Blizzard game designer Travis Day recently hit the Diablo 3 forum to discuss how the action-RPG came to its current state, and how it will be supported in the future. Some of the topics he covered included the game's overall challenge, items and how they relate to the auction houses, character customization, recent complaints about too many items, the legendary and set items, and more.
"I cover this topic in some depth in the upcoming Item Blog that community is in the process of getting ready for release next week," he said regarding complaints over item drops. "I will briefly say that we agree that too many items drop and we have plans to eventually reduce the rate that players see items, while also taking measures to improve the general quality of items you do see. The end result should be fewer items that are better instead of tons of items you don’t want."
He went on to admit that Diablo 3's social aspect – both in and out of the game -- still needs a lot of improvement. The team wants it to be easier for players to find other like-minded players to play with. However, there have been many changes to improve the coop experience like reducing the health multiplier of additional players, and removing the damage scaling when more players join the game.
"[Skill diversity] is something we constantly strive to improve," he said in the post. "Yes, there are a lot of runes and abilities that are lacking, but as you can see with our patches, we try over time to improve the balance of them regularly. In some cases runes are designed just to be fun or cool. In other cases, we try to make a large spectrum of runes competitive, but the math ends up favoring one over the others. In some cases, certain abilities or ability combinations are so potent that they overshadow almost every other option available."
The post goes on to admit that the Auction Houses have definitely made an impact on Diablo 3, but the team wants players to adventure out and discover their own gear. The new crafting recipes and Demonic Essence in the most recent patch were added to help gamers stay focused on the discovery aspect, but the team continues to examine how the issue can be fixed in the long term without having to close the Houses altogether.
"It is our intention that players are able to find their own items, because we feel the game is just more fun that way," he said. "There are several reason why it might not feel that way right now. One is the inherent randomness of our loot system. Another is the fact that the AH completely removes all friction between player trades. And another is when players DO find items they should be excited about, they are often disappointed because this items are not very good. All of these are very important and we hope to address them over time."
The update itself, called "The Salvation of Diablo 3," is rather lengthy, and is a prelude to an even longer update that's slate to go live this week. To read the current update, head here.