Since these types of posts can draw a lot of attention, please try to keep your responses as civil as possible. In the end, I'm hoping this helps provide some developer insight into a few of the recurring questions from this forum.
1) You said you're inherently okay with players stacking certain stats over others. If this is the case, why did you nerf IAS?
One of the biggest issues we discovered with IAS was that it actively limited build diversity. While IAS was pretty strong on its own, when coupled with certain gear and skill combinations, it simply became too alluring for a lot of players to ignore. So, instead of seeing an increase in gear and skill diversity over time, what we actually saw was more and more players shifting to IAS-focused builds almost exclusively. On a scale large, it was crippling experimentation and skill diversity.
A lot of players think we reduced the value of IAS because it made characters too powerful. While that's not a totally unreasonable conclusion to jump to, it's definitely not true. We don't think "doing a lot of damage" or "doing too much damage" is enough reason for us to nerf something outright. IAS was an outlier -- it's not that it made characters too powerful, but rather that it caused a few builds to become vastly superior to others. On top of that, it introduced a ton of bugs just due to how fast characters were attacking when stacked to its upper limits.
The initial iteration of IAS was flawed in many ways. So, in effort to promote skill diversity and remove several game-impacting bugs from the environment, we reduced the value overall. We're fairly happy with where IAS is right now, as well as skill diversity in general (though we're going to need to do some additional skill balancing to bring it up to where we want).
2) So, when are you going to nerf Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage affixes?
We've no plans to nerf +Crit Chance or +Crit Damage. While +Crit Chance and +Crit Damage are very strong right now, there's nothing inherently wrong with something being strong. As mentioned above, players doing too much damage is not enough reason for us to bring out the nerf bat. Neither affix is having a negative impact on build diversity (we're seeing a pretty good balance overall), and there aren't any technical issues with them being stacked to higher values. It's something we're keeping an eye on of course.
3) Why aren't monster affix combinations restricted in some way?
Monster affixes are actually grouped into categories and then restricted based on those categories (to a degree). Our restrictions aren't as tight as some players have suggested, but in the end we found that adding extra limitations often made Elite pack encounters very predictable and repetitive, which kind of went against our design goal for these types of monsters.
We know that not all players will see eye-to-eye with us on how these categories are organized, and we expect some criticism and disagreement, especially from such a passionate group of gamers. While we're happy with where affix combos are right now, we're open to feedback and especially constructive discussion. :)
Here are the categories:
"Strong CC" (Limit 1):
"Defensive" (Limit 1):
- Extra Health
- Health Link
- Missile Dampening
- Invulnerable Minions
"Aggressive" (No Limit):
- Fire Chains
- Reflects Damage
4) Is Whimsyshire considered an Act I or Act IV zone?
It's considered an Act III/Act IV zone, depending on difficulty. The monsters in Hell are considered Hell - Act IV monsters, and the monsters in Inferno are considered Inferno - Act III/Act IV monsters. The drop rates buffs from June 28 affect the zone accordingly.
1) Allow to gems to stack up to 100.
Totally reasonable request. We're looking into it!
(We originally set the stack size to 30 so it would fit in with the other "3" gem values. Now that it only requires 2 gems to combine into the next tier and the pattern has been broken, we've no issue increasing the base stack size. Good suggestion.)
2) Allow players to create multiple gems and items with just one click, if you have enough materials.
No plans right now to implement this kind of automated queuing for crafting.
3) Allow users to buy multiple health potions with one click.
Also a cool idea! We're looking into it.
4) Allow the Town Healer to heal your active follower too.
Ditto. We'll definitely consider this.
5) Add an option to block follower conversations.
Understandable annoyance, but no plans at this time to add in an option. Still good feedback!