Patch 10 Not This Week, Conference Call, Senior Game Producer Leaves, Blue Posts

Update: Todays news has been added.

Patch 10 Not This Week
It looks like we will not be seeing patch 10 hit beta servers this week!


Official Blizzard Quote:



Quick update for everyone! We've discovered a few issues with Beta Patch 10 which could affect player login. Instead of releasing the patch as-is and addressing those issues later, we felt it necessary to take some time to resolve them now. As a result, the soonest we'll be able to release Beta Patch 10 is next Monday, January 23.




Activision Blizzard Q4 Conference Call
The date for the Q4 results conference has been posted. They will be having the call Feb 9th at 1:30 PST. Something to keep in mind, If they do plan to give any key information about the release, release dates usually come the week of the call, and not during the call. As always we will keep you updated with any information that comes from the conference.





Diablo 3 Senior Game Producer Leaves
Steve Parker posted on twitter today saying he has left Blizzard. Blizzard has also opened up a new job listing to fill his shoes.

Diablo III Senior Game Producer Steve Parker announced via Twitter he is no longer working at Blizzard Entertainment. He didn’t specify the reason.

"Hey Twitter, I’m no longer working at Blizzard or on D3. I’ve had a great 5 years there and those guys are going to do an amazing job with Diablo.”

It’s unknown if his departure has a connection with the recent announcement of System Changes, or if the game is pretty much ready (except for the cleaning up process), and thus his work is finished and he’s moving on to other projects.

In a later tweet, Steve Parker commented “Thanks! Looking forward to bigger and better things.” Follow up comments via Twitter don’t show any hard feelings with the studios prompting to think he departed for personal reasons, and to explore other career opportunities. (source)




Blue Posts

Official Blizzard Quote:

Blizz Tracker/Official Forums)

Inventory and Waiting For Players
Diablo III has a larger inventory. An enormous shared stash. Items take up less space. We don't encourage carrying tons of potions. No identify scrolls/tomes. No TP scrolls/tomes. We don't have charms. And we're still evaluating some of the other inventory items, which could free up even more space.

Yes, you will need to go back to town every once in a while but I don't think it's quite as severe as some are imagining it to be.

what happened to your philosophy of,fast paced action and,Do no harm to co-op
After a lot of playing at high levels we realized returning to town and breaking up the action is actually good. There are some more designery reasons that reinforce all of this, but the bottom line is that the action is very important, and being actively engaged in the action. Being able to be out and killing for hours and hours straight was negating the fun elements. Just like a story arc has highs and lows, a game needs to promote those ups and downs through its mechanics.

As far as harming co-op, there's really no difference now. Before you'd say "WAIT UP" and everyone would have to stop while you examined each item and decided to sell, salvage, or keep it. In the best case scenario everyone would agree to stop and do this at the same time. It's no different than everyone agreeing to head back to town, and in fact it provides a more prominent, not to mention safe, pause point where everyone can take care of a few quick tasks, and then head back out.

Say your friend's inventory is full, but yours isn't, well you both decide to TP and while he's going through his bag you have time to craft a few things, or alt+tab free of fear to read reddit or something. Whatever. It's not different to the co-op game because you had to stop before, and the benefits to being in town now are actually pretty substantial.

I am not going to "wait up" for someone
Then you will die. You're going to have to stick together to survive, and that's going to force groups to stop together. It's a lot better for everyone if that stopping point is in-town, for the aforementioned reason that not everyone takes the same amount of time to complete the same tasks, and there's more things that can be accomplished in town. Not to mention it's safer if you need to grab some more Cactus Cooler or take a bio break.

Every 15 seconds or so there's a side room and you have to decide to pursue that interest in the name of picking up an item or to stay with the group.
That is absolutely the case, but you're not thinking about how that dynamic changes when the game is actually difficult. Beyond Normal if you take off to go clear that side room on your own and either you will die, the rest of your group will, or both.

So now Blizzard is intentionally interrupting my experience?
Managing your inventory is and has absolutely always been an integral part of the Diablo experience. Picking up items and deciding which ones to keep, equip, or otherwise is the game. When it comes down to it that is the entire point of the entire game. Killing demons to get item drops, and those item drops being 'dealt with' in some way.

You had to stop and manage your inventory before. You have to do the same thing now. The difference is a 2 second cast timer to head back to town and a right click on the Blacksmith. You're going to be just fine.

