Power Leveling, Item Level Update, User Questions Answered, Blue Posts, and Diablo Wallpaper

Power Leveling
lindail has shared with us a great spot to farm for experience, helping your character go from 1-50 in about 4 hours. The best part, you do not even have to kill anything yourself. A nice piece of environment does all the work for you.

Item Levels Correctly Displayed on Battle.net
With the change of item levels being displayed for items above lvl 60, the correct numbers are now being shown on Battle.net. This change will also occur in-game when patch 1.0.3 goes live. No longer do you have to wonder why a magic item may be better than a legendary if the magic item's ilvl is higher than the legendary item. You can check out the whole list of legendary items and their ilvl's over at the official Diablo 3 battle.net page.

Q & A with Bashiok on Popular Questions
Bashiok took the time to answer a lengthy list of questions compiled from multiple users. You can see some quick points below or read all 35 questions!
  • Updates are coming for the AH such as a "buy out" filter as well as being able to sell damaged items (which will be automatically repaired for the buyer). Other enhancements are being looked into like seeing sold item stats, detailed buy/sell info, and more filter options.
  • Nephalem Valor buff is being looked into with both a warning if you are about to do something to cancel the buff and a grace period for disconnects.
  • Pet/Follower AI may get improved to avoid them attacking invulnerable targets and focus on vulnerable targets first and attacking elites/treasure goblins who are far away.
  • There are many UI changes being looked at once more important issues are resolved.
  • Possibly adding a tutorial tip for elective mode once entering Nightmare.
  • Many improvements coming for friends list/quick join like expanded game lists with all players and difficulty.
  • Chat UI improvements are being looked in to such as private chat rooms.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I've been keeping track of all the small things that could be improved in Diablo 3
Thanks for that. We really appreciate everyone helping to provide constructive feedback, and rest assured we're taking a lot of it with us to meetings, design decisions, and many will be seen in not-too-distant patches.

I'm going to do my best to answer/address/comment on each of these points, and approach each as plainly and honestly as possible, so please bear with me.

1) As a player, I want to have some sort of warning and/or confirmation box when I'm about to do something that will cause me to lose Nephalem Valor stacks so that I don't accidentally move or change an ability and lose my stacks.
Sounds reasonable. We're adding in an action bar lock which should help with that, but a confirmation sounds like a possible addition to that. I think we'd like to try to see if the action bar lock works well enough first.

2) As an Auction House user, I want a checkbox for "buyout only" so that I don't have to use a janky work-around.
Us too! This change should already be in for the 1.0.3 patch.

3) As an advanced player, I want the option to show numerical cooldowns on my abilities so that I can better time them.
We're really trying hard to avoid quickly bloating the game options, and since this would be an option, we're cautiously approaching it and a few other toggle/option requests. Short answer, probably not right now.

4) As a player, I want to be able to move and resize the chat window so that I can put it where I want it.
We would love if this was possible too, and we're right now looking into making it happen. The issue is that our UI system was designed in a way that makes this a pretty steep technical challenge. The question right now is just when we'd be able to pull it off. Unlikely for any nearby patches.

5) As a player, I want to be able to increase or decrease the font size in the chat window so that I can make it better for my monitor/resolution.
This change is in for patch 1.0.3! Yay.

6) As a player, I want to see absorption effects on my health bar so that I can easily see and act on my remaining absorption shield.
We really want to avoid showing health numbers or effects on the health resource spheres, it's just a UI clutter issue we're really trying to fight right now. A lot of easy solutions are to pile more UI on top of things, and it tends to really snowball once it begins. We could look at other tells or effects for this, though.

7) As a Wizard, I want to see a buff icon for "Magic Weapon" and "Familiar" so that I can know its current status.
We're adding a buff icon for Magic Weapon in 1.0.3. We don't intend to add one for Familiar as it's a physically visible object on your screen. Magic Weapon was actually impossible to tell if it was up in quite a few cases. We'll be continuing to watch skills and buff icons, though, as there could be some situations where we need to expose more.

8) As a player, I want some way to retain my stacks of Nephalem Valor when I accidentally disconnect so that I don't feel terrible if I disconnect with a 5-stack before a boss.
We would love that too. Seriously. We're already in the process of determining how much work it would be, and as always it's a balance of priorities. I think this is a matter of not if, but when, and right now we're not sure when we could get it in.

9) As a player, I want a way to disable lore/story text from showing up in the chat frame so that I don't have to always scroll after an in-game conversation.
This is actually already an option in-game! :D Sound -> Show Quest Dialog In-Chat (is what I believe it's called)

10) As a player, I want to have my previous follower always automatically follow me whenever I start a new single-player session so that I don't forget and have to go back.
Good idea. We'll look into it.

