Diablo® III

One question for ur dev team

One statement I’ve seen over and over on these forums and elsewhere are proposals for “easy” fixes and overarching assumptions about how long implementation for a variety of changes “should” take.

The reality is, game development is a hugely iterative and time-consuming process, with many people involved along the way. Design takes time, Coding takes time, art takes time, QA takes time: you name it. There are also multiple steps in the pipeline for each and every proposed change and bug fix, no matter how minor, and what issues are being worked on in what order and by who can and do change as new matters arise. Sometimes extra testing is also needed for bugs that come back broken and need to be retested, because we didn't want them to go live with a bad fix.

While there may indeed be a list of known issues and bugs that run alongside some patches, for every one you are aware of, there can be dozens or hundreds being worked on behind-the-scenes that you likely never be aware of. We do things just as quickly as we can, but even then, it’s a process that takes time.


i disagree with some statements above

i am hobbyist game-developer and modder myself for many years, and a real life a participant in several multi-million dollar projects - not in gaming industry, but well-executed projects are far more similar in nature than one would expect:

so:
- programming, graphical design and design do indeed take substantial testing
- some fixes don't need nearly as much time and testing as presented, and often those are ones that bother players the most

example is balancing - pure number changing - and pre-patch 1.07

after game is over 8 months on market, there are number of ~300% skill runes buff. any serious analysis would discover them far faster - fact is they would never leave closed-beta. 20% buff/nerf is considered a substantial, and 100% nearly unacceptable in late game phase (granted, there are some rule-breaking exceptions)

that apart, mentioned 300% buffs may be indeed needed, and, since they are so big changes, need extensive testing, there is still one question - why it wasn't done partially, in 20-50% increments, over last 4-5 balance patches?

for a game in current state of balance, a monthly plan of balance-patches is appropriate (excluding coding, art and such, which follows "upon finishing testing" application).

by looking at publicly available data:
http://diablo.somepage.com/monk/rune/

[without doubt, Blizzard has far more accurate and valuable ones]

one concludes that over 1/3 runes are basically unused (on monk example, since monk balancing is major part of 1.07, so far at least)

this is far from acceptable, both to players who expected more diversity, and to company who invested money in developing unusable resources (and engaged whole pipeline and hundred of people behind the scene mentioned above)

for the record, i did apply (few days ago) for a dev team member, chiefly for a reason to be taken more seriously - the thing impossible using forums

i also offered to make (free of charge) detailed analysis and propose simple and easy solutions for most pressing matters

yes, everyone and their brothers thinks they can do that, but i have a work resume proving i know what i'm talking about

[i am a guy with more than 10 years of experience in multi-million dollars projects (mentioned already), with dozens-or-even-hundreds subordinates and working for a large international company with thousands of employees. my job is to find bottlenecks and weak points of processes/system and propose best and most efficient solutions. i charge substantial money for it, or get it as a bonus.

however, for me not everything is in money, diablo-series is my, so to speak, friend - so, i'm offering to do my well-paid job for you for free, out of enthusiasm. gaming is my hobby, and i don't mind spending my free time making it better. i think i deserve a chance - and some kind of reasonable guarantee that my professional report will be at least read, and not thrown into 'remove AH' recycle bin.

all the information given in resume are checkable.

my general professional advice is to take 3rd party opinion (regardless of who is in question) on current game status and future - game currently functions well enough, but has no 10-year life-cycle capability. of course, life cycle could be less, if next installment is planned earlier, but in current roadmap it is not the case]
Edited by Snakefist#1128 on 1/19/2013 1:45 AM PST
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Posts: 80
01/19/2013 01:22 AMPosted by Katsukaze
You guys realize the Atomic Bomb was created in less time than it took Blizzard to develop Diablo3.


You realize blizzard's budget is smaller than the atomic bomb program.

as per wiki
Manhattan Project costs through 31 December 1945

Site ---------------------Cost (1945 USD)-------Cost (2013 USD)
========================================
Oak Ridge------------- $1,188,352,000-------- $15.3 billion
Hanford---------------- $390,124,000-------------$5.04 billion
Materials---------------$103,369,000------------$1.33 billion
Los Alamos ----------- $74,055,000------------$956 million
R&D-------------------- $69,681,000--------------$900 million
Gov't Overhead--------$37,255,000------------$481 million
HeavyWater Site-------$26,768,000------------$346 million
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total$-------------------1,889,604,000---------$24.4 billion
======================================


You do realize there was a war going on, right? Such circumstances don't leave much time for dilly dallying. In other words, spared no expense to get it down now, not tomorrow.

