Official D3Sanc Live Stream!
Unseen is currently streaming on the official D3Sanc / ManaPot channel. Over 50m gold given away daily, so make sure to watch for your chance to win!
Click here to view the stream on this page, or click here to be taken to our stream page with chat embedded.
Blizzcon 2013 Tickets - Sale #2
Today is your last chance to get tickets to Blizzcon 2013! The second batch of tickets are going on sale in just a few hours (roughly six hours from this post) and cost $175 USD each (maximum of four per household). They're going to go fast, so you'll want to make sure you're on the purchase page spamming F5 as fast as you can.
Click here to go to the BlizzCon 2013 ticket sales page.
Remember, tickets usually go fast—so if you want to attend this year’s show, it pays to be prepared on the first sale date. If you miss out, you’ll get a second chance when the second batch goes on sale Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT. In addition, tickets to an exclusive pre-BlizzCon dinner to benefit Children's Hospital of Orange County go on sale Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. PDT. Visit the BlizzCon Ticket Information page for more details.
BlizzCon 2013 will take place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and tickets cost $175 USD each. Tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner cost $500 USD each and include BlizzCon admission. Even if you can’t join us at BlizzCon in person, in-depth coverage will be available at home through the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket; further details will be announced at a later date.
If you want to buy tickets and make the journey to Anaheim, here are some steps you can take right now to help ensure the ticket-purchase process goes smoothly:
- You’ll need a Battle.net account to buy from the U.S. Blizzard Store, which is where the tickets will be sold. Click here to create one if you don’t have one already.
- Make sure that all of your credit card information is up-to-date on your Battle.net account. Note that credit and debit cards are the only payment methods accepted for BlizzCon ticket purchases.
- Some credit cards can experience issues at checkout when attempting to make purchases from the Blizzard Store, or may have purchase limits. If you believe that your card might experience issues, it’s wise to contact your credit card company in advance to let them know you’re planning to make this purchase. You might want to also consider setting up a backup credit card.
- Keep your browser window open until your ticket purchase is confirmed so you don’t lose your place in the queue!
- If you’re buying tickets for family or friends, have their names handy (to be printed on each badge), as well as each attendee’s Battle.net account name (email address) so they can participate in this year’s pre-BlizzCon online merchandise pre-sale. You’ll have until May 14 to enter or change this information.
- Keep in mind that tickets are only being sold online. Our customer support team won’t be able to take orders on the phone.
For more information about BlizzCon 2013, please visit the official BlizzCon site.
Click here to go to the BlizzCon 2013 ticket sales page.
Multiplicative Nephalem Valor
We know a lot of players were doing runs where they'd play high MP and skip Elites. That's still an option, but we wanted to make Elites more enticing. This seemed like the best way to do it that worked across all MP levels. Let us know what you think/how it feels!
(Also, moving your post to the PTR feedback forum.)
1.0.8 Monster Density, ID All & Multi-Craft
Diablo 3 Fan Film
"Ask the Devs" Itemization (Part 2)
At least in D2, blunt weapon does additional damage to undead class. I am expecting some different for each weapon. For example, a spear weapon will increases the range of the character's skill or mace does additional damage against undead and etc in the future patch.
Also, will elemental weapon going to be useful too in the future? Except cold weapon, other elemental weapons are simply useless except looking pretty.
â€“ Kilometer (Americas [English])
Elemental damage is something we are actively trying to find a good solution for. The stat already exists in the game, but currently it's just six different flavors of the same affixâ€”Cold is the only exception in that it snares targets. One thing we are actively discussing is what kind of effects we could associate with each element and then add it not only to weapons but all damage sources of that type. We haven't finalized anything just yet, but we really want to make this happen.
Question: Why did you design physical (black) damage weapons to be superior damage-wise to elemental damage weapons?
IÂ´m asking about your thought process behind the fact that black damage on weapons:
1. gets the bonus from the "+x% damage" affix and elemental damage does not;
2. is used to calculate the "adds x% to elemental damage" affix while elemental damage on the weapon is not taken into account;
3. is bugged - the MinMaxDamage affix adds min damage first and then checks if the new minimum weapon damage is higher than base maximum damage; if it is higher, the game uses the new minimum +1 as the new base maximum and adds max damage to this value, resulting in higher overall black weapon damage compared to elemental weapons.
It makes no sense that thereÂ´s damage differences when thereÂ´s no additional elemental damage effects (beside cold snare) in the game and monsters have no resists. This damage difference limits our gearing options as comparably rolled physical weapons will always outperform elemental ones.
