PTR Patch Notes Updated 9 April - Stash Change

General Discussion
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05/14/2019 06:58 AMPosted by FusionX22
Next time, be sure you have everything situated and finalized before releasing it to the public.


Wholeheartedly areed. This has been, by far, the biggest lesson. Where we erred was that we thought we were at that stage when, in truth, not enough testing had been performed at that time. There was a miscommunication that happened there and we're being much more precise about the level of certainty needed before we communicate future changes moving forward.

The frustration is with you constantly changing your story, offering a Quality of Life improvement only to take it away.


Admittedly, the situation has changed by necessity through testing and discovery that what we initially had proposed wasn't feasible. The story itself hasn't changed, though—we've continued to offer further and further transparency regarding the situation, including what we can and can't do, looking into suggested alternatives, and explaining why some aren't possible. The conversation is rapidly growing to an end point, however; there's little more I can share and, as I've mentioned, our action items have been exhausted (at least for now).

Unfortunately, that doesn't change the outcome or our technical limitations (the game is 7 years old by release date, but older including announcement and even earlier development time). Regardless, I do hope that the insight is welcome, even if the outcome itself isn't ideal. Communication and transparency has been at the top of community requests. We're doing our best to uphold our end of the deal there, even if we're not able to meet or fulfill every community desire.


It makes me sad and disappointed that you all can't elaborate further on what the technical limitation is. Because the limitation doesn't make sense to those of us who know how this stuff works. I want to believe you all, but it just doesn't add up unfortunately :/ Having to sync stash space between players in the game, especially when said players aren't even in the town, makes no sense, yet that's what is being implied.

At any rate, I appreciate your communicating at least.
Which is because I have never pushed to get on any of the LBs or climb them. Still a very good point nonetheless.

05/13/2019 09:49 PMPosted by spacecadet13
Anything you find while playing in a group is tradeable within that group for 2 hours from the moment you identify it, right? So theoretically, every single item in your stash could be tradable to your partners, and their ID's have to be tagged on each of those items, and everything in their stash could be tradeable to you, and tagged with your ID. Maybe the game looks at every single piece of gear, and has to assign something to it with regard to the other players in the game, so it either assigns up to three ID's or three null values, and maybe the timer requires each item to be updated / checked each second, regardless of where it is, and regardless of whether it has null value or multiple player ID's linked to it.

And if you've jumped from public game to public game in a short space of time, that's a lot of items and a lot of players and a lot of timers that every player is linked to. IF - big if there - if that's something like how it works, you could see how theoretically giving everyone 5 extra stash tabs could cause 'technical issues'.

Even your take makes no sense simply because you would have to keep everything you find for that two hour window with the idea of trading it at the near the end of the two hour window. You would have to be on a team that is speed farming for gear and paragon to start with.


But, here's the thing, the game engine has to be capable of tracking and timing every single item in all four players complete stash just in case that happens, with all four players keeping every single item they find. That's the 'worst case scenario' they talked about. It would probably never occur under any normal game circumstances, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't, which means it has to be allowed for.
05/14/2019 10:54 AMPosted by Nevalistis
05/14/2019 06:58 AMPosted by FusionX22
Next time, be sure you have everything situated and finalized before releasing it to the public.


Wholeheartedly areed. This has been, by far, the biggest lesson. Where we erred was that we thought we were at that stage when, in truth, not enough testing had been performed at that time. There was a miscommunication that happened there and we're being much more precise about the level of certainty needed before we communicate future changes moving forward.


Very glad to see that due to internal errors you guys are, at least, attempting to resolve any and all future situations like this. That's really what matters most. That way there is absolutely no reason for the public to banter on anything other than the discussion of whether the new implementations are fun or disliked, etc. etc. Thanks for the reply, Nev.
https://imgur.com/a/Hg4iYWP

thanks blizzard... 1 tab is better than nothing ^^
05/13/2019 03:52 PMPosted by Nevalistis
05/13/2019 03:35 PMPosted by Decipher
Has Blizzard considered extra character slots? This should not increase in game actors.


Calling this a bandaid fix would be generous. Stash management via muling is pretty unwieldy, logging in/out of several characters to find the items you need or have sorted in an even smaller amount of "additional storage." That would be a step backwards, not forwards, for very little benefit.

