Ask the Devs at BlizzCon, Visit the Community Corner, Blizzard at DreamHack Winter 2013, The New Legendaries and Smart Drops in

Ask the Devs at BlizzCon
BlizzCon is approaching and with it tons of information for Diablo III. To get a head start we decided to ask gather up some questions, specifically for Lead Writer Brian Kindregan and Lead Level Designer Dave Adams.

Anything you want to ask you can leave in our comments and we'll be sure to try to squeeze it in and ask the developers!





BlizzCon 2013: Visit the Community Corner (Community Booth Schedule)

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

For those of you who are BlizzCon®-bound, we'd like to extend you a warm invite to the Community Corner, located between Halls B and C of the Anaheim Convention Center. Come hang out with the Blizzard Community team, rub elbows with fellow nephalem, play games, and maybe even meet a developer or two.

Speaking of developers. . .
Throughout the show, different members of the Diablo® III development team will be swinging by the Community Corner. Got a question related to itemization? Want to learn more about the Crusader? Perfect! This is an awesome chance to sit down and chat with some of the mechanical minds behind the game and its upcoming expansion, Reaper of Souls™.
Below is our booth schedule for the weekend, so be sure to mark your virtual calendars:

Friday, November 8
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. - John Yang (Game Design TA), Don Vu (Associate Designer), Steve Shimizu (Lead Software Engineer)
  • 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Kevin Martens (Lead Designer), Kevin K. Griffith (Senior Artist)

Saturday, November 9
  • 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Julian Love (Lead Technical Artist), Rob Martin (Associate Technical Artist), Nathan Lutsock (Art Producer)
  • 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Matthew Berger (Senior Level Designer, Console), Jonny Ebbert (Senior Designer, Console)
  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Jesse McCree (Senior Level Designer), Travis Day (Game Designer)
  • 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Wyatt Cheng (Senior Technical Game Designer), Steve Shimizu (Lead Software Engineer)
In addition to hosting developers and chatting you up about Blizzard games as you saunter by, the Diablo III community team will also be giving away enough loot to rival even the best Treasure Goblin hauls. (Literally!)
The giveaway is simple: find a Treasure Goblin, win its loot bag. Here's what's up for grabs:
  • 40 BlizzCon hats
  • 20 Sword of Justice trade paperback books
  • 10 Diablo III: Books of Tyrael
  • 10 Art of Blizzard hardcover books
  • 10 SteelSeries Diablo III Gaming Mice
  • 10 copies of Diablo III on the PS3
  • 10 copies of Diablo III on the Xbox 360
  • 5 Diablo III Poker Sets
  • 5 Diablo III: Diablo Papercraft figures
  • 5 Diablo Archives
  • 5 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls sickle lanyards
  • 3 Diablo III: Reaper of Souls backpacks
Tune in to @Diablo or stop by the Community Corner for details on how to participate in our epic Treasure Goblin Hunt giveaway.

We hope to see you there. Don't forget to also check in at the Meeting Stone and the Tournament area nearby, as well!




Which Diablo III BlizzCon Panels and Activities Are You Most Excited About?
There is a poll going along with this blog post and you can give your vote in the original post.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

It's coming...

In just over 48 hours, the doors of the Anaheim Convention center will open, and the full force of BlizzCon® 2013 will be unleashed upon attendees as well as those of you turning in from home with a Virtual Ticket!


Each of day of BlizzCon is overflowing with panels and activities ripe for the taking, and in addition to crowd favorites like the BlizzCon Costume Contest and live concert, there are also quite anumber of Diablo® III- and Reaper of Souls™-related festivities to check out!

So, with that in mind, for this week's community question we want to know:
  • Which Diablo III BlizzCon panels and activities are you most excited about?
Find out more about what diabolical events we have in store below!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8:

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Cinematic Intro – Bringing Death to Life
  • When: Friday, November 8, from 12:00 pm PT to 1:00 pm PT
  • Where: Panel Stage, Hall A

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Preview
  • When: Friday, November 8, from 3:30 pm PT to 4:30 pm PT
  • Where: Main Stage, Hall D

Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A
  • When: Friday, November 8, from 5:00 pm PT to 6:00 pm PT
  • Where: Panel Stage, Hall A


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9:

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Gameplay Systems + Crusader
  • When: Saturday, November 9, from 11:15 am PST to 12:15 pm PT
  • Where: Panel Stage, Hall A

Diablo III Open Q&A
  • When: Saturday, November 9, from 3:15 pm PST to 4:15 pm PT
  • Where: Panel Stage, Hall A

