Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Q&A with Jay Wilson



Q: Who was truly responsible for D3's artsyle? You took blame for it too but I don't believe that. Pardo? Upper management?

A: The art directors, but I was responsible for all final decisions. (twitter)

Q: What was the major factor that made you guys decide to make D3 more of its on beast rather than just D2.5?

A: We wanted to call it Diablo 3, not Diablo 2.5. ;) (twitter)

Q: how much of what makes current D3 so good was discussed & tabled during original design?

A: Depends on what you mean by tabled. Seasons and rifts were planned in a general sense, but D3 benefited from play and learning in the wild. (twitter)

Q: Were you surprised at all with Blizzcon Diablo announcement? Felt incredibly underwhelming and the community is up in arms.

A: Name another game company that adds a new class and remakes an entire game inside their existing game...for free. (twitter)

More tweets: @Angryrobotics

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

My Opinion on 20th Anniversary D1 in D3, big mistake.



I tried out the 20th anniversary remake of D1 in D3 on the PTR the other  night and it's garbage. Worse then awful. Did they really think what we wanted was for them to take D3 tilesets and make them look as bad as they looked in D1? No Blizzard, what we wanted was for you to take D1 tilesets and make them look as good as D3 looks. What a nightmare.

Let me be clear on this. These are NOT new levels, monsters or anything else new. These are the same levels, monsters etc that you have been killing in D3 for that last couple of years only made to LOOK as bad as things looked in D1. D1 looked fine in 1996, but in 2016 the graphics of D1 look like SHIT! You really thought we wanted you to take D3 and make it look like SHIT? Really? No, we didn't. We wanted you to take those levels and monsters from D1 and redo them and make them look GREAT!!! They didn't do that.

If you thought you were disappointed about the Necro pack, you haven't begun to be disappointed. This looks like it took about 2 developers about a month to throw together. This 20 year anniversary crap they put out should NOT be released to the actual game. The critics will eat Blizzard alive for this crap and they will be right. It's obvious they spent no time on this. It's a joke. I've never been so disappointed in something that Blizzard has put out ever.

Do yourself a favor and just skip it completely and forget Blizzard ever mentioned it. You'll thank me.

Edit: I want to add this has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the announcements made at Blizzcon concerning an expansion or D4 or any of that. I was NOT expecting D4 and I'm actually fairly pumped about the Necromancer pack so I'm not at all disappointed with the direction of D3 itself. This is STRICTLY concerning the Anniversary content.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Blizzcon showed how low of a priority diablo is and how budget is getting cut in favor of the other blizz titles.



Just look at the cinematics. Sombra got a cinematic on par with whole releases or expansions. And it was just a new character being released. Same goes for the Varian and Ragnaros thing. Now compare it to the Necromancer cinematic. It looked so cheap and toony. It didn't fit the theme of the character and didn't fit in with the other diablo cinematics.

It was just bad.

The only thing they see now is that diablo isn't making any money currently and they assign their budget into their new cash cows.

And it sucks because Diablo 3 still is in the Top 10 of most sold games EVER. Like... ANY GAME. It's right there with Tetris and god damn Mario Bros., guys.

I don't even know what I'm trying to say, I'm just angry at Activion Blizzard that they have so little vision and so little hope for one of their biggest franchises just because it currently doesn't offer a steady stream of income.

Just make something good, god, we buy the shit out of your games. You can even put in some stupid microtransaction, and god damn weapon skin Loot Crates, I don't care, just do something and don't just kill the game because it went stale after four years of YOU not adding anything relevant to it.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Thank you, Blizzard, for bringing me so much entertainment for an amazing price.


We spent $60 on base Diablo, $40 on ROS, and after 800 hours personally, I've spent roughly $0.12/Hr in Diablo. Thank you, Blizzard, for bringing me so much entertainment for an amazing price. That being said, we really need to talk about communication and consumer happiness.

In all honesty I can't complain with how much I've gotten out of Diablo 3 thus far, and it's greedy to ask for much more, but I don't think communication of all things is asking for lots. Diablo as a franchise has lasted a lot longer than 800 hours. It's lasted on happiness, nostalgia, and for the most part great gameplay.

