Diablo III Forum Activity

Diablo community manager "Bashiok" discusses the magic find stat, the Monk's resource system, the Necromancer returning in an expansion pack, and more in his latest responses on the official Diablo III forums.

On whether the Necromancer might return:
I've seen this said quite a bit. We're not specifically designing the witch doctor to leave room for a necromancer class. We're focusing on this game and making the classes fun. It's more of a case of, the witch doctor just isn't similar enough that it would prohibit us from adding a necromancer. Were one to be added in an expansion. Were an expansion to be made.

On the Monk resource system:
Yeah, we want to make sure there's one class that's just much much better than all the others at release. Then after a healthy amount of complaints we buff all the other classes and people think we're heroes.

It's game-dev psych 101 stuff.

On expansion classes:
Oh yeah, well it's like a rule that we can't make expansion classes fun.

And now I shall read a passage:

Laxamentum Prestolatio
Book 4; Passage 8; Line 13

And yae the onlookers felt the warmth of an expansion, and they cried out in cheerfulness. The masses moved hurriedly through the valley to greet it. Their voices unsilenced for their knowing was not of the creed.

May not any expansion classes meet the expectations of the whole
May not any onlooker feel great joy in their playing

On issues in the Diablo II v1.13 patch:

Hopefully I haven't given the impression that we're not aware of all the threads and issues people are discussing though. (moar tppk threads plz) But regardless thanks for the thread and at least trying to do something positive during the testing period.

A lot of good feedback and some good external sources and guides on reproducing some issues have been provided, they've been infinitely helpful on informing us of how these things happen and even just simply how we can address them immediately.

We're being careful right now about posting replies (ie not doing it) because we can't commit to anything yet. There's been too much expectation around 1.13 already. We're still evaluating a lot of reports, a lot of issues, new or returning requests, and we'll have to make decisions on a case by case basis for how we'll move forward. It would be a mistake at this point to further raise expectations of requests/fixes that can't or maybe just won't make it in. To give you a small hint, nothing is going to happen or be decided until after the new year.


I also want to impress upon everyone that 1.13 isn't and never has been intended as a final patch for Diablo II. I realize with the long delays in getting it to PTR, and longer stretches of time inbetween patches that it seems like it's necessary that 1.13 encompass everything because, well, there's just no guarantee that anything will come after. Or in a timely fashion. But, there is a solid long term plan of action for future support of Diablo II. There's obviously plenty of room for skepticism, and I can't blame anyone for that. But even with that skepticism I hope that we can get the message across that we have no intention of stopping here.


Actually the legacy programmers/developers, QA legacy team, and myself are reading through the forums. So no, it's not just me.

I'm just the only one that posts, because I am a huge ego-maniac and I don't want people to steal my spotlight. My lonely, oft berated, sometimes hated, dark, sad, pin-hole sized spotlight.

On allowing players to modify the UI, locations, and day/night cycles:
We've talked about this before but we don't have any plans to support UI modification. As far as toggles for certain visual options, those are always possible but I wouldn't promise anything yet.


Act II has a variety of locations that aren't just sand blown desert. New locations and changing scenery keep things interesting. We're upping the ante, so you're not going to go into an act and it's essentially the same look and tileset the whole way through. We keep a theme but there's a ton of variation possible, even in a desert.


Hrm, I don't believe we've talked about Day/Night cycles before. It was something that was discussed early on and if I'm not mistaken they were actually implemented in some form at one time. Well, we don't use trueday/night cycles. What we do is progress the time of day as you advance through the story. So you'll be in a mid-day sunny, wind swept desert, and then you'll move into an area where it's maybe dusk, and then the next area will be night time. So you get that sense of passage of time, but it also allows us much greater control over the look and quality of each area and scene. The visual quality of a "playable painting" isn't something we couldn't achieve with a day/night cycle, so it was pretty easy to decide to hand craft each area to support a specific lighting scheme. It also allows us to do all sorts of fun stuff we probably just couldn't justify if there was no guarantee it would be seen because a player may rarely or only briefly see it as the virtual sun made its rounds.

On champion difficulty:
Depending on the random affixes a champion or rare enemy rolls up, they can be extremely challenging.

I've seen a barbarian spend (literally) five minutes trying to kill an "ice" skeleton mage with the "teleporter" stat. Meaning the mage is casting his normal ice spells which slow your character and he's able to teleport and effectively kite you forever. And they do. The barbarian could only get close enough to do a couple hits before the mage would teleport and continue its barrage. But the barb never gave up and it became this self contained little event, completely random, but made it so much more than just plowing through enemies. When he finally defeated him we all cheered, it was an extremely gratifying little encounter.

Now of course if it was a wizard or witchdoctor with a lot of ranged attacks, maybe not such a big deal, but throw affixes like "thorns" and "vampiric" on a rare creature and again you're looking at an involved fight.

So, yeah, the champions and rares truly are like mini boss fights if they roll some affixes that happen to specifically challenge your class or skill set.


Yeah vampiric with a witch doctor is especially trying because of the mongrel damage. I've seen that struggle as well. But if you happened to have picked up sacrifice you could have killed him probably in a shot or two because he wouldn't have been able to leech any life out of the little guys before they exploded. So that's one example of how specific classes can have fun (unless it cuts into your limited demo time) challenges, but you can overcome some of them if you happen to have a skill and know how and when to use it.


Well that's not much of an issue, we could just give rares and champions a guaranteed drop of one or more items of a specific quality level every time they die. BOOM. Now you want to kill them every time. Not that it would be the case, but saying you have no incentive to kill them is like saying it's all written in stone, which it isn't.

If not, sure, you can run away from them if you like.

On balancing magic find:
I think the trick with magic find, or any sort of tertiary stat that doesn't directly relate to player power, is to make sure that it's an actual trade off. A lot of times and specifically for certain classes in Diablo II you could stack magic find and still be perfectly able to fight and kill. So what it really comes down to is properly weighting stats on items and ensuring that if you do want to stack something like magic find, that it's clearly going to limit your power in downing enemies. Auto-stats to a degree also help out in this regard as you can't effectively stack stats as easily to offset the loss of stats coming from items that might otherwise help keep you alive or kill at an acceptable pace.

That said magic find isn't fully drawn up yet, there's not a complete pool of itemization where we can begin tweaking balance to a degree where we can ensure MF doesn't get out of hand. It could turn out that we need to take an alternate approach, but, if I had to guess simply weighting the stat properly would be enough.