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    posted a message on Item Progression and the Cube
    Bashiok emerged from nearly a week of silence to finally give us some DiabloWiki.com - Diablo III Diablo III stuff to talk about. While most of his posts are short on new information, there are some nice clarifications on item progression in the game and visual item progression throughout Diablo III's difficulties.

    While responding to a few questions, Bashiok made clear that the eighteen tiers of items are purely visual.

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    Without being able to upgrade the item to the next tier, does that mean the lesser tier item is salvage garbage?

    Right, going back to the tier thing which I believe was a misunderstanding of me referring to the visual sets. It doesn't have to do with item stats at all really, just cohesive armor looks.

    There are better and better items as your progress through the difficulties and they can roll out more affixes as they go higher. So to answer your question, yes, worse items would be sold for gold, salvaged for crafting materials, or otherwise 'traded' away.
    However, his explanation does seem to imply that there could be an overlap between the last items in one tier and the first items in the next. As Bashiok later explained, these visual tiers are also divided amongst the difficulties, which means that your character look will be continuously changing throughout Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, as opposed to revisiting old item looks each time you advance a difficulty like in DiabloWiki.com - Diablo II Diablo II

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    [The item tiers] are distributed through difficulties with each difficulty dropping items of a specific number of visual sets. So, for instance, in Normal you may see set looks one through five dropping. In Nightmare you may see the visual sets six through ten. etc. Just an example, I'm not sure how exactly they were decided to be broken out.
    After this explanation, some concerns were raised about whether or not eighteen tiers, which translates into six tiers per difficulty, would feel like enough progression throughout the game, and Bashiok continued to elaborate on exactly how item progression works.

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    So yeah, this was more or less how I thought you guys had made the system... as you have played the game, does 5/6 set visuals per difficulty feel progression enough?

    I think it feels really good. You're not getting whole sets dropping for you so it's a pretty constant upgrading process. You're probably not running around with a complete looking set for long unless you're denying yourself upgrades to make a cohesive look, or just getting bad drops.
    Even though thinking of item progression as being divided into tiers may make it seem as though you are only upgrading your look six times per difficulty, it is important to keep in mind that you will most likely spend most of your time in gear comprised of items from different tiers. So while there are technically only eighteen different item looks, your character's look will be changing many more times than that number implies.

    In another equipment related topic, Bashiok also had some interesting input about the game's salvage mechanic.

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    It has a name. It is not Salvage Cube. The name does include Cube, though. The name is sort of a spoiler, which is why we haven't revealed it yet.

    Although Bashiok does not divulge the current name of the cube, some of you may remember Jay Wilson called it the Nephalem Cube at the last BlizzCon, which is a name that could certainly be considered something of a spoiler. Bashiok may have simply forgotten the name was already revealed, or the name could have changed since then. If any of you are unclear on the lore implications of the Nephalem, be sure to check out PhrozenDragon's Cosmology of Diablo articles or the first part of Force's Diablo Lore video series.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on A major hesitation I have about rolling monk.
    Quote from Meloku420

    My major problem is the visual appearance of gear. A monk, according to the class page, mostly wears rags and tattered vestments. The monk rarely uses his weapon. If you watch the blizzcon video above, you will see that blizzard is happy to flaunt the OVER THE TOP -_- incredible barbarian and witch doctor sets. They look awesome, and go with the flavor of the class, but how can blizzard do this for the monk?
    Where do you get that from? The class page says that the monk he encountered was in rags, but that doesn't mean all monks are. Their look is all about robes, not rags. Also, I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but on each character page they also have some kind of progression concept where you see what their armor looks like at higher levels. The Monk doesn't have anything quite like that, but it does have a concept of a high level female monk.

    http://us.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss95-hires.jpg
    Posted in: Monk: The Inner Sanctuary
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    posted a message on The Follower Blues
    Quote from Legatus1982
    Mercs were never essential even in d2 and they most certainly CAN be balanced. Who are you to tell blizzard what they can and can't do? Have you ever programmed a diablo game?
    A good place for you to start in this debate would be saying something that is true.

    And I dont really care if mercs or followers can be used in pvp, but again I'd prefer having the option. If they aren't balanced in pvp, don't use them in pvp.
    Well, for starters, I'm not telling Blizz to do anything. Their own playtesting and iterations led them to the current conclusion to the follower 'problem,' and I'm simply pointing out the reasoning behind it.

