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    posted a message on Why we will get D4 sooner than you think
    Quote from WHHB»

    Q4 2021

    Yes, my current prediction (influenced by the covid-19 pandemic) is the same. What we saw at Blizzcon 2019 showed a game in a very good state. At Blizzcon 2021 they would probably announce the open beta of Diablo 4 and a release will follow in late 2021.


    The aRPG genre is getting more popular with each and every day, and some other top studios are about to release their games in 2022, so Blizzard hitting the late 2021 is crucial for developing a strong player base and protecting its position on the market.

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
  • 0

    posted a message on Is +5 main stat grind fun?

    Let's have a poll guys! You can specify why it's so for you in the thread.


    Also, on:

    https://www.strawpoll.me/20060121/

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 1

    posted a message on Activision Blizzard has several more remakes and remasters planned for 2020

    Remaster or remake doesn't matter when the old servers are abolished - this is simply not fair to the people who had purchased the old game.


    WC3R was another huge misstep by them. It's messy in the kitchen and that's not good news for D4 - we are to witness more absurdity as the release approaches.

    Posted in: General Discussion (non-Diablo)
  • 1

    posted a message on Activision Blizzard has several more remakes and remasters planned for 2020

    Classic D2 Blizzard servers go *poof* the moment D2 HD drops.

    Posted in: General Discussion (non-Diablo)
  • 0

    posted a message on Blue Tracker not working anymore ?

    Also, a global tracker of all games.

    Posted in: Technical Support
  • 0

    posted a message on Botters: Get rekt
    Quote from Altreg01»

    wiping out a large portion of your player base in a game that doesnt create revenue might not be the smartest move

    They are surely announcing the big change with botting when it happens. Then if you are THAT stupid to do it again, you deserve your ban.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Feedback and suggestions on Diablo 4

    This is a cross-post.

    This post is a direct feedback to "System Design in Diablo IV (Part II)".


    1. Affixes

    The addition of Angelic, Demonic and Ancestral (I suggest renaming this to Nephalem to avoid the A-A letter duplication with Angelic) power is a concept strengthening the min/maxing in the itemization and I personally like it, but nevertheless I would suggest an improvement to it.

    The current association of these three powers with buffs, debuffs and procs should be done in a more elegant way.

    It would be optimal to stack only one of these three powers on an item if the power requirements are not bound to specific properties. What I mean is that items having more than one power stat and/or requirement on them would be less valuable from a min/maxing perspective since these would “lock” extra item properties for no expected benefit since experienced players would go heavily in only one direction for a single build.

    You could solve this problem by locking particular item stats to particular power requirement, but this would lower the min/maxing effect (I now read this is the case indeed and I personally don’t like this).

    What I propose is separating the direct association of the powers with the buffs, debuffs and procs, and introducing a system (like the Talents) that would allow players who sacrificed an item property for one of the three powers to choose how to distribute the buff-debuff-proc weight themselves. Such system could also be extended with more stats.

    Removing the affixes-power attunement is also needed so that build diversity is not artificially constraint. I illustrate below why the current way of working is wrong with a simple MMA analogy.

    If we look from a broader perspective we have X stats as item properties. Some of these stats have power requirements. Each of these X stats has its range of how it could roll - for example a resistance stat might roll from 10% to 40%. When they force the brackets on us due to the fixed power requirements you would be able to go from 10% on a particular resistance to say 20% for a specific character path you choose. This simply means shorter stat range.

    So what we have is this:
    1) Stats
    2) 1 + power requirement
    3) 2 + roll range
    4) 3 + sub-range

    You see, we can push this more to 5), 6) etc with more sub-ranges if we want, but this achieves nothing by itself.

    The whole current system is like telling an MMA-fighter to use a martial art from a PARTICULAR pool that is already selected for the fight instead of giving him the possibility to CHOOSE the optimal martial arts himself for each fight.

    Related to the above this is:
    1) MMA
    2) 1 + weight categories
    3) 2 + martial arts choice
    4) 2 + fixed martial art

    So, in case 1) it would be wild - we would have 100kg fighters crushing 60kg fighters for seconds, which is not a good entertainment. In 2) we have the current MMA structure where fighters from specific weight categories are matched to fight with each other. In 3) we would allow the fighters themselves to choose particular martial arts depending on their opponents. In 4) we would choose the martial arts pool that could be used during the combat instead of the fighters.

    There is no need we go to step 4). It doesn't deliver anything meaningful.

