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August 1st, 2011, 23:19
Diablo 3 is the big news on the 'net today, so here's another group of previews, video footage and commentary.
GameSpot has a preview:
The presentation began with an overview of all the different character classes in Diablo III. No matter which character you choose, they will each have six slots for active skills and three for passive skills. Your first two active skill slots will be free, with additional slots opening at levels 6, 12, 18, and 24. Passive skill slots open at levels 10, 20, and 30. Each of your active skills also comes with a rune slot that lets you customize its effects. To help demonstrate the drastic changes runes can make, Jay Wilson, the game's lead designer, took us through his version of a battle mage—a wizard built for melee combat.
IGN has spammed multiple articles - here's their preview:
The core gameplay is still very similar – hit a bunch of stuff with magic and weapons to make it spill loot all over the ground – but the way classes are upgraded and modified is vastly different. There are no attribute or skill points in Diablo III. As you level, new skills unlock and your class' core attributes increase automatically. To power up skills, you don't dump in points like in Diablo II. Instead, some aspects will automatically increase upon leveling, but a lot of the customization has to do with Runestones.
Then, IGN has When is Diablo III Coming Out (answer: when it's ready), Get Rich Playing Diablo III, Is Diablo III an eSports Title? and Diablo III to Require Constant Internet Connection.
Getting back to the actual game, VG247 has 7 minutes of gameplay footage from the beta.
More information.
Last edited by Dhruin; August 1st, 2011 at 23:34. Reason: sp.
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August 1st, 2011, 23:19
A slight slip-o-the-finger there Dhruin.
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August 1st, 2011, 23:41
After the announcement thread below, I headed over to diii.net to get their take, and that's where I found out about the significant changes to the skill progression system. This is FAR more relevent to me than any optional auction house. This is the important news piece that should really interest any Diablo fans.

No more skill points. Well that's a relief, because I sure would hate to be burdened with making a decision as to how my character progresses! Oh, and who needs all that pesky experimentation with different character builds?

Yes, I am being overly harsh without fully understanding all of these changes. But as more and more has been revealed about D3, the reek of corporate influence has grown stronger, and this game's vision seems to be very, very far away from the gem that the old Blizzard North team created 10 long years ago. What was formerly a day-one purchase for this big Diablo 2 fan is now in firm wait-and-see land.
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August 2nd, 2011, 00:15
I'm actually a bit excited about making gas money selling unique items in a game like D3. It will be interesting to see how badly it inflates, but I'd think at first you could make some decent monthly income for small things.
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August 2nd, 2011, 00:38
So, I didn't comment in the other section, because I was saving my nerdrage for here.

Yes, persistent online, no mods and real money auction house all suck; however, loss of skill points, their new rune "idea", and the loss of traits is what finally killed my interest in the game.

And why did they do this? Because their "friends and family" found it confusing to have all those numbers and options. I remember my grandmother trying to play Frogger on the 2600, and getting flustered. Blizzard would have taken out the traffic and alligators.
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August 2nd, 2011, 00:45
Originally Posted by Santos View Post
So, I didn't comment in the other section, because I was saving my nerdrage for here.

Yes, persistent online, no mods and real money auction house all suck; however, loss of skill points, their new rune "idea", and the loss of traits is what finally killed my interest in the game.

And why did they do this? Because their "friends and family" found it confusing to have all those numbers and options. I remember my grandmother trying to play Frogger on the 2600, and getting flustered. Blizzard would have taken out the traffic and alligators.
You and I are not their target market anymore. We have to face this like men… and drink!
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August 2nd, 2011, 01:58
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
You and I are not their target market anymore. We have to face this like men… and drink!
Hello. My name is Yeesh and I'm their target audience, which is to say I'm someone who played the hell out of Diablo II + LOD. I don't know that I trust the Diablo gaming credentials of anyone who dismisses these changes out of hand. This is because the changes actually speak directly to those of us who did play the last game for hundreds of hours.

You know what no skill points/tress means? It means you don't have to have 3 or 4 of each character class, and start a new character EVERY time you want to try different styles of play. It means you don't have to count on exploit power leveling to enjoy trying something new. Sure, I could get a new character up to decent levels in a day or so in Diablo II, but only because the whole leveling system was pretty messed up. I would rather have a game that doesn't have super powerleveling exploits, and allows me to change around my character without having to start from scratch. There are going to be 5 classes to start, then what, 7? 8? 9? Leveling one character from each of those classes is enough thanks, again assuming that leveling isn't so broken that you can whip by 15 levels/hour.