Here's two suggestions on how to fix this issue http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7810050948?page=11#201
- Nubtro#2147 (Americas [English])
Wyatt: We did not intentionally design physical (black) damage weapons to be superior (damage-wise) to elemental damage weapons. The reason that they are superior is actually due to two bugs.
The first bug is that "+x% damage" was supposed to work for elemental damage only. So, for example, "+5% Fire damage" was supposed to take any fire damage that you did and add 5% more. If you dealt 100 Fire damage, you would get 5% more Fire damage and deal 105 Fire damage in total.
However (and this is where the bug comes in), instead of looking at your elemental damage, the game would always look at your physical damage, and add a percentage of that as elemental damage. So, to continue with my example, "+5% Fire damage" would take 100 physical damage and then produce 100 physical damage, plus 5 fire damage on top of that. As a result, rather than making you want items that matched the elemental damage types you had bonuses for, the bug simply made black weapons the best.
The other bug is the way the MinMaxDamage affix works. As you mention, minimum damage is applied first and increases the maximum damage to be 1 more than the minimum value. This is correct behavior, since we don't want maximums that are less than the minimum. The bug here is that the game always attempts to ensure that the maximum damage on a weapon is higher before maximum damage values are even applied, which results in inflated damage amounts. (We actually fixed this bug in the new version of the Ruby in 1.0.7.)
So, hopefully it's clear that the current situation was not the intended oneâ€”it's the result of two bugs that had some very radical and significant effects.
Now, this obviously raises the question, if this situation is due to two bugs, why weren't the bugs found before release and now that they're found, why don't we just fix them?
One of the realities of developing software is that a) you're not going to find every bug before you ship a product and b) when you do find a bug, there are multiple approaches to addressing it. Some bugs are very difficult to resolve, both in terms of time and resources as well as complexity.
In this specific case, we don't want to change how existing items work, and fixing these bugs would absolutely do that. We know that acquiring and valuing items is an important part of the Diablo experience and do not want to change the mechanics of how an item property works when people have already invested in it.
We're also looking to revamp itemization, and part of the revamp will include moving to fixed versions of the elemental damage increasing attribute, as well as the MinMaxDamage affixâ€”put simply, we'd fix the bugs for new items. "Legacy" items will continue to use the current (bugged) version. The new versions will likely bear different language such as "Fire damage you deal is increased by 5%" to differentiate from the old mechanics. (That wording isn't final, it's just an example.)
Right now it's just absurdly high compared to normal "white" damage. Every build is centered around these two stats really (IAS is just addiction to make the bigger yellow numbers come more often). This means there is no really build diversity when 95% of players want the same gear, while other "could be interesting" affixes are omitted. Sorry for bad English :<
- Tanvage#1797 [Europe [English])
So, no we have no plans to nerf player items at any point. We do want to encourage diversity, but we want to do it right by providing more choice, and that is a much more difficult problem to solve.
Is there discussion on adding similar features to Diablo 3 to could personalize gear? Ideas like make the item bound to account but allow you to put your toon's name on it and maybe give some advantage of + damage or armor, give a random white/grey weapon and have it converted to a random rare, etc
- Valindria#1184 (Americas [English])
Travis: These were pretty cool, but there haven't been any discussions about adding these effects to the game. On the surface they were great, but they did have their own set of issues.
For example, adding a socket to an item as the result of a one-time quest reward feels really awesome, but over time it starts to become more of a burden instead of a benefit. When you have to level a new character through the entire game just so you can socket the new cool weapon you want to use, the shine starts to wear off really fast.
The ones that I thought were "cool" but not really burdensome were the ones that gave you permanent resists, but really those were artificial gameplayâ€”your resists were permanently reduced and then you were given a potion to offset that a little bit.
We do like the idea of customizing your items, though, and giving players more opportunities to really feel invested in what they're equipping. As Don pointed out in the last round of developer answers, we're considering a few options, including:
- The ability to change a portion of a particular stat on an item to another stat of your choice
- The ability to augment an existing item with a stat bonus of your choice
- The ability to create an item with one or several fixed affixesâ€”similar to the Rare recipes introduced in 1.0.7
- We've also discussed adding other types of "socketables" with a wide variety of possible affixes that you can put in your socketed items instead of gems
- Dispirit#1859 (Americas [English])
Travis: Class specific items can sometimes fall into a weird place. For example, you're playing your Demon Hunter, you see a Rare quiver on the ground, you identify it, and BAM! +300 Strength. At this point, you're probably thinking (or even saying aloud) "Why is that even possible?!"