    These suggestions would achieve two major things compared to the current way of working:
    - Items will roll with random requirements not attuned to specific affixes, which serves for more variety
    - Players will be free to choose in which direction - buffs, debuffs, procs - to specialize without this being forced due to the power-effect association

    Last, having a general proc chance increase mechanic combined with cooldown reduction may potentially create balance problems in the future, so beware about this.


    2. Rares

    The blog post doesn't specify whether rares have the same number of properties as legendary items now (or would have such with future crafting) aka whether they would be top tier when upgraded, so I would discuss both options.

    2.1. Upgraded rares with less properties than legendary items

    In that case I'd suggest making the consumable more common and received by salvaging legendary items too. This way players would wear upgraded rares until a very good rolled legendary is found.

    2.2. Upgraded rares with equal properties as legendary items

    In this case the consumable should have a very low chance to drop and only in the very late endgame.

    In both cases the consumable should not be tradable and traded rare items should be rendered non-upgradable in order 3rd party sellers to not spoil the game.

    Overall I like this crafting opportunity since it lowers the variance and makes rares more useful than before. This would surely make the inclusion of in-game item filters necessary so that players could easily filter precious rares without inspecting each of these separately.


    Thank you for reading,
    Skelos

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
  • 0

    posted a message on Botters: Get rekt
    Quote from Jelloslock»

    The current main bot source doesn't inject into the game and manually uses your keyboard and mouse and just reads the game without injecting is the main issue with them catching this.

    Yes, but there should still exist some file that runs the bot. How could they not catch this file? Is it masked with some virtual machine?
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 0

    posted a message on Botters: Get rekt

    I suppose this would be something major and global coming before Diablo 4 to counter botting in all of their games.


    If there are people reading the forum and knowledgeable about how Blizzard's current detection works, I'd love to read an in-depth explanation about this if they don't mind to share, so we can speculate what is to change.


    Namely:

    1. Are they scanning ALL files atm?

    2. Do they have problems detecting the cheating softwares?

    3. Do they have problems evaluating whether particular software is a cheating one?

    4. Do they need manual reports to ban someone?

    5. Have players been banned for THUD and/or macros until now besides botting?

    6. Are there any other cheating softwares besides the most popular ones?


    I don't expect someone to show and answer all of these in-depth since he would probably be a cheating fan himself then, but one never know, it doesn't hurt to ask lol.

    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 0

    posted a message on Feedback and suggestions on Diablo 4

    You'll have access to all skills at level 40 thus no re-spec option is needed.

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
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    posted a message on Feedback and suggestions on Diablo 4

    This is a cross-post.


    This post is a direct feedback to "System Design in Diablo IV (Part I) - Endgame Progression System". For TLDR read the last two sentences.

    I want to point out that the term "endgame progression system" has twofold meaning. It could mean a few things:
    1) Endgame-progression system: In-game system that has the goal to aid the character in his progression through the endgame.
    2) Endgame progression-system: In-game system that is unlocked once the actual endgame is reached by the player.
    3) Endgame-progression-system: In-game system that has the goal to aid the character in his progression through the endgame and is unlocked once the actual endgame is reached by the player.

    If we take D3's paragon system as an example and relate it to the above we can see that it complies only with the first definition. Paragon is simply a character progression system that occurs right after you hit level 70, but its design with the possibility of gaining unlimited power makes it very useful for the endgame. And when you hit level 70 in D3 you are far away from what is considered the actual endgame - pushing GRs with optimal gear for top LB positions.

    Here comes the need to define the term "endgame" since a casual D3 player could say that it takes him weeks to reach level 70 and the paragon farming after that is endgame for him. Would this casual player be correct then?

    The answer is - "No". He won't be right since the term "endgame" has an objective meaning depending on the game's structure. A casual player could attribute the term "endgame" to whatever other activity he considers an endgame for himself, but this would be taken in a vacuum and won't be objectively correct.


    1. What is endgame then?

    A proper endgame in an aRPG should constitute a player's abilities test a few have mastered. This test can be in the form of PvE, PvP or PvPvE, but the following two principles should always apply:
    - It should be very hard to master
    - The reward should be unique and not accessible in other areas throughout the game

    The above related to D2 for example would render the Ubers and the PvP an endgame. Grinding Baal runs in D2 by the above definition is not an endgame, but it would be if Ubers and PvP hadn't existed simply because there wouldn't be any other meaningful activity besides this (reaching level 99) and the magic find runs for acquiring gear. In that case (no Ubers/PvP) a casual player would be correct by saying "Endgame baby!" and alt-tabing while the unknown hammer-brother kills the Baal adds on Hell, but this wouldn't be a properly designed endgame since it doesn't comply with the above two principles.


