System Changes

UPDATE: Bashiok has posted on the forums regarding the system changes, Posts added to bottom.

Diablo 3 System Changes
The anticipated System Changes have finally come in! Here's a quick summary of the changes:
  • Scrolls of Identification are gone - players can now identify rares/legendary items without them.
  • Button '5' is now dedicated to potions.
  • The Mystic artisan has now been removed from the game.
  • The Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube have been removed.
  • The Stone of Recall is now a button at the bottom and has been renamed "Town Portal".
  • The Blacksmith is now responsible for salvaging players' items.
  • Common (white colored) items are no longer salvageable.
  • Character Attributes have been changed. See below for details.
  • Character stats are now placed in the same place as the inventory panel and the old dedicated stats panel has been removed.

Official Blizzard Quote:






While working on Diablo III we've been called out for messing around with systems too much, that the game is good as-is and we should just release it. I think that's a fair argument to make, but I also think it's incorrect. Our job isn't just to put out a game, it's to release the next Diablo game. No one will remember if the game is late, only if it's great. We trust in our ability to put out a great game, but we're not quite there yet. In addition to finishing and polishing the content of the game we're continuing to iterate on some of the core game systems. So all that said, I'd like to provide everyone an update on some of the systems we're currently working on.

We’re changing some of the systems we’ve gotten the most feedback on both internally and from the beta test, including crafting, items, core attributes, and inventory. We’ll go over those changes and the reasons for them. In addition we’re working on major changes to the skill and rune systems that we’re not ready to talk about, but I promise you we can’t possibly ship without a finished skill and rune system. :)

Let’s start off small: Scrolls of Identification are no longer in the game. Unidentified items and the act of identifying them is still very much part of the game, but now when obtaining an unidentified item you'll simply right click it, a short cast timer will occur as your character examines the item, and it will become identified. We love the double-discovery of finding a present and then unwrapping it, but we don't think it requires a physical item you have to find and keep in your bags to get the same effect. From now on you'll just be able to inherently identify all your items, no need to carry scrolls. Your character in Diablo III is just that badass now.

We’re also moving the fifth quick slot button, which is becoming a dedicated potion button. A dedicated potion button is something we went back and forth on throughout development. Recently it became apparent that players need to be aware of their potions for emergency situations. Our combat model doesn’t promote or even allow chugging potions in rapid succession, but they’re certainly useful when you run into a string of bad luck with health globes, or if you just get in over your head. This is one of our newest changes, so the button and mechanics don’t actually function in beta Patch 10, but that’s our intent and you’ll be seeing it supported in future beta updates.

The design team is currently looking at systems and cleaning them up, removing any superfluous system objectives and those that are beyond fixing. Thus, we're removing the Mystic artisan. As we look at the big picture, the Mystic simply wasn’t adding anything to our customization system. Enhancement was really just the socket and gem system with a different name, and it would prolong the release of the game even further to go back to the drawing board and differentiate it, so we’ll revisit the Mystic and enhancements at a later time. Removing her from the game took some time, but it’s nowhere near the efforts that would be required to flesh out a better customization system. We hope she’ll be able to join your caravan in the future, but for now we’re going to focus on the extensive customization options the game already offers.

We're also looking at systems we’ve created and making sure that the rationale that brought us to these designs still makes sense. The Stone of Recall, for instance, has a short cast time and allows you to return to town. Early on we said we wouldn't have town portals, as they introduced too many combat exploits, but we were able to resolve them. Because we have the Stone of Recall, though, we began to evaluate systems that were originally implemented to deal with the exclusion of town portals.

So we've decided to remove the Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube. They were implemented to allow for salvaging and selling items when there was no quick and easy way to return to town. Now that the Stone of Recall exists, we found that keeping the Cauldron and Cube in the game detracted from the benefits of returning to town to sell items, salvage, craft, and interact with the townsfolk. It’s a good idea to break up combat so that players have a moment to evaluate their gear and crafting options before venturing back out. In addition, we've decided to just call it what it is and the Stone of Recall is now Town Portal, and is integrated directly onto the skill bar UI.




The Blacksmith artisan will now salvage items. With removal of the Cube we needed some mechanic in town that allowed you to salvage your items, and it just makes sense for the Blacksmith to offer it.






One other important change is that common (white) items will no longer be salvageable. We found that it caused a few itemization issues, but mostly this is due to a general philosophy shift on the importance of items. Previously, our thinking was that when an item dropped it should always be useful to you in some way, either the stats could be an improvement for you, or in the case of white items you could break it down and craft something better. Through a lot of play testing we have come full circle to the Diablo II methodology -- a lot of stuff that drops just isn’t worth picking up. Diablo II captured the loot piñata feel by dropping a lot of crap, mostly arrows and bolts, and we of course still very much want that feeling of item-explosions. To do that we need to be able to balance the value of items to how many we’re throwing at you.

