Monthly Archives: June 2013

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Last year’s release of Diablo 3 was rough. Think the SimCity debut raised some flags? Child’s play. Diablo 3 sold 3.5 million copies in 24 hours, crashed servers, thrilled players, and got more people angry than any reasonable person could have predicted. World governments got involved when Diablo 3 came out. Seriously! The Korean Fair Trade Commission actually raided Blizzard’s offices in Seoul because of reports that the studio refused to give refunds to players that couldn’t sign on to the game as it was buried in the deluge of new players.

The tumult didn’t slow down either. Complaints about the game’s Auction House-based economy, its end-game story content, and many other features plagued Blizzard as it released updates across the year. By November 2012, when the big story should have been the release of World of Warcraft: Mysts of Pandaria, Blizzard was getting slammed with lawsuits over Diablo 3. In short: People love their Diablo, but after a decade and more of waiting for a sequel, they were not happy.

One year later, things are different. Diablo 3 is plugging away and entering a new life. For the first time since EA ported the original to PlayStation, Diablo 3′s coming to consoles. Not only that, but Blizzard continues to tweak and refine the PC game to try and chisel away those features that catastrophically failed to connect with gamers. It is, like its beloved predecessor Diablo 2, a living game that continues to change and grow.

This may seem insignificant from the outside but improved co-op and changes to the game’s crafting system have had significant effects on the game, even more so than expansion-style features like the player-versus-player Brawls introduced in February and boss fight events like Infernal Machine. Even bigger changes are on the horizon.
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Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime confirmed last fall that Diablo 3 would receive a real, old style expansion a la Diablo: Hellfire and Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction. “We do have a plan, an expansion plan for Diablo,” teased Morhaime, tantalizing fans with the prospect of what could be an entirely different game.

That’s no exaggeration based on past Diablo expansions. Lord of Destruction brought two new character classes to the game as well as an entirely new concluding chapter culminating in a fight against the vicious boss Baal. Diablo 3 has plenty of hints buried in the game at whole new locales that could be used for an additional act, like the kingdom of Westmarch. Home of the Knights of Westmarch order that the Paladin character in Diablo 2 came from, the follower character Lydon in Diablo 3 says it’s a place where things can get a little rowdy.

There’s also a set up for a new big boss right in Diablo 3. The Archangel Imperius, the fella with the fiery temper and the fiery sword, lives through the climactic fight in the battle in High Heavens in act 4 but it’s unknown what happens to him after that. As a character who’s seemingly always on the edge of completely losing his mind and who’s terribly powerful, what better way to add a new big bad to what’s mostly a finished story?

As the updates to Diablo 3 already released have shown, though, smaller foundational changes are more meaningful to the exact nature of the game and a full expansion will likely be no different. Lords of Destruction’s biggest change to Diablo 2 wasn’t the addition of Assassin and Druid classes, but how it overhauled  the gameplay. An expansion could conceivably remove Diablo 3′s most divisive features, particularly the need for a persistent Internet connection and the game’s Auction Houses.

An Auction House-free Diablo 3 on PC certainly sounds like the dream version of the game. Rather than a delicious, engaging adventure that yielded the best rewards as its difficulty scaled, the biggest problem with Diablo 3 was how the Auction House drove all of the game’s long-term systems. The very best loot didn’t drop regularly enough for even the most diligent player, so they were forced to farm gold or pay out actual cash for the gear they wanted. This reliance on the Auction House even crippled the game’s campaign, and Blizzard’s known it since the game released. While the new crafting system was brought in to refocus players away from farming the Auction House and onto farming monsters, it’s still only a half step.

According to Blizzard, even though the upcoming PlayStation 3/4 version will skip the Auction House, it’s staying in the PC game. Director Jay Wilson, who left the game to work on other projects in January, said at GDC that Auction House was a bad call all along. “It’s not good for a game like Diablo,” said Wilson, “It doesn’t feel good to get items for money, it feels good to get items by killing monsters.” But it can’t do it since roughly a million players are still playing the game every day and there’s no easy way to completely excise the Auction House from the game. An expansion like Lords of Destruction, essentially being a whole new version of the game, could fix the problem.