    And I'm honestly sick and tired of everyone saying 'I just want the option.' Of course you do. That doesn't mean that Blizzard should sacrifice quality just so that you have more options. We all know that its not a realistic solution to just have it be a checkmark. If it doesn't work or isn't balanced, it shouldn't be in the game. Period. There are plenty of other options in D3, we don't need more that don't meet Blizz's quality standards.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 2

    posted a message on The Follower Blues
    Again, why should there be options for the sake of options? If something is clearly over the top, why should it be allowed? Theres been plenty of complaints on these forums and elsewhere about too much stuff on the screen, and thats not when you're trying to keep track of your character just to survive or play effectively. I agree that we should have plenty of options, but there has to be a point where it cuts off. And in the case of screen clutter, the cut off point is where the game becomes nearly unplayable. If you just keep asking 'Why isn't this or this implemented?' then of course you're going to think that Blizzard is limiting your play. Not to mention that, if we're going to get into the 4 player limit here, its not only about screen chaos. Its also about balance. But I won't get into that.

    Edit: And as for the "screen chaos" argument.. try playing WoW with 25 ppl in a raid fighting bad guys that don't even fit in the screen. It's AMAZINGLY fun to be in the middle of pure chaos.. I was main tank in a very active guild, and I had to find a way to keep everything that was happening under control during extremely complex mechanics. You find a way, and it's exhilarating. I agree with those here, that we should have the option.
    And the reason it works is, for one, because of the screen angle, and secondly because of balance. WoW's health system allows for harder hitting monsters, because its someone else's responsibility to heal you. Theres no such thing in D3. Your health goes steadily down until you get a globe. If you had eight players monsters would have to hit insanely hard for it to be a challenge for the group as a whole, but that would also mean that whoever is getting attacked is dying way too quickly. For D3's screen angle and graphical effects, 4 players is chaos, but just the right amount of it. But again, thats not the topic we're discussing.

    They might be the majority in terms of raw numbers (and even that's debatable), but they certainly aren't in terms of number of hours played. And I think players who show fidelity to a game and a company should be rewarded, not (as someone said above) "given the shaft".
    Its really not debatable in terms of raw numbers. D2 has sold what, 4 or 5 million copies? Theres no way the online community, even if you combined every unique player across the game's life, is or was anywhere near that. SC2 has sold over 3, probably closer to 4 million copies, and even during the game's beginning the amount of players online numbered in, at most, the high hundred thousands. Its a common trend across many games that people just play SP/Campaign or whatever the game offers that isn't online.

    Obviously your second point, about hours played, still stands, and we should be rewarded for that. But that doesn't have to be through followers or a similar system. Even if you had something like a box to check to include followers, people would still make builds based around them, and thats just pretty lame. Especially considering the emphasis on character power. Why should it be possible for you to make a build where you intentionally exclude normally essential parts just so that the follower can fill in the blanks?

    Followers (both as hirelings in D2 and across many other ARPGs that have included similar systems) are notoriously hard to implement well, so Blizz decided against them. That doesn't mean that we won't see their usefulness expanded in the future, and it also doesn't mean that their restricting our current options. Its just something that (for reasons I've delved into countless times in these threads) is incredibly hard to balance correctly. If you get it slightly wrong in either direction, suddenly one side of the argument is outraged again. You saw how many people were pissed off because they thought followers were essential, and you also see how pissed off people are now that they think their useless (for good reason). So its much easier to simply make it a nonissue but still helpful to a large portion of the people who will end up getting the game. That doesn't mean we're getting the shaft.

    Lets put it this way. Suppose WW Barbs are a common, fun build to play. Now suppose that a WW Barb benefits greatly from a Follower's AoE slow skill, to the point where it becomes overpowered. So Blizz nerfs the AoE slow, but it still helps the WW Barb too much, and the follower is still essential to the most effective WW build. What you end up with is ridiculously complicated balancing, where you have to take the followers, which a lot of people didn't want in the first place, into account, instead of directly nerfing/buffing character skills. As we all know, a game like Diablo is incredibly hard to balance, and it will only be harder with the amount of builds in D3. Why make it more complicated by allowing people to supplement their build's weaknesses with a follower?

    I'm not saying balancing followers isn't a challenge Blizz wouldn't be able to handle, but clearly it would take a lot of time. And thats not even taking into account the fact that no matter how finely you balance it, people could (and with billions of build possibilities, probably will) find a way to still exploit followers to make builds with very few weaknesses, that are also lame because if your follower is down suddenly your significantly less powerful, and because you, the hero of the game, have to rely on some random guy you rescued.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on The Follower Blues
    Well its really because of the way Blizzard releases info. Even though most of us will end up enjoying the game regardless of whether or not we like the follower system, right now it seems like the biggest thing because its the most recent D3 info we've gotten.

    I do think it's pretty damn strange that you'll be investing your time in building a "side character" only to have he/she be pointless later on though.
    Which is why you really don't need to invest all that much time, gear or effort making a follower. They have, what, 4 equipment slots and a whopping total of 12 skills divided into groups of 3? There aren't that many choices involved, and even though its easily useless from our standpoint, if you look at how it will be from the point of view of someone who is just starting to play, it will be an easier transition to multiplayer. I think its a great system, and while I do wish it was usable in higher difficulties its far from the end of the world. Considering the outrage when people thought they would be essential, combined with the outrage now that people know they aren't, Blizzard had to make a choice and I think this is a reasonable compromise.