11) As an Auction House user, I would like to be able to repair my items from the auction house so that I can sell them without going in the game.
We're just changing it so you can sell damaged items in the next patch.

I personally think buying an item on the AH that is damaged is a major annoyance.
Ah yes! Right so when you buy it, it's repaired for you.

12) As a Blacksmith, I want to see what tier an item is before I salvage it so I can know what materials to expect.
It’s something we’ve talked about, but no concrete plans at this time. There are potentially better issues to focus on first for crafting in general.

13) As a player, I want my pets/minions to not attack invulnerable targets and instead focus on vulnerable targets so that I can kill things faster.
Yes! We're looking into how to pull this off. It's a bit tricky just due to how monster states work, but it shouldn't be too difficult.

14) As a player, I want the experience bar to hide once I hit the maximum level so that it doesn't take up unnecessary screen space.
Our UI really isn't modular, so it'd be a lot of work just to save those few pixels. There's probably more important fish to fry at the moment.

15) As a player, I want to see what difficulty my friends are playing so that I can know if I'll be interested in joining them.
We have some great social window and quick join improvements coming in 1.0.3, including showing the game difficulty they're in, who else is in the game with them, a bunch of just nice usability and UI changes, as well as making the quick join window smarter by limiting who is shown to you by level and difficulty.

16) As a new player, I want to be made aware of "elective mode" once I've become familiar with the game so that I can learn about and try more advanced builds.
It's already shown through the loading tips, but we're looking to also add it as a tutorial tip that will show up whenever you begin a new difficulty from Nightmare-on.

17) As a player, I want it so that only my accepted friends can autojoin my game so that I don't get surprised by "recent players" that aren't my friends while playing.
Huh, well, yeah that sounds like a reasonable request. We'll look into it.

18) As an advanced player, I want the option to show numerical values around my health and power orbs so that I can make better decisions.
(see answer for number 6) I understand there's a desire to see more numbers exposed, but again we're really fighting UI and option bloat from all angles. I think a lot of additions are inevitable, but the game just came out 3 weeks ago and we're looking at a product where we'll be adding and tweaking for years and years.

19) As an Auction House user, I want to see a detailed view about all steps in the buying/selling process so that I can know exactly what the status on my purchase is (ex: "XXX Gold paid for YYY item, (newline)YYY item received, (newline), YYY item sent to stash")
I'll pass that along.

20) As a player, I want the game to automatically hit my next-best-potion type when I'm out of my current potion type so that I don't have to reassign it during a long fight.
Yeah, we think there could be some 'smarts' added to the potion button too. It's on a wish list, we don't know when it's something we could prioritize into an update.

21) As an Auction House user, I would like tooltips for damaged items to still show the item stats when looking at them from the sell menu so that I don't have to log into the game to see them (maybe just put "damaged" somewhere on the tooltip?).
I believe this is resolved with the ability to sell damaged items in the next patch.

22) As an Auction House user, I want to be able to have ascending/descending orders by stat in the Auction House UI so that I can better find an item I want.
We're looking at a number of AH UI improvements; there's still a ways to go. The biggest issue is really adding more options when we're already running into space constraints, but that's our problem, and we're working on it.

23) As a player, I want a "build saver" so that I can easily change between builds rather than trying to remember them.
We think that'd be cool too, it's something we've been considering for a while. We don't have it nailed down to begin working on it yet, though.

24) As a player, I want integration between the website's "build saver" and an in-game build saver so that I can screw around with builds while not logged in.
Hah! That'd be cool. Probably on an extended wish list. ;)

25) As an advanced player, I want to be able to move, scale, or hide any UI element so that I can make the UI convey me information in a more customized fashion.
Our UI isn't modular, so this would be very difficult. We also don't intend for the UI to be customizable to the degree of... well certainly not World of Warcraft, but any options we add for UI customization would be along the lines of minor tweaks. I realize a lot of MMO's have very customizable UI's these days, and people really like that, but it's just not a focus of functionality for the game. We'd rather understand what improvements people would like, why, and try to tackle those specific issues.

26) As a player, I would like some way to get Tomes of Jewelcrafting in Inferno that's not cumbersome so that I can combine my square gems without going back to Hell difficulty.
Ideally it's something you can help address through just throwing some gold at the auction house if you don't want to go back to Hell, but with commodities being down I realize that's not an option. Our preference would be to see if use of the AH helps you meet those needs by just buying what other players don't need. If not, we can look at some potential solutions.

