Monday, 28 May 2012 10:17
Games - Games
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Diablo III has been out for a couple of weeks now and players of the game—a few of whom have already "completed" the game on its hardest (Inferno) difficulty—have been clamoring to discover what Blizzard has in store for the future.
To that end, Blizzard has released a rather large update with its findings on Diablo III's community thus far, and how it plans to move forward with the game's development.
Here's what they've discovered so far:
- On average players have created 3 characters each
- 80% of characters are between levels 1 and 30
- 1.9% of characters have unlocked Inferno difficulty
- 54% of Hardcore players chose a female character
- The majority of Hardcore deaths (35%) occur in Act I Normal
- The most common level 60 build in the game is only used by 0.7% of level 60 characters of that class (not including Passive diversity)
- The most used runes for each class at level 60 are Barbarian: Best Served Cold, Demon Hunter: Lingering Fog, Wizard: Mirror Skin, Monk: Peaceful Repose, Witch Doctor: Numbing Dart
Blizzard says it plans to release a new patch (1.0.2) next week that's been in development since the game's launch that aims to address service issues. The "first real" game balance patch will come in 1.0.3, which is set for release in a few weeks.
The company touched on a number of skills that were "hotfixed" (nerfed) in recent days.
These skills include the Mantra of Healing's "Boon of Protection" rune, Energy Armor's "Force Armor" rune, and the "Lingering Fog" rune for Smoke Screen were nerfed to be in line with every other skill in the game. Blizzard says that players needn't fear that powerful skills will be nerfed for the sake of nerfing, however.
"If a skill is strong, but isn’t really breaking the game, we want you to have your fun. Part of the enjoyment of Diablo is finding those super-strong builds, and we want players to be excited to use something they discovered that feels overpowered. A good example of this is the monk Overawe rune, which many players have identified as being quite good. We agree it’s good, but we don’t think it’s so far out of line that we’re going to swoop in and hotfix it out of existence."
Blizzard says it intends to focus on Inferno mode with the upcoming patch.
"The intent of incoming damage is that it should be a very consistent drain on your health, and mitigating that drain is a major part of what makes Inferno mode difficult. Right now, there’s a lot more damage “spikiness” occurring than feels right, and that’s one major area we’re looking to adjust in patch 1.0.3. While we don’t have any specifics yet, our design goals are to support and promote build diversity; continue to ensure that a mix of champion packs, rare packs, and boss fights are the most efficient way to acquire the best items in the game; and ensure that all classes are viable in Inferno.
"From a high-level perspective, we think a more fundamentally fun way to approach difficulty in Inferno isn’t seeing how much incoming damage you can avoid or mitigate, but rather to see how efficient you can be while voluntarily taking on a challenge that pushes you. For anybody who’s ever died because they chased a Treasure Goblin too aggressively, you know what we mean; dying because you got greedy or overconfident can actually be a lot of fun. Now that the skills mentioned above have been brought more in line, we’ll be keeping a close eye on balance."
Blizzard intends to address the clamor over Legendary items being "weaker" than blues. The company says that rare items being more powerful than legendaries is by design. However, it will intend to correct quickly is players comparing high-level magic (blue) items to lower level Legendaries with the implementation of "item levels" (ilvl) of items that are above level 60.
"Comparing an ilvl 63 blue to an ilvl 60 Legendary will hopefully make a bit more sense afterward. In addition, we’re planning to just straight-out buff Legendary items in a future patch, likely the PvP patch (1.1). These buffs will not be retroactive, and so they’ll only apply to new Legendary items found after the patch. In the long term, we’re looking at simply expanding the affix diversity and unique bonuses of Legendary items, and we’ll be able to share more details after the PvP patch."
Finally, Blizzard will tone down the pricing requirements of both the Blacksmith and Jeweler to help promote their use.
"Other areas of concern have been both the gem combination system and Blacksmith leveling and crafting costs. The intent, especially with the Blacksmith, is that he’s leveling with you, you’re able to use him as an alternate source for upgrades. Our design goal is that once you get to level 60, his recipes are actually good enough to help fill a character’s potential itemization gaps. To correct these issues, we’re looking to adjust the Blacksmith costs for training (gold and pages) and crafting from levels 1-59, and reduce the cost of combining gems so that it only requires two gems instead of three (up to Flawless Square). Both of these changes are scheduled for patch 1.0.3."
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Diablo III Diablo III has been out for a couple of weeks now and players of the game—a few of whom have already "completed" the game on its hardest (Inferno)...
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