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.


  • #81 kebabylon
    I'm so happy about the return of str, dex, int & vit AND for once I love the rest of the changes as well! Let's hope they bring back skill points and the skill tree in the next update ;)
  • #82 lorien1973
    Quote from Royalkin

    Torchlight 2 is looking more compelling than ever. Seriously, how idiot proof do you really need to make a game!? :facepalm:

    Torchlight 2 is vaporware. Or, they are reinventing the entire system to work with consoles (most likely).
  • #83 Taogunka
    I told you Blizzard really don't have any clue about their own game, they change things back and forth million times with stupid reasons.
    They're bunch of incopetent #%$ whitout real lead designer. I'm soo angry damn you Blizz
  • #84 tommmmmm
    From a game that was incredibly genuine in almost all of it's aspects those changes actually revert back to good ol' Diablo II/any `classical` rpg style. The game not only lost it's originality by those changes, it also might have lost the magic that was associated with it.
  • #85 Ferrarista
    I can see the reason behind these changes, but... I don't care. This should've been in the game ages ago. This just feels like something to show, while the real changes are made in the background
  • #86 Reddaye
    It's getting to the point where it feels like they're just tweaking things to tweak them. I'm getting a distinctive vibe that this has something to do with console development, but I won't start kicking at that horse.

    If taking out the Mystic means that the Jeweler is basically going to take over some of those duties, thus fleshing that artisan out, I don't see it as a bad thing. I'm not in the beta, but if the enchanting was not overly useful then I agree with scrapping it, and using what worked for the Jeweler.

    I don't know why they're even bothering to keep the identification system in the game to be honest. The whole "unwrapping a present" aspect is something I like, but why even bother at this point? You're breaking the game's momentum by having a delay on identification. Just let me hover my mouse over it and it's identified. Using this new system is just adding an unnecessary layer honestly.

    Attribute changes are what they should have been in the first place. Simple names that everyone recognizes and actually resemble Diablo as we've known it for years. If it took them years to figure this out, I have to wonder a little.

    Salvaging change is fine, and makes sense. Make it cost some gold and you've got a nice little gold sink included. Seems a little counterproductive, as others have said, to talk for years about the game's momentum and then ultimately still tie us to going back into town for downtime. I don't mind having downtime (hell, make someone like Deckard identify our items for a price, or something), but why the sudden philosophical change?

    Potion button should be mappable for anything. Don't force me to map my potion to a button. If I'm playing a Demon Hunter I might not even be using potions as much as a why am I losing a hotkey for it? MAPPABLE BUTTONS Blizzard. I'm not an idiot...I can figure out what I need and map it accordingly.

    I'm sorry...but some of this reeks of the console team. Not that I'm crapping on consoles really...I own all three. Just some of this stuff seems odd to change now.
  • #87 Kitsune
    First I'd like to say ROFL D3 has MMO stats......

    Second what ever happened to not going back to town staying in the action????

    Third glad the stats are clear cut, it's anoying in many games were alot of the stats info is vague.
  • #88 Taogunka
    Quote from tommmmmm

    From a game that was incredibly genuine in almost all of it's aspects those changes actually revert back to good ol' Diablo II/any `classical` rpg style. The game not only lost it's originality by those changes, it also might have lost the magic that was associated with it.



    "Scrolls of Identification are gone - players can now identify rares/legendary items without them." - bullsh!t.

    you will see after next delay in Q3 2036 - we must go to town every 5 minutes already, welcome Decard Cain as a main identiefier guy
  • #89 NeoPhythe
    june 2013 here we come!
  • #90 Daxiongmao87
    This is RETARDED. This game is feeling less and less like Diablo. And yes I'm a beta tester.

    The game was simple enough as it is, anyone who cannot figure out how to play it shouldn't play computer games to begin with. What ever happened chance to hit?? What's wrong with having PLAYERS decide what item is good for their character or not? I don't see anything wrong with gray-area items, and not super-defining items for one class over the other. This makes trading INTERESTING.

    Why are you going to get rid of scrolls of identify or cain identifying? This is a symbolic function in the Diablo franchise. With the amount of town traveling you have to do anyway, using cain is not going to cause much inconvenience at all.

    The only change I like is changing the stone of recall. I don't even know why you thought of changing the name from town portal to begin with. What's with the design department??

    One question, Blizzard: Who the hell are you listening to about these changes? Holy shit!

