Diablo 3 getting massive changes after beta feedback

Diablo III might not be as close as we think. Game director Jay Wilson revealed massive changes to the game in the next and upcoming beta updates.

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Big changes are in the works for Diablo III. If you thought the ongoing beta was nothing more than an extended demo, think again. Based on feedback from beta and internal testers, the developers are retooling systems once thought to be set in stone.

For starters, the core character attributes are being changed to Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality. The Cauldron of Jordan, which allowed the sale of items anywhere in the world, and Nephalem Cube, which broke items down into crafting materials, have both been removed from the game. They were both rendered unnecessary when the team worked out a solution for including the Stone of Recall for quick returns back to town. And, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Game director Jay Wilson laid out the massive ongoing development plans in a "System Changes" post on battle.net. To lay the groundwork he wrote, "We trust in our ability to make a great game, but we're not quite there yet." Given the significant overhauls being made to crafting, items, core attributes, and inventory, Wilson may be downplaying the changes.

The full post goes into detail on the changes, but here are the highlights:

  • Scrolls of Identification are gone from the game as no longer needed. When a player gets an unidentified item now, they only need to study it for a brief time to identify its properties.
  • The fifth quick slot button on the interface will become a dedicated potion button.
  • The Mystic NPC has been eliminated from the artisans. The enhancements they added were found to be too similar to the socket and gem system already in the game.
  • The Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube have also been removed from the game. The Stone of Recall is now a proper Town Portal, and it eliminats the need to process inventory items in the field. Players will just zap back to town, deal with gear, and zap back to the fight.
  • The Blacksmith NPC artisan takes over the item salvage duties, basically doing what the Cube did. And common items will no longer be salvageable.
  • And then the other big one, the core character attributes are changing to Strength (+Barbarian damage, +Armor), Dexterity (+Demon Hunter and Monk damage, +Dodge), Intellect (+Wizard and Witch Doctor damage, +Health from globes), and Vitality (+Health).
  • Defense, Attack, and Precision are out as attributes. The new Armor represents what Defense did. +Physical Resist will take the place of the old armor. + Chance to Crit is the new Precision.
  • Character stats are now shown directly on the inventory screen, making it easy to see the effects of each piece of gear as it gets swapped in and out.

In addition to the above, changes are also in the works for the core skill and rune systems.

These changes represent a massive retooling of core mechanics in Diablo III. Wilson writes that all of them will be implemented in the latest patch, so we won't have to wait long to see them for ourselves. He did not say anything more about the planned changes to runes and skills, other than to say the game wouldn't ship without them being complete. That date has been the subject of much speculation with many suggesting it would be coming soon. From the extent of this work, and the implications of the other planned changes, it could be a little further off than many fans would like.

[Thanks to GoldfishInAJarOfPickels who spotted and posted to chatty]

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 19, 2012 1:30 PM

    Garnett Lee posted a new article, Diablo 3 getting massive changes after beta feedback.

    Diablo III might not be as close as we think. Game director Jay Wilson revealed massive changes to the game in the next and upcoming beta updates.

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 1:38 PM

      Can you pause the game yet or do they figure the Stone of Recall "solves" that issue as well?

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        January 19, 2012 2:15 PM

        And how exactly would the other players perceive this? Would they too pause? Are they forced to accept it, or can they decline or even unpause? What happens to the pausing player if others unpause?

        This is a multiplayer game, I hope you're kidding.

        • reply
          January 19, 2012 2:33 PM

          They could do SC2's system of pausing but I think town portals is a simpler, better solution.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          reply
          January 19, 2012 2:38 PM

          Not being able to pause when you play singleplayer is a legitimate complaint. Town portal only works if you're safe.

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            January 19, 2012 2:42 PM

            save progress and exit or town portal to safety and save and exit

            what's the problem?

          • reply
            January 19, 2012 3:26 PM

            It's like demon's souls w/o the random invasion.

            Just go take the poop. Shit won't path over and kill you.

            • reply
              January 19, 2012 4:24 PM

              It will if I kite it over there.

            • reply
              January 19, 2012 5:06 PM

              Real Diablo fans use socks.

            • Zek legacy 10 years
              reply
              January 19, 2012 5:29 PM

              What if the doorbell rings and you're fighting a boss?

          • reply
            January 19, 2012 5:48 PM

            There is no single player, so the problem is moot.

          • reply
            January 19, 2012 5:51 PM

            It takes 5 seconds to run to an area where you'll be safe long enough to Town Portal. Monsters don't follow you that far.

      • reply
        January 19, 2012 2:40 PM

        [deleted]

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 2:32 PM

      I keep hearing references in threads to consoles or consolized. Is D3 coming out for consoles? Or is a different version of the game?

      Any idea on the timeframe of such a thing? I really want to play it, but i won't be able to on the PC.

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        January 19, 2012 2:39 PM

        Not for quite a while. It's still in the planning phase.

      • reply
        January 19, 2012 2:40 PM

        yes it's coming out for consoles but details are scarce

        • reply
          January 20, 2012 5:41 AM

          I expect the Console version will come alongside the first expansion pack

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 2:37 PM

      All I see is DELAYED DELAYED and fucking DELAYED

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 3:09 PM

      I have a feeling that I'm going to have a love-hate relationship with this game.

      I can already see myself saying the following

      "I want to play Diablo 3! *plays Diablo 3*
      several weeks pass
      "I want to play "Diablo" *plays Diablo 2*
      several weeks pass
      "I want to play Diablo 3! *plays Diablo 3*

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 3:25 PM

      so why is it a good thing to send us to town more often?

