Bashiok on "Encouraging People to Play Together"

Bashiok recently posted quite a few responses to some questions that were raised by members on the Battle.net forums in regards to Blizzard encouraging people to play games together rather than going off on single-player missions.

"The distance limitation you're speaking of in being considered an active participant already exists in the game.

The item benefit of playing together is due partly to the per-player item drops, but also increase in items-per-minute ratio due to groups killing faster than a single player. The amount of items dropping with each additional player is slightly higher than if those players were to just play in their own games. Now, that's slightly deceiving because we're talking about the entire pool of drops, but actually each player sees and receives an equal portion, so in this case we're looking at the drops as if they were shared completely freely within the group. This may not be the case for all items or groups.

Still, if you have three friends and you're all buddy-buddy with each other and sharing everything, the benefit of playing together for item drops is noticeable. If you're all being very stingy and not sharing anything, or just throwing out the crap, you'll still see a slight increase just from killing speed.

But anyway, with all that in mind, there is already of course a distance limit in which you'll be considered an active participant in a monster kill to be able to receive a drop from it. If you're out of range and someone in your party kills something, you don't get a drop from it. It's a very obvious solution to deal with a very obvious issue. The range is fairly forgiving.

So instead our focus turns to helping groups help themselves through various mechanics to keep everyone together. But those are specifics for another time though."
He then went on to respond to more user questions:

"By the sounds of it, being an "active participant" simply means you have to be within a close proximately of the monsters on death, but that does not mean that you will actually need to help in any way, shape, or form in killing it."

"If you did need to damage every enemy in order to get a drop from it we would essentially be requiring all players who wanted to play in groups build their characters for AoE damage. It would then be enforcing the exact opposite of teamwork. Everyone would be going crazy trying to do as much damage to as much as possible so they could try to get a drop off of it.

We could then rename the game to Antithesis of Fun."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the exact same thing that is happening in Diablo II baal runs, where there are 1 or 2 Hammerdins killing everything and the rest of the players is composed of leechers doing nothing more than picking up the drops?"

"There's nothing wrong with the idea of friends running other friends through the game. Have a friend with a higher level character? Cool, have him help you through the game if you want. That doesn't mean we won't have some limitations or slight impedances, for instance we probably wouldn't want it to figure out to be the best way to level, but the general idea of friends helping friends is a positive aspect and something we want to retain as best as possible."
"The problem I personally have is just those that do nothing but leech, or the players that do absolutely nothing to contribute to the party but is shared equally in the rewards. Again, the example of baal runs in Diablo II comes to mind. In baal runs, we often see AFK naked characters wielding nothing but Ondal's Wisdom for the 5% to Experience Gained sitting in the corner or within that distance that you were talking about for Diablo III inorder to "earn" the rewards without actually doing anything. Sometimes they are not even AFK, so they run around and pick up the drops, and again, this sounds like it could be done in Diablo III, with or without bots. Maybe it's just me, but I have never thought that leeching or having leechers follow me around all day doing nothing but picking up the loot from my kills was a whole lot of fun."

"Players joining your games that do something to annoy you will always be a problem as long as you allow them to. So really the simple solution here is to not play in publicly open games.

But, from a game feature side, it sounds like what you're actually asking for are game moderation options. Such as the ability for the game creator or game participants to kick, ban, squelch, etc. And maybe those are some possibilities, maybe, but they themselves could easily be turned around and used as griefing tools themselves.

There are solutions. I don't think it's a problem that warrants a lot of time at the moment though."
So what do you guys think about all of these group play issues? Let's hear your opinions!

Comments

  • #1 Musica
    Awww, I was hoping they'd find a way to get rid of leeches but I guess that's not gonna happen. I don't really know what I think of all this. Is Blizzard sort of covering their butts? Is there any effective way where they could've gotten rid of leeches? Well, whatever. I'll be playing single player mostly anyway probably since I doubt I'll be able to compete with all those players with godly gear and whatnot.