In addition, logging in and out repeatedly creates a different kind of server tax and has a high likelihood of causing a different set of issues. There are changes to the game we've made in the past specifically to discourage/reduce the need to log in/out repeatedly for this reason (such as changes to how bonus Bounties would roll/spawn in the past, or auto-closing the Vault without the need to log out).


If more stash tabs is not an option, I feel that extra character slots and a timer on how frequently we can create a new game instance after closing the last one would be the next best way to go.

I personally don't use characters that 100% for mules... they are proper characters with builds I play and having 4 characters per class would be the sweet spot (one per set).
05/14/2019 11:22 AMPosted by BigRed
05/14/2019 10:07 AMPosted by ShadowAegis
Wasn't Themed Season suppose to help seasons by increasing the number of people playing. Maybe it did increase the number. But not nearly enough for a long enough period of time.


That might be right but at this point in time there might be more people non-season. People just got sick of starting new over & over again. Plus what do you really get?

The only area that seasons works is HC because nobody plays non-season. If anybody plays it the % is very very low.


Please explain to me why so many people that still play D2 without any mods keep playing on the new ladder season in D2? It is the same game that they have been playing with very few changes over a decade. There are gonna be some that just love starting over and going through the journey of being a level 1 to level cap. Along with everything else that goes with the joy of playing seasons.

Just the same as it is for HC. Where they know that the death of their character is just around the corner. Whether it is by something stupid that they did or something that they have zero control over such as DC'ing from server. But just the same players still play HC because they love it.
Has anyone suggested creating a separate app or mobile app that would give you access to both your stash and to what I would call your vault. I have seen this done in games in the past that would let you transfer items from your stash to a storage vault that has a large amount of space while not inside the D3 game itself. This way although there would be development time involved it would have zero impact on the actual D3 game play, or RAM. You could easily move builds or current items into your stash before starting the game. I would gladly pay $19.99 for it just to save the pain of sorting stuff into no space every season.
05/14/2019 11:25 AMPosted by Coreinsanity
It makes me sad and disappointed that you all can't elaborate further on what the technical limitation is. Because the limitation doesn't make sense to those of us who know how this stuff works. I want to believe you all, but it just doesn't add up unfortunately :/ Having to sync stash space between players in the game, especially when said players aren't even in the town, makes no sense, yet that's what is being implied.

At any rate, I appreciate your communicating at least.


I appreciate that Nev took the time to write posts. But still she has to understand that we are not buying that story because it doesn't make sense. You are not dealing with gullible young children. You are dealing with adults that are not easily fool. Sure there are those that will buy that line of BS hook, line and sinker. But we won't be buying that line. Even more so for those that are programmers of video games or make mods for games.

You have to make a clear reason why this is the case. Alas I know that she will not be allowed to do so. Because then it would be just another tale that would be much harder to believe than this one. A lie to cover the current one and so on. To the point where, if not now, Blizz actually believes their own lies as truth.

05/14/2019 02:00 PMPosted by spacecadet13
But, here's the thing, the game engine has to be capable of tracking and timing every single item in all four players complete stash just in case that happens, with all four players keeping every single item they find. That's the 'worst case scenario' they talked about. It would probably never occur under any normal game circumstances, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't, which means it has to be allowed for.


Again this is saying that they cannot make a game engine that can handle that without it being client side. This means that they are incompetent and stupid. I wouldn't doubt that doesn't happen in their other games like WoW. I wouldn't doubt that if I learned programming along with how to make video game programs. I wouldn't need even one fifth of the skills of David Brevik to make a program that would handle the trading that could go on within a two hour window. Also make that program that could be handled entirely by the server.

It makes no sense to have such a trading system handled entirely client side. I am sure that they can have their server do the whole job.

05/14/2019 02:56 PMPosted by Mugsy
If more stash tabs is not an option, I feel that extra character slots and a timer on how frequently we can create a new game instance after closing the last one would be the next best way to go.


If they really need to limit the amount of times that they have us make games. Then I propose a solution that they can add in future patches.

