Diablo III Devs Want Players to Farm Monsters, Not The AH

Diablo III Devs Want Players to Farm Monsters, Not The AH

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An extensive Q&A session with Blizzard answers questions about new crafted items, PvP, and class balance.

The Auction House has been one of the most criticized new features in the latest installment of Blizzard's dungeon crawling action RPG, and it's a problem the developers themselves have acknowledged. In a Q&A session on the battle.net forums, a group of five Diablo III developers reveal that too many players are finding gear upgrades on the Auction House rather than playing the actual game, something that they wished to change with patch 1.07. "Something we discuss frequently is how the Auction House has impacted the game and how we can refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters," Game Designer Travis Day wrote. "Making the new crafted items account bound was done for one very distinct reason: to give players more incentives to play the game rather than the Auction House."

Demonic Essence, the material required for the new crafted items introduced in 1.07, is also account bound. The reasoning behind this was to force players to actually play the game to find it, instead of just buying it en masse from the Auction House. "We want players to not only find or produce their own items more often but also diminish the impact the Auction House has on the game, and we felt like this was a good opportunity to take our first steps in that direction," Day wrote. He later corrected himself, noting that patch 1.05's Hellfire Ring was actually the first effort they made to refocus the game on slaying monsters, rather than studying spreadsheets, and 1.07's account bound crafted items are a continuation of that trend.

Lead Designer Kevin Martens also answered a lot of questions concerning PvP in the Q&A session. Martens reiterates some prior statements from Blizzard, telling fans that there are currently no plans to add any kind of rewards or point tracking to duels. He stresses that the game will always have a PvE focus, with PvP being more of a secondary activity for players to "show off" with. He also shoots down suggestions for a betting system, 2v2 duels, and open-world PvP, explaining that they just don't fit in with the current design philosophy of Diablo III.

Lastly, Game Designers Don Vu and Wyatt Cheng, along with Day, spoke of the changes to the Wizard and Monk classes in 1.07. On the Monk, Day said, "One of our goals with the Monk changes of 1.0.7 was to try to encourage build diversity and open up more options to people who enjoy more active gameplay." Regarding the Wizard, Vu said, "Since launch, we've been increasing the damage on the Wizard's Secondary abilities to try and make them useful tools in specific builds and for specific play styles."

Last month, Jay Wilson stepped down from his position as Game Director of Diablo III. He promised that the development team's plans for the future will go ahead uninterrupted, and also acknowledged making "many mistakes" in managing the relationship with Diablo fans. Patch 1.07 is the first major patch since Wilson's departure.

Source: Battle.net

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"and how we can refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters,"

Awwww... the RMAH udder is starting to run dry so now they figure they might actually slightly unfuck the game?

About 8 months too late Blizzard!

VladG:
"and how we can refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters,"

Awwww... the RMAH udder is starting to run dry so now they figure they might actually slightly unfuck the game?

About 8 months too late Blizzard!

The RMAH isn't the problem; the gold AH is. Relatively few people would ever be willing to spend the amount of money required ot get decent gear off of the RMAH. I wasn't and noone else i knew ever used it. The Gold-AH though allowed you to get tailor-made-perfect gear for LESS effort/cost than farming it in the game. Everyone i know who played D3 used the gold AH extensively. The most efficient way to gear in D3 was to get a set of Gold Find gear and just respawn farm a chest. The gold AH ruined the game, it is what people should be upset about, the rmah is just a silly distraction.

Should have thought about that from the beginning Blizzard considering the bad drop rates, poor itemization, and non-sense weapon and affix combinations (for example, a bow, that can only be used by a class whose primary stat is dexterity, having intelligence and buffs for monk abilities; in other words, a completely useless and worthless item for anyone, and this happened quite often). I eventually got tired and gave up on the game about 1 1/2 months ago, because it was impossible to really progress my characters without resorting to cheating or pulling out the credit card, neither of which I was at all willing to do.

Add to it, the game itself is so unmotivated. There really is no point or purpose to anything you do in the game. The bosses are not worthwhile to fight because they provide no rewards. The rare spawns aren't worth fighting because they provide no rewards. The extra events and side areas aren't worth doing because they provide no reward. I used to complain about the difficulty in the early days of the game, but that was only because you didn't get any reward for getting your teeth kicked in by the game repeatedly. The fact you can grind for months and receive absolutely nothing worthwhile for your efforts is just demoralizing and depressing. Ironically, an NPC in the game literally best expresses my feelings about the game with this exact quote from the NPC: "Tried the adventuring life. Didn't care for it. Too much pain, not enough profit." That's the design of Diablo 3 in a nutshell, nothing but pain and no reward for the effort.