    I'm pretty damn close with cancelling my two collectors editions preorders just like some guy who posted earlier on this thread.
  • #91 Enty
    I have to say Im quite upset with this bit of news, For one we can now see they still haven't fucking finished the skills and rune system which blows because that can only mean no more early 2012. I mean they've been going over skill runes for quite sometime at least since october, and they haven't picked something out just yet? idk seems fishy. Second WTF is the point in making me wait so i can salvage items... just why. It makes no sense, I don't want to have to break so i can go and now ONLY sell my white items. It just seems kind of stupid and a step in the wrong direction if you ask me. The point of this game is loot and being in the action this goes against BOTH. I played beta and thoroughly enjoyed how I could pick up all the shitty items so that I could salvage them to make better ones, no I can't do that ever. So dumb. The fact that they redid attributes is all good and well until you realize now they have to go over every affix again and make sure every stat addition is balanced which will only further prolong the games release. This was so disappointing it is unbelievable. I thought at this point they'd have something to share with us about the new rune system but now I don't even give a shit about this game till I have a confirmed release date. I'll continue to pay off my CE and get it when it's released but Blizzard is the Number one Over-Hype machine on this planet.
  • #92 Slayerviper
    Been saying it for a couple of months now... they released info and the game annoucment TOO early. They are obviously not as far as I anticpated back in the summer.

    Some of the changes are nice, some are ridiculous. Someone mentioned that some of these changes would benefit a console version and I can see that. Well fall or winter release is most likely at least I know I'll have vacation and free time by then.

    EDIT: Can't spell
  • #93 Molster
    Scrolls of Identification are gone - players can now identify rares/legendary items without them.
    This makes me a little sad, I always loved these. However blizzard knows this is part of the game, and the system they have now is the EXACT same, now I just dont have to take up inventory space... so in the end

    VERDICT: Good

    Button '5' is now dedicated to potions.
    Well Button 5 was already a dedicated potions button to anyone that knows about D3... So this helps the new people that might not understand this.

    VERDICT: Good

    The Mystic artisan has now been removed from the game.
    Okay, I fully understand what they were saying.. but still, I like the idea of being able to add effects to my weapons, mainly for the looks (being able to choose the look of the weapon by its effect enchant) im very sad to see this go tbh. I have faith they will make it come back in an EXP with a very neat feature... I also have to point out WE didnt get to play with this, so they VERY WELL could know this sucks... I really cant comment on it other than what I -think-. However what I think is...

    VERDICT: Bad

    The Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube have been removed.
    Oh wow...not sure what I think about this at all. They had a logic, which i agreed and defended. "Keep the Action Going" What happend to this? Now when we are in inferno, where it is going to be HARD. If there are 4 players in the game (aka monsters tuned to 4 players) 3 manning is going to be HARD (if not impossible? ok maybe just hard) but.. now if someones inventory gets full (which it will happen) we have to wait for them... I DONT like this

    HOWEVER, I love the idea of making the town more towny... Though it may sound dumb.. I liked hanging out in the town in d2..and this brings that back a

    VERDICT: Neutral

    The Stone of Recall is now a button at the bottom and has been renamed "Town Portal".
    I like this, It looks like it goes there, easier to see, dont have to open a menu, and hell its called "town portal" fk yes!

    VERDICT: Good

    Common (white colored) items are no longer salvageable.
    hmm... problem is we have only played beta... when it comes to the full game, I dont think this will even effect us you know?
    though im not sure what point white items have now? ohwell, dont care either way on this one.

    VERDICT: Neutral

    Character Attributes have been changed. See below for details.
    Hmm... I liked that everyone had ONE stat... it made things simple, easy. You only had to worry about the FUN, the get in there AND KILL CRAP. I like that style... now with this..there is more thought into it... but you know what... thought is good at the same time!

    VERDICT: Good

    Character stats are now placed in the same place as the inventory panel and the old dedicated stats panel has been removed.
    Hmm... It depends, if it shares the same info, GOOD, if not...then CRAPY... Ill wait till I see this live

    VERDICT: Waiting to see in-game fully
  • #94 sbsgrinth
    Quote from koz-D III
    i like it all the more time they take the more bad ass it will be!
    To a point yes, if they reach perfection in the first shot they have no where to go but down. they are not give room for the game to evolve into something better if it starts out the best that is when things start happening that no one likes
  • #95 Royalkin
    Quote from akainu

    First I'd like to say ROFL D3 has MMO stats......

    With the incredibly loose definitions as to what passes for MMOs these days, Diablo 3 is an MMO. Massively Online Playing Alone Together.