Will the Town Portal timer be cancelled if you're hit in combat?
Yes, even if you dodge the attack.(Blizz tracker/Official Forums)

Communication
It's weird because this is exactly how we develop every single game. You have to go all in with a system. You have to believe in it and sell it and make it absolutely certain it's the best it can be... until you figure out it's not and throw it away and go with the new better solution you just realized was better. You don't half [email protected]# something or noodle around testing possible theories, you find the best solution you can and you go after it full force, because that's really the only way you can successfully test it and see if the electric fence has any weaknesses.

That's the iterative game design we embrace. It's what we do. I think the issue is that Diablo III is really the first game, in my opinion, where the window into the design process has been open all the way from the beginning* (and boy oh boy has it been open for a long time). We didn't have BlizzCon during the development of Diablo II, Warcraft III, or even World of Warcraft. We didn't have websites that supported big in depth articles, we didn't have billions of people on the internet, we didn't have twitter and Facebook and live Q&A chats and all this stuff we have now that offers unparalleled access into the play by play development of a game. For us we enjoy being able to share that stuff. You all get to follow along in the process of us creating our games! We think that's awesome. But it has some pretty big cons in that sometimes it's hard to understand why we work the way we do. I'm not going to ask you to "Trust in Blizzard" or some other far fetched motto, but I do want to impress that this isn't different than the development of any of our other games.

*Sure there was StarCraft II but the design changes aren't quite as HUGE because they tend to be more about individual units and their balance, although there were some very substantial changes to StarCraft II systems very late in the development process.

I think the biggest issue with this process is that the fans who are truly super devoted become so involved in the process that they get obsessed with the game and want to play it so badly.
Personally, that's what I do. When I'm super excited about a game I completely avoid all news and information on it. I can usually tell when a game is announced if I'm going to like it or not, I'm pretty accurate with my initial assessments. After that I'll just completely avoid any and all information about it, that way when it's released it's a totally fresh experience. I sit in a dark room, quiet, and enjoy the experience. Each thing unfolds as the developer intended, good or bad.

I don't intend to tell anyone here to do the same, I'd be lonely (and potentially out of a job) if you weren't here, but I think that approach, at least for me, definitely has had a big benefit to the way I play and appreciate games.

There was a time when I was obsessed with Unreal. I followed that game day and night for... however long it took, four or five years. I sat in an IRC channel every single day waiting for news, discussing the game, raging when I found out they were scrapping it and starting over, and that was a lot of my time closely following that game. I can definitely identify with that and appreciate the ups and downs, but yeah, I totally support and now personally embrace that attitude of finding out about the game when you play it the first time.

You announced a release window, missing it, then announcing another release window, then missing it again, then you make it sound like this game still needs a ton of work? you do this for every game?
We never said we're missing our new target. But no, we generally don't tell people anything about release targets because they tend to be reduced to screaming obscenities at us when we inevitably miss them, reminding us why we used to not tell anyone anything.

Again, right now, people are begging to know a release window. And we should update them so... they can be nasty and angry when we miss it again? I don't understand who benefits from that.

tatements like this are rather alienating because even those who aren't ranting, being obscene or whatever will read into this as what the company perceives of it's fanbase as a whole.
When you're right you're right. It's late. I apologize.

I look forward to continuing the conversations with you all tomorrow and next week.(Blizz Tracker/Official Forums)

Skill Slot Reduction
1, 2, 3, 4, LMB, RMB, alt-RMB.

7 slots.

(Pro tip: press the X key to swap to your alt-RMB. The X key can be rebound to something else too.)

So no TAB swap?
No, it used to work that the alt-RMB ability would swap in when you hit TAB. Which can still be the case, you'd just rebind the X key to TAB.

You guys are basically arguing against a system that was never a problem to begin with that they have now forced and locked you into a certain system.
In play testing higher levels we just haven't found any use for normal attacks for any of the builds we've been using. There's always a skill that's zero cost and usually builds resource or is just out and out better than a normal attack. Which doesn't mean a build doesn't exist, but since you still have 7 available slots if you want to keep normal attack on your LMB, you can still do that.


Other problems that occur is that Witch Doctor are also basically forced to have 6 skills all of which drain mana as they have no regenerators. If they choose to make one of them an auto attack they miss out on having 6 skills and are stuck at 5.
Wuh? The witch doctor has a ton of mana regenerators. That's like his whole thing.