1.) Put a countdown timer for Ubers. Where after you pick up the organs a 30 second timer starts for the Uber that you are in. Similar to opening the chest in the vault.
2.) Give us a way of looking at the inventory of our alts without having to log onto our alts. Similar to the filter that gives us the ability to find what we are looking for by using the new filter.
3.) Put a close button for GRs or have an option added to Orek to close a GR. That would be there for those that would need to fish in order to find the best GR. This option would be an instant close.

I think that doing the above will greatly reduce the need to make a new game.
2.)
05/14/2019 10:54 AMPosted by Nevalistis
Communication and transparency has been at the top of community requests.
Sure but are the powers higher up aware of such things?

Do they know lack of communication and being so far out of touch with the community has been a major factor in the breakdown of trust between themselves and the gamers?

Do they acknowledge and understand the amount of damage they are causing through their ignorance of the gamers?

What's happened with the stash tabs is only a symptom of what's happening with the industry where gamers get served up nothing but absolute bullcrap. If the executives cannot see that, they are part of the problem.
I am a software engineer and the reasons provided just do not sit well with me.

Now what I am going to say is regarding the PC version of Diablo III. I understand that the Console version has limits because of limited hardware and having to support offline. However the PC version is not subject to such limits due to potentially better hardware as well as no single player support.

Due to the state streaming model used, each client technically only needs to know the items available to just the client's player and not that of any players in the party. When other players move items from stash to inventory or back only the state of the item being moved has to be streamed to all clients, with other player stashes being black boxes which a client should not care about. Further more it technically only needs to know the items in the player stash if the player opens the stash tab, meaning that the actual stash content could be streamed to the client over a period of time so as to not delay server join times, and further more it could be streamed prioritizing loading the selected tab for improved access times to stashes. Now if Diablo III actually does this I do not know.

What about actors? Back in the days of old consoles this was a huge problem due to how limited the system memory was. However seeing how Diablo III internally uses ~1GB for gameplay and then another 5GB+ odd just to cache assets there is a ton of memory on the clients to play with for actors. Diablo III PC needs at least 8GB of memory to play well since the 64bit patch introduced the asset caching otherwise one will eventually run into page fault issues during play which may result in worse performance than no asset caching had and require one restart the client (this is from experience, I was playing with 6GB). Now assuming each item actor is 8KB, which should be extremely excessive for something as simple as an item, then within 1GB of memory one could fit 131,072 item actors, which given a worst case of 560 per stash page (140 * 4 due to each party member) is enough for 234 stash pages, or enough stash pages to go multiple seasons without salvaging any legendary items. In reality an item actor should be considerably less than 8KB, even if one includes data structure overhead, unless something silly is done. As such this most certainly is not a client memory issue having to manage all those actors. However the client is not the only system which needs to know all items.

Now what I can agree would be a big issue is the server overhead. Not only does one need to store more items per client, but these have to be moved from the progress server to the game server the client joins, incurring loading time, and then the game server needs to move the state data to the actual client incurring more loading time and using more bandwidth. Now on top of this the game server needs to track all these additional items meaning that each instance would need more memory to run. Even a 100MB increase in instance memory usage could result in fewer instances per physical server which could quickly increase server costs. However despite this being the obvious place for there to be an issue, most of the feedback given to the community places the issue on the client side, which for the above two reasons should not be the case since they do not need access to all items instantly and neither is the memory usage much of a concern and even just 40 stash tabs would be beyond excessive anyway.

In any case I would propose a solution which should benefit players with potentially more stash space without degrading performance any worse than potentially possible currently. The 560 actors per player stash page is a worst case number, however in reality a player is more likely to have closer to just 140 (2 slot items without sockets installed) to 280 (rings without sockets installed) actors per stash page, which is significantly less than the worst case. Now to prevent passing the worst case current limit one gives players a stash capacity where each item has a stash weight. The stash capacity is specified to the current worst case limit, while stash weight is set per item based on its complexity (1 per item, 1 per socketed item in item). Players cannot add an item to stash when the stash weight sum of all items in the stash plus the item is greater than the stash capacity. Using this mechanic one could safely add another 5 tabs to all players without worrying about any of the worst case actor related issues described since they are not possible. Further more most players should never need to worry about stash weight when filling these extra tabs unless they purposely start packing everything full of socketed rings or chests fully socketed with gems. As far as I could tell this would be win-win since not only does it allow more control in order to prevent worst cases from being an issue, it also allows one to give players more stash space to mess around with which in most cases they can use.
05/14/2019 06:44 PMPosted by DrSuperGood
Using this mechanic one could safely add another 5 tabs to all players without worrying about any of the worst case actor related issues described since they are not possible.