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        January 19, 2012 4:03 PM

        So you think more about what you pick up and what you don't pick up. Slows down the rate of salvaging/selling items for gold. They are building a online economy, for better or worse, and need to pull/push the levers to make it just right.

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 3:29 PM

      Diablo Souls 3 now with less clicking and more death.

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      January 19, 2012 3:36 PM

      Thank GOD they are getting rid of Identify Scrolls, that was a dumb-arsed idea in the first place.

      • reply
        January 19, 2012 4:07 PM

        So you'd rather have to wait to id more then one item if you pick up two unidentified items? That to me sounds dumbass.

        • reply
          January 20, 2012 3:46 AM

          The first "magical" items, the ones with blue letters don't need to be identified btw.

          • reply
            January 20, 2012 5:40 AM

            I've had 3 rares drop from the Skeleton King in the beta. I didn't say anything about magical.

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          January 20, 2012 4:34 AM

          They should get rid of identifying completely. It's a leftover from roguelikes where some items were actually cursed so there was some risk involved in using them. Now its just a boring mechanism to drag you back to town.

          • reply
            January 20, 2012 5:42 AM

            It's a good thing because it's like opening a little present. There's some anticipation and excitement before you ID something. I'd be fine with having to use someone in town to ID rare's/set/uniques.

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            January 20, 2012 5:42 AM

            Blizzard says it in the post about this, but it's still there to give you that feeling of excitement. A colored item drops, and you don't quite know what it is yet... sort of like unwrapping a present. I agree, it has little to no point, but it does add a small bit of "holy shit what did I get!?"

      • reply
        January 19, 2012 4:16 PM

        Yeah it's not like dumb barbarians shouldn't be able to identify archaic artifacts by hitting them with rocks and seeing what happens.

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          January 19, 2012 4:25 PM

          Have you been reading R.A. Lafferty's Space Chanty?

        • reply
          January 19, 2012 5:05 PM

          This needs to be the barbarian id animation.

        • reply
          January 19, 2012 5:53 PM

          Take your realism out of my fantasy this instant, rapist.

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 3:56 PM

      I'm not sure what to think.

      Not being able to play the game, I am left wondering whether or not this is going back to older mechanics that action-RPG gamers are used to, or if they're simplifying it even more...?

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 4:08 PM

      the wait has been so long for this game.... With all these last minute delays and for how long their very limited beta has been running for Im starting to get very frustrated with the wait.

      • reply
        January 19, 2012 4:34 PM

        And maybe somewhat disinterested? Especially with some previous Diablo vets putting out Torchlight 2 for $20 USD?

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 4:33 PM

      Getting rid of being able to salvage common items, AND having to go back into town to salvage your other items at the Blacksmith seems like a step backwards to me.

      When they first insinuated that practically everything was salvageable in the field, I was like "Wow! Cool! All that crap on the ground that I never picked up in Diablo 2 now has a use! And I don't have to make as many trips back to town, because stuff I might normally sell, I can salvage now and have more room for things that really have a high sell value! Way cool!"

      And then Blizzard killed something else.

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 5:03 PM

      Nah, this is smoke and mirror. I can tell you right now that the cube and cauldron were never part of the final game. They were totally there to help beta testers along and make their life easier. I mean even look at what they're called. It's a joke.

      Blizzard is just playing their usual tricks to make their audience feel like they have more power to influence changes then they really have.

      • reply
        January 19, 2012 5:20 PM

        Blizzard faked the Area 51 landings too.

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          January 19, 2012 5:32 PM

          You think they would've kept a item in the game that is called the Cauldron of Jordan? Which is a rough metaphor to back when Stones of Jordan were so plentiful that they were worthless. Which is what happens if you let people instantly suck all the loot out of a field and turn it into easily stored resources. It's a joke if you're smart enough to get it.

          If they left these in the game it would take all the grind out of it and would require you to spend very little time in order to farm. You played D2, that's all it is at the end. They want you to spend as much time playing their game as possible.

          • reply
            January 19, 2012 5:51 PM

            Blizzard has tons of jokes throughout their games. It's practically a calling card.

        • reply
          January 20, 2012 4:32 AM

          Mike Morhaime is actually Bob Page.

    • reply
      January 20, 2012 4:02 AM

      Not as close as we think? Fuck, it's even MORE than 1-2 years away?

      • reply
        January 20, 2012 5:23 AM

        where did you get 1 - 2 years away from that article?

          • reply
            January 20, 2012 5:41 AM

            right but that was in 2008 when you said that. Of course we expected a really long time after that. I'm talking about now that it's in beta that you claim it's going to be another 1 - 2 years.

            There's no way and I fully expect a ship date before summer is over.

            • reply
              January 20, 2012 6:24 AM

              After 12 years, I've stopped believing it'll ever come out. If I keep hoping it'll be released soon I'm going to be constantly disappointed.

              If I maintain my bitter cynicism, I'll be pleasantly surprised if it's released sooner rather than later.

            • reply
              January 20, 2012 7:28 AM

              I think its got a year left. These changes are so massive. I just cannot see them getting this done by July. My guess is November this year, maybe next February.

              • reply
                January 20, 2012 11:02 AM

                They're going in to the next beta patch. I still think the game's on track for late Q1, early Q2.

    • reply
      January 20, 2012 5:27 AM

      [deleted]

    • reply
      January 20, 2012 1:42 PM

      Holy Spoiler alert, Batman

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