13 Questions for community managers

General Discussion
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06/21/2012 08:05 AMPosted by Tealeaves
Some great points gremble, Hopefully we can get a CM to answer as well.

this is a real topic. They only post on threads about what treats your dog likes.
The pots/breakables Magic find nerf.

Only reason people were doing this was because of the insane difficulty of certain affixes and affix combinations.

Same applies to the "corpse camping" method.

Stat stacking. It was mentioned that blizzard does not want players to stack stats in a way that they feel it is a must skill over the base stats such as Dex or Str or Vit. If that is true, why do barbarians and monks (and probably everyone else now after the current changes) have to stack resist all up to ridiculous levels just in order to survive?

Horrible designers and lazy programmers don't know how to make a game.

IAS Side effects. The IAS nerf has had a few side effects which I am not sure were considered in the process.

It was a lazy fix and got typical lazy results.

The repair cost increase I believe is also a fair change; however the unfair part of this change was to the wear and tear of doing battle.

Yet again, a lazy fix that they just threw in to save some actual programming hours. Instead of going down the route of designing a legitimate game sink and actually fixing Inferno so people don't "corpse camp" (the 10% of the community that does that...), they just threw in a quick-fix.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
When are WD’s going to get some love?

I rerolled to DH after realizing how horrible my WD was in Inferno. I'm currently in the process of selling all of their gear to get my Wizard ready for Act II.

I actually think WD would be amazingly fun to play, but there is no build diversity.

The one or two specs we have that are viable are still complete garbage.

Boss over tuning. In the recent patch there was significant changes done to some boss fights.

I actually thought the boss fights were pretty good before the patch. Maybe could have been buffed a little bit because they were incredibly easy in comparison to most packs.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
Favourite snack while playing? I love me some fuzzy peaches

Adderall and Dr. Pepper.

Don't like eating while I play because it gets my keyboard covered in grease... ew...

The quitters. Many of my friends who played the game have found the recent patch changes to create an unfun atmosphere within the game.

I'm the only one out of my "friends" that still plays and that's because I think WoW is garbage... because it is garbage.

By "friends" I mean the people on my friend's list.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
Is there any consideration being made to increasing the limit of 10 items per account that can be up for sale to help compensate for this increase in costs?

Another thing that should have been dealt with a long time ago... I don't even know how they let this out of the Beta, let alone last for more than a month in the game.

Original Poster:

If you fix up some of the grammar and organize it when/if a community manager responds, you can probably get this stickied.

Sorry about the double post...
good OP, sadly there is a low chance to get a respnse from blues, even if they do it will be some copy/paste nonsense they were told to post.
Did anyone really bought into the ''players were not having fun switching to MF gear and having 2-3 rares pop''?

Please, Blizzard nerfed breakables because they need to protect the RMAH to milk as much as possible before the game dies.

Not at all, in fact I actually was having fun trying to find a 2nd set of gear for MF and swapping items in and out depending on fights or if there was a chest.

I thought it was part of the game and from some of my Diablo Veteran friends they were telling me that it was a good idea to do this.

I actually liked doing it..

This was clearly a blanket change to slow down bots.
1. The idea is to exploring around being more rewarding than just skipping straight to the boss.
There might be better ways to do that, but the idea itself is good.

2. The idea here is for people to try builds, but then stick with one in a run, so choosing a build becomes important, since you can't simply switch whenever the builds does not work against something.
Maybe they should allow setting two builds you can swap, so whenever you find an enemy that will easily outmatch your current build, the second can do it, as long as there's some kind of cooldown or limitation to switching, so you can't use both as one.

3. IAS was being overused, but that was no way to fix it. Instead, they should have used stacking caps (not value caps, that's a different thing) so single items can go past the cap, so people can still get better IAS in a single item if they are lucky, but can't get IAS in all items and stack it like crazy like they did before. Also, there's a reason why people used IAS, due ot its effectiveness, and you can't address one issue without addressing the other too.
Diminishing returns are a bad idea too, since they are hard to plan and use, and people can still stick them even if it's just to scrap a little more %.

