Diablo 3 New Game Design Updates.
Almost two weeks have passed since Diablo 3 has been launched and the community expresses its concern about several aspects of the game. This time, the voice of the people reached the developers and some changes are to be expected in the future patches. An update has been posted to give players a short preview of what’s about to come and how the game will be improved according to the community feedback. According to Blizzard, their main focus is design diversity. They want to eliminate the idea of a “best build” or best skill. Any rune or skill that seems overpowered will be nerfed to bring balance to the game. Another concern that Blizzard wanted to address was the flood of forum posts that some classes have an easier time in Inferno while others fail dramatically. The whole idea is that Inferno is not too tough but some classes might have some overpowered skills and runes that need to be nerfed. Players had the false impression that their class needs to be buffed but Blizzard wants to nerfthe ones that have an easy time in Inferno. These changes will be implemented sequentially.
Inferno is intended to be extremely difficult, but with some specific skills, a few classes were simply able to progress far more easily than intended. This made the classes, which were about where they were supposed to be, seem very underpowered. It also created the perception that the classes doing well were intended to rely on specific runes in all their builds, and the other classes were just broken. This is the opposite of what’s true. If any single skill or rune feels absolutely required to progress, it means that skill is working against our goal of encouraging build diversity — and those “required” skills need to be corrected.
The first patch, version 1.0.2 will only correct the server side issues and the blacksmithing and jewelcrafting mechanics. According to the official post, blacksmiths level up costs will drop while jewelcrafting will require fewer gems until a certain level. The first real game balance patch will come later on. In patch 1.0.3 Blizzard plans to introduce the PvP arenas and several other major game changes including several modifications to player classes that have not been disclosed yet. One of the mentioned changes will be the item stats of Legendary gear. It seems that the community does not agree with the current scaling of this extremely rare type of gear. Blizzard seems to care about this concern and in the next patch, Legendary items will receive a buff. They will be significantly better than rare items but there is one problem. All the existing Legendary items at the moment when the patch will be applied will not receive the buff. Simply put, the patch is not retroactive. Players will have to farm for new and improved Legendary items. Besides the Legendary buff, Blizzard plans to introduce the World of Warcraft ilvl concept. Basically the players will be able to compare item level similar to the way World of Warcraft players do.
One problem we’ve seen — and intend to correct quickly — is players comparing high-level Magic (blue) items to lower-level Legendary items as “proof” of an imbalance. To help correct misconceptions of the actual stat budgets allocated to items, we’ll be exposing item levels (ilvl) of 60+ items in patch 1.0.3. Comparing an ilvl 63 blue to an ilvl 60 Legendary will hopefully make a bit more sense afterward. In addition, we’re planning to just straight-out buff Legendary items in a future patch, likely the PvP patch (1.1). These buffs will not be retroactive, and so they’ll only apply to new Legendary items found after the patch. In the long term, we’re looking at simply expanding the affix diversity and unique bonuses of Legendary items, and we’ll be able to share more details after the PvP patch.
The last change that will come with patch 1.0.3 that was disclosed was the blacksmiths mechanic. It will be modified in such a way that players of level 60 will be able to craft gear that is useful to them. Currently, blacksmithing does not offer decent gear that would make it tempting enough to level this skill to maximum. There are a few recipes that might be worth the effort to farm them but players might as well skipthem.
Other areas of concern have been both the gem combination system and Blacksmith leveling and crafting costs. The intent, especially with the Blacksmith, is that he’s leveling with you, you’re able to use him as an alternate source for upgrades. Our design goal is that once you get to level 60, his recipes are actually good enough to help fill a character’s potential itemization gaps. To correct these issues, we’re looking to adjust the Blacksmith costs for training (gold and pages) and crafting from levels 1-59, and reduce the cost of combining gems so that it only requires two gems instead of three (up to Flawless Square). Both of these changes are scheduled for patch 1.0.3.
Blizzard wanted to end the announcement by assuring players that many changes will come but the post sums up only what they are currently working on. It seems that a public PTR will soon be released for Diablo 3so that players can test the upcoming patches themselves before they get applied on live servers.
We’re going full steam ahead on the PvP patch, which will also include a number of game changes unrelated to PvP, and we look forward to sharing more about that as we get closer to opening up a PTR, where you’ll be able to test out our changes — and enjoy mercilessly slaughtering one another in the PvP arena.
News also hit:
theverge The changes will be rolled out through a range of hotfixes and client patches – a hotfix will be used if an issue poses serious problems and needs to be immediately addressed, a patch for problems that aren’t as urgent. An example of a balance issue that is being resolved through a hotfix is the change to Lingering Fog, Boon of Protection, and Force Armor. Blizzard wrote on its official blog: “We determined these skills were simply more powerful than they should be, and we felt their impact on class balance and how each class was perceived warranted hotfixes as soon as we were able. Full here
Blizzard has released a timeline of sorts for upcoming Diablo III updates, detailing the kinds of things that are due to be fixed and the kind of things that due to be tweaked.
The first update, 1.02, will mainly be patching up the various network issues that have affected the game since launch. It should be out within the week. Full here
First, some quick stats about Diablo 3: According to the Blizzard’s data, players, on average, have three characters each. About 1.9 percent of those characters have managed to unlock the “Inferno” difficulty — this difficulty is one step beyond Hell which has traditionally been the most challenging mode in Diablo. Additionally, 80 percent of the heroes in Sanctuary are under level 30 and the vast majority of deaths (35 percent) occur in Act 1 on Normal difficulty.
Additionally, Blizzard seems proud of D3′s character diversity. “The most common level 60 build in the game is only used by 0.7% of level 60 characters of that class” the company touts. Full here