    2. Do we need any character progression system at all?

    One could very well imagine an aRPG game without any levels, attributes and skill points, and it would be a valid design as long as the itemization in the game is complex enough to serve for enough character identity. This simply means that the character progression system main goal should be strengthening the character identity.

    Related to D3 this shows the most major flaw in the paragon system - there is too much of that "mainstat" stat, and basically nothing else besides it and vitality post P800. One could say the paragon system in D3 is an epitome for a bad character progression system.

    The more we want to strengthen the character identity the more complex character progression systems are needed.


    3. Why we need strong character identity?

    Simply because this is an aRPG game. The role-playing aspect is stronger when there are more options to build your character in a unique way. This is part of what everyone considers fun in these type of games - going through the world and being recognized for what you do and what you've done in the past - all of this contributes to one's character identity.

    If I have to give an example of perfectly designed RPG regarding character identity that would be Fallout 2 with its SPECIAL system (attributes), Karma system (good/bad deeds), Reputation (acceptance of town folks), skill progression, itemization and companions. All of these systems are interlinked to a degree and each multiplies the number of possible character identities with each of the others - for example highly intelligent, bad, Vault city destroyer, specialized in melee weapons, using knifes and taking only dogs as companions - this is a single combination of these systems constituting one character.

    Fallout 2 is a single-player tactical RPG however and that much character identity in a multiplayer action RPG wouldn't be something usual, because these are less story driven than the classic RPGs with the prime goal to deliver interesting gameplay and engaging real-time combat. That is why too many systems strengthening the character identity in aRPGs could take away from the "action" part if not properly implemented.


    4. Do we need multiple character progression systems?

    This depends on what type of player base we are targeting.

    In Diablo there are usually the following groups of players:
    1) New/inexperienced - newcomers to the game that have no idea what an aRPG is
    2) Casual - not very adept with the game and playing rarely
    3) Regular - playing most of the days during the week
    4) Competitive - enjoy comparing their skill to others
    5) Dedicated - playing non-stop and aiming to collect everything

    The current leveling system to 40 is very good for the first two groups of players. The Talent system is good for all groups, but the dedicated players would surely want something more besides these two systems in order their characters to feel more special and be easily recognized by the other players, because of their time investment in the game. Related to D3 - when witnessing a 10k paragon player in-game everyone immediately knows he is not a single child in the family kappa.

    Joke aside, dedicated players need an adequate character progression system - something besides the item hunt to motivate them play the game non-stop. And because these type of players are usually not competitive (in that case they would just compete and forget about the character progression), once they acquire every possible item there is nothing left for them to do in the game.

    So, the logical conclusion is that an infinite character progression system is needed, but does this have to be an endgame-progression system?


    5. Progression systems: character vs endgame

    Some of you reading this may already suspect where I am going with my vision of this topic - character power should not be infinite, character identity should.

    The reason for the above statement is pretty simple - if you have infinite power in any game available through time investment the players lose the ability to properly measure their skill to others aka all game-related skill goes into a vacuum. D3's paragon system and its interference with LBs is the perfect example of this - one wouldn't be able to objectively measure the skill of the players even if all other conditions besides the paragon are the same. And when you take the proper measurement of skill (the meaningful competition itself) away from the game by isolating the skill in a vacuum, you create a game for kids, not for grown people.

    Is Diablo 4 a game for kids? I leave to you the answer to this question.

    An endgame-progression system in a non-kids game would be valid only when the received character power from it is finite. If some players then aren't happy that they can not progress through the endgame successfully as other, I'd point them to some game for kids in which they can succeed in everything if they invest enough time or have enough brothers. But I really hope Diablo 4 is not that type of a game.

    To sum-up my point: I am for finite account-wide endgame-progression system and infinite character progression system.


    6. Infinite character progression systems

    These should not be account wide obviously. The deeds and doings of a single character in one's squad should have nothing to do with other characters in a role-playing game besides the shared stash (in a multiplayer aRPG I would make an exception for an account-wide endgame progression system, because account-wide is more useful for the grouping). The journey each character goes through in the world should strictly reflect only in his identity - story choices, specific monsters killed, skills used, number of deaths etc...

    A good infinite character progression system for the dedicated players would be such that allows them to look in a unique way. For example you farmed a specific dragon 1k times and used all of these 1k scales to craft a spectacular armor transmog - now everyone that sees the transmog in the open world stops you and asks you where you get it from and after you explain them they accept you as a dedicated player. Even the whales can not buy the transmog from the MTX shop and are jealous, because they won't be able to invest so much time to get it.