Diablo III: Heroes of Sanctuary
  • When: Saturday, November 9, from 11:00 am PST to 12:00 pm PT
  • Where: Voice Actor Stage, Hall A

Diablo III: Cast of Sanctuary
  • When: Saturday, November 9, from 2:00 pm PST to 3:00 pm PT
  • Where: Voice Actor Stage, Hall A

Specific locations and further information for these and other panels can be found on the official BlizzCon website:http://us.battle.net.../en/event-info/



If you're attending BlizzCon in person, you'll also have some other sights and sounds to experience and fill your day with epic memories:

Diablo III Demos
  • What: Try out Diablo III: Reaper of Souls firsthand on either a PC or the PS4™!
  • Where: Located in Hall A.


Signing Tables
  • What: Meet some of the awesome folks behind Diablo III and collect some signatures from developers, artists, producers, engineers, and community managers alike at the signing tables.
  • Where: Located in Hall A near the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls PC demo area.


Community Corner
  • What: Stop by the Community Corner, which is manned by Blizzard's Community Team! We'll be chatting with players and also playing host to a series of developers from Diablo III and other Blizzard titles!
  • Where: Located between Halls B and C, right next to the Meeting Stone.


The Voice Actor Stage

The Artists’ Stage
  • What: Check out the BlizzCon Artists’ Stage, where groups of Blizzard artists from a variety of disciplines will giving live demonstrations throughout the day, guiding attendees through their creative processes and answering questions about their craft.
  • Where: Located in Hall A.

There's certainly a lot to see and do at BlizzCon 2013, and we'd love to hear which Diablo III BlizzCon panels and activities you're most excited about. So let us know in the poll below, or you can leave a comment to tell us more about your BlizzCon plans!




Blizzard at DreamHack Winter 2013
Blizzard will be attending DreamHack this winter and some of their games will be playable. There might also be a few surprises for the attending!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We’re delighted to announce that once again we'll be present at the world's largest digital festival—DreamHack Winter! This year the event takes place November 28 – December 1 in its traditional home of Jonkoping, Sweden.


DreamHack Winter 2012, photo by Oskar Uhrbom
As always, we’ll be providing heaps of on-site entertainment and hosting various activities during the festival for you to take part in.

Play the Latest Blizzard Games

This year you can visit our booth to try out our newest titles including Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and the Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, on PC. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though: we’re working on a bunch of other activities, entertainment and competitions that you can get involved with, and we’ll have more details for you as we get closer to the event.


To find out more about DreamHack Winter 2013, visit the official site, and be sure to look out for more information coming soon.




The New Legendaries and Smart Drops in RoS
A long discussion appeared on the official forums concerning the Legendary items that will be added in Reaper of Souls and if they'll drop for players that haven't bought the expansion. Also a lot of information and details on the Smart Drops system.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We're still deciding whether or not brand new Legendaries will be added in the Loot 2.0 patch. Alternatively, we may restrict new Legendaries from dropping until Reaper of Souls is live, or they may be restricted for those with the expansion. That all remains to be seen at this time.

However, there's a lot of other stuff coming in the patch that may make some Legendaries feel completely different. First, all legacy Legendaries will begin dropping at the level of the monster that dropped it and won't be restricted to their original item level. This means, for instance, you might see a Level 63 Magefist drop after the patch. Because of this, you'll see a much larger variety of Legendaries dropping in general.

Second, many (but not all) Legendaries will be having their stat budget revisited. This is in addition to the smart drops system and narrowed stat range changes we've mentioned before.

Lastly, some (but again, not all) Legendaries will be having their powers completely redesigned. These new powers should be build-changing, and encourage you to experiment with your play style. I'm personally looking forward to seeing the kind of creativity that comes out of the community when these new items become available!

*Edited a bit for clarification.

I hope that at a minimum there will no longer be items with skills enhancement for a particular class that that class can not use (e.g.: WD skill bonuses on a bow).
That's the spirit of smart drops. In addition, smart drops won't occur with every single item that drops for you, but when one happens, it will be generally suited for your character (such as getting a larger amount of Intelligence based items on a Witch Doctor or Wizard).

Hopefully that doesnt mean though that DH will see mighty weapons with dexterity ...
Smart drops will also affect the types of items that drop for your hero, not just the stats on them. So, basically: if you're getting a smart drop, both the item type and the stats on the item itself will be tailored towards your class.