Besides, we weren't the only ones working on an atomic bomb at the time.
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01/18/2013 06:43 PMPosted by Ryaskybird
We shall see about PoE


Yeah, we shall see... As the game is already entirely player driven by player-supporters. You're a fool if you think it will fail.

It can't, as it already has an awesome fanbase. Just look at our global chat and you'll know that.

PS- Go back to your lame-!@# WOW buddy.
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One statement I’ve seen over and over on these forums and elsewhere are proposals for “easy” fixes and overarching assumptions about how long implementation for a variety of changes “should” take.

The reality is, game development is a hugely iterative and time-consuming process, with many people involved along the way. Design takes time, Coding takes time, art takes time, QA takes time: you name it. There are also multiple steps in the pipeline for each and every proposed change and bug fix, no matter how minor, and what issues are being worked on in what order and by who can and do change as new matters arise. Sometimes extra testing is also needed for bugs that come back broken and need to be retested, because we didn't want them to go live with a bad fix.

While there may indeed be a list of known issues and bugs that run alongside some patches, for every one you are aware of, there can be dozens or hundreds being worked on behind-the-scenes that you likely never be aware of. We do things just as quickly as we can, but even then, it’s a process that takes time.


And then there is this http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7006892777
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I think the only thing Blizzard and Jay Wilson were guilty of with Diablo III was to sorely underestimate the amount of time it would take the masses to finish the game and be ready for additional content. I bet they really thought they would have plenty of time to push new stuff out before we would even need it. Didn't someone finish Inferno in 7 hours? They did not plan for this. Otherwise a great game!
Granted, many of the "early" finishers were ones that were using exploits which went unchecked. Then you have the issue with gold exploits, dupe exploits (known: rollback dupes), bot exploits, and the like.

Additionally, the community screamed and cried for nerfs and for increase in item drops and item power. With all of that combined, we have a game which satisfies nobody.

Blizzard should have stuck to the original design intention of D3, added features (like NV but no guarantee rares), Paragon Levels, Skill coefficient tweaks, and left Rare/Legendary drop rates alone. D3 is a grinding game, and far too many people complain about grinding.

Due to all this, you get people that find really nice rares, but then complain they can't sell them. Why? Rares are far too common. Mediocre Legendaries are trash as well.

The issue is, you have to make a game for the players, not for your self.

I have no doubt that either Jay or the members of his team had a vision for the game which they believe in and think it is one of the best ways for Diablo and that they spend their whole heart in to the project.

I know what that is like, as graphic designer and artist. But you are working on a product here, and not pure art which is more a form of opinion or statement.

It is just what I guess, but I think many players have quit Diablo 3 already a short time after it was finished. I doubt they would have made some of the changes in the patches if people havn't left the game. After all, they told us that 10 milion people bought their game. But they never ever told us how many still play their game which I think would be more interesting to hear. And then you had the situation with Brevik where many people feelt his coment was spot on, that its "far easier to go for Gold then items in D3" for example, and a few other things he said. And suddenly you have the reaction of some really important people in the Diablo team, not just Jay, but Bashiok and the others as well.

And even after 8 months some of the serious issues, things people complained about are not yet fixed. Like the blant item and skill system. This would require a lot of work and I guess at this point its probably clear that they will not change it. But it is something you hear always from the players, that they feel "D3 is an ok game, but the Item system is weak". In general, it forces all characters to go for the exact same types of items, the fact that only main stat and vitality matters really with your character, which I think would make a choice in the stat points useless anyway, I would simply throw ALL may stats in to the main stat and vit. A barb would actually do more with 300 more points in strength then 150 points in dex or inteligence. There is no reason for the other classes to actually use the stat points for anything else. And I have read somewhere that they even had som ideas for it, where dexterity was accuracy, so in other words making the stats more meaningfull. This is something which they could have tried to change for example. But they even simplified it more then D2 where you could at least need some stat for max block chance. To many things in the item and skill system have been simplified and there is way to much randomness with some of the items, mainly legendary and set items.
Edited by CrniVuk#2227 on 1/19/2013 3:08 AM PST
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01/18/2013 06:30 PMPosted by Ryaskybird
How is it that some independent game companies crank out far more content and depth in 1/10th of the time?