While we feel that randomness is an incredibly important aspect of Diablo games, we also agree that players need to feel like their next great item is just around the corner. Items can roll many stats that may not be valuable to the player who finds them, and that's fineâ€”but most items should feel like they could be good for someone.
Quivers rolling their primary stat as Strength doesn't really play any role here; however, we don't want to remove randomness completely and have it be a forgone conclusion that every quiver you pick up will roll with the exact stats you want. While we are changing it so that class specific items can't roll the primary value of a different class's stat, that doesn't mean you will never see +Strength on a quiver. What it does mean is you will only see +Strength on a quiver if it came as part of a Dex/Str affix or a Str/Vit affix, which is providing some benefit (even if not ideal) to the class the item is intended for.
Q. You talk about "game changing" items but mention only gimmicks that affect certain skills or builds. There is a reason people choose best in slot items. These items allow for the greatest damage and survivability possible so that the player can efficiently farm as high of a monster power as they can. Since damage affects any build out there to (usually) the greatest extent, would there be any reason to choose anything besides best in slot items?
- RTBear (Americas [English])
Currently, itemization has the problem that it is largely supported by a handful of affixes that increase your damage in varying degrees. Because almost all items can very easily be distilled down to their DPS value, it quickly turns into a numbers game. This is a side effect of the fact that there really aren't any items that provide intangible benefits beyond raw damage. It is also an issue because there are no items that can improve your play experience or efficiency other than those that simply increase your character sheet DPS.
We have plans to try to create more interesting item choices, and I've talked a bit about what those plans are in my previous blog, if you want to take a look. Will there still be a "best-in-slot" item for a particular build of a particular class? Probably, but that's never really been the problem. There will always be best-in-slot items for specific builds and setups. The problem today is that we have items that are universally best-in-slot, regardless of your class or build. Right now, items that are best-in-slot for a Demon Hunter are probably also best-in-slot for a Monk, and that's one of the big things we're looking to address.
Do you have plans for making such items useful? All previous uses for white and grey items did not make it to production D3 - salvaging white and grey items, socketing, enchanting, etc.
If you have no plans to improve them can you just remove them from the game above level 10? Or at least allow them to be filtered out of view via a setting in Options?
- Zuzax#1341 (Americas [English])
If we removed white items completely, there might be a tendency to feel like blues are the new baseline. Some of you might think, "Well, that'd be really cool! I want blue items to be the baseline." As developers, we want items to feel increasingly special, so that means some will always be more useful than others. If we just kept removing whatever tier of items is "worse" from the game and moving up the baseline, then there's the risk that all items will become equally valuable, and that kind of homogenization (while totally appropriate for other games) doesn't really fit with what Diablo is all about. That said, it definitely feels like too many white items drop right now and we are already looking at some significant changes to these ratios in the future. We'd rather drop less white items rather than removing them or adding an option to hide them completely, however.
We've also talked about allowing white items to have alternate usesâ€”for crafting, for example, like you noted. It's interesting, though, that some people are excited at the prospect of having white items with purpose, while other folks are almost offended that their end-game characters would want white items. If we were to introduce a system that made white items appealing to pick up, it would need to be something that has wide appeal since it affects everybody (and since different players have different opinions towards white items).
- Ubivash#2149 (Americas [English])
Travis: We're still trying to find a better solution for Magic Find and Gold Find. In the past, we've talked about removing it from gear, reducing the effectiveness of it, lowering the cap, or even implementing diminishing returns.
The problem with MF, specifically, is that it makes it really difficult to design a game that feels rewarding to all of our players instead of just some of them. When players first started getting to max level and farming Inferno, we used to get a lot of feedback saying "I haven't found a single Legendary item yet" and other people who would say "I find about one Legendary an hour," and the difference was really how much MF they were stacking. While we like the idea MF, because of how it allows players the option to customize their character for item finding, we don't like that, in many situations, it feels mandatory. We also want players to feel like their time playing Diablo III is always rewarding, and having an MF discrepancy of up to 300%+ between players makes that incredibly hard from the design perspective.
So, while we haven't finalized what we want to do just yet with MF, we know we want to do something, and we want that change to be meaningful. We'll be sure to let you know about any changes to MF or GF that might be coming your way, and of course we'd love to hear your feedback in the meantime.
BlizzCon Tickets April 24th & 27th
Tickets for BlizzCon 2013 go on sale April 24th & 27th, costing $175 each.
Set to tear through the Anaheim Convention Center this November 8 and 9, BlizzCon is a thundering celebration of all things Warcraft®, Diablo®, and StarCraft®. The annual-ish two-day community gathering features in-depth discussion panels with Blizzard developers, hands-on play time with the latest Blizzard games, and tons of other exciting events and activities. As announced earlier this week, BlizzCon 2013 will also host the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals—a high-stakes showdown where the top pro players in the world will battle for the right to be crowned StarCraft II World Champion.
