Transmogrification No Longer Binds items, "Stay Awhile and Listen" Review, Community Commentary: To Live is to Die

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Transmogrification No Longer Binds items
Lylirra confirmed today that Transmogrification no longer binds items to accounts! At the end of the post there are a few more interesting things: some dyes have been disabled from being applied to dropped gear and a lot of legendaries have already been reworked and are now dye-able!

The change to dyes on dropped gear has been made so less random colors appear on dropped gear and the character can look a bit more consistent when equipped only with dropped gear that hasn't been dyed manually.

There's also a lot more in the post, so read on! The change to Transmog is at about the middle.

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Being able to visually customize your character is something that many players enjoy, even in Diablo III. Unfortunately, right now it's super difficult to experiment with different looks (or even achieve certain looks) without crippling your character's power or efficiency. With transmogrification, players can continue to wear the gear that makes them feel powerful, while also wearing something that makes them feel pretty*. That seems pretty win-win to us, and certainly worthy of development resources.

Yes, not everyone will want to take advantage of transmogrification, but many players will and ideally it'll make their in-game experience more enjoyable as a result.

*See also: awesome, manly, epic, badass, like a boss, [positive adjective here].

forgive me....for being a party pooper
I don't think you're being a party pooper at all. I just think you're voicing an opinion that might be different from other players you interact with. Having a differing opinion isn't bad and it certainly doesn't fall into party pooper territory. It's when you assume that your opinion is more valid than others (particularly if said opinion seeks to belittle the enjoyment of people who aren't you) and start to be a jerk about it that you need to be careful of your Double-P status. ;)

i can think of so many other things i would like to see
instead of transmog
The majority of design decisions aren't really binary like that (i.e. you get this OR that), and we've no plans to remove transmogrification at this point given the positive feedback it's received thus far.

Even so, let's entertain the discussion. What kind of features would you like to see in Reaper of Souls instead of or in addition to transmogrification? And why?

i want less wow stuff
and more diablo stuff
We’ve no plans to suddenly starting adding features from World of Warcraft simply because they’re from World of Warcraft. We based transmogrification in Diablo III on the working model we have for World of Warcraft, yes, but the impetus for adding it wasn't because "it's in World of Warcraft, therefore it should be in Diablo III"; it was because (we feel) it provides a meaningful service to players, one that's at present missing and has been repeatedly asked for. It's not just a direct port, either; we've made several changes to the system to ensure that it makes sense within Sanctuary and fits the D3 game model.

So, the process is kind of like this:

- Identify an issue or area that needs improvement > Discuss solutions > Is the best possible solution based on World of Warcraft? > Yes. > Okay, let’s tailor it to Diablo III.


- Identify an issue or area that needs improvement > Discuss solutions > Is the best possible solution based on a mechanic from World of Warcraft? > No. > Okay, cool. Let’s do something else.

NOT this:

- Let’s arbitrarily add a World of Warcraft feature to Diablo III > Does it make sense to add this feature or solve any issues? > lol, no > Find excuses to add it anyway.

It's all about having an issue to address or a role to fill first then developing a feature to fit, not vice-versa. :)

I think your transmog feature is a mistake, and I would much rather see you blatantly copy rifts wardrobe tab. I'm sorry, im very excited for transmog.. but not this transmog.
Cosmetic slots are pretty sweet! Though, perhaps not the best solution for Diablo III specifically. We feel the transmogrification system is a little more robust and a lot easier for players to maintain, especially in terms of item management.

For reference: unlike cosmetic slots (or even the way transmogrification works in World of Warcraft), the system in Diablo III doesn't actually require players to keep the "visual" item in order to use its appearance. Which is great when stash space is limited. Instead, you unlock appearances by leveling up the Mystic – or, in the case of Legendary items, by identifying them. Once an appearance is unlocked, it'll be available across all Normal characters or all Hardcore characters on your account, depending on which game mode you're playing. Any appearance you unlock will then be stored in the transmogrification UI.

(For people who may have missed it, here’s a big write up by Vaeflare on the Mystic that goes over a lot of its functionality:

Jennifer poops at the parties?
It's easier than shooting some fish in a barrel. (Where do you get a barrel these days, anyway?)