Name one.
Runic Games

Game Set and Match.
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You promised some minor improvements like spaces between numbers - 1 000 instead of 1000 or enable search for similar items in AH for the legendaries AND there have been tons of good sugestions for minor improvements in the forums, generally accepted by all of us, even with blue posts like "we are listening, keep them coming" - seems like ignore button activated or only one programmer left to implement the code lines...

also is generally accepted:

identify all, at least yellows - maybe Shen can do this

salvage without confirmation for the yellow items

fix the loot table - after 3 complete runs on A3 mp2 - i've found nothing sellable on AH, even with 30.000 gold

SO, stop passing the responsability for IGNORING your customers and please show us you can make more that saying "we are listening, keep the good sugestions coming" and bringing none of them...
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yes, everyone and their brothers thinks they can do that, but i have a work resume proving i know what i'm talking about

[i am a guy with more than 10 years of experience in multi-million dollars projects (mentioned already), with dozens-or-even-hundreds subordinates and working for a large international company with thousands of employees. my job is to find bottlenecks and weak points of processes/system and propose best and most efficient solutions. i charge substantial money for it, or get it as a bonus.
I have no doubt that you are good in what you do but you don't do game design as your main profession nor do you have the training to do so.

I, myself, have the capability of being a game designer however I readily admit I dont' have the qualifications that Blizzard is asking for. I haven't shipped multiple AAA products, have a Bachelor Degree, or 5 years of game development, however my game design is light years of any game designer they have working at Blizzard.

Rob Pardo himself hired on with only being an Everquest guild leader as his experience however what they are asking for in the game director role for D3 is too much. They will literally have to poach someone else away from another company in order to work at Blizzard and not only that, but it's highly likely none of them are experts in ARPG so their experience will likely not apply to D3 at all.

It's a shame how the employment industry works. There are truly talented people out there (such as myself) with no roadmap to success. We don't have the path, we don't have the schools, we don't have the opportunity. It's like you have to become a celebrity to get the job (Rob Pardo one example, Robert Bowling, etc)

Given that, I think I will take world design dev tools (such as those found in Skyrim, upcoming TL2, etc) more seriously. Those give me the tools to prove I have what it takes to be a designer and let the work speak for itself.
Edited by speedforce#1637 on 1/19/2013 3:37 AM PST
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blue:

true to a major degree but sometimes a simple fix is just a simple fix. there are lots of albeit "smaller" studios out there -- turning out just as high a quality of work, if not better than D3 -- who bust this stuff out when it needs to be busted out. i'm talking "same-day" patches. the fact that you have 84 layers of bureaucracy blocking up the road, well, whose problem is that? (snarky rhetorical answer: ours, the customers, obviously. :P)

and again, I am not suggesting that PVP be balanced in a day .. or "stuff like that" .. far from it .. but there are certain other fixes -- "text-only" or "data-only" fixes, let's say -- such as the complete absence of so many necessary searchable affixes from the AH UI, that shouldn't require any art work, and truly a minimal amount of coding and testing, to the extent that, even in the most bureaucracy-laden of organizations, busting them out in a week should be 1000x possible. so where are they?

either ignored completely, or just back-burnered to all these "high-priority" fixes that are going to take 3 months. well, what kind of sense does that make? you could be improving the game regularly in small, "hotfixy" ways, rather than these at-this-point-doomed-to-be-disappointing "big" patches. think about it.
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The reality is, game development is a hugely iterative and time-consuming process, with many people involved along the way. Design takes time, Coding takes time, art takes time, QA takes time: you name it. There are also multiple steps in the pipeline for each and every proposed change and bug fix, no matter how minor, and what issues are being worked on in what order and by who can and do change as new matters arise. Sometimes extra testing is also needed for bugs that come back broken and need to be retested, because we didn't want them to go live with a bad fix.

While there may indeed be a list of known issues and bugs that run alongside some patches, for every one you are aware of, there can be dozens or hundreds being worked on behind-the-scenes that you likely never be aware of. We do things just as quickly as we can, but even then, it’s a process that takes time.


You made an excellent statement here and the main point is that you adjust things BEHIND THE SCENE. There is no transparency.