As Neva noted, though, items only have a chance to be a smart drop, so you may still see some one-off mighty belts and voodoo masks here and there. Significantly less than before, though.

so are u saying nats gaze will drop again or did u error on saying legacy legendaries
In this case, legacy Legendaries = Legendaries that drop before the pre-expansion patch goes live. So, no.

Kind of like what console has right now?
Correct. Smart drops on console were actually pulled directly from early Reaper of Souls development plans (those sneaksy designers).

is that means I cannot farm with my barb and hoping to find gear to gear my DH ? I like this idea. But did you consider that at some point the only gear you will find is going to be for my barb .
Sometimes I liked to farm with my barb to gear our heroes I have .
As noted, not all drops will be smart drops. There's only a chance that an item will be a smart drop (and thus tailored for your Barbarian), which means that you will still be able to farm upgrades for other characters on your account.

Will this affect Crafted legendary items?
Unsure on that at the moment. I'll look into this.

Are we going to know when we get a "Smart" drop (visual/sound/etc.)?
The question I have is: will there be some icon or other notification that tells us that the dropped item is a smart drop?
Smart drops are an internal mechanic, and there really isn't a need for an outward notification that one has occurred. An item that seems more tailored for your class, though, should send off the tip that it was probably (but not always) a smart drop.

At the end of the day, knowing whether or not an item "dropped smartly" is unlikely to impact whether or not you decide to use it. You'll still be assessing gear based on what stats or procs it ended up with and how that fits into your play-style.

Will this affect Crafted legendary items?
Unsure on that at the moment. I'll look into this.
I learned a bit more about the current design for crafting, and wanted to take a moment to share. =) Bear in mind, of course, that this is subject to change as development continues.

At this time, "smart drops" apply to all items crafted by a character. If it's a general item (like a chest or bracers, for example), the stats on it will be tailored to the character who crafted it. However, there is an exception: if the item in question can only be used by a particular class, the stats will instead roll for the appropriate class. If you craft a mighty belt, for instance, you can expect to see Strength and other Barbarian friendly affixes on it.

So in other words, can a class specific item which is not a smart drop, still roll a (main) stat for another class?
Nope! Class-specific items will only roll stats for the appropriate class, regardless of whether or not the item in question is a smart drop or which character acquires it. No more Int-tastic Mighty Belts or the like.

Similarly.. If I get a "smart drop" for my WD,will it be a 2 hand Bow with a WD skill? This is sooo absurd 8)
If it's an item that you can actually equip and it is a "smart drop," the stats will be prioritized for your class. If you can't use it at all though, don't expect it to roll stats that aren't tailored to your class.

Again, I feel it necessary to mention that we're still iterating on a lot of these details, but this is how smart drops are working as it currently stands.

Comments

  • #1 Venaliter
    I'd ask them if they would change the (d3) story with the pretty lukewarm reception to it.
  • #2 Tybudd
    I'd like an answer on the Release date for PS4's version of D3, please why the hold up.
  • #3 Sabvre
    Quote from Tybudd

    I'd like an answer on the Release date for PS4's version of D3, please why the hold up.


    Evidence is pointing to the ps4 version shipping directly as RoS.
  • #4 overneathe
    You guys have a chance at actual questions for the actual leads in their respective departments. Please.
  • #5 Darkszero
    I would be interested to know their opinion on using sets intended for other classes. Also, the lackluster set bonuses of the tal rasha set. I seriously hope they'll change it completely...

    Also, GIANT YES at "class-specific items rolls with the classes' primary stat". No more strength wands!
  • #6 Doom-Bringer
    I would like to ask them about "Bosses and Mini bosses". It seems that the game is once against focusing on them by adding them at the end of Loot Runs (and potentially Nephalem Trials". I would like to know how they intend to challenge us.

    (I'll try to make a thread about it either here or on the Bnet forum)

    Edit: I just made it! Feel free to check it out :)

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/10467986833
  • #7 DBraveZ
    1. can we transfer our saved Demonic Essences to RoS and will they have purpose ?

    2. will you buff drop rates of legendary and set plans for blacksmith

    3. Can you provide beta keys for RoS to people who preorder it on BNet ( like with HotS for SC2)

    4. is your goal to shift game from gold economy to some other currency (items, gems, etc..)

    5. you announces 2 expansions total, is there a chance to see more ?

    6. will ladders or season runs provide some items that do not drop in non ladder games ?

    7. Will our achievements (4560) transfer, and we work on new ones, or we start from 0 in RoS ?

    8. how many new affixes for elites have you created so far ?