4. What I see is that as you advance, some skills become plain useless. Snares stop working, absorb skills can't cope with the damage, cooldowns become too long, evasive actions are pointless since the enemy reaches you almost as fast as you get away...
At the end, what seems to work is just plain damage and plain defense. High numbers vs high numbers, without skill, and that's it.

5. They should have added a 'Hero valor' effect to level 1..59.
Then when they get 5 stacks, destructibles would gain full use again. Nephalem's Valor would do that also for level 60's, and so if you walk around killing and breaking, you get the stuff, but if you skip elites and just break things, you'll lose the effect. And, of course, leaving the game and entering again would mean that you lose the effect, so bots that do that won't work.

6. They should have applied stacking caps and then balance the game around them.
Instead, the game is balanced to either hard caps or unlimited stacking. So far only things with 100 or more in a primary damage attribute get sold when I put them in the AH.

7. Spirit, fury and hatred gained should have been linked to damage done along number of hits done. Otherwise hiting many times becomes more important than hitting harder. And higher damage does not compensate for number of attacks per second lost.

8. Looks like they got their arm twisted about this one.
Let's hope they change it properly.

9. They can vault. Try to do what they can do with that thing with Teleport or Spirit Walk.

10. They are on steroids now. It was a bit too much.

11. Now that's something only blues can answer.

12. That's what you get with bad decisions. There's people saying that it's only vocal minorities, but in this case we can see the numbers. Around this hour in European servers, before you'd get avout 5 to 8 thousand people. There's barely 2 thousands now. And people had finals before 1.0.3 too, so it's not about stundents leaving to study for exams.

13. It would be neat if you could acquire extra slots to put things on sale, even if you had to pay for them.
I would love to pay in game gold as a sink towards opening up more slots. 1 mil per extra slot. I would do that in a second.

I meant cash. You know, to pay for extra server strain and storage, like when you pay for extra character slots in many MMOs.

You could still get them paid with gold, though, once the RMAH started working, you could sell the gold, get the cash into the Blizzard balance, and then use the cash to pay for the slots.
When will WD get some love! Please!
06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
1) Champion packs over Bosses
honestly don't really care -- and especially won't if i ever have the gear to just smack down every boss like the old days -- but TBH all the mechanics and rigamarole involved in boss fights is a pain in the neck and I'd just rather fight a straight-up fight most of the time, ESPECIALLY considering the worthless loot that bosses drop. BTW re: Azmodan. He's a TERRIBLE commander. A nub. Maybe belial lord of lies is his PR agent? When he's not working at blizzard? :P

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
2) Valor buff.
the fact that u can't change skills without losing valor has always been 100% unjustifiable and incomprehensible to me. combine with the (now known to be lies) "1000s of viable builds!" or whatever, it's also a monumental contradiction and/or oversight. personally I don't think there should be any constraint at all, but a compromise I once suggested is that u lose 1 stack per skill change, to make changing skills still somewhat viable. AGAIN, though, I firmly believe you should be able to change them at will, and with minimal cooldowns.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
3) The IAS nerf
Devs were against diminishing returns or other special aggregation formula because it would introduce a "hidden" factor to dmg calculations which would not be 100% transparent on the details sheet.

As for hard cap, well, it would still be OP up to that point. In large part due to the multiple ways in which it affects play. As mentioned: mobility (which actually already sucks in this game), and resource generation.

BTW, a lot of other games, suh foul-ups by the developers will bring a mea culpa and (these days) often even some custom "I was there!" micro-content. D3 players are due the same or better treatment, IMO. The problem is that devs haven't realized/admitted that they screwed up, yet.

In general, agree with this change but think it was too harsh -- like most of the patch moves that have been made, so far.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
4) lackluster skills.
so most of them, then? obviously every skill can't be the coolest. and i'm not one of these "balance" freaks that thinks NONE of them should -- and honestly we are heading for that day, when balanced DPS rules all, and we might as well just play Progress Quest ..... (remembers about fake delays for IDing, crafting, TPing .... hmm, maybe we already are!))

