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

  • #61 Insomniac
    Thats what happens when they give beta keys for ppl that did not evenen play diablo 1/2. 5th button for potion???!?!??! SRSLY? :facepalm:
  • #62 Geesixyo
    I just don't understand one thing in the Jay Wilson's article. He keeps talking about making game that is perfect, that will be remembered decade forward etc. But so far i don't see Diablo bringing anything gamebreaking into franchise, something that will make Diablo a real competitor on the market. I know that the game will be good, but with so much competition around the market, it doesn't feel encouraging for players who have never played any Diablo game.
  • #63 BuitenAardig
    Oh man, I'm bummed out that I'll never get to experience the Nephalem Cube & Cauldron of Jordan.
    I really hate full bags. About the stats: It's the same thing they did for WoW not too long ago.
    Simplify it to make it more 'derp' for everyone. In my opinion: It's too simple.
    You're really gonna go for two stats. I love working towards a 'hit/precision' cap, sacrificing one stat for
    the other...

    About another possible delay (they never mentioned a release date so how can you call it a delay):
    They already made the interface changes so they have begun working on it.
    Don't think they just made it up and are starting to work on it now.

    It is what it is.
  • #64 Savages
    I have to say... there is nothing but negative remarks regarding Jay's post. I sure hope they get the hint...
  • #65 Roger
    I don't get it. They just got themselves so much against their own claims that it doesn't feel right.

    The "don't break the combat" thing was quite nice. As I do like to go back to town sometimes and maybe take a leak or eat something while everyone sold their items and stuff, I really like the idea that you could opt to not do it at all. Imagine that the four players have different ways of picking items, so they would all have to go to town at different times. With 4 players max, 1 less player makes a big difference.

    The attributes were simplified so people didn't have to research what each attibute do to understand what's going on. Now we may see a lot of monks investing in strength items because they didn't research about it before. (And I think monks SHOULD benefit from strength).

    The removal of identification scrolls is quite nice. I hope that they come up with an explanation for it, like the hero having a big book and needing to look for some information to know about the item, or just meditating to an angel or something like that. It may be a pain in the ass when you spend a lot of time to identify 50 rings you picked up. Maybe making identification instant in town.

    I didn't like the removal of the mystic. It would be another artisan to level up and grant new achievements.

    Really don't care about the minor details, but I really wanted to know about the rune system. As they are going back in their previous groundbreaking news, they may very well put skill points back in the near future.
  • #66 Windex7
    ''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.''

    They seem to think they're still in diablo 2 where gold had close to no purpose. Of course you won't want to pick and equip white items but what about the money you will get from selling them? I don't see a single reason to not pick white items in inferno and sell them for money to buy epic items in AH.. I really don't like where they're going with their game. They prefer to just remove features and possibly add them in later expansions rather than adding them on release and improve them with patches.. The game is starting to interest me less and less as they screw it all up.
  • #67 Valkray
    IT FEEL SO DAMN GOOD! to say i knew it before they announced it. the enchanting and gem SUCKED. they split the effects up way to far and should of refinded them better before even announcing them, i'm hoping they get a rework that makes more sence across the board on all item enhancing items. great job blizzard lets hope the fix gems next.
  • #68 Insomniac
    Quote from Roger

    I don't get it. They just got themselves so much against their own claims that it doesn't feel right.

    The "don't break the combat" thing was quite nice. As I do like to go back to town sometimes and maybe take a leak or eat something while everyone sold their items and stuff, I really like the idea that you could opt to not do it at all. Imagine that the four players have different ways of picking items, so they would all have to go to town at different times. With 4 players max, 1 less player makes a big difference.

    The attributes were simplified so people didn't have to research what each attibute do to understand what's going on. Now we may see a lot of monks investing in strength items because they didn't research about it before. (And I think monks SHOULD benefit from strength).

    The removal of identification scrolls is quite nice. I hope that they come up with an explanation for it, like the hero having a big book and needing to look for some information to know about the item, or just meditating to an angel or something like that. It may be a pain in the ass when you spend a lot of time to identify 50 rings you picked up. Maybe making identification instant in town.

