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 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, 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?

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.


  • #21 Drachar
    Only thing i am really opposed to it the changes on attributes. What was wrong with the current system? Two attributes makes you kill demons better, the other two makes you survive them better, nice and clear.

    Oh well, at least there will be new things to test when next beta patch rolls out. And fully agree with the Beckinsale comment Jay! :P
  • #22 Rym
    Hmmmm, much to look over and reread .
  • #23 CherubDown
    • I'm not sure I understand why 5 has to be a dedicated potion button - if they'd left it to choice, that's where it would have ended up anyway.
    • Removing the Mystic is probably for the best, there's already plenty of item customization systems (rare drops, sockets, etc).
    • THANK GOD they're removing the need to pick up white items. It became really boring and monotonous.
    • The stats change is WAY better. It's way more clear and consise. And I'm glad that Intelligence affects Wizard/WD damage. Thank you.
  • #24 Laevus
    I know it seems really silly but I don't like the idea of right click to identify things. Having Cain identify things made sense since he's so old and wise, using a magical scroll is also fine, but having your hero just cast something will take getting used to. Practically though, it's a great idea and a lot more painless :)

    I'm not in the beta and haven't tried it, but I loved the idea of the Cube and Cauldron. Of all the updates and changes they've made to the game, this to me was one of the biggest improvements and it's the one change they've made in the Beta that makes me think "noooooooo!" and want to go to the official forums and rant like an angry testosterone filled spotty, virgin, teen geek.

    I'm happy with the removal of the Mystic. If they can't do the artisan justice, don't fight the losing battle. It would be nice to see a third artisan appear in an expansion, with extra cool features added too.

    I also don't like the changes to the stats. I liked that they were different and learning what the stats do and what you need is part of the game, and something you can usually get used to fairly quickly. I also liked the different attribute names too (attack, precision) as they made Diablo 3 feel unique rather than copy pasted from D2 or WoW.

    I'm not concerned with a release date as some are in this thread. The line "No one will remember if the game is late, only if it's great" is perfect and may appear in my signature at some point :P

    I posted a forum thread a while ago pondering about what in game system may still be being worked on that hasn't been announced yet, and some of the wording here (to me) still hints that there is something super cool lurking away in the game that we've yet to be told. I'm also wondering what secretive awesomeness they're doing to the rune and skill system.
  • #25 Fromtheshadow
    Well I love those changes. They share with us informations like we want to. Now I am calm and I will wait till 2012 December.
  • #26 Tenhi
    Quote from Eldius

    White Items & Salvaging: What good are they to have in game if they can't be enchanted or salvaged?

    Thats a good question... now they are basicly in the game for the first 10 lvls... what sounds pretty stupid. The only thing you can do with them after that is sell them... but without the Cauldron you have to TP to sell them... so thats not a good option. They should give everyone a full white set at the start and just scrap the whole common item lvl Oo

    Quote from lorien1973

    Barbarians kinda got screwed with the stat changes, didn't they? Seems like they need Str/Dex/Vit and a little Intellect(?) - while other classes need maybe 2 at the most.

    Well if I understand it right then the new Armor = Defense. So it gives you %dmgreduction. So every class needs it to some extend. That would actually make it easier for the Barb... because now he gets +dmg, %dmgreduction in one stat. So Barb goes for Str/Vita. And everybody else has Classstat/Str/Vita oO
  • #27 toothball12
    Nothing of note here.

    Great to see that they are going on 10 years and still tweaking THE CORE of the game.

    I am all for quality being king, BUT not when you decide to announce the game 4 years before it comes out. This game should have been announced at blizzcon 2010.


    p.s. I hate this development team, but i'll still buy it like a sucker in Q5 2012.
  • #28 SFJake
    Quote from Laevus

    I know it seems really silly but I don't like the idea of right click to identify things. Having Cain identify things made sense since he's so old and wise, using a magical scroll is also fine, but having your hero just cast something will take getting used to. Practically though, it's a great idea and a lot more painless :)

    No, its completely pointless as in it completely trivialized identification and makes it purposeless. There is absolutely no point to identify, its just a complete time waster as it is, and so it was in D2 as well.
  • #29 Summ3r
    I dont see changes. But i see "c u in 2013, b***h".

    And... Wow-attributes system. Хватит это терпеть!
  • #30 Nivius


    Scroll of identify gone

    Seems like a good idea, as there really was no reason to keep it there anyway, its just something you collect to use later and thats it. BUT i'm quite skeptical about the whole idea of "cast time" to identity

    moving button 5 for pots

    guess its a good idea, but it now seems kinda awkward where it is

    stone of recall gone

    well ofc, why does it have to be a "stone", a button like this seems quite fair. (but maybe change placement+the looks of it)

    mystic gone

    well ofc, there never was enchantments to items in d2 and why would there be? its just another free socket to add something in.

    Cauldron and cube gone.

    VERY awsome, one might consider this making it more of a pain in doungeons now, but getting back to town is somthing that i really liked in d2.

    when you are fighitng around for a good 15 min whit a friend and you find your inv full of stuff, its a good breather to go back to town and sell/buy/do stuff/look at stats and gear...

    me like!

    white items cant be salvaged

    good, let there be crap. so that one don't HAVE to pick up EVERYTHING and salvage EVERYTHING.

    Defense, Attack, and Precision gone!