    Still, is it that hard for a player to just damage a monster to get experience from it? I mean come on. Even if you're only inflicting a little damage with your more experienced teammates finishing the monstor off, at least it encourages some kind of contribution on your part to the battle. Of course, I don't even understand why anyone would want to leech. What's the fun of just standing around and reaping experience? It just seems like such a waste of time and life.
  • #2 Zhar
    Hmm, only thing that worries me is that the whole "drop range" may encourage players to rush ahead of the group to kill everything, so that they get the majority of the drops.
    May not be doing much good for teamwork...
  • #3 Magistrate
    Well, leeching is something that just isn't going to go away in this kind of online game. After you beat the game a few times, regardless of what you may say and who you are, you will either stop playing the game (indefinitely, until the interest perks you again) or want something else out of the game, usually in the sense of getting the most power and prestige from it, which is gained through leveling, getting the best gear, accomplishing the extra quests, et cetera. This is accelerated by leeching and grinding- because at the point of play I'm talking about you don't care much about the story since you've been through it a lot.

    So leeching, in my opinion, isn't really a bad thing. It's just what it is. It will exist in some form or another. People are obviously not just going to keep repeating the whole storyline again and again and say "okay, I'm done now". They grind afterwards. It's what gives the game longevity.

    This isn't to say that gameplay shouldn't be engaging, but it's a reality of long-term games with internet play, I think.
  • #4 HARDCOREPOORE
    80% of these forums are mediocre or singleplayer diablo II players, and its terrible how much they are influincing this game
  • #5 DSquared82
    Yeah, I think that leeching is inevitable in the kind of environment that the Diablo games reside in. The fact that people will actually have to be within a certain range is at least a plus, but I don't think there is going to be anyway to rid it completely. I guess the moral here might be don't play with people you don't know?

    My biggest concern is people rushing and screwing up the economy making good rare items useless. But since we have no idea how the economy of the game will work I can't really comment on any of that. Also we have no idea what features B Net 2.0 will have in it; which could play towards having more control of things like leeching, etc.
  • #6 Dimebog
    Quote from "Musica" »
    Awww, I was hoping they'd find a way to get rid of leeches but I guess that's not gonna happen. I don't really know what I think of all this. Is Blizzard sort of covering their butts? Is there any effective way where they could've gotten rid of leeches? Well, whatever. I'll be playing single player mostly anyway probably since I doubt I'll be able to compete with all those players with godly gear and whatnot.

    It's simple. If a full game scales to a point where every player needs to participate in the fight in order to be able to even kill a boss (as it damn should be), then there can't be any "leeching".

    Quote from "Musica" »
    Still, is it that hard for a player to just damage a monster to get experience from it? I mean come on. Even if you're only inflicting a little damage with your more experienced teammates finishing the monstor off, at least it encourages some kind of contribution on your part to the battle. Of course, I don't even understand why anyone would want to leech. What's the fun of just standing around and reaping experience? It just seems like such a waste of time and life.

    If each player in a party has to damage each and every one in the group of 20 monsters which could easily die when only two of the players in the game use their AoE abilities on them, then it becomes a game of tag.

    Quote from "Zhar" »
    Hmm, only thing that worries me is that the whole "drop range" may encourage players to rush ahead of the group to kill everything, so that they get the majority of the drops.
    May not be doing much good for teamwork...

    Are you even listening to yourself? YOU GET YOUR OWN DROPS. YOU CAN'T GET "EVERYTHING".
  • #7 OathofChaos
    The way I see it... you win some... you lose some.

    As Baishok said... if you had to put at least a single damage on every mob, because of the way the creature and monsters behave (and the numerical amount at any given time), all classes would require some sort of AoE... and the game would be bland and less-than-fun.

    On the flip side, leeching does pose a problem to people who believe that everyone should work hard to get from 1 to cap.