    9. when you remove AH, we will probably lose our AH stash (50slots). Some people have tens of thousands gems and crafting material there, too much stuff that they cant transfer to normal stash. What will happen to that ?

    10. What are the things you are most unsatisfied in D3 now and you want to improve or change them with RoS ?

    ty and hf @Blizzcon !
  • #8 overneathe
    Level Design and Lore. :)
  • #9 lMarcusl
    1) Will there be any changes to the storytelling mechanics of the game? I.e. make dialogue optional instead of forcing it upon the player through talkative followers and temporary followers, focus more on environment and interaction with enemies rather than background story text (too much tell, too little show - we never saw any evidence of Azmodan being a good battle commander despite being told so, Prime Evil was supposed to be the most powerful demonic being but mechanically was just like normal Diablo, the keep depths are supposedly colder than outside but dont look frozen etc.).
    2) Will the musical score resemble more the ambience based score of D3 or will the style shift towards a more melodic or rythmical style of the previous games?
    3) Will there be any steps made to differentiate the Wizard and Witch Doctor resource functionality more?
    4) Are there any plans to introduce hero slot transfer between regions (if I don't need my character slots on SAE server can i transfer some to Europe instead) or increasing the amount of hero slots to allow for more than two characters of the same class?
  • #10 Mob Dylan
    Are there any plans to improve your Net Code? So it won't be Lagmageddon when there's a lot happening on screen?
  • #11 Sabvre
    Quote from Mob_Dylan

    Are there any plans to improve your Net Code? So it won't be Lagmageddon when there's a lot happening on screen?


    Don't blame blizzard for your GPU not cutting it. If frame rates drop due to a lot happening on screen... that means your computer isn't rendering it fast enough... not that the servers cannot calculate fast enough.
  • #12 Jamoose
    Can't wait for Saturday;

    Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Gameplay Systems + Crusader
  • #13 Freezard
    So most players are going to wear class items now. I mean the odds of them rolling good is way better now with only the main stat available. Plus they have exclusive stats like life leech on mighty belts and arcane power on hit on wizard hats etc.
  • #14 Mob Dylan
    Quote from Sabvre

    Quote from Mob_Dylan

    Are there any plans to improve your Net Code? So it won't be Lagmageddon when there's a lot happening on screen?


    Don't blame blizzard for your GPU not cutting it. If frame rates drop due to a lot happening on screen... that means your computer isn't rendering it fast enough... not that the servers cannot calculate fast enough.


    So you're saying that there is no problem at all with their net code? Rubber bands coming from my end then? That's why the fastest moving/attacking builds have rubber banding issues and almost every patch they say they address it. C'mon I can't be crazy here.
  • #15 Sabvre
    Quote from Mob_Dylan

    Quote from Sabvre

    Quote from Mob_Dylan

    Are there any plans to improve your Net Code? So it won't be Lagmageddon when there's a lot happening on screen?


    Don't blame blizzard for your GPU not cutting it. If frame rates drop due to a lot happening on screen... that means your computer isn't rendering it fast enough... not that the servers cannot calculate fast enough.


    So you're saying that there is no problem at all with their net code? Rubber bands coming from my end then? That's why the fastest moving/attacking builds have rubber banding issues and almost every patch they say they address it. C'mon I can't be crazy here.


    You said when there was a lot happening on screen...

    Anyways rubberbanding occurs when the client does something that the server disagrees with. If you cut a corner too fast, the server might not capture one position in the turn, therefore causing the server to believe you straight lined it through an impassable object.

    However, the biggest cause of rubberbanding is dropped or delayed packets. As I was explaining earlier, the server calculates things sequentially.. say the client sends packets ABCDEF and G all representing different positions in travel. However, your wireless network drops packet D (which TCP/IP will resend). When the server receives packet E, it's not going to understand how the math adds up for you to somehow arrive at E, and it will send you back to C.

    Note that the faster the build, the faster packets are sent.. meaning dropped packets have less time for TCP/IP to resend them before the next packet gets received.

    In summary, rubberbanding is USUALLY caused by delayed or dropped packets. Blame your hops from your PC to Blizzard instead of Blizzard. Also, NEVER play on a wireless connection, as wireless always has packet loss.

  • #16 trocadero_fuerte
    I hope that at a minimum there will no longer be items with skills enhancement for a particular class that that class can not use (e.g.: WD skill bonuses on a bow).


    Um, Doctors can use bows, no problem. Hell, an INT Manitcore is usually better than Last Breath if you don't have Uhkapian Serpent.
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