The biggest issue however is communication as it always has been. We have NO idea what your plans are. Necromancer? Okay that's for late NEXT YEAR. Heroes Of The Storm, WoW, and Hearthstone all have consistent updates, not just small patches, that include tons of content. We do NOT. Necromancer would have been an amazing announcement if it was hitting PTR next week and coming out in December/January much like Varian/Ragnaros or Gadgetzan. Instead we have to wait nearly an entire year? Why?

So there's a small skeleton crew of Devs left. Again, why? Why didn't you keep Mosqueira to lead a D3 for a bit longer? Why aren't you supporting D3 until we get D4 or whatever your future plans are? Why do we not know what your future plans are?

All of these questions and more are starting to add up and are taking me away from Diablo. I can't trust this team the same way I can trust Jeff Kaplan in Overwatch. I just can't. By comparison he's an open book to his community meanwhile the Diablo community is trying to break into a fucking bank to try and salvage even the slightest hint of information about what the future holds for us. And honestly we're not finding much...

I'm glad I spent the time and money on D3, and I'll probably buy the Necromancer because he's my favourite class, but at this rate I might not spend anything on D4 if I don't know what exactly I'm getting into.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Necromancer Concept Art Leak


Because we don't have enough insane speculation...


Found on Blizzard's site, taken down. Created by current D3 art director, John Mueller. Male/Female repping, as with all classes. All kind's of legitness here.

Of course, it's possible he just wanted to doodle some necros, for like... fun.

Feel free to tell me it's bullshit, I know I've done the same hahahaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!

The webpage where it no longer exists: here

Here is some more fuel for the speculation fires:

http://www.mtv.com/news/2457456/diablo-iii-necromancer/ An old interview with Jay Wilson back before Diablo 3 was released.

"We are trying to design the Witch Doctor class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there's room for him. We're looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we've got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road."

I misquoted Jay in this thread somewhere. Credit to a cool dude on Diablofans for digging this nugget up.

Monday, 31 October 2016

PSA: How to reach high-level GRs! GR85+



I see this question asked more often throughout the Diablo 3 community than any other: What do I need to do to reach high GRs, or what item sets can I use to do 80-90GRs.

The answer is there are no builds that will let you out-right do high GRs. If sets like that existed, you would know about them due to their widespread use, or they would be nerfed by Blizz to make room for the others sets. THERE IS NO MAGIC SET!

There is a surefire way to do higher GRs.
  1. Item optimization: You need a good set of gear with good rolls. This means all your LON gear needs to be ancient, or if you are running a regular set, you need all the most optimized items for that set. Simply missing a CDR breakpoint, other vital breakpoints, or necessary pieces of gear can sabotage the best-laid plans.
  2. Main stat, main stat, main stat: MAIN STAT IS WHAT EMPOWERS YOU TO DO HIGHER GREATER RIFTS! This is why Paragon is so important. When someone says this or that build is an 85+ build, ask what Paragon allows it to do that. LON Bomb is a GR80 build with ~900 Paragon and a GR100 build with ~3,500 Paragon.
  3. Augmenting Ancients: The easiest way to gain main stat is by augmenting ancient items. That means you need ancient items to augment (duh), so farm ancient items. Ancient items naturally roll higher, and you can't augment non-ancient items. Thirteen level 60 augments give you 3,900 main stat; that is a shit ton of power you are adding to your character.
  4. High-level legendary gems: Pushing your gems past your highest leveled character's threshold is possible by building a support character and doing high-level group GRs. Support characters are easy to build, need little optimization, and fun to play. Build a support Barb/Monk and lobby shop for high paragon players to play with. Then do some high-level group GRs and rank your three legendary gems this way. You might make some friends along the way; I did!

In closing, some builds are better than others, but these steps are universally true in regards to pushing any character's power level. Good luck!

Thursday, 27 October 2016

What if NOTHING new happens at Blizzcon?



This is by far one of if not thee most anticipated Blizzcons for Diablo as it is the 20th aniversary. D3 has been a game that has just been having seasons with no real big updates for quite some time.

With all the job postings blizz has had and the many little things that have happened from theories about the D4 dice, to a hire up at blizzcon getting the can for saying something, ETC...

But even from all the things that have transpired just what if the con comes around and all they do for diablo is just celebrate it's aniversary with some stupid little looking back video's, going over the lore and how the games have led them up to this day 20 years later.

