We've voiced why we quit; How is Blizzard fixing it?

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So, earlier this week (Or last week depending on how you look at it) I posed a simple question and asked people what are some of the reasons they have quit and what could Blizzard do to bring people back to the game. For reference, I will link the thread below.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/15700529949

Now there were several reasons I did this.

1) I wanted to know how many people quit for the same reasons I have.

2) I wanted to see what kinds of solutions people would take in fixing these concerns.

3) I wanted to see just how many people's concerns are being addressed in the coming patch / patches.

I've gone through the thread a couple times and I would like to take the time to highlight some of the more common recurring complaints. Then, I would like to break down each complaint individually and see what Blizzard is and isn't doing to address these community complaints. I wanted people to keep their responses to 500 words or less for easier reading, but I did read through the whole thread regardless.

Without further ado, here is a list of the most common complaints being issued by the community.

  • Build Diversity is severely limited; Skill are too imbalanced.
  • The Item Hunt is very limited in scope to just a select few items that players can find.
  • The game is too heavily focused on Set Items.
  • Character progression is too heavily focused on randomness without any character development.
  • No structured reward system; No way to guarantee rewards.
  • All you can do at endgame is just rift and nothing else.
  • Fun items get nerfed way too often when it takes ages to find them.
  • Trials are too tedious and need removed.
  • Absurdly rare Legendary items can still roll as garbage.
  • Unavoidable damage is too harsh on players.
  • Overall gameplay is severely repetitive; Lacks challenge.
  • Season 1 was entirely way too long.
  • RNG is the largest factor in determining Leaderboard Placement.
  • Stash Space is too limited.
  • Itemization is too imbalanced (CHC / CHD still too strong comparatively)
  • Crafted Items aren't powerful enough compared to what can drop in game.
  • To much time passes between upgrades.
  • Paragon doesn't contribute much if anything at all to character progression.
  • Too much time between development patches.
  • There's no PvP.
  • There's no Trading.

This may not be EVERY complaint out there, but it's a very healthy chunk of the more common complaints.

Now what I would like to do is tackle each of these complaints one by one and give my take on how Blizzard is actively addressing or ignoring these complaints.

Build Diversity is severely limited; Skill are too imbalanced.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? YES (Mostly)

Blizzard continues to make adjustments with each and every new patch to try and promote more build diversity and improve the balance of skills. Are they doing a good enough job? Well, that's somewhat debatable but overall I do see a very genuine effort being made to address this complaint and here's why.

Not this next patch, but the patch after it the intent is to add more new sets that play up the weaknesses of many of the skills in game. For example, since the Wizard is too heavily focused on Firebirds, they are adding a new ring that lets you cycle through the elements to play up more of an elementalist type of gameplay and in addition they're adding a new set that helps you play with Time Warp, a currently underused skill. While they're making slow progress on this forefront, they are nonetheless attempting to make progress. Only time will tell if they're successful.


The Item Hunt is very limited in scope to just a select few items that players can find.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? YES

Currently the item hunt is boiled down to just a select few items and a very specific set that players can use to play around with. However, an active effort is being made here to try and combat this.

I think the team has learned since launch that absurd rarity and power on specific items also comes with a price. At some point, those are going to be the only items that players are fixated on. On this front, they've made an attempt to reduce the weighting and their philosophy moving forward is that they want new items to compete with already existing items, but not exceed their power. Ancient Items in a roundabout way will combat this to a degree, but only for a limited period of time. While a player may have found a Furnace, they could for instance instead find an Ancient Schaefer's Hammer and use it for a while. However, the downside to this is that an Ancient Furnace will still beat out an Ancient Shaefer's Hammer so Ancient Items only fix this partially.

What they're also doing though is unnerfing some of the previously powerful items. For example, for those that may not be aware the Shard of Hate which was previously BiS for 1h weapons is now being unnerfed and the item's power will once again be restored.