27) As a player, I want a "Detailed Breakdown" option that allows me to compare stats such as resistances, magic finding, etc. so that I can better analyze item choices.
We're planning to roll resistances into the defense comparison, and we'll be evaluating other comparisons case by case. We know people really like the convenience of quick +/- red/green comparisons, but they're not always as informative as they're taken to be. In any case we're approaching additions cautiously.

28) As a player, I want a private chat UI element so that it will be easier for me to hold multiple private conversations at once.
Similar to question number 4 it's not something we're opposed to, but isn't easily pulled off due to how our UI works. We do want to improve the chat UI though, absolutely.

29) As a player, I want to be able to have a private chat room so that me and my friends can chat even if we're in different Diablo sessions.
Customizable/private chat channels, yes, it's something that's been on our list.

30) As an advanced Auction House user, I want a more complex query interface with "OR"/"AND" for stats so that I can better find an item I want to buy.
These are called boolean search terms, right? It's an interesting proposition. To parrot my previous AH-related responses, there's a lot of search improvements to be made.

31) As an Auction House user, I want to be able to see the stats of items that I've sold so that I can refer to previous sales when determining prices for new sales.
I can see how that could be useful.

32) As a ranged player, I want invulnerable minions to not block projectiles so that I can actually kill an invulnerable minion pack. (More of an opinionated one :-P)
Yeah, I mean, that's kind of just an issue of placement and projectile aim. We think Invulnerable enemies are a bit ridiculous right now anyway, but I wouldn't say this suggestion is probably needed if we just make some overall changes to them.

33) As a player, I want to be able to disable companion conversations so that I'm not annoyed hearing them all the tim
We're well aware. ;)

34) As a max level player, I want an option to skip all cutscenes/dialogue so that I don't have to constantly press the spacebar to advance in the current game flow.
If you hit Esc during any 'forced' conversations, cutscenes, etc. you can skip right through them. We think it works pretty well. I'd be open to hearing any specific issues it's causing, though.

35) As a player, I do not want my followers to initiate combat with elite, rare, or treasure goblins so that I can have more time to prepare to fight them.
We have some AI tweaks to do with followers, we know this can get pretty annoying (or deadly).

PHEW! Well, again, thanks for compiling that, thanks to everyone for your continued feedback. There's a lot here we're already aware of, working on, or have already implemented in a patch, and I realize there are a fair amount of other concerns not covered here that are also being addressed. We'll have some additional information on upcoming patches and improvements in the weeks ahead. Keep cool.

Blue Posts

Originally Posted by (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Improvements to the Survivability of Witch Doctor Pets
While the intent is for witch doctors to re-summon Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan fairly often, we agree that pets aren't living long enough in higher difficulty levels. Of course, the harder difficulties are supposed to be more challenging, but we don't think it's fun gameplay to cast Zombie Dogs, watch them die almost instantly, wait for the cooldown to reset, re-cast Zombie Dogs, watch them die almost instantly...etc. And this is happening even when players are wearing pretty reasonable gear.

We're looking into ways to improve witch doctor pet survivability at later levels, but we don't have any clear plans to share just yet. One thing we're considering, though, is having pets scale with your Vitality (which they currently do not do). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

General Chat Opt-Out Remembered
We're looking to add functionality in a future patch that will "remember" if you've left General chat. It'll work similarly to World of Warcraft -- after you've left General chat once, you won't be automatically re-added to the channel whenever you next log in. It will essentially "opt you out" of the channel, but you'll still be able to re-join it manually.

If you see another player spamming or advertising in-game, though, be sure to use the right-click > Report > Spam option. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Only 0 Items Allowed in Your Stash Resolved
Update: This issue should now be resolved. If you were affected by it, please relog and try again. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Error 37
We're aware that many players are receiving "Error 37" when logging into the game. This error indicates that the authentication service (the step that verifies your username and password, and checks to see that you've agreed to the Terms of Use) for Diablo III is experiencing is a high volume of traffic and cannot immediately process your login attempt. We're working to reduce the frequency at which players are prompted with this error message and ensure that everyone can log in and play as quickly as possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Poor Treasure Goblins
Treasure goblin killed my father.
A six-fingered Treasure Goblin?