The same is true of removing Internet connection requirements. Sony actually confirmed back in February that its version of the game can be played offline and Blizzard backed up the claim shortly thereafter. Since the game won’t be played via Blizzard’s Battle.net network and won’t have the Auction Houses to go along with it, it make sense that the consolized Diablo 3 can be played offline. There are plenty of unofficial ways to trick Diablo 3 into letting PC players take on the campaign offline as well. Solutions were showing up in the official forums within weeks of its release.

As with the Auction Houses, though, it seem that only a completely different version will bring offline play to Diablo 3 on PC. A message from Morhaime delivered to players last July put the kibosh on an offline solo mode through patch updates.

Expanded player-versus-player options are another prime candidate for an expansion. While the game did finally get PvP dueling in February, the game’s long lost Team Deathmatch mode from the beta was cancelled last December because, according to Wilson, it “gets old relatively quickly.” He did say at the time, though, that Team Deathmatch would be replaced with something more “appropriate for Diablo 3.” What that may be remains a tantalizing prospect for the future.
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One year later, Blizzard has the twin luxuries of an industry with its attention elsewhere and a devoted audience still playing its highly divisive game. It can continue to tinker away, refining the game. People will have to wait longer for the big changes a major expansion can bring, though.   Both Hellfire and Lords of Destruction came out approximately one year after Diablo and Diablo 2, so a Diablo 3 expansion is already behind historical schedule. This is a game people had to wait four years for between announcement and release. The expansion may be coming, but the wait will likely be long.

 

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Diablo III for birthday celebration

Blizzard is also offering a 33 percent discount on the digital version of Diablo III

when purchased through its online store.
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Blizzard is offering a 25 percent experience boost to anyone who plays Diablo III

between May 15 and 21, to celebrate the game’s first anniversary.

The buff will apply to all characters and stack on top of other bonuses, and will

also award an additional 25 percent bonus to the game’s Magic Find statistic.

Blizzard adds that the experience bonus will stack multiplicatively, and the Magic

Find bonus will stack above the game’s 300 percent cap.

Diablo III will also be released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 later in 2013.

“Thank you for your continued support, and we wish you the best of adventures in the

coming year,” said Blizzard.

Last week Diablo III’s in-game economy was disrupted after a bug in the 1.0.8 patch

allowed exploiters to amass trillions of gold. Blizzard has said that any profits

made by the now-fixed bug will be donated to charity.

Blizzard is also offering a 33 percent discount on the digital version of Diablo III

when purchased through its online store.

Diablo III will also be released for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 later in 2013. 

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Diablo III uses touchpad for inventory on PS4

“Diablo is a pretty deep game and we don’t like a lot of overload on the buttons,”

Hight said. “We want to keep it really simple so you can get to the things you need

to get to fast as you need to do it because the monsters are pouring at you no matter

what. We think the touch pad’s going to give us a lot more opportunity to make that

interface a lot easier.”

The console version allows for offline play, while the PC and Mac iterations mandate

that players be connected to Blizzard’s Battle.net service, even when playing single

-player.
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The PlayStation 4 version of Diablo III will use the DualShock 4′s new touchpad for

inventory management, Blizzard Entertainment revealed today.

Speaking during the latest Conversations with Creators video from Sony (below),

Blizzard Entertainment production director John Hight revealed that the functionality

will help streamline the experience.

“Diablo is a pretty deep game and we don’t like a lot of overload on the buttons,”

Hight said. “We want to keep it really simple so you can get to the things you need

to get to fast as you need to do it because the monsters are pouring at you no matter

what. We think the touch pad’s going to give us a lot more opportunity to make that

interface a lot easier.”

No information regarding how exactly the trackpad will be used in Diablo III was

given or shown.

The touchpad is one of the DualShock 4′s most noted additions from past iterations of

the controller. However, how the touchpad will work for Diablo III, and other games,

remains to be seen.

Diablo III was announced for the PS3 and PS4 during Sony’s major media event in

February and was playable at PAX East in March. Diablo III for consoles features a

new interface and control scheme, allowing players to directly control their

character.

The console version allows for offline play, while the PC and Mac iterations mandate

that players be connected to Blizzard’s Battle.net service, even when playing single

-player. 

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Diablo III infographic

The total number of hours played for the game has passed 2.8 billion, with an average

of 8.2 million played per day. 67.1 million characters have been created worldwide

since launch, with only nine percent made up of Hardcore mode characters. The most

popular character choice was the demon hunter, followed by the wizard, the barbarian,

the monk, and the witch doctor.
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So far, players have spent over 930 years of real-world time in Diablo III. The

highest number of daily players since launch has been 5.8 million, while the game

averages 2.1 million players each day.