In addition, some slots such as rings which only have 3 specific rings that people use will now get rings that will compete with them in terms of power.

Overall, they recognize this problem and are looking to fix it.


The game is too heavily focused on Set Items.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

Unfortunately for those who want the endgame to not be so heavily focused on sets dictating gameplay, when I asked John Yang directly at Blizzcon if they were going to move away from sets being the most powerful things in game he quite adamantly told me no.

An upside to this however is that they are adding more sets to the game to give players more diversity in which ones they use. It seems that Blizzard is trying to dictate builds in this sense, but I can also see that it helps with balancing issues if they just take it upon themselves to control what builds are the most powerful.


Character progression is too heavily focused on randomness without any character development.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? PARTIALLY

How are they only partially addressing this? Well, they're toning down some of the absurd randomness and extreme luck that a player needs in order to find specific very powerful items. For those that might not be aware, extremely rare items such as The Furnace, Calamity, Starmetal Kukri, etc have had their droprates buffed by 250%. Previously these items had a weighting value of 10 associated to them, they will now have a weighting value of 25.

There are now only 3 tiers of item rarity in the game. Item Weighting of 100, 50, and 25. What this means is 1 in 4 Legendary items has a chance to be a rare item, and 1 in 2 Legendary Items has a chance to be an uncommon Legendary item. If you look at what it was before, there used to be a 1 in 10 chance to find a rare item and that weighting has been severely reduced. This should help out quite a bit with finding that specific item you need for that specific build.

On the flip side, good items will now also be harder to get with the introduction of the Ancient Tier.

This is why I feel this complaint is only being addressed partially.


No structured reward system; No way to guarantee rewards.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

At this point in time Blizzard is still focused on random being at the core of gameplay. The only improvements on this front will be that they are making it easier to find super rare items by reducing the severity of their weighting system.


All you can do at endgame is just rift and nothing else.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

At this point in time, the team seems to be only focused on making Rifts the only active style of gameplay and I see no plans to address this complaint any time in the future. If you're playing at endgame, you will be focused on Rifts and Greater Rifts. Everything else will remain to be less fruitful by comparison.


Fun items get nerfed way too often when it takes ages to find them.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? PARTIALLY

One of the more obvious ways Blizzard is addressing this complaint is to make rare items easier to find, but on the flip side when an item is bugged, or overpowered, they will still come at it with a nerf hammer.

Hopefully now this only happens during PTR iterations and it won't happen after an item has gone live. In fact, some items that have previously had their power stripped such as the Shard of Hate are now having that power restored. The reason I say that they're partially addressing this complaint is because they're being much more conservative about what they do and don't nerf.

Some items such as Marauders were just changed to compliment a playstyle that they actually want but they do not aim to reduce the set's overall power. If you have Marauders, you should be able to still log in and complete the same level of difficulty that you could previously.


Trials are too tedious and need removed.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? YES

Just last week the team was looking for ways to improve Greater Rift Trials so that they're less annoying. If you have any ideas, please look to this thread for more community brainstorming.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/15690149018


Absurdly rare Legendary items can still roll as garbage.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

RNG is RNG is RNG. Some powerful items such as weapons have been guaranteed a socket, but overall if an item can have the potential to roll badly it still will have that potential. What the team wants to avoid is a situation where you never have to find another item ever again because you've already found one that's perfect the first time.

There are ways they are mitigating this though such as reducing the severity of the item weighting.


Unavoidable damage is too harsh on players.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? YES

Now I would like to preface this one with the statement that unavoidable damage isn't going anywhere. The team feels that unavoidable damage is necessary to keep toughness as an actual desirable stat.

However, they do feel that unavoidable damage can be really unfair most of the time. If you haven't had a chance to play on the PTR yet, they've made efforts to reduce the large amounts of incoming damage above Greater Rift 25. Starting from Greater Rift 26, the damage scaling has been cut back dramatically to more realistically match real gear progression. Now you're going to be destined to fail a certain rift level, but the game should be a little bit more fair now.