I think it was a one armed Treasure Goblin, wasn't it?
What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every waypoint, abandoned cellar, alehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, and doghouse in that area. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Organizing Character List
We agree! We're looking to add the ability for players to reorganize their hero list in an upcoming patch (we're currently thinking 1.1.0). (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Action Bar Lock Option
We're already working on adding an action bar lock for Elective Mode. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Follower Dialogue
Lyndon: This has to be THE worst place to leave a cart!
This is definitely among my favorites from Lyndon. :) I especially enjoying watching how each follower interacts with not only my own hero, but also the other characters and environments within the world as well. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Does Blizzard Listen
First off: we’re absolutely listening. And in case you haven’t read our recent Game Design Update you should definitely check it out. It offers quite a lot of insight into some of the discussions we’ve been having behind the scenes, as well as our overall design goals and just a few of the game changes that we’re working on.

Everybody’s got an opinion. The things that one person most strongly dislikes are probably not the same things that are frustrating another equally passionate player, and perhaps neither concern are the topmost priorities for the developers to focus on at this particular moment.

If you have feedback, we’re definitely interested in hearing it, especially if you can give specific, constructive feedback on your concerns. But I think it’s important to remember that Diablo III has only been out for a little over two weeks, and so in many cases, we have been watching how things develop and planning how to best address particular concerns. I can assure you that we’re well aware of the major concerns, and have indeed touched upon most of them. We’re also going to be getting into the nitty-gritty of some specific changes we have coming up very soon, and then we’ll have the patch out before you know it.

Also, keep in mind that every alteration, even the smallest, most obscure one that you might not even notice, has to go through a huge number of hands and be thoroughly tested, evaluated, and reevaluated before they finally make it into your waiting hands. That process simply takes time.

In essence: simply because we haven’t addressed particular concerns here on the forums yet, that doesn’t mean they are not under close observation or that we don’t intend to address them. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Quick Fixes
There's a time and a place for fast-action, high-priority designations. And believe me, we do have those types of approval pipelines. I'd argue though that reacting in a rash manner does not, in most cases, make for great game design.

Game design really is an art form more than a mathematical equation, even with so much math involved. The end goal should be amazing gameplay. And how that's defined will differ from person to person.

Sure, we can be slow to act. Sometimes we can be too slow. But even with the mistakes we've made -- and the mistakes we're sure to make in the future -- I think we're better off taking a measured approach to potential design changes. :)

Thanks for being professional in all your responses. All of your team.
Thanks for bearing with us as we've tried to keep information flowing on these forums. They've been moving quite fast!

Of all the issues and questions being asked on the Forums why respond to this? I see the same half-dozen questions being asked by many users with no answers. Yet I see Blues responding to what is the best drink to have while playing and what their favorite in game moment was, bravo. :(
If you have any issues with what we do on the forums, send it to WoWCMFeedback@Blizzard.com. Don't follow us into threads and tell us where we should be posting. Thanks.

If you know you're slow to react and implement changes, can't you be a little more forthcoming with informing us of what you want to do?
We're always striving to improve our communication. The primary function of the community team is to listen to the players, so we've spent a lot of time these past few weeks compiling feedback and taking it to the developers.

The flip side of that coin is for us to relay information back to the community as best as we can and as often as possible.

Does your team simply hate talking with the public for fear of "breaking promises"?
No, but you're asking very specific questions about late-game class balance only a couple of weeks into Diablo III's life cycle. The overwhelming majority of the community isn't even there yet. We're watching things very closely and have a lot of tweaks in mind, many of which are already being worked out, but we're not looking to jump all over balance adjustments and catch players off-guard. And it's certainly not an MMO where balance is among the biggest concerns.

For those who have already invested a lot of time into this game I'm sure these last couple of weeks have felt like a lifetime. But with regard to this game's lifespan, we're barely in our infancy.

All of that said, we're already preparing another game design update to share with everyone soon. We hope that'll provide additional insight into our plans for the foreseeable future.

So because I'm in the 1.9% in Inferno, my opinion matters little?
Pathetically bad itemization and drop rate on suitable items in Inferno is a low priority?
Melee going squish in seconds on rares/elites in act2+ is on the back burner in favor of casuals in normal/nightmare/hell?

Conversations don't work when you put words in my mouth and then venomously question -- in a near rhetorical fashion -- how I could say such things.

I don't know if it's just because you're frustrated that you see red whenever you see blue. But you seriously need to relax.

Who does it serve when hundreds of players jump on any blue poster they see, tar and feathers at the ready?(Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

New Diablo Wallpaper
Blizzard has released this weeks wallpaper and its Diablo! You can get the image in various resolutions here.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We understand that picking out the appropriate desktop wallpaper to fit your tastes and complement your décor can be an arduous task. To that end, we'll be offering you help every Friday (...roughly) by featuring a new downloadable Diablo III, StarCraft II or World of Warcraft wallpaper image on our community sites.

Here's what we have for you this week. Enjoy!


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