"Ask the Devs" Round 1: Patch 1.0.7, More On "Ask the Devs", Monster Density Being Looked At, ProzaicMuze: Witch Doctor Spirit B

"Ask the Devs" Round 1: Patch 1.0.7
Blizzard will soon hold an "Ask the Devs" event in which many interesting things about the upcoming patch will hopefully be answered. You can read more about how the Q&A will work below.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Welcome to the Diablo III Ask the Devs global Q&A. In this thread we'll be collecting your questions regarding patch 1.0.7, having the community vote for their favorites, and then posting the answers we receive from the developers approximately one week later.


Coming soon! This Q&A will begin on Tuesday, January 29 at 10:00 a.m. PDT.


The topic for this month is Patch 1.0.7. Please feel free to ask any questions related to changes in included this patch (i.e. dueling, class updates, new crafting recipes, etc).

To view the PTR patch notes for 1.0.7, click here.

  • On the date and time specified in this post, we'll unlock the thread and you'll be able to submit your questions regarding patch 1.0.7.
  • When the thread hits its cap, no more questions will be allowed.
  • At that point, we'll ask you to use the thumbs-up button to vote for any questions you'd like to see answered.
  • After about 24 hours, we'll lock the thread, at which time you will no longer be able to vote.
  • We'll then look for the posts with the most votes in every region and pass them on to the Diablo III development team.
  • Approximately a week later, we'll provide you a list of answers delivered directly from the developers.
  • Only one question per post.
  • Stay on topic. Questions that don't relate to the chosen topic (even if highly-rated) won't be sent to the developers.
  • Discussion posts are not allowed! We ask that you only post questions in the Ask the Devs thread. If you would like to discuss related topics, please do so in another thread.
  • You can vote for questions at any time while the thread is unlocked.
  • A highly-rated post does not mean it will be answered, but we'll do our best to answer as many questions as possible.
  • "Dislike" votes don't count.
  • Please don't post or vote for questions you know we won't answer. We're not going to use these Q&As to announce new features, expansions, or release dates. By the same token, we're also not going to answer questions that touch on subjects outside of the game and its design.
  • Keep your question concise. One to three sentences should be plenty to explain background and ask a question.
  • Vote for as many questions as you like.
  • All "Like" votes count. While you can't see the vote tally, we can. Even if a post is already highly rated, your vote still means something to that question (potentially) being answered.
For more information about Ask the Devs, click here.

More On "Ask the Devs"
Some questions were answered about the upcoming Q&A.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

1.0.7. I wonder if questions should only pertain to this patch.
They should, yes (I highly recommend reading the rules listed here)!

The reason we're asking players to focus their questions on a specific topic is that it helps the Q&A run much more smoothly. While it might mean we receive LESS questions, the questions that we do receive tend be of a higher caliber and have much more depth (which in turn allows us to provide responses that are more meaningful and meaty). Additionally, it makes the Q&A super cohesive since the questions all relate to one another in a very specific way.

So many questions we'd like to ask,but if it's only limited to specifics about what they've already announced for the patch,it won't answer many of the hundreds of suggestions/questions already unaddressed by the devs and CM's.
We choose 1.0.7 as the topic because it's very timely. Not only is the patch on the PTR right now, but we've also been seeing a lot of questions from players NOT participating in the public test about the content in 1.0.7 -- everything from why a certain change was made (and what the philosophy was behind it) to how a specific feature is intended to work to whether or not we've considered the long-term effects of a specific update.

We'll be having Q&As about a variety of different topics in the future (and, yup, itemization is one of them). :)

But seriously, look back at the Reddit AMAA. That wen't pretty well, a lot of the answers were fairly long too and very in-depth, at least from Wyatt, especially after getting hounded by one question asker.
Yup, and we'd like to do more of those kinds of Q&As in the future (i.e. more open-ended and held in real-time).

For this particular series, though, we want to have a topic not only for the reasons I listed above, but also because it works better with the format. We're going to be collecting the top questions from each of our regions, translating them into English, getting the developers to provide responses, translating those responses back into the other 10 languages we support, organizing everything in a readable layout, and then publishing the information globally at the same time -- all within a week. Open-ended Q&As tend to work better in real-time and when they're being conducted in only one language; the scope would just be too large for the Ask the Devs, especially if we're looking to provide responses quickly.

While I applaud Blizzard's attempts to re-connect with the community, I feel that this format is really only allowing a place to ask PR-friendly questions.
We're not asking for PR-friendly questions. In fact, we encourage critical inquiries that are detailed and provocative.

What we are asking for are questions that actually can be answered by our developers. They're not going to be able to share release dates or necessarily confirm upcoming projects, but they can provide insight into design choices, acknowledge awareness of certain issues and concerns, as well as discuss (in a more broad sense) their direction for the game.

Because of that, it's probably a good idea to avoid asking things like "WHY DOES DUELING SUCK?" or "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO RELEASE LADDERS?" and instead opt for something more along the lines of "I'm not a big fan of the way dueling is being implemented in 1.0.7. Are there any plans for a reward system in the future? " or "I loved ladders in D2 and feel like they'd be great addition to D3. Are there any plans to provide a similar system in D3, potentially in the form of ladders?" (Though, admittedly, the latter question isn't great for the first round of questions since it's not really related to 1.0.7.)

Explaining our design goals for certain features and stating that one of those goals happens to be "make it fun" -- or even saying something as bold as "we think this new system is pretty fun" -- is not same thing as defining what the word "fun" means to you.

We know that the definition of "fun" varies from player to player, and we're certainly not trying to suggest that our definition is better than anyone else's. What we are trying to do is create an enjoyable game. Different players have different play styles, though, so there may be times when we think something is fun that you do not. And while may not always see eye-to-eye on the fun/not fun level, more often than not we're willing to make changes and work with the community so that what we find fun is also what you find fun.

Not sure I will have time to get home and ask a question before it's locked because full. It looks like it's allowed to post more than one question so maybe it will fill up fast. Would have been great to limit to one question, forcing everyone to focus on their best and more serious question. But since it's done in a forum, home made, it's likely hard to do, monitoring all this.
That's certainly something for us to consider, though as you said it would be difficult to really monitor. I'll take this back to my team and we can debate it, as civilized individuals do (i.e. there might be white boards and post-its involved :P).

Monster Density Being Looked At
Blizzard have already stated that they realize there is a density issue between the different Acts. Solutions are in the works.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I think there are multiple reasons behind the desire for scaling monster density for the players who are asking for it. The first one that comes to mind is not the self-serving need to squeak out insane farming efficiency (there are some who seem to definitely want this), but the desire to feel that they are not losing efficiency when farming anything other than Act III. We definitely want people to farm multiple Acts, so we are discussing options to achieve that goal.

Your ideas on the subject are certainly welcome (in fact, the question of "what mob density would you choose?" is a great one to debate) and we hope that you will continue post them.

ProzaicMuze: Witch Doctor Spirit Barrage Build
Forum member ProzaicMuze has created this very well working Spirit Barrage build for the Witch Doctor. He has recorded two videos to showcase it - one with lots of gameplay to show how well the build works on MP1 and MP3 and another in which he talks about the build in more detail. Check them out below and drop a line in his dedicated thread located here!


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