The legitimate pve you said we would have at release.
The build and item diversity you said we would have at release. And In loot 1.04.
Better replayability, greater build diversity and balance, and a (more) meaningful item hunt are all core pillars for both the expansion and pre-expansion patch. Those three goals are guiding nearly every decision and change we're making, which includes but is certainly not limited to: smart drops, enchanting, Paragon improvements, loot runs, and the yet-to-be-officially-announced Adventure Mode (which you'll hear more about at BlizzCon).

There's also changes like:
  • Reducing the number of items that drop, but improving their overall quality
  • Narrowing stat ranges on items (example: instead of rolling 1-100 an item might now roll 80-100)
  • Breaking item stats into two separate categories -- Primary (stats that directly improve your character's power) and Secondary (stats that provide utility) -- that can roll independently of one another to help avoid scenarios where a stat like Pick-Up Radius is having to compete with stats like Attack Speed or +%damage
  • Creating Legendary powers that are aimed at not only being mathematically powerful, but also have the opportunity to spawn meaningful and potentially interesting build choices
  • Plus a boatload of skill tuning that's still very much in-progress (see recent datamining)
In the end, transmogrification is simply one small part of a much larger picture. We hope you'll enjoy the result. :)

The pvp you said we would have at release.
As for PvP, that's a fair request, but not one we have any immediate plans to address. Right now, our priority is focused on addressing issues with core gameplay and building upon the PvE experience. We really want to nail that first.

Okay, so stupid question: Will I have access to the appearances of the identified legends I already have, or will I have to find/craft new ones to gains those appearances?
Not stupid at all.

Legacy Legendaries that are already identified will definitely not unlock an appearance. We're still determining whether or notunidentified legacy Legendaries will work the same way/have the same restriction. Once that decision is made, we'll be sure to let everyone know. I'd definitely recommend checking out Vaeflare's blog in the meantime; lots of great details in there!

FYI: legacy (in this case) = items that drop before the pre-expansion patch goes live.

Can I just point out the flaw in this logic? The process should be based on innovation. You shouldn't go right to working models and just tailor it to diablo 3. That seems like the basis of reasoning that has made diablo 3 a mediocre game.
You're trying to read between the lines when there's no need to. We're not immediately looking to pre-existing solutions. Rather, the scenario I provided was simply to illustrate that we don't go out of our way to implement features from World of Warcraft "just because." We do so if it makes sense for Diablo III and also happens to be (what we feel) is the best possible solution available.

Another way of putting it is:

- Identify an issue or area that needs improvement. > Explore and examine many different solutions, new and pre-existing. > Is the best possible solution based on World of Warcraft? > Yes. > Okay, let’s tailor it to Diablo III.

I've learned not to waste my time giving devs/blue my opinion. They rarely listen, and when they do, it takes them 2 years to act on it. Why bother?
Oh STAHP. :) We're absolutely open to feedback and have made many changes based on it since launch, and are continuing to draw upon said feedback as we develop Reaper of Souls.

If you're perhaps wondering why we may not be acting on your particular feedback, though? That could be for two reasons, I suppose. On one hand, it's possible the goals we have for Diablo III may not align with the goals you have. On the other, you may just be having a hard time communicating your wants or needs in a way we can understand and relate to. Seriously. It helps heaps if you voice your opinions constructively and leave them open to debate and discussion, rather than taking a completely offensive position and then just shutting down to alternative viewpoints (as I've noticed you're sometimes wont to do). From a design perspective, it's much easier to understand what an individual, or a even a community, wants/needs -- and then figure out what we can potentially do to address that -- if feedback is expressed in a way that encourages dialogue and is open to compromise.

/friendly, though somewhat off-topic 2cents

How about the team bases solutions on ... wait for it ... Diablo 2?
If the best solution to an issue draws from Diablo II, we've no problem with that at all. There are many features in the game right now that are based on or pay homage to features in previous Diablo games. However, what we consider to be the best solution and what players consider to be the best solution will sometimes vary, and that I think that's really the crux of the debate here.

When implementing new features or making changes to existing ones, our goal is to improve the game as a whole and hopefully make your play experience much more enjoyable as a result. It's not about where ideas come from, but whether or not they're achieving said goal. We think transmogrification is something that will both improve the game and the play experience, and a lot of players would agree.