It's too late for suggesting that. I mean, Diablo III was a kind of failure from its release on PC and consoles, It was not what the players expected to see in a videogame titled "Diablo", and after update and update now It's a game with noot enough population (at least not what Activion Blizzard expected to exploit Diablo III to obtain good benefits), more than that, Diablo III is a game close to its final life/support, and their developers are aware, so when they decided to don't add more tabs their decision will not change even when experienced, professional programmers like you tells the truth to stop their fallacies and lies about memory "issues"...

I'ts just a shame, but probably the Diablo III developers don't care enough about the playing experience that they can provide us at this (dead) point of this video game, and they will not have enough motivation to put effort and time (and maintenance cost) to improve the current mechanic and to give us more stash tabs...
05/14/2019 10:54 AMPosted by Nevalistis
Unfortunately, that doesn't change the outcome or our technical limitations


So you overthrow the estimations about performance. That's fine, everyone makes a mistake or two. However, it still doesn't explain how you playtested it before you release the announce and change the notes afterwards. Better cap it soon than later where fan backlash would be harsher I guess?

05/14/2019 10:54 AMPosted by Nevalistis
We're doing our best to uphold our end of the deal there


We all appreciate the effort, just can't give credit to the story. I think the second change is unnecessary but that's me of course, one tab per season is still one tab per season.
I take it stash tabs have become as rare and elusive as primal ancients?

If they are seasonal rewards, and each season is 4 months, then I'm looking at 20 months of seasons to 'earn' the 5 tabs that I thought were going to be included in 2.6.5.
Maybe I'm a huge idiot dungle brain, but I need someone - specifically a dev or whoever actually knows what they're talking about... To explain to me clearly and concisely - with ALL the technical details, WHY there are apparently SO MANY technical ISSUES with stash tabs that apparently they'll break the game if they're simply given out, and will only function correctly if they're distributed via seasons. This was the original excuse, and it turned out FINE. Then you went ahead and threw in tabs with the Necro. And it turned out FINE. And no one had issues on the PTR... But, apparently, from what I'm understanding here... Is that Stash tabs break the game unless they're earned from seasons.

And Nef? The mules comment. I've kept 2 of them. Since the day RoS launched. Yes, it IS clunky. Stop forcing me to do it.

I've been jumping through your season hoops for too long now. I finally got my 5th tab. I am sick to death of seasons. This thinly veiled stunt for engagement numbers? I see through it. I'm not going to play seasons no longer. I've uninstalled instead. That's how I feel about seasons. I would rather do literally anything else than play another season forever.
04/26/2019 11:05 AMPosted by Nevalistis
All players in a party sync on everything that every player has - in memory, all the time.


What if you added "long term" storage space that is outside the game, accessible in something like the character selection screen? In that long term storage space you can trade things in and out of your in-game stash before starting a game. The items will not be available inside the game unless you exit the instance and trade the items into the stash.
05/14/2019 10:54 AMPosted by Nevalistis
Unfortunately, that doesn't change the outcome or our technical limitations (the game is 7 years old by release date, but older including announcement and even earlier development time).


Good; if the age of D3's coding is the problem then up to D4 ! For PC, not for smartphones; just to underline. ^^ Why still waste ressources into a game that you cant even extend with features due to the aged and limited coding ? Makes no sense at all and nobodys happy with it.
05/14/2019 11:43 PMPosted by Eclipse
Maybe I'm a huge idiot dungle brain, but I need someone - specifically a dev or whoever actually knows what they're talking about... To explain to me clearly and concisely - with ALL the technical details, WHY there are apparently SO MANY technical ISSUES with stash tabs that apparently they'll break the game if they're simply given out, and will only function correctly if they're distributed via seasons. This was the original excuse, and it turned out FINE. Then you went ahead and threw in tabs with the Necro. And it turned out FINE. And no one had issues on the PTR... But, apparently, from what I'm understanding here... Is that Stash tabs break the game unless they're earned from seasons.