Money for items? Oh noes! I hate to tell you this, but among the serious community, Diablo II was always a trading game. And that meant that yes, on most sites you could convert cash to items. I particularly loved the collection aspect of the game (and I can't imagine anyone playing for long, long hours who didn't), and building massive trade wealth is a great part of the fun. There was no way you could possibly find everything you want and need yourself, so you trade for it. The whole real money versus fake money thing is a false controversy. Time is money (I didn't make that up myself). You want to spend 20 hours farming for stuff to sell in game to trade for the whatzit you want, knock yourself out because no one's stopping you. But some people have more real world money but fewer hours to play, and they've always found a way in online games to even out that balance. I'm glad Blizzard is bringing it above ground instead of pretending it's breaking the game.

Kind of like legalizing drugs and taxing them. No one's forcing you to do it, but those who like it have always been doing it anyway.

AND if you'd never sink one penny in to it, what about the fact that you'll actually be able to EARN some $$$ playing video games… this is a BAD thing that should kill your interest in the game?

Many mods were used to cheat. The new game seems to have gotten past the need for an auto-pickup by de-communalizing the loot, Maphack felt essential but I'd assume upstanding folks like those here would be ok with leveling the playing field, and hopefully the need for kind of customization mods like that awesome one that let you control the text color of items on the ground based on your parameters have to some extent been obviated by a much better interface. Or maybe not, we shall see.

Anyway, I like complaining as much as the next person, but I see these changes as specifically responsive to the way people played the last game, and I think cries of "casual" and "dumbed down" are groundless at this point. When the game comes out, well maybe it will suck. But the feature list seems fine to me.
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August 2nd, 2011, 02:12
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
You and I are not their target market anymore. We have to face this like men… and drink!
Yeah I'm with you should I bring the brandy or whiskey. Apparently if your a gamer from 2000 or older your not there or the markets target anymore. The new generation love the more social aspects and I could care less.

I despise MMO's and any game that makes me connect to a server to play. Guess that makes me a caveman in there marketing guys speech and he says they dont exit anymore.

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August 2nd, 2011, 02:42
@ Yeesh
1) You don't know who is dismissing what "out of hand"; perhaps, just perhaps, we have given these issues some thought (you know, and read up on them), and have some experience with previous games in this franchise as well.

2) Talking about the "serious community" is BS. It's a game. People play it the way they want, and get from it what they will. And, no, the vast hours you spent accruing "massive trade wealth" doesn't make you a better, or more knowledgeable, player than someone who, to use your example, spent that same time to build alts. We don’t like the new system: opinions that are valid in their own right; however, if it’s needed, I will state that I have “played the last game for hundreds of hours” too, as well as every other game Blizzard has released (OK, Lost Vikings did not warrant hundreds of hours), and games (Hellfire) that weren’t even released by Blizz, but related. I know their franchises as well as anyone, and, obviously, I am disappointed by these changes, which are a heavy-handed way of correcting perceived D2 problems.

3) A cash auction, with fees, is a microtransaction- period. And Blizzard cutting out the skill points, and tying skill power to items, will cause more of them (and, surprise, more transaction fees for Blizzard). Microtransactions are a big part of why I hate modern MMOs. You like em, fine, great; however, that does not invalidate the concerns of people who don't. I too want drugs legalized and taxed, until my surgeon botches my operation because he’s on coke, then I might reconsider. Other people using a system I don't like/want can indeed effect me.

Seem like a false equivalency? I agree, just like your mod argument. People will always find ways to cheat, always, but killing the ability to mod the game (for that stated reason) cuts down on community enthusiasm and the longevity of the game. I don’t play with mods a lot. I have friends, however, who doubled their D2 playtime as a result of them. You seem to think that all the mods just did minor GUI tweaks, however, many mods changed the entire skill system, drop rates, and play styles.

I'm glad that you like the new systems. Many of us don't. Jay's motto has always been, "It's your money, so play the way you want to play." That sets up an expectation, one that doesn't involve, "we don't want people point hoarding; we don't want them using only 2 skills, or looking up specs on the net, etc.".

And as for the dumbing down issue- it’s not even worth arguing about. Jay has said that the systems, as they existed last year, were too complex for casual players, and confused and overwhelmed them. (leading many to wonder where he got the shaved orangutangs they used for play testing, and why PETA didn't step in sooner) Thus, they (the game systems) have been dumbed down as a result.

@ Dr. and Potato: agreed, a beer is in order, preferably before playing D3 each time. As for being a caveman, I see nothing wrong with wanting to own what you buy, and not just buying the rights to play on their server, by their rules. No amount of greedy arguments will ever convince me that I don't absolutely (morally) have the "right" to use what I purchase in perpetuity. Otherwise it's called renting.
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August 2nd, 2011, 02:42
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
Anyway, I like complaining as much as the next person, but I see these changes as specifically responsive to the way people played the last game, and I think cries of "casual" and "dumbed down" are groundless at this point. When the game comes out, well maybe it will suck. But the feature list seems fine to me.
They're aiming at multiplayer gamers who enjoy social aspects and want simple, fun gameplay focused on consistent positive reinforcement through loot and advancement.