    I didn't like the removal of the mystic. It would be another artisan to level up and grant new achievements.

    Really don't care about the minor details, but I really wanted to know about the rune system. As they are going back in their previous groundbreaking news, they may very well put skill points back in the near future.


    THIS!
  • #69 Roger
    I just didn't like also the junk items in D2. In D1 we felt very rewarded when we got a magic item, don't need to throw us lots of completely useless items. I didn't like at all when I killed Mephisto and got 2 quivers of arrows, one stamina potion and 300 gold.
  • #70 lMarcusl
    Some of these changes are somewhat questionable... I'm glad they put townportalling back in because the "constantly be in action, never ever come to town except for quests, streamline everything so you are killing stuff all the time" approach felt like they are just forcing simplicity into the game and were all just "fight, fight, fight" and not "stop and think about what you're gonna do with your stuff". The identification however is a mistake I think, if you just have to right click to identify, you might as well just pick it up and it identifies as it enters your inventory because that serves no purpose at all. The stat changes were definitely a good choice because IMO there was a little too many of them and the system wasn't very transparent with everything being different from D2. The only thing I dislike is that no stat adds crit now while many skills and runes depend on crits. As for the mystic, I'd prefer more if they just perhaps took some tasks off blacksmith and gave them to the mystic because it feels like blacksmith is the only artisan used, ever. I think he is too loaded with stuff he does. Overall I have to say I'm liking the direction they are taking however. Hopefully some more changes of this sort will happen concerning the skills and runes, sounds like it could be something major.
  • #71 Clypheous
    Their view on items is that it's better to have a crapload of useless items drop as opposed to the occasional useful item. When you played Diablo 2, did you even think of a non-magic or better item dropping as even BEING a drop? When you were playing with friends, and you killed something that didn't drop a rare, but dropped an extra white item, did you say "wooo double drop off Pindle!"? I'm assuming not.

    They are just generating screen clutter to disguise the fact that the items that you do pick up aren't as interesting as they were hoping they would be. I have no idea what other changes they are planning on making, but none of the ones they just announced make me go "oooh, that's way better than what it was before"

    They can continue to modify this game all they want, eventually they either have to release it or eat the who knows how much money they spent developing it. I'm sure when they release it they will sell a lot of copies and that most people here will buy one, but seriously, I grew bored with the Beta in under a week, I'd rather start new characters in Skyrim than play more Diablo 3 and I don't really see that changing even after release, they just don't seem to be making it that much more interesting. That being said, I'm fairly confident when the game comes out I'll buy it and play for awhile, but I doubt I'll bother playing to inferno at all and I probably won't play past normal on more than one character if that. If their goal is to make the game lasting, this isn't helping, but if their goal is to sell one-off copies, they probably, correctly, figure "who cares"?

    TLDR: Meh, release delayed, boring changes that don't mean much.
  • #72 chippydip
    Stat Changes

    I like the idea behind the stat changes. In D2 different stats were good for different classes so you could look at something and say "that's a Barbarian item" or "that's a Sorceress item". With the current D3 stats, everyone wants the same stuff so there's fewer reasons to want to trade/AH that great Wizard item you found on your Barbarian for something that's better for you.

    This also explains why Unique/Set item stats have been MIA since Beta Patch 5 (they probably started trying to do a final itemization pass on that stuff and realized they couldn't actually target the items to specific classes, so they changed all the stats.)

    I was a little concerned at first about class balance thinking that some classes might only need 1 or 2 stats now while others might need 3 or 4 of them, but I suspect what will end up happening is that people will want items with their "primary" stat on it, and then whatever else they can get of the other stats will be a bonus (all stats provide a survivability bonus, so they will probably all be decent and somewhat interchangeable).

    Salvaging Changes

    I'm not a huge fan of these changes. In the beta right now its pretty exciting to get your Nephalem Cube (similar to getting your Horadric Cube in D2) since its a noticeable quality of life improvement. Forcing people to go back to town to salvage and sell seems like it will just be annoying.