    Quote from lorien1973

    Torchlight 2 is vaporware. Or, they are reinventing the entire system to work with consoles (most likely).

    I don't think Torchlight 2 is any more vaporware than Diablo 3 at this point.
  • #96 Keiser
    Quote from Kblavkalash

    That's what everyone is thinking after reading that article :)

    But if you read updated Daeity's blog you see that he thinks that those are comparable very small changes which just were made to look big for everyone and hide the real reason for the delay. And I can agree with that. Removal of scroll, UI changes, Cube and Jordan - all all minor changes. The only bigger change is stats revamp, but this is just a math, it can't take that long to balance.

    I mean, do they really delay the game for 3+ months just to get those changes? That's sounds funny.

    Edit: and Daeity's post has just been delete from his blog.. strange.

    I thought for SURE this post was extensive enough to hush the conspiracy, but now we have a conspiracy to hide a conspiracy. Really? I mean, really?

    Those aren't small changes, reallocating stats is probably the largest one since some stats were combined and moved around. +Attack was split up, defense was combined with +attack for barb, etc. It means COMPLETELY redoing all items and going through the game to rebalance the numbers of those stats, when the affixes appear in the game, and amounts of those stats vs progression.
  • #97 gamma11
    people are freaking out about how its going to make the game get pushed back... THEY ARE ALREADY IMPLEMENTED... like i said before... put out a bad game, sales blow, you dont tell ur friends about it games dead in a year... put out a great game, great sales, you tell your friends, your friends buy it and their friends and their friends friends...
  • #98 Harmonica39
    i really like these changes. though im not sure about the scrolls i always liked them

    i guess most complaining about a possible "delay" just read the summary and maybe the stat thing... these changes are DONE.
    BUT i am kinda worried because of the Skill and rune system
  • #99 trocadero_fuerte
    Yes, it's a good change for item diversity between classes, but at what cost?

    -Tying defense and barbarian damage in the same stat is really dangerous. The hardest hitting Barbarians will be harder to kill. There is no trade off between damage reduction and attack power. Same goes for Hunters and Monks, as well (dodge being a great defensive stat currently). Doctors and Wizards got the short end of that stick; health globe bonus is nice, but not nearly as helpful as preventing the damage up front.

    -There were much better ways to force class/item diversity than this. More/varied resource related affixes, especially weird ones (gain health per Fury spent was a great example). Class only stat bonuses, "+13 Attack (Wizard only)," which I admit is inelegant, but similar to what they're doing anyway.

    -On that same track, it sounds like they're going to do this anyway, but here goes. They introduce skill modifier affixes. "+5% additional weapon damage Cleave, Barbarian only." Not only that, they can target specific aspects of the skills, so a single skill might have multiple affixes available. "+4% additional weapon damage Grasp of the Dead, Witch Doctor only." "+0.4 seconds additional duration Grasp of the Dead, Witch Doctor only." These would have to be handcrafted and tightly regulated, to avoid weird stacking exploits. This REALLY makes gear class diverse, but does so in a much more interesting way. And it makes the choices less boring than "+ all skills" from D2.

    -This also leads to a way to save the Mystic. Take away all +stat enchants. They're boring. Give her weird enchants, like the resource enchants, proc effects (on hit/crit/etc), skill enchants (from above), etc. Maybe that's what they wanted to do, but tabled it for an expansion. Okay, I can live w/ that. But they started out of the gate shaky (having so many boring gems/enchants which overlapped) that I honestly wonder.

    -On Precision. They could have fixed this easily by A) adding more +critical damage sources in the game, B) readjusting the point Precision to % chance critical hit formula, and C) readjusting the power of the Attack stat. It's not very clear whether critical strike chance is a flat % or the usual rating system (meaning you need more as you gain in levels to get the same % critical strike chance). Hopefully they keep the rating system in, otherwise we have the weird "obsolete gear is best in slot" problem from before.

    Conclusion: They need to separate damage from defensive stats, especially if some defensive stats (Armor/Dodge) are way better than others (Health Globes). There needs to be a choice between defense and offense. They could have promoted class/item diversity through other, more clever, and frankly better ways. The system they had in place was a great foundation to build from. This adds more problems than it solves, and is inelegant and cluttered compared to what they had. Also, the skill/rune overhaul seems ominous as well. I'm worried they'll screw up a really good thing.
  • #100 Drkclone
    Am I the only one fearing that we will hear soon "Mid 2012"? I like how they are showing changes they have made/are making but a lot of this I feel could of waited till after release or an expansion.
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