And then... nothing... they just end the show. Just what if that happens? No D4, no expansion, no D2HD remake, and no new Diablo IP (such as a new sort of diablo game)

Because lets be honest, I for one can definitely see that happening and then a huge sigh of disappointment from the few people at the con that were actually there to see something new for Diablo and then the internet plethora of fans going off saying that Diablo is officially dead.

Like right now I have a part of my that is super exicted, I mean come on it's the freakin 20th aniversary but then there is the other part of me that is really telling me not to get my hopes up if at all...

Can anyone else see this happening or is it me that has just been wondering about this?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Can we stop having conquests that are more chore than challenge?



For this season I'm talking specifically about
  • Reach GR 55 solo with six class sets
  • Master eight set dungeons

These are not "challenges", they're just patience tests. Are you willing to go out of your way to farm a second character and get to 6 or 8 complete builds? Once you've gotten a full build GR 55 is easy and so are most set dungeons. The only "hard" part is going through the motions of farming on two classes.

Also, set dungeons kinda suck. Please stop making us do them every season. Almost all of them require some janky skillset or playstyle that is totally different from how you would actually use the set in any other environment. And the whole concept of "look around the map for that one enemy you missed" sucks too.

Conquests like the other three are so much better
  • Kill 350+ monsters in a TX cursed chest
  • Reach GR75 solo
  • Kill all these bosses in 20 minutes

See how they're all challenges in some way? And they don't require a bunch of farming that does nothing for your character's progression. You probably already have a torment speedfarming build and a solo GR build. In short they're actually enjoyable.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Secret season 8 patchnote, biggest issue in D3 fixed.

Even though we didnt get any new content other than a new pair of wings and a portrait frame, Blizzard manged to fix the problems that really matter to us. For atleast two and half years have we been facing this issue, and every patch and every season the problem didnt go away. But now after all this time........
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the water actually moves up with the baskets in the Ancient Waterways.



Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Diablo 3 Memories: Remember those from the last 8 years?



Since there isn't anything new for the next season, let's revisit some of the great memories, people and events this game has provided since its announcement in 2008.

I have played since D3 vanilla and often see people online who just joined in the last few seasons and missed out on interesting parts (some fun, some not so much) that Diablo offered during the years.

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Diablo 3 announcement during BlizzCon 2008. After years of waiting Blizzard finally revealed D3 to the public. It took almost another 4 years until the release and the game changed quite a bit but this was when the hypetrain started to gain some speed.

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Some early character trailers with some rather weird ingame cutscenes and early skill concepts:

The crafting and item menu system used to look and work different from what we know today.

Some monk gameplay from 2009. Most of the skills still exist today but with different mechanics (Seven Sided Strike has a much longer cooldown for example).

Early WD and Barb coop gameplay in Act 1 Leorics Highland. The Siegebreaker we know from Act 3 was used in Act 1 at that time. In an early build there were actually "finishing moves" where the character could do a final blow to a boss with a special animation like the Barbarian jumping on the hear of the Siegebreaker to strike it down.

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In May 2012 the launch finally came after a beta phase where people could play until the Skeleton king and get up to lvl 13. Diablo 3 became the fastest selling PC game and the launch itself came with a lot of server issues and waitlists. The gameplay itself was good but not as smooth as it is today.

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In the early days Diablo had difficulties similar to Diablo 2: Normal, Nightmare, Hell and Inferno (which was new). The monsters strength and hp was fixed in certain areas and difficulties.

Inferno at that time was actually really difficult with most people struggling to get through Act 1. Many monsters (wasps...) would one-shot players and overall damage you could do was far less than it is today. Think about going into T8 with a fresh lvl 70 char. This now infamous tactic was widely used. Todays GR80+ guides are what used to beInferno gear guides.

This HC Inferno kill on the last boss was the world's first at that time.

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Apart from playing through the campaign there wasn't much else in real gameplay players could do. Item drops were very rare with most people finding 2-3 legendaries at the most until level 60. On the highest levels more legendaries dropped but it was nothing compared to today. Guides on farming for gold and items were a help to some players back then. The so-called Alkaizer runs were popular - they came from the still active streamer Alkaizer who ran through different high-density zones for hours.