    Not being able to salvage common items anymore is a bit of a mixed bag. It was a bit strange to not want to vendor anything (starting out a new character in the beta my bags tend to get full and I feel bad about dropping or vendoring items before I get that cube to salvage them with). On the flip side, it seems like white items will be virtually useless now which is a departure from D2. In D2, an elite armor was worth picking up to vendor the for 35k gold if you had the inventory space, and because of gems and eventually runewords they could be quite valuable to players as well (particularly superior and etherial versions with specific numbers of sockets). That system made the common items a sort of secondary loot lottery--mostly they weren't that interesting, but if the right one dropped it could be valuable.

    Mystic Removal

    I think this depends on what happens with gems. From looking at the data files, my suspicion is that gems were supposed to provide 2 stats in all slots (one stat no matter where its socketed, and a 2nd stat based on what slot its put into). There are also icons for more types of gems than are actually items in the game. If they flesh out the gem system a bit more then I guess removing the mystic until an expansion is fine.

    My biggest concern about the mystic is what will happen to the runestone-combine recipies: http://www.d3lexicon.com/recipe-type/mystic#other ? I don't think this was ever an officially announced feature, but it definitely made a lot of sense to be able to "cube up" lower quality runestones to get those rank 7 ones you really want. I guess I should reserve judgement on this one, though, until they release more info on the skill/runestone changes.

    Other Stuff

    Scroll of Identify - Not sure if this is a quality of life improvement or not. Scrolls take up an inventory slot, but they are instant. Why make people waste the cast time to ID items? If they decide to remove the cast time it would be a nice little improvement, but at that point why not just have the rares IDed from the start just like magic items? I just really don't see the logic behind this split system where magic items come IDed already but rares don't.

    Dedicated Potion Button - This change is just dumb. They are spending developer time to implement a feature that reduces player choice? Really? Not everybody likes to have a skill bound to their left click, but with 6 skill slots and 4 action buttons now, everyone has to use both mouse buttons to bind all their spells. In addition, not all spells can even be bound to left-click. I'm not sure if a build would crop up in practice that used 6 skills like this (perhaps some sort of WD summoner build?) but if such a build exists then its no longer viable because of this change. (On top of this, moving the button is just bad UI design--it messes up the physical-to-virtual spacial relationship with the default keybinds).

    Character Stats on Inventory Page - Good change.
  • #73 papaz
    rofl. Deja-vu to Blizzcon 2008 when they announced the game. This feels like the game is years from being done. The funniest thing is that next time Jay is going to speak about skills and runes.

    HAHAHA.

    The game is pushing 4 years after the announcement and he is now going to reveal the "new and exiting" skills and runes.

    I don't mind the game taking a decade or two but the PR guys at Blizzard needs to be in touch with the devs because the devs are just getting warmed up with the coding of this game.

    I would ve very surprised if D3 comes out before at least fall. Heck I expect we get another Blizzcon panel with the "upcoming skills and rune changes for Blizzards new game Diablo 3".
  • #74 Mtdewme
    Not a fan of any of these changes and I don't see this coming out quarter 1 now at all.
  • #75 overneathe
    This is absolutely mindblowing. As always I'm right behind Blizz's decisions and am looking forward to the skills and runes changes. This will all obviously come into the final release date but... alas. We've waited this long, might as well hold it for a few more months.
  • #76 Nephelem
    Oh well, if they gonna get everything done from scratch again, might as well get a real lead developer in it also. id suggest Bill Roper..
  • #77 Royalkin
    Torchlight 2 is looking more compelling than ever. Seriously, how idiot proof do you really need to make a game!? :facepalm:
  • #78 Legool
    [Spoiler Alert] (Next Jay's article) We decided on full circle to forget about D3. Just put D2 and add lots of WoW to it and release the game after 6 years of making monkeys out of you fans.
  • #79 Insomniac
    Let's protest againts the dedicated potion button!
  • #80 lorien1973
    I wonder how the stat changes affect followers.

    Templar = barbarian gear
    rogue = monk gear
    enchantress = wizard gear

    Perhaps? But templar has a few spells too.
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