Overall gameplay is severely repetitive; Lacks challenge.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

Diablo isn't meant to be a challenging game according to Wyatt. It's a game where you just log in and kill a bunch of demons until you're blue in the face. There are some aspects of it that are going to be challenging, but overall they feel the game is best played when you're mostly comfortable and on some rare occasion uncomfortable while playing.

This complaint isn't likely to be addressed in the near future.


Season 1 was entirely way too long.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? YES

Season 1 was more of a test, and they agree with you guys that it's gone on too long. Unfortunately, there's a lot of problems that sprang up during Season 1 that they have to fix before they can release subsequent Seasons.

For now, Season 1 might be too long, but I wouldn't plan on Seasons being like this in the future.


RNG is the largest factor in determining Leaderboard Placement.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? YES

One of the steps made towards fixing this on the PTR is that they are normalizing the difficulty of all of the enemies as well as normalizing the density of rifts to be more consistent.

On top of this, they have taken active measures to ensure that Pylons don't make or break your progress by making their power scale off of you instead of the Greater Rift level. Conduit Pylons are a little bit undertuned, but they're looking to fix that by fixing the numbers.

Next Season, you shouldn't have to fish for a Zombie / Skeleton Rift and hope that a Conduit Pylon spawns at the location of the Rift Guardian.


Stash Space is too limited.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll ask for a glass of milk...

Currently the team is under the mindset that if they give you more stash space then you'll just ask for more stash space. I personally don't think it's enough, but I think Blizzard has been quite clear that they aren't adding more.

On the plus side though, they've greatly increased the stack sizes of items such as Gems and Crafting Materials. It won't be much, but it should help some.


Itemization is too imbalanced (CHC / CHD still too strong comparatively)
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

I don't see any attempt to fix this core problem with the game and unfortunately it will require a reboot (Expansion) to fix.

I wouldn't count on this being addressed until 3.0.


Crafted Items aren't powerful enough compared to what can drop in game.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

Crafted items are meant to be a stepping stone in progression to help you fill in the gaps, but they are not meant to be the most powerful thing your character wears. There won't be any effort to fix this issue that players have.


To much time passes between upgrades.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? YES (Mostly)

One of the main contributing factors here is going to be Ancient Items. While it might be easy to complete a normal 6 piece set, there will still be the Ancient versions to chase after and this will help lessen the time between upgrades while at the same time extending the item hunt even more. In addition to this, as I've mentioned a couple times before they're actively reducing the weighting of items so that it's easier to find an endgame item such as a Calamity, SMK, or Furnace.

Overall, I see the next patch helping with this problem quite drastically.


Paragon doesn't contribute much if anything at all to character progression.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

Overall I think Blizzard is happy with the Paragon system and how much it contributes to your character's power. I personally don't feel like it add much if any incentive to level it, but I also don't see any genuine effort to help address this.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we're getting any more power through Paragon.


Too much time between development patches.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? UNKNOWN

Blizzard's iterative process is confusing to even me (Considering I pay a great deal of attention to the iterative process) and while we might not think they're getting anywhere, they may have iterated on something for several weeks only to scrap the design later.

I personally face this issue and I've thrown out about 5 game prototypes I've developed over the last 6 months because I found that they just weren't fun to play. I can definitely sympathize with Blizzard on this one when they have complicated issues that require carefully constructed solutions to fix them. I'm not going to lie, there's still a lot of problems with the core design of the game and I think they're focusing on that mostly.


There's no PvP.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

We're not getting PvP any time soon.


There's no Trading.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

And while this is the most common complaint being tossed around, Blizzard has no plans to reintroduce trading, and if you watch their streams Trading is the most heavily moderated topic of discussion.

Honestly, I think they're just sick of people asking for it because they have absolutely no intention of bringing it back.