Blizzard changed the difficulty system and released the so called "Monster Powers" similar to Torments today. You could play on MP1 (normal) all the way up to MP10 (similar to T13). Even with perfect gear mobs on MP10 took quite some time.

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Next to the regular gameplay many people gamed the Auction House. For those who didn't play back then: The Auction house was an integrated part originally designed to trade items and to prevent third-party sites to establish an ingame-economy. You could buy and sell almost anything through a bidding system for gold or real money. This quickly led to a system where some people would just buy some gold with real money and then spend it on items that would take weeks to farm. People who played a lot or got lucky could make a decent amount of money selling their stuff on the Auction House.

A few of the now inactive streamers/YouTubers releases Auction House guides for Monster Power-levels. The MP10 Critical Mass wizard was really popular at some time. It used a passive skill called Critical Mass that reduced your cooldowns if you land a critical hit. Combined with items that gave 10 arcane power on hit (now capped to 4) you could channel skills like Explosive Blast, Frost Nova and the like.

At that time you could only get up to Paragon 100 which was tied to a character, not account wide.

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In 2014 Reaper of Souls was released. Prior to the release a new patch changed much of the basis mechanis. Smart Loot was enabled (most items just drop for your class with useful stats, used to be completely random), prices were adjusted, skills were changed and so on.

The RoS-Launch was a lot of fun and went much better than the original D3 launch. I still remember the race to 70 in clan chat, all the new events in Act 5 and the huge upgrades from lvl 61 weapons that made the most expensive Auction-House-gear obsolete. With the expansion also came hundreds of new crafting materials that were tied to specific bosses throughout the world. Some were rather difficult to farm and the overall system mostly annoyed players. Blizzard removed most of it a few months later. Some items still drop today due to bugs.

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With Patch 2.1 came new features like greater rifts. To access those you had to complete bounties which rewarded you with regular rift stones. Completing a regular rift provided a Greater Rift Trial keystone. After completing a trial which tested your strength through waves of mobs that continuously increased in difficulty you could enter a Greater Rift. This took quite some time and you needed a coordinated group to get into higher levels. Solo players often had difficulty completing trials on time, especially if they used ramp-up skills/sets like Firebirds.

The first greater rifts were into the 30s and really low compared to today. Completing Torment 6 was actually difficult at that time. Sets dropped less often and were far weaker than today.

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With the release of seasons began a competitive aspect. People reached higher and higher Greater Rifts and raced to reach Paragon 1000. Doing GR37 was in 5-7 minutes was considered speed running at that time.

Optimizing GR Trials also become a favorite hobby of some.

As the seasons progressed and new patches were released, most sets and items became stronger with each change. The power creep was so strong that the damage and rank 1 clears throughout the next seasons became so high that it was sometimes difficult to read damage numbers as they reached into hundreds of billions (50k used to be a lot in the original D3). Here are some rank 1 clears:

The only time that the top level went down was/is in Season 7 for which Blizzard nerfed a few key items.

Throughout the seasons everyone always wanted to know which builds would be the best. Usually a PTR (public test server) went up a few weeks in advance where people could try out new builds. Most of the time the best builds became popular a few weeks into the season though. I still remember everyone playing HOTA-Barb and Dart-WD as damage dealers until someone on the Asian server found out that the neglected skill Static Charge was in fact incredibly strong. Some PTRs were so bugged that they allowed GR151 to be cleared in a few minutes and get up to Paragon 10000.

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Patch 2.4 came out almost a year ago and brought some of the biggest changes (new sets, set dungeons, revamped skills, Kanai's cube, new areas) to the game. It is suspected that most of its content was supposed to be used in an expansion which was never released which brings us to the present day, still hoping for new content or, even better, a new game.

I hope you enjoyed this little history trip as much as I did.

What were your favorite moments around Diablo 3?

Friday, 14 October 2016

No Diablo Slots? Play These Fantasy Slot Machines Instead




A year has passed since we've taken a look at how great a slot machine Diablo would be. A year has passed, and there's still no Diablo-inspired slot machine available - not in the >Royal Vegas Mobile Casino, not in the glittery gambling houses of the Las Vegas Strip. Diablo might not have made it to the world of slot machines, but there are still quite a few fantasy-themed slots for us to try - like the ones below.