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
5) The pots/breakables Magic find nerf
Terrible move. Again, unfathomable and indefensible.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
6) Stat stacking.
barbs and monks aren't the only ones, and other than a few corner cases (one with everything) it begs the question why elemental resists are even broken down any more, instead of just being a global "elemental resist". oh yeah .. filler.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
7) IAS Side effects.
uh, side effects are apparently something blizzard never considers until the community points them out, so I'm going to go with "no, they did not consider the side effects."

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
8) The repair cost increase
ridiculous change and community outrage is justified. but the wear and tear costs REALLY take the cake. wear and tear should be nerfed 100%.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
9) When are WD’s going to get some love?
there's WDs?

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
10) Boss over tuning.
again, already find bosses to be pointless and now with NV changes they seem even moreso. if a boss gets killed in the forest but there's no one around to hear it, do I care?

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
11) Favourite snack while playing?
tears of the fans, former fans, and veterans, of course. topped with our money.

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
12) The quitters.
their game? true in a sense, but. the better part of some at-least-6.5 million fans think otherwise, I'm sure. some appeasement might be a good thing? all in all you can definitely count me in the "we're way worse off now" crowd. (in case that wasn't already apparent.) as for the quitters, i hope they have more stamina when it comes to making their opinions known on the forums. I for one did not wait howevermany years for this game to give up on it so quickly, trash or not. :/

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
13) GAH.
10 is a ridiculously low limit on auctions. also, where is the ability to cancel auctions we were promised?

Thank you for your time, some of us really would appreciate your efforts put into the community...
fixed and undersigned.
Good questions! I'll see what I can do to answer them. :)

1) Champion packs over Bosses – I understand why you want to push people to fight champion packs. In Diablo 2 they were almost entirely avoided for the sake of getting to the bosses faster for better loot. However you must realize that MANY people find boss fights more entertaining? It also goes against the logic of some random monster is more dangerous than the greatest battle commander in all of the burning hells! Why is blizzard adamant that players avoid bosses and fight champion mobs when the outcry (for the most part) is the opposite?

Ideally, we'd like both Champion packs and bosses to be satisfying. It's a tricky balance to get right, though, when you consider that a) player's gear is always improving, b) new builds and techniques are being discovered pretty regularly, and c) Champion packs are random and bosses are predictable.

In general, random content (i.e. Champion packs) tends to be more enjoyable over the long-haul because it helps to ease off some of the repetition -- not just in terms of what you're fighting and how you're fighting it, but also in terms of seeing different environments, dungeons, and events. Predictable content (i.e. bosses) usually doesn't have that same appeal, at least not for everyone. Not only does the environment remain the same for boss fights, but strategies can be optimized and practiced to the point of efficiency, which often makes killing bosses the path of least resistance to the greater reward. Unfortunately, in the case of bosses, following the path of least resistance can sometimes result in gameplay feeling too repetitive.

Pre-patch 1.0.3, getting a 5 stack of Nephalem Valor, doing a boss, and then resetting the game and repeating the process was considered to be most optimal. This is probably more interesting than simply doing boss runs only, but we wanted to get players out into the world and exploring more of the Acts. To encourage that, we moved some of the reward from bosses to packs. We're pretty happy with the results of this change, but we're also concerned that players appear to be skipping bosses completely, so it's possible we went too far. Again, it's a delicate balance.

Right now, we're keeping a close eye on how players are adapting in-game to the change as well as continuously reading your feedback online.

2) Valor buff. Diablo 3 was advertised as having a wide variety of skills that can be swapped in and out at any time, even in battle (with a small delay for use). This allowed greater variety in the abilities that champion mobs could have and provide greater challenges for the player. You also then provided a Valor buff that is supposed to encourage players to kill more champion packs. But oddly you choose to have the valor buffs be removed if the player changes their skills (or even moves a skill on the hot bar from one position to another). This goes against the entire design of the buff and the goal of having players kill as many champion packs as possible, Why was this decision made and with what logic?

This was actually a decision we made based off player feedback. On the one hand, there's a lot of enjoyment in being able to swap your skills at will and tailor your builds to the environment around you. On the other, there’s also gameplay to finding a build that really works for you in a variety of situations.