    Hopefully, with additions like the skill-reset feature, the amount of leechers will be lessened by a lot. People will have at least one of every class, and maybe one more as a mule (in addition to the hopefully obvious cross-character stash).

    Not everything that resembles WoW is evil, and in this case, a skill-reset is a good reason for keeping leechers down.

    I also like the item-drop idea. Everyone gets their own loot. It benefits both the benevolent, and the selfish.


    My biggest concern is people rushing and screwing up the economy making good rare items useless.


    Though a good concern.... with all games, the more time alloted, the worse any economy will be. This has to do with Supply and Demand on a monetary level. Take any MMO. Most mobs will drop currency. Most rewards will net currency. Most items will sell for an equivalant amount of currency. Without some sort of constant gold sink, the amount of currency in the playerbase will forever increase, thus making it more and more worthless.

    The more of something that exists, the less value it will hold.

    Either way, I'm sure they'll work out all the bugs. Blizzard has been known to do things the right way, or at least have a very good reason for doing it their current way.
  • #8 Doppelganger
    Want to get rid of leechers? Easy, enable a toggle to kick, ban and squelch when creating a game. I mean, Bashiok shouldn't worry about it being abused, because then you simply can choose to enter a game where they are disabled. Everything just sounds like massive carebear and handholding, seriously, you supposedly need to play together and form a thight party, not because you want to, not because tactics lend itself to it, but because Bashiok tells you to. You need not to worry about items, because all drops are personal, doesn't matter if you want to play in a "buddy-buddy" team where sharing of loot is a given, nope Bashiok makes it a rule that all loot is shared, you can't even freaking see what loot your "buddy-buddies" drop, if they don't pick it up and drop it again. (how fucking retarded is that?)
    You infact don't even drop loot, loot thats yours simply spews forth out of enemies that die, what a thrill. Fairness in play doesn't matter anymore, the game will force you, there will be no more "wow, i saw x item drop, but i was too late", there will be no more "here you can have it", there will be no more "hey you stole my x!!!". Why? Because Bashiok tells you to. This gives me the impression the game will be boring to be honest.

    Quote from "OathofChaos" »

    Hopefully, with additions like the skill-reset feature, the amount of leechers will be lessened by a lot. People will have at least one of every class, and maybe one more as a mule (in addition to the hopefully obvious cross-character stash).

    Not everything that resembles WoW is evil, and in this case, a skill-reset is a good reason for keeping leechers down.


    Translation: No replay is good because then people won't replay a character and therefor are less inclined to leech. Amazing logic.
    I have a better idea, see to it that the game turns out to be utter crap, that way people won't play meaning no people leeching at all.
  • #9 Hammerheads
    Quote from "HARDCOREPOORE" »
    80% of these forums are mediocre or singleplayer diablo II players, and its terrible how much they are influincing this game



    I would like to let you in on a little secret. It takes no gaming skill at all to be "uber" at this game.
  • #10 VladDracul
    Yea no reaction speed, or strategy, or anything like that to be the best in Diablo...not. Get out of here kid you clearly were not anything special.

    Now as for leeching, who cares? If someone is leeching you go hostile them and kill them. Or just don't party, whichever. Now you probably won't be able to go hostile and killing tho cause 80% of you are crying about hostile and grieving so...dig your own grave and now you gotta lay in it.
  • #11 Uszi
    First of all, hey all.

    Second of all: If they make it so you can only get drops from a party member killing something, and you have the power to kick people from your party or not invite them, then how could they still leach from you?

    Right now it seems like in Diablo II Leaching works because you can still grab the item regardless of whether or not you are in the party.

    But if you cannot receive item drops from monsters killed by non-party members, then I would imagine that the leaching problem should disappear.
  • #12 Ar.Pi
    Still gonna play SP. Play MP only with friends that i know.