Dragon's Myth

Any proper fantasy world must have at least one dragon, right? And, as today's most popular fantasy TV series has shown us, a young and relatively innocent female to tame it. You'll find this same idea adopted to the Dragon's Myth slot machine, only in a more playful way. Available for free play at the Royal Vegas Mobile Casino, Dragon's Myth is a beautiful slot machine. Its graphics are crisp and realistic, and its dragons look like they're ready to jump out of the screen and bite you. Our protagonist - a teenage redhead dragon hunter - has to catch one of each dragon species in order to be able to head over to the mountaintop and fight the big dragon - and win big in the process.

Hot as Hades

Fantasy often reaches out for inspiration to mythology - and so does this game. Hot as Hades takes on Greek mythology in a funnier way. First of all, it destroys the myth of Hades being a bad guy (which he wasn't). Instead, the Hades you'll meet at the Royal Vegas Casino is a party animal, looking to make the most of his underground realm: he dives head first into pools of molten lava, he flies around using his (invisible) jet pack, and plays with his puppy, Cerberus, who happens to have two extra heads (and tongues, of course). During the game, Hades has to go on a quest to recover the legendary Crystal Helm. To do this, he has to get past some other mythical Greeks, like Medusa, Poseidon, and Zeus himself. And, of course, he (and the player) has to win big in the process.

Thunderstruck II

Speaking of mythology: thanks to the recent ascension of Marvel's superheroes, the Norse gods are enjoying a newfound fame, even if they are depicted as aliens. Not that they weren't a popular source of inspiration before - just look at Rune, one of the best fantasy / RPG / third person shooter games ever created. Thunderstruck II, a game you'll find at the Royal Vegas Casino, reaches back to the times when Norse gods roamed the land in a unique way - in the form of a slot machine. On its reels you'll have the chance to meet legendary characters, like Odin, Loki, a Valkyrie, and Thor himself. While there's no real story in the game, its

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Diablo 3 pre-launch Runestone system overhaul



I actually really liked a lot of the ideas they explored early on. The first screenshot is oozing with history.

You can tell which skills were passives because they have no rune socket. The initial skill runes that dropped on the ground and would socket to a skill were square shaped. They had names that were evocative of their trait. For example, a Minor Hydra Rune enhanced the multi-target aspect of a skill.


The multi-tab inventory can be seen on the right below the old paper-doll. It was demoed as expandable and later scrapped because they felt like it limited the loot hunt too much early on and then made town visits fiddly once you had multiple tabs.


The talisman button on the bottom right of the paper doll. Oh how I wish we'd seen this thing in action.




A surprisingly minimal amount of UI artwork survived from this stage, less than a year from launch.
Jump to 4:08 and you can see the old (now gone) official Battle.net page where they explain the Crimson, Alabaster, Obsidian, Indigo, and Golden runes. They were still drops but had a spherical appearance and the actual rune that persisted to the current skill interface. There's an interesting read on why this system was scrapped.
I loved watching the videos of the individual characters with a single skill + rune mods, here's the montage for all of them:
Still kind of amazing how much iteration took place.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Diablo 2 Best Single Player Early game builds



Ive recently pickup up playing diablo 2 again after many years and its still great. It seems like most of the information about the game trailed off around patch 1.11. Blizzard implemented the respec in 1.13 and most guides dont account for this. Im wondering what you guys think are the best builds for each class based on early game requirements. Here are mine.

  • Druid: Fizzure
  • Paladin: Holy Fire
  • Amazon: Charged Strike
  • Sorc: Fire Ball
  • Assassin: Fire Traps
  • Necro: Skeletons
  • Barb: Double Swing

The Necro is obvious being the definitive best single player build IMO. Fire seems to have an advantage because of the Leaf Runeword, so assassin, druid, sorc and possibly pally lean towards fire. Zon could go Poison Jav or Charged strike, and Barb well IDK. Other runewords that might change the meta here? Spirit, Ryhme, Ancients Pledge..?

Friday, 7 October 2016

New job postings for Diablo



There are 3 new job postings to join the Diablo team, they are: Senior User Interface DesignerTechnical Artist, Rigging User Interface Designer

They are all to do with art and UX. Of note is that they don't appear to be related to the "Unannounced Diablo project" although they do mention work for "future projects with the franchise"