“We love having the opportunity to hang out with our players at BlizzCon, and it’s always awesome to see the greatest gaming community on earth swarm Anaheim,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We look forward to delivering two full days of gaming, activities, and other entertainment, and we can’t wait to show some of the exciting projects we’ve been working on.”
Tickets to attend the convention will be priced at $175 USD each and will be available for purchase from the official BlizzCon website (www.blizzcon.com) in two separate batches. The first batch goes on sale Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. Pacific time, and the second batch goes on sale Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. Pacific time.
Tickets to the BlizzCon Benefit Dinner, which include admission to BlizzCon, will be priced at $500 USD each, with proceeds going to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (http://www.choc.org). Taking place the evening of November 7, this exclusive event offers guests an opportunity to /eat, /drink, and /lol with Blizzard game developers, community managers, and other folks from Blizzard before the show. Approximately 200 tickets to the benefit dinner will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. Pacific time through www.blizzcon.com.
Gamers from the far reaches of Azeroth, the Koprulu sector, or Sanctuary looking to enjoy BlizzCon from the comfort of their own home will once again have the option to order a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, offering comprehensive live coverage of the event via a multi-channel Internet stream. Further details on the Virtual Ticket, including pricing, availability, and programming information, will be announced at a later date.
As BlizzCon draws closer, more information about the show will be posted at www.blizzcon.com. To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at jobs.blizzard.com.
Developer Journal: Multiplayer Improvements
In sitting down to plan out features for patch 1.0.8, we decided as a team that we really wanted to improve multiplayer co-op. We have other more long-term improvements planned as well (like the itemization updates Travis discussed earlier), but we knew there would be a lot of immediate benefit if we could just made it easier and more rewarding for people to play with each other.
Making Two Heads Actually Better Than One
From day one, it’s been our goal to make Diablo III a great co-op experience, but right now it's not living up to its full potential. Even if you enjoy playing with your friends, it can often feel easier and more efficient to play solo.
Playing solo has a number of advantages. For instance, you can choose your own route. If you're farming for something in particular (like a specific recipe), you can do it as many times as you want. And you can pause the game and attend to things in real life without making anyone wait.
Of course, multiplayer is awesome, too, and comes with its own benefits. For example, leveling up characters with a group of friends can be an amazing experience. Working together with other players to take down bosses or destroy Elite packs super quickly makes for great farming runs. There's resurrections and the banner system, and don't forget farming for Infernal Machine keys and organs. But, there are also disadvantages, like having to coordinate where you're walking and what you're attacking, losing your followers, and trying to find groups that have similar goals to yours without a defined matchmaking system in place.
The point is that multiplayer can be lot of fun, but given the downsides it can often feel not worth the effort. By making it easier for players to find one another, improving social features, and providing direct buffs to co-op groups, we hope to change that perspective.
Multiplayer Improvements in 1.0.8
Here are some changes going into 1.0.8 that we feel will help achieve our multiplayer goals:
Many players have already figured out that if you coordinate well with your party, you're more efficient. That's definitely true, but we'd like this benefit to be more explicit. So, we're going to straight up add a bonus for playing in multiplayer.
We're still working on the details of what that buff is going to be, but at the moment we're looking at 10% more XP per extra player in the game for a maximum bonus of 30% more XP in a 4-player game. This bonus will be multiplicative with MP bonuses. For example: suppose you are playing on MP10 with an XP bonus in Inferno of 510%. This means a monster is worth 610% of its normal XP (510% more). If you are playing in a 4-player game the monster will be worth 793% as much XP as normal. On top of this, you will also earn a flat 10% Gold Find and 10% Magic Find for each additional player in the game, and this bonus can exceed the 300% Gold Find and Magic Find caps.
Patch 1.0.8 introduces the ability to specify what we call a "matchmaking tag" for Public Games. The way this new system will work is pretty simple: in addition to selecting a difficulty, quest, and MP level, you can also select a tag that will identify what kind of gameplay you're looking for from a Public Game. The tags going onto PTR are Questing, Full Act Clear, Keywarden, and PvP. Selecting one will tell the matchmaking server to place you in a group with other players who have selected the same tag as you.
The goal is make it easier for players to find groups that fit their personal play style or will yield the best experience during any given play session. We'll be evaluating these tags during PTR, so if you have suggestions for other tags please don’t hesitate to let us know!