And Nef? The mules comment. I've kept 2 of them. Since the day RoS launched. Yes, it IS clunky. Stop forcing me to do it.

I've been jumping through your season hoops for too long now. I finally got my 5th tab. I am sick to death of seasons. This thinly veiled stunt for engagement numbers? I see through it. I'm not going to play seasons no longer. I've uninstalled instead. That's how I feel about seasons. I would rather do literally anything else than play another season forever.


You see it's simple. They tried to give us what we want, upper management caught on and slapped them, then left them holding the bag to come up with an excuse as to why they can't do it. So we've gone from 5 stash tabs for gold out of seasons, to 5 stash tabs in season, and just to re-enforce this technical issue nonsense it's been reduced to just 1 stash tab via season reward.

Edit: To actually answer you're question, they aren't saying stash tabs outside of seasons break the game. They're saying too many stash tabs as a whole break the game. But their reasoning for that being an issue makes no sense, and apparently nobody has complained about it being an issue on the PTR. Essentially what we can take from their reasoning is that:


  • For some reason that they elaborate on at all, stash tab contents are synced across characters. I mean that's the only way I can see to interpret what they've said.
  • Because of this, adding more stash tabs overall lags out players because it's syncing more and more data.


Which, I've repeated a bunch in this thread, makes no sense for various reasons.

05/15/2019 01:24 AMPosted by eagle
04/26/2019 11:05 AMPosted by Nevalistis
All players in a party sync on everything that every player has - in memory, all the time.


What if you added "long term" storage space that is outside the game, accessible in something like the character selection screen? In that long term storage space you can trade things in and out of your in-game stash before starting a game. The items will not be available inside the game unless you exit the instance and trade the items into the stash.


Let's assume for a second that this is actually some kind of technical issue, not that I actually believe it is. But, if it is, then all these ideas are moot. If they had the time and resources to implement these kind of workarounds, then they would have the time and resources to just fix the technical issues - at least as far as PC goes.

05/15/2019 06:13 AMPosted by NINEGRAVES
05/14/2019 10:54 AMPosted by Nevalistis
Unfortunately, that doesn't change the outcome or our technical limitations (the game is 7 years old by release date, but older including announcement and even earlier development time).


Good; if the age of D3's coding is the problem then up to D4 ! For PC, not for smartphones; just to underline. ^^ Why still waste ressources into a game that you cant even extend with features due to the aged and limited coding ? Makes no sense at all and nobodys happy with it.


Look, code bases age, yes. But they don't age like food, they age with changes. If their code base is so bad that this technical issue is actually real, then it shows a bad planning on the initial game, bad project management overall, and poorly thought out changes after that. Code is naturally going to get messier over time, and worse in a lot of regards. The fact that "it's a decade old game" doesn't mean it's bad, or the code has somehow aged out of date. I've worked on games written almost two decades ago that aren't that bad, and I've seen recent games that are complete dumpster fires.

It's all about proper planning, proper management of resources, and having a good process to iterate changes. And, of course, skilled developers. Of course it's going to get worse over time, but this technical issue indicates a fundamental flaw with their development process, not that the code base aged like some kind of bad cheese. If you've got management busting everyone pushing hard deadlines, and a lack of proper planning or time to develop a good foundation... then yeah, I could see stuff like this being an issue. It's like how because of poor planning and project management, Anthem was mostly rush-created in 6 months. I bet the code behind Anthem is a complete rushed mess.
05/14/2019 03:49 PMPosted by ShadowAegis
If they really need to limit the amount of times that they have us make games. Then I propose a solution that they can add in future patches.

1.) Put a countdown timer for Ubers. Where after you pick up the organs a 30 second timer starts for the Uber that you are in. Similar to opening the chest in the vault.
2.) Give us a way of looking at the inventory of our alts without having to log onto our alts. Similar to the filter that gives us the ability to find what we are looking for by using the new filter.
3.) Put a close button for GRs or have an option added to Orek to close a GR. That would be there for those that would need to fish in order to find the best GR. This option would be an instant close.

I think that doing the above will greatly reduce the need to make a new game.