That is not me, hence I am not the target market.
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August 2nd, 2011, 09:30
I've stopped following games in-depth to avoid spoiling the experience. But most of the things I've heard about the changes they're doing to the estabilshed formula worry me.

Much of my joy of the original games came through experimenting with builds, and replaying the content with a variety of characters. The auction house will potentially ruin the excitement of downing major bosses - because you know most things will be available anyway if you have the gold (which everyone will have).

This streamlining of features sound quite heavy handed - and I fear they're making some of the same mistakes the Dungeon Siege franchise made before them. They're taking away "inconveniences" without necessarily understanding how the human psyche works. You can't shower people with conveniences and no-hassle content and expect them to be that much more excited. People NEED to work for something to be engaged, and they NEED to be distracted from the core gameplay - lest it becomes too obvious what they're doing.

If you follow WoW and look at changes like the "Dungeon Finder" - you'll understand what I mean. Obviously, there are many people arguing that the DF is a great feature that saves time and allows them to get to the heart of things. What I think many people miss is that such an approach will inevitably cheapen the immersion and take away from the illusion of doing something worthwhile.

Blizzard used to understand gameplay, so I wouldn't have worried if they still had Blizzard North with them. Blizzard North invented Diablo - and they certainly understood the genre. The new Blizzard seems to be about something else. They seem to be primarily about their own size rather than great games.

But… we'll see.
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August 2nd, 2011, 09:33
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
They're aiming at multiplayer gamers who enjoy social aspects and want simple, fun gameplay focused on consistent positive reinforcement through loot and advancement.

That is not me, hence I am not the target market.
Actually, I don't think they're "ignoring" singleplayer gamers. I just think they expect them to accept the online environment. You can play the game entirely by yourself without issue. It's not like an MMO where group content is "more exciting" or "better". AFAIK, the entire actual game is identical if you play alone - and you simply have the OPTION of joining up and doing things together. Same goes for the auction house - which you can use solo without ever interacting with other people.

I think lots of people intend to play Diablo 3 alone - or mostly alone. I don't see why they shouldn't.
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August 2nd, 2011, 09:41
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Actually, I don't think they're "ignoring" singleplayer gamers. I just think they expect them to accept the online environment.
I was referring to specific quotes where they basically said socialize or GTFO.

That said you're right, they want singleplayer chaps like myself to suck up the online requirements and play it solo online. So do every MMO maker in the world, why do you think all MMOs now-a-days including WoW are perfectly soloable to max level? The Old Republic is basically a singleplayer game with companions and everything, they just want to force you online to play it so they can a) control your access at all times and b) charge you more money.
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August 2nd, 2011, 10:06
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I was referring to specific quotes where they basically said socialize or GTFO.
Really? Don't you think they're just creating the game they think people want? I mean, I don't think they want to force anyone into anything.

That said you're right, they want singleplayer chaps like myself to suck up the online requirements and play it solo online. So do every MMO maker in the world, why do you think all MMOs now-a-days including WoW are perfectly soloable to max level? The Old Republic is basically a singleplayer game with companions and everything, they just want to force you online to play it so they can a) control your access at all times and b) charge you more money.
I don't think we agree about this. Sure, every MMO developer wants as many people playing as possible - that goes without saying.

But, I do think that the VAST majority of MMOs today - including WoW - are very gimped or hollow as singleplayer games. Sure, you can reach the level cap solo - but you'll be missing out on 90% of the content if you exclusively level up and nothing more. In WoW, there's no doubt that group instances, PvP, and raids make up the biggest chunk of the game.

In Diablo 3 - as far as I know - there isn't ANY content that requires a group to experience.

So, I think there's a huge difference here.

I have to say I think some of the people having such a strong reaction are not being fully rational. An online environment isn't necessarily about forcing people to interact. I really think it's about piracy and a hack/cheat-free game. It's all about revenue - certainly, but I don't see why solo players should be THIS upset.

Then again, we all differ - and since I've always considered the genre a multiplayer genre - it doesn't bother me much.

Also, I've come to expect nothing but greed-motivated decisions from Blizzard, so this isn't exactly a shock. Nothing about this is a surprise - except for the RMT auction house. I didn't see that coming, but it does make a lot of sense from a business point of view.
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August 2nd, 2011, 10:18
All of this hooplah about an already mediocre hack n slash series. Staggering stuff.

Whilst like DeepO, I think it all makes for some fantastic popcorn drama, I do share the quite valid concerns about the business model that have been voiced in this thread and the other.

For me, I gave up on wanting to purchase the game when they announced that LAN mode was out. This was the only way I could really enjoy the game - as my brother and I have beaten the first two games a couple of times together and had fun. However, the whole defacto MMO concept doesn't really attract me to this game at all.