More than a year after the release of Diablo III, developer Blizzard has released an

infographic showing statistics for the title.
Despite criticisms, Diablo III’s stats boast huge numbers.

So far, players have spent over 930 years of real-world time in Diablo III. The

highest number of daily players since launch has been 5.8 million, while the game

averages 2.1 million players each day.

The total number of hours played for the game has passed 2.8 billion, with an average

of 8.2 million played per day. 67.1 million characters have been created worldwide

since launch, with only nine percent made up of Hardcore mode characters. The most

popular character choice was the demon hunter, followed by the wizard, the barbarian,

the monk, and the witch doctor. 

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Diablo 3 Exploits Found Barbarian God-Mode

A Diablo 3 God mode exploit for the Barbarian class has been discovered. The bug’s been found only a day after users found and abused a similar bug that made Wizards completely invulnerable. The Wizard God-mode exploit took Blizzard almost an entire day to fix, and players were even live streaming their experiences of taking out some of the hardest content the game had to offer without even breaking a sweat, or the bank, for once.
Diablo-3.net » Diablo 3 » Wallpapers
NEWS: Blizzard Acknowledges Diablo 3′s Missing Endgame Content

First, prices on amazing items could potentially drop to all-time lows on both the Real Money auction house and the gold Auction House, screwing up a lot of people’s hard work who legitimately earned the items. Or, the players are going to use this exploit to get some of the best gear in the game, without trying, and throw it up on the Auction House for ridiculous, real life prices. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, I want to know what you guys think about the fact that all these God Mode exploits are being found in Diablo 3 lately. Do you think that it will grossly affect the in-game economy? How do you think Blizzard is going to address these issues? Are you planning on trying out these bugs later? Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be sure to reply.

NEWS: Blizzard CEO Addresses The Diablo 3 Fan Community

The Diablo 3 Barbarian bug isn’t as godly as the Wizard bug, since it doesn’t render the Barb invincible. Instead, it allows him to get 8 percent of his HP back with every hit. The effect continues until the Barb dies or until he uses Furious Charge, according to YouTube user MetaSerge. Check a video out of him farming with the bug below.

If you want to try the bug out for yourself, you can find the (extremely simple) steps on the official Blizzard forums. However, keep in mind that users on there are commenting that the bug only works in Act 3 and for some people it isn’t even working at all. As of this posting, Blizzard have not commented on the bug and they have not deployed a hot fix for the issue yet either. We’ve reached out to them and will let you know when we’ve heard back.
File:Diablo II characters.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aside from the fact that these bugs are frankly embarrassing for Blizzard, they’re also something that could be detrimental to Diablo 3′s economy and affect a lot of players who aren’t even aware of the bug. With so many people farming the hardest content in the game to get the best gear, I feel like there are two things that could happen to the economy.

Thanks for the tip, Ward!

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter! 

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Blizzard Acknowledges Diablo 3 Has missing Endgame Content

Blizzard has taken a bit of flak from the Diablo 3 fan community since the game’s release over the lack of proper endgame content, an issue the developer admits that it is aware of and working to address. Thoughts are already turning in that direction, though work on some of the game’s in-progress updates will have to be completed first, a statement from Blizzard community manager Bashiok on the Battle.net forums confirms.
Diablo II free Download
A single playthrough of Diablo 3 on its starting difficulty will get most players roughly halfway through the 60-level cap, with subsequent playthroughs on the higher difficulty yielding more experience levels as well as higher-end loot. Bashiok nods to that and to the game’s upcoming PvP arenas update (v1.1) as offering solid replay value, but admits that these don’t solve the problem. Blizzard will address the issue in time, he said, but it’s not going to happen until after v1.1 is released.