As you can see by this discussion, though, we can't always please everyone. This is where feedback comes in. While we may not be able to reach a 100% please-rate, we're happy to re-examine our design decisions to see how we might get closer to that mark.

Please the Diablo players, WoW players be damned
So you're saying that the many people who asked for visual customization options and will enjoy transmogrification somehow aren't true Diablo players and should (therefore) have their feedback ignored? Interesting.

I'd like to hear your argument for why a service like transmogrification doesn't fit with a Diablo game, by the way (beyond "it's from WoW"). How do you personally feel it takes away from the core gameplay experience? That's not really been articulated yet.

Transmorg you say? !@#$ that's priority number one, lets get it done and have an entire panel at blizzcon about how cool it's going to be to change up how my char looks between a handful of different possible options.
There's a transmogrifcation panel at BlizzCon?! BUT IT'S NOT ON MY SPREADSHEETS.

Seriously, though (and I noted this earlier): transmogrification is simply one part of a much larger picture. It's not a linchpin; it's a complement to many other features and changes being worked on for our expansion and pre-expansion patch milestones.

Lylirra can you help us understand why a cosmetic change disables any further trading?
Why is this requirement on par with a complex game mechanic like an affix reroll?
Currently, the binding is part of the cost of the service and helps function as an item sink. While we'll be removing the gold and real-money auction houses, we're still evaluating what measures are required (in their absence) to ensure a good item acquisition/reward loop for any given player.

Basically: it's something we're experimenting with, but isn't set in stone. We definitely appreciate all the feedback. I've already passed on a lot of the discussions here to designers working on the Mystic, and they agree you've all brought up many great points (re: BoA). :)

I really hope this is a subtle hint that your devs may find the complainants are right on this one and that BoA on transmog has a chance of disappearing into the aether. It's a great system (even by the consideration of many who have never been MMO guys, WoW in particular) that I'd love to not see crippled for the sake of sinking items. =)
It’s more than a subtle hint. I actually just spoke to Wyatt this morning, and they’ve already tasked removing BoA from transmogrification. :)

About transmogrification skins and crafted legendaries.
Since transmogrification skins for legendaries will be unlocked by identifying the item, what happens with crafted legendaries that come already identified?
Will craft at least one of them count as having identified one?
Will we be able to use those skins for transmogrification if the blacksmith knows how to craft them?
Wyatt told me to tell you “great point.” We’re looking into it right now. If the tech can support it, we’d like to grant players visual appearances for crafted Legendaries the first time they craft the item.

However, making the item BoA for upgrading it still makes a lot of sense. I hope that part gets left in there.
Enchanting an item will still bind it to your account, yup!

May I inquire as to why the dev team is so determined to add binding to this game? You've removed efficient trading already, so why more binding?
Same philosophy I provided before:

Currently, the binding is part of the cost of the service and helps function as an item sink. While we'll be removing the gold and real-money auction houses, we're still evaluating what measures are required (in their absence) to ensure a good item acquisition/reward loop for any given player.

However, we agreed with the feedback of "BoA should be a price to pay for power, not cosmetics," as well as several other cases provided in this thread (which is why we elected to remove the BoA cost from transmogrification).

i think its great this is being done but its a bit scary that 1. it was to go ahead in the first place and 2. the devs change their minds as quickly as i change my shorts.
I wouldn't panic. We added BoA to transmogrification in the first place to see how it would play out; it was never set in stone, but instead was something we wanted to explore as a possibility in the actual game environment. That's how iteration works, especially during the development stages we're in right now (where there's still experimentation happening and lots of internal testing).

Any news about whether or not we'll be able to carry forward legacy UNIDENTIFIED items to unlock skins in RoS?
No updates yet!

If it gets rid of the clown look....I'm all for it.
So, relatedly (I just made that word up), on the whole "clown-like" topic:

As some of you may know, when a Rare item drops, they have a random dye color automatically assigned to them. Currently, all dyes are considered valid options for Rare drops, which can lead to some pretty interesting outcomes.

We recently made a change to this mechanic, however, to restrict the kind of dyes that can do this. Basically, we've disabled a handful of the more...uhh, fabulous dyes from being auto-applied to Rare items.

