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Jay Wilson Interview, Reflect Damage, Health Link, Pickup Radius, Screen Shake


Jay Wilson Interview


GamingShogun recently had the opportunity to interview Jay Wilson at the 2012 Spike TV Video Game Awards. Here is a short 2 1/2 minute video of what he had to say about the previous and current state of Diablo 3.


Reflect Damage Broken


Blizzard has done some internal testing and will be making changes to Reflect Damage in the future. First off, they are going to be making it so pets of all kinds will no longer reflect damage back onto their own. They are also going to be adjusting the damage due to Rare minions dealing more damage than they should.

Official Blizzard Quote (Blue Tracker | Source)
LOLOLOLOL How many times did you CM's comment on RD posts saying that it is working as intended completely undermining everyone who complained about it and NOW you admit THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY WAS RIGHT after telling us all off multiple times?!?!?!?!
I'm not aware of us ever being that aggressive honestly. Though, it's certainly possible that we've said things like "we're not aware of any issues" or "we believe that the affix is in a good place at the moment" (though the latter was probably something we said pre-1.0.5, when the bug wasn't active).

If we were vehement at any point post-1.0.5, then we were wrong and made a mistake. We hope that the bug fix in tandem with the changes we have planned for the affix will improve your experience and hopefully make encounters with RD more manageable and/or enjoyable.

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The PTR for 1.0.5 was the first that we hosted for the game, so there were admittedly things we failed at and/or could have done better (in terms of reaction time, efficiency, etc). From the community side of things, there are a number of things we want to do differently for whenever we host our next PTR that would/should help with the issue you pointed out.

Speaking overall, though, there are some general limitations in terms of how quickly we can turn around certain fixes, but we're constantly evaluating how we can improve our processes for identifying, testing, and verifying issues, as well as finding and implementing a solution for them. I don't think we'll ever be perfect at it, but we certainly think we should strive to do better. That's an outgoing motivation for most of the company, though, and one of the big reasons why we always welcome player feedback (even if we may not be in a position to act on it right at that moment).

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Two quick things:

1) We're looking to redesign how the Reflects Damage affix works, as well as make it so that pet damage will no longer reflect back on the player. I went into a bit more detail here. (I believe the buff while active will have some sort of visual indicator, too.)

2) After seeing a number of posts from players about RD dealing what they felt to be TOO much damage (especially from minions), we did some additional testing and discovered that Rare minions with the affix were in fact doing more damage than intended. This is an issue we have scheduled to fix in an upcoming patch.

I'm not sure if these points would change your opinions at all on the subject, but I felt the information was worth pointing out. :)

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I personally have no problem with the way it is now but if it had been tested it could have been polished a bit better then it is now.
We were honestly pretty happy with the way RD functioned prior to 1.0.5, and thought it was in a good place in terms of balance. That changed, of course, whenever we implemented Monster Power and reduced defensive bonuses in 1.0.5. After reviewing player feedback post-patch and reexamining the affix as a whole, we decided that it could use some improvements. Overall, we think the affix will be much more manageable (if not potentially more enjoyable) as a result. That doesn't mean our earlier opinion was wrong, though, it just existed under a different set of conditions.

Screen Shake


Official Blizzard Quote (Blue Tracker | Source)
This is a little confusing, because Zombie Bears has a horrible, horrible range. It feels like I'm casting spectral blades.
Well, in the case of Zombie Bears, it's probably more how frequently players are casting it rather than pure range. Same issues still applies, though: we didn't account for certain spells with the shake effect to really be used in the ways they are now, so the original FX design isn't as friendly to some of the newer/current builds.

And the option to disable the effect is still something we can consider, but it's not something we favor. In general, for a game like Diablo III, we want to try to avoid adding options for everything as a way to correct an issue and instead address why you're asking for the option in the first place.