I just checked, and this option is not available. Do you promise it will be on release? :)
Eek, right, it's still on the to-do list. I refuse to make any promises. :)
(Blizz Tracker/Official Forums)

Twitter
as dev. progresses closer and closer to release, will there be more frequent "systems" updates posted by Jay? (as they're decided)?
Potentially. Depends on how much more we think we're going to change. (source)

Teleport question. If I put Alabaster on it does that 1.2 sec delay mean I can keep casting over and over before 1.2 sec?
Correct! (source)
" class="blizzsource">

White Items
White items will not be worth the inventory space. No one will pick them up. If people start picking them up we'll reduce the meaningless amounts of gold they already sell for even further. We can address these things if they happen.

Being perfectly honest about the cauldron and cube, they were removed for very 'designery' reasons which makes it difficult to explain to people playing the game. Players want more freedom, more choice, almost limitlessly, but a game is defined by its limitations. It's our job to define those limitations, and enforce them to create the type and feel of the game we're attempting to produce. There are a lot of good reasons, such as breaking up combat, giving very solid and safe stopping points for groups (especially strangers), as well as ensuring players are staying acquainted with the town, its inhabitants, features, and what it offers. A player may say, well that should be my choice, I should just be able to kill demons without a break for as long as I want. It's our job to make those limitations for the betterment of the enjoyment of the game, even if it's an intangible and almost psychological improvement that on the surface appears to be a nonsensical remove of freedom. I expect this response to further confuse and enrage, unfortunately.
(Blizz Tracker/Official Forums)

Inventory and Waiting For Players
Diablo III has a larger inventory. An enormous shared stash. Items take up less space. We don't encourage carrying tons of potions. No identify scrolls/tomes. No TP scrolls/tomes. We don't have charms. And we're still evaluating some of the other inventory items, which could free up even more space.

Yes, you will need to go back to town every once in a while but I don't think it's quite as severe as some are imagining it to be.

what happened to your philosophy of,fast paced action and,Do no harm to co-op
After a lot of playing at high levels we realized returning to town and breaking up the action is actually good. There are some more designery reasons that reinforce all of this, but the bottom line is that the action is very important, and being actively engaged in the action. Being able to be out and killing for hours and hours straight was negating the fun elements. Just like a story arc has highs and lows, a game needs to promote those ups and downs through its mechanics.

As far as harming co-op, there's really no difference now. Before you'd say "WAIT UP" and everyone would have to stop while you examined each item and decided to sell, salvage, or keep it. In the best case scenario everyone would agree to stop and do this at the same time. It's no different than everyone agreeing to head back to town, and in fact it provides a more prominent, not to mention safe, pause point where everyone can take care of a few quick tasks, and then head back out.

Say your friend's inventory is full, but yours isn't, well you both decide to TP and while he's going through his bag you have time to craft a few things, or alt+tab free of fear to read reddit or something. Whatever. It's not different to the co-op game because you had to stop before, and the benefits to being in town now are actually pretty substantial.

I am not going to "wait up" for someone
Then you will die. You're going to have to stick together to survive, and that's going to force groups to stop together. It's a lot better for everyone if that stopping point is in-town, for the aforementioned reason that not everyone takes the same amount of time to complete the same tasks, and there's more things that can be accomplished in town. Not to mention it's safer if you need to grab some more Cactus Cooler or take a bio break.

Every 15 seconds or so there's a side room and you have to decide to pursue that interest in the name of picking up an item or to stay with the group.
That is absolutely the case, but you're not thinking about how that dynamic changes when the game is actually difficult. Beyond Normal if you take off to go clear that side room on your own and either you will die, the rest of your group will, or both.

So now Blizzard is intentionally interrupting my experience?
Managing your inventory is and has absolutely always been an integral part of the Diablo experience. Picking up items and deciding which ones to keep, equip, or otherwise is the game. When it comes down to it that is the entire point of the entire game. Killing demons to get item drops, and those item drops being 'dealt with' in some way.

You had to stop and manage your inventory before. You have to do the same thing now. The difference is a 2 second cast timer to head back to town and a right click on the Blacksmith. You're going to be just fine.

Will the Town Portal timer be cancelled if you're hit in combat?
Yes, even if you dodge the attack.(Blizz tracker/Official Forums)

Communication
It's weird because this is exactly how we develop every single game. You have to go all in with a system. You have to believe in it and sell it and make it absolutely certain it's the best it can be... until you figure out it's not and throw it away and go with the new better solution you just realized was better. You don't half [email protected]# something or noodle around testing possible theories, you find the best solution you can and you go after it full force, because that's really the only way you can successfully test it and see if the electric fence has any weaknesses.