This leads us to the last change I'll be detailing today:

We're changing core character attributes to Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality, and the benefits each stat provides is being broken down as:
  • Strength
    • Increases Barbarian damage
    • Increases Armor
  • Dexterity
    • Increases Demon Hunter damage
    • Increases Monk damage
    • Increases Dodge
  • Intellect
    • Increases Wizard and Witch Doctor damage
    • Increases Health gained from Health Globes
  • Vitality
    • Increases Max Health
We're dropping Defense, Attack, and Precision as attributes, Armor is taking over for what Defense used to provide, +Physical Resist will take over for Armor, and +Chance to Crit will fill in for Precision. Obviously these stat changes are one of the bigger systems changes we're currently working on as they have far reaching requirements to re-itemize and balance the game.

This change makes the stats more intuitive and fixes some of the itemization issues we were running into. We want to make it clear that junk items aren’t worth picking up, and make it easy to identify other items as not for your character. We want to drop a ton of items, but to really pull off a sense of excitement when finding a great item, there needs to be non-optimal items, both for your class, and in general. By specifically targeting stats at classes, we can reduce the amount of item overlap, diversify our item pool, and create a cleaner, more exciting itemization system.

By and large these changes have little impact on which items you’re going to want. The item hunt has always been based on secondary stats and affixes, and we’re working hard to ensure build diversity is as large as possible by getting as many affixes into the game as possible (adding more item affixes is also something we’ve been working on). Simply including affixes that augment specific skills greatly expands the itemization pool and build possibilities.

Moving on, with the removal of the Cauldron of Jordan, Nephalem Cube, and by moving Town Portal to the skill panel, we're now displaying character stats directly on the inventory UI. Now you can see your stats go up and down as you try on different items. All the same info is available; we’re just streamlining the UI, making it more useful. It might seem insignificant but we're pleased with the results.




All of these are changes that will in one way or another be seen in the latest beta patch, and so we hope that those of you with access please try them out and let us know what you think in the Beta Feedback forum.

There’s a lot of work left to be done, though. We’re constantly tuning and making balance changes; it’s a massive task. Some of these changes can be seen in the beta, like changes to item rarity, the levels at which we introduce affixes, and how many affixes enemies can roll up. Some you can’t see in the beta, like balancing the difficulty of the entire game for four different difficulty levels, adding tons of new affixes, creating legendary items, filling out crafting recipes and itemization, working on achievements, and implementing Battle.net features. We’re also working on a number of other large systems changes -- specifically with the skill and rune systems. We're not quite ready to share what those are just yet, but we look forward to being able to do so in the near future.

We want Diablo III to be the best game it can be when it launches. To get there, we're going to be iterating on designs we've had in place for a long time, making changes to systems you've spent a lot of time theorycrafting, and removing features you may have come to associate with the core of the experience. Our hope is that by embracing our iterative design process in which we question ourselves and our decisions, Diablo III won't just live up to our expectations, but will continue to do so a decade after it's released.

Jay Wilson is game director for Diablo III and the Inventor of Meat. He believes that Kate Beckinsale is the greatest actress that’s ever lived.






Blue Posts
Bashiok as responded to acouple of clearifying questions about these system changes.


Official Blizzard Quote:



Keep in mind everything detailed in the article today is already in the game, and most of it is complete. Once you get Patch 10 and see that, I think it may sink in that these aren't theoretical changes we're still working on, they're changes we've completed. Obviously the potion button still needs a little work to hook it up correctly, and the character attribute changes need to be balanced and tested for itemization throughout the game, but overall these are changes we've already made.

I do not intend to impress that we're close to release, or infer any such "we're <-- this --> done" kind of statement, but most of these are fairly straightforward changes that are already complete and implemented. We do have more changes, skills and runes, affixes to add, more items, Battle.net features, testing, testing, and more testing etc. to do so we're obviously still not there yet, but none of the changes detailed today are theoretical or yet to be implemented. (Tracker / Forums)

It looks like these changes have been in the works for awhile now. Will the upcoming patch reflect these changes?
Yes, all of these changes are complete and will be present in beta Patch 10.

But white items still cost gold? Wont that make them worth something, making me to fill my inventory and later sell them in town
They'll sell for very little. It will quickly become apparent they're not worth the inventory space.

Why have items that are useless?
To make seeing a good item drop that much rarer/exciting.

Will the new Salvage method be included in the new patch?
Yup!

What about "upgrading" gems? since u removed the mystic, its not implemented anymore?
That's the Jeweler. :)

Jay's article says strength affects barbarian damage and dexterity, DH's etc... That's just core, rite? Weapons still add most?
Well there's the basic weapon damage, then if it has +Strength on it you *probably* wouldn't want that item as a wizard.

What if per chance the weapon damage is vastly superior? wouldn't that make sense to take it for secondary attribute?
Very possible! It won't always be an absolute "It has X I don't want it." You'll still need to evaluate.