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This is arrogance, you want to force us to play the game exactly how you designed it?
Just because we disagree with a specific suggestion or solution doesn't mean we're arrogant, or that we even think the suggestion/solution is bad. It just means it doesn't mesh with our design philosophy for the game, and it's okay for players and designers to sometimes have disagreements on that front.

To a point, games are designed to be played a specific way, and that call is really up to the people who designed it. While we do happily listen to player feedback and have made many, many positive changes as a result of your input, there will probably always be some situations where our opinions for how the game should function or look will differ.

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We don't think that adding an option to disable screen shake is necessarily the best answer to this problem, but we do agree that a) it is a problem (even if it's not high priority) and b) we'd like to do something about it.

The primary issue is with the way many of the spells with a "shake" effect were designed. The shake itself isn't so bad if the spell is cast on a target that's farther away from your character, and that's how we imagined those spells would primarily be used when we originally implemented them. For many current builds, though, it's common to repeatedly cast spells with those effects right on top of yourself (see Meteor or Zombie Bears, or in rare situations Dire Bats). The result is that the shake is MUCH more prominent than we intended, and those play styles weren't something we really accounted for when we were designing all the spell FX.

So, it's our bad, and we want to fix it, but we'd prefer to correct the core of the problem (the way the shake effect works) rather than creating another toggle in the Options menu. That's big pretty big investment, though, and there are other things we'd like to address first, so I don't have a time frame to share for when we'll get to it just yet.

TL; DR: We've heard your feedback (yay!). We agree that the shake can be annoying. We want to correct the issue and improve your gaming experience, but we don't have an ETA on when we'll be able to tackle that fix.

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you provide options to disable music. isn;t this request somewhere in the same ballpark?
Didn't say the idea was in the realm of "never," just that we'd rather try to fix the issue at its core rather than simply opting for another menu option over other solutions.

Still, I really respect your post and perspective on the matter (similar for other replies in this thread) and am happy to pass on the feedback.

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Do you have a problem with the screen shakes to begin with in order to know which type of share is more tolerable? Are you talking from experience or you're only guessing?

I personally do not, so if someone who suffers from symptoms as a result of the screen shake effect would be willing to prioritize which spells are the worst offenders (or list them according to severity) and why, I'd be happy to pass that information along.
So Diablo3 was designed and it's meant to be played in a manner that causes headaches, is that it? If that is the case -- you have succeeded, and not just because of the screen shakes.
No, not at all. Like I said before, the shake is much more prominent than we intended for certain play styles, and those play styles weren't something we really accounted for when we were designing all the spell FX.

Health Link & Pickup Radius


Official Blizzard Quote (Blue Tracker | Source)
We didn't make any changes to way Health Link works in 1.0.5. To clarify, this is how the affix should function:

1. You hit a monster with the Health Link affix.

2. If you successfully deal damage, that monster checks for any other monsters with the Health Link affix that are nearby (nearby = 50 yards).

3. If there are monsters nearby, the damage amount is immediately divided equally with them.

4. If there aren't any monsters nearby, that damage isn't shared and is taken fully by the monster you hit.

Now, there is bug that's currently active that makes it so that Life Steal isn't as effective against monsters with the Health Link affix (the amount of life stolen is diminished when attacking Health Linked monsters), which could account for what you've experienced.

(Sorry to chime in a bit late on this thread, but this was something I wanted to check on with both QA and our development teams. I hope you'll forgive my necro!)

Official Blizzard Quote (Blue Tracker | Source)
As a few players have pointed out in this thread, there are quite a range of appealing affixes that items can have. By choosing items that increase your pickup radius, you are making a decision that the value of that stat matters to you, and that you’re willing to trade other stats in order to have it. Having these sorts of compelling choices helps offer different itemization choices, and we like that players often have to weigh their options when comparing gear in order to be the most efficient, to have the greatest DPS, to find the best loot, etc.

We also like knowing when you feel that improvements can be made, though, so thank you for the feedback (seriously). We'll make sure it gets passed along to our developers.