all players after completing the quest "A Shattered Crown: Talk to Haedrig Eamon"
    • Fixed an issue with viewing Achievements while in a Public Game
    • Fixed an issue where players in a Solo Game were being kicked by a "party leader"
    Posted in: Patch 7 is Coming Very Soon
  • published the article Beta Monster Affixes, 'Sword of Justice' Update, Diablo Costume
    Beta Monster Affixes
    Currently, all Rare and Champion monsters have exactly one affix, which is fairly reasonable, but also very predictable. With only 3% of the game, it's hard to tell how challenging these monsters will be.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Just keep in mind, as illustrated above, monster affixes have a few design challenges. We try to keep these core ideas in mind when designing them:
    • Ideally they create new gameplay for the player. The point of affixes is to change up how the player is playing and make them adapt to some kind of new situation that the affix mechanics present.
    • They need to work for a wide variety of monsters, in a wide variety of environments.
    • We try to make them easy for players to understand. A design buzzword we use internally is "affordance". A monster affix with good affordance is intuitive to understand. The visual, the concept, and the name all communicate clearly what the mechanic is.

    I've compiled a few pics of the Champion and Rare monsters you might find in the beta.






    Epic Diablo Costume
    Enkeria pointed us to a really cool Diablo costume someone is constructing, and so far it looks really great:




    Sword of Justice Comic Update

    Update: Bashiok must have mis-tweeted (after all, this is DC Comic's product). The comic is being sold now! Check out Medievaldragon's post here for more info.

    Bashiok tweeted that the upcoming 'Sword of Justice' comic series will become available as early as next week:

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    @Bashiok Any idea when we can buy the "Sword of Justice" Diablo comic?
    @Thunderclaww I believe it drops next week!

    If you're interested in picking up a copy, it's quite inexpensive. Here's a quick summary of what the series entails:

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    From the world and legends of Sanctuary, the setting for the award-winning Diablo video game, comes the tale of a hero's birth. Jacob has fled from his homelands in the north, hunted by his kinsmen for the crime of murder.

    Led by the visions of an ancient prophet, pursued by his childhood friend, Jacob finds his destiny in a desert cave at the foot of a mountain carved in two by the sword of an archangel-- Tyrael. But will Jacob be able to claim the sword that could save his people, if not the world, before he's brought to 'justice?'"

    Posted in: Beta Monster Affixes, 'Sword of Justice' Update, Diablo Costume
  • published the article Spike TV, Facebook Initiative Info, CE Items Update, Bipolar AH, Error Reporting
    Update:If you have artistic talent (which I know some of you do), you might consider submitting an entry to the Blizzard Holiday Card Contest. The card must be based on the Diablo, StarCraft, or Warcraft universes, or all three. There are some pretty cool prizes if you win, so go check it out.

    Facebook Initiative Half Way Over
    It's crazy to think the beta's been live for over two months. Especially since a lot of us have waited a very, very long time for this game. If you still haven't filled out Blizzard's Facebook Sweepstakes thing, what are you waiting for? There's still roughly two more months of opportunity to get selected into the beta (Source)!

    Also, we have confirmed reports of Opt-In invites going out as well. There have been many theories as to how Blizzard pics the lucky opt-in candidates, none of which are founded in evidence; but it is interesting to note that Blizzard undoubtedly takes your internet connection speed into consideration (Source). Either way, good luck everyone!



    Beta Key Sweepstakes Confusion
    Blizzard has decided to clear some confusion about how the beta sweepstakes and opt-in process works


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Hey everyone!

    We've noticed there's been a bit of confusion surrounding the Diablo III Beta Key Sweepstakes, specifically in terms of how each winner will be notified and eventually granted access into the beta. To help clear things up, we wanted to quickly clarify how that whole process works.