    Back is:
    Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality

    Awesome! it feels more like Diablo now and the stats make more sense. one problem can be that a player like me (barbarian for life...) will only get items whit STR and VIT, making them my only useful stats (like a Warrior Tank in WOW only values stamina->str->parry->mastery->dodge) and everything else where kinda useless.

    this is something we cant answer now and can only be answer later game once the game is out.

    character stats directly on the inventory UI

    Perfect, as you usualy look at stats and gear at the same time anyway its just a streamlined work-around that works perfect.

    if i ware blizzard i would have take the chance to move stats to the right side of the equipped items and still having the more exact statistics on the same place. it just would feel better

    There’s a lot of work left to be done, though.

    does not make me feel good. but i'm looking forward to the skill/rune changes
    and thats my thoughts...
    in short i like these changes and support them 100%!
  • #31 CGnome
    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 in a decade when it's released.

  • #32 jabronii
    All of these changes are great, I completely agree with it, with having to go to town to sell and scrap items might sound annoying but it will make the feel of the game so much better, picking up everything and scraping or selling it from your inventory makes no sense, why not just have everything go to ur inventory and auto scrap common and grays. This small change will make the game easily 2x-3x more addictive.
  • #33 Rym
    Quote from Tenhi

    Aaaand am I the only one who doesnt like the Stats Change Oo? Imho it leads to things like "You are a Monk -> Dex/Vita" or "You are a Wiz -> Int/Vita"...

    I agree. so for a monk and demon hunter stacking dex is the way to get more damage. In essence its attack. Is it just me or are the new core attributes almost the same and renamed ?

    Quote from Tenhi

    Also if they moved the 5th Button to a Potion Button we only have 4 Buttons + Mouse? Hrm not sure if I like that... with only 4 Buttons you definitely cant put Buffpotions in your Bar (if they keept the Buffpotions xD)

    The buff potions may very well be for the potion spot, noone is saying it has to be health potions. It is odd however that they are locking it.
    Quote from Tenhi

    The whole Town Portal/Cauldron/Cube thing seems fine. Same with the Scroll. Then again I dont understand why the first say "We dont want to break your momentum" and now they take out the in-field salvaging/selling and force you to TP to sell/salvage your stuff... doesnt that break your momentum? They even say "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."... doesnt that go directly against the "keep the momentum" thing?

    Good, Im not the only one tho thinks this fold back on itself a little bit. I personally liked the idea of not really having to go back to town. Now that common items are no longer able to be broken down it makes me wonder if people would really pick them up. Getting a full inventory and going back so much would kill the momentum. the common items would only be good for selling really, unless Im missing something...
  • #34 Nephelem
    i smell 2013
  • #35 DerfOnTurf
    Quote from Tenhi

    Thanks for the News Post Molster.

    Aaaand am I the only one who doesnt like the Stats Change Oo? Imho it leads to things like "You are a Monk -> Dex/Vita" or "You are a Wiz -> Int/Vita"...

    I think the stat changes will be okay. Sure we will all get stats like you suggested above, but currently every single class goes for attack + vitality. At least the above leads to item diversification. Right now anyone can use anything. These stat changes should eliminate wizards with two handed maces and Barbarians dual wielding tiny daggers. Sounds good to me.
  • #36 Jifo_Urni
    And my feeling that it's fundamental structure is terribly flawed grows stronger. They are way over their heads. :QQ:
  • #37 grudgeoms
    The only issues I don't like with these changes are!

    1.) Why take out the mystic? give her other things to craft or create or customize
    2.) Just right click to identify items? thats just dumb. bring back the scrolls
    3.) Keep that 5th hot key for a skill and put the potion hot key somewhere else. People want those 5 hot keys :)


    1.) The stat changes and UI looks great now :) keep that the way it is
    2.) I thought the nephalem cube was a cool thing to have to salvage items you dont want into materials. I liked the idea of keep fighting and just salvage what crap you had right there and keep playing since it will take awhile to actually achieve higher end items. Having to teleport to town now just to salvage materials to your blacksmith will take alot longer and be less fun since there isnt anything in town thats exciting. So it's just going to seem annoying!!! To fix it you should give us the nephalem cube back and also keep the salvaging in the blacksmith so now if your in town your fighting hordes of demons you will be able to salvage materials at that time

    From what im hearing it sounds like they are picking small things that were already good in the game and changed it. It also sounds like a Q2 release now which im not surprised one bit. I'll wait ............
  • #38 Britward
    There just seems to be no pleasing anyone. I don't think I could live my life this negatively.

    That said, I like most of what they were doing. There was something I actually liked about the Cauldron and the Cube, but I can live without them.

    And I'm just happy to hear what they've been working on. I think people are worried that all of these changes are going to take so much more time, but I don't know that they will be that bad. Stat changes are substantial but don't play the same part as stats would in a game like WoW. Skills and runes are still probably the thing they are spending the most time on.

    But, oh well. There's plenty to do in the real world until the game comes out.
  • #39 Kblavkalash
    It sucks that they removed enchanting. Enchanting was also a way to get rid of runestones. I hope they will keep something to get rid of runesstones.

    Overall I can't imagine game coming in Q1, maybe Q2 if we are really lucky.
  • #40 lorien1973
    So my barbarian picks up an unidentified wand, stares at it for 5 seconds and says "Butt scratcher, perhaps?" Finds a monk fist weapon and ponders, "Why do demons carry back scratchers?"
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