The statement came as a response on a user-created forum thread asking what sort of plans there are in the future for endgame content. The poster makes a very valid argument that “Act 4 is currently pointless due to the small number of elites and the the drop rates being identical to Act 3,” which renders the earlier act “superior” in his mind. Bashiok acknowledges the shortcoming in his straightforward and informative statement, the whole of which you can read below:

We recognize that the item hunt is just not enough for a long-term sustainable end-game. There are still tons of people playing every day and week, and playing a lot, but eventually they’re going to run out of stuff to do (if they haven’t already). Killing enemies and finding items is a lot of fun, and we think we have a lot of the systems surrounding that right, or at least on the right path with a few corrections and tweaks. But honestly Diablo III is not World of Warcraft. We aren’t going to be able to pump out tons of new systems and content every couple months. There needs to be something else that keeps people engaged, and we know it’s not there right now.
We’re working toward 1.0.4, which we’re really trying to pack with as many fixes and changes we can to help you guys out (and we’ll have a bunch of articles posted with all the details as we get closer), and we’re of course working on 1.1 with PvP arenas. I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing, but they’re not going to be a real end-game solution, at least not what we would expect out of a proper end-game. We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it’s a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1 which it itself still a ways out. 

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Diablo 3 Auction Houses trades reactivated

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Diablo 3′s gold and real-money Auction Houses have been restored and players may resume gold trades, Blizzard announced via Battle.net.

The Auction Houses came back online at 11:10 p.m. ET yesterday. The update notes that Blizzard has also temporarily reverted the gold stack size from 10,000,000 to 1,000,000 in the game’s real-money Auction House. Blizzard community manager Lylirra notes that the change has been temporarily reversed to fix a bug currently preventing gold stack sizes from displaying correctly.

Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson spoke during GDC 2013 on the game’s real-money Auction Houses, revealing that the systems “really hurt the game” and that Blizzard continues to look for a way to fix them.

Diablo 3′s Auction House was taken offline earlier this week after the game’s 1.0.8 patch introduced a gold-multiplying bug that allowed players to amass trillions. The bug was fixed shortly after, but the Auction Houses remained in offline maintenance mode for Blizzard to perform a complete transaction audit. 

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Diablo 3 gold multiplying bug profits will be donated to charity

All profits made by Diablo 3 players who exploited the gold-multiplying bug will be donated to charity, production director John Hight announced via Battle.net.
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According to Hight, only a small number of players had the funds to take advantage of the bug, and “only 415 of those players chose to use this exploit for personal gain.” Anyone found exploiting the bug has been banned or had their account rolled back, effectively deleting their progress since the 1.0.8 update.

Diablo 3′s Auction Houses were brought back online late Friday night. The team will continue to remove duplicated gold from the game’s economy rather than doing a complete rollback, which would bring the servers down and delete all player progress. According to Hight, more than 85 percent of the duplicate gold has already been removed.

Hight addressed the recent bug, unleashed after the game’s 1.0.8 patch went live, that allowed players to duplicate gold from stacks of 1 million to 10 million through the real-money Auction House. Hight wrote that the team will ensure that all “legitimate transactions” will proceed as usual, and that players who did not take advantage of the bug will be allowed to keep their items, gold and money from sales.

“We’ll also be donating all proceeds from auctions conducted by the suspended or banned players — including all of their sale proceeds that we intercepted as well as our transaction fee — to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” Hight wrote. 

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Diablo 3′s first birthday with sale, anniversary buff

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Diablo 3 will be $39.99 this week through Blizzard’s online store, a savings of 33 percent, for both the Windows and Mac versions. That offer runs until May 21, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. PT.

To commemorate the first anniversary of Diablo 3, Blizzard is offering two incentives to encourage players new and old to visit Sanctuary: a weeklong sale on the action role-playing game and an anniversary buff for all players.

For current Diablo 3 players, Blizzard will offer a 25 percent boost to their magic find and experience gain from May 15 through May 21. That buff will apply to all characters and stack with other bonuses, pushing past the 300 percent cap on magic find and experience bonuses. 

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Diablo III What Character

The world of Diablo III is populated with a wide range of characters and personalities. Some call Sanctuary home — heroes, artisans, followers, merchants, strange beasts, and more – while others claim the High Heavens or Burning Hells as their domain. Although each has their own unique story to tell, few would likely make for desirable company outside their digital realm.

Fan Art by Ya Lee (Lee337)
But everyone, be it a Fallen Shaman, Archangel, or cunning scoundrel, sometimes needs some time off from battling for Sanctuary’s future. So, for our latest community question, we want to ask:
You get to hang out with one Diablo III character for a day. Who do you choose?

The world of Diablo III is populated with a wide range of characters and personalities. Some call Sanctuary home — heroes, artisans, followers, merchants, strange beasts, and more – while others claim the High Heavens or Burning Hells as their domain. Although each has their own unique story to tell, few would likely make for desirable company outside their digital realm. 

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