    While players who are selected through the official opt-in will have their Battle.net accounts automatically flagged for beta access, the same will not occur for the winners of the Facebook sweepstakes. Instead, sweepstakes winners will receive their Diablo III beta key via email from [email protected], and they will then need to activate that key through Battle.net by completing the following steps:

    1) Log into Battle.net Account Management (https://us.battle.net/account/management/)
    2) Select "Add or Upgrade a Game" from the "Games & Codes" drop-down
    3) Under "Activate a Game Key," enter the key code into the provided box and click "Activate Game"

    If the beta key is valid, the Diablo III beta will be added to the selected Battle.net account and can be downloaded here: https://us.battle.net/account/management/download/

    For more information about the Diablo III Beta Sweepstakes, be sure to check out the official entry page and FAQ:
    Official page - http://www.facebook.com/Diablo?sk=app_6009294086
    FAQ - http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/3342018236

    Good luck!



    Collector's Edition Items Updates
    Bashiok shed some light on some noteworthy questions yesterday and today regarding the CE:


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Can the wings be left on indefinitely, or are they an on activation thing with a longish cooldown like the toys from wow archaeology? Are the dyes in limited supply, or unlimited? Is it a pattern we get at one of the crafters?

    The CE dyes are infinite in their use. Keep them forever, dye as much stuff as you want "Cloud" or "Smoke" colored. The colors are unique to the CE.

    The wings are an item you hold in your inventory (don't take up an equipment slot on your character), and it's a toggle. Use to turn on, use again to turn off. They're awesome looking, and stack with other class effects like Shadow Power and Archon.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Are the wings like a one time thing? As in one per account on the first character you make? Or does every character on that account get the wings when they are created?

    It's 1 per *character* you create. You can't drop or trade them, and can't sell them on the AH, of course.
    For more info on the Collector's Edition, go here.



    Bipolar Auction House
    For a little over 24 hours, the Auction House was down, which makes me a little glad they're not shipping this year :).

    Thankfully, they seemed to have fixed the issue.



    24000 Error Update
    Thanks to committed testers, Blizzard received invaluable debug info, and they were able to squash a significant bug that was breaking Battle.net. If you are having any issues with the game, go help them out by submitting your D3Debug.txt file located in 'C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Diablo III':


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Thank you all for posting your logs. These logs have been very helpful to the Battle.net team.

    Now that we have a lot of logs that show testers' accounts broken, I was wondering if anyone could post logs that were generated when the game WORKED and the became corrupt from this bug.

    As a reminder, D3Debug.txt re-writes itself every time you start a new game, so here are the steps to get the perfect logs we are looking for:

    1. Log into the Beta with an account that works.
    2. Play the Beta and use the Auction House.
    3. If you encounter the Error_24000 or other issues, IMMEDIATELY copy the D3Debug.txt file to your desktop and post it to pastebin.com. Don't forget to remove your e-mail address :)

    Thanks for your help with this guys. Having logs of broken accounts and accounts that became broken would be very helpful.



    New Diablo 3 Wallpaper
    Blizzard just gave us a new D3 background! It's totally awesome (link to all sizes):




    Vote for Diablo 3
    Once again, Spike TV is doing their annual Video Games Awards (VGA). And once again, it's time to go vote for Diablo 3, of course!

    Posted in: Spike TV, Facebook Initiative Info, CE Items Update, Bipolar AH, Error Reporting
  • published the article BlizzCon Merch, BlizzPlanet Giveaways, Blizzcon Videos, Cain Spoiler?, Fan Art
    BlizzCon Merch
    If you purchased a ticket for the Pay-Per-View showing of BlizzCon 2011 this year or were at the event, Blizzard is opening up their online store for those participants through November 18 at 10 a.m. PT.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Whether you attended BlizzCon 2011 in person or watched the show from home, we're giving you one more chance to pick up a last-minute souvenir. BlizzCon 2011 ticket holders, Virtual Ticket buyers, and DIRECTV viewers who ordered the BlizzCon 2011 Pay Per View event are now able to purchase select BlizzCon 2011 store merchandise online (while supplies last).

