Gear Customization Coming in Future Patch, Diablo 3 Was Designed for PC, No Cross-Platform Play or Characters, Witch Doctor Sugg

Gear Customization Coming in Future Patch
A surprise announcement came up on the official forums today! Game designer Travis Day agreed that gear customization is something the team would really like to expand upon and confirmed it coming "in the future"!

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='http://www.diablofans.com/blizz-tracker/topic/255203-another-customization-option/#post7' battle='http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6679558168#7']Blizzard has given us a dye to remove any unwanted armor appearance, but what if I really liked one of the lower level tier's look. Maybe you guys at Blizzard could create a dye in which you combine your current armor with the dye and the other armor of your choosing. Just an idea and I think it would be cool.
I agree, visual customization has a lot of value, people like to differentiate themselves from each other or sometimes just get bored of looking at the same thing all day every day. In fact we agree SO much that we have plans to add this feature in the future.




Diablo 3 Was Designed for PC
A lot of controversy has come up since Diablo 3 was announced on consoles, where some fans speculate the game was created to appeal more to the console crowd. That is not the case however according to Lylirra.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='http://www.diablofans.com/blizz-tracker/topic/255205-i-dont-get-multi-platform-negativity/#post305' battle='http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7979938071?page=16#305']This particular argument is certainly making its rounds. And, in most cases, it's being used to validate the viewpoints of people who disagree with how Diablo III was designed. While having those disagreements is fine, blaming console for why they even exist is a pretty poor scapegoat.

No, the PC version of Diablo III was not designed for console from the beginning. It was developed for the PC with one major goal in mind: provide players with an awesome hack-and-slash computer game that's both fun and engaging. Whether or not we achieved that goal is certainly up for debate within this community, but it doesn't make it any less real or valid. All the decisions we made when developing Diablo III -- including combat, skills, character controls, user interface, and itemization -- were ones we believed would deliver a great online experience, and the same can be said for the improvements we've made since launch. These decisions were not hindered (i.e. "dumbed down") by the development of a PlayStation version or altered to accommodate it.

For clarity, the PS3 version of Diablo III is based on the PC version and will include many of the same features as the PC game, including content all the way up to patch 1.0.7. From there, it's being tailored specifically for the PlayStation platform and will feature a redesigned control scheme, camera perspective, and UI.

So, while there may be some players who don't like how Diablo III was designed for PC, the PlayStation version of the game was ultimately predicated by the PC experience (not vice-versa). Therefore, if you don't like the skill system, the inclusion of the auction house, or how itemization works, that's fine, but please try to attribute those disagreements to the right place.

So you're telling us that at no time was the console taken into consideration during the development of the PC version?
During the development of the PC version, the job and goal of our design team was to create a fun product for the PC. After launch, it's been to support the game in the form of content updates, balancing, and bug fixes. That's their focus.

Beyond that, we actually have an independent team of designers, engineers, artists, and producers that are dedicated to adapting Diablo III to the PlayStation and creating an epic console experience. It's their job to take the PC game and translate it to the PS3, and in a way deal with all the considerations you're talking about. While our console team and PC team do collaborate (and have collaborated in the past), it's always to ensure that we’re staying true to D3 on the PlayStation platform.

Is that belief still held high in the development office?
We believe that many aspects of itemization in Diablo III work great, but that the system isn't perfect and can be improved. Overall, we feel like we've been making the item game better with each new patch, and definitely have plans to continue to that process. Some of the areas we'd like to focus on for the future include making Legendary items more "game changing" while still being powerful enough for players to want to equip them, introducing more meaningful gold sinks, and continuing to provide players with reliable ways to gear up outside of the Auction House.

I wish I could believe this wasn't just more spin...
I wish you could, too, but it's okay if you don't. :) The intent of my post wasn't to really to change anyone's minds, but just make sure that people have enough information to make informed decisions on their own.

I think you are kinda just beating around the bush.
You still can't be 100% sure that some certain elements of the game are being designed (or redesigned during the game is being made) are taken into account because of a possibility of console port in the future.
Since I wasn't privy to every individual thought the developers were thinking as they implemented specific features for the PC game, it's possible that someone at some point thought about something related to console. (Though it may just have been whether or not they remembered to plug in their PS3 controller that morning.)

Even so, to counter a metaphor with a metaphor, I think a lot of players in this discussion can't see the forest for the trees. The point is that it wasn't on the PC design team to make considerations for console. Their focus has been and continues to be the PC game. It's the job of console team to make considerations for console as they adapt the existing game for the PlayStation.

