Improvement of Item Affixes, More on Console vs PC, Fan Creation of the Week: Silk Art

Improvement of Item Affixes
Travis Day continues to drop nice pieces of information, primarily on the developers' thought process regarding Item Affixes. Read the whole thing below.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='' battle='']This is a great and constructive thread which brings up both a lot of good ideas and valid points. Items is a topic of conversation on a daily basis, we talk about where they are currently, where we want them to be, and how to get them there. Some of the future changes involve making item affixes that aren’t currently good into something that at least some players are really excited to see. A good example of this is Pickup Radius and Witch Doctors. Sure not everyone wants a lot of Pickup Radius on their gear but there are some specs of WD that love it and want as much as possible and we want to expand that idea further. Thorns is a good example of a stat that, at its core has potential, but in reality falls short. While we plan to improve thorns by allowing a players primary stat to increase its damage, we have other plans that help further embrace thorns for specific classes and specs.

Increasing the availability of skill specific affixes and school damage affixes is also something we plan on doing. They have the potential to open up more fun and varied character builds as well as simply giving players another way to improve abilities they enjoy. An example that has worked previously is Zombie Dogs and Sacrifice using Zombie Dog cooldown items, Wall of Zombies cooldown items with Pile On, and Hammer of Ancients with cost reduction items. We like that these builds exist and want to open up even more builds by virtue of expanding the availability of these affixes.

We want items to make you feel more powerful but more importantly we want players to feel like items can be game changers. We want players to find items and think to themselves “whoa I wanna try making a spec for this item” or “oh man I’m totally gonna level a Monk to use this thing”. Improving the overall feel of the Diablo item game is something that is incredibly important to us and is receiving a lot of attention from our development team because it's important to you all as well.

More on Console vs PC
The topic of Diablo 3 on consoles is still in its heat. Lylirra gives a few excerpts from previous developer interviews to shine a bit more light into the topic.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='' battle='']Even the UI and entire conrol setup lends itself very much to a controller layout, as do the amount of abilities.
Except that both the UI and control scheme are being redeveloped for PlayStation. (Not to mention that console games can support more than 6 input buttons, if that's what a particular design calls for.)

Let's focus the criticisms here, though. It seems your primary concern is that Diablo III was designed and/or has evolved in a way you don't entirely agree with. You're attributing that to the fact we're porting the PC game to the PlayStation. Because a lot of features and systems in Diablo III seem to sync well with console play, you feel this is evidence that the PC game was purposely handicapped for the PlayStation, and is one of the main reasons why we chose not to implement certain design features from Diablo II (i.e. the type of gameplay you prefer).

It's not unreasonable to think that the order of operations for bringing Diablo III to console was a) decide to release Diablo III on console and then B) develop the PC game around that philosophy -- especially if thinking that helps validate your own concerns. In reality, though, the order was a) develop a great game for PC and then B) see if it makes sense to release that game on console.

We've always thought that, out of all our games, the Diablo franchise would translate best to the console platform (heck, even the first Diablo was ported to PlayStation). The gameplay and controls are very straightforward, which lends itself better to consoles than other titles we've released. This is something we've said for many years now. This game is PC and Mac only at present. Do you have console plans for the future?

Jay: We don't have any console plans right now. I would say that of all our games... well, Blizzard doesn't view itself as just a PC developer, we think we're a games developer. So if we thought a game was more appropriate for consoles we'd make it, its just that most of the games we've made so far feel better on the PC. However, Diablo is maybe the one exception. I think the control scheme would translate really well to a console, erm, there are many elements that would be easy to pull over... that could work well with direct control. There's not a lot of buttons, so you could fit them on a controller pretty easily. There are some targeting issues that could be troublesome, but nothing that couldn't be overcome. But, we're also used to developing for the PC, so right now we're completely focused on that.


Though Diablo 3 is currently only confirmed for the PC, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime has once again suggested that the long-awaited action-RPG may end up on consoles as well.

"Every game we have the discussion about which platforms make the most sense," Morhaime stated in an interview at BlizzCon. "As Diablo 3 takes shape, I think we'll do an evaluation."

"I think there is a pretty good argument to be made that that type of game might work very well on consoles," he added. "There might be some technical limitations though that we might need to get past."

Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson also chimed in on the oft-speculated topic, noting that the game's control scheme would work rather well on consoles.

"If we did it, we would want to do a really high quality version--we wouldn't just want to do a port," Wilson said. "We would never make that decision if we thought we had to compromise the overall quality...we could probably do it at any time, we could release the game and then decide we wanted to do a 360 version or a PS3 version."

"We haven't really decided to take the [console] plunge," he continued "We've really come to the conclusion that it's probably the best fit because the control scheme is actually not that incompatible. So if we were to make that decision, Diablo would be the natural choice."


VG 24/7:I sat in on a recent press conference where Jay Wilson and J Allen Brack were asked why Blizzard games aren't on consoles. The gist of their argument? If Blizzard created a game that was a good fit for consoles, it’d be there in a heartbeat. Obviously, many gamers have responded to this with vehement cries of "Diablo!" Are they right? Or are Diablo’s demons invulnerable to all but the mighty mouse and keyboard?

JB: I think it is suited to consoles. We’re definitely working, obviously, on the PC version. This is something that’s been brought up a lot about Diablo. It’s sort of an ongoing question. And I’m sure we would all love to play it on console, but right now, we’re just focused on what we’ve got in front of us. Who knows what the future holds? It’s hard to say.

CL: We have said in the past that Diablo’s one of the games that really would translate [to consoles] well.


Ultimately, Diablo III was a game designed for the PC. It has since been released for PC, and we've made several improvements to the PC game since launch. We plan to continue that support (see here and here as examples). From there, we've been working to port the game to the PlayStation, because we feel it would play really well on that platform.

The part I think a lot of players are getting caught up on is that there's a big difference between believing that a PC game can work well on console after some adjustments, and designing a PC game specifically for console. Diablo III is an example of the former. This means that your concerns are with our approach towards designing a PC game in general, and not the fact that the game makes a good candidate for a console port.

Very disheartening to hear this franchise get boiled down to semantics. These games are so much more than hack-and-slash.
I agree. I never said Diablo, Diablo II, or Diablo III were limited to the hack-and-slash genre. I just clarified that they were, in fact, hack-and-slash games.

Lylirra, will you have a beer with me at Blizzcon? Seriously.
Deal, but you're buying. :)

Fan Creation of the Week: Silk Art
The Silk creations we mentioned a few days ago got a shout out by Blizzard. Here's a nice collection of some of the best ones out there.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='' battle='']The colors and shapes of the High Heavens ebb and flow with fragile energy that can be difficult for even the most skilled painter to capture, no less do justice to. And oh, the wings of the Archangels… their wings produce the most astounding light that shimmers and shifts like bright liquid smoke. It is unlike anything you’ve ever seen on the mortal realm.

Last week, we challenged the Diablo III community to create art using an online tool called Silk, with its spectral brush-strokes seemingly summoned straight from the High Heavens.

"Tyrael" by afragturedmind

Players across Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit took this challenge in stride, producing dozens upon dozens of images that illustrated everything from familiar angelic faces from Diablo lore to demons, monsters, and heroic Nephalem in action. Here are some of our favorites. Make sure to click the images below so that you can watch the creation of each of these pieces in real time!

You can also check out this thread on Facebook if you want to see more great community-created Diablo Silk art.

Want to try your hand at weaving an image with Silk? Follow the link here, and then make sure to share your creation with us in the comments below!


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