It's a shame that at this particular point in time, I can only imagine playing it with the help of hacks and cracks to get rid of all of the ridiculous extraneous nonsense they've imposed upon it.

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August 2nd, 2011, 10:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Really? Don't you think they're just creating the game they think people want? I mean, I don't think they want to force anyone into anything.
Respond to the quote, not me mentioning it. He says pretty clearly you can't turn off the social elements and that people do not want to "stay in caves."

I don't think we agree about this. Sure, every MMO developer wants as many people playing as possible - that goes without saying.

But, I do think that the VAST majority of MMOs today - including WoW - are very gimped or hollow as singleplayer games. Sure, you can reach the level cap solo - but you'll be missing out on 90% of the content if you exclusively level up and nothing more. In WoW, there's no doubt that group instances, PvP, and raids make up the biggest chunk of the game.
Neither of us have any stats, so it's probably best not to speculate. It's extremely obvious that they have modified the game over the years to be completely soloable though, and that more recent MMOs have followed this example.

I do agree it is all about the money though. Money and control.
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August 2nd, 2011, 10:31
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Respond to the quote, not me mentioning it. He says pretty clearly you can't turn off the social elements and that people do not want to "stay in caves."
Ehm, if you want me to respond to a quote - you could at least provide it.

Also, I have read that quote - and I still don't see them doing anything but providing people with what they THINK most of them want. I actually think he's right - that most people won't mind having access to other people WHEN they want it. It's not forced upon anyone.

Neither of us have any stats, so it's probably best not to speculate. It's extremely obvious that they have modified the game over the years to be completely soloable though, and that more recent MMOs have followed this example.
Speculate about what?

I'm intimately familiar with a LOT of MMOs, especially WoW. They're not at all completely soloable. You can LEVEL to cap solo, but much (if not the vast majority) of the content REQUIRES you to interact with other people.
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August 2nd, 2011, 11:18
Originally Posted by Santos View Post
Yes, persistent online, no mods and real money auction house all suck; however, loss of skill points, their new rune "idea", and the loss of traits is what finally killed my interest in the game.

And why did they do this? Because their "friends and family" found it confusing to have all those numbers and options. I remember my grandmother trying to play Frogger on the 2600, and getting flustered. Blizzard would have taken out the traffic and alligators.
That is the common explanation, the popularized one, the "dumbing down" explanation.

Now, taking a different perspective: the game now has to enable an auction house. It is the root constraint. No mods, permanent online connection are derived from this constraint.

Taking a look under this perspective, the auction house is the root constraint also allows to see that they need to exert control on the way items are going to influence power gain. Removing control from the players' hand and allowing more generic buildups developpment allows to introduce formulae that rely on constant, non player decided parameters. If all warriors at x levels have the same strength, it makes it easier to tailor a powerful item and its global scope, tuning in its power finely.

So it is not a dumbing down decision. It is a decision that derives from the constraint of monetizing loot, that forces the developper to ensure the people who buy an artefact have a fairly valued artefact, powerful for what it is, not more, not less.
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August 2nd, 2011, 12:35
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
AND if you'd never sink one penny in to it, what about the fact that you'll actually be able to EARN some $$$ playing video games… this is a BAD thing that should kill your interest in the game?
Do you know my Philosophy ?

That a thing is only a thing in its own sense as long as it maintains the things that are part of its definition, so to say ?

A game is a game as long as it maintains its "play" component. Furthermore, a "game" is a "game" because the "play" aspect stands in its foreground, it stands in the foreground of the things which are describe a game as a game.

One can only play a game as long as the "play" thing is kept, is maintained, is still its innate main point of what it describes a "game" to be.

"Earning money through playing" but throws the "play" thing out of it. It becomes work.

And you can't say "a game is a game as long one can work with it".

Both "playing" and "working" ("Play" and "Work", respectively) are excluding one another, imho. You cannot do serious work in a playful style.
(Okay some can, but that's a different story.)

From a philosophical point of view, a game that becomes a tool for earning money ceases to be a game; it becomes an "money-earning tool in the guise of a game" instead.

And this is something completel different.

Please keep in mind that I'm mostly (but not exclusiovely) argueing from a Board Games perspective, but I do keep in mind there are other ways of playing, like simply ball kicking, chasing one another, children's play, you know - next to pen & paper role play, Baseball play (okay, where's the line where sports begins and play ceases to exist ? I think it's the "professionalization" here) or play with radio-controlled vehicles. One can also play with cats and dogs (carefully, of course), and play hide-and-seek within a wood as well. But then, again, I return to my beloved Board Games …

Could it be that "adults play" is different from "children's play" in its definition ?

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 2nd, 2011, 12:54
You know what scares me more is this game might get two expansions like SC2. Someone posted on a blizzard forum saying the game doesn't have a ending.

I'll have to look for more info to verify but if that's true its pure bullshit and enters the milking theory.

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