The following dyes will be continue to roll automatically on Rare items: Abyssal, Infernal, Purity, Mariner's, Winter, Cardinal, Ranger's, Tanner's, and Desert.

The following dyes will (as of the pre-expansion patch, I believe) no longer roll automatically on Rare items: Lovely, Royal, Elegant, Summer, Golden, Autumn, Aquatic, and Forester's.

This should outright eliminate the dilemma of "Oh sweet, an upgrade for my Barbarian! Aaand it's bright pink again. Awesome."

Legendary and Set items that can be dyed? That thing we were told was being worked on. Even an update on that would be really nice.
That's certainly the goal, but it's a work in progress at the moment so not yet confirmed to happen 100%. In our internal builds, we've got dyes working for a lot of Legendaries, but certainly not all. We've still got some work to do to get the tech right, and of course...testing. :)

"Stay Awhile and Listen" Review
The book "Stay Awhile and Listen" is out! Some of you might remember our contest "Tristram's Tune" a few months back, which was related to it. Now that it's published we took some time to read it and review it.

DiabloFans Quote:

Do you love Diablo? Have you spent countless hours playing Diablo I? Did you like "The Social Network"? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" there is a great read for you that just came out two days ago.

David Cradock's "Stay Awhile and Listen" is able to enchant any reader with its short and clearly written passages, genuine and involving storytelling, and an abundance of facts and information straight from the source.

It's a book about game design; a book about business; failure; success; conflict; passion; people; companies. It's a book about a game... a book about Diablo.

"Stay Awhile and Listen" introduces us to young David Brevik and Max and Erich Schaefer. It leads us through their lives from the point of their first steps into adulthood. The first consoles and games they ever played. Their interest in their respective fields. The three young men try their luck in various companies in the mid and late 80's, but just can't seem to settle in until they decide to create their own game company - Condor.

"The rest is history", some would say. Well, no, the rest is a story that's very interesting and important to read.

Nothing is sugar coated - there is no overnight success. The three young men worked hard. They worked really freaking hard. For years. A few times they are on the verge of bankruptcy. And yet they made it. Thankfully for them Blizzard believed in their skills and enthusiasm right after the arrival of one of those financially dooming moments.

David Cradock has gone far and beyond what most authors would do as research for their creations. He has included what surmounts to many, many hours of interviews over the phone, over email and even chat. This is not only with Brevik and the Schaefers, but also the majority of their team at Condor, ex-colleagues from different companies and some of the ex-Blizzard employees as well. Sadly, the book does not include interviews with anyone from the current Blizzard staff.

This is also a great and even exemplary read for anyone interested in joining the gaming industry. Condor and Blizzard have shared quite a lot of the process of creation of not only Diablo, but also WarCraft I. Programmers talk about the challenges they've faced and how they've overcome them, the collective game design creation process in the two companies, the inspirations, ideas, the every day life in the studio. Nothing has been spared from the pages of the book.

Sweet little details on the life as a young game developer, the revelation-like feeling of creating something as revolutionary as Diablo and the character growth of every person that has gone through such existential metamorphoses. These and A LOT more is bubbling on the pages of David Cradock's "Stay Awhile and Listen"!

Upon finishing the book you're not sure if you've just read a novel, seen a biographical movie or learned about the history and tendencies of technology. Such book gives you pleasure, fulfillment and yet - a craving for more.

The book is available on Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Google Play

Community Commentary: To Live is to Die

Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Chances are that if you've played Diablo III for any significant period of time that you've died at some point in your journeys. In Hardcore mode, death is the end of the road for your hero. Death in Normal mode (or Softcore), however, is a very different affair, and the penalty for doing so is significantly less.

Every now and then the community likes to exchange ideas about dying in Normal mode, and this week we're highlighting one of those discussions started by Magna on the official Diablo III forums, who asks: Currently, dying in Normal mode means that all of your equipped items suffer a 10% durability loss, and your character respawns at the nearest checkpoint. Some players feel that this is enough of a deterrent on its own, but others would like to see something different in place.

What do you think about the death penalty in Diablo III? Would you like to see a steeper penalty? Would you prefer a system that incentivizes survival rather than punishing mistakes? Let us know in the comment section below, or join the discussion on the Diablo III forums!


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