Watch Tower and Weeping Hollow Density Adjusted, The Process of Adding Changes, Game Devs Don't Work on the Website, Console and

Watch Tower Density Lowered
The Watch Tower has received a nerf to density, because it offered a bit too much compared to the rest of the changed content.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

The Watch Tower was changed because of how insanely good it was compared to most farming locations. It benefited from having an abnormally high Elite density, resplendent chest spawn, and was located conveniently close to a waypoint (a combination which made it an outlier in terms of efficiency as well as a go-to spot for a large number of players). While there's nothing wrong with a particular farming location being good or even better than other areas, it becomes an issue when one spot starts to eclipse everything else. We wanted to make sure players didn't feel like they had to farm that spot or else they'd be missing out, so in patch 1.0.5 we moved it from Northern Highlands to Southern Highlands with the idea that it would require spending some extra time to find it, since that was one of major reasons why the area was so OP. Initially we didn’t want to nerf the dungeon, but eventually the Elite density was toned down anyway, and the tower remains in Southern Highlands.

To answer your question, though, parts of the Watch Tower were nerfed, but the chances for it (and the merchant) to spawn have not changed. I wish you good luck in your search for the merchant, but it’ll probably take a few attempts!

"There is an effective area for finding loot in a loot finding game?!'
"We will change that...."
I think this is a pretty simplistic way to view the situation, but I agree that having a favorite farming spot nerfed doesn't feel great. We get that. The alternative, though, (at least in situations like this, where that spot is way beyond the norm) is that people feel forced into playing one tiny section of the game, and that's arguably worse for the health of the game overall.

Weeping Hollow Density Restored
It appears Blizzard just wanted a reaction out of the players on the PTR with adjusting the density in the Weeping Hollow. It was mostly negative, so the change is reverted!

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Not harsh, just passionate. No worries. :)

The changes we made to The Weeping Hollow in the most recent PTR patch were really just an experiment. Based on feedback we'd seen regarding density (in terms of monster spawn pacing), it wasn't totally clear what players preferred; some wanted more clumps, some wanted less, and some liked things just the way they were. There wasn't a clear-cut answer, so our designers made a change to see what would happen. Rapid iteration like that is one of the cool things we can do with the PTR.

Given the response from players since the change went live (thanks for all your posts, btw), we're going to be restoring monster density and spawn pacing in The Weeping Hollow to its earlier PTR levels, and that will most likely be what we stick with for 1.0.8.

The Process of Adding Changes to the Game
Grimiku has shed some light of Blizzard's process of adding new content or changes to the game. It is not an easy one.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

I know there is a lot of criticism about sentences like "something we talk about in the office" or "it's something were working on", and the solution everyone wants are faster updates. I think we'd all love for the patching process to be quicker (that’s kind of like saying “who doesn’t want free stuff?”), but the fact is: patches aren’t created in a vacuum, and it’s really not as simple as you might think.

Seemingly simple changes usually have a lot of work associated with them, and it’s easy to underestimate the complicated nature of the work involved. New content has to be coded, implemented, assigned art assets (sometimes), have a test environment built for it, tested until its right, and then we rinse and repeat that process each time we iterate. After that, we need to coordinate a release on a global level, make sure everything is localized, and then deploy to the live game (which is not just a flick of a switch). That isn’t to say we can’t do better, and we’re always working on ways to improve, but my point is this shouldn’t be trivialized. It’s a disservice to your feedback and this discussion to do that.

We also tend to use flexible language when talking about changes that aren’t ironed out yet or have a timeline for when they’ll be implemented. That way, we can talk about what we’re working on and acknowledge ideas/issues even if we don’t have a lot of details to discuss (i.e. we may not always know when a particular change is going to make it into the game or how it will manifest, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about it). While that may not be your ideal scenario, we prefer it over staying quiet since it keeps the community more involved. Just some food for thought.

Game Devs Don't Work on the Website
Some players have speculated that developers are wasting their time by adding things to the site. That is not the case however, as that's the Web Designers' job.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Web updates (like the new icons) are handled by our web team, not the game development team.

Similarly, polls that we post are handled by the community team, not the game development team.

These are small things we can do to improve the site and how different players use it; they do not impact game development.

So, my loquacious button much I enjoy great satire, I'm going to ask you to please stop trolling. ;)

Console and PC Teams are Different
On the same note as the previous article forum members fear that the development of the console version of Diablo 3 might be slowing down the PC version. Again, those are different teams.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

We know there is a concern among some players that working on the console version of Diablo III takes away from PC development, but thankfully that's not the case. They are entirely separate teams with individual content cycles. Lylirra made some comments about this issue in this thread, and this one. I'll quote a few of her comments below.

Our plan is to continue using staggered development, which means the PC version and the console version will have their own separate development teams and cycles.

Beyond that, we actually have an independent team of designers, engineers, artists, and producers that are dedicated to adapting Diablo III to the PlayStation and creating an epic console experience. It's their job to take the PC game and translate it to the PS3, and in a way deal with all the considerations you're talking about. While our console team and PC team do collaborate (and have collaborated in the past), it's always to ensure that we’re staying true to D3 on the PlayStation platform.

Curse Weekly Roundup
In last week's Curse Weekly Roundup James talks about the new LOTRO DLC, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Battlefield 4's release date, Nintendo on E3 and much more!


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