    Of course, compromises always piss people off though :P
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on Follower Respec
    Ah, never mind, I was wrong about them being free. All the talk of easy customization threw me off, especially the video that shows their skills changing so quickly.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    You can do poison bolt, which has such poison damage over time like the classic rogue-like skill, you can do a crippling shot which will slow your enemies down which for certain builds like the Barbarian where not having to chase things down is very useful, or you can do rapid fire that increases DPS (Damage Per-Second), and it goes on like that as well, you know, the respecs are very cheap, you can take him and use one of his skills that increases your gem and rune find and maybe you want to go on a mission to find better runes for yourself or take on a boss, and you can change it.
    So it will at least be very cheap/easy to respec them.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Diablo 3 Followers Mechanics
    Really? You make all those assumptions based on a follower system designed for new players? Of course you're not going to find it useful. Its essentially a tutorial. That doesn't mean it has no place in the game.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on Diablo 3 Followers Mechanics
    Quote from CherubDown

    I don't know about you guys, but I love this!!! This has got to be one of the best day for Diablo since Blizzcon!
    Oh yea. What probably excites me most about it is the fact that the Followers are part of the same "caravan" that the Artisans are. I can't wait to see what other people you'll have travelling from town to town with you.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
  • 1

    posted a message on Trait Update
    Recently, through both the Battle.net forums and Twitter, we have gotten a few updates about how DiabloWiki.com - traits traits will work in DiabloWiki.com - Diablo III Diablo III. When asked about conditional traits, Bashiok had this to say:

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    There are a number of traits which are too situational to be deemed worthwhile to invest in. A few examples are:
    • Increases damage against beasts.
    • Increases damage against demons.
    • Increases damage against undead.
    We agree, and they were removed from Traits a while back. (not that you could have known that) So yay!

    We don't want traits (passives) to be boring. Even the ones that are pretty bland stat increase type passives, we try to make them feel weighty. Trait points are fairly rare, so that lets us make each point feel a lot sexier to spend. Even if they're just standard +% stat passives, they're BIG +% increases. But, there's also a lot of traits that are fairly intricate in what they provide, and to no small degree can be game changers. Either way they'll be a crucial component to any character build.
    Although the first part of this quote is rather self-explanatory, the rest is considerably more interesting. It appears as though the percentages associated with traits have been boosted since we saw them at the Blizzcon demo, and as a result they have a bigger impact on the build of your character, leading to even more customization possibilities. However, that does not mean traits have become all that much more powerful than the last time we saw them in action. Although the percentages gained from traits has increased, the Diablo III team has also drastically decreased the amount of trait points a character will have at the maximum level.


    Official Blizzard Quote:



    @spiri7walker We give them out every 3 levels, the first one at level 3, so 19 trait points are available to spend at level 60.
    When they were announced at Blizzcon, traits were given out every other level, and the Diablo III team quickly pointed out that they weren't quite satisfied with that setup. In a change that seems comparable to the decision to put the level cap at 60, Blizzard has decided to make trait points more valuable and less common. As a result, characters will probably end up more focused around certain traits instead of being spread out across large amounts of passives.

    Despite this more focused approach, it does appear as though there are plenty of choices, including ones that wouldn't initially appear to have a place in a viable combat build.

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    I'm very happy to hear this, but what of lucky and intimidation? They are also fairly controversial traits that increase noncombat related stats.
    Lucky increases gold find by 10%. It's tough to say how that kind of thing will balance out. It wouldn't be worth taking until at least Nightmare, IMO, and even then a trait point is a fairly powerful thing. I don't know if I'd spend it on gold find. But, that's kind of a cool choice then, right?
    This is not the first time Bashiok has used gold find as an example of an "interesting choice," so it would appear as though gold is actually important and as a result gold find is something to consider. However, as Bashiok points out, that does not mean theres much room for it, especially if we are only awarded nineteen trait points. In the end, we'll just have to wait for the beta to really see what traits remain and how the trait system as a whole functions.

    Update to the update:

    Official Blizzard Quote:



    @Diablo And will there be any quests, which are not required for main story progression, that will award you additional trait/skill points?
    @spiri7walker Currently all skill and trait points are metered out purely through gaining levels.
    So it appears that, at least for the moment, we won't be getting traits as rewards from anything other than leveling, unlike in DiabloWiki.com - Diablo II Diablo II where a select few quests rewarded the player with extra skill points.
    Posted in: News & Announcements
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    posted a message on crafting pointless at endgame?
    I think you can upgrade enchantments, but its not like they'll constantly stack. It will just be that you could enchant something with '+30 Attack' and then replace it with '+50 Attack' once you get the new recipe.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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