    Another aspect of such system could be special titles acquired from very rare to achieve deeds or chain of deeds related to in-game events for which a superb dedication is required.

    The skill progression system could also reflect in the character identity - don't cap the rank on the skills, but only stop the power from them at certain rank. This way the dedicated players would have a lot more ranks on the skills they regularly use and this could be reflected visually.

    With such infinite character progression systems it would be extremely easy to spot a dedicated player in the world - he would look and fight in ways one haven't seen before. One could say he is a character that went through everything in the game.

    Another type of character progression that could be added is character aging - just as a cosmetic tuning - the more one plays with his character, the more aged he would be able to make him look.

    Making dedicated players acquire special stuff for their hideouts would also contribute to their identity in the world.

    There are surely many more ways that could serve for interesting infinite character progression systems for the dedicated players. And not only for them of course. A lot of regular players would do the above stuff when they find it cool.


    7. Finite endgame progression system

    As I wrote, making it account-wide makes more sense for the grouping when power is involved. I would love to see such system not directly focused on power gain, but on additional min/maxing of our currently possessed powers.

    What I mean by the above is that while pure power gain from such system might be useful to a little degree - until we can freely switch between all builds, after that it becomes useless. And that is the point where the system has to transform into a min/maxing one.

    Related to D3 that would mean paragon up to P800 is okay, but after that it should be something like an advanced PoE's Pantheon system, which forces us to sacrifice something in order to receive something else. An example related to Diablo 4 would be an option to sacrifice 10000 points of defense for 5000 points of attack or vice versa. The player then could switch between these options in order to tune his build even more for the specific Key dungeons he is targeting.

    Such potential finite endgame progression system could consist of 20 min/max options the player has to first unlock and select after that for each character if he wishes.

    The leveling to 40, skill and talent system, paragon-like pre-P800 system and a min/max finite endgame progression system would be more than enough to aid the player in the endgame and allow him to progress deeper.

    Beyond that, an infinite way of progression should be designed only for one's character identity in the world (without any power gain) as discussed in the previous chapter.


    Thank you for reading,
    Skelos

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
  • 1

    posted a message on D4 Release Date Game; Wisdom of the Crowd Experiment

    @OP: There has to be a time span entry - something like: Q3 2020 to Q4 2023. This would render predictions like yours of 2025 or someone trolling with 3035 not statistically important. But if you want to allow for any time span, you can later draw conclusions based on different end of spans.


    My prediction is 13th of July 2021.

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
  • 0

    posted a message on Feedback and suggestions on Diablo 4

    My suspicion that gambling would allow legendary/mythic drops was right:


    Gambling for gold is back - You can get some of the most powerful items in the game through it.

    I have no idea if players realize the impact of this:


    Player spending RL money -> Acquires in-game GOLD from 3rd-party seller -> GAMBLES with in-game GOLD for MYTHIC items


    I understand they want to offer whales increased drop chances through trading and gambling, but this is simply too much. I really hope the greed for money doesn't destroy another Blizzard game.

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
  • 1

    posted a message on Diablo IV Interviews

    have parts constantly change

    Yes, this is achieved through superb procedural randomization of tiles/zones/areas, not by static bounties.


    Static bounties are good for new players to the game - say, those below level 20, because they force them to go to a predefined path, namely where the bounty objective is. And for the new player is good to be forced to do things, because he himself doesn't know WTH he is doing at all. But the rest of the players DO know.


    Why force experienced players into bounties? We know D3 lacks depth and was full of wrongly designed stuff thus it had a bounty system, but why force such system on us in so enormous and unique world like this of Diablo 4? Why force the player to go to a place X and not let the player find place X himself and do the event happening there NATURALLY (if he chooses to), not FORCED?


    Absolutely no reason for such type of game to be forced on experienced players. This is a bad and lazy design.


    Diablo is about randomized content, not static content. That is one of the major driving forces for the Diablo player base - the RANDOMIZATION of maps, battles and items dropping. If the developers want to do bounties properly they have to develop an AI to learn from each player preference and offer him bounties he enjoys, not to force on us static missions!

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
  • 0

    posted a message on Diablo IV Interviews

    Players botting X simply means X is not a fun game activity.


    The Diablo 4 developers have to focus on creating fun activities the players will enjoy doing themselves, not emulating with bots.


    Bounties can not be a fun activity as long as they force the same objectives on players over and over again. To have different objectives they need in-game AI for that. And I doubt they are building one.


    So, if non-AI bounties drop in Diablo 4 these are going to be boring as the D3 bounties and people would bot them.

    Posted in: Diablo IV: Return to Darkness
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