Where's the character customization that was featured at blizzcon? We are'nt even allowed to ask dev's about, but so glad your working to appease a new fanbase....
The development of Diablo III for PlayStation isn't related to our ongoing support of the PC game. We still want to make improvements to specific areas like itemization and customization:

We believe that many aspects of itemization in Diablo III work great, but that the system isn't perfect and can be improved. Overall, we feel like we've been making the item game better with each new patch, and definitely have plans to continue to that process. Some of the areas we'd like to focus on for the future include making Legendary items more "game changing" while still being powerful enough for players to want to equip them, introducing more meaningful gold sinks, and continuing to provide players with reliable ways to gear up outside of the Auction House.

I agree, visual customization has a lot of value, people like to differentiate themselves from each other or sometimes just get bored of looking at the same thing all day every day. In fact we agree SO much that we have plans to add this feature in the future.

A whole lot of us did not want a "hack-and-slash" game!
We wanted a D I A B L O game!

But...Diablo is a hack-and-slash game. (As is Diablo II.) :(




No Cross-Platform Play or Characters
Vaelflare confirmed today that cross-platform play and cross-platform characters will not be possible between PC and PS3/4. At least for now.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='http://www.diablofans.com/blizz-tracker/topic/255177-i-love-that-d3-is-coming-to-my-ps3/#post21' battle='http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7979508440?page=2#21']Blizzard has a long history with console games, and the goal with bringing Diablo III to the PlayStation is really about opening up the world of Sanctuary to players who prefer a couch over a desk chair. We know that console games aren’t for everyone, though, and we certainly respect that not all players who’ve purchased the game for PC will want to buy the PlayStation version. That’s totally okay. :)

Even so, our console team has been hard at work adapting Diablo III for the PlayStation platform and making sure that all of the important elements of the game feel great when played using a controller. We’re actually completely re-developing the UI, controls, and camera for the PlayStation 3 so that everything feels natural and looks awesome on a big TV screen. We’re really happy with how that whole process is coming along and we're excited to demo some of these snazzy changes at PAX East in March.

Vaeflare, do you have an ETA on when we can expect some developer discussion on how the console version of Diablo 3 will affect future PC design? i.e. Adding controller support to the PC, clarification whether we can expect an offline feature similar to the console version, cross-platform play, etc
While we think cross-platform play would be awesome, there are currently no plans to allow connectivity between PlayStation Network and Battle.net (this is pretty standard for most games that have PC and console support). As a result, the characters on your Battle.net account and PlayStation account will also remain separate.

In terms of allowing an analog controller hookup for the PC, we don’t have any plans for that kind of support right now. Similarly, since Diablo III for console was designed with a controller in mind, the PlayStation version of Diablo III will not support USB mice or keyboards.




Witch Doctor Suggestions Compilation
A very nicely done Witch Doctor suggestions compilation thread was created about a month ago on the Battle.net forums and it has received some great feedback, while being constantly updated with new ideas. Here are some thoughts from game designer Travis Day about Witch Doctors' issues.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='http://www.diablofans.com/blizz-tracker/topic/255161-suggestions-for-wd-skills-101-compilation/#post29' battle='http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593582072?page=2#29']Very nice compilation of thoughts and a lot of really good ideas in here. Class and ability balance is something that we constantly strive to improve and while the Witch Doctor is in a better place than some classes as far as skill diversity is concerned there is always room to polish things up further.

This is a great list and I love to see the community come together and put forth ideas and solutions to the things that they feel need attention. Keep coming up with ways you want to see us improve the game and the classes we all love and we will keep reading... even if you never see me... because I'm a ninja.

Thank you for your acknowledgement that we exist. I hope you do not mistake the fact that just because Witch Doctor's have the most build diversity, there is still dramatic room for improvement within the class. Some scalability mechanics have also been concern that has been addressed and ideas expressed.

Glad to see a Developer looking at some of the improvement recommendations the players have.
You are correct, there is always room for improvement. My Witch Doctor is probably my character I have the most fun with but there are certainly abilities I have plans to improve. For example I have always really enjoyed damage over time based characters and was pretty disappointed when I tried to build my WD around that idea. Locust Swarm is pretty fun and I liked using it but it was hard to justify giving it a place in my build. Haunt is in the same boat but I think Haunts problems are very clear and easily addressed in a future update.

Also, I put a lot of the ideas in this thread into my current list of ideas for improving the WD so I'm here to do more than just give you guys a pat on the back. The ideas and suggestions in this thread are great and community input is sincerely appreciated. You will absolutely see some of these ideas down the road and when you do you will be able to take pride in knowing that these were your ideas and they were awesome.

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