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Diablo III Game Design Update

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Diablo III Game Design Update

Game News - posted by Zed on Mon 28 May 2012, 18:06:53

Tags: Blizzard Entertainment; Diablo III

Blizzard released their promised 'Monday Design Update' today, which covers class balance, items, expensive crafting fees and more. They mention three upcoming patches: 1.02 - addressing several service issues and hotfixes (coming next week), 1.03 - addressing Inferno difficulty (TBE) and 1.1 - introducing PvP arenas and better legendary weapons (TBE).

Here are some highlights from each discussed game design area:

Inferno difficulty
There's a little too much spike damage, but it's generally at the difficulty level Blizzard wants it to be.
They are working on promoting skill-set diversity among classes. Essentially by taking existing viable skill-sets and making them worse.
They mention players attempting Inferno without sufficient gear. Shop Smart, Shop RMAHmart.

In 1.03, items at iLevel (item level) 60 or higher will have their iLevel displayed in the tooltip. That way, people won't be confusing weak legendary items (which is essentially all legendary items besides a few rings and amulets) with magic and rare items that have higher item level.
They are also working on improving legendary weapons. This will happen in patch 1.1 (the PvP patch). These changes will not be retroactive, meaning you should just ignore every legendary weapon up until then.

They will reduce the cost of crafting Blacksmith items for level 1-59. This means that a level 60 item will still cost 60-100 000 gold and not be worth crafting, ever. They will also reduce the cost of gem crafting by decreasing the required amount of gems to 2 instead of 3.

So essentially, their game design for the longevity of the game is that of a micro-transaction MMORPG. You won't be improving your character by your own efforts, but rather by purchasing items from the Auction House and the Real Money Auction House. I've been running around in Inferno difficulty for days with over 250% magic find and I have yet to find any item upgrades by myself - they all come from the AH. Any codexers with a similar experience?

Blizzard also mentions a few Fun Facts based on the first couple of weeks since launch:

- 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​

You can read the entire update right here.

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