Yes it takes time to fix things everybody knows this but please do not tell us that this thing or that thing takes a lot of times bla bla bla. There are hard and easy fixes so do make a generality please. Look at other game companies they release patches every week or every month with less staff than you have.

So I am only asking one thing! Please RESPECT US and stop bull!@#$ting us with false excuses.
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my general professional advice is to take 3rd party opinion (regardless of who is in question) on current game status and future - game currently functions well enough, but has no 10-year life-cycle capability. of course, life cycle could be less, if next installment is planned earlier, but in current roadmap it is not the case]


LOL, some nobody trying to tell blizzard how to make games.
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it really annoys me when people think it takes 1-2 days to fix this kind of stuff. I'm studying games programming and I just finished a rendering assignment to make a VERY simple rendering engine in directX. It took me 12 weeks of 80+ hours of coding a week and I STILL didn't finish it properly.

In the last 1-2 days I had a list of things to fix and my project was a lot smaller, I fixed maybe 10% of them. If you really think that you can do this kind of coding faster then give it a shot. because you will fail and you will be one of the 27 other people (out of 30) that have dropped out of our games programming course because they think that it's "easy".

It's really, really not.
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Since there are SO many professionals who thinks they can do a better job, why don't you all geniuses join up Blizzard and make the corrections yourself? Apply for Blizzard and let's see how many smart mouths can actually get in. I don't want to hear no excuses.
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hmmm. i am hardly a "nobody", and it's hardly up to you to decide on my qualifications

except, you don't know anything written in my resume, yet you readily comment things like "bachelor degree" - if you're interested so much, i have a master degree and post-education. i'm professional consultant hired by companies that have troubles in they regular work

you don't know my previous experiences on work on blizzard games, my programming background - let's just say i was a country champion in programming - anyway, i don't feel any more need to defend myself to "nobody's" - who exactly are you? did you ever even worked anywhere, let alone large projects with high value and high responsibility?

nobody told everything can be solved in 1-2 days - even serious analysis will take approximately a month. point is, as far as i can judge (and it IS my job), it has never been done, or some things wouldn't have happened

it is a FREE offer done by accomplished professional, so i don't feel like having to defend my credentials - especially to "kkim84" and "monsta" types. matter is closed as far as i am concerned - i really have to do more important stuff than answering some unfinished student flaming
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Posts: 155
Complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.

I'm not certain who to give credit to the quote above. What I am certain of is that very few games provide the level of entertainment that D3 provides. Sure, it has issues and I'm certain they will be addressed in time. This is unlike many games where they take your money, push out out a patch or two and then say something that rhymes with patch or two that really isn't appropriate .

D3 is great - chill people, all good things with time etc....
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sure your coding might take time and you might have some good coders and som good designers

the problem is YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING
YOU HAVE NO AIM, NO CONVICTION

and now you are left without the only one who had an actual vision

you are making random experimental changes

for example: monks problem doesnt lie in that spirit spenders do too little damage, the problem is that there is no base spirit regen, and that the spenders have weird effects that do not rhyme well with what you actually wanna do with the class. knockback kick and cyclone are each others opposites, but neither keep a good balance of monsters around you. What you really want to do is use combinations of teleports, dodges and CC effects like interrups and stuns to hassle your opponent until you gain enough spirit to land killing blows.

The only well designed skills on monk so far is what people are actually using, because they synergize. They home in on a actul vision and works.

You should hire the people who come up with all these build, because they are the ones who can properly see the patterns that are missed and mistranslated all over your company of actiblizz yes sayers
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People talking about "easy fixes" don't really know about programming and developing. I'm not defending the Blizz team, this game should have been way much better, but c'mon, Create a game from 0, developing and programming and everything, then come back and tell me about "easy fixes".
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I've worked with and along side programmers for the past 15 years. They are some of the laziest time waster employees I know of. If they actually sat and coded/fixed bugs for 8 hours a day this game would probably be in much better shape by now. Just my opinion...
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same goes for skill bonuses on weapons, half of them dont even enhance the primary use fo the skill in a way that scales well with how its numbers are built

blizzard duration actually lowers damage per second
reduce cost of firebats by 9 mana
innas set bonus increase spirit regen by .33? SERIOUSLY?

again, you have no coherent vision, or ability to create synergizing patterns or numbers that stack well with each other in a meaningful way, the people that do, ARE YOUR PLAYERS, SO HIRE THEM
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