During beta, we received a lot of feedback from players who wanted to be able to swap skills any time. We also had a large number of players who wanted to have a sense of their characters "build," or some sort of build identity -- especially at later levels. We understood both points of view, so with Nephalem Valor you can still swap a skill out at any time, but there is a penalty for doing so (i.e. losing your stack).

As sort of an aside, we know that it can be SUPER frustrating for players who use Elective Mode to lose an NV stack due to a poorly-placed click near your Skill bar. Because of this, we're looking to add an action bar lock for Elective Mode in an upcoming patch.

3) The IAS nerf was handled poorly in my opinion. I completely understand WHY the nerf was needed and probably agree with the logic that it needed to be changed. However HOW it was handled was a dropped ball. I believe that the best way to handle the situation was to bring in either diminishing returns or a hard cap (like run speed) that a player cannot go over. This allows people to still gain value from their RMAH purchases without feeling ripped off and also discourages people from stacking the stat over other stats which you want to be a greater focus for the character. It also maintains value in the IAS items for future sales. Why was the IAS nerf not handled in this manner?

When we posted the Patch 1.0.3 Preview, we actually mentioned that we were considering several options to address IAS. Here's the actual quote from the blog, just for context:

    There are two different solutions we’re considering to reduce the effectiveness of Increased Attack Speed. The first is to simply reduce the value on all the items to their desired values. In general our desire is to never change items as that makes them feel less concrete, but the upside is you would still be able to look at an item and know exactly what you are getting. The other approach is to change the formula used for attack speed aggregation so that stacking attack speed from multiple slots suffers from diminishing returns. The downside of that approach is that it introduces yet another hidden modifier on an item property (and many people dislike hidden modifiers), and complicates the already difficult decision of item gearing.

As you can see, diminishing returns were on the table. If you look at the blog comments, though, some players said they liked the idea of diminishing returns while others said liked reducing the stat value instead. In the end, we felt that hidden diminishing returns might have made you feel better about your items, but that it addresses the issue with IAS in a much "sneakier" way. Feedback already told us that players disliked hidden modifiers, and we were concerned that diminishing returns would make the gearing process more complicated.

It was a complicated situation, and there were pros and cons to both solutions (as noted above). As a result, it was a difficult decision to make, but we opted for the more direct, upfront approach of just reducing the stat value.

4) lackluster skills. Nether tentacles. Fix, bug, nerf or whatever you want to call it was probably deserved and required. However I have a design question based around the outcome of this change. If a skill is changed, updated or fixed to a point where not a single player wants to use that skill anymore wouldn’t that be a bad change or too drastic? Will further skill changes(give wiz tornadoes love) be in the near future to give people more options than just pick the next best skill available?(my hopes are to have several options of equal strength, currently I don’t feel that way with the DH setup)

We're planning on doing a lot of skill tuning in patch 1.0.4. We're also planning on explaining/previewing those changes in a developer blog in the near future.

5) The pots/breakables Magic find nerf. It seems from the players standpoint that this is an odd change. Nobody that I saw was complaining about having to put on magic gear to maximize their chances and opportunities with pots and breakables. Yet the reasoning given was that you felt it was unfun for the players. Can you elaborate a bit more on this as I feel the players think differently.

After reviewing all the feedback we received following this change, we'd like to add items back onto breakables as well as allow Magic Find to affect those drops. That said, the issues that motivated those changes still exist, so we want to make sure that when/if we do revise those changes, it doesn't result in us being right back where we started. We don't want players avoiding monsters altogether in favor of farming breakables, and we don't want players feeling like they need to always switch to their Magic Find set before opening Resplendent Chests and other environment objects. I don't have an ETA to share right now for when those changes might be made.

6) Stat stacking. It was mentioned that blizzard does not want players to stack stats in a way that they feel it is a must skill over the base stats such as Dex or Str or Vit. If that is true, why do barbarians and monks (and probably everyone else now after the current changes) have to stack resist all up to ridiculous levels just in order to survive?