A means to close cow level and whimsydale would be good too. I hate find a rainbow gob during bounties and then finding another one before that round of bounties are over.
Here's why I'm done supporting ActiBlizz after decades of support: You're full of crap.

If this was just about memory issues, and you could only give players ONE new stash tab, you could have kept it as-is... for gold. Instead, you made it only unlockable through an exhausting series of hoops via season.

So no, calling BS. Stop expecting the community to choke down turd sandwiches, especially when you make zero effort to rectify the mistake or toss us a bone.
05/14/2019 03:47 PMPosted by KillerZeke
Has anyone suggested creating a separate app or mobile app that would give you access to both your stash and to what I would call your vault. I have seen this done in games in the past that would let you transfer items from your stash to a storage vault that has a large amount of space while not inside the D3 game itself. This way although there would be development time involved it would have zero impact on the actual D3 game play, or RAM. You could easily move builds or current items into your stash before starting the game. I would gladly pay $19.99 for it just to save the pain of sorting stuff into no space every season.


I'd pay $19.99 too, although realistically that's too high a price for what it would be - the optics of it are rough, especially with increased community sensitivity right now to cash-grabbing from Diablo Immortal. I could see $4.99 being a reasonable price point that wouldn't blow up the D3 reputation too hard (although even then I'm sure some people would be unduly outraged. Maybe something similar to the "vault" idea could be to just give us a second, completely separate stash, but such that only one stash is available in-game at any given moment. Once in the game you would only be able to see one full stash, and you can toggle which one you want to access from the character loading screen. That way once in game it would only need to load the same amount of stash as before. If we need to transfer gear from one stash to the other, we pass it through character personal storage. If even having both be viewable/selectable from the character selection screen requires full loading of both that is too resource intensive for party play, maybe you can only toggle between stashes if you're the sole party member.

An alternate, less elegant and honestly all-around worse remedy (but better than nothing), could be to significantly increase character cap so we can have more mules. For many of us who have been playing for years, we have a character or two of each class with full stashes/personal space plus a few mules, on which we might keep leveling gear, alternate sets, high-rolled alternate elements of the same set (do I go cold or fire M6N4?! It depends on the combined quality of my amulet, bracers, and quiver. Better keep the best version of both in case one proves out better or I find a gg quiver of the other! Area damage is crucial to the fire version? Better keep that alternate set of gloves with AD on them as well...etc. etc.) If we had enough character slots for non-seasonal character + mule of each class, plus say 4 more for seasonal main + alt char + mule, we could at least get by without feeling like we have to play this horrible subgame of "which hard-earned high rolled and augmented gear do I destroy forever in order to play another season?"

Building out some loot sorting / comparing tools could help too. Right now when running in any kind of a group, if you see something that looks like it *may possibly* be good, you kind of just have to jam it in somewhere and then find a window to crunch the numbers later. This gets especially difficult when comparing different stats - is this ammy with 10% crit but 17% cold damage better than this 8.5% crit, 18% cold and 98% CD? Or a 20% AD, 20% cold, 100% CD primal? Is it better always? If I hit a certain crit or main-stat breakpoint, does the stat value shift? Better keep it! Sheet dps helps, but it gets even trickier when comparing between sheet-dps stats and % skill stats, or when factoring in scaling over time and break-points (I'd better keep this slightly worse ring with good CDR in case I find a better set of gloves that incentivize dropping CDR from those! or better keep that ring 7% AS in case I get a primal weapon without AS and need to make it up to keep my break-point!). The points here are that we are kind of packrats, but that the complex nature of stat juggling in the game makes us so. I think part of the skill-test of the game is doing that optimization ourselves with the tools we're given and it shouldn't be TOO easy, but having something built-in to improve our ability to compare between items in stash (maybe an "auto-sort tab by name first and secondarily total % of perfect within name" button could help) would help make it less tedious.

Personally of the options, I like the vault or alternate stash ideas best, but if that's a no-go then significantly increasing character cap could help a bit too. The reason adding mules is a less idea solution is that we need the ability to compare gear that drops with our current best versions, and having it stranded on a mule makes that cumbersome (and realistically leads to accumulation of more when that comparison can't be quickly done. Who is going to leave a party to see if this alt-spec piece is better than the best one I have so far? Just toss it in the bag, compare "later").

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