That's the iterative game design we embrace. It's what we do. I think the issue is that Diablo III is really the first game, in my opinion, where the window into the design process has been open all the way from the beginning* (and boy oh boy has it been open for a long time). We didn't have BlizzCon during the development of Diablo II, Warcraft III, or even World of Warcraft. We didn't have websites that supported big in depth articles, we didn't have billions of people on the internet, we didn't have twitter and Facebook and live Q&A chats and all this stuff we have now that offers unparalleled access into the play by play development of a game. For us we enjoy being able to share that stuff. You all get to follow along in the process of us creating our games! We think that's awesome. But it has some pretty big cons in that sometimes it's hard to understand why we work the way we do. I'm not going to ask you to "Trust in Blizzard" or some other far fetched motto, but I do want to impress that this isn't different than the development of any of our other games.

*Sure there was StarCraft II but the design changes aren't quite as HUGE because they tend to be more about individual units and their balance, although there were some very substantial changes to StarCraft II systems very late in the development process.

I think the biggest issue with this process is that the fans who are truly super devoted become so involved in the process that they get obsessed with the game and want to play it so badly.
Personally, that's what I do. When I'm super excited about a game I completely avoid all news and information on it. I can usually tell when a game is announced if I'm going to like it or not, I'm pretty accurate with my initial assessments. After that I'll just completely avoid any and all information about it, that way when it's released it's a totally fresh experience. I sit in a dark room, quiet, and enjoy the experience. Each thing unfolds as the developer intended, good or bad.

I don't intend to tell anyone here to do the same, I'd be lonely (and potentially out of a job) if you weren't here, but I think that approach, at least for me, definitely has had a big benefit to the way I play and appreciate games.

There was a time when I was obsessed with Unreal. I followed that game day and night for... however long it took, four or five years. I sat in an IRC channel every single day waiting for news, discussing the game, raging when I found out they were scrapping it and starting over, and that was a lot of my time closely following that game. I can definitely identify with that and appreciate the ups and downs, but yeah, I totally support and now personally embrace that attitude of finding out about the game when you play it the first time.

You announced a release window, missing it, then announcing another release window, then missing it again, then you make it sound like this game still needs a ton of work? you do this for every game?
We never said we're missing our new target. But no, we generally don't tell people anything about release targets because they tend to be reduced to screaming obscenities at us when we inevitably miss them, reminding us why we used to not tell anyone anything.

Again, right now, people are begging to know a release window. And we should update them so... they can be nasty and angry when we miss it again? I don't understand who benefits from that.

tatements like this are rather alienating because even those who aren't ranting, being obscene or whatever will read into this as what the company perceives of it's fanbase as a whole.
When you're right you're right. It's late. I apologize.

I look forward to continuing the conversations with you all tomorrow and next week.(Blizz Tracker/Official Forums)

Skill Slot Reduction
1, 2, 3, 4, LMB, RMB, alt-RMB.

7 slots.

(Pro tip: press the X key to swap to your alt-RMB. The X key can be rebound to something else too.)

So no TAB swap?
No, it used to work that the alt-RMB ability would swap in when you hit TAB. Which can still be the case, you'd just rebind the X key to TAB.

You guys are basically arguing against a system that was never a problem to begin with that they have now forced and locked you into a certain system.
In play testing higher levels we just haven't found any use for normal attacks for any of the builds we've been using. There's always a skill that's zero cost and usually builds resource or is just out and out better than a normal attack. Which doesn't mean a build doesn't exist, but since you still have 7 available slots if you want to keep normal attack on your LMB, you can still do that.


Other problems that occur is that Witch Doctor are also basically forced to have 6 skills all of which drain mana as they have no regenerators. If they choose to make one of them an auto attack they miss out on having 6 skills and are stuck at 5.
Wuh? The witch doctor has a ton of mana regenerators. That's like his whole thing.

I just checked, and this option is not available. Do you promise it will be on release? :)
Eek, right, it's still on the to-do list. I refuse to make any promises. :)
(Blizz Tracker/Official Forums)

Twitter
as dev. progresses closer and closer to release, will there be more frequent "systems" updates posted by Jay? (as they're decided)?
Potentially. Depends on how much more we think we're going to change. (source)

Teleport question. If I put Alabaster on it does that 1.2 sec delay mean I can keep casting over and over before 1.2 sec?
Correct! (source)

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