VladG:
"and how we can refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters,"

Awwww... the RMAH udder is starting to run dry so now they figure they might actually slightly unfuck the game?

About 8 months too late Blizzard!

Yeah, you're probably right that the RMAH cash cow finally dried up, and now Blizzard is forced to focus on trying to make the game actually be good...8 months way too late.

I think it would be better if they somehow managed to make endgame equipment more variable. Why should anyone not use the AH, if there is more or less one optimal item for each itemslot.
If there were more variety, the chance to get an useful item would be higher and farming for items would be actually viable.

Maybe if you didn't balance the droprates around there being a auction house so one could ignore it. Maybe try that blizzard. But i guess you are trying to save face after almost all the franchise and company goodwill were traded for huge piles of cash.

Farm monsters that drop gear 5 levels to low for me? Uhh that doesn't make sense.

Well this is an interesting flip-flop considering they were trying to make money off players with the real money auction house.

danon:
Maybe if you didn't balance the droprates around there being a auction house so one could ignore it. Maybe try that blizzard. But i guess you are trying to save face after almost all the franchise and company goodwill were traded for huge piles of cash.

Goodwill for future Diablo titles.

People will still flock to them for HotS though, and Activision has tonnes of goodwill from their CoD series anyway if Blizzard were to go under (so they could make Activision titles for them; it's not like Blizzard are particularly innovative, they never have been).

Blizzard has never been particulary innovative but do you know what they was famous for? It was for making high quality polished games with a good story. To innovate isn't always the best idea often it's wise to use a if it ain't broke don't fix it kind of mentality. To see what was made before and improve and expand upon these concepts is often the best choice.

I thought the the most interesting thing to come out of this whole Diablo 3 debacle was the stuff around the Auction house. Not the real money one, that went more or less as expected, but how having the in game AH totally broke the idea of farming for drops. What was 10 times easier was to farm for gold selling everything you picked up and then buying Items that would be one in a million drops on AH. And from some of the things the developer has said sense this was completely unexpected, which is why it's so interesting.

People whine too hard. If the same people and community were around back when Diablo 2 came out, they'd whine about IT. Despite that game being the focus point of what was supposedly good.

So, unlike the Path of Exile devs, they went in without even considering how much trade affects game balance? Didn't build a trade system based on that expectation, but more on how many trades they can force to increase use of the auction house? Hm?

Let's see.

-Make the item crafting work as randomly as the loot drops. Check.
-Make the item crafting weaker than loot drops. Check.
-Make all crafting cost exorbitant amounts of gold. Check.
-Create a way for players to add and reroll item properties. Check. Redacted. Enchantment artisan removed in late development.
-Implement an auction house system. Check.
-Gimp item drops to accommodate the "convenience" of the auction house system. Check.

So to sum up, they gimp everything about item drops and crafted items (including pumping up the randomness where it dun' belong), they implement an auction house system that is literally multiple times more efficient than the alternatives even on paper, and they're fucking surprised by this? How stupid can you be as a game dev?

These people are goofs, which is what I called them back when several months before release (and after 5-6 years of development) they still hadn't decided on core gameplay mechanics. Also, they're greedy cocksuckers. A dangerous combination.

It's too late to apologiiiizeeee

it's too lateeeee

Hammeroj:
Let's see.

-Make the item crafting work as randomly as the loot drops. Check.
-Make the item crafting weaker than loot drops. Check.
-Make all crafting cost exorbitant amounts of gold. Check.
-Create a way for players to add and reroll item properties. Check. Redacted. Enchantment artisan removed in late development.
-Implement an auction house system. Check.
-Gimp item drops to accommodate the "convenience" of the auction house system. Check.

So to sum up, they gimp everything about item drops and crafted items (including pumping up the randomness where it dun' belong), they implement an auction house system that is literally multiple times more efficient than the alternatives even on paper, and they're fucking surprised by this? How stupid can you be as a game dev?

These people are goofs, which is what I called them back when several months before release (and after 5-6 years of development) they still hadn't decided on core gameplay mechanics. Also, they're greedy cocksuckers. A dangerous combination.

^Pretty much that.^
Diablo 3 was announced as a game, and released as a job (some would say "a joke").

Diablo 3 was designed with the Auction House in mind as an integral mechanic. All of a sudden, they act surprised when the intentionally more convenient Auction House is detracting from people playing the game? The drop rates and the impracticality of crafting are the problem, what do you expect people to do?

 

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