So, I'd like some input from the community now. Are any of these implemented solutions adequate, are they not taking things far enough?

Are there criticism of my interpretations?

I welcome any and all discussion on the topic, just please remember to keep it civil and do not attempt to invoke the ire of your fellow posters. ^.^

Let me know what you think!
Goodness! Quite the read. Thank you for your work on this and for all those who were constructive in posting. Hopefully they continue to do so.

I just wish we had more than just the forum folks as a sample. We know very few players frequent the forums and of those it is mostly the unhappy. I really wish Blizzard would send out another survey to the whole player group and gain the data they need for adjustments. I had a dream about that in the past couple days. Very odd.
An excellent summation of the thread, good work Droth!
That made things easy, thanks for your work!
This should be stickied
the complaints look so endless. Sometimes I wonder it wouldn't be better just drop the project of any future patches and full focus on making a new game from sketch and have it on the right track. This is just too much of work to make the game the way many people would like. no offense.
12/23/2014 03:44 PMPosted by Drothvader
There's no PvP.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

We're not getting PvP any time soon.

There's no Trading.
Is Blizzard actively addressing this complaint? NO

And while this is the most common complaint being tossed around, Blizzard has no plans to reintroduce trading, and if you watch their streams Trading is the most heavily moderated topic of discussion.

Honestly, I think they're just sick of people asking for it because they have absolutely no intention of bringing it back.


Very nice job DarthVader, you are one of the very rare posters that really gets into the nitty gritty and does his homework and I really appreciate you for your hard work...If I knew ya I would buy you some booze.

As for the quoted portion...Then there is no possible way in hell I will be coming back. As far as I am concerned Diablo is dead, I will come here once in awhile hoping beyond all hope that those two areas get some love.
Sometimes I wonder it wouldn't be better just drop the project of any future patches and full focus on making a new game from sketch and have it on the right track..
+1

Possible names?

Diablo 3, 2!

Diablo 3, reboot

Diablo 4

WoW jr.
12/23/2014 04:07 PMPosted by Amira
the complaints look so endless. Sometimes I wonder it wouldn't be better just drop the project of any future patches and full focus on making a new game from sketch and have it on the right track. This is just too much of work to make the game the way many people would like. no offense.


ye building on a shaky basement is no easy task...
12/23/2014 04:10 PMPosted by Merc13
As for the quoted portion...Then there is no possible way in hell I will be coming back. As far as I am concerned Diablo is dead, I will come here once in awhile hoping beyond all hope that those two areas get some love.

[/quote]

Unfortunately quite a few of us have told you that over and over. Blizz has made it very clear but folks just don't want to listen.
it's interesting that you didn't use technical reasons for stash space limits...so i guess it really is as bad as you mentioned...
12/23/2014 04:12 PMPosted by Phatty
it's interesting that you didn't use technical reasons for stash space limits...so i guess it really is as bad as you mentioned...


He may have left that out, but it is still true. Not every one can remember everything at all times and Droth does not work there, nor do I. We kind of have to take them at face value assuming we trust them.
12/23/2014 04:12 PMPosted by MissCheetah
Unfortunately quite a few of us have told you that over and over. Blizz has made it very clear but folks just don't want to listen.


I appreciate the condescension...

Some of us are hoping beyond all hope that they might walk into their boardroom and have an epiphany that these things need to be changed and we see a new sticky, or article that confirms that these changes are in the works. The Diablo series has taken up a good amount of gaming time during my life and I don't want to see it drowning the way I see it is.
12/23/2014 03:58 PMPosted by MissCheetah
Goodness! Quite the read. Thank you for your work on this and for all those who were constructive in posting. Hopefully they continue to do so.

Thank you. ^.^

This is the sort of thing I always wanted to do as an MVP but felt the title got in the way. Now I'm much more free in what I can do or say so this will more or less be the type of threads I make in the future.