I can't recall who said this, or where it was said, but that's not our current philosophy. If players want to stack other stats over Dex/Str/Int/Vit/etc, or feel as though they need to in order to get the most of out their game time, then that's okay.

If you feel as though the current stat model isn't ideal, then please let us know -- and provide alternative solutions if you're able!

7) IAS Side effects. The IAS nerf has had a few side effects which I am not sure were considered in the process. Monks and some barb builds relied on IAS to provide adequate healing through either leech or on hit healing abilities. However with the IAS nerf many are finding that this is no longer a viable path. Is there anything being done internally to consider this unintended consequence?

Actually, it was quite the opposite. This was one of the main reasons for the IAS nerf. In fact, if it wan't for those additional side effects, and only about DPS, we likely wouldn't have changed IAS at all.

Again, as stated in the Patch 1.0.3 Preview:

    While we don’t have an issue with there being important stats, Increased Attack Speed in particular has secondary effects on mobility in combat, resource generation and resource consumption. We want there to be options and considerations for how you gear up, and one uber trump-everything stat can really work against choice and options.

Here's the link again: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/6262208/

8) The repair cost increase I believe is also a fair change; however the unfair part of this change was to the wear and tear of doing battle. Now I know that it has already been stated that this is being looked at for an update, are you able to share any reduction values or ranges that are being considered internally? (ex. 50%, 75%...)

I've mentioned this in other threads already, but we agree with you and we're looking at reducing the durability hit you take from normal wear-and-tear. No values to share at this time, though.

06/21/2012 07:02 AMPosted by Gremble
9) Who are you kidding, all the WD re-rolled Barb or DH already!

See response to #4.

10) Boss over tuning. In the recent patch there was significant changes done to some boss fights. However there appears to be a bit of over tuning done in a few cases (in others much needed difficulty improvements). In two cases, Seigebreaker and Cydea however there appears to be a bit of excess difficulty added to the point that in most cases the fights are impossible(for some classes). In seigebreakers case the addition of dmg reflect with a short enrage timer makes him quite the fight to handle on ones own. Cydea has had her little spiders amped up in an insidious way where they spread out and virtually refuse to attack or follow the player unless he/she goes near them. This causes the player to have to fight through them to get back to cydea, however once enough spiders are killed cydea auto jumps off the screen and spawns more spiders. Essentially making the fight a burn her down before she jumps or you lose fight. Are any hot fixes or minor updates being planed to fine tune these updates or do you feel that the current difficulty is appropriate?

I just asked Wyatt Cheng this question and his response was (and I quote): "Bosses are exciting punctuation marks in your Champion and Rare pack wasteland."

I'll be honest and say that I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I'll follow up with him a little later once he's feeling a little less Mad Max and get back to you. :P

06/21/2012 06:08 AMPosted by Tealeaves
11) Favourite snack while playing? I love me some fuzzy peaches

Lylirra: Beef Jerky
Bashiok: Beef Jerky
Zarhym: Beef Jerky
Wyatt: Beef Jerky

If you're a jerky fan like us, I highly recommend Alien Fresh Jerky (especially their Whiskey Jerky) and Smoked Meats.

12) The quitters. Many of my friends who played the game have found the recent patch changes to create an unfun atmosphere within the game. They have recently stopped playing entirely in some cases and in others have become frustrated and play much less. While I respect that this is “your game” and you will present the vision that your team has come up with. Are any considerations being made to the players who recently disliked the changes?

We're definitely taking all feedback into consideration. In addition to that, we're already planning to make some changes based on that feedback.

13) GAH. 13 is my lucky number so this will be the last question. Due to the recent changes and increase cost of playing the game (gold wise) players have to maximize their income to offset these changes. One of the major ways players make money is through the gold auction house. Is there any consideration being made to increasing the limit of 10 items per account that can be up for sale to help compensate for this increase in costs?

No plans at this time.
Ooo CM responses
PLEASE change the IAS nerf. 50% was a bit much so can we have 15% back? 35% nerf is surely enough?

I just feel losing nearly 15k damage (went from 54k to 40k) was EXTREMELY unfun and put a real kick in my progress not to mention screwed me over for completing act 4 inferno for a bit longer.

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