Monsters currently gain 70% extra health per additional player in the game. This is being reduced from 70% to 50%. This means in a two-player game, monsters have 150% as much health as a single-player game. In a three-player game, they have 200% as much health. And in a four-player game, they have 250% as much health (compared to 310% on live).
This further compensates for some of the inefficiencies that come with playing in a group. Ideally, this will allow you to play with someone who is less geared than you and still be better off than playing solo. It also means if someone strays from the group temporarily in a 4-player game (which inevitably happens from time to time), you'll still be at a greater advantage than if you were playing on your own.
For the Wizards out there, many of you don't play multiplayer because you need those kills to fuel your Archon. In 1.0.8, your Archon duration will also be extended by assists, so as long as you’re around when a monster dies, your Archon duration will be extended. (We have it on our radar to review other mechanics such as Life on Kill bonuses, but that's not something we'll be addressing this patch.)
As previously mentioned, 1.0.8 adds Identify All to the game. In addition to being a huge quality of life improvement, ID All is good for co-op play too! We found during our playtests that a common time for players to get separated from one another is when somebody's inventory was full and they spent a non-trivial amount of time in town identifying items, so this should help keep players together.
When you're playing co-op, one common practice is to say "e" in chat when you come across an Elite pack. So we thought—why doesn't the game just do this for you?
Starting in 1.0.8, when a player deals damage to or takes damage from an Elite pack or Treasure Goblin for the first time, a notification will be sent out to the entire party to let your teammates know what you've found. This will be accompanied by a "combat" icon on the mini-map so other players in your group can locate those enemies. On top of that, we're also going to put a combat icon over your banner in town. This way, players who are in town will know that you're fighting an Elite pack or Treasure Goblin and be able to quickly determine whose banner to take to get right into the action.
Players Near You
Similar to the feature in StarCraft II, the "Players Near You" window will display all players who are logged into Diablo III from your local network. This feature is great if you're playing while at a university dorm or frequent Internet cafes, and will help you easily connect with other local players.
We're also adding private conversations in 1.0.8, which will allow you to chat with up to 99 of your closest friends. Think of private conversations in Diablo III as being similar to multi-user conversations in your favorite IM client. You're not making a permanent "channel," you're simply inviting multiple people to chat for the duration of that session.
This is really just the first step in the process of improving the social experience in Diablo III and supporting its vibrant community. We know that players want bigger and more varied group chat functionality (like guilds and chat channels that are more permanent), and we do have concrete plans for additional features in the future. In the meantime, we hope private chat is a useful tool and look forward to delivering more systems that foster player interaction.
Testing, Testing 1 . . . 2 . . . 3
This is just a snapshot of the improvements coming in 1.0.8, and you'll be able to test out these changes and more before they go live by hopping onto the PTR. We definitely encourage you to participate, test out what's new, and let us know what you think!
Wyatt Cheng is a senior technical game designer for Diablo III. He is currently toying with molecular gastronomy recipes. For science!
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
In Hearthstone, players build card decks centered around one of nine iconic Warcraft® character classes and duel each other for fun, glory, and the chance to win awesome new cards. PAX East attendees are able to go hands-on with Hearthstone this weekend, and Blizzard will begin beta testing for the game very soon—no, seriously.
“We’ve always loved collectible card games at Blizzard, so it’s been exciting to bring everything we love about the genre to life in Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re putting a lot of focus into creating a fun new game that’s easy to pick up and play, but also has a lot of depth. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
Deceptively simple in design but epically engaging, Hearthstone will be instantly accessible to players regardless of their familiarity with Warcraft or collectible card games. Whether players prefer to wield magic or arms in battle, strike from the shadows or head on—or have never given any of that much thought—they’ll be able to jump right in, create a deck, and get in on the card-slinging action.
In addition to honing their skills in practice matches against the computer and taking on their buddies via their Battle.net® friends list, players can challenge each other in two competitive game modes. “Play Mode” features traditional head-to-head battles, with players facing off for a chance to increase their medal ranking and earn card packs along the way. And for a different type of challenge, players can enter “The Forge,” where they start each match by building a deck from a new set of cards, and then use that deck to duel other Forge participants. Aside from winning new cards, players will be able to round out their collections by purchasing new card packs or disenchanting some of their existing cards to craft the ones they’re missing.
With hundreds of cards to choose from, featuring a wide range of colorful Warcraft spells, weapons, and characters, players will have limitless possibilities for developing and fine-tuning their deck-building strategies. Further details about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be announced as development progresses. To learn more about the game, stay tuned to http://www.PlayHearthstone.com. With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.