I think more people are also willing to participate in discussion when they perceive me as their equal, and not their superior (Which is mostly why I hated the MVP program to begin with) as I've never wanted to have an "official" stance on anything.

12/23/2014 03:58 PMPosted by MissCheetah
I just wish we had more than just the forum folks as a sample. We know very few players frequent the forums and of those it is mostly the unhappy. I really wish Blizzard would send out another survey to the whole player group and gain the data they need for adjustments. I had a dream about that in the past couple days. Very odd.

Unfortunately, outside of a few incgamers polls (Which Flux and team do a fantastic job with BTW) I really have no means to collect this data. Polling is strictly prohibited on the forums or I would make more use of strawpolls and my aim isn't to break or bend the rules but more or less just generate discussion on the topic.

And really, that's about all I can do is generate discussion. With that said, I'll do everything I can in my limited power to help foster more civil discourse. I feel like that's something I can actually do freely now without fear of repercussions or guilt associated with giving Blizzard unfavorable PR. Honestly, I don't care whether or not I give Blizzard favorable PR, only that I'm generating useful discussion that they can learn from.
7 YES

11 NO

2 partially

1 unknown

Doesn't look good even if I did agree with all the YESs and I don't.
Paragon doesn't contribute much if anything at all to character progression.

i will keep saying this... statpoint are key in diablo like games...

the game is TOO reliant on items to buff your character (hell... it's key to buffing your character)

take dragon age (inquisition i think will be best seeing it's the latest installment) for example... you lvl your character (and the rest of the team you have) giving random stats that fit your class and a skillpoint every level (+ some perks you can get through quests)

the items you find are all fixed stats with some degree of customization (or you can just craft an item the way YOU want)

and you can't go higher then probably lvl 25.

i feel D3 was (still is) trying to much to go towards this... but fails in every way.

what do i think? give the player the freedom back that blizzard so (i dunno why) forcefully refuses! what do i suggest and how will this fix anything you ask?

this is just MY opinion and mine allone (i'm not a game developer but i do know what i liked about the previous diablo games and diablo clones)

introduce statpoints back into the game!
freedom to build your character the way you want (want it to be a glass canon... by all means, ranged tank? why not! ...)

making gear not so ... needed (ok now they aren't just needed... they are KEY)
allong with the statpoints you can still have thousand or milions of diffrent items all buffing some key part for a build (in a smaller way it is now, for example ChD/ChC are again key)

and i think with this... you can create a ballanced game and it will be a good starting point towards PvP.
how so? now it comes down to RNG over RNG over RNG. with statpoints you are in charge of your own weaknesses and strenghts and can build uppon that toward a balanced PvP experience (or to be more precise... brawling 2.0)

i also stayed away from the forum, part because i allready knew people where defending the game and would see soon enough who was wrong and why and part because if you had an idea... people shot you down without question. instead of taking your idea and trying to make it even better. i just came back to see how the patches where comming allong and how people on the forum where (both are like i expected months ago)
12/23/2014 04:16 PMPosted by MissCheetah
12/23/2014 04:12 PMPosted by Phatty
it's interesting that you didn't use technical reasons for stash space limits...so i guess it really is as bad as you mentioned...


He may have left that out, but it is still true. Not every one can remember everything at all times and Droth does not work there, nor do I. We kind of have to take them at face value assuming we trust them.

Correct.

I did not feel like getting into the technical stash limitations because I did not want to invite pseudo-engineers into the topic to "school" Blizzard on how to fix it and why they're bad.

It's just not a direction I wanted this to head in given how it went last time I mentioned technical limitations for stash space in my Philosophical breakdown thread from Blizzcon.
I don't have anything to add at the moment. A well done thread :)

Naturally, I disagree with a lot of things that the devs are focusing on... well, there's nothing we can really do about it. Devs don't really listen... when they do listen, they butcher the idea and implement it poorly.
Good analysis, thanks Droth. Well done!

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