    Full details here: http://us.battle.net...11_11_2011#blog

    BlizzCon Videos
    While we're on the subject of Blizzcon, I wanted to point out where you can find the Diablo 3 archived videos you may have missed on Verity's YouTube Channel:


    BlizzPlanet D3 Giveaways
    In case you're interested, BlizzPlanet has been doing some cool giveaways lately! For your chance to win a SteelSeries QcK Limited Series Diablo III Gaming Mousepad, all you have to do is make a comment in this blog. That mousepad is huge, btw.

    Cain Dies
    Well, not really. There's a video out there showing the animation for Cain's death:

    At first you might think that's significant, but in all likelyhood it's either a generic death animation, or a leftover animation used in the April Fools 2009 Archivist videos. Though, if you look close enough the Archivist's death animation is different. Who knows, but we thought it was interesting enough for speculation.

    Fan Art
    I'd like to let you all know that we're big fans of fan art and we're going to be featuring some of the highlights on the front page whenever we deem it necessary, so all you artists out there, it's time to get to work!

    Today we'll feature MuppZA's "Tyrael" and "Diablo Skull" pieces:


    These posts will also include videos! Here's Enkeria's fanmade "Diablo 3 Alternative Cinematic":

    Posted in: BlizzCon Merch, BlizzPlanet Giveaways, Blizzcon Videos, Cain Spoiler?, Fan Art
  • published the article Every Class Uses Attack Power
    And not a whole lot of people seem to care all that much. No, seriously: I haven’t seen a QQ thread on this yet, and that really surprises me given the nature of the internet. In all seriousness, let’s take a closer look at why Blizzard decided this was a better move than the traditional model.

    If you’re not sure quite what I’m talking about, go take a look at the calculators for each class. You’ll notice that regardless of your class, if you’re doing damage, it’s based on attack power. Traditionally, in DiabloWiki.com - Diablo II Diablo II, the damage of the DiabloWiki.com - Sorceress Sorceress and the other classes was based on arbitrary base values that scaled with skill point allocation. For example, Icebolt has a base cold damage of 3-5, and as you allocate points there’s a simple (albeit arbitrary) formula to curve it. (See The Arreat Summit for greater detail).


    Now, before you yell bloody murder, allow me to explain why this move is both insane and brilliant. And no, it’s not because I’m a fanboy.

    Firstly, it’s very simple and straight-forward. We all know Blizzard loves to make game mechanics and features as straight-forward as possible (this is a positive thing, by the way).

    Secondly and more importantly, balancing items against skills across all classes is far and away easier. Let me give you an example of what I mean: If skill ‘A’ from the DiabloWiki.com - Demon Hunter Demon Hunter does 120% attack power and skill ‘B’ from the DiabloWiki.com - Barbarian Barbarian does 145% attack power, regardless of what item I throw on them, the comparability of the two skills is straight-forward. Now, skill ‘A’ and ‘B’ are two completely different skills with different cooldowns and there’s a whole lot of other factors that go into balancing them (i. e. weapon speed), but we can at least be sure with a brief look at the attack power what the differences are.

    Thirdly, it streamlines the idea that, regardless of your class, your weapon is your most important tool against Diablo’s minions. I think that’s pretty compelling. And, there are plenty of non-weapon items in the beta that increase attack (which overall makes you do more damage).

    Finally, one of the cruxes of the ol’ Diablo II model which Diablo III has attempted to solve is that if you wanted to increase the damage of one of your abilities as a Sorceress, you had to resort to finding certain really hard-to-find attributes like +1 to skill points and +% to fire damage (which, I theorize, is why there were a plethora of these ‘fringe’ attributes by Diablo II’s downturn). There was no in-game item attribute that increased spell damage across the board and that’s what I think the goal here is for Diablo III.*

    To be fair, the penalty for this new model is fairly obvious: Why in the world would wielding a sword increase the Wizard's ability to conjure fire lasers? Also, I think we as gamers are accustomed to seeing the 'elemental class' with some staff or wand, but those items are still viable. But in the end, Blizzard decided that such a minor dissociation from the norm was worth a lifetime of consistently simple gameplay mechanics.

    *On a side note, I hate to rat on one of the greatest games of all time (Diablo 2), but let’s turn off our hindsight goggles.
    Posted in: Every Class Uses Attack Power