    He started talking about moderators? i hope he is not thinking WoW there.
  • #13 Macros
    Quote from "Musica" »
    Awww, I was hoping they'd find a way to get rid of leeches but I guess that's not gonna happen. I don't really know what I think of all this. Is Blizzard sort of covering their butts? Is there any effective way where they could've gotten rid of leeches?

    Yeah. I'm dissapointed that they apparently are not even gonna try to do anything about it.
    Still, is it that hard for a player to just damage a monster to get experience from it? I mean come on. Even if you're only inflicting a little damage with your more experienced teammates finishing the monstor off, at least it encourages some kind of contribution on your part to the battle.

    If Diablo 3 is anything like Diablo 2, the monsters will likely die in one hit in such games, or at least not alot more than that. In such a situation, it's impossible for everyone to tag everything. Sure, the leechers wouldn't kill anything that fast, but the problem comes for the regular players. You'll soon here people screaming about "stealing" their kill, and it doesn't help teamplay at all if you only get a drop from that which you kill yourself. That just makes everyone focus on thinking about themself instead of the team.
    Quote from "Zhar" »
    Hmm, only thing that worries me is that the whole "drop range" may encourage players to rush ahead of the group to kill everything, so that they get the majority of the drops.
    May not be doing much good for teamwork...

    How do you figure that? If people do that, they don't get more drops because they leave the "drop range", so what's the point. And, they can't steal the other people's drops anyway because everything drops are player specific.

    BTW, they should just not let you get experience or items if you're not in the party, then you kick the leechers out of the party and the problem is solved, right? It's better than being able to kick people out of the game, because that causes alot of griefing. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if Bashiok is even speaking on behalf of Blizzard, because it seems like he's just saying what he thinks about this himself. How could Blizzard not see this very obvious solution?
  • #14 Lt._Venom
    What about magic find?
  • #15 thecreater
    I think its a pretty good system atm, seriously whining about leechers? : /
    As Uszi said, if you don't want a random guy tagging along and "leeching" xp and loot, you can just not invite him to your party.
    And as for "baalrun" problems that could occur in D3 at a boss, who cares, the "rusher" gets more experience because there were more people in the game, so its a win - win situation.
    So if people want to rush, let them, it doesn't affect you, we don't tell you you have to rush.
    (and maybe the experience for a bosskill will be lower than in diablo 2, so MAYBE that problem won't make a return.)
  • #16 Booda
    The tradeoff has always been that having more people in the game means more drops and xp. That's why the typical Hammerdin rusher doesn't mind the extraneous people in the game (he actually doesn't NEED any help, especially if he has Enigma).

    That's why the Baal runs are advertised, as opposed to giving them secret names so that leechers don't know to join in. They WANT them in. They get more stuff that way. So do the leechers. It's a benefit to everyone, and that's why they do it.

    Another problem when it comes to contribution is the absolute uselessness of certain characters. If you can't manage to have a positive effect on the battle, you're better off abstaining. For example, Bonecromancers who are built for PvP and can't do anything in Baal runs except annoy everyone with Bone Walls. If people were able to make small, helpful contributions without getting in the way, they wouldn't be relegated to leeching.

    Now, a reality check we need to make is the boss we saw in the old gameplay video. You know, the one that picks up the barbarian and bites its head off? If monsters are able to do THAT to leechers, I think it'll all be okay. You either stay active or die.
  • #17 HARDCOREPOORE
    I would like to let you in on a little secret. It takes no gaming skill at all to be "uber" at this game.

    false....

    ive seen players with the best gear ever still not able to kill countess in hell.
  • #18 DesmondTiny
    The moderation thing. They should make it a vote and the creators vote should get like a extra point to it so it wont tie. Some day people will try and kick all the newbs out of there game and that is unfair to them.
  • #19 Macros
    Quote from name="Lt Venom" »
    What about magic find?

    What about it?
  • #20 Lt._Venom
    If somebody had magic find, would it effect the others' drops too? Bashiok said that the drops each person gets is equal to the other drops.
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