Town Portal: Instant or cast?
It's the same as the Stone of Recall, just in a different spot with a new (old?) name. It's a 2 second cast I believe.

what? was just getting excited about stone of recall! U guys had me convinced that scrolls suck, and stones rock (no pun intended)
It's the same thing, we just moved it and renamed it.

Comments

  • #201 Fpsen
    Sure some changes are good i dont mind but seriously i've lost the "OMFG D3 IS ON ITS WAY OUT" feeling, im just not feeling it anymore. it's been so much hype around Diablo 3 for to long and i've lost it. I guess i'll have to see if i'm buying it or just quit gaming before that.
  • #202 oldmannoob
    Just a few thoughts: (like anyone cares)

    Why drop whites if they have no use? If you can't salvage, and they said they will sell for very little, they just clutter the ground, like the cow level.

    I really liked the user assignment of stats in D2, it made you think about where you were taking your character, and I predict assignable skill points coming back, to make leveling up more rewarding for levels 30-60.

    Get rid of different resource systems for each class and go back to mana, as that's really all they are anyway, but make the need for mana more important than just a resource for skills. Give a reason to put points into it, like linking it to certain skills damage, ie more mana = more damage.

    I never liked the idea of dropping your items into a bag or cube or whatever and getting gold. Like your "magic bag" would know the value of an item. Just never made any sense to me, but then again, neither did a Quill Rat dropping a sword. Just sayin...

    I'm glad to see TP's back, but bring back ID scrolls too, or have Cain do it. Making you stand there for a few seconds "to study it, that's how badass you are now" seems lame.

    And a hotkey potion button smells of console to me, which I'm actually looking forward to, as I don't have a computer that will run D3, except the media server already attached to the TV, and if i'm going to play on the TV, i'd rather do it with a controller than balance a keyboard and mouse on my lap.

    And we're not seeing the game till christmas.
  • #203 Khiva
    That's unfortunate. Unless a lot of this is changed, it looks I won't be buying Diablo 3 anymore. This is just all kinds of stupid.
    From the look of it, there is literally no reason to even have stats anymore. Every one of them is focused on a particular class, and increases both your damage and defense for that class, making the others completely unnecessary. I assume Vitality increases defense more than the others, so there's at least that choice. They may as well just have your damage stat and your health stat, and let you choose between those. Even if this is not fundementally detrimental the way it is, it's just so stupid that the mere existence of it gives me no faith in how they'll handle the game as a whole.
    And then white items being useless... Do I even need to explain how stupid it is to have junk items like this in the game? It's nothing more than an annoyance.
    Then there's all kinds of smaller issues presented here that aren't worth getting into... Just screw it all.
  • #204 D3L33tGuilty
    Personaly i aggre with the changes that they did except about undentifiying items.

    It should be somekinf of tome of identification drop around lvls 2-3 and it would work same way as couldron / Ncube did. It would be placed in players caracter info.

    Im just saying this beacuse it acualy makes much more sense, beacuse withouth this "tome" champions are sudenly able too know what these bilion of items are and their stats? That doesent make any sense lorewise.

    sry for bad english :)
  • #205 wishedhehadbeta
    Quote from Khiva

    That's unfortunate. Unless a lot of this is changed, it looks I won't be buying Diablo 3 anymore. This is just all kinds of stupid.
    From the look of it, there is literally no reason to even have stats anymore. Every one of them is focused on a particular class, and increases both your damage and defense for that class, making the others completely unnecessary. I assume Vitality increases defense more than the others, so there's at least that choice. They may as well just have your damage stat and your health stat, and let you choose between those. Even if this is not fundementally detrimental the way it is, it's just so stupid that the mere existence of it gives me no faith in how they'll handle the game as a whole.
    And then white items being useless... Do I even need to explain how stupid it is to have junk items like this in the game? It's nothing more than an annoyance.
    Then there's all kinds of smaller issues presented here that aren't worth getting into... Just screw it all.


    lol wow. are you serious? go READ all of the effects each stat has genius. there is each persons core stat that increases dmg then the others increases other things like dodge and +health and +health from globes and +armor. so ANY class can use ANY stat depending on your specific playstyle and build. stacking 100% dmg is the most fail shit ever. even in D2 no one stacked strait dmg, ever. you stacked 99% of your stat points into VITALITY to SURVIVE. and vitality is in the game as well as dex increases dodge which completely negates all dmg if you dodge an attack. also armor for dmg reduction from str. which EVERY class will need. and +health from healthglobes will be needed because we can no longer pot spam (thank god).

    you should REALLY think before you spout off a bunch of hater BS with nothing to back it up. by making white items (exactly how D2 was, OH SNAP!) everywhere it DOES in fact stimulate the brain to get more excited when you see the colored ones. if all you found was colored items then you would cease to be excited to see them. obviously. so your again not thinking any of this through.

    i guarantee any other small "issue" of yours i can destroy because from the examples you gave, you have nothing even remotely tangible. if you hate the game changes just to hate